Developer: Radical Entertainment
Release Date: May 27 2003
Platforms: Playstation 2 / Xbox / Gamecube / Windows PC
Role: Game Designer
A Look Back
I was brought onto the Hulk team for two reasons: I was a big comic book fan and I had just worked on a stealth game and they needed someone to do the Banner missions. The project was already well under way when I joined the team and had to hit the ground running. Over time I would discover that this was going be by far the most intense and enjoyable experience ever had in development. It would also be the first game I had ever worked on that sold over a million copies.
Development on this game was a real wild ride for me. I was responsible for almost all the Banner missions plus many of the Hulk levels. When I came on to the team, Banner had just been added as a playable character in the game, even though the engine was designed for Hulk gameplay. The first thing I discovered was that Banner could only walk, run, crouch, punch (against armed guards), and access computer panels. For STEALTH gameplay! I pitched a bunch of different mechanics that would be necessary, but due to time constraints I was only able to get push/pull and clamber.
Next, I had to learn lua scripting at the same time as I was implementing missions and had very little room for error. Luckily I had taught myself some scripting years before and at least understood the basic concepts. This also allowed me to understand what was going on behind the scenes and discover some exploits to make the game better. My favorite is when I figured out how enemies knew whether they were fighting Hulk or Banner. It was just a simple exposed variable that could be set at any time. I used that in the later levels to get the Hulk Dogs to fight against soldiers to create a scene of chaos.
The craziest memory I have from this project was the fact that I worked between 80 to 100 hours per week for about three months straight. It sounds much worse than it actually was. It wasn’t like I was working that entire time. Most days consisted of waiting for new builds, making slight fixes and more waiting. Radical at the time had a “great room” that had free food, games, tv, and other distractions to keep people happy and I was hanging out with all my friends on the team doing the same. I enjoyed every minute of it, but I don’t think I would ever want to do it again.