Tuesday, December 04, 2012
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Comic Book Day: Chasing Down Joe MadureiraTo many of us – myself included – Joe Madureira is living the dream. He’s made a name for himself in comics with titles like Uncanny X-Men and Battle Chasers, and he’s known for putting out quality video games like the Darksiders series. The only thing missing is competitive burrito eating, and then he’d be living out a very literal dream I had last night. Recently, though, Madureira left Vigil Games to return to comics. What comic, you ask? We chased Joe Madureira down to get some answers on what he has planned for his return to comics, when we’ll see new Battle Chasers, and what Marvel characters are going to appear in his new book.
NERDIST: So, tell us, what’s going on in the wild world of Joe Madureira these days?
JOE MADUREIRA: Drawing. Lots of drawing. It feels good!
N: Recently, we saw you do an awesome stint on Avenging Spider-Man. Will you be returning to that book?
JM: Thank you! Avenging was a lot of fun. Unfortunately, I’ve moved on to a different Marvel title, and while it isn’t the Avenging Spider-Man, it does feature Spidey (and this time he’s teamed up with Wolverine… and Elektra!). Spidey will always have a special place in my heart, and I usually jump at the chance to draw him, so let’s see what else comes down the pipe after this project.
N: You recently left Vigil Games. What prompted the exit, and will your primary focus now be on comic books or still games?
JM: The short version is, I spent over 7 years with Vigil and THQ, and I felt like we’d accomplished what we set out to do: built a game studio from the ground up, completed two killer games, and created a successful game franchise with Darksiders. As incredible as that experience was, and as much as I love the games and the studio, looking at the next couple years of my life, from a creative standpoint, I just wanted to do something different. There were other projects over the years nagging at my consciousness, and after completing Darksiders II, I felt the time had come to start focusing on them. I wish I could say more!
N: You’ve worked as both a comic creator and a video game creator – two careers our readers would kill for. Do you find you prefer wearing one hat to the other or are they intertwined?
JM: They really are two of the absolute coolest jobs in the entire world. I feel blessed to be able to do both. At this point, I don’t think I could choose just one. For the foreseeable future I will continue to develop games, but I’ve got a couple comic book projects in the works as well. So — intertwined for as long as I can manage!
N: What’s a piece of advice that you know now that you wish you had known when you were first starting out?
JM: It probably seems like a no-brainer, but either of these career paths is A LOT of hard work. Doing both is borderline insane. To this day when people find out I work in games, 9 times out of 10 they’ll say something like, “Whoa, I wish I got paid to sit around and play games all day.” Most people just don’t get it. Just because it’s fun work doesn’t mean it isn’t hard to do. Especially if you want to hang with the big boys and release AAA content. I’m actually sort of glad I had no idea what I was getting myself into or I might have chickened out!
N: Has there been any talk about resurrecting the Cliffhanger brand?
JM: Hah! No, not really. Whenever I run into Ramos or Campbell at a show we will sometimes joke about it. But nothing serious. Battle Chasers, Crimson, Danger Girl, and Steampunk will always have a special place in my heart!
N: I have to ask – will we ever see more Battle Chasers? People have been dying for a wrap-up after the cliffhanger of #9.
JM: That’s probably the question I get more than any other (except maybe how to pronounce my name). It’s a tough one. I still love Battle Chasers — that world and the characters, and I have to be honest, when I’m working on comics that aren’t BC, even something as awesome as my childhood dream like Spider-Man, I occasionally feel like… “WTF am I doing, why am I not drawing Battle Chasers right now?!” Let’s just say I’ve thought about it a great deal over the years. I do have some projects I need to do before I get back to it, but it’s on the bucket list…
N: What projects are you working on currently that you can share with us?
JM: Well, the Marvel project I’ve already mentioned should be announced very, very soon. All I can say is that it’s got Wolverine in it, Spidey and Elektra. And Ninja. Lots of Ninja. Gamewise, I can’t say much at all, but I will definitely spill the beans as soon as I’m able!
N: What comics have you been reading and/or games have you been playing and enjoying recently?
