- David's Doodles Part I
- Wherein I Weather (semi poorly) Some Mini Shit Storms
- My Proposed- but very likely half baked- Way To Fix Game Journalism/Criticism
- You Are Not As Good As You Think You Are
- Kratos...as Smurf?!?
- I Am A Shitty Ass Parent!
- All I Want For Chrismukkah is...
- Tales From Orth Nation!
- The Truth Is In There
- Heartbreak At The Green Springs 6
- Pack In Maps...The Final Frontier
- MOM! PHINEAS & FERB ARE HANGING OUT WITH SPIDEY AND HIS AMAZING FRIENDS!!!
- San Diego Comic Con 2012- The Pictures!
- My Open Letter To Movie Studios About Digital Rentals:
- Video Twitter Q&A
- More of the Borderlands 2 Girlfriend Mode Nonsense
- Wherein I Have An Opinion About 'Girlfriend Mode'
- The Death (and Future?) Of Twisted Metal
- SWEET TOOTH ALT ENDINGS
- Coolest Thing At Comic Con 2012...so far!
- The Roald Dahl Appreciation Blog Post
- Fantastic Twisted Metal Song/Video!
- Sunday With My Ipad2
- Why I Left Eat Sleep Play
- The Alt Endings Of Mr. Grimm
This fantastic article about the rough financial state of internet journalism (and game internet journalism specifically) from the always great Ben Kuchera got me thinking: Lets vote on the top 10 game journalists that we feel genuinely offer us great reporting and- more importantly- great game criticism. There are more than this for sure, but off the top of my head Ill throw the following names in the ring: Ben Kuchera, Garnett Lee, Adam Sessler, Jim Sterling, and Brian Crecente. Are there more, fuck yeah. But its just a start. Hell, lets throw in Leigh Alexander as well. I cant stand the woman but to show that this should not be a popularity contest and that we should do our best to pick the reporters who genuinely seem to care for the medium of interactivity. Much as I dont care for Leigh, I do think she cares about the medium and offers a valuable voice to some gamers. Oh and I gotta throw in that guy who does the fantastic podcast A LIFE WELL WASTED- that thing is amazing! Ok so anyway- we get a bunch of names of people doing great work in game journalism and then we- as a game community- vote and whittle it to 5 names. Then we do a yearly Kickstarter to raise 175K. 125 K goes to pay 1 of the 5 reporters (pulled randomly from a hat or voted on by the folks who contributed to the Kstart) a yearly salarty. The remaining 50K goes to pay for expenses (games, travel). The reporter posts whatever they want on a blog. There is no editor, no advertising/sales group to worry about, and they can update when they want and write about whatever they want. The only harm for doing a bad job (and I define a bad job as simply filing way too few stories) is looking terrible in the public eye that funded them and wiping out their chances of being included in next years list. Every time we raise another 175K, we pull another name from the hat/vote on the next reporter. Ideally every year we can raise enough that all 5 reporters get to work. I think good reporting is important. And good criticism is crucial to move this medium forward. And given that Ive offered over and over to pay a subscription to great gaming sites, they never seem to want to offer subscriptions/paywalls, this seems like a possible good solve. Or am I fucking high? Seriously, Im in for 500 bucks if the rest of yall are. Thanks for reading- David ps. I have zero idea if game reporters make well over 125K and if they do, they may scoff at this. I dont mean them any disrespect- 125k seems like a good salary to me is all :).
I was asked by a guy who follows me on twitter what I thought about this article that just went up on Kotaku. Its written by someone calling themselves ANONYMOUS GAME DEVELOPER* (AGD) and the gist of the piece is that game developers- and thus games themselves- suffer because of the current power of the game publishers. I figured Id share my response here as a topic of discussion: I agree with a number of AGDs theories about why modern games are tough to get right (i.e. AGDs write up on games desire to be film vs. games was pretty spot on) but I reject the tired accusation that its the publisher keeping game developers down. And I reject that accusation because of the classic line that I am sure youve heard before: YOU ARE WORTH WHAT YOU CAN NEGOTIATE. PERIOD. Dont like the way a publisher treats you? Dont sign a contract with that particular publisher. Or if you do, make sure you have what you will and wont tolerate written into the contract. And if your studio is not good enough to demand better deals and is not clever enough to secure alternate forms of financing (thus allowing you to bypass the publishers all together) then you deserve what you get. I am very sympathetic to the articles core (it can suck being a dev when you feel your failure stems from forces out of your control)** but that is very much the whole every kid who plays gets a trophy even if their team loses thinking. AKA: THIS IS BUSINESS. You want to be treated better? Sign a contract demanding it. You are not able to get such a contract? _THEN IMPROVE YOUR TEAM UNTIL YOU CAN DEMAND IN THE REAL WORLD WHAT YOU THINK YOU ARE REALLY WORTH IN YOUR MIND._ Because at the moment the real world is making something very clear to you. And that is this: For the time being anyway,_ YOU ARE NOT AS GOOD AS YOU THINK YOU ARE. _ The people who fight against this and complain that the world is not fair are spinning their wheels and wasting their time. The people who embrace this truth can then decide to either get out of the business or put the effort into getting so good that they can pretty much write their own ticket. *** David * It would not surprise me if this was written by one of the editors and attributed to AGD. I have no inside info, just saying I could see this being the case. ** The idea that if it just wasnt for the stupid, interfering publisher we woulda had a hit/we woulda made something more artistic is pretty tired. Im not saying this is not the case in many instances. But in many other cases- as a guy who has worked for the publisher and for the developer- I can tell you that at least 50% of the time the developer just isnt good enough to make the great game they think they are capable of making, regardless of how much creative freedom they have. *** In the majority of cases, when it comes to super expensive $40-$60 retail products, no matter how good a dev you are, you will still not get the best deal in the universe. This is because at that high price point marketing and brand still rule the roost because the number of people who follow quality over the sirens call of a flashy marketing campaign are not near enough to turn the tides. And a vast majority of game consumers would rather- understandably- have the comfort of knowing what they are getting for their $60 (i.e. sequels) rather than take a chance- at that same high price- on something that sounds interesting and has great reviews but is unknown. However, when you are talking digital games for $14.99 (and ideally less), talent can begin to demand amazing deals if they have the track record to back up their demands because core gamers- as always- will continue to follow the talented teams and average gamers will take chances at those lower impulse buy price points. We will see this more in the coming generation of games as getting core games digitally stops being something that only the core gamers do and -with each passing year- becomes the normal way for all gamers to acquire new content.
