Friday, December 22, 2006
Well, that's a wrap ya'll.
Cutting out early to get my last minute presents for the kids and then it's off to Big Bear for the holidays. I will prob. work a little here and there over the break but I am also gonna try to relax. Since blogging is fun for me, I'll prob. post before the new year. But if I don't it just means I'm relaxing on the slopes (the inner tube slopes, that is) with a cup of hot chocolate in my hands!
Thank you all so much for your interest, support, and kindness over this last year. I know it means alot to me, and I'm pretty sure it means alot to the members of the teams that are making all these games that we hope you will love.
You all be safe and have a great, great holiday! Talk to ya'll soon!
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
There were some original concept art shots I sent along with the interview but for some reason they are missing...grrr!!!
Either way, should give you a better idea of where we are with the title.
Thank you Firing Squad for the opportunity!
So, I'm swamped with work right now as there are only 3 days left till the break.
FINALLY got a consumer model PS3 yesterday! Sweet! My HDTV has not arrived from the Sony Store yet so I'm playing on my SD tv...but still, RIDGE RACER is a blast (never played the 360 version), love Ultimate Alliance as well!
I'm Indiana Jaffe if anyone wants to add me as a friend. I will accept all you folks I've gotten to know thru this blog but not strangers (sorry!)...hope to see you guys/gals online!
Saturday, December 16, 2006
I am sitting in the Arizona airport right now waiting for a connecting flight back to San Diego. Dad is doing great and I've headed back home. But thank you again for all the great well wishes. I really appreciate it.
So I'm in the gift shop, grabbing a magazine (Discover), a book (Digging For The Truth...some book on Archaeology from a guy who has a show- which I've never heard of- on The History Channel), and a tube of cherry flavored Mentos. And I get up to the check out counter and what do I see? Man, here's what I see:
For me, this is one of those OOOOOHHHHH! I WISH I WOULD HAVE THOUGHT OF THAT! moments! How COOL and NASTY and SWEET and GROSS is this?!?! Have any of you tried these? They seem pretty popular given how few there are left in the box there. I'm thinking I should go back and get one...not sure what I'd do with it...freak out my kids when they get older maybe? Shoot...I think I may have to go get one!
And it's the REAL deal, folks. At least I think it is. Cheaply produced candy could not get a fake bug that looks that real in there...I mean, it looks totally real. That would be expensive to reproduce. PLUS I checked the nutrition label and there it is, right after sugar (the #1 ingredient)...right on the wrapping it says: Sugar, SCORPION, Flavor #4,etc...
So that's a nice surprise....I love stuff like that.
Ok, gonna go call my wife then surf the net till my plane boards.
ps. So I sat next to some kids on the way out from Bham. We got to talking and they learnt what I did and thought it was all cool and stuff. I told them I would send them a few Playstation 2 games for free and they got all excited. I gave them the number and told them to have their parents call and ask for me. But now I'm freaked out a bit cause the world in which we live, I could see the parents calling me and being all like: what the hell are you doing talking to my kids!?!?! Man, I was just trying to spread some holiday cheer! I dunno what is worse. The fact that we live in a world where people are so suspicious of kind acts or the fact that we live in a world where- at least sometimes- it makes good sense to be suspicious of kind acts! Can't win! Ah well! Ok, see ya'll!
Friday, December 15, 2006
EDIT: Many folks have been sending in their email address....if you want the swag we need your real life address as we are sending physical swag out...thanks!
If you are old enough to remeber playing the Atari 2600, you probably also remember the ultra cool patches that Activision used to send out. When players sent in pics of their televisions showing that they had achieved a really great score, or an impressive time on one of the Activision games, Activision would send them a little sew on patch. Check them out:
Man, I loved those. Never actually won one, but I loved the idea. For the most part, this sort of thing is long gone; gone the way of the dodo once the game biz got so crazy corporate.
And hey, corporate in some cases can be good. Hell, it's opened up gaming to so many more folks. And that's a great thing. But in the process, some of the magic got lost.
