Video game design can make or break any title, particularly when it comes to nudity. Few games really push the limits on just how much they can show. Red Dead Redemption 2, for instance, is infamous for its incredibly detailed horses who feature working scrotums. Taking it one step further are games like The Order 1866 and Rust, where aspects like penises are portrayed in full glory. Even breasts have to be meticulously designed and sculpted if the need calls! With this in mind, Spider-Man’s nipples have come to the forefront.
Spider-Man’s nipples do not come up in conversation very often. For former Insomniac artist Xavier Coelho-Kostolny, however, Spidey’s nips were very much the centre of his focus. He is the man who was tasked with crafting the beautiful pair of nipples sported by Peter Parker in the hero’s latest video game. In a string of tweets, Coelho-Kostolny showcased his pride of this fact!
After his tweet went viral, Coelho-Kostolny spoke to Kotaku where he explained the glorious process in a bit more detail. More specifically, he explained how he had to keep the nipples from distracting players from enjoying the gameplay. He also thinks sculpting nipples is a very weird process. Despite having designed “dozens of characters for video games”, Spider-Man’s nipples could make or break the game in more ways than any gamer would realise, which made the production process “horribly detrimental”. Coehl-Kostolny explains how the studio uses cloth simulations for similar objects in-game. This kind of research and dedication to find source material resembling virtual creations can be challenging – especially when you have to design Spider-Man’s nipples.
The first and foremost step to designing Spider-Man’s nipples is to make sure you design nipples that actually fit the character and the universe of the game. This means no weird and distracting features can go into the design process. Therefore, even though Coehlo-Kostolny is known for adding distinctive traits to the characters he gets to work on, his need to add a bit of himself to Spider-Man had to take a backseat. As a character artist, he has to consider how certain details “will read when [players] finally see them in the game”. As such, featuring traits that would stand out too much (like dark nipples, for example) would make people focus on them too much, instead of the entire Spider-Man skin (the skin or suit in question being Spidey in nothing but a pair of undies and a mask). People need to be able to focus on the whole package – nips notwithstanding – and not be distracted from the actual gameplay experience.
With the ‘rules of nips’ now firmly in place, Coehlo-Kostolny set out to find the perfect source material. A primary goal was to ensure they would be as aesthetically pleasing as the rest of Peter Parker’s figure. This led him to the the shirtless scene in Raimi’s Spider-Man (2002), where Peter (Tobey McGuire) wakes up “and realises he’s now absolutely jacked”. Interestingly, Coehlo-Kostolny could not just screencap McGuire’s nips and stick them on the in-game model to call it a day. Rather, he used the scene as a starting point courtesy of its “great reference for colour and placement”. After many hours of research and design, however, he was able to craft the a perfect pair of nipples; small enough to be unobtrusive, yet befitting of a superhero like Peter Parker. It should also be noted that, while both nipples are meant to look alike, they do feature minute changes to make each nipple unique. Talk about dedication!
Coehlo-Kostolny also mentions how making Peter Parker “hot” was essentially one of his main goals. He is a superhero, after all and thus his consistent acrobatic actions would inevitably make him visually appealing (at least his body). With that said, while he made sure to add a little bit of extra detail on the muscles here and there, the model still largely resembles the same dimensions as Peter’s other suits in the game. With that said, there is one big difference between the normal suit designs and the one featuring Spider-Man’s nipples: his buttocks.
While the Undies Spider-Man is designed to mirror Parker’s other suits, sans actual cover clothing, Coehlo-Kostolny made an executive decision when it came to the character’s butt: it had to be a little bit perkier. In fact, if you compare Undies Spider-Man with the game’s canonical Advanced Suit, this executive decision is clear as day. He claims how you “gotta know your audience”, and we could not agree more.
Video game nipples are not a new concept. In fact, gamers have become accustomed to seeing both male and female areolae and their nips – we all have them, after all. The defining factor about Spider-Man’s nipples, however, is how they have never been featured in any form of interactive media before. As a result, Xavier Coelho-Kostolny is a fortunate man indeed – for he will forever be known as the man who crafted Spidey’s gorgeous digital nips. Now excuse us while our own nipples get hard at Spider-Man punching Electro in the throat… while wearing nothing but a pair of undies and a mask.