Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: This is how the game should stand out from the cinema adventures

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: This is how the game should stand out from the cinema adventures

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy

The Guradians of the Galaxy films based on the comics of the same name are known for their dialog wit, groovy retro music and their eccentric characters. All of these elements are said to be found in Square Enix's video game adaptation of the Marvel franchise. Nevertheless, the development team from Eidos-Montréal promises to create an independent world with distinctive characters for the game. It starts with the look of the Guardians themselves, who use comics and films, but still stand out from them with special details.

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Guardians in a new guise

The mixture of influences can be seen especially in the player character Peter Quill. Where his clothes and attitude match what we are used to from his cinematic counterpart, the space pirate appears completely different in his charisma. The clumsy manner that Chris Pratt shows in the role gives way to an almost manipulative charm, which is nonetheless based on the same insecure self-confidence. Dugas explains:

"We wanted [Peter] to look like he was stuck in the 80s while also giving him a level of charm and awkward self-esteem. He thinks he's cool and uses his suggestive charm to get what he wants. "

The 80s are also reflected in Quill's hairstyle and outfit. The haircut is deliberately flamboyant and based on the hi-top fade hairstyle that was popular in the 80s.

This was chosen to make it stand out even more from other figures. Quill is said to stand out as a foreign body even among the few other people who travel through space. Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: How the game should stand out from the cinema adventures (3) Source: Square Enix

His jacket is studded with patches and buttons that allude to video games and music of the decade.

"The idea behind the jacket was that he bought it at a space market because it reminds him of the punk and metal fashion he grew up with in the 80s. Then he personalized it with the patch his favorite band, studs and a bunch of badges that he had with him when he was abducted from Earth, like the Space Invaders pin, for example. "

The name Star-Lord, which Peter gave himself, comes in this version from said favorite band, a heavy metal band with borrowings from classic British bands of the 70s and 80s. Star-Lord, the band, is not only a background detail of the character, but can actually be heard on the soundtrack. An entire album of songs by the fictional group is said to have been composed especially for the game.

Furthermore, in this version Quill was allegedly not kidnapped by Yondu and the Ravagers, but by the Chitauri, for example from the first "Avengers" movie might know. How exactly this detail affects his career, however, was not revealed to us.

Highly developed hair

But apart from the difficult process of brainstorming and designing, the artists behind the figures had to do a lot Invest work to authentically bring the characters to life. Above all, the different hair and hairstyles presented the team with a challenge. Rendering expert JF Dufort reveals to us that an algorithm was used to generate Rockets fur, which processually generates strands of hair.

"In order to obtain the highest possible quality for Rockets fur, we decided to develop our own algorithm , which procedurally generates strands of fur based on a set of artistically given textures (color, wetness, direction, grouping, etc.) and real-time information such as external exposure or visibility to create under normal gameplay conditions that can run on a variety of different architectures. " Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: This is how the game should stand out from the cinema adventures (2) Source: Square Enix

But this perfectionism did not end at Rocket. Specially developed technology is also used for the hair of the other Guardians:

"In order to give the designers more freedom with the other haircuts, we have chosen a completely data-oriented approach. Instead of relying on the generation of hair, We have developed a variety of volumetric lighting strategies and alpha blending mechanics to target different generations of GPUs. The effect is that the hair rendering of the same asset adapts to the available GPU performance by adding the complexity of the lighting and opacity Coupled with the dynamics that arise from a mixture of procedural spring forces and the simulation of clothing, our technology creates plausibility and helps to create a lasting and emotional connection with the players. "

Beside the Guardians of course also include other characters known from comics and films in the act ion Adventure, but there should also be plenty of completely new creatures. Marvel is said to have allowed a lot of creative freedom during development and not insisted on established lore.

Differences to comics and films

In some cases, the source material was therefore also reinterpreted, such as for example with the character Lady Hellbender, who is supported in the comics by two henchmen named Gasher and Gnasher. Instead, they accompany two monsters with the same names in the game.

In particular, bringing this Lady Hellbender to life in cut scenes was a highlight for Creative Director Dugas. He describes the process of developing the character together with her previously unnamed actress as follows:

"Without spoiling me, I would say that it was very cool to bring Lady Hellbender [...] to life Lady Hellbender has only appeared in comics for the past few years. She's an impressive character and we wanted our interpretation to match what we see on paper. First the voice: She's big and very impressive. Us So wanted someone with a decisive and charming voice that fits the background of the character. The challenge was to find someone like that. Funny anecdote: The actress we picked is about 1.58 tall, but she has the voice We were looking for. Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: How the game should stand out from the cinema adventures (5) Source: Square Enix

Lady Hellbender also wears tons of armor and has a large skull on hers Move. When we built her performance into the game, we noticed that we can barely see her face when she walks around the Guardians because the actress looked to the side while walking. We had to downsize the skull and realign the character a bit to see more of her face in those moments. "

He's also looking forward to showing players a new version of Mantis.

" The exciting thing about Mantis was creating a completely different version of it than the Marvel fans know from the movies. It is something completely different in the game. The performance is fantastic and meets all the fundamental aspects that we had in mind for the character. The challenge was to find that energy, that fire, and just enough craziness to make it adorable, memorable, and hilarious as hell. "


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Humor and story

Of course, humor also plays an important role with the Guardians, although, according to Dugas, care was taken to ensure that the characters don't crack one joke after the other, but rather that the comedy emerges from the situations and the personalities of the heroes rubbing against each other. Also that the cutscenes, which are often very cinematic, do not occur too often and the gameplay and story merge organically, was a high priority during the development.

"Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy is heavily story-driven s action adventure. You can expect a lot of cutscenes mixed with a lot of gameplay. We make very smooth transitions and the vibe of the game is cinematic. "

The comedy is scattered throughout the game from start to finish and there are lots of funny moments. But we didn't want to force it out for its own sake. We have the characters Developed and given characteristics to them and some are more or less compatible with other Guardians. This has helped the writing team to see the adventure through the lens of each individual character. How would each react to certain events? The humor arises from the nature of each individual character You always stay true to yourself. As drama unfolds on the screen, a character may say something really unexpected during a sad scene that makes players laugh. But it always comes down to who the character is. So strange that sounds, the Guardians generally try not to be funny, except for a few exceptions. " Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: So the game should stand out from the cinema adventures (4) Source: Square Enix

How the story goes, in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy is allegedly in the hands of the players. As Star-Lord we have to choose dialogue options and make decisions at various points in the game. How far this freedom goes, how many decisions and different consequences there are in the game and what weight these will have in the story in the long term, the developers did not allow themselves to be elicited. The number of options available should vary with the situation.

"Decisions come in different forms. Sometimes it's about convincing someone to help you, sometimes about responding to an unforeseen reaction from one of the people Guardians to respond. We're not about the number of choices for us. If a scenario requires more than two choices, there will be more. It's all about what makes sense for a story-driven adventure that keeps you motivated to carry on. "

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy will be released on October 26, 2021.

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