Insomniac Games’ spectacular 2018 Spider-Man game was originally slated to end with the hero and Doctor Octopus battling across New York City.
Insomniac CEO Ted Price revealed the original plans for the boss fight at the Develop: Brighton conference last week via GamesIndustry.biz. But the scope of the finale that the studio envisioned could not be realized without the use of crunch, which would collide with the company’s goals of increasing employee well-being and reducing burnout.
“The temptation is to just use brute force to bring your head down and run through the brick wall,” Price said. “But the team took a step back and thought about what was important to the players and that was the breakdown of the relationship between Peter and his former mentor, Doctor Octavius.”
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The fight was ultimately a one-on-one battle between Spider-Man and Doc Ock on a building in Manhattan. The team scaled back its ambitions, and Price said the decision not only helped the developers but also improved the game itself.
“They reconsidered the fight and realized they didn’t have to destroy half of New York to pay off the relationship,” Price said. “In fact, it would have worked against what we were aiming for. As a result, the final fight is much closer and more personal and has a much greater emotional impact than planned – and it fitted in with the time we had. “
Price urged other developers to think seriously about what the players want and how to use the resources they have to deliver the best experience, rather than pushing the staff to their limits.
“In the stress of hectic production, we often have the feeling that we cannot take our foot off the accelerator – but that is often necessary,” he says. “The team needs to be given permission to take a break and find a better way instead of digging through the issues and creating potential health problems.”
Insomniac is currently working on Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, which the team says will be “darker” than the last two Spider-Man games, including Spider-Man: Miles Morales. Additionally, Insomniac is also working on a Wolverine game to expand its Marvel bonafide.
Samantha Nelson is a freelance writer for IGN. Follow her on Twitter @ samanthanelson1.