JM: Man. I haven’t really had much time to read many comics lately. I dug up my old collection to pore through Frank Miller’s amazing Daredevil and Elektra stories. And Paul Smith’s run on Uncanny X-Men, which had some definitive Wolverine moments for me. Sometimes the old stuff motivates me more than what’s out right now. Though, admittedly I’ve been dying to just spend a weekend and a small fortune at the comic shop and just get caught up on everything. Game-wise, believe it or not I’m still coming back to Skyrim and its expansions, and playing old JRPG’s like Chrono Trigger and Suikoden. God, I feel so stuck in the past.
N: Last, but not least – what’s in your ideal burrito?
JM: Mmm… chicken, grilled jalapenos and onions. Avacado. And more rice and queso than I should probably eat in a year.
Saturday, November 10, 2012
Ok! First of all, thank you for all the support. It means the world to me. I just wanted to provide a little more info/clarify a few points. I wish I could hit every single question, and maybe I will someday, but for now:Hopefully we'll get some news soon on what those "Next Big Things" he's working on at Marvel.
1-I left Vigil and THQ on very good terms. The continued success of the studio is extremely important to me. And it is not out of the question that I could work with them as an external developer. I'm just not an employee anymore.
2-My leaving is not the 'end of Darksiders'. DS belongs to THQ, they are free to make as many Darksiders sequels as they'd like.
3- I'm not leaving games.
4-You diehard Battle Chasers fans are hilarious. No matter where I go or what I'm talking about, BC is always on people's minds. I LOVE YOU! In all honesty, it probably won't happen immediately, but I would absolutely love to relaunch this book at some point down the road. I can't commit to it though until I'm positive I could swing it. I can only imagine the terrible fate that would await me if I stopped doing the book a second time. So won't do it until I can do it right. And there are a couple projects between now and then. If anything changes, you will be the first to know!!
5-Yes, the Marvel stuff is still happening. As I mentioned, this will be my focus for a bit as Marvel has been extraordinarily patient with me as pages slowly trickled in while I was also Vigil's Creative Director. Before I do ANYthing else I need to get some books done!
6- Thanks again. Your energy and excitement constantly pick me up and motivate me on those gloomy days. ♥
Wednesday, September 05, 2012
"Will we be seeing Elektra pop up any time soon? I heard that Zeb Wells had an "Avenging Spider-Man" story with her. Any new developments?"
Alonso: Yes. This, for starters.
Tuesday, September 04, 2012
I love Spidey. But god I hate drawing the webbing on his costume. Steve Ditko, why?!!— Joe Madureira (@JoeMadx) September 4, 2012
Here's a teaser page from way back in March.
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Tuesday, August 07, 2012
Here's the final game play trailer before Darksiders II is released to stores next Tuesday, August 14th in North America and August 21st in Europe! It's going to be epic, if you're a Joe Madureira and video game fan you can't miss out on this game.
Wednesday, August 01, 2012
Kotaku: So, you're making a new game with an entirely new protagonist. And he's got a mouthless skull-face. How can you make Death into a relatable character? Is that even a priority?
Joe Madureira: A lot of it comes through in the voice performance by Michael Wincott— even if you were looking at the back of Death's head, you'd still get a lot of the emotion. A lot of it's done through body language as well. In the end, we had to cheat a little and affect Death's mask, even though it's made of bone. It does contort, and his brow furrows slightly. We couldn't get away with not doing that. But I think we pulled it off.
Neither Death nor War had any irises in their eyes. Do you worry that makes a character seem too inhuman?
The thing with War is that he's just a lot more of a stoic. He just didn't have a lot to say. If [Death] had a lot more moments of really high emotion and stuff - it would be really difficult. But he's just an aggressive badass killer anyway, so it was not as hard to pull off as we thought it would be. Not having a face helps more than it hurts this character; it gives him that mysterious, creepy vibe.
You've said Darksiders II will have much more of a supporting cast than the first game. Could you talk about that?
There're definitely a lot of characters where you actually can interact with, you can go back to them throughout the game. You learn a lot about the story from interacting with them as opposed to watching cutscenes - that helps give more depth to Death's character than watching a little movie, because you actually get to see the interaction.
