Development process in Alien Spidy

After finishing Legends of War: Patton’s Campaign, we started to work on its port to HD, History: Legends of War, and, at the same time, we wanted to work in something different, a new genre away from strategy. Thus, we started the development of Alien Spidy, a colorful physics-based platformer action and side-scrolling game based in a 2D/3D world. 

Originally, the idea for this project was to develop for Nintendo DS, so it should have mechanics easy to learn.

After several sessions of brainstorming, a first approach to the game came up. It would be a black-and-white game. During those early prototypes, the character’s pace movements were slower.

Fan fact: The programmer in charge to code the first prototype saved the project in a folder called “spidi”. So, whenever we talked about the unnamed project, we referred to it as “spidi”. At the end, main character and game title were named as Spidy.


The game would radically change over time…

Just as the project evolved and after decided that the game should be released for PC and consoles, it started to be more colourful, characters and environments more detailed and pace in game faster.

Although the idea was pitched in 2008 the game wasn’t really started to be developed until starting 2012. During this 3 years interval, we worked on the development of Legends of War: Patton’s Campaigns instead.

When we finally took up the project again, we considered that the platforms PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 were more suitable to release the game. This jump was the main factor what triggered significant changes in the original idea.

So, we decided to speed up Spidy’s movement because we felt that it was truer to the character, and on the other hand, to add more detail and colouring to the world. Main influences came from games like Limbo and Patapon.

One of the first steps I was lucky enough to work in this project was the design of the main character, Spidy. 

We already had some previous versions from the NDS project but we were looking for a new design for the spider, which should look a little bit less dumb and, of course, avoiding that it felt creepy (specially for people who feared spiders or had arachnophobia).

We put a significant effort into creating a charismatic character.

To achieve it, we gave a pair of large yellow eyes to him to allow the character to emote. Then, two of the legs were removed, bringing the total from eight to six as an effort to avoid triggering the fears of people and “make the character more friendly looking and little less creepy”.

During this stage of research to look for a new look for Spidy, while the producers reviewed some of the sketches I drew called their attention because they were a bit weird, “more similar to an outer-space monster than any spider”, as they said. Then, the idea poped-up to the head of one of them: Alien Spidy was born.