Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2

2010 Categorized in Game Design

 

My Role: Game Designer – Combat and Systems
Platform(s): PS3, Xbox 360
Studio: Vicarious Visions
Publisher: Activision Blizzard
Released: September 2009

Game Overview:
Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 is an action role-playing game for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 that features characters from the Marvel Comics universe and follows elements of the Secret War and Civil War story arcs.

Responsibilities:
• Led team in creating and implementing 20+ playable heroes from the Marvel Universe
• Utilized proprietary tools and scripting to input all data related to combat, powers, and traversal
• Worked cross departmentally with Level, Macro-Game, AI, and Narrative teams
• Participated in design reviews – tracked updates and formulated design solutions

Additional Notes:
I served as the Combat and Powers designer on this project and was tasked with leading a team of animators, visual effects artists, and software engineers to develop the look and feel of all core in-game actions. This included features like melee combat, hero powers, grabs/throws, jumps, and general traversal.

Throughout pre-production I worked closely with the Creative Director to define each hero’s character class and then designed movesets that worked within those constraints. Additional research and prototyping was performed in order to ensure all powers and abilities remained faithful to official Marvel cannon.

During production I implemented and tuned character data using a combination of scripting and the studios proprietary game engine. I also directed our VFX and animation team in the creation of workable assets. I handled everything from animation blend times to defining individual attack radius, force, and pop-up values. It was a great experience.

As a fan of the genre, I took inspiration from other popular combat focused games and tuned input responsiveness by aggressively iterating in a custom modeled white box environment. I also attended review meetings and worked closely alongside our Mission and AI teams to ensure that our work remained complimentary to the overall experience.

MUA2 was released on September 15, 2009 to favorable reviews. Many critics sited improved gameplay, the new fusion abilities, and a more engaging and thought provoking narrative as reasons for the game’s success.

Videos:

Links:
Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 – Iceman Interview
Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 – Gambit Interview
Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 – Ms. Marvel Reveal
Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 – Wikipedia
Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 – Metacritic