Even though Death is kinda of just a dark badass guy, he definitely has a more personal story than in the first one. We haven't revealed too much about it other than the fact that the Horsemen were involved with the destruction of their people, their own kind, the Nephilim, but Death carries that guilt with him in this game, and he's faced with some big choices that affect humanity and his own redemption.
Does the narrative branch at all?
It's not a branching narrative - there are occasionally choices, there are dialogue choices, but they don't affect the game in a major way like moral choices or anything like that. It's more about where you want the conversation to go so you can get more info about specific topics.
Is Death based on a particular rock star? He looks like a heavy metal god.
[Laughs] Not at all. He just - I think it's the long hair, and skulls, hey! It's rock 'n roll.
If Death played in a heavy metal band, what instrument would he play?
I wouldn't be surprised if we see some dudes rockin' out with Death's mask on. That was not the intention though.
He seems like a bassist to me, with the way he slings his arms down.
I dunno, he seems like more of a drummer to me.
Ha, yeah, I see it. Okay: What is a Darksider?
We thought rather than pick a name that was very specific to one of the characters or the four horsemen or whatever, Darksiders just kind of encompassed all of the characters and the universe, and the tone of our world. There aren't really any innocent parties in the first Darksiders, even the angels sort of have their dark secrets.
Honestly, part of it was just that it was a name that we all liked, and Darksiders kind of just kept making our top ten list over and over. And we said, "Damn it, let's just call it Darksiders!" It just kind of stuck, it was catchy.
I kind of like names like that anyway; I did a book called Battle Chasers and at no point does anyone say, "It's the Battle Chasers!" it's like… who is a Battle Chaser? I don't know. You never see the word anywhere in the book. But it just kind of encompassed the right energy and vibe for the book. And again, like Darksiders, it's vague but it also sort of fits the story and the characters.
Do you think about how the character models animate when you draw them?
Yes. I think it's the first thing that I think about actually, with characters and game concepts. In comics, as long as you can draw the pose you need to, then it's fine. In games, a lot of times it's how they move and it's the design role that the creature plays. If we're doing a creature and we've just done five flying guys, it's like, 'You know, you really need a big weapon wielding ground-guy,' and that immediately tells me it's going to have two arms, probably legs, what kind of weapons is he holding…. those sorts of choices sort of narrow everything down.
In the end, the gameplay aspect is the most important because, you know, 'this guy doesn't wield a weapon, he shoots stuff at you from far away,' he doesn't necessarily need to walk, so… as long as he's far away from you, shooting, he could fly or whatever. And that is the kind of stuff that gets worked out beforehand. But [gameplay] is probably the biggest influence on how the character's going to look like than, you know, what I felt like drawing that day or whatever.
When you make an environmental structure, how much thought do you put into its function? On a lot of these notes I'm seeing are pretty functional.
Again, it really depends on if it's just eye candy or if it's involved in the direct gameplay path, or if it's part of a puzzle. If it's just buildings or trees that are just dressing up the scene, then it's like 'eh,' a quick drawing will do. But if it's something where "oh, you need to pull this lever,' and it turns the water on, and it goes down this aquaduct, and then you can cross this thing… obviously it needs to be way more specific so that the modelers can build it right. It's done in stages, so we'll build it and make sure it's functional in a very loose prototype before we go in and polish it up. The notes happen throughout, sometimes beforehand, sometimes after it's been built and it's not working properly. Or sometimes it does work but it looks crappy. We'll do what we call Paint-overs where we take a screenshot of the crappy looking version and paint on top of it in photoshop. Sometimes even with layers you can show, 'Here's how the bridge should close' and you do a couple different layers showing the various stages. I would say the majority of our art direction is done through paint-overs. It's a constant iterative process.
Do you guys do that more or less than other studios?
I believe that it's common - I actually don't get together with other studio art directors as much as you'd think and talk about our process. But at vigil, right from the beginning, it's just the way we work. I had no experience at all, and this is the easiest way to convey - you can't really explain something in words, it's easier to just scribble it on there. Kind of like drawing on a whiteboard except that you're actually drawing on the image.
I know it's a common practice at other studios, I just don't know if they do it as much as we do. Because we paint over on almost everything.
How many iterations do the characters go through before they're done?
