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'Marvel's Spider-Man': A Technical Postmortem

Elan Ruskin (Senior Engineer, Insomniac Games)

Location: Room 3016, West Hall

Date: Thursday, March 21

Time: 5:30pm - 6:30pm

Pass Type: All Access, GDC Conference + Summits, GDC Conference - Get your pass now!

Topic: Programming

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: All

'Marvel’s Spider-Man' is Insomniac’s biggest game to date. This talk looks back at how their technology evolved to make it possible, and the setbacks and pitfalls along the way. This session will discuss the challenges of rapidly growing asset count, and adapting rendering, streaming, and lighting to build a New York City that fits on a Blu-Ray. It will cover the procedural tools for marking up Manhattan, and how their approach to building the city changed over time. Also discussed will be how the pedestrians, traffic, street vignettes, and random crimes grew from humble beginnings to an interactive part of a living city. Lastly, this session will cover making the wrong vertical slice, the perils of pre-baked lightmaps, how Photo Mode came together one volunteer contribution at a time, and more.

Takeaway

Attendees will see how 'Marvel’s Spider-Man' pushed all of Insomniac's technology and practices to their limits and beyond, and how the team adapted a little bit at a time to make it work.

Intended Audience

Anyone curious about rendering, procedural generation, open-world streaming, CPU optimization, NPCs, memory management, photo mode, or just a behind-the-scenes of how Insomniac’s technology had to grow to fit 'Marvel’s Spider-Man'. Talk is tech-heavy but no particular rendering or specialist experience required.