Interview with Insomniac /Nixxes: How was Marvel’s Spider-man ported to PC?

We spoke to the people who developed the PC version and took some behind the scenes!

When we prepared a review article for Marvel’s Spider-man Remastered in its PC version, we had the opportunity to speak with the people at Insomiac Games and Nixxes Software, the companies that developed the game and its port for PC. Our conversation featured Jurgen Katzman (Founder, Senior Director and Development at Nixxes Software) and Mike Fitzgerald (CTO at Insomniac Games).

Link to purchase Marvel’s Spider-Man on Epic
Link to purchase Marvel’s Spider-Man on Steam

Part of our interview ended with a curious flurry of questions that got old fast. That’s because I’ll be asking about the lack of AMD FSR in the game, as well as the initial limitation that it didn’t produce ray tracing on Radeon hardware in the early days of testing. Well, it all added up from the tests to the launch and our interview (which took place on 08/08). This shows how the final stage of game development, before release, is quite intensive in mods and patches.

Review of Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered: MIRANHA on PC!
Make the friendly neighborhood even brighter with Ray Tracing?

In addition to the variety on development machines, there are tests on hundreds of different hardware configurations.

We took the opportunity to ask about the complexity of dealing with the multitude of devices that make up the PC ecosystem. While the Playstation and its interactions are much more limited, only being connected to the Playstation 5 in the Remastered version and the Playstation 4 and 4 Pro in the original 2018 game, the variations that can exist on PCs border on infinity.

“Our development team is already working with different workstations and configurations that are different, and we also have our QA team – quality assurance, the team that validates the quality of the product – that has a range of configurations and tests regularly. Obviously, we don’t. Cover everything. , but we tried to test a lot,” says Jürgen Katzman. “Very rarely we use external agencies and we run tests with hundreds of configurations, not so detailed, but we create a baseline and run tests on the most relevant and where we expect problems.”

Despite the additional workload, Katsman shows a very positive view of the platform “That’s the charm of PCs, isn’t it? It allows us to explore the unique features of this type of hardware, whether it’s traveling with a notebook, to a high-end desktop with exotic display configurations,” he adds. “And one of our concerns was to add a lot of granularity to the graphics settings,” Fitzgerald adds, “so we know the gamer can find the best fit for the rig they have.” We tested a lot of hardware with it. The game and in general we had good results.

Ray tracing itself presents new challenges. As we mentioned in our original review of the game, some of the renderings show objects that are clearly bugged, and that includes the process of hunting down those bugs. “Now we don’t have to think only about what is directly visible, we have to take care of the reflections. The solution is to contact the testing team and say “hunt them”. We’ve fixed some, there was still yesterday. It’s less obvious than objects that are already in front of you,” explains Katzman. “We have methods to debug the game, which includes one where we enable ray tracing on all surfaces. It’s a slow way to test, but then we see all possible reflections,” Fitzgerald adds.

We also asked about tuning commands for PC. In addition to control support, it is also necessary to adapt the game to the main commands of this platform: keyboard and mouse. We’ve increased the difficulty of adapting Spider-Man to the PC game with so many weird adjustments compared to traditional TPS (such as the “shift” button serving as both a running and wall crawling and web-sliding on the map. ). And the PC version’s development team noted the big challenge was finding the ultimate fit.

More important than getting one setting right, we need to give players the tools to adjust the buttons the way they want.

“In testing, we’ve found that people want a lot of different things for their keyboard and mouse buttons.. It was necessary to set up many possible configuration schemes and check which of them worked. We had the opportunity to distribute more functions using more keyboard keys because so many actions are possible at the same time, but this became critical for the player, who now had to command even more,” says Mike Fitzgerald. “but me. My hope is that players will, over time, be able to play with the commands more and make the adjustments that make their experience the most enjoyable for them. Rather than just trying to find one configuration for all players,” asserts Jürgen Katzman.

Marvel’s Spider-Man launched on PC on August 12, with graphical enhancements and PC-centric features. We show more of what’s new from the PC version in this video, as well as multi-machine performance tests in this video. The game can be purchased on Steam and also on the Epic Store.

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