We tend to nail characters more often without problems right off the bat, but if we have a variant like, let's say, here's a demon soldier, here's a demon brute. And if the brute is basically just the soldier but with bigger armor and weapons then it doesn't really make sense to re-draw the entire guy. So we'll just paint stuff right on top. Usually. Not always.
Or let's say we have a concept that we like, but in the game he just doesn't look super cool, and we want to add horns and whatever—we'll just do that in a paint-over. We won't re-do the entire process. But it's not as common [with characters] as it is for the environment, that's for sure. We just struggle more with environments in general.
Is it always additive? Do you ever feel like you've got too much art onscreen?
Occasionally, yeah. We'll sometimes overdo it with effects, or the colors will look really garish, in certain lighting. And we'll have to tone stuff down. In general [laughs] more is better. Especially in games, when stuff is moving around on the screen, and stuff can look kind of small from far away, we just try to give everything unique elements so they're recognizable. Sometimes it involves taking way, but usually it involves adding more cool stuff.
It's definitely a hard balance. You look at a scene and you're like, 'Eeh, something's missing, it's not dramatic enough.' And then you start adding stuff and then you're like, 'Woah, there's so many boulders in this area! I can't even tell where I'm supposed to go, what a mess!' And then we'll start taking stuff out. Or we'll do like, one giant boulder instead of eight small ones. It sounds dumb but that's the kind of stuff we constantly have to deal with.
For Death: Why purple?
War had a lot of red going on, so red was off limits. When we tried blue, blue is a soothing color… there's basically two colors that sort of fit death or arcane magic, or underworldly ghostly etherealness: so we had this ghastly green and this purple. Black and purple just look evil, I don't know why. [Laughs] But you'll notice, there're a lot of Disney villains that actually have purple as well. We used the ghastly green so much in a major area of the game called the underworld where Death is facing off against an undead kingdom - we couldn't have giant landscapes and characters in purple because it was way too garish so they got the green, Death got the purple, and it just stuck.
Did you worry about the Skeletor comparison?
We heard that early on, and we laughed about it. Honestly, I think it was one of the reasons that I took the teeth off the mask, because I didn't want it to be an actual skull face. Then it literally would be Skeletor. But we weren't worried about it, it's kind of funny, it's kind of a funny connection. You always get stuff like that - like "Oh, he looks like this, the game looks like this."
And it's like: Eh, we just wanted to make him cool. And I like He-Man, whatever. I like Skeletor. I'll take it. It's the 80's comeback, man. And look, you're never going to play a Skeletor game. It's not going to happen, so you might as well just buy Darksiders II. [Laughs]
Did you put a lot of thought into death's back? Since we're going to spend so much time looking at it?
It's one of those things - it's iteration, one thing they absolutely need is a loincloth. I put one on the back so that I don't have to see a guy's butt while I'm running in the game. You'll notice Death and War both have them. You need that coverage. Beyond that, you have to pick a pose that's cool from the back not the front - it's the exact opposite of what would come naturally. Once you have those rules in mind… I mean, we've been doing it for a while, so it's second nature now. But in the beginning there was a learning curve to it.
What do you miss about doing comics all day?
Well, I'm still doing it to some extent. Not full time, but every once and a while I do get that bug, and I'm lucky enough to get to keep my foot in both worlds. It's one of those things where the grass is always greener. When I'm home drawing, it's relaxing, I don't have to deal with a ton of people. I've got my music on and I get to draw just like when I was a kid. There's something really meditative about it - but eventually, after a while, it's just boring and lonely, and it's nice to go into the studio and feed off everyone's energy and excitement. Whether it's a good day or a bad day, sometimes we have arguments and bad meetings, and whatever. There is an energy to being in a studio that's pretty awesome. So I would definitely miss that as well. So, you know, they each have their own appeal.
How has it been developing the game for Wii U? Yeah, we're not allowed to talk about the Wii U version at all.
PR: That's where I'll jump in. We'll talk more about the Wii U later.
Okay, okay. Since the plotlines of the first and second Darksiders are concurrent, are we going to find out what happens at the end of Darksiders, or are we really going to have to wait for a third game?
Aw man, I can't talk about the ending of Darksiders II!
No, of course. I'm just wondering if people who are hoping for some resolution for the first game's ending will find any kind of satisfaction here, or if they'll have to wait for a third game.
