-Fusion

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-Frequently Asked Questions

-New and Improved Features

Day One

Now that Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 has been released for the Wii and PS2, the development team at n-Space would love to tell you more about it, offering an inside glimpse into its development and to let the fans see what makes us so proud of this great game. We’ll be posting a series of articles like this through the end of this week and into next, so check back each day to see what’s new!

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Diary Entries

Day One

-What’s new in MUA2

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-Story, Levels, & Characters

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-Controls

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Features

MUA2 for the Wii introduces an enormous number of new features.  Here’s a partial list of what we’ve accomplished for the title.  THIS is the game that Wii and Marvel fans deserve.

Goals

We spent a lot of time playing MUA on the Wii and researching what other gamers liked and disliked about it.  Among the multitude of positives, we did uncover some areas of improvement that we were excited to tackle.

When the original MUA released during the launch window for the Wii, players did love that they were using the Wii’s controllers in interesting ways, but most gamers tired quickly of its over-reliance on motion controls.  Levels were fun and varied, but they tended to look the same throughout each map, leading to confusing and difficult navigation that forced gamers to rely too heavily on the mini-map.  Armed with this knowledge, we made a few high-level goals that would drive our development.

Game Differences

Our primary goal in creating MUA2 was to make a great game that we, as gamers and Marvel fans, would enjoy playing.  From the beginning, our team knew that the Wii version would take an altered path from the next-gen products for a number of reasons.  Not only were the budgets and schedules for our games different, but we were making it for a completely different market on a wholly unique platform.  We knew MUA2 for the Wii had to be its own animal, but that didn’t mean it couldn’t be a great companion to the next-gen titles, a worthy sequel to the first game, and an outstanding product in its own right.

Developing our game concurrently with VV’s led to a strong collaboration with them throughout development.  We were all very excited for their vision of the game, and we wanted to adopt as many of their designs, mechanics, and systems as we could.  But with our schedule being shorter and our end-date earlier, we were aware that any delay or change to the next gen game would have major effects on our content and schedule.  Because of these scheduling differences, Activision gave us tremendous flexibility in our approach to the level designs and game mechanics.  This allowed us to stay true to VV’s vision, while also creating a game uniquely made for the Wii. 

The team became very excited about delivering an original Wii product that wasn’t a down-port of the next-gen game or an up-port from the PS2, as the first MUA was for the Wii.  We worked very hard to target the Wii audience, tailoring our game to be very Wii-specific.

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What’s new in MUA2

Here at n-Space, the MUA2 Wii team approached this opportunity with a lot of respect and excitement.  It’s hard to have a game studio and not have fans of comic books, so finding people who were truly passionate about working on a game dealing with the Marvel universe was easy!  We also had a great number of employees who were big fans of the first MUA title and the X-Men Legends games before it.  Those people formed the core of our team and dove head first into exploring what had been done with the first MUA Wii game and what Vicarious Visions was planning for the sequel. 

MUA2 was built using the same core Vicarious Visions Alchemy technology used to make the first Marvel: Ultimate Alliance on the Wii, but with several key improvements were made by our team during development. The most important changes include:

To help us achieve our goals, we also focused on building solid partnerships with the teams Activision and Vicarious Visions early on.  Vicarious Visions is the Activision-owned developer of the 360 and PS3 versions of MUA2 – they also did the Wii and PSP ports of MUA1 from the original game (made by Raven Studios).  n-Space had already worked on a number of Activision titles before this, so we had a great relationship with them  as a Publisher to begin with. We were excited to work with both Activision and VV on this game, and we appreciate the support we received from each.

  1. An all-new, more responsive control system was built to streamline gameplay.

  2. Pointer support was made available for all menus and mini-games.

  3. Updates to the menus and UI which let the artists and designers add motion and animations.

  4. WiiConnect24 support was added to allow us to integrate our B.R.A.G. feature that lets players show off level results to their friends.

  5. Texture improvements to the underlying tech were made that let MUA2 do a lot of transparency effects that weren’t possible in the first title.

  6. Improved data compression was implemented so each level could hold more objects, more effects, and more enemies than ever before.


  1. Natural Controls – We wanted to simplify the control scheme for combat, avoiding any excessive or unnecessary motions. 

  2. Huge Encounters – These are super heroes in need of worthy adversaries!  We needed massive numbers of enemies to create battles that were truly heroic.

  3. Level Variance – MUA levels didn’t offer much in camera variety and level verticality.  We made it a goal to improve on both.  Our levels shouldn’t reuse as many assets, flowing naturally and logically from beginning to end.  Each area throughout the map should feel fresh and new!

  4. VV’s Vision – We wanted to incorporate as much as we could from VV’s plan.  This included the awesome new Fusion mechanic!

  5. Improved Interface – The pointer functionality of the Wii Remote is a unique feature of the platform and a powerful tool to use in menus and gameplay. A big goal was to integrate the pointer into features like multi-user menu support, targeted moves and attacks, and unique mini-game mechanics.

It should be plain to see that a tremendous amount was added to the Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 Wii experience. We are very proud of the end result and want nothing more than to hear that MUA fans are having as much fun playing the game as we had making it.

Check back tomorrow for a look inside the development of the Story, Levels, and Characters of our game!

  1. 26 Playable Marvel Heroes.

  2. 8 unique super powers per hero.

  3. Devastating Power Fusion Moves that allow 2 heroes to combine their powers into one

  4. 325 different Power Fusion combinations!

  5. 40 exciting levels including 5 story based hubs.

  6. A branching storyline that presents completely separate campaigns based on player choice.  Act II of the game is entirely unique, based on the player’s decision at the beginning of the Civil War.

  7. 13 bonus missions.  This includes levels that allow the player to recruit new heroes to their team.

  8. An estimated 15 hours of gameplay for each playthrough (with plenty of encouragement to replay and unlock all that you can unlock).

  9. 100 Boosts to collect.  Each acts as a passive power that upgrades and improves your entire team

  10. Drop-In / Drop-Out Multiplayer allows friends to join without interrupting gameplay.

  11. New profile system that tracks individual stats.

  12. Split-Screen Hero Details Menu.  You no longer have to take turns upgrading your characters.

  13. Updated autospend system that allows players to prioritize how powers should be updated.  This allows players to have serious control over how powers are upgraded, without babysitting all characters.

  14. Unique B.R.A.G. feature that allows players to share their scores with their friends at the click of a button.

  15. New Scoring and Awards systems that show the player how they did after each map using scores and letter grades.

  16. Online Leaderboards.  Upload your best scores for the world to see!

  17. Replay Menu that lets you play entire missions again at any party level.  Improve your score, then B.R.A.G. it to the world.

  18. Intuitive pointer driven interface using the Wii Remote.

  19. Heroic minigames that take advantage of the Wii’s unique controls.  Players will be pointing, clicking, and shaking their way through encounters and bosses.

  20. An exciting story that starts with “Secret War” before colliding into the fan favorite, “Civil War” Marvel storyline.

  21. Over 20 unique pre-rendered cinematics and briefings that advance the story. Check back tomorrow for a look inside the development of the Story, Levels, and Characters of our game!

Of course, many more goals were added to this list, but this highlights the largest of our initial goals.