_LITERALLY DAYS BEFORE WE ANNOUNCED THE FIRST GAME TO THE PRESS, THIS WAS KRATOS:_
IF YOU DONT KNOW, THIS IS THE BARBARIAN FROM DIABLO II. I HAD PLAYED DIABLO I BUT NEVER II, AND THIS WAS SURE NEWS TO ME. AS IT WAS TO CLEARLY TO MANY/ALL OTHERS ON THE TEAM, AS THIS WAS THE FIRST WED HEARD OF THE CHARACTER, LET ALONE THE SIMILARITY. __SO YOU CAN BET WE CHANGED IT, LICKITY FUCKIN SPLIT! _ _WHICH IS GOOD CAUSE I THINK THIS IS A MUCH BETTER LOOK FOR OUR GUY..._
...EVEN IF NOW KRATOS- MUCH TO MY NEVER ENDING DISAPPOINTMENT- SEEMS TO BE FAN OF THE CRIMSON TIDE :(..._
Terrible Parent Award Goes To...ME! AKA I woke up sicker than yesterday and thus cranky. So I not only yelled at the kids (for no reason*) AND at the dog (who is as sweet as the day is long** so he had NO idea what he had done to deserve my wrath), but I was also too tired to make the kids a proper, healthy breakfast. Because I was dealing with all of that- and because being sick made me sluggish and thus made me run late in getting the kids off to school- we went thru the McDonalds drive thru and got biscuits and hashbrowns for breakfast.*** So yes, I suck much. Ok, guess I should get to work and try to at least do SOMETHING right today...:) Later yall! David* I apologized within seconds for snapping at the girls, but my oldest was like, Thats ok, dad...which really made me feel worse. Damn her! :) ** Yeah...so, not sure why Im channeling an old southern grandmother sitting on a porch sipping sweet tea from a mason jar while she fans herself with a ripped page from the Pennys catalog, but there it is... *** I am fully aware this very easily is a must be nice kind of problem that I am bitching about :). Aka Poor guy (poor 20 lbs. OVERWEIGHT guy, might I add!) who took his kids to get drive thru food instead of making them some organic such and such from Whole Foods. for breakfast. Man, Jaffe, that IS tough. And you know, Id feel bad for you too, I really would, if its just I wasnt so busy dealing with the fact that my own kids are like, oh I dunno...STARVING!...stupid ass.
ps. Oh, so heres an interview I did the other day:
Fun guys to chat with but man, come on- PLEASE stop using that horrid picture! Altho I know by asking people NOT to use it (forget that its bad, how about the fact that its from 2006!?!?) all Im doing is giving haters a reason to use it more. Whatever :).
Oh, and sorry for saying You Know... so much :(...
All I Want For Chrismukkah is:
1. To catch up on every unseen episode of Shark Tank and Homeland.
2. Play much more of Sonic Racing Transformed, Walking Dead, Dishonored, Far Cry 3, and Halo 4.
3. Read a great new fiction book (specific book TBD)
4. Lots of time to play with the kids and hang with family.
5. To be able get into and enjoy any of the following: Mad Men, Downton Abbey, Walking Dead, Breaking Bad. I get these are all amazing shows and I respect them but I cant seem to get lost in them.
5. My dad back. And very much_ ALIVE_*. And super healthy and as wonderfully optimistic and happy as he was for the vast majority of his life.
6. If I cant get #5 then Ill take peace and healing for my sweet mom who- obviously- is going thru a lot right now.
7. For the world to give this new batch a Glee kids a G-damnd chance. They are all really great save for the new blond hyper religious/mean girl. But the rest? Just great! And man, the lunch ladys daughter is super hot and-damn!- can she sing! I may have a tiny crush on her, truth be told.
