Tag Archives: spider man

When I Was A Kid, Spider-Man On Genesis Was The Scariest Shit

Like a lot of people around this time of year, I spend a lot of October thinking about being frightened. This is pretty new for me. I was a nervous, fearful kid who grew up as a teen in a religious home, so I spent my entire youth avoiding horror either by choice or by compulsion. As an adult, I’ve started to delve into horror, to wrestle with its ideas and the fears of my younger self—watching movies and playing games both new and old, reflecting on what scared me then and what scares me now.

One of the first games to scare me wasn’t even a horror game at all. It was Spider-Man vs. The Kingpin, a 1991 Sega Genesis game that had Spider-Man, framed for planting a bomb in New York City, on a mission to hunt down some of his most famous villains in order to get the keys necessary to disarm the bomb.

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Unlike a lot of superhero games of the ‘90s, Spider-Man vs. The Kingpin wasn’t a loud beat-em-up or a colorful platformer—it was moody, and dedicated to being as faithful an adaptation as a 16-bit video game could be. Character models were remarkably detailed, and illustrated stills that were shown between levels strove for comic book fidelity. It’s soundtrack was spare and brooding, and its animations had real weight.

I loved the game, because I loved Spider-Man. But I could never get past the second level, down in the sewers, because I was terrified of the Lizard, and always shut the console off when he appeared.

Looking back, the Lizard isn’t that fearsome-looking—the character model for Doctor Octopus is far more imposing—but it worked. I quit every time. I would quit even faster when I tried to play the game on Nightmare difficulty. That added Venom to the first stage, which scared me even more.

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It’s funny that I kept trying to play this game when there were only about 15 minutes tops I could spend actually enjoying it. I suppose I wanted to try, if only for a little bit, to be as brave as I thought I had to be in order to be a hero, hoping maybe one day that I would wake up and somehow discover that courage grew in me overnight.

I don’t frighten like I used to, but that chill I felt when I pushed myself to take on something I knew would scare me, the chill that I always succumbed to because I wasn’t as brave as I wanted to be? I’m always afraid it’ll come back.

Source: Kotaku.com

Goofy Spider-Man Glitch Turns Everyone Into Walking Piles Of Denim

In the Marvel comic books and films, Spider-Man is a superhero who was bitten by a radioactive spider that granted him the proportionate strength, speed, and agility of an arachnid. In Spider-Man, the PlayStation 4 video game, you play this man in a world gone mad, where everyone was bitten by a pair of radioactive Levis and turned into horrifying denim mannequins.

At least, that’s what happened to Reddit user trilbyfrank, who posted a series of screenshots last night from one of the game’s Miles Morales interludes.

Screenshot: trilbyfrank (Reddit)

As you can see, something has gone very wrong in New York City, and every pedestrian has suddenly become a sentient pair of Wranglers. Walking Canadian Tuxedos. Denim Knights of the Round.

Maybe it’s something in the water. The tap water here is really good.

Source: Kotaku.com

Glitch Allows 4 Spider-Mans In One Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 Party

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 has only been out for a couple of days, and already players have figured out how to break it in their favor. Using a glitch in the game’s Infinity challenge system, players can create parties made up of four of the same hero, which means four times the experience points for super-fast leveling.

The character dupe glitch, which was first posted to the Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 subreddit by ShinobiSekiro, takes advantage of solo missions in the game’s Infinity mode. These are special side missions that put players in control of one character instead of the normal team of four. The first solo mission is for Spider-Man, so I’ll use him to demonstrate how the glitch works.

When Spider-Man’s solo challenge is selected, the game injects Spider-Man into the player’s party in the first slot. It’s the game’s way of ensuring the player has the right hero available for the mission. When the player finishes or fails the mission, Spider-Man is still in their party in the first position. To make the glitch work, players then must go into the select party menu and move the injected Spider-Man into the second, third, or fourth party slot. Then, if they enter the solo mission again, the game will once more inject Spider-Man into the first slot.

Players can repeat this process three times, winding up with a party full of Spider-Men. Spider-Mans. Spiders-Man? Peters.