So here's my own, teeny-tiny way of trying to bring back some of that magic. Hell, if we're going to be making an old school arcade style game (which is how we see Calling All Cars), we may as well try to give players the whole old school experience!
So the first 80 readers to send their snail-mail address to CallingAllCars@playstation.sony.com will get a little, cheap-ass surprise.
And when I say cheap-ass and little, I mean it. Don't be expecting a game, or a system, or even a patch. Cause it's not that cool. It's just a little something we cooked up to give out to those who are thinking of giving our little downloadable game a shot.
Hell, I'll just tell you. It's a holiday card with Calling All Cars artwork done by our very own John Wu. It's sweet looking...but it's just a card. But still, it's really cool and hey, if CAC ends up being the next big thing- or even CLOSE to being the next big thing- you could end up with a nice bit of gaming memorabillia on your hands!
So drop us a line and we'll send you a card!
Ok, I'm still in Alabama. My dad is doing well- thanks for all the well wishers- and I should be back working in sunny San Diego on Monday!
Have a great weekend ya'll, and get those emails in if you want a card...our cut off day is Wednesday of next week so we can get them sent before we take off for the break!
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Anyway, I won't be able to update this week but I thought I'd link to the VERY LONG audio interview I did the other night with the great website neogaf.com! It was fun to do as I just stood out on my deck, looked up at the stars, and gabbed. Not very explosive for those looking for the usual Jaffe bullshit. But it is lots of talking about games, so if you are into such stuff, please check out the link. And if you have yet to go to neogaf, especially the forums, check those out while you are there...one of my fave websites on the net!
Ok, heading off to the hospital. I will talk with you ya'll soon! Here's the link:
Thursday, December 07, 2006
I was gonna do a big post tonite but ended up spending most of the nite doing an interview with the great website neogaf.com. Not sure when that interview will hit but keep an eye (ear?) out for it...
...so I was going thru my old emails (dating back to 1999!) and was looking to see if I had anything cool in there I could post. And man, I got LOTS of stuff from way back when.
Here's some of it...I hope you find this half as neat as I do. These are old Twisted Metal:Black character designs. Cecil Kim did these; Cecil is still with Sony and was/is a key contributor to the concept art and look of the whole God of War series. Thanks for all the great work over the years Cecil and thanks for these! I had forgotten all about them! Check them out ya'll:
I dig these; they have a creepy sadness to them. Ahh, I miss the world of Twisted Metal! No plans to go back right now, just thinking how much I dig that world.
Ok, gonna try to do some XMAS shopping online till I fall asleep at my keyboard. We'll see how far I get. And is it odd it's December and I'm already starting to get excited for Comic-Con in July?!?! I'm a freak, I know.
Ok, good night ya'll!
Sunday, December 03, 2006
As I write this- at 5:45 on Sunday morning- I'm feeling much,much better. I got up to have some tea and was going to go back to bed, but the house is so warm, the tea is so good, and it occurs to me that I have not stopped by to say hey in almost a week. I hate non updated blogs! :)
But...yeah, this is about the worst I've been since I got mono back in college in like...what was that?...92? But I've been close a few other times this year. Had strep in July, some viral stomach thing about 4 months back. Crazy.
My doc tells me it's a mix of having 2 kids (who bring home every germ under the sun) and simply not getting enough sleep; so my immune system is not as tough as it should be. So, more sleep for me I guess (says the guy who is up at 5:45am surfing the net!)
I know this is even more rambly than my other posts...sorry about that. I'm just coming off the Tylenol/Codine high from last night.
...let's close that door and get the prom queen impre-...ah never mind :)
This week, most of all I did was sleep and cough so hard and often that my throat is now nice and razor-blade raw. I did also manage to piss my boss off a bit via a poorly timed, poorly written bad-fever dreamed email rant. But he's cool. At least I think! I like to pretend that I'm like Axel Foley and he's like the Detroit police chief and even tho I can go off and get cocky and loud and break the rules, he knows that my heart is in the right place and all I care about it catching the bad guys. Serious, I like to pretend that. Really.