8. Relief from my shame of being 41 and having a crush on one of the Glee kids.
9. Relief from my shame of watching- and really digging- Glee.
Ok, thats all! Is that too much to ask for, you think?!?
Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, and a Magical Movie Season to you all!
David _* I AINT FALLING FOR ANY OF YOUR TRICKS, CALYPSO! _
Adam Orth: great friend, great designer, and all around bad ass! Adam and I worked together on and off over the years and two of the games we worked on were HEARTLAND and CALLING ALL CARS. He shot me some pics from some of design docs yesterday and I thought Id share. Been super busy so no time to dive into too much context at the moment, but figured they prob speak for themselves anyway. So here ya go :)... HEARTLAND: Was going to be a return to more old school, opened up single player (and co-op) Goldeneye/Doom II style level design. Plus a little Deus Ex thrown in, in terms of multiple solves, as much emergence as we could intentionally create (not the mention the happy surprises):
Note: This ONLY woulda been an escort mission if you played it ONE way :). You could also get a sniper rifle AND turn on the power in the theme park (this level was gonna be like Disneyland meets Red Dawn). Doing so would let you activate the ferris wheel that you could use to ride up to a killer vantage point that would allow you to snipe the single enemy that was leading the troops that were trying to stop your buddy from getting away. Kill that guy and mission over. Your co-opbuddy could have also played the dude trying to escape. So there! :) _CALLING ALL CARS: Amazing imagery as ALWAYS by the one and only John Wu! Please check out his FANTASTIC work at his site._ Ok, gotta get back to it! Later yall! And thanks Adam for this great blast from the past! David
Im really looking forward to the new reality show _Start Ups: Silicon Valley_ that hits the Bravo channel next month. check it out. So needless to say- I assume- Im jazzed by the potential of this show cause I love the subject matter. I GET its not real but its a REALITY SHOW and Im not trying to be clever when I say that- by now- anyone tuning in to a reality show thinking its a documentary is a damn fool. So is this going to be an accurate documentary about entrepreneurs and tech start ups? Come on. I mean, I seriously doubt it. And even if there is some accuracy, I certainly doubt it will have the same sense of truth that a great doc like Startup.Com has. And even that- a genuine, dyed in the wool documentary-manipulates the audience as well, just like any medium that documents reality does (other than a security camera and hell, even that has a bit of a truth distortion simply based on where the camera has been placed). But I wont be tuning in to this new show to see moment to moment truth. Ill be tuning in for entertainment and because the show- based on the trailer anyway- DOES SEEM to be accurate in capturing the energy and the youthful spirit (no matter your age) that you connect with whenever embarking on a scary but exciting as hell new journey. Maybe thats the key to making a great reality show: be ok sacrificing the moment to moment truths in the name of entertaining the audience while at the same time demand the essence of the experience the subjects are going thru is portrayed accurately, even if the show creators must express that essence not thru accurate footage but thru editing tricks and music selection and actor manipulation; a metaphor for the essence, if you will. David
When I was checking my daily dose of Aint It Cool News today, I noticed that Megaforce hits DVD this week and so my nostalgia machine got to running full blast and I felt the need to share! So here we go! :)... Man, as I kid I was CRAZY EXCITED for this flick! Stayed up nights just thinking about it, DYING for the damn thing to open! I mean, what 10ish year old boy would not go ape shit for this? I mean, just look at it the Godamnd movie poster:Alas- this was utter shite. Just a whole honkin tube of fecal paste in the form of a movie. :( Saw this on opening day with my brother and- I think- one of my best childhood friends/next door neighbors at the Green Springs 6 theater in Bama (same place I saw Star Wars and Flash Gordon, FYI :)... We walked out 30-45 minutes into it. It was sleep inducing. It was disappointing. It was just awful. I had stared at the coming soon movie poster above in the Birmingham News (our local paper) for the 2-3 weeks before the flick premiered and I was so jazzed. But man, what a let down. How the fuck could a movie that was filled with gun strapped VEHICLES be boring?!? Dont ask me, but it sure was that. On the upside, we spent all the remaining time waiting for my mom to pick us up in the arcade! So it wasnt all bad :). We played a bunch of the obvious stuff, like Battlezone and Galaga along with the following 2 arcade games that- for some reason- never became they classics they deserved to be: _CONGO BONGO_ _ARABIAN_
Goddamn guns of Goddamn mother fucking VEHICLES?!?! What is not to love?!?!
have seen the image above this morning!** The episode wont air till 2013 but damn, if this isnt the coolest mash up since the Punisher stormed Riverdale***, I dont know what is! Very, very excited! :) David * I actually think the dish aims to a satellite owned by DirectTV and based on what I pay for, they decide what aspects/part of the signal I receive, right? But you get the point :). ** Love HERO COMPLEX. Sad to see that the great Geoff Boucher may be leaving :(. But Im sure he will be on to bigger and better things. Also really dig Nikki Finkes site (although I dont know if Id dig it so much if I worked in that industry and she covered me/us...no idea about that end...she seems equally loved and hated). So I was bummed to see this. Man, I hate when mommy and daddy fite :(... ***Except maybe the time KISS stormed Riverdale. That was pretty cool too. The hell is it about Archie and his buddies that always have them cross pollinating w/the coolest media properties?!?!
