In the ever-evolving landscape of video games, there are titles that stand as milestones, pushing the boundaries of creativity, technology, and storytelling. Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, the highly anticipated sequel to the critically acclaimed Marvel’s Spider-Man, is undoubtedly one of these titles.
The Art of Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is a celebration of the extraordinary talent that has brought this game to life. I was once asked by a journalist whether we had used AI to build New York City. The answer was an adamant “no”. An army of artists working on concepts, graphics, modeling, materials, technical art, lighting, and FX come together to create the meticulously detailed and vibrant city of New York.
Key Artists help us envision the game before it ever leaves the paper pitch and inspire the team as they begin to build the game. Concept artists design unique environments like the Emily May Foundation along with props like Spider-Man’s gadgets or Kraven’s knife. Graphic artists work on all the graffiti, signs, and images in the game and motion graphic artists work on all the computer monitor graphics.
Individual environment artists are in charge of their own sections of the city and they select what goes into each one from the graffiti on the walls to the buildings on each block. Different neighborhoods need to be researched and edited to recreate them for the game. Environment artists craft every interior like Aunt May’s house following concepts and doing their own research to make every space as believable as possible.
Character artists look at Spider-Man suit references from the comics and concepts and must figure out how to translate the 2D images into 3D. Material choices and suit construction and functionality are all things that need to be considered by the character artist. A mastery of human anatomy and sculpting is necessary to create the level of detail that fans enjoy in Photo Mode.
Technical artists help with a wide range of things from destruction, to puddle placement logic and reflections, to unique shaders to replicate characters from Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse.
Lighters place and bake lights for the city, the missions, and cinematics. Small details like rim lights and eye highlights are tirelessly crafted by individual lighters. Lighting brings the city and its inhabitants to life and can often carry the emotional weight of the moment whether it’s a cheerful ray of light coming into Aunt May’s house’s window or Venom staring in horror at the blood glinting dully on his hands after he does the unthinkable.
FX Artists work on everything from giant set piece moments like the Sandman sandstorm and Lizard’s dock destruction to quieter ambient FX like puffs, splashes, and sparks. These details are critical to creating our most unforgettable moments like the symbiote tendrils snaking up Harry’s body to create Venom to every moment when Miles gains a new venom ability.
This is just a small attempt to recognize and showcase some of the detail and passion that each artist brings to Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 to create a consistent unified world to life and is by no means comprehensive. The work will speak for itself. Please join me in celebrating the work of this extraordinary team.