This trick currently works with any character who has a solo mission in the game’s Infinity mode, which includes Captain America, Luke Cage, Gamora and Hulk. Imagine that, a party of four Hulks. That’s three more Hulks than anyone needs. These duped parties can compete in Infinity challenges and play through story mode, as long as the chapter select option is used. Selecting “continue” will re-mix players’ parties.

Fans in the Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 subreddit are still figuring out all of the particulars, but there are already obvious benefits to having four copies of the same character. All four characters gain experience for defeating villains and completing tasks, but with this glitch in play, all the experience is applied to one character, so experience gain is technically four times as fast. The duplicate characters all have the same stat and power-enhancing ISO-8 equipped, which seem to stack.

Plus it’s a whole lot of fun tearing through hordes of ninja or Raft prisoners or Ultron drones as all the Spider-Mans. It’s cheating a little bit to take advantage of a glitch or exploit, but it’s not a competitive game, so use it at your discretion.

Source: Kotaku.com

A Modder Has Spent Years Adding Spider-Man Into GTA San Andreas

J16D is a modder who has created a lot of different mods for Grand Theft Auto San Andreas. But one particular idea has been lodged in their brain since at least 2015. J16D has been working on and improving a simple idea: Bring Spider-Man and his web-swinging into San Andreas. After four-plus years of working on it, the latest results are impressive.

In a recently released video, J16D shows off the progress they’ve made. Inspired by Spider-Man on PS4, J16D has incorporated some of those animations and the new suit too. The end result is something that looks like a Spider-Man game. If you’ve never played GTA San Andreas, you might even think this is some mid-2000s Spider-Man game you had never seen before.

The swinging looks so smooth and fluid, with Spider-Man twirling and flipping around. Webs actually seem to attach to buildings sometimes too, allowing Spidey to swing around the skyscrapers of San Andreas.

But it isn’t just web-swinging and flips that J16D is recreating, the modder is even adding the menus, suits, and music from the PS4 Spider-Man game into this mod.

There is no currently released demo of the mod, so for now, we can only watch videos of the modder testing their creation. But J16D does plan to release the mod eventually, after adding even more to it. Currently, they plan on adding more animations, the ability to run on walls, new menus, and better-looking web textures.

There have been other modders who have added Spider-Man to San Andreas, like this mod which actually includes wall running. But most of these haven’t looked as fluid as this mod by J16D, which seems to recreate the wonderful web-swinging found in the latest PS4 game.

Source: Kotaku.com

Look At This Spider-Man Cosplayer’s Mechanical Eyes

You see a lot of good Spider-Man cosplay, because it’s an easy one to do well. What’s not easy to do is get the character’s newer designs 1:1, since they’ve got fancy moving eyes, but Hong Kong cosplayer Cavin Creations has gone and done just that.

What you’re seeing here is an incredible feat of electrical engineering for an amateur, as Cavin hasn’t just rigged up the costume’s eyes to move, but he’s got them moving in tandem with his own eyes thanks to sensors embedded on the inside of the mask.

Here’s a video showing off the culmination of three years of work:

And here’s a video kinda showing how it all works: the eyes and sensors are actually housed in a plastic mask, which the suit’s fabric goes over to create the illusion it’s part of Spider-Man’s spandex outfit.

If you’re a Spider-Man cosplayer—or just a collector—Cavin is actually selling some of these, both with the red spandex and as just the raw mask.

Source: Kotaku.com

The Best, Worst And Weirdest Guest Skaters From The Tony Hawk Games

The Tony Hawk skateboarding games changed a lot from the start of the series in 1999, through multiple sequels and spin-off, before its mediocre end with 2015’s Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5. Some games were open world, some were more grounded in reality, others were more over the top and some included crappy plastic board controllers you had to stand on top of in order to play. But while many things changed in the franchise over the years, there was one thing that always could be counted on, guest skaters.

Some of them were cool, some were really dumb and some make you wonder how the hell they even appeared in a skateboarding game.