Summer is racing to a close :(.
Ah well. Fall rocks too :).
Anyway, one of my favorite things about summer is the San Diego Comic Con. I go every year, I go for all 4 days, I stay till they close on day 4, and I am depressed for about a day once the show ends.
I love to be surrounded by toys licensed from cool geek IP, cool new movie posters, game/comic/tv show news, geek celebs,etc.
I love hanging with new and old friends at the con in the day and in the Gaslamp District at night.
I love working the con when we have something to promote. I love taking meetings at the con when we are in production or getting a new production off the ground.
And I love meeting fans of the work we do. Be at at panels promoting our stuff or just walking the floor, meeting fans who like our games is really one of the best parts.
And Im already excited for next years con.
And I just realized that I forgot to post pics of this years con. So, with all that said, here are some things from San Diego Comic Con 2012 that I thought were neat, interesting, odd, cool, and/or photo worthy.
ME MEETING ONE OF MY FAVE WRITERS AND ONE OF MY FAVE CELEBS. SUPER NICE GUY. _
_ME, NORMAN, THE JUDGE, AND SOME OTHER DEAD GUY. _
SNAZZY ART! WOULD LOVE TO HANG ON MY WALLS AT HOME! _
SIDESHOW COLLECTIBLES IS JUST AMAZING! SEE THE TINY SURFER?!? SO COOL! :) _
BOBA FETT! BOBA FETT?!? WHERE?!?!_
ONE OF MY FAVORITE SLASHERS EVER! _
ZELDA WITH BLOOD?!? YES PLEASE!!!! :)_
IF RELIGION HAD BEEN SOLD THIS WAY TO ME AS A KID, ID HAVE HAPPILY SIGNED UP!_
THANKS WARREN ROBINETT! _
SO DOES LUCAS SUE MARVEL OR DOES MARVEL SUE LUCAS?!?_
YO JOE! _
YO J...AH FUCK IT. HERES SOME DOLLS ON A BRIDGE. _
STORM SHADOW FIGHTS A DOLL ON A ROOF._
WHERES MY PRESIDENT BARTLET MEGO?!?!_
PRETTY COTTON SMOKE! _
DOCTOR WHO SWAG IS COOL! _
WE CAN REBUILD HIM..._
BOUGHT THIS TO SCARE THE KIDS WITH! :) _
FOLLOW THAT CHEAP ASS BIG BIRD COSTUME_
EARTHWORD JIM VS. VIEWTIFUL JOE (?) VS ZOMBIE BRIDES! _
MY COMIC CON CRUSH! _
FORREY WOULD BE PROUD! _
COOLEST COSTUME AT THE CON!_
_DOCTOR STRANGE POSE! GREAT COSTUMES THO! _
_AND JUST SOME RANDOM STUFF: _
_CLOSING TIME...LAST FEW MINUTES OF THE CON ON SUNDAY: _
ALREADY EXCITED TO SEE YOU AGAIN NEXT YEAR!!!_
Dear movie studios and companies that deal in digital download rentals of movies and television shows: I have a more than full time job. Im trying to raise 2 kids. From time to time, Id also love to work out, leave my house, and see the world. Oh, and I really want to fly home to Alabama before the end of the summer to see my parents. Its been a while and they are getting older. Ralph and Barbara Jaffe, from Birmingham? Perhaps you know them? It doesnt matter. Anway: I also spend lots of cash on your products, both at home and in theaters. And I mean a LOT of cash. Hell, I just ordered the JAWS Blu Ray off Amazon this morning. I mean, seriously you guys: I love the stuff yall make. Oh, and the last thing I pirated was a port of the Super Mario Bros. arcade game for my Apple //e back in the 1980s (85 I think it may have been). Happy to send yall a check for that act if that is what this is all about. But assuming its not: For the love of God, PLEASE stop with this once you hit PLAY on a movie/show download you only have 24 hours in which to watch the whole thing bullshit. I will be paying for THE HUNGER GAMES- great, great movie so far, by the way. Nice job, movie making people! Im just at the point where she gets her rating and thats a really good part, you know?!?- at least 2 times and probably 3 before I reach the end of the film. Do I really need to be paying you guys for 3 different downloads? How about you track what Ive watched so far so I cant rewind to a part Ive already seen after 24 hours? How about you charge 1-2 dollars more for a longer download period for those of us with busy lives? How about you do SOMETHING? Thanks, David
Hey yall! I was waiting on some meetings to start so I threw out the following to the folks kind enough to follow me on twitter: along with a link- done by twitter follower @fastjorge. If you watch the video, youll know what Im talking about :):
UPDATE: 1. It was pointed out to me last nite that this sentence could have been causing some confusion, and actually allowing some folks to think I was ok with the term girlfriend mode: It would be nice if we could correctly acknowledge that the term girlfriend mode is sexist, offensive to a lot of folks, and long past ready to be put out to the shit we will be embarrassed to admit we ever said pasture while also having the stones to admit there is a still valid reason the term was coined in the first place. I assumed the opening of the paragraph makes it clear thats not the case, but I can see this individuals point that the last sentence is poorly written. So allow me to adjust for clarity: It would be nice if we could correctly acknowledge that the term girlfriend mode is sexist, offensive to a lot of folks, and long past ready to be put out to the shit we will be embarrassed to admit we ever said pasture while also having the stones to admit there is a still valid reason the play mechanics-that gave rise to the offensive term- were created in the first place I stand by that. Im sorry the first crack was poorly worded to the point that some of you felt I was in favor of the term. To be 100% clear, I am not. 2. I feel the author of the offensive and out right incorrect piece against me is in the wrong and knows hes in the wrong. To write this, _But then he (Jaffe) goes on to say that there’s a valid reason the term is used and that reason is, essentially, that women (or girlfriends) don’t play games._ when I said this,_ _ the vast, vast, vast majority of adult women want NOTHING to do with a game like Borderlands 2 (or a game like God of War or Twisted Metal or Gears of War) To claim I said anything resembling women dont play games is a new low when it comes to game journalist spin. 3. This original post- see below- was written in a moment of haste and anger. It was an attempt at some kind of aggressive humor but it clearly missed the mark. Instead of