This year at New York Comic Con we stopped by the Kabam booth to try our hands at the latest from Contest of Champions. The mobile game features Marvel characters in head to head fighting action and has the distinction of adding new heroes and villains into the Marvel Universe. Have you been following the adventures of Venompool, Civil Warrior and Guillotine?
No, you, haven’t because these are brand new properties introduced exclusively for Contest of Champions.
We spoke with Contest of Champions design director Tim Molyneux on the New York Comic Con floor and he talked us through his job and what we can expect from the future, including the introduction of mystic character Morningstar and other new characters soon to be unlocked on a tablet or phone near you.
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FOG!: We’re here at New York Comic-Con with Design Director Tim Molyneux. What exactly does a Design Director do?
Tim Molyneux: What a design director does is work closely with the designers to establish the best process and framework for solving problems. It’s really working with the team to establish the design vision, working with all of the members of the team and making sure that is represented throughout the game.
Does that mean that you make decisions about what each character does and how you get through the game?
The design director won’t make those decisions but will help the character designer or another designer make those decisions
So you’re the captain of the ship?
Yeah, I am there to guide the process and some direction to make sure everyone is engaged and satisfied when it comes to solving those problems and making sure they have the right tools they need to solve those design problems. We have a pretty big design team at this point.
What is new and special about Marvel Contest of Champions in contrast to other games like this?
I think one of the things that is really exciting about Contest is that Contest is on the mobile platforms. It’s living and breathing every single day. We get to update the games in so many different ways. There could be a new story every month, there’s new characters every two weeks, new events every two months.
We are able to make this game organic and it lives with us and it lives with characters.
We’re special in terms of a Marvel game, this weekend we’ve been announcing another new character for and with Marvel, Morningstar. That is incredibly exciting for us.
When we first started working on the game, I’ll always remember Gabe, our art director, saying, “I want us to create a character for the Marvel Universe,” and now we’ve been able to do that. And not just one but multiple!
Are you able to tie this in to stories and events that are happening at Marvel?
It’s amazing in some ways, our characters and our content are now going back into the Marvel Universe.
Characters we created, Guillotine and Morningstar. for example. Guillotine has appeared in a Marvel comic book. We do have our own comic book, the Contest of Champions (2015) comic book, which is a limited run (Editor’s note: the game is based on a 1982 Limited Series of the same name from 1982)!
That is an insane thing for me as a Marvel fan and a video game fan is for us to see characters like that.
Marvel is amazing in that way where they have a really organic universe that takes from the comics and the video games and our stuff, it’s an incredible symbiotic relationship.
Do you find that Marvel is telling you, “No you can’t do that with this character,” or “you have to stop or hold back because we have a storyline coming”? Or are you left alone to do what you want to do?
Marvel is really amazing to work with. The thing they really guide us with is grounding and what does it mean for the actual hero. What does it mean to be a Marvel hero? What is the detail, what is the dynamic about this hero? They are really grounding us in terms of that.
They are a fantastic partner to work with in that way, not nitpicking of little things, they are just making sure that we are guided with the spirit of Marvel.
Great! So where can we get it? How can we all play this game?
Marvel Contest of Champions is completely free on iOS App Store and Android on Google Play. You can always download it today and we are always updating it and always growing.