If you've ever been deep in the throes of a AAA game and thought "this needs more nipples", you're not alone. In fact, if you pick up Marvel's Spider-Man for the PS4, you'll discover that developer Insomniac valued the importance of the humble nip - so much so that the character artist in charge of Peter Parker's Chest Chorizo agonized over them.
Former Insomniac artist Xavier Coelho-Kostolny, who is likely the only person to ever digitally sculpt Spider-Man's nipples for a video game, created the "Undies" outfit for Marvel's Spider-Man. The mostly-skin "skin" is just Peter Parker in his mask and Spider-Skivvies, and it's featured in a mission where he hallucinates and strips most of his clothes off (we've all been there). Although Parker re-dons his traditional Spider-Suit shortly after the mission commences, the Undies outfit can be unlocked by completing all main and side missions in every single game district. You'll have the right to bare nips after that.
Coelho-Kostolny revealed on Twitter that he had the tender task of sculpting Spider-Man's nips - a task he took very seriously. "Sculpting nipples is a bit weird despite having made dozens of characters for video games, mostly because nipples can be horribly detrimental to the production process,” he tells Kotaku. “We use cloth simulations for a lot of loose clothing like t-shirts, for example, and that simulation tends to get caught on small details like nipples, so they’re things that character artists generally avoid putting into models unless you’re specifically supposed to see them."
As the man who sculpted Spider-Man's nipples, I have nothing to finish this sentence and just wanted to start a tweet with "As the man who sculpted Spider-Man's nipples." https://t.co/4XVqauYeFnFebruary 21, 2020
These nipples demanded to be seen, however, so Coelho-Kostolny had to go to great pains to give Spider-Man the nipples he (and we) deserved. He turned to Tobey Maguire's turn as Peter Parker in the 2002 Spider-Man flick, specifically the scene when he realizes he's ripped up like a bad report card. "Scenes like that are [a] great reference for colour and placement,” he tells Kotaku. BRB, writing that line down for the next time my roommates catch me re-watching specific scenes from The Witcher Netflix...
Overall, I think Peter Parker's Spider-Nips are divine. I'm not one for nipple-shaming, but they're a lovely size and color for a man of his build and skin tone - and they're not perfect. "While they’re not identical, pixel-perfect duplicates, the nipples are largely mirrored,” Coelho-Kostolny points out. “During the sculpting process, it was easiest to work with mirroring turned on, and then add some tiny variation later when painting textures. There are some other areas of the model/texture that are intentionally not mirrored, such as some small freckles and skin texture. This helps avoid the feeling that there’s a seam running down the middle of the model." Nipples are like eyebrows: brothers, not twins.
The most important question is, how will nipples look on the PS5?