Saturday’s “Injustice: Gods Among Us” panel at the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo opened with NetherRealm Studios Creative Director Ed Boon, Story Liason Jimmy Palmiotti, Cinematic Director Dominic Cianciolo, Art Director Steve BeraÃ±a and Producer Hector Sanchez discussing their collective approach to the fighting game. Everyone on panel agreed they had created was a different kind of fighting game, because it started with a story, which they then wrapped the game around. Palmiotti discussed the numerous scripts written throughout the development process, with only a few notes needed here and there, saying, “Out of the gate, it was a killer story.”
“[Ed] wanted us to deliver a summer blockbuster in a video game,” Beran added.
Aked why NetherRealm felt the need to develop such a large story for “Injustice,” Boon said that each “Mortal Kombat” game was going that route already, so this was a next step in the evolution of games. He feels the game play restrictions actually helped make an entertaining story.
In discussing how “epic” the story was, Beran said the end result was a hour and fifteen minute DC Universe movie with playable fight scenes. Palmiotti reiterated several times that the game “went above and beyond what we thought it would be” in terms of its overall scope.
As for the game’s unique character design, Boon said they had taken hundreds of designs and “pared them down to 4-5 costumes per character.” From there, the designs were further narrowed down to the ones fans have been playing for the past several weeks. It wasn’t until they designed the alternate universe characters, however, that they were granted extra leeway from DC in the characters’ appearances.
Of all the challenges presented by the studio’s approach to “Injustice,” character selection was the toughest. NetherRealm knew they would need the top tier character to anchor the games, but they wanted to make sure there was a solid mix of powerful and agile characters, as well as having more female characters than your typical fighting game.
Before launching into the panel’s Q&A session, the team listed their favorite supermove, with all but Beran and Sanchez picking Aquaman’s shark bite supermove. Beran prefers Superman’s because “it was the first supermove for the game…it was a bench mark.” Sanchez said his was Lobo, an answer met with loud applause.
Asked if the iOS game would eventually be ported to Android, Sanchez said it was uncertain at this point in time, citing quality and security issues. But for those playing on iOS, they can link their achievements to the console version of the game, unlocking things on the iPhone or iPad for their console, and vice versa.
Future DLC characters –including Lobo, who was announced at the panel along with the trailer seen below — will continue to be released, along with tweaks and patches to help keep the game balanced and running smoothly.