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Joystiq interview: Spider-Man: Friend or Foe producer Jamie Bafus

Justin McElroy

From from the beginning, we haven't quite understood Spider-Man: Friend or Foe. Is it a movie game? Is it standalone? Is it for kids, or can adults play too? We got in contact with producer Jamie Bafus to help us understand the rationale behind the new series.

A lot of people were confused when they saw Spider-Man: Friend or Foe announced so soon after Spider-Man 3. Can you tell us a little bit about the inception of the game, the vision for setting it apart from the movie games?

The previous movie-based Spider-Man games were rated "T" which left out the huge base of younger Spider-Man fans. With Spider-Man: Friend or Foe we set out to make a Spider-Man game that was not only suitable for kids but also fun for gamers of all ages.

When we were thinking of how to best create a family-friendly Spider-Man game, we liked the idea of combining all three movies together in one game, but we also had a concept for a team-up game which would have made it really difficult to follow the Spider-Man movie plots. So, we decided to pay homage to the movies in, what we think, are really fun ways and create something unique with the team-up aspect that we feel fans of all ages will want to play.

Gallery: Spider-Man: Friend or Foe | 9 Photos

The animated style is a little bit closer to a cartoon version of Spidey, would you say the game is aimed more at children?

With Spider-Man: Friend or Foe, we wanted to do something really unique with the brand – something that had a very accessible feel and appealed to a younger audience. We chose an art style that we felt matched the style of combat – light and playful – and it translated well to all of the console and handheld platforms.

There are so many different abilities Spider-Man has had over the years, how did you settle on a move set for the game?

We wanted the focus in Spider-Man: Friend or Foe to be on combat and the fun things Spider-Man can do with his webs. So, we looked at his various web abilities and what he's done over the years and started from there. The team listed out the various types of moves and web attacks we would want to do. Then we narrowed it down by what would be the most fun for this type of gameplay, what would look the coolest and match our art style and what would work well with another character fighting along side Spidey.

This is the first time a lot of these characters have been playable in a game, were any of them easier or more difficult to fit into a video game than others?

Most definitely! There is a long list of characters that have appeared in the Spider-Man universe over the years and narrowing it down to the ones that would be the most fun and interesting to play was tough. When the team was deciding, we all had our personal favorites and there were several that were no-brainers to include. We looked at the dozens of known and more obscure characters and narrowed the list by who had the most interesting powers to work with. We also wanted to throw in a few characters that hadn't been seen in games before, let alone played. After a lot of back and forth and searching through comics and websites, we ended up with the final Spider-Man: Friend or Foe lineup.

The game seems to have a similar feel to some of the Spider-Man comics of the 60s. Were those an inspiration?

Both the old comics, as well as the various cartoons, were huge influences when we were creating Spider-Man: Friend or Foe. The art team really wanted to blend the old school look with the more modern art styles and I think we found a style that does that well – the game gives a little nostalgia for the older fans, yet still has the current "Saturday morning" feel.

Is the plan to continue Friend or Foe as a separate franchise?

You'll have to stay tuned...I'm not at liberty to say!

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