the playground insults coming off as intentionally smarmy and somewhat funny (my original hope), it came off as literal (i.e. I really think this guy is stupid; Im really calling him dummy as a way of insulting him and calling him names). Thats a failure on my part. So Ive changed it. Not trying to whitewash anything. Lets be clear: I think this reporter is bush league and he owes me an apology and he owes me a change in his initial article. I dont care for the guy one bit. And I have no problem saying so. But its clear I failed at expressing that properly and so Ive adjusted the entry below to reflect my intent. Thanks David +++++ The guy who wrote this article should be ashamed of himself. Check it out: _Jaffe begins well by acknowledging that the term “girlfriend mode” is sexist and offensive and that it’s the type of comment we, as an industry, find embarrassing._ _But then he (Jaffe) goes on to say that there’s a valid reason the term is used and that reason is, essentially, that women (or girlfriends) don’t play games._ _Jaffe says that “the vast, vast, vast majority of adult women want NOTHING to do with a game like Borderlands 2.” While I don’t have access to Jaffe’s research in the area, this is something that may well be true. Or it may not. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that it is utterly beside the point._ _It’s not about whether or not someone – male or female – would find a game such as Borderlands 2 appealing. Jaffe lumps Borderlands 2 in with similarly violent games such as God of War, Twisted Metal and Gears of War, the content of which will not be to everyone’s taste._ _Equally, a term like “girlfriend mode” is not about statistics claiming what percentage of games players are female. So what if the majority of players of games such as Borderlands 2 (and God of War, etc) are male? That’s an aesthetic choice and utterly unrelated to the context in which the term “girlfriend mode” was used._ _The term “girlfriend mode” doesn’t say “Hey, maybe you don’t like this type of game, so here’s a way you might like to try.” The term “girlfriend mode” says “Hey, you’re a girl so you must be terrible at playing games, so here’s how we’re going to help you.”_ _And that is the definition of sexism._ Of COURSE it matters in the context of my post if women do not play games LIKE Borderlands 2, God of War, Gears of War,etc. If - as you acknowledge it could very well be true that games like BL2, GOW, etc. are played by a huge male majority then it stands to reason that there is a huge majority of women who have little experience with these sorts of games. And thus, its not about aesthetics (as you wrongly assume), its about mechanics. PLAY mechanics. I never said women could not be great at these kinds of games. I think the many amazingly talented women who kick the shit out of men everyday in these kinds of games can attest to that. But if the vast majority of women have no interest in these kinds of games then the vast majority of women are not going to be INITIALLY as successful as the vast majority of men (who have huge interest in these sorts of games, compared to the women) given that the play mechanics of these games are not easy for either sex to just pick up and play without having learned and practiced similar mechanics from similar action/shooter games over the years. This has NOTHING to do with the ability of one sex over another. This has EVERYTHING to do with experience and the fact that- because men are much more into action games than women- men have much more experience playing action games and thus the majority of folks without experience with games like Borderlands 2 will be women. Thats no more sexist than saying the majority of folks who choose reading as their primary for of entertainment are women and because of that, women would do much better than men when playing a trivia game where the topic was fiction from the last 50 years.
It would be nice if we could correctly acknowledge that the term girlfriend mode is sexist, offensive to a lot of folks, and long past ready to be put out to the shit we will be embarrassed to admit we ever said pasture while also having the stones to admit there is a still valid reason the term was coined in the first place. We should be able to embrace and push forward a change in the way we talk about games in the interest of inclusion,fairness, kindness, and respectability for ALL gamers (and all people) while still being able to openly acknowledge that the vast, vast, vast majority of adult women want NOTHING to do with a game like Borderlands 2 (or a game like God of War or Twisted Metal or Gears of War). Anymore than the vast, vast, vast majority of men have any interest in watching a show like Project Runway or reading a book like The Notebook or Twilight. Political Correctness has been 90% fantastic for our society because before you know it, it stops being politically correct and -rightly so- simply becomes folks being treated with respect. But the remaining 10% has really done a hack job to our culture, neutering the fuck out our ability to acknowledge things as the way they truly are. David
Twitter follower @Vyprstryke tweeted me this morning:
I wanted to respond here on the blog as I get the what is the future of Twisted Metal question often enough (which is a really nice question to get cause it means the series still has fans!) that it seemed best to put my quick thoughts all in one place. So heres my take on Twisted Metals future:
#1- I said it would for sure be the last Twisted Metal game I worked on, at least for a long while. I cant speak for Sonys plans for the franchise other than to say Ive heard nothing about a new one. But Ive not been a Sony employee since 2007/8 (?) so I am far from a Sony insider. For all I know they ARE making a sequel and Ive simply not been informed. And to be fair, even if I had been informed, I could/would not tell you :). Just like with TM PS3s secret existence, I do not feel it is my place to decide when a publisher- who owns and pays for the game- wants to reveal its secrets.