The Best

Darth Maul

From: Star Wars: Episode 1: The Phantom Menace

Playable In: Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3

First seen in Star Wars: Episode I, Darth Maul is an evil and powerful Sith warrior who was once the apprentice of Sheev Palpatine, better known as the Emperor. After killing Qui-Gon Jin, Maul was cut in half by Obi-Wan Kenobi and then came back, because The Clone Wars TV show needed a cool villain.

It seems, though, before he went and got cut in half, Darth Maul grabbed a hoverboard and hit some ramps and rails. Darth Maul’s force abilities seem like a great fit for skateboarding. However, he also decided to bring his dual-bladed lightsaber with him, which seems like less of a great fit for skating. Also, when you select him at the character select screen, the shop owner in the back of the store gets force choked. Quit being a dick, Darth Maul.

Spider-Man

From: Spider-Man comics, games, movies

Playable In: Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2

Spider-Man is unlockable in THPS2 once players have beaten 100% of the game using a custom created skater. Or he is unlockable if you just use cheat codes, which is what I did as a kid. The character model featured in the game is straight out of the PS1 Spider-Man game, which was also made by THPS2 developer Neversoft.

Spider-Man’s powers seem perfect for skateboarding. Enhanced agility, speed, and reflexes make him a formidable skating master. Plus, being able to shoot webbing at stuff sound useful too. Fall off your board, web-zip it over to you. Need something to drink, web-zip it over to you. Rival skater trying to beat your score, web-zip their board away from under their feet. Also, when you unlock Spider-Man in the game you unlock a video of a real-life skater wearing a Spider-Man costume and rolling around a skatepark. Which is..interesting.

Judy Nails

From: Guitar Hero

Playable In: Tony Hawk’s Proving Ground

Judy Nails is one the more popular and well-known original guitarists from the Guitar Hero franchise. She is hard rock and punk rocker and probably could kick the ass of most of the other guest skaters on this list. This model is directly inspired by her appearance in Guitar Hero III, which was developed by Neversoft, who also developed most of the THPS games.

I assume Judy Nails has a trick involving a guitar. I say assume because I can’t actually find much info about her Proving Ground appearance online. I found one short video of someone playing as her, but the video is mostly just the person zooming in on her face and body. Which is not what I was looking for, creepy YouTuber.

The Worst

Gene Simmons

From: The Band KISS

Playable In: Tony Hawk’s Underground

Gene Simmons is not a great person. He is an asshole and sleazebag who these days seems more like a grumpy old dude wearing cosplay than an actual rockstar. And for someone reason, he was included in Tony Hawk’s Underground. Not only is he featured in the game as a playable skater, but his whole band and a KISS concert appear in the game too.

I don’t hate KISS music, but as a younger boy, I remember not caring about finding KISS in my skateboarding game. The fact that they have an entire level dedicated to them is also odd. You even collect the letters KISS around the map, which unlocks a music video. I do like that the KISS concert level is basically empty, with like 4 random people shuffling around.

Jango Fett

From: Star Wars: Episode II: Attack Of The Clones

Playable In: Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4

Honestly, including either Jango or his slightly cooler son Boba Fett in a Tony Hawk game isn’t as cool as some might think. I know folks might disagree with me on this, but I’ve never gotten the obsession with these characters. They both die after not doing much in the movies. I get their suits are cool, but they aren’t that awesome.

Including Jango is also funny to me. Nowadays this would be Bobba, but back in the early 2000s, as the prequels were being released, the Star Wars fandom was given Jango Fett toys, ships, and games. There was a time period where Lucasfilm was trying to make Jango a “Thing.” It didn’t work after folks saw the film and watched him get his head cut off in like a 20-second fight. Plus who wanted to skate as “Boba Fett’s clone dad.” He doesn’t even have a hoverboard, like Darth Maul.

Nick

From: True Crime: Streets Of L.A.

Playable In: Tony Hawk’s Underground 2

Do you remember the game, True Crime: Streets Of L.A.? Probably not. Which means you probably don’t remember the main character from that game, undercover cop Nick. But because True Crime was published by THPS publisher Activision and Underground 2 included basically 100 unlockable characters, Nick was thrown into the game.

