The Hulk Lead Game Designer Interviewed

Wednesday, June 25 200

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The Hulk Interview
Kyle 'Pezman' Peschel

We had an opportunity to sit down with Eric Holmes (Lead Game Designer at Radical Entertainment) when he wasn't running around town painted green and throwing the town into general chaos. He spills the beans on his opinion of the title (Don't forget we had an opinion too!) and the challenge of creating multi-platform title.

GameGossip: Are you happy with how the final product turned out?

Eric Holmes: The big test for the game was when we 'sent our baby out into the world'. In videogames, this is focus testing the game; you get a bunch of strangers in and sit them down in front of the game and, just as if they'd bought it and taken it home, play the game through.

As nerve-wracking as focus testing always is, the test results for Hulk were consistently good and we found people really got a kick out of the game. The Hulk licence is a great opportunity, but it brings a lot of baggage in the form of expectations too. It wasn't easy, but I think we took those expectations and surpassed them.

Am I happy? I'm happy when people are buying the game, taking it home and having a great time playing it.

GG: What was the biggest challenge during the development process?

EH: Capturing the spirit of the Hulk and wrapping it around a couple of sticks and buttons is a tough one. There's so much this character can do and so many expectations that people have that it can be quite overwhelming. I think we really got the core Hulk experience down there; that feeling of being a cat among the pigeons that can grab anything in the world and wield it against the enemies he faces.

I scour forums and newsgroups for feedback on this sort of thing. It makes me feel like we pulled it off when I read that fans (the most critical of all consumers) proclaim openly that "This game lets you BE the Hulk!". That makes it all worthwhile.

GG: Is there any possibility we'll see a sequel? Perhaps independently of any movie sequel that is released? How about if a "Hulk 2" movie were made, would a game be made as well?

EH: After 40 years of the Hulk, he's not going away anytime soon. If the fans want more games, I'm confident they'll get them.

GG: Did the cel-shading technology provide any unique challenges? If so, how exactly?

EH: The biggest challenge with the cel-shader was maintaining consistent composition in lighting on the characters to provide strong silhouettes and dynamic visual presentation. Since the cel-shader creates a hard line shadow against the character's geometry it was quite challenging to keep this from popping from time to time. We had to constantly tune the light sources in every location to minimize this reaction.

GG: Is there anything that you wanted to implement but couldn't include due to time constraints?

EH: With the power of the current videogame consoles there's always things you wished you could do simply because the hardware supports it. Inevitably you have to toss so many ideas out because you simply don't have enough time to do it all. As a gamer, I'd rather see a smaller number of well-implemented features than an abundance of poorly realized mechanics. One juicy thing we didn't get to do? Hulk struggling with the bosses as they attempt to grapple each other. This was a fun mini-game we didn't get to complete. Each time the player grabs a boss, the camera cuts up close and you'd have a superquick mini-game where you determine the victor through pressing the right button at the right time. It was fun, but we just ran out of time to complete it. Sound good? Fear not, we got lots of other, even cooler stuff in there!

More information about the title can be found at the Official Site, or at Vivendi Universal Website.

Wanna talk about this bit of news? Start a discussion over at the boards.

Check out the fan trailer here.


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