Vin Diesel Interview
Actor Vin Diesel heads into Pitch-Black territory with his first game. The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay.
In the sci-fi flick Pitch Black, Vin Diesel made quite an impression on audiences as the antihero Riddick. It obviously made an impression on Vin himself, as he’s now reprising the Riddick role in both a movie sequel—this summer’s The Chronicles of Riddick—and in a videogame prequel, Xbox shooter The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay. The game is being copublished by Vin’s own videogame company, Tigon Studios, along with Vivendi Universal. GMR had a chance to chat with the movie-star-cum-game-developer about his recent career change.
GMR: Besides providing Riddick’s voice and likeness for Butcher Bay, how else have you been involved in the game’s design?
Vin Diesel: Because it was important that the game ties in closely with Pitch Black, I was involved in all aspects of the story, from the direction and the writing of the dialogue to the character design.
GMR: How was doing Riddick’s voice for this game different from when you did the voice of the robot in The Iron Giant?
VD: I had a different connection to the material. As one of the producers of the game, I was actively involved in the creation of the dialogue and developing the character.
GMR: Was it always your plan to start Tigon off with a game based on one of your movies?
VD: I had been formulating my plan to start Tigon Studios before I was ever approached by a game publisher. So when Escape From Butcher Bay went into development, it was an obvious step to be involved in it. Though Butcher actually started off as a Pitch Black game before the Chronicles of Riddick film went into production, which meant we were able to create a connection to the Riddick movie through cinematic design, a strong story, and character development.
GMR: What other games does Tigon have in
VD: We’re currently developing a series of titles, none of which are based on movies. One’s called Perrone, which is based on a true story about a cop in the South Bronx; the other is an epic fantasy game.
GMR: Has there been any talk of doing a game with you as the star, à la Jet Li’s Rise to Honor?
VD: I have been approached with similar concepts, but it really boils down to what the game is, what the story is, and if it makes sense that I star in the game.
GMR: When it comes to games you play, are you more of a Mario or a Grand Theft Auto kind of guy?
VD: Grand Theft Auto, though I play lots of different types of games. I’ve always been an avid gamer, so if the game is great, I’ll play it. My favorite genre is fighting, but I like everything from first-person shooters to extreme sports.
GMR: So what’s more your style: gaming solo or in the company of friends?
VD: I like competitive multiplayer games. One of the greatest things about videogames is that you can play with your friends and your family. It’s always exciting when you’re competing against your friend…and you’re winning.
GMR: As a videogame fan, what’s been the most interesting thing about being so involved in a game’s design?
VD: The challenge of telling a story in an interactive medium. It’s an incredibly fun medium to play in because you don’t have to tell a story in two hours. Designing a game also allows you to explore the outermost reaches of your imagination without the restrictions that are placed on you in film due to costly budgets.
GMR: So what have you been playing lately?
VD: Of course, Butcher Bay. I’ll tell you right now: It’s insane! I’m also a huge fan of Soul Calibur II, Grand Theft Auto, and Medal of Honor: Rising Sun. But I’m an avid gamer, so if the game is great, I’ll play it.
Copyright © 2004 Ziff Davis Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Originally appearing in GMR Magazine.