The actual details on Nick are a bit hard to nail down. Some folks believe he isn’t actually unlockable in the game, instead needing mods or cheats to access him. Others claim to have unlocked him. And some even claim he is only playable if you have save data from True Crime on your PS2 memory card. As it turns out, the Tony Hawk community isn’t that concerned with figuring out all the details about Nick. And honestly, can you blame them?

The Weirdest

Doom Guy

From: DOOM games

Playable In: Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3

I’m not sure how much the Doomslayer’s abilities would help him in skateboarding. Sure he can hold a dozen weapons, survive massive falls, kill thousands of demons and beat people to death with his fists. However, none of that seems like it would translate into sick skateboarding skills. But also, if anyone makes fun of him or does better, he can just run over, rip their head off and look around the skatepark, sending a message. After that, he ends up winning most matches of HORSE.

According to the Doom Guy’s stats, he is really fast and nimble, but he can’t jump. Which is accurate to the older versions of Mr.Doom Guy. Back in the day, he could rip and tear for hours, but jumping was impossible. Which seems like it would make skateboarding hard, but again, use of violence makes it difficult for him to lose. Even if he just does flat ground tricks during a vert comp.

The Hand

From: Your arm

Playable In: Tony Hawk’s Underground 2

I like to think this bizarre character was created by a designer at Neversoft who was looking down at their hands and suddenly realized the next great guest character was right there. The Hand is, well, a giant hand. According to the Tony Hawk Games wiki, The Giant Hand is a large severed hand “that is somehow capable of skateboarding.” Even the most dedicated fans don’t know how this thing works.

Most likely The Hand is a reference to those mini-sized toy skateboards, like Tech Decks, which were very popular around the time THUG 2 was released. And it is funny to watch a giant hand pull off tricks on a skateboard. But it also hard to watch this thing move around and not feel uncomfortable, especially as you keep noticing the blood and bone sticking out. What was this attached to and will it seek revenge for us stealing its hand? No amount of skateboarding is worth angering a giant.

Screenshot: Bigfoot Gaming (YouTube)

Kelly Slater

From: Kelly Slater’s Pro Surfer, The Ocean

Playable In: Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3

I don’t know much about surfing, but I don’t think being a good surfer makes you a good skateboard automatically. Maybe I’m wrong about that. Maybe surfing the waves does, in fact, make you a great skater. I do, however, feel very confident in assuming that a surfboard is not a great replacement for a skateboard. No matter how much you wax it. Yet, Kelly Slater doesn’t care about logic or reason. He was asked to join Tony and his friends and decided to just bring his actual surfboard.

Kelly Slater appeared in his own game, Kelly Slater’s Pro Surfer, which was one of the many Tony Hawk-like games Activision was publishing around this time. So most likely he appears in THPS3 as promotion for that game. The only thing I remember from my time playing KSPS was that for some reason you could play as Travis Pastrana in it and he wore his entire motocross outfit, complete with helmet. Consider that a bonus guest character on this list.

And Also…

Shrek

From: Various Shrek Films, games, TV Shorts and memes

Playable In: Tony Hawk’s Underground 2

I know this is breaking the format a bit, but I also know that if I don’t include Shrek on this list there will be at least 500 comments telling me about Shrek. Stuff like “Did you know Shrek is also in THUG2?” or “Some fan! Didn’t know about Shrek in THUG2!” So here we go. Let’s talk about Shrek in Tony Hawk’s Underground 2.

He is included in this game as a promotion for the then-upcoming film Shrek 2. Activision was publishing Shrek games at this point and they also published the Tony Hawk games, so it seemed like a perfect fit to someone. It should be remembered that Shrek’s inclusion in this game pre-dates the more recent internet obsession with the character. So back then, when a younger me played this game and found Shrek, I was confused. I’m still confused today, but now I can also ironically laugh at it. Also, he uses ear wax while grinding. Fun.


This is not a complete list. There are so many other guest characters in these games that if I was to cover them all this list would become one of the biggest things I’ve ever written. But maybe I’ll revisit Tony Hawk guest characters in another post one day. For now, let me know who was your favorite guest character in the Tony Hawk games.

