Insomniac Games' Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart was a huge success for the company and the PlayStation 5. This is thanks to many things, but one stand out aspect of the game is undoubtedly Rivet, a fellow Lombax and all round awesome addition to the series. However, when workshopping ideas for Rivet, the team had a variety of names for her including... Ratchet.
Chatting at GDC (via IGN), Insomniac lead designer Mark Stuart said: "For a while we switched to her just being named Ratchet. After all, she and Ratchet are technically dimensional counterparts. Ratchet is a non-gendered name."
However, this soon made the game very confusing, so this idea was ultimately scrapped. "For example: 'Ratchet needs to rescue Clank from Ratchet, who doesn't trust Ratchet and has a long history battling Nefarious,'" explained Staurt.
"At a time where story treatments were being rapidly iterated on, it was hard to tell what dimension you were in, but also which Ratchet you were talking about."
Other names for Rivet included Ratchette, but the team decided this was "too diminutive", and it only reduced "her existence to a gender-swapped Ratchet".
Finally, the team used the codename of Gadget for a period of time. However, many felt that this name was too 80s, citing Inspector Gadget and Gadget from Chip 'n' Dale: Rescue Rangers as examples of the name in other media.
Thankfully, the name Rivet was eventually suggested and, needless to say, it stuck.
In addition to chatting about her name, Staurt also touched on the gameplay ideas the team had for Rivet.
Initially, the idea was for her to be a "survivalist beastmaster." However, this was soon scrapped as many felt that the idea of a nature-loving female lead was a bit of a "trope."
"Think FernGully, Pocahontas, or Krystal from Star Fox," said Staurt.
"Moreover, constraining the theme of [Rivet's] weaponry stifled the creativity the franchise was known for.
"Ratchet's weapons can shift, cut, bomb, and transmute. Making [Rivet's] set exclusively nature-based put unnecessary constraints on us."
Instead, these ideas morphed into some of the game's final weapons, such as Mr. Fungi, a fungi-like companion that spits poison at enemies.
And, while Rivet may not be in the game's title, she is definitely an integral part of the overall experience. This was something that the team had to work hard on, to ensure they got the balance of gameplay between Ratchet and Rivet just right.
"We wanted Rivet to be core gameplay. Her inclusion was meant to be inspirational representation and not a bonus mechanic. In fact, in the final product, she makes up about 50 percent of the playtime."
Hopefully this means that we will be seeing more of Rivet in future games.
Elsewhere, 3D character artist Xavier Coelho-Kostolny has previously chatted about how he interpreted Rivet, saying that he "made [Rivet's] arms beefier than Ratchet's."
However, while Rivet is certainly ripped in Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, Coelho-Kostolny originally wanted to make her even bigger.
"In general, she's more muscular and has a slightly heavier frame despite sharing a lot of animations. I wanted to push it further with thicker limbs and making her heavier overall but didn't have the opportunity."
Seriously, I intentionally made her arms thicker than Ratchet's. In general she's more muscular and has a slightly heavier frame despite sharing a lot of animations— Xavier (@xavierck3d) June 11, 2021
I wanted to push it further with thicker limbs and making her heavier overall, but didn't have the opportunity
Will you support Eurogamer?
We want to make Eurogamer better, and that means better for our readers - not for algorithms. You can help! Become a supporter of Eurogamer and you can view the site completely ad-free, as well as gaining exclusive access to articles, podcasts and conversations that will bring you closer to the team, the stories, and the games we all love. Subscriptions start at £3.99 / $4.99 per month.