You'll definitely get a lot more insight into the story - there's two ways to progress a story: one is to tack on to the end of it, to add to the linear story. And the other is to go depth-wise into it. I won't say which one you get more of in the sequel, but you'll definitely get something out of it.
We were conscious of it, we knew that we're not starting off where the last one ended. It was cool to end on a cliffhanger in the first one, some people were frustrated; some people were super frustrated, some people were super excited. And everyone remembered it, and that was the main thing. Because some games just end and you never talk about it again.
In the sequel, we chose to just give you a whole new character, which also blew people's minds. It's the way we do things—if it's not jarring and it's not exciting you, (hopefully not frustrating you), just being impactful, then it's probably not worth doing. Hopefully people will be happy with the ending of Darksiders II. But I can't really comment more than that.
To wrap up, here's something I've been curious about lately in general: What does the word fantasy mean to you? What makes a world a fantasy world? What do fantasy games need more or less of?
To me… I play a lot of RPGs and I read a lot of fantasy novels so when you first say "Fantasy" to me, I think of elves and warriors and magic. But I think that as far as game genres, and when we're talking about art direction, to me, it's just anything that we're not photo-referencing.
When I say 'Hey, let's go more fantasy with it' when I'm talking about art, a lot of times, you can just have like, waterfalls spilling out of building windows in this desolate apocalyptic scene, and it's more fantasy. It's not just, you know, a hollowed-out building. You could see that in Detroit. Adding fantasy elements, it's just something that you couldn't possibly see.
I've been enjoying games that are definitely fantasy but aren't Tolkien-style fantasy. Gravity Rush, Bastion, The Secret World, etc.
Yeah, and I've always been fascinated by… I love elves and dwarves as much as everyone else, but I love worlds that blur the lines and introduce new elements. That's why even when I was doing Battle Chasers there were giant robots and guns and swords and wizards… it was kind of a mishmash. But yeah, you're right, it doesn't just have to be Lord of the Rings fantasy.
Thanks for your time.
Definitely, it was fun.
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Follow Darksiders II community manager Mathew Everett (@sledgehammer70) to find out about exclusive SDCC updates.
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
“A quote from a recent interview I did has been reported out of context by a number of news outlets."Disappointing news for fans of the Darksiders series... in a recent interview with Jason Rubin, the new head of THQ, he kind of hints that he would like the Vigil games team to focus on other game ideas...
“The quote implied that I am not enthusiastically behind the Darksiders universe, and that THQ has made decisions not to continue the Darksiders franchise. This is simply untrue.
“My quote, ‘I can get the team to make other interesting games,’ was intended in the context of having different teams within this incredibly talented studio work on new original IP, as well as continuing to support the Darksiders franchise.
“I enjoyed the original game when it came out, and one of my first tweets as president of THQ was, ‘Best part of my new job at THQ? When the Darksiders II playable suddenly drops on my desk… @thq’. Since that tweet I have been playing a lot of Darksiders II and it is far better than the first.
“I’m incredibly excited about Vigil and the Darksiders franchise. Keep your eyes peeled on Monday for an awesome new trailer that brings the world to life in a way you haven’t seen before!”
“Darksiders II is very interesting but I think I can get that team to make other very interesting games,” Rubin said.Hopefully the sales of Darksiders II will help to change Rubin's mind.
However, on Rubin's twitter he praises Darksiders II by saying
Jason Rubin @Jason_Rubin
Great day at Vigil. I love Darksiders II. Don't believe the web. Wish I had a clone so I had enough time to complete the game!So only Jason and the team at Vigil knows what is really happening with the future of the Darksiders series. Here's hoping it's a bright future.
Death’s mission to slay a rogue demon is just starting out, but first he must acquire a replacement for his scythe, which he is forbidden to use on Earth without permission. In an underworld black market he strikes a deal—a leviathan’s tongue for a new weapon!
• Exclusive to the Dark Horse digital store!
• Pre-order Darksiders II at Best Buy for issue #0 featuring a cover by Joe Madureira and an original story!
• Created in consultation with Joe Madureira’s Vigil Games!
• A canonical introduction to the Darksiders II game!