But so, while sick and lying in bed, I did get a change to catch up on some tv, comics, and a few web sites. So, if you don't mind too much, here's some cool things I found over the week:
COOL THING I DISCOVERED WHILE SICK #1- OUR PROUDEST MOMENT?
Out of all the accolates and awards GOD OF WAR has been given, this one- to me- may rank as the MOST important. A court in Illinois shot down a law which would have forced video games with sexual content to be labeled and displayed in much the same way as pornography. While I am 1000% behind protecting kids and even adults from potentially offensive material via labelling, I think the problem is that games need to have the same opportunities of expression as other media. And since the ESRB says itself that their ratings are more conservative than motion picture ratings, it means that- if a bill like this were to pass- games that contain movie-like content of the PG-13 and R rated vareity would be treated as if they were XXX rated films. For someone like myself, who think some games should be designed for teens and adults (and not kids), this law would have been a very bad thing. So not only was I thrilled when the law was shot down, I was even more thrilled when it was OUR game that was cited as a core reason the court had for not keeping the proposed law alive. Check it out, from a write up on the ruling:
An integral part of the court's analysis was its concern that the statute would criminalize the sale of material "without concern for the game considered in its entirety or for the game's social value for minors." As a case in point, the court looked to the game God of War, which tracks the Homeric epic Odyssey in content and theme. Although that game shows exposed breasts, the court held that "there is serious reason to believe that a statute sweeps too broadly when it prohibits a game that is essentially an interactive, digital version of the Odyssey."
That is from the Internet Cases website and you can read the whole thing here: http://www.internetcases.com/archives/2006/11/seventh_circuit_1.html
Isn't that cool?
COOL THING I DISCOVERED WHILE BEING SICK #2- MOTIVATIONAL GAME POSTERS-
The guys over at neogaf (aka gaming age forum.com) are running a great thread on video game motivational posters. Here's my- naturally- favorite one so far:
I want this full sized so I can hang it in my office at Sony!
COOL THING I DISCOVERED WHILE BEING SICK #3-ALL PRESS IS NOT BAD PRESS!
Over the week, two bits of press that I did hit the net. One was an audio track from last year's GDC; a panel I did with Lorne Lanning from Oddworld. You can listen to it- if you are so inclined- here:
The other bit of press is from last month's Playboy Mansion Party. This is the video I thought would kill my career as I did it while shit-faced. I also did it at the URGING of Jeff Reese, the marketing guy I share the scene with in this clip. But gametrailers did a nice editing job and made me look- I think- not like an ass! Thanks GameTrailers! :)
Here's a link: http://www.gametrailers.com/gamepage.php?id=3455
Oh, by the way, and because some folks have asked: yes I am short. 5'6 to be exact. BUT those two guys you see me with are also TALL as all get out...as in Frankenstein-style! So it really does make me look like some participant in some forced perspective hobbit bullshit.
COOL THING I DISCOVERED WHILE BEING SICK #4- FANTASTIC FOUR MOVIE
I've had this flic sitting on my Tivo for months. I watched the first 10 minutes back in August and was like: ehh, this is pretty lame. But something kept me from deleting it. I'm really glad cause I got to watch the whole thing this week and now it ranks as one of my fave superhero movies ever! I know, I know. It's a B movie AT BEST! I get it, I'm no dork. It lacks all kinds of things that make films like XMEN 2 and SUPERMAN 1/2 the kings of the genre...I give you that; no doubt. No argument.
BUT I still really enjoyed the hell out of this movie once it got going. Just like I thought XMEN 3 was the MUCH, MUCH better Superhero Movie this summer (when compared to Superman Returns).
Clearly Superman Returns is a richer, meatier film. Same goes for Xmen 2 over Xmen3. And yes, I admit Fantastic Four is a real stinker in some areas. But you know what? For me, it was really fun to watch!