Source: Kotaku.com

Hideo Kojima Explains How Spider-Man Is Similar To Japanese Superheroes

Image: Sony Pictures
Kotaku EastEast is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.  

Out of all American superheroes, there is one that many in Japan seem to like best: Spider-Man. But why? In a recent interview, Hideo Kojima explains how Spider-Man is like Japanese heroes, which might explain the character’s appeal to local audiences.

How better to explain this than a man whose Twitter profile says his body is made of 70 percent movies?

Kojima told Famitsu how the first X-Men movie was a stylish motion picture that appealed to adults. “As for Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man, the age bracket dropped slightly and it was a youth fantasy film,” Kojima said. “I’m not saying that derisively, as I really like Raimi’s Spider-Man.” In particular, he was moved by Spider-Man 2.

Famitsu asked Kojima which American comic book character was his favorite, and he replied that he perhaps liked Spider-Man the most. “He’s a hero with worries, and that’s similar to Japanese heroes,” explained Kojima, who added that he basically like masked Japanese heroes like Kamen Rider and Tiger Mask.

Rich superheroes or superheroes without flaws are less appealing to him, Kojima says. Besides Spider-Man, he is also a fan of the Flash, adding that he liked the character’s recent TV series.

“Don’t you think how Spider-Man was originally a normal person who, because of an accident, became a masked superhero has similarities to Kamen Rider?” asked Kojima. Kamen Rider is a regular person who was kidnapped by an evil terrorist organization and turned into a grasshopper mutant who then escapes, dons a mask and battles evil.

Obviously, he doesn’t mean that the Spider-Man and Kamen Rider are the same (they are very, very different), nor does it necessarily matter which was first, because there are enough thematic similarities that make the American character appealing to those who grew up with masked Japanese heroes, like the iconic characters Kamen Rider (literally “Masked Rider”) or “Tiger Mask” (a do-gooder wrestler in a tiger mask).

I’d also add that the character’s costume and physique would appeal to Japanese who grow up on Super Sentai (Power Rangers outside Japan) type shows.

Out of all the American superheroes, it is easy to see why Spider-Man would be easiest for Japan to embrace and why Kojima likes the character so. Spider-Man is not a leap. There is a familiarity. It couldn’t happen to a better character.

Source: Kotaku.com

The Challenge of Making and Marketing Spider-Man: Far From Home, When No One Could Know What It Was About

Wait, what just happened? That should be the face for everything in Spider-Man: Far From Home.
Photo: Sony

Spider-Man being dead wasn’t a huge problem. One would think killing the main character of a movie about year before its release would be exactly that but, for the team behind Spider-Man: Far From Home, it was not. Instead, it was just the first part of a long-in-place plan to raise the stakes for not just one movie, but at least three.

“I was one of the lucky few people who knew what was going to happen in Infinity War and Endgame a long time ago,” Far From Home director Jon Watts told io9. “So this movie was developed knowing that we would be dealing with the immediate fallout of the events of those films. It was always a part of the story but it is a little stressful knowing those kinds of spoilers and not being able to tell anyone for a really long time.”

To recap, in May 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War, Peter Parker disappears from existence when Thanos uses the Infinity Stones to wipe out half of the galaxy. A year later, in May 2019’s Avengers: Endgame, Peter would be brought back, only for him to witness the death of his mentor, Tony Stark. All of those events were crucial building blocks for Spider-Man: Far From Home, which was being released mere weeks after Endgame.

“Because Infinity War and Endgame had been developed over so many years and had been shooting earlier, it was pretty much set,” Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige told io9. “So the notion of the sacrifices, of Tony, the blip, all of that was pretty well set for a long time. So we brought Amy [Pascal, producer] and Jon Watts and our writers Chris [McKenna] and Erik [Sommers] up to speed on it to start developing the movie.”

Spider-Man swinging with a few of his friends in Avengers: Endgame.
Photo: Disney

In Watts’ first Spider-Man movie, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Peter Parker leaned heavily on the mentorship of Iron Man, Tony Stark. That relationship then carried over into both Avengers movies. Now though, with Tony dead, it was crucial for Far From Home to use those emotions to guide Peter, but not become too beholden to them.

