So the reviews are coming in and we're all very happy here. For the most part, the gaming press agrees: *Spider-Man 2* is the best game I've ever worked on.
There is one recurring complaint: that the random missions are too repetitive. We saw this in focus tests, but thought it wouldn't be a problem with the final product: "If they get bored with the random missions," we said. "They can stop doing them. They can do challenge markers or photo missions or hunt down thug hideouts or deliver pizzas or go on dates. Challenge markers, in particular, are some of the most fun you can have, and worth more points than the random missions anyhow." Good answer, good answer. Bzzzzt! In hindsight, one problem is that the random missions are right in your face - right there on the HUD, and accompanied by VO ("Hey, Spidey!") - and to get to the challenge markers you have to bring up the zoom-out map and find one. Behavior of a gamer cannot be boiled down to just how many points they get for doing something; just as theme park and casino design build layouts to focus people's attention and channel them in certain directions, a videogame can intentionally or unintentionally do the same thing.
Anyhow, if any of you are playing the game, and are bored with the random missions, do some challenge markers. They're fun, I swear. In fact, I just bought my own copy of the game (since it takes forever to get our free copies) and have been playing them at home. (Except for the 'insane' ones, which are impossible unless you are or have been a professional game tester.)