For Hellboy: Web of Wyrd’s developers, the devil was in the …

In addition to guest appearances in injustice 2, Hellboy has been absent from the video game scene for nearly two decades. This changed with the release of Upstream Arcade and Good Shepherd Entertainment Hellboy: Web of WiredA new roguelike game that allows players to once again step into the role of the world’s greatest paranormal investigator… who just happens to be a demon from Hell.

Hellboy Web of Wired – Launch Date Announcement Trailer | PS5 and PS4 Games

Previous Hellboy video games for consoles, 2008 Hellboy: The Science of Evil2004 was based more closely on bad boy Film by director Guillermo del Toro. but of upstream arcade wired network It is the first Hellboy game that actually attempts to recreate the look and feel of the comic book series. This was no easy feat, given that Hellboy creator Mike Mignola has a very unique art style, and Hellboy is an unconventional hero.

Ahead of the game’s launch, spoke with Upstream Arcade co-founders Adam Langridge and Patrick Martin (who also worked on the game). Wired’s Hellboy WebTogether, they told us about the game’s story, characters, and music, as well as the challenges they faced when adapting the visual aspects of the comic.

Masters of Science

Although there have been Hellboy stories by Mignola and his colleagues for decades, Upstream Arcade was given the freedom to craft an original story during a rarely explored period in Hellboy’s past: the early 1980s.

“The game is set in Hellboy’s timeline, around 1982,” Martin told . “A series of paranormal events are occurring around the world, and through further investigation, it appears that they are providing a set of coordinates that point Hellboy and his team towards South America and Argentina. When they reach this location, they find an abandoned mansion called the Butterfly House. Upon digging deeper into the Butterfly House, they discover that it is actually a drain or passageway in The Wired. Hellboy is a guy who goes into The Wired and discovers that it’s an ever-changing place based on humanity’s stories and folklore of the past. It’s a really cool opportunity to tell some lovely stories there and create some amazing worlds that you haven’t seen in the world of Hellboy.

Hellboy: Hellboy in an image from Web of Wired.
Good Shepherd Entertainment

Unfortunately, Hellboy’s amphibious friend, Abe Sapien, does not join him on this adventure. Instead, the game introduces several new members of the BPRD who will support Hellboy during this investigation.

“The nice thing is that it gives us a chance to create some of the characters, the BPRD characters that we’ve got in the game, that really help back up the game that we wanted to make,” says Martin. “For example, there are some people who help you in studies. Or exposition, and things like that that help you learn more throughout the game.”

“There’s a small roaster out there,” says Langridge. “We’ve got Tatler, a wonderfully tough boss, who has a bit of a rocky relationship with Hellboy. We have some great lore experts, Mads and Benson – one and more [perky] And one is quite exciting, so they’re a nice, slightly humorous couple. We’ve got a character named Lucky who, at the beginning of the game, hasn’t been very lucky, and is stuck. And we got Altman, who’s our comms guy. He’s an intelligent New Yorker who is a really lovable character. It’s actually a nice semi-homage to the ideals you’ve become familiar with in other Hellboy books. But they are new characters in their own right.”

in the mignolaverse

One of the major changes the developers took to this game was to adapt Mignola’s unique comic book style and fully integrate it into the game’s visual design. The team didn’t have a lot of other examples to rely on, as they were pioneers when it came to adapting comics rather than their film adaptations.

“I think this is the first Hellboy game that’s based on Source: Mike Mignola’s comics,” says Langridge. “His style, his storytelling style and his character. Often, people bring in other IPs to get in the way of their objective. In this game, we just wanted to go 100% what the comics were about and try to do two things at once… We’re huge fans of the comics, and we did everything we could to bring that into game form. “

In Hellboy: Web of Wired, Hellboy attacks the land.
Good Shepherd Entertainment

How did they figure out the game scenes? Langridge joked that it requires “love and code”. But Martin offered a more detailed account.

