Developer: Radical Entertainment
Release Date: August 23 2005
Platforms: Playstation 2 / Xbox / Gamecube
Role: Game Designer
A Look Back
Coming back to a Hulk team in early pre-production was quite a relief from the past year almost all in crunch. We had lots of ideas and had plenty of time to experiment and try things out. It was a lot of fun to really play with the design without the pressure of a release date and really allowed the team to build the tools to make the game we really wanted to make.
One of the first major changes we had was going from linear levels to an open world. This presented some big challenges for every department, especially the design team. Open world mission design requires a very different way of thinking about escalation and player flow. We struggled with this concept for quite a while as we would build missions that on first glance were amazing, only to be broken completely by another designer playing it.
One thing I introduced to the team was a Prop Bible where we broke down all the interactive props in the game into detail. This came about due to my experience on the previous Hulk game and me making an artist rebuild an asset several times with new states constantly being added to it. If we had some proper documentation process at the time, this would have been alleviated and I wanted to make sure it never happened again.
I ended up leaving this project about halfway through production for several reasons. I was definitely a bit burned out and I was having philosophical disagreements with my Lead on the direction of the game. As a result, I wasn’t very happy and the team knew it. At the same time, Radical was in the process of being purchased by Vivendi Universal and they were looking to reduce the headcount at the studio. My best friend had been laid off from our team and when they asked whether I would be willing to take a large severance package to took the opportunity. I should probably also mention that they did this on a Monday morning at the start of July. I really wanted to take an entire summer off, which I did. Best decision I have ever made.