Turns out a realistic Spider-Man wrapped head to toe in spandex is not a good look for the hero.
“When we first started designing his new suit … you always start with spandex and it’s not very appealing,” said Insomniac Games’ Jacinda Chew, art director for the upcoming “Marvel’s Spider-Man” PlayStation game. “We were like, ‘Wow, that’s not appealing.’ So we started thinking about what looks good in [computer graphics]. How do you give it structure and ground it with real materials?”
The result, Chew told Variety, is Spider-Man’s advanced suit, an outfit that looks like the sort of thing someone might wear to workout, get in fights and protect themselves.
“For the advanced suit, we looked at athletic wear,” Chew said. “He’s missing his knee-high red boots. If you look at his shoes they seem like sneakers. Even the fabric is formed by athletic wear. The blue is the flexibility, the red is thicker so if he scrapes up against a building he has protection. The white is like a flexible carbon fiber.”
She adds, “It’s almost like a wetsuit, it’s stretchy and still has flexibility. It’s not super shiny. There is definitely a texture to it.”
The decision to design an entirely new suit — the rest of the unlockable suits in the game were pulled directly from comics — caused a bit of a drama when it was initially unveiled, but now, Chew said, a lot of people seem to accept it.
In some ways, this new suit is meant to be a reflection of the person who wears it. “Marvel’s Spider-Man” tells an unusual Peter Parker story. It’s not the young, still in high school or college Peter, this is a Parker who has graduated from college and has been Spider-Man for eight years.
“He knows what he is doing,” Chew said. “He is more confident in his abilities.”
Parker, now a struggling young scientist, uses his abilities and experience to make this new suit. In fact, at one point in the game, players get to see Parker’s concept room where he has been working on tech and designs for his suits.
“We had to incorporate him designing suits in the story,” Chew said. “Se we had one of our artists draw sketches that are supposed to look like they weren’t drawn by an artist.”
Those sketches scattered around the room include failed designs. Though, unfortunately, they don’t include one particularly bad failed design for the game.
Chew said she briefly experimented with those red boots so prominently featured in the early comic-book look of Spidey.
“He had really high red leather boots,” Chew said laughing. “After that, I didn’t want to do a red boot.”
Insomniac Games announced on Monday that the PlayStation 4 exclusive is officially finished and prepping for its worldwide release on Sept. 7.