Robert Kirkman speaks: The Walking Dead creator talks video games and zombies
- — 13 January, 2009 17:32
GP: What would your "dream" zombie video game experience be? As an example, I would personally love to see a game where players have to reinforce and barricade a house, scavenge for food, and so on.
RK: I think that's the dream game for all zombie fans. I'd love to see a game with a Grand Theft Auto-type infrastructure, but with more role-playing game aspects like making friends and building secure shelter and finding food. I think there's a lot of untapped potential to that. You could have a lot of scary violent stuff, but also have puzzles and bring in a lot of emotion and story to the game that would make it really memorable. The Walking Dead would be the perfect game to try this out on... heh.
GP: So why isn't The Walking Dead a video game or a TV show yet? Have you been exploring other avenues for branching out your zombie universe in other ways?
RK: These things just take time. Also, the book is very successful so I'm in the unique position to tell people "no" if it's not the perfect deal. Not everything gets made into a movie, video game or TV show...and even less get done right. I'm being pretty protective, waiting for that perfect combination of people interested in doing right by The Walking Dead universe.
GP: If you had to tell someone about one pinnacle moment in The Walking Dead to get them to read, what would you tell them?
RK: Lord, I don't know. I think the book has really achieved that whole "anyone can die at any second" atmosphere, and that's pretty cool if you're into it. I mean, anything can happen in this book, and does. It's a dramatic roller-coaster ride.
GP: One thing I've learned from reading The Walking Dead is that the humans are often just as dangerous, if not more so, than the undead prowling the streets. Is this a theme you consciously left in the graphic novels, or did it develop more organically? Is this a broader metaphor?
RK: It's just logical. Humans are terrible, right? I mean, we're already doing all kinds of sick and twisted things. I don't think the end of the world would make that go away. Also, the sick people who are accustomed to atrocity would have a much easier time surviving in this world, so they would greatly outnumber the nice guys of the world. Zombies just want one thing -- and they're slow as all heck, so they're only deadly in numbers. Also, zombies can't lie.
GP: The Walking Dead is notable for killing off many of its characters, but did you ever feel particularly guilty about any of them? How do you decide who gets to live and who gets to die?
RK: It's really just an arbitrary thing, like life. I decide who to kill by looking over the story and picking who would have the most impact. I've killed a ton of characters I didn't want to, but the story demanded it. I miss a bunch of those characters but, y'know, that's how it goes in life. And aside from the zombies, I'm trying to keep this book as realistic as possible, so you gotta break some eggs every now and then.