“The beauty of doing something like Mike Mignola’s work is that you have decades of work,” says Martin. “And obviously, Mike Mignola’s drawing style has changed a bit over time. So you compare what they did in the 90s and something they have done recently. We basically focused on that thing, looking for patterns. How and where he places small marks and details on surface areas. For example, the angle of the eyes. What a diamond an eye can be to a kind of monster. How full and almost formless an eye can look to a creature that is slightly less intelligent… I remember us pondering ‘How long is Hellboy’s tail?!’ That was one of the questions.”

We also had a completely simulated entire lighting pattern.

Langridge adds, “Then, of course, there’s also rendering.” “The rendering of the game is not an out-of-the-box rendering of a normal game engine. We had to largely rewrite how lighting works to get dark shadows, get edge clarity, and how outlines work. We also had a completely simulated entire lighting pattern. Lights are not implemented as generically as they do in other game engines. In terms of form and function, we just had to pay attention to the overall art style, absorb it, and then try to reproduce it. Or rather, then trying to get the computer to reproduce it 60 times a second from any angle. So, that was a really fun challenge.

from page to screen

Getting the art right was a feat in itself, but the real challenge would come from adapting the flat panels to interactive gameplay. How does Hellboy play? What does the world of comics feel like? And most importantly, who was the right person to voice the devil? To fully understand the character of Hellboy, the team turned to john wick actor and fringes Star Lance Reddick. The decision would prove to be an unexpectedly heavy hit, as the actor passed away earlier this year after he had finished recording his lines for Hellboy. This would be one of his last roles.

“It was very sad,” says Langridge. “The team had difficulty locating it. We really enjoyed him and what he brought to the role. Basically he was a happy person. ..Very happy to see him working.

“He was very excited about the role,” says Martin. “And if he felt like he wasn’t delivering the right line, he’d say, ‘Let me get back there and do it again.’ It was lovely to see the hunger to sort out the nails. [It was] It’s a real honor to have him with us.”

Hellboy points a gun at the camera in Hellboy: Web of Wired.
Good Shepherd Entertainment

With an ideal voice actor in the lead role, the gameplay will present the team’s next challenge. The goal was to bring the static action of the comic book page into a fully animated game. It will start with the monster’s move set. The largest and most obvious weapon in Hellboy’s arsenal is his indestructible hand, known as the Right Hand of Doom. Hellboy is also equipped with some BPRD-issued firearms as well as a collection of mystical items that prove to be even more powerful in the Wired than in the outside world. But according to the developers, one of the early challenges was determining how Hellboy fights.

“The thing I remember talking about a long time ago was trying to identify [Hellboy’s] Fighting style came from clues given by Mignola, Martin says. “He’s kind of resourceful, he takes a few hits before he does something. We really wanted to sell more punches and compare people’s weights and heights.”

Langridge adds, “There’s a lot of things going wrong and damage being done.” “We wanted to arrange it so that the gameplay is about getting in close and staying close and taking some hits, but it’s worth it. Because, after all, Hellboy is the one who can hit hardest. And when he does that, he hits really hard.”

We just realized that Hellboy is the bass guitar.

Finally, there was the question of music – something that would require a lot of creative thinking. Phil French and Tom Puttick of Cedar Studios handled the music. wired networkHaving previously worked with Upstream Arcade west of the dead, When developing the game’s soundtrack, wired network The team came to a surprising decision as to which device best represented Hellboy in the game.

Langridge explained, “We now realize that Hellboy is the bass guitar.” “You end up with motifs and things like that, which were coming up with the bass. He tried to inspire a lot of thematic emotion in how the war music builds through the bass to a crescendo. There are some cool experiments that I really enjoyed hearing about and their perspective on what they were doing… They were really interesting… somewhat of a jazzy noir-ish type of vibe as well as a little When more metal came along it really started. ,

Each of those pieces come together to create a first-of-its-kind comic book adaptation that sets the stage for new studios to tackle the IP. if nothing else, wired network There’s a road map for what Hellboy could look and feel like in a video game world. It may not be the biggest or boldest comic book video game released this month, but it’s a distinct kind of accomplishment for a studio that wants to expand on which heroes players get to inhabit. After all, why should Spider-Man have all the fun?

Hellboy: Web of Wired Available now on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Windows, and Nintendo Switch.

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