Writer: Andrew Kreisberg
Artist: Roger Robinson
Colorist: Michael Atiyeh
Letterer: Michael Heisler
Wednesday, July 04, 2012
Also, this October Udon will be releasing a Darksiders II artbook which can be preordered on Amazon.com. It will be 200 pages and here's the description.
Awakened by the End of Days, Death, the most feared of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, embarks on a quest to undo Armageddon! The Art of Darksiders II collects the dark and dynamic artwork behind the second installment in the fan-favorite Darksiders video game series. Featuring the artwork of legendary comic artist Joe Madureira (X-men, Battle Chasers, Avenging Spider-Man) and the Vigil Games art team, the book collects full-color illustrations, character and environment designs, unused concepts, and more!
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Joe has also shared the pencils to the a cover he drew for the upcoming Darksiders II comic book. I believe the comic is included with pre-ordering the Collectors edition of Darksiders II. Can't wait to hear some new Joe Madureira news at SDCC.
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Udon Entertainment is releasing the Marvel vs. Capcom Official Complete Masterworks this November featuring artwork by Akiman, Bengus, Shinkiro, Joe Madureira, Adi Granov, Joe Ng, Long Vo, Chamba, Adam Warren, and Takeshi Miyazawa. During San Diego Comic-Con on July 11th, an exclusive hardcover edition (Limited to 200 copies) will be available but will not be sold in stores.
Here are the listings:
Marvel vs. Capcom: Official Complete Works Hardcover EditionYou can pre-order it on Amazon.com.
Page Count: 192, Colour
Size: 8.25? wide X 11.75? long (9” x 12” with Hardcover)
Price (U.S.): $100.00
Debuts July 11th, 2012. San Diego Comic Con Exclusive.
ISBN 13: 978-1-926778-49-5
Page Count: 192, Colour
Size: 8.25? wide X 11.75? long
Price (U.S.): $44.99
In-stores November 2012.
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
The first Avenging Spider-Man trade paper back is now available (June 15th). Hopefully it has some extra content inside for fans. Here's the write up.
AVENGING SPIDER-MAN: MY FRIENDS CAN BEAT UP YOUR FRIENDS TPB
Written by ZEB WELLS Penciled by JOE MADUREIRA, GREG LAND & LEINIL FRANCIS YU Cover by JOE MADUREIRA
He's been Amazing, he's been Spectacular, and he's been Sensational. Now, Spider-Man is doing a little Avenging, and he's brought a few of his pals along for the ride. Ever the social animal, the wall-crawler has a proud tradition of fighting side-by-side with heroes from across the Marvel Universe. And now that he's a card-carrying member of both the Avengers and the Fantastic Four, he can't go far without swinging into a teammate or two. Step forward the rascally Red Hulk, the hotheaded Hawkeye and the legendary Captain America as Spidey bonds with Earth's Mightiest Heroes! Collecting AVENGING SPIDER-MAN #1-5. ' 120 pages, $19.99
Thursday, May 17, 2012
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
If you've spent any time reading comics in the past few decades then the name "Joe Madureira" should sound at least remotely familiar to you. The man behind reviving the X-Men has been one of the driving creative forces for one of THQ's most anticipated sequels, Darksiders II. Having dabbled in both the comics and video game industries, Joe Mad has a unique perspective on both, as well as the creative process that drives each of them. We recently had a chance to get his thoughts on comics and games, as well as a look behind the curtain of Darksiders II.
MTV Multiplayer: What are some of the most recognizable similarities between the video game and comic book industries?
Joe Madureira: I don’t think there are that many similarities, but I do think there’s a lot of crossover between comics, films, and games. If you’ve been to Comic-Con in the last couple years, you’ll see exactly what I mean. The industries are very different, but we have a lot of the same fans.
Multiplayer: How does creating characters and a unique world like Darksiders differ from having creative control over a long-standing property like X-Men?
Madureira: Having a blank slate is sometimes as daunting as it is exciting. But in both cases, we do have limitations. On a book like X-Men, you have to stay true to the established fiction, working with editors to ensure continuity, sometimes across multiple titles. We had a completely blank slate when we started Darksiders, but it’s funny how quickly we found ourselves struggling to maintain continuity in the sequel since we were doing a concurrent story.
