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Insomniac Talks About The Tech Behind ‘Spider-Man’s’ Satisfying Swing

Reviews for Insomniac Games’ PlayStation 4 exclusive “Marvel’s Spider-Man” came out on Tuesday. Many critics are praising Peter Parker’s web-slinging abilities in the game, how good it feels to swing above the streets of Manhattan, including Variety’s own Alex Kane.

“The game’s greatest triumph is its use of Spider-Man’s web-shooter abilities,” he wrote. “Like Treyarch’s ‘Spider-Man 2’ — the video-game adaptation of Sam Raimi’s 2004 movie — Insomniac’s ‘Spidey’ gives players a vast open-world New York to inhabit, and great care has been taken to make sure this core aspect of the experience is as polished and refined as anyone could hope for. The ingenious control scheme hearkens back to a simpler era, putting an unbelievable amount of maneuverability and precision into just a few buttons and a thumbstick. It is, quite possibly, the most fluid and flawless traversal system seen in a game.”

Now, Insomniac is talking about some of the tech behind Spidey’s satisfying swing in an interview on the PlayStation Blog.

The traversal system is thanks to a combination of camera movement, field of view, and character animation, said Insomniac Games director of core Mike Fitzgerald. But, there are also some realistic touches to make it feel more convincing.

“For example, every web you shoot to swing from needs to be anchored to an attachment point on the edge of a building or tree,” he said. “Every piece of architecture in the city is tagged with places webs can attach, and as you swing around, we find the perfect swing points to preserve your momentum and keep you flying towards your destination.”

While it’s fun to just swing around New York, Insomniac said players should occasionally take Spider-Man for a walk through the city as well. There are lots of Marvel Easter eggs and iconic locations to find. The game’s map is approximately 800 square tiles, each one 128 meters square, Fitzgerald said. That makes the city several times larger than other Insomniac titles like “Sunset Overdrive.”

“As you swing through it, we’re constantly unloading tiles behind you as well as loading tiles ahead of you — seamlessly transitioning so you’re always exposed to the highest detail level,” Fitzgerald said. “And when Spider-Man is really pushing his top speed, we’re loading about one new tile every second.”

“Marvel’s Spider-Man” comes out Friday, Aug. 7.

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