#2- As for Sony making a new TM, TM PS3 got some great reviews and some terrible reviews which has placed it at a 76% metacritic. It sold fine. Not a dud, not a hit. When all is said and done, I hope Sony will be satisfied that it made a decent investment in the game and in us. But it was not a mega blockbuster or even a big hit (was it even a hit?...not sure what is in between dud and hit but I think TM PS3 falls into that category)...
#3- I HOPE Sony makes a new TM one day. Heck, once we get the new studio launched and weve brought some new IPs to the world that folks enjoy, I can see myself dying to go back and do a new TM w/the new studio and with Sony. But for now, I really want to do new things. But one day, sure, Id love to return to straight up car combat. But Id want to do it super small and all digital. So a launch would look something like: 5-6 vehicles, 2 levels (with 1 or both being able to be broken up into at least 1 other level map), 3 modes (TDM, DM, and 1 new, fresh mode), 8 weapons, a 4 level single player campaign with a single end boss, inexpensive stories for each of the 5-6 characters (aka TM2 but with darker visuals).
NOT cutting edge visuals at all. We would find an art style that fits the game but allows us to keep the budget down. Or wed go photo real but just accept were not going to compete with current gen visuals and budget/charge accordingly. I think TM works because of the play and the world and the genre. While bleeding edge TM visuals would rock, I dont think the genre is big enough to merit the cost.
And that gets put out and- if its great- we can count on the fans to show up and we make our money back and a small profit. And if its AMAZING, we can count on even more. And then we see if there is interest in doing add ons and such.
And heck: if the new free to play models Im thinking of for our new games, perhaps we put out a f2p version as well. And before you balk, I assure you, it would not consist of you buying missiles and paying for a faster car or for more armor. It would not be pay to win. It would not be micro transaction based.
But again, this is just me pie in the sky thinking out loud. None of this is planned.
#4- I think the dark Twilight Zone-meets-CreepShow-meets-Se7en world of Twisted Metal is ripe for more products and I hope Sony does something with that universe. Heck, I hope Sony reaches out to me to ask me and the new crew to do something with it. But instead of a super expensive sixty dollar game, Id love to do a next-gen Twisted Metal/Sweet Tooth all digital graphic novel or a small, indie style adventure game (super low budget) or- as Ive said in the past- a low budget Tooth slasher movie, etc. But whether we are involved or not, I really think that TM is a cool world that can yield a great deal of success outside of the vehicle combat niche. In fact, I would venture that the property would be substantially more successful if it were expressed in other game genres and other media.
So those are my thoughts on the franchise as it stands on July 31st, 2012. I still love the Twisted Metal games Scott and I and the rest of the talented team have made over the years. I am still very proud of the TMPS3 multiplayer. And I still love, love, love the TM universe.
But right now, Im happily exploring new universes and am excited to report back my findings and the findings of my new team to the world when the time is right!
And with that, Im outta here! Oh, one more Twisted thing:
_Tooths machete from the Twisted Metal PS3 movies and its current, unseemly resting place: the trunk of my 2005 Toyota Corolla. I really need to frame this damn thing and hang it on my wall. _
Hey all- wanted to get the last two alt endings up from TWISTED METAL for PS3. These are from Sweet Tooth. Ending #1 was/is the ending that shipped on the disc. Ending #2 is here: Ending #3 requires a little explanation: I made this video on my own using iMovie when I was struggling to try to find the tone for the movies. As some of yall know, the game was originally a T and then became an M. But the movies were written and shot to be T (at least the first shoot we did) and so it was a real struggle trying to find the fun, comic book flavor of TM2 (the T rating) and merge it with the dark, depressing flavor of TMB (the M rating). It was especially hard when 80% of our footage was written and shot to be T and when- in order to make our deadline- we had to smush the 3 planning (and shot) endings of each characters down to a single ending for each character (comprised usually of elements form all 3 endings). Whew- long explanation...SO this was what the darker version of ending #3 would have looked like. If youve seen Tooths actual middle story ending that we shipped with, this ending is where we took the used middle portion from. Biggest difference is once Tooth gets up to the hospital...well, things change. Take a look: In the original version, the man inside the mask- the human who was still deep inside fighting to protect his daughter-won over the beast that is Sweet Tooth. The man inside forced Tooth to walk away and let Sophie live. But Sophie has a line where she says shed rather die than live as the daughter of a monster. And with that, she jumps out of the window, killing herself. The above video was me taking the story line darker for both the M rating (because we now could go darker) and because it just didnt seem like Tooth fans would be ok with him taking the noble high road and walking away, letting Sophie live. It just didnt feel right for the world/character. No idea if this video above will even run. I posted it as private to share with our TM marketing lead as he and I spent a lot of time discussing games tone. Because this was an internal video never meant to be shared, I used licensed music I had sitting on my iTunes just to set the tone. Now that Im making the movie public, I have no idea if it will be allowed to be posted. Ok, thats pretty much everything! Hope the TM fans out there have dug some of the what could have been stuff from what I am fairly certain will be the last Twisted Metal game made. At least for a very, very long time! Hope yalls weekend is going great! Talk soon- David
Saw this walking to my cab late last nite:
Big deal, I hear you say. Its just a white van...