Multiplayer: Was Darksiders originally conceived to be complemented by a parallel sequel that told Death’s story instead of a more traditional one?
Madureira: It wasn’t, honestly. It was just one of those things that happens sometimes in development — we started talking about it toward the end of the first project and the idea ‘stuck.’ Nothing we talked about for the sequel excited us as much as changing perspectives and playing Death.
Multiplayer: What was the thinking behind taking the main character in a distinctly different direction in Darksiders II?
Madureira: A lot of the decisions we make boil down to gameplay choices. Aside from the shock and ‘cool factor’ of switching things up and introducing a whole different character, the fact that the game plays differently was another reason we did it. We could have given War a bunch of new abilities, but that just wasn’t as exciting for us as playing Death. Plus, Darksiders was never about War — it’s about the Horsemen, and the struggle between Heaven and Hell. And we felt that having Death pick up where War left off would be a great way to reveal more of the Darksiders universe that we didn’t cover the first time out.
Multiplayer: Death and War are inherently dark characters – how do you go about giving them characteristics that players can relate to?
Madureira: We definitely had to ‘humanize’ them. It’s hard not to think of the Horsemen as badass forces of nature — but unfortunately, without the human component and some level of morality, it would be very hard to relate to them (and the game wouldn’t be as fun). War has a strong sense of honor and justice, he’s dark, but he’s clearly a hero — Death is a little more irreverent and abrasive, but his wit and sarcasm make him likeable. I think any time you have characters that aren’t relatable, your story (or game) falls flat.
Multiplayer: Who do you think players will relate more to, Death or War?
Madureira: I personally relate to Death more, and I think people in general will find him a more entertaining character. War was very stoic, and a little passive. Death is much more aggressive, he doesn’t wait around for his enemies to taunt him—he’s usually the one doing the taunting. Some of the dialogue is hilarious.
Multiplayer: Where did the inspiration for Death’s unique look come from?
Madureira: It’s so hard to say. Usually when you’re doing concepts for a character you just try a couple different things to see what sticks. In this case, I conceived all four Horsemen at the same time. War was the first, and then I tried to give each of the other three their own personality that fit a certain character archetype. Death was sort of a ‘Necromancer’ archetype at the time, so the bones and the mask seemed to fit. He later evolved slightly to be more of an agile killer, or assassin—but the mask and the scythes remained.
Multiplayer: If the roles were reversed - would War would be so loyal to Death?
Madureira: Absolutely. War is probably the most loyal of all, with the greatest sense of compassion and kinship.
Multiplayer: What makes a great character compelling in a video game, and does that differ in comic books?
Madureira: I think that in general, whether you are creating characters for games, comics, films or novels, the components that make up compelling and memorable characters are the same. Everyone loves characters that are relatable, or who have unique quirks or tragic flaws. And of course, how they play against other characters in their world is what really makes them interesting. I will say, however, in games there is the added challenge of making them FUN to play if they are heroes, and fun to battle against if they are enemies. Gameplay is often the biggest limiting factor (unfortunately) because often times, what would make the story great won’t necessarily make the game more fun.
Multiplayer: How has the game evolved from the original Darksiders?
Madureira: For one thing, the game is much larger. The structure of the game has changed substantially as well. Death gains levels and has customizable skill trees. Monsters drop loot. There are towns, NPCs, conversation trees, side quests and optional dungeons. On top of that, Death has a slew of new traversal moves that allow him to move around the environment much differently than War. I think people will be shocked by how much it’s evolved, even though at its core it will still feel like a Darksiders game.
Multiplayer: How can we expect to see the Darksiders’ world expanded?
Madureira: The first game took place mainly on Earth, whereas in Darksiders II you will travel to several different realms: Realms of the Undead, Angels and Demons, among others. We are also introducing to the near extinct race of the Nephilim, which is what race the Four Horsemen are in our fiction. There are tons of new characters, and a couple old favorites who turn up as well. Multiplayer: How would Death and War feel about Dec. 21, 2012 on the Mayan calendar?
Madureira: They would be pissed that everyone’s going to die before we get to make a Darksiders III!!!