I think it's the same reason- for you comic geeks out there- I love the easy, breezy, no-one-gets-THAT-hurt Spidey stories by Todd Dezago much more than the current fan fave stories penned by J.M.S. Sure, the JMS stories are more ambitiouys have more of a mature theme, but I like my comics (and comic movies) to be 80-90% fun and 10% angst and dark. But the comic movies these days tend to glom on to the dark, dreary part of comics and the fun stuff tends to get the shaft. So while I do love some of the current fan-fave hero flicks (Batman Begins is a fave of mine), I gotta say, Fantastic Four rocked for me...and has me even more excited now about a film like GHOST RIDER....not to mention FF2..
And speaking of FF2, while I was sick, Fox put out an image of the Fantasticar from part 2. And this thrills me because they got the flying car, they got the Silver Surfer, hell, I hear they even got Galactus. I love it when the movie guys stop being 100% terrified of being a bit silly and embrace the source material. I mean, sure, they gotta be smart, they can't make a panel for panel translation. SOME of the recent hero movies are RIGHT to step even further away from the source material to attract a wide audience. BUT, it's nice to know there are SOME movies that embrace the source material like a 10 year old kid with an 80 million dollar budget!
Gotta run! Take care ya'll!
Monday, November 27, 2006
But now I'm sick at home with the flu, tho. So my 4 day weekend has become a 5 day weekend. Feel bad as I was going to head to Utah tomorrow for a marathon tweak session. Oh well, we'll do what we can with video chat and net play and I'll try to head out next week.
So yeah, the holiday was great. Saw a few flicks with my wife and brother (who came down from Los Angeles). One of my favorite parts about Thanksgiving and Xmas holidays is seeing movies. I could not talk my wife into checking out Bond, which is what I really wanted to see. But as you married folks out there understand, sometimes you gotta give up a bit to get alot :)
So instead of Bond and The Fountain (both of which I will see sometime this week if I feel up to it), we saw:
Bobby was a good movie but it was also an odd movie. It was well made and kept me interested the whole time. BUT I really wanted to see a film about the life and/or impact of Robery Kennedy. I know little about him as he was killed before I was born and I was eager to get an entertaining history lesson. Sadly, Bobby ain't that. 95% of the stories that lead up to the shooting of Bobby Kennedy seem to have nothing to do with Kennedy. The stories told are about folks who were in the hotel the night he was shot, yes. But you struggle to figure out what most of those stories have to do with Bobby Kennedy. Sure, if you really dig deep you can connect a few of the stories to the ideals and ideas that Kennedy preached about, but that's only for a few of the sub plots and even then, you're digging semi-deep to make those connections. Still, good flick. Interesting and Entertaining the whole time thru. Catch it on video. And hey, it made me and the wife tivo a bunch of Bobby Kennedy docs coming on this month as we DO want to know more about him.
We also saw:
The Queen was also entertaining but left you with a sort of 'meh' feeling. Maybe if you give a shit about the Royals it would have more impact. But as the whole film seemed to be a question on the validity of the Royal Family in modern times, and since I have always thought the Royals- as an institution in our modern times- are pointless at best, and arrogant at worst, it was hard for me to care about the film's struggling with this very issue. My mind about the Royals has been made up since my mom- who does dig the Royal Family- woke us up at 5am to watch the Princess Di wedding some 20 something years ago. It was neat I guess but even as a kid, the Royals just seemed a concept that did not fit with modern times. That said, there IS something cool about an institution that has been around for over 1000 years. The film does make you at least respect that aspect of tradition.
Anyway, what else did I see? Oh yeah, I saw this:
For you younger readers out there, that's Geroge Burns as GOD in the movie OH GOD!
So the point is, me and my brother took some stuff into our lungs over the holiday that shifted the way I saw the world. I don't do it all that often and when I do do it, I take alot of the stuff in as I want to see how far I can go. But this time, I'm totaly out of my mind, time is shifting all over the place ('temporal hallucinations' is what my brother called it) and I'm standing on my deck looking up at the stars and suddenly I become aware of God. As an agnostic, this is a rare thing to be sure. So I also become aware that the reason I can see/sense him is because of the shift my mind has taken. And I ask him:
How come you are in here? How come you make us go thru this shift in order to see you? Why do you hide from us?
