Marvel Heroes Developer Interview – David Brevik on Hero Costumes and Deadpool
Marvel Heroes is an upcoming free-to-play MMORPG created by David Brevik and his team at Gazillion Entertainment. If you don’t know who Mr. Brevik is, he’s the mind behind the game-changing Diablo 1 & 2 for the PC. Marvel Heroes casts a large number of Marvel characters in an action-rpg MMO reminiscent of the classic Diablo gameplay where players can go solo or team up with other players and take on randomly generated levels based on many iconic locations in the Marvel Universe.
We met with David Brevik, the President and COO of Gazillion Entertainment at PAX to talk about their latest MMORPG based on the Marvel Universe, the costume customization feature, Brian Bendis, and of course Deadpool because who doesn’t love the Merc with a Mouth?
Check out the our full interview with David Brevik after the break.
JTM Games: Could you tell us about Gazillion Entertainment’s newest project; Marvel Heroes?
David Brevik: Marvel Heroes is an action roleplaying game (MMO) using the Marvel IP. Basically think of Diablo with Marvel characters and a massive multiplayer game so it’s comparable to 25 to 50 people running around a level in Diablo II.
JTM Games: What made you decide to work on a Marvel franchise over an original IP like how it was when you created Diablo?
David Brevik: Really it came down to the fact that I’m a HUGE Marvel fan and I had this golden opportunity. I’ve wanted to do this for a long time; I love the Marvel IP, and so for me this is really a labor of love and an opportunity that I just couldn’t pass up.
JTM Games: Players can pick from a massive list of Marvel super heroes in the game as well as customize them. Could you elaborate on the customization feature?
David Brevik: There’s lot’s of ways that you’re going to be able to customize your heroes; we have a lot of heroes in the game. The first thing that comes to mind is our costume system. These characters have worn hundreds of costumes over the years and so we have a system that allows us to put in costumes and change your look. For example, if I was playing Spider-Man, I can wear the black suit (Symbiote Spidey), or I can wear his new Future Foundation suit, or I can wear the armored suit that Iron Man created for Spider-Man (Iron Spider). Back in the 50’s he even had webbing in his armpits and things like that so there’s a large variety of costumes to choose from. Basically you can define the way that you look. It makes you feel like you’re the character that you’re playing as. If I had a vision of what my favorite Spider-Man is, that can come through in our game.
That’s one way to customize. Second thing is that the actual way that you build your Spider-Man will be different way than somebody else will build their Spider-Man. So Spidey’s stats and skills and things like that that you’ll be using will be customizable in a way that allows you to play your Spider-Man differently. For example: mine swings around the levels and sticks everybody to the ground and does a lot of acrobatic stuff; versus somebody else that is jumping around and just doing a lot of acrobatics or whatever.
Really the way that you play and customize your character; you’ll be able to create your ideal super hero. In the end, your character will look different and play different than somebody else’s.
JTM Games: Brian Bendis (House of M, Secret War, Secret Invasion) is writing the story for Marvel Heroes. Could you tell us why Brian was chosen over other comic scribes to tell this story?
David Brevik: Brian was originally involved in the very first version of this Marvel universe title and he was sad to see it go. So he reached out to us and said “hey I really want to be involved in this project.” Just simply from his passion for this project right from the get-go was really the doorway to opening that relationship. And of course, how can we refuse this guy? He’s one of the great super scribes of Marvel so it was an easy choice for us to make.
JTM Games: Could you talk about a couple of famous Marvel locations you’ve included and which was the most difficult to translate from the comic world to the game world?
David Brevik: I’m not really sure if there’s one that was really difficult but we’ve definitely got a bunch of different locations. Some are more fantasy-based such as Savage Lands; as you fly to Antarctica you come into the jungle and face dinosaurs – which is a lot of fun. And then we have realistic places like midtown Manhattan that are very important in the Marvel universe. You’ll even get to go to the X-Mansion and other places.
I don’t really know if there’s been one that was tougher to translate than the others; it’s all been really enjoyable.
JTM Games: Diablo and Diablo 2 were famous for their deep loot system. How are you handling loot with Marvel Heroes given that most superheroes rely on their powers instead of armor or weapons?
David Brevik: A lot of the loot will revolve around powers themselves; a lot of the affixes and stuff like that. But in some ways we have to make this a game and we have to make it fun. It doesn’t make sense in Diablo that a bat has dropped this breastplate on the ground that’s gonna make me stronger, so you have to disassociate the logic of what is going on with the actual game and realize it’s just fun to pick up this stuff right? That was how we made our choice for the loot system.
In Marvel Heroes, there’s equipment that makes you more powerful and does stuff for your stats and your power and I think that, in the end, just makes for addictive gameplay.
JTM Games: Traditional MMO’s are usually not of the Action-RPG genre. Why did you choose to go with that over a standard MMORPG style like World of Warcraft?
David Brevik: In a lot of ways, I don’t really like to make games that everybody else makes; I like to do things that are different and really I felt like I had something to do. Marvel Heroes is something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time; I really feel it’s the next step in action-rpg’s to be able to play with a lot of people in the same world at the same time. So that was the basis for what I was wanting to do.
I don’t think of MMO as a type of game where it’s the Everquests and World of Warcraft-type games that have all pretty much been the same gameplay. I think of an MMO as a way for people to play together. There have been other great MMO’s that have NOT gone down that route like EVE Online, Ultima Online, and others that are very different from your traditional MMO and that’s the same thing that we’re trying to do here is take the action-rpg and the love of that genre that we have and to take it to the next level.
JTMGames: Out of the superheroes announced so far, which are you most excited to play as?
David Brevik: Oh man, that’s a tough choice. I love playing as The Hulk; he’s one of my favorites simply because I love picking up cars and throwing them, smashing them and stuff like that. There’s a lot of destructible objects in the environment and so I love the rampaging of The Hulk.
But also, I love playing Deadpool (Jan – YES! Deadpool is in the game folks!) I think he’s a lot of fun because we have this “Banter System” in the game where the characters have relationships between each other and so they have this banter sometimes that will randomly play. I love Deadpool’s because he realizes that he’s in a video game and he talks to you (the player). It’s a lot of fun to hear some of his ridiculous lines. He also gives nods to previous games I’ve done too so he’s a lot of fun to play.
JTM Games: Finally, could you tell us how it is working on Marvel Heroes with your team at Gazillion Entertainment?
David Brevik: It’s a lot of fun; I love working with them. I’m really proud of my team, I think they’re wonderful and a lot of the people on the team I’ve worked with for a long time. They worked on Diablo II with me, they worked on Hellgate: London and a whole bunch of other titles with me and so I’m very proud of the team that we’ve assembled; I think they’re fantastic and professional individuals.
JTM Games: Thanks for your time David. It was a pleasure talking with you.
David Brevik: Same to you Jan.
Now I’m not too keen on playing traditional style MMORPG’s like World of Warcraft, but damn was I addicted to Diablo, Diablo 2, and other Action-RPG games on the PC so I’m really excited to get my hands on Marvel Heroes when it launches. There’s no definite launch date and David has mentioned that he won’t release the game unless he’s absolutely sure that it’s ready to go out.
Which Marvel superhero are you most looking forward to playing as in Marvel Heroes? Let us know in the comment section below.
Posted on September 7, 2012, in Interviews and tagged david brevik, Deadpool, diablo, entertainment, games, gaming, gazillion entertainment, marvel heroes, mmorpg. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.