“We had to deal with the events of Endgame and especially how the loss of Tony Stark is going to affect Peter,” Watts said. “But we had to also maintain the fun, high school tone we had established in Homecoming. So that was part of the challenge. But loss is such a big part of what makes Spider-Man who he is in the comics. So there was definitely a way to embrace those iconic stories from the comics and find a way to bring them to life, just in a slightly different way by using Tony’s death instead of Uncle Ben.”

So that’s how the story was conceived on the creative side, but there was also a whole other problem.

“It was always like, how are we going to market this movie?” Watts said. “How do you make the first trailer when the character is still dead?”

New suit, who dis?
Photo: Sony

The answer, according to Watts, was, “Very carefully.”

The task fell to the team at Sony, a studio Far From Home producer Amy Pascal used to run. And Pascal told io9 that, again, though you may assume it was a huge problem to market a movie with a dead main character based on an ultra-secretive mega-franchise, it wasn’t that at all. (The spoiler-free first trailer is below.)

“It wasn’t a balance at all because we knew what the story we were going to tell was from the beginning,” Pascal told io9. “Tom [Rothman, current studio head], everyone at Sony and everyone at Disney, it was something that we all did together. Obviously, it was really important to protect Endgame and not come out with anything before that movie came out. But I think it worked out great for both movies because, obviously, Endgame was great for Spidey…It worked out for everyone.”

It certainly did. There’s little doubt the shocking cliffhanger of Avengers: Infinity War helped drive Avengers: Endgame to become one of the highest grossing movies ever. And the momentum from that is almost certainly going to roll into Far From Home, which will be the first place the aftermath of that heroic victory will be seen and felt.

Jon Watts and Tom Holland on the set of Far From Home.
Photo: Sony

On the other hand, this movie isn’t called “Avengers: Far From Home.” While the impact of Endgame is crucial for a bunch of reasons, it couldn’t be the whole movie. It’s a movie about Spider-Man. Feige gives full credit to Watts for figuring out the perfect way to link everything in a short, sweet, Spidey way.

Some minor spoilers from the film, which opens tomorrow, follow.

“[It was] the genius of Jon Watts tapping into the great ‘A Film by Peter Parker’ at the opening of Homecoming, which brings you up to speed after [Captain America:] Civil War,” Feige said. “He was like ‘Well, this is a ton of stuff. Let’s just do the school news at the beginning that gets it out in a fun and engaging fashion but tells the audience what they need to know based on Endgame.’ And it seemed like a gift to be able to have that conceit he had established in Homecoming come in very handy post-Endgame. And, obviously, Peter Parker dealing with the loss of his mentor and he needs to step out of the shadow of that and become his own hero became the backbone of the story.”

Which leads us to Spider-Man’s new mentor, Mysterio, but that’s a story for another time.

Spider-Man Far From Home opens July 2.


For more, make sure you’re following us on our new Instagram @io9dotcom.

Source: Kotaku.com

What Happens When Your Kids Develop Their Own Gaming Taste

For a beautiful few years, you have near-complete control over what your child plays. You decide what’s allowed and when, what to play together, which gems from the past to share with an excited five-year-old. Then a little more time passes, and suddenly the situation is completely different.

There comes a point where kids are more bothered about playing with their friends than playing with you, which – though natural and healthy, and sometimes actually quite a relief if you’ve ever spent painful hours trying to beat annoying bosses for them- can also be a little bit heartbreaking. When my teen stepson was about six, I got so bored of watching him play the same few levels of various Spider-Man games over and over again that I introduced him to Minecraft, and we had a truly cherishable few months exploring the game together and building weird treehouses and underground vaults and pretending to be scared of the zombies.

Then his wee friends got in on the action, and before too long he wasn’t interested in playing with me any more. A little later, he started getting good enough at Spider-Man that Dad didn’t have to sit there beside him to help through the hard bits. He’d come home full of enthusiasm for ropey-ass YouTube-legend games like Five Nights at Freddy’s that had spread around school like wildfire. He was forming his own individual relationship with video games, totally independent from us. And now, years down the line, he has completely different tastes.

