What was your role on “Marvel 2099: One
Nation Under Doom” ?
My official title was Executive Producer.
How did Mindscape first become involved with
producing/developing a game based on Marvel’s
Prior to working at Mindscape, I was a Producer at Acclaim
in NY. At Acclaim, I was responsible for
multiple titles including all the WWF titles, all the
Simpson titles and all the Marvel titles. I developed a
great relationship with Marvel so when I went to Mindscape I
kept in touch with them. I knew that Acclaim
had a contract with Marvel that tied up every Marvel
property for video games. In those days, they didn’t
separate the characters into individual properties. I really
wanted to work on another Marvel title and
asked if they had anything that was not included in the
Acclaim contract. Their first response was no, but
then they found Marvel 2099. They told me it was available
and sent me some of the comic books to
check it out. I could not believe my luck! A Marvel property
that included dozens of Marvel characters
including Spiderman, Hulk, Ghost Rider, Punisher, Thing,
Venom, X-Men, Fantastic Four, Dr. Strange,
Morgue, Halloween Jack, etc. Yes, it was in the future and
yes, the characters looked different, but it was
full of recognizable Marvel characters (some looked ever
cooler in the future!) and the main villain, Dr.
Doom was awesome.
I convinced Mindscape that this was too
good to pass up and I worked with Marvel and Mindscape
management to negotiate a deal. The deal was more than
reasonable and included the rights to do the
game on PC CD-ROM, Playstation, Sega Saturn and 3DO.
The 2099 characters were a relatively new
addition to Marvel’s line-up (3 years old back in 1996). What
sort of references was Mindscape/Saffire given, if any, to
design them? Actual 2099 comics? Marvel character guides?
Mark: Yes and Yes. I have almost
all of the 2099 comics and some beautiful character guides
for all the
characters in color showing their front, back and side view.
Character art for Daredevil 2099
Daredevil 2099 as he would have appeared in
Mindscape's Marvel 2099 game
The game was adapting the “One Nation Under Doom” storyline from
the comics. How was this storyline selected?
Back when I did Maximum Carnage, I learned that finding a
good storyline with multiple enemies and
heroes, a super villain and a variety of locations was an
excellent fit for the video game format. It really
was a no-brainer.
How involved was Marvel in the
production/development of the game? Do you recall getting input
from the editor of the comics, Joey Cavilieri? Or editor in
chief [Tom De Falco / Bobbie Chase]
Marvel was always involved in game production and I welcomed
their input. I don’t recall talking with Joey
Cavilieri, Tom DeFalco or Bobbie Chase, but I do remember
going to toy fair and having a private meeting
where we showed character art and animation to Avi Arad. He
loved what he saw. I was also the person that ran our table
at Comic-Con where we showed a demo of 2099. From what I
remember, I think we worked it out with Marvel and had a
small table in their area. Recently, I found a big binder
from Marvel with samples of suggested artists for the 2099
box art. We were looking at the Hildebrant Brothers, Glen
Fabry, Dave DeVeries, Alex Ross, John Van Fleet, Kent
Williams, Brian Stelfreeze, Chris Moeller, Lou Harrison,
Dave DeVeries, Simon Bisley & Jim Calafiore. I
don’t remember who we chose, but the box art was never
Why was the game cancelled? [Marvel’s
bankruptcy? Or the cancellation of the 2099 comics which also
happened at this time? ]
Mark: Both things that you
mentioned probably played a part, but the main reason the
game was cancelled was
because of Mindscape’s problems. The company was going
through hard times and game titles were
getting cancelled. As much as I tried to get the company to
understand the value of Marvel and the
marketability of a title like Marvel 2099, I never felt that
Mindscape (marketing, sales, and upper level
management) was fully dedicated to the title.
Do you recall at what stage the game was at
when it was cancelled? 50% done? More? Less?
Less than 50%
Do you think….had the game been finished…that
it would have been a good game?
Absolutely!! We knew from the start that there was concern
that the game was a side-scroller, but so was
Mario! With our development schedule and budget we decided
it was the best use of our time and talent
to create characters and animation that looked better than
any other comic book title, but it was too much
of an undertaking to do all the characters in a fully free
3D environment. We wanted the character art to
blow you away, so instead of doing a less than stellar job
in a 3D environment, we decided to do a
superior job in a 2D environment. We did plan to have some
levels moving vertically and not horizontally.
We also wanted to make sure that there were “branches” in
the game play where the player had to
choose which path to go down. This would allow
replay-ability because you could complete the game
without going everywhere. AND we were creating some
incredible cinematic sequences to introduce
characters or as visual rewards for completing levels. One
cinematic sequence that was completed was
Hulk 2099 coming down a ladder into an underground sewer
system and running through a large pipe
towards the player.
shot showing two-player co-operative gameplay
model of Punisher 2099 on his bike. The game would
have featured three "sky highway" levels where
players would choose to play as either Punisher or
Ghost Rider 2099 and soar through these levels
avoiding obstacles and battling enemies.
Animation samples of Halloween Jack. The X-Men 2099
character would have been one of over 50 villains
from the comics to be featured in the game.
Any personal favorite character from 2099’s
Spiderman, Hulk, Punisher and Ghost Rider are great, but
there were so many other characters to
choose from!! I did like Doom.
Doom 2099 character model.
Screen shot showing Punisher 2099 in action.
Character art for Ghost Rider 2099.
model of Ghost Rider 2099 on his bike, for use
in one of the games sky highway levels.
Were there any challenges that you can
recall while producing the game, unique to working on a
super-hero/comic-based property as opposed other games you’ve
With any licensed game I produced, there was always the
challenge of getting the characters and
environments exactly like the source material, whether it be
comic books, television shows or movies.
BUT! Comic fans are the toughest to please because the
characters have been around for such a long
time and they have so much emotion and back-story built into
them. Then, you start to animate the
characters and the movements have to be perfect or you have
a huge disconnect. I’m a comic book/
graphic novel fan so I know what it is like to be
disappointed and I also know what it is like when you see
something that seems just right. I can still remember when I
saw the first Superman movie with
Christopher Reeve or Tim Burton’s Batman. They were exactly
how I expected them to be! Same with the
first Spiderman movie. Tobey Maguire was a great choice.