Paul Jenkins talks about Hulk: Ultimate Destruction
Friday, May 13, 2005

The following was originally posted on Comic Book Resources:

Jenkins is also hard at work on another project involving a Marvel character, one of the Sentry's friends, The Incredible Hulk. This isn't a comic book, though. Jenkins wrote "The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction" video game that will be released for all major consoles this summer from Vivendi Universal Games. The developers of "Ultimate Destruction" selected Jenkins because of his run on "The Incredible Hulk." "Basically the guys who made the first Hulk, game, Radical, were quite big fans of my run," he said. "So they called me up and they said, 'We really like your stuff. We'd like you to come in and write this stuff." When they recruited Jenkins, the game developers thought they had just recruited a comic book writer. "I actually like video games." Jenkins admitted. "I've been working in video games for some time and I understand the actual process. So I think they were very surprised by how closely I understood what to do, how to write for a video game." For Jenkins writing a good video game means more than just creating a written story. "One of the first things that I did when I got there was to say, 'Guys, what you're asking me to do is to bring in not just a story, like a written story, but in a sense, I understand what you do is manipulate emotions," Jenkins explained. "You kind of engineer emotions. When you create a video game you want a player to feel this, to feel that. So the job of the writer is partly to make sure that you can continue to get the player to feel a certain emotion." Jenkins felt the best way to get the players to feel the emotions he wanted was to give them choices. He describes the Hulk game as similar to other free roaming video games like "Grand Theft Auto." "In this one the only way to make sure that you could feel big enough to pick up a tank and smash down a building with it was also to have the ability to stand around on a street corner and basically scratch your nuts," Jenkins said. "If you could do that you could do the other. So because you choose to initiate, you choose to do all this stuff, you're the person that guides the game. So you do feel very big playing it." What good is a free roaming rampage when there's nobody around to witness it? The developers of "Ultimate Destruction" have worked hard to create a virtual world that's alive, with lots of stuff going on in the background according to Jenkins, saying there's a greater sense of conflict with the word populated. The populace of "Ultimate Destruction" can also voice their opinions on the Hulk's rampage. "I did the in game dialogue," Jenkins said. "Every time you punch an artificial intelligence character it comes out with any one of 35 lines."

This isn't the first Hulk video game, but Jenkins believes that "Ultimate Destruction" is the best Hulk game ever made. "I play games. I play them quite often," Jenkins said. "I actually work in the game industry as well and I think this is probably going to be one of the best games that ever came out. It is so much fun."

Paul is also working with another Hulk Alum, Dale Keown, on a Pitt/Darkness crossover:

Jenkins is also chronicling the comic adventures of Top Cow's "The Darkness." His latest story has Jackie Estacado crossing paths with another Image Comics character, Dale Keown's Pitt. "I'm doing that with Dale Keown right now. People really like the version we did of 'The Darkness.' So he and I are doing I think three issues of Darkness and Pitt." Readers shouldn't expect The Darkness and Pitt to hit it off. Pitt doesn't appreciate the effect Jackie Estacado has on his young friend, Tim. "This little kid, he's got the sensible adult in Pitt and kind of the wild teenager in Jackie Estacado," Jenkins said. "He's trying to work out, 'Who do I really admire?' Is it Pitt or is it Jackie? For instance when they first meet the little kid says, 'Can I have a cigarette?' and Jackie says, 'Yeah, all right.' And gives him one. Pitt says, 'Take it out.' Jackie sees Tim in a way that Pitt doesn't yet."

For Jenkins the way Tim views Pitt and The Darkness is the heart of the story, but it isn't the only thing going on in the story. "It's a battle between what kids really want and what they really understand," he explained. "That's my version of the story.

For the complete interview, where Paul talks about his upcoming Sentry series and more. click here.

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