Ultimately the final look of the game went a different direction, as you see below. During about a year of visual development, Marvel decided they wanted a more comic book influenced representation of the characters. They were looking at their larger entertainment portfolio and how our game would fit into it. The decision by the development team in that same timeframe to use the Unreal engine gave us the ability to have characters that would look better in a realistic style with a larger tech budget and Unreal’s real-time rendering.
When developing the original style, a large part of the discussion that was affecting the aesthetics was the technical pipeline and the game engine. We weren’t sure we were going to be using the Unreal engine for a good part of the project, so we were projecting to have more strict tech budgets/limitations for the characters. The above more stylized characters were designed to look good with these limitations. The below character aesthetics definitely took into account that we could have at least twice the poly budget of the characters above, and though it’s a different style from what I originally envisioned, I’m happy with how they turned out. A lot of the underlying ideas from my original pitch like pushing silhouettes and shape variation between characters and a bright saturated color palette persisted through to the final look, but were dialed back to fit the style.
Models below by Chris Anderson and Tyler Fermelis.