And I hear a voice in my head that says: I'm not hiding from you. It is you who is hiding from me.
And then I see a shooting start.
I shit you now.
Wow, that was some good shit!
Ok, speaking of shit, that's what I feel like. Gonna go lay down and try to sleep this thing off.
Talk to you guys soon. Hope you all had a great holiday too!
ps. thanks for the heads up on the Wikepedia entry. I have deleted that last paragraph only because it simply was not truthful. I am 1000% ok with people ragging on me thru the entry but I'm not cool at all when they post stuff that is not true. For the record, I was never fired off GOD OF WAR 2 and while some members of the team may find me hard to work with- as I find some members of the team hard to work with as well-I think we all respect each other and what we each bring to the table. So the working relationship with the team was never the reason I did not direct GOD OF WAR 2. The reason I did not direct GOD OF WAR 2 was that my personal life was suffering in a significant way because I was never home. And my health was suffering as I was never at the gym. As much as I love my work, I love my wife and kids more and was not going to sacrifice them again. And the PSP project died because it was just not a good match with the developer (who was slammed with the epic that is WarHawk). So we did something me and Scott are passionate about anyway, which is the small games space.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Hey guys...as is the case these days, been swamped.
Just wanted to say: HAVE A GREAT THANKSGIVING!
Enjoy all the great things you have...I know I will!
And WHATEVER systems you've got, find a great game and dig in. One of the great pleasures of Thanksgiving is all the great games that hit the weeks/days prior to the long weekend.
In the past, my Thanksgiving games have been:
Diddy Kong Racing
Now it's all about me deciding if I am gonna try to finish GEARS OF WAR or jump into OKAMI, FF, or BULLY!
Gotta run, be safe, have fun, and I'll chat with you guys after the break (i.e. start of next week)!
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Overall it was a really fun party and a great time. I had never been to the mansion and knew I'd kick myself if I didn't take the opportunity. I almost didn't go as it was raining in San Diego yesterday and the freeway was jammed and I was almost like: screw it.
But something in the back of my head was like: dude, in 50 years someone will ask if you ever went to the mansion and you'll kick yourself if you have to say: nope, missed my chance.
So I turned up my Ipod (new Dixie Chicks, new John Mayer, some new podcasts) and headed north.
Glad I did as man, it was lots of fun.
Here's me and Scott Campbell (Incognito) chomoping on some stogies and having a total Entourage moment. Save for the fact that we don't have an entourage...but what the hell.
Here is me with some bunnies:
So they really do have the bunnies around the party, taking pics, giving tours, and in general being very nice and friendly. It's pretty clear they are 'doing a job', much like the E3 booth models but it's still pretty cool.
Ok, so the GROTTO really does exist. And they really do have naked women swimming around in there. I don't want to think about all the sex that has gone on in that pool over the years. I sure as shit would not jump in. Well...ok, maybe I would. I don't know...I'm torn :)
The POINT is: naked playboy playmates in the water! Very neat! Here are some blurry, hard to make out pictures I took with my cell:
This one above is hard to make out...naked woman with a beach ball and a drink...man I need a new phone!
So THIS one above is my fave...two very beautiful women swimming together. They were hamming it up for the crowd, making out together. It was sweet. But there was something very HARD ROCK CAFE about it all, as well. It was like the whole thing is a bit more like a tourist trap than the REAL DEAL...I mean Hef does still live there (not that we saw him)and there are bunnies around and stuff...but it felt...like the energy you associate with Playboy, the sexual charge, the hedonistic lifestyle...it all felt manufactured. Fun, but not real. It was like the real debauchery was happening in some hidden underground club in Mid-Wilshire; or at some movie director's house hidden deep in the Hollywood Hills.