Well thats what I thought too...but then I saw all these people crowded around it and I had to see what was up. So I did...and check this shit OUT!
Van has movies playing on the windows to make it look like zombies are inside-banging on the glass-trying to get out! I imagine its mostly for Halloween to put on your windows at home (and yes, Im going to look into getting it this year!)...but man, it really looks super creepy on a van. Theres no way they could get a permit to drive this thing around with these movies turned out. It would create a ton of distracted drivers.And check out the back windows! Ill take a video if I see it again tonite, but as you can tell from just these 3 frames, these are not stills, but an actual movie.
Ok back to the con! Will post lots of pics soon! So far, a total, total blast! Loving it! Hope to see you there!
My buddy Gary Whitta posted this on his Facebook page and I had to steal it: Just seeing the familiar spines that let you know its a Dahl book makes me very happy at a core/gut/spiritual level. As I wrote on Garys FB page, I am only now discovering Dahl in any meaningful way. I grew up- naturally- knowing about Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but that was more from the movie. And I knew a little about James and the Giant Peach & Danny the Champion of the World since I saw my brother (who is 2 years-ish older) reading those. But I never personally read any of Dahls stuff until I read BFG to my daughters about 8 months ago. It really was love at first chapter. Since that time, Dahl has become one of my favorite- if not my number one favorite- authors of all time. My youngest daughter- who is 6- says the same :). We just finished up Matilda and jumped right in to Georges Marvelous Medicine! It is a total joy to read this guy and I love there are so many books hes written that weve yet to read. I personally cant wait to start on BOY as Im eager to hear about how he grew up. David
Thanks Broken Pixels for this amazing song/video! Damn, yall shoulda done some of our marketing for the game! I love this! If you are at Comic Con this week, turns out Broken Pixel will be at this very cool event: https://www.facebook.com/events/466180056743284/ Who knows- maybe theyll perform this song! :) David
I love my ipad. Specifically my ipad 2*. I love the way the ipad 2 fits in my hands, the weight of it, how it feels so smooth as I glide my fingers across the cold metal back. The whole damn user experience, start to finish, just makes me giddy. The last device to capture my heart this fully was the Atari 2600. And when I get a Sunday morning like today, one where the kids are at the grandparents and Im able to give my brain a few rare hours to not think/stress/fantasize about the new game/company, I like nothing better than to crash on the sofa and get lost in my 100% powered up Ipad2.Im late to the party it seems on the wonderful_ AirMail_. Game is developed by N-Fusion and published by one of my favorite mobile game publishers Chillingo (known mostly for publishing the fantastic_ Angry Birds_ and _Cut The Rope_, but they also publish a lot of less known but just as amazing games such as the new _Catapult King_ and the- to me- classic physics-puzzler-meets-Mario-Platformer _Storm In A Teacup_). Then I played some of this:
So thats what Ive been doing. All morning. Its been amazing. But now, the real world calls and I need to get up, get the day started. But before I do, I wanted to share my ipad2 journey! :)
So here goes:
#1- Played Games
Been playing this on and off for a while, and I love it. It is supported by micro transactions but- so far- Ive been able to get through every combat scenario on wits and planning (which is why I love turn based strategy games like this) and have not spent any more cash than my initial investment (forget what that was, but I would happily pay up to 9.99 for this great game). In all games- but its very apparent in a turn based strategy title- you want to know if you are winning or losing because of your skills. In a game with micro transactions its so easy to utterly confuse the player into not knowing if his failure is because he needs to try again with a different set of tactics or because the developer/publisher has put up a pay gate where 99% of the players simply cant pass unless they pay. So, so, so stupid and damaging to games but it happens all the time. I love that- again, so far- this game doesnt have that problem. Check it out if you like these kinds of games. Its from Atlanta based Drowning Monkeys and published by Aypoa Games.
One quick note: hard core gamers who complain about mobile games must not actually be playing them. Because if they were, they would see that there are so many interesting, unique, and fresh titles (mechanically and thematically) being made for this space. The above two genres- for example- are dying breeds on console but there is a home for them on mobile devices. I loved Sky Odyssey on Playstation 2. I loved Jean Darc on my PSP. I cant find similar titles on console right now (but I am very excited for the new turn based XCOM) and I love that when I am craving those kinds of play experiences, I can just turn to the Ipad.
