MARVEL’S SPIDER-MAN: MILES MORALES

DESIGNER

OVERVIEW:
Timeline:
– January 2019 – November 2020

Responsibilities:
– 2 golden path missions
– Holographic training system
– Advanced combat tutorial
– Basic stealth tutorial
– 5 side quests

GOLDEN PATH MISSIONS

A NEW THWIP

I was tasked with creating one of the earlier missions in the game that was meant to introduce players to the open-world Spider-Training Challenges and teach players about how to properly utilize advanced combat mechanics. My responsibilities included creating a new holographic training system and creating a tutorial that would successfully teach players how to use some more complicated moves.

HOLOGRAPHIC TRAINING SYSTEM:

  • Created a system to attach every hologram to a believable physical source
  • Worked with other departments to provide players with exaggerated audio & visual feedback
  • Modified existing challenge system to allow for more unique goals
  • Collaborated with narrative team to determine overall tone for the open-world challenges
  • Tied all scripting into a neat package so another designer could set-up the challenges following the intro

ADVANCED COMBAT TUTORIAL

  • Scripted a tutorial that teaches players how to use air combat, web-yanking, and the venom smash attack
  • Set-up intermediary waves of combat to provide players with a chance to practice these moves
  • Worked with UX department to test player understanding and overall success of the tutorial
  • Iterated on tutorial throughout the course of production based on internal and external playtest results
  • Utilized my training system to turn Peter Parker into a holographic mentor
HARLEM TRAINS OUT OF SERVICE

My other golden path mission had a lot more narrative weight. Here players are introduced to a new character, unlock the Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man App (an open-world system that is not featured in the previous game), and learn about several stealth and puzzle mechanics. One of the more challenging obstacles I faced while developing this mission was figuring out how to introduce the player to all of these elements in a natural way, without impeding on the story.

STEALTH TUTORIAL

  • Modified existing portion of the open world to allow for a simple stealth encounter
  • Scripted tutorial messaging and bot behavior to ease players into stealth mechanics
  • Created new environmental interacts to make the encounter feel unique
  • Worked with narrative team to plan out bot conversations and then implemented that dialogue
  • Iterated on tutorial messaging based on feedback from UX department

ENVIRONMENTAL PUZZLE

  • Set-up simple but fantasy fulfilling puzzle to introduce players to puzzle mechanics like web yanking, tether webs, and interactable gears
  • Worked very closely with UX department to iterate on the design until players were able to clearly understand the goals of the puzzle
  • Modified the space to allow for a puzzle with large moving pieces (same space that also had to be used for a stealth encounter)

SIDE QUESTS

By the end of production on Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales I was responsible for the development of all 5 of our major side quests. The story arc develops as the player completes each quest, so working with our narrative department was crucial every step of the way. I also collaborated with our animation department and directors to develop a questgiver interaction prefab to increase the quality of all our NPC interactions without increasing scope for the cinematic team.

NARRATIVE DESIGN

  • Collaborated with writer Mary Kenney to plan out a story arc meant to span across 5 separate quests
  • Wove important story information in with regular gameplay (like swinging or stealth encounters) to reduce cinematic costs for this content
  • Scripted conditional lines that depend on how far the player has progressed through the golden path
  • Worked with environment art team to determine appropriate set dressing for each questgiver and the changes to the environment that take affect after each quest has been completed
  • Split important story beats up between each quest to let players slowly unravel the mystery

QUESTGIVER PREFAB

  • Established qualitative goals for our NPC interactions with animation team and directors
  • Adjusted camera and player movement settings to give interactions a cinematic feel without removing player input
  • Blocked out questgiver locations to force players into each interaction from an optimal angle of approach
  • Assisted other designers in implementing this prefab in other parts of the game

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