Multiplayer: Darksiders has come a long way from its conception to now, where can we see it going from here?
Madureira: Right now, the team has a laser focus on completing Darksiders II and then working on DLC. After that, we have a couple things in mind... ;)
Although it was recently delayed, Darksiders II is nearing its final stages of development and should be on store shelves this August.
Monday, May 14, 2012
As announced through Best Buy, fans eagerly awaiting Darksiders® II can get an exclusive Darksiders prequel comic from Dark Horse Comics when they preorder the Best Buy exclusive Darksiders II: Angel of Death edition for Xbox 360 ® or PlayStation® 3!
With a stunning cover from game creator Joe Madureira, this Best Buy exclusive print issue takes place before the events of Darksiders II, as Death travels to Earth to hunt down and confront a rogue demon!
Written by Andrew Kreisberg (Batman Confidential, Green Arrow and Black Canary, FOX’s Fringe) and drawn by Roger Robinson (Batman: Arkham City, Azrael), Darksiders II: Death’s Door reveals essential secrets from the world of the upcoming game!
Thursday, May 10, 2012
Tuesday, May 01, 2012
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Here's a recent interview from Inside Xbox with the Darksiders II art director Han Randhawa and creative director Joe Madureira. In the video they talk about the new customization options, death's horse Despair and the idea of exploration in the sequel. Enjoy! Be sure to buy Darksiders II when it is released in August.
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Sunday, April 22, 2012
The rumor-mill has been churning with speculation recently, so we wanted to put it to rest first here with our core fans: Darksiders II will be moving to release globally in August 2012, rather than June as previously announced. It’s just a short delay, but we promise the game you’ll have in August will be well worth the wait!
This is great news for the team at Vigil, because it allows additional time for polish and to ensure that all aspects of Darksiders II meet the high-quality bar the team is targeting. In game development, more time is always a good thing for quality and the Vigil team is dedicated to providing the definitive Darksiders experience.Source: Darksiders.com
Saturday, March 31, 2012
"Can you reveal when Zeb Wells and Joe Madureira will be returning to Avenging Spider Man for the Elektra and Wolverine team up? It's been months since we last saw Elektra and its killing me waiting for her Zeb-scripted return!"
Alonso: We were just discussing how to announce some changes with the "Avenging Spider-Man" plans. Instead of me sitting through a bunch of meetings with visionary editor (and my own personal life coach) Stephen Wacker about it, let's just make some news here:
Joe [Madueira] and Zeb [Wells'] new Spidey/Wolverine/Elektra story has changed shape and is becoming a slightly bigger project. In addition, Dan Slott’s plan for "Amazing Spider-Man" has grown in scope and will affect just about every Spidey-related book in its wake. So, while Zeb and Joe get ready for their big project, we’ve got some big "Avenging Spidey" stories in the pipe, written an drawn by some of the biggest names in comics...before -- drum roll, please -- Chris Yost comes on as new regular writer, working closely with Slott to reflect some of the big Spidey events coming up soon.
Not to fear, we’re all big fans of the work Zeb’s been doing on the book -- this week’s Captain America story with Leinil Yu is particularly special -- so he comes back for one more issue in August that honors Spidey’s 50th anniversary with a very personal story. More on that in the next few weeks.
Here's the teaser page for Joe Madureira's and Zeb Wells secret new book. It sounds like it might not be under the Avenging Spider-Man Title but something much bigger... exciting news for sure!
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Tuesday, March 06, 2012
The art book will feature work from Joe Madureira and the art team developing Darksiders II. I'm sure there will be unreleased artwork inside so look forward to that when Darksiders II is released on June 26, 2012.
Tuesday, February 07, 2012
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Here's a quick interview from CVG with Joe Madureira about the Darksiders II gameplay and he hints at a Darksiders comic in development (He probably won't be the artist though) as well as wanting to do a Legend of Zelda comic book.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Yes, I will in fact be coming back to Avenging Spider-Man. My next arc is already in the works, and I'm pants-crappingly excited about it. I'm not exactly sure which issue it will be, I'd rather not speculate. Marvel should announce it soon. Hopefully they will post the cover soon. Stay tuned!!I'll update as soon as the news becomes available!