Writer Paul Benjamin, a Putnam City North graduate who now lives in Austin, Texas, is a writer of comic books and video games. He was able to merge knowledge from both worlds recently, as the writer of the PlayStation 2 and Nintendo Wii version of “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.” Benjamin recently talked to The
Matt Price: What kind of research did you have to do to write the game?
Paul Benjamin: Yeah, this is the worst part of my job. I had to read A LOT of comics. When people hear that I write comics and video games, they generally assume that I just sit around reading comics and playing video games all day. Mostly that’s not true, but when starting a new project I do have to do some initial research. I am, of course, very familiar with Wolverine, but before I got started on the game I had to make sure I really had his voice down. I read some of Marc Guggenheim’s Wolverine comics because all of the Wii/PS2 in-game movies (aka Cinematics) came from the version of the game that Marc had written. I also spent time with classic Wolverine comics, like the first Wolverine mini-series, his early X-Men appearances and Origin, the tale of Wolverine as a boy that is the basis of the beginning of the film. I also got to read a synopsis of
MP: What types of changes have to be made when creating the Wii/PS2 version of a game?
PB: This can vary greatly depending on the project. In this case, the Wii/PS2 version was being developed by a different studio from the Xbox 360/PS3/PC version. Though both versions shared cinematics and followed similar storylines, many other elements of the game were taken in different directions. For example, because the Wii tends to be owned by more casual gamers and has a large family following, the Wii version is much more family-friendly. Where the Uncaged Edition on the other consoles embraces the extreme violence of the Wolverine character, the Wii/PS2 version adopts a feel that is more in line with Wolverine from the three X-Men movies. There’s still plenty of fighting, but there’s almost no actual bloodshed portrayed in the combat.
Also, the Wii team took the unique motion sensitive Wii controls into account when making the game. You
MP: What’s a typical day of writing for a video game project entail?
PB: Writing video games is a very different exercise from writing for other mediums. For example, when I
On other days, I spent all my time just writing lines of dialogue for various characters. For example, I might write ten different lines that a specific group of bad guys will say when they engage Wolverine, ten