But what do you expect? If there really was a wild and crazy party spot, it's not like game biz folks would even know where it was! At least MOST of us. It's not like we- in the biz- are known for lavish, wild, out of control parties....or lifestyles, for that matter. You may not have heard, but quite a few of us are nerds (and proud of it, thanks very much).
But hell/still, maybe we should recruit an industry person to be the keeper of the one, totally crazy ass party that gets held every year. Where coke is being snorted off the bodies of $10,000 a night hookers, people are crashing exotic sports cars...that kind of stuff. I have some folks in mind who would be perfect to hold such a shindig...but I ain't telling you who!
Hell, maybe there already IS such a party and I just never get invited?!?! Oh, the shame!
Ah well...what else happened?
So I get drunk and Jeff 'let's fuck with Jaffe's career' Resse- who is a MARKETING guy- brings me in front of the gametrailers.com cameras and we just go at it, tossing insults, doing a totally drunk interview, screaming at the camera (I think at one point I told EGM to fuck off for calling me THE KING OF BULLSHIT in this month's Q-MAN!)...it was total fun and I'm sure I've just made like 100 more people on the message boards hate me because of it. Ah well :) Watch for it....I hope they do some editing! Be nice, Gametrailers!
But overall it was a great, great party. I met tons of nice folks, saw a number of old friends, and just dug having a guys nite out (smokes, drinks, naked women all around, and lots of laughs). I also met a good number of people who are fans of the work we've done over the years and that is always nice. It's always nice to know that our work has really meant something to people...how cool is that?
Ok, so I gotta get going with the day. Let me leave you with this last pic which I think- for so many reasons- has to go down as the creepiest picture I've ever been involved with. I look just strange...the woman behind me- who was really nice and sweet- looks freaky...is she scared? Confused? Mischevious? I have no clue...and the whole composition is just odd...whatever.I hate this pic....but I hate it so much I wanted to share!
Here it is:
What the fuck, right?
Anyway, talk to you guys later!
And thanks again GAMETRAILERS.COM for the great party...
ps. gametrailers.com has put up a new CALLING ALL CARS trailer...It's not my fave as I still don't like the video footage captured...but it's decent. The next one I am gonna make sure we get some better footage in...whatever. Check it out and let me know what you think! Thanks!
Friday, November 10, 2006
EDIT: Oh COOL! I just signed into the Playstation Network for the first time so Adam and I could go online with CALLING ALL CARS! and do multiplayer on ps3 (we've been doing net games on PC for awhile). So ANYWAY, since I'm one of the first people IN THE WORLD to sign up, I got my pick of ANY FUCKING user name I want! No more of this SPIDERMAN432 or INDIANAJONES324! Fuck that! Bad news is, before I realized it, I entered sweettooth....which is ok, but I want INDIANAJONES!!! Now I just gotta figure out how to change it before I am stuck with sweettooth...which I would not mind, but hey, I got all the choices in the world!!!
Swamped at work these days, not much time to post.
So some quick, quick hits:
DEMS WIN: Thank God, man! That's all I have to say. I'm no Democrat but hell, it's time for change in this country (and the world) and so sweet to see alot of the corrupt neocon Republicans get the boot. And no more Rumsfeld! Sweet! I'd like to see the Dems keep both houses and then get a smart pres in for 08...I'd go for Mcain or Obama at this point. Anyway...sweet!
RUMSFELD: I have NO issues LOOKING INTO impeaching Bush and no issues LOOKING INTO bringing Rumsfeld up on charges for some of how he ran the war (and Abu Ghraib)...but there is something odd and just wrong- to me- about GERMANY bringing Rumsfeld up on charges...To very badly paraphrase Bill Maher: he may very well be a criminal but he's OUR criminal...let us deal with him.