My partner and I both have jobs involving video games. The house is full of them, and we have a pretty eclectic gaming diet. We both get a kick out of digging out lesser-known games with some shining distinction: a surreal story, an interesting art style, an extremely clever mechanic. I love huge role-playing games you can sink into for 100 hours; he likes to jump between several games at once, sampling what each has to offer. Our predilections come together on things like Yakuza and the Souls series and diverge on Nintendo (he doesn’t get it) and survival horror (I am a huge wuss), and neither of us really bothers with online play. Despite all of this, we have somehow managed to bring up a Gamer Boy who almost exclusively plays multiplayer shooters and recently refused to try Assassin’s Creed because “it’s in third-person”. I mean, what do you say to that? It’s like refusing to watch a Ghibli film because “it’s animated”.

Your children are not carbon copies of you, of course, and expecting them to be anything like you is the source of a lot of needless familial stress. But it’s fascinating that despite sharing a passion for video games, the teen and I can find so little common ground these days. For a while we had Destiny, but where I was perfectly happy to play it at the weekend for a month or so every time a new expansion came out, he spent hours pretty much every day rolling the dice for the best guns and gear and becoming a juggernaut in the Crucible. His current dual obsessions are Counter-Strike and Fortnite, both of which make me feel about 3000 years old. (Am I out of touch? No… it’s the children who are wrong.)

It’s rewarding too, though, to see your kids forging their own path. I feel the same way when I watch my stepson dominate a round of Fortnite as I probably would if he were amazing at rugby: slightly baffled, but nonetheless proud.

By the way: I’m currently working on a podcast for gamer parents called Spawnpoint. More info here, if that sounds like your kind of thing.

Source: Kotaku.com

Insomniac Reveals One Of The Camera Tricks That Makes Spider-Man’s World Feel So Big

Screenshot: Kotaku (Spider-Man)

Last year’s Spider-Man on PS4 offers one of the most sprawling recreations of Manhattan ever realized in a video game. Not only is the city huge, but so are some of the interiors of the buildings that you get to explore. The studio recently shared one of the camera tricks that helped the team to cleverly transition between the two.

Yesterday evening Elan Ruskin, senior engine programmer at Insomniac, shared a clip of what’s happening in the game at the start of the very first mission. When Spider-Man gets to a checkpoint outside Fisk Tower, a short scene starts up in which NYPD Captain Yuri Watanabe fills Spidey in on what’s going on. Normally, players can only see what’s immediately going on in front of Fisk Tower, but Ruskin captured footage of what’s happening in the rest of the game’s world during those moments. Turns out that, in the unseen background, the rest of Manhattan depopulates while the interior of Fisk Tower begins loading.

During the approximately 30 seconds between when players finish web-slinging to the mission point and when they actually get inside Fisk Tower, the game’s resources go from supporting a big open world to detailing the elaborate halls and air duct paths of the Fisk building. In order to hide what’s going on from players, though, Insomniac keeps the in-game camera focused firmly on the front of the building, with backgrounds behind characters pushed out of focus.

“The interior space is much larger than the exterior envelope, and too big to hold in memory at the same time as Manhattan,” Ruskin wrote. “So we use some careful camerawork to hide the swap!”

Lots graphically intensive games, including Spider-Man, sometimes deploy bespoke but drawn-out animations to slow things down and help mask the load times that are going on in the background. This Fisk tower example shows how gracefully that job can be done, so much so that you probably won’t even notice what the developers have done. Instead, the scene just feels extra cinematic and impactful as the camera tracks Spider-Man webbing his way into one of the upper floors to take down the bad guys.

If recent remarks by PlayStation’s Mark Cerny are to be believed, tricks like this might not even be necessary in the next hardware generation. In a behind-closed-doors demo for Wired, Cerny showed Spider-Man running on an ostensible PS5 with solid state drive technology that appeared to reduce load times to the point where it was possible to fast travel in less than a second and speed across the map at roughly the speed of a fighter jet. 

Source: Kotaku.com