#2- READ BOOKS
I finished this today:
Readers of the blog and the tweets know I dig Senior Smith. This is one of his best books and I tore through it in just a few days. Its funny (as expected) and wonderfully, creatively vulgar (sweet!), but its also really inspiring, smart, and kind of sweet (hearing him talk about his family and friends and fans). And then I started this:
Over my adult years Ive become a news and political junkie. That obsession- mixed with my current love of Sorkins _The Newsroom_-guaranteed I would click BUY the instant I saw this in the itunes bookstore. Written by a former president of ABC NEWS, its a behind the scenes look at the news division of ABC as well as a Westins take on changing business of news in general. Im only 1 chapter in but Im already hooked.
#3-Surfed The Web
When Jobs introd the first ipad in 2010, he claimed using it was the best web browsing experience youve ever had. And damn, he was right. Heres what I surfed while lying on the couch this morning:
Planned my Comic Con panel schedule for next week...
Read a cool editorial about why folks are still interested and captivated by Bill and Hillary Clinton.
Saw what friends were up to, wished my oldest daughter a Happy Birthday (yeah I had seen her in the morning but you can never say it enough to your kids!:), sent messages to a few friends.
I stop by NeoGaf to see whats up 2-10 times/day.
So far, Ive yet to have the career in the movies that I dreamed about growing up. Reading the always fun Deadline Hollywood allows me- just for a few moments a day- to pretend I work in that other cool industry :).
Cant go a day without checking in with Harry. The Talkbackers are about as entertaining as the site itself. Damn, and I thought game fans could be harsh. Sheesh! Plus if not for AICN, Id never have heard the worlds best forum poster name (DannyGloversDickBlood) nor seen with my own eyes one of the nets best ever memes (Sexy BeanPole Tomboy).
Ok, so that was my Sunday morning with my Ipad :). I dug it.
But now, got lots to do! So Im off! Talk later this week- hope you are doing great!
Thanks for coming to the blog!
* If you were wondering: no, I dont have the new ipad yet. The retina display is great but not enough to get me to take the plunge. I probably wont get the New ipad unless the kids break this one (and Im stunned that hasnt happened yet given how often they steal it from me).
Im always bummed when people on the net act as if I did some terrible thing by leaving EAT SLEEP PLAY. They say stuff like its his company and he left it and now hes gonna go start another company! How long till he leaves that one too!?! And Im like ,How can I do a better job at communicating the "why I left" situation because clearly Im screwing that up big time for some folks. A bit of press has hit about what were hoping to do with the new company in San Diego. If you dont know, the plan is: fantastic free to play browser games with some adjustments to the free to play biz model in order to make free to play appeal more to gamers. As the news has hit, I see more of those Jaffe left EAT SLEEP PLAY so he sucks! folks commenting on the sites. And that really bugs me because it makes it sound like I abandoned that really talented team in Utah. And thats just not the case. So heres me trying to make it a bit more clear (and also procrastinating a bit because I got an overwhelming mountain of work that piled up during E3 week): WHY I LEFT EAT SLEEP PLAY: #1- Eat Sleep Play is in Utah. Im am in San Diego. I dont want to direct games remote anymore. Ive done remote game directing/co-directing (Twisted Metal series) and internal game directing (God of War) and I prefer internal. And since Im not moving to Utah, my only choice was to leave EAT SLEEP PLAY. #2- Eat Sleep Play was majority owned and founded by myself and Scott Campbell. I admire and respect Scott as a person, friend, and game maker. But post Twisted Metal he and some of the team wanted to do different kinds of games than I wanted to do. While I have no idea what they are working on, I know Scott and some of the other key team members have wanted to do smaller mobile/social stuff for years. I imagine they are now doing that and I think thats fantastic. The best games come from teams who are passionate and I bet they will knock their next titles out of the park because of that passion. I wish them the best. But why should I stay with a company- even if I co founded it- if its not excited to be creating the stuff that excites me?* And why should I spend the time and energy trying to force my will on my partner and team mates when clearly THEY want to do other kinds of games than I want to do? Thats hard enough when you are in the office with those folks. Try forcing a direction when a talented team doesnt want to go in that direction from 1000 miles away. The game would suffer as would our relationships, health, spirits,etc. #3- Hard as Twisted Metal was for us to create, its not like I walked out on my kid. I stayed till ship and beyond. And hell, I STILL plan to work with Sony to do a bit of tuning and balancing (just trying to find the time). Its not like I showed up day 1 and left 6 months later. I was at EAT SLEEP PLAY for 4 years and 10 months. We shipped 2 games Im real proud of (aside form the network issues and trophy bugs that still plague some users sadly). How long is long enough for some folks? Ok so there you have it. Those are the 3 reasons I left EAT SLEEP PLAY. Nothing new. Been saying this to the press and folks on twitter since February. But there it is, all in one easy to read/find place :). Now I can link haters to this blog post when they come at me about leaving the company. And if this doesnt make it clear enough for them then hell: I guess you either are predisposed to want to find issues with me or I simply suck at communicating. Either way- thanks for letting me try to explain! Talk soon- later yall! David *excites me as a game designer. As a gamer, I love a lot of the mobile/social games out there and Im excited to play those from EAT SLEEP PLAY if that is what they are working on.