Spider-Man Xmen

The pressure of making a Spider-Man game. A nightmare with over 30 years of history

As the video game world turns towards the launch of Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 As one of the big events of the year, I wanted to go back to recover one of these industry documents that deserves a pride of place in the archeology of video games.

Alongside a series of faxes sent to the developers of Spider-Man and the X-Men in Arcade’s Revenge Although over 30 years have passed since this development, today we can take a brief look at what it was like to create a Spider-Man video game in the 90s.

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 Great-Grandparents

To a greater or lesser extent, we all clearly understand how development works today. The processes followed, the people involved, how an idea about a superhero that seems to have no more ends up reaching us…

But while it is easy to see that decades ago things should have been completely different, documents like this are a good way to observe the pressure that certain projects were under at that time. .

Shared on Twitter by Kevin Edwards, one of three programmers and designers responsible for creating the video game Spider-Man and the X-Men in Arcade’s Revenge of Super Nintendo in 1992, the pages of this fax show how one of the managers of Acclaim Entertainment wrote to them to give his vision on the situation of the project.

“We are still experiencing several issues and I expect we will continue to find more in the coming days. As you’ll see below, most of the problems lie with Mike. (…) I think it makes no sense to waste time solving Mike’s code problems when he should be solving them much faster. »

While it’s relatively easy to get upset with gems like this, written in capital letters almost throughout the document, testifying to their aggressiveness, the documents serve as a check on how they spent their money at the time.

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It was the pressure of making a game in the 90s

This isn’t the first time we’ve talked about how the industry at the time was obsessed with game difficulty, a strategy designed to destroy the ability to complete a game from start to finish for the short time rental on a video. store, and therefore, one would have to be obliged to buy it to continue the story.

However, what is most striking about documents like this is that even then, although they were far apart and had to resort to lengthy review documents to reach agreement between the company and the developers, the hand that was responsible for accompanying them in testing the game, it was also the one that could easily be neglected depending on the design decisions for impose your vision of what this game should look like.

Spider Man

“The liquid jets from the clown’s water gun look ridiculous. What are you doing? Are you sweating from the gun? Add a lot more power to the shot, otherwise it will look stupid.

It would be a joy to be able to say that things have changed enough to not have to deal with messages as unconstructive as these, demanding changes because of misunderstandings and ego when it comes to the creative decision.

But I guess many of you must already have many examples in mind, like this one from Spider-Man and the X-Men in Arcade’s Revenge, about the extent to which what seemed like great video games ended up deflating because of someone dressed in a suit and tie. Or hat and flip-flops, be careful, bad manners don’t understand etiquette either.