XMAS MUSIC: I know, I know it's November 10th but hell, I just can't stop listening to it. I went to get my wife some stuff at BATH AND BODY WORKS the other day and the store was already decked out and blasting the Xmas tunes and hell, I went and caught the fever. Walk into my office these days and there's a 95% chance I'll be listening to this:
GEARS OF WAR: Have not gone online yet (I hear online is where it's at)...but the first 15 minutes of the single player I was like: meh...what's the big deal? But then something happened, but now I LOVE it. At first I was like: eh, it's a souped up, sweet looking Kill.Switch. But then- after they got the training out of the way- it really takes off! It really is a blast and a testament to the idea of how great it is- in a game design- where you drill down to one core idea and make that one core idea better than anyone else ever has. Amazing game and again, I have not even tried multi-player!
OLD TOWN SAN DIEGO- Anyone been? Taking my wife tomorrow on our weekly date and I was wondering what to see, where to eat, etc...or is it just too toursity to bother?
CONCEPT ART- Hey, here's some more sweet John Wu concept art from CALLING ALL CARS! I love this stuff! Check it out:
Ok, I know Borat is in line to be almost as over quoted as Napoleon Dynamite and Austin Powers but hell...I can't help it. I've loved him since the HBO show...
Anyone, gotta go. Got a new build of the game coming and we gotta get to playing!
Have a great weekend ya'll!
Monday, November 06, 2006
So hey, I am glad I don't own an ATV as I would be out riding the dunes 2-3 times/month. It's that much fun...even tho I was sore as hell the day after, I still wanted to get right back on the thing the very next morning!
But man, I flipped the dam 600 pound thing my first time out, I just don't trust myself on them. So I don't see this being a full time hobby cause I know I'd hit a rock just wrong or take a slope too fast and do some serious damage to myself. But man, was it fun!
Here's some shots!
Here's me and some of the key folks from Incognito. Scott Campbell- who runs the joint- is taking the pic. That's his son, Jake, there on the far right- in the yellow. Keep an eye on him...he's gonna be a superstar game designer one day.
Me and Kellan Hatch (where the pilot in Warhawk got his name) and Michael Jackson (different one) with the ATV's behind us.
Here's just some riding shots of the day:
And here are some shots of me and Kellan after we flipped our ATVS! Man, we got lucky...people do some serious damage on these things....someone was looking out for us that day, that is for sure!
Ok, just wanted to share! See, game making ain't all long hours and crazy stress! Sometimes it's really fun!!!
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Well Criminal Crackdown is no more :(
The TITLE, that is :)
You can see the game's new name up there in the image above.
So what happened?!?
We were in a mad rush to reveal the game at GAMER'S DAY a few weeks back and all the legal checks had not yet come down giving us permission to use that name. Unlike some other companies that seem to have no problem giving their games titles that SOUND pretty darn close to other games, Sony likes to give us as much room as possible between our game names and other game names. Which is nice. But challenging as well because there have been ALOT of video games made over the last 30-35 years so it makes it tough to find a name that is fresh and appropriate and fun, while at the same time being something that will not get you thrown into a court room.
This kind of name changing happens all the time with game makers. It's just somewhat rare for it to happen in the public eye (there's that phrase again!)...
But, for example, TWISTED METAL was going to be called: URBAN ASSAULT...then it was going to be called CARS AND ROCKETS...then it was going to be called HIGH OCTANE.
GOD OF WAR went by the name DARK ODYSSEY for at least 2 years before we settled on the final title.
End of the day, the name really- to me- does not matter. A name (just like the cover of a classic album) takes on value and meaning when it is associated with a product people really love.
I remember lots of folks were like: JET MOTO!?!? What the hell is that supposed to mean? But it was a great game (I think) and the title grew to mean something great to thsoe players who loved the series.
So with ALL that said, Criminal Crackdown is dead. I assume it's because MS has a very sweet looking game called CRACKDOWN coming out and the titles were just too close for comfort...but I am just guessing.
I wonder if we'll also have to change the title of GOD OF WAR 2 to something else since GOD OF WAR 2 sounds a bit too much like GEARS OF WAR? We'll see.
So Criminal Crackdown was rejected. So we struggled with all kinds of names...names like: CRAZY CROOKS; ROBBERS ON THE RUN; FELONY FRENZY, and on and on and on.
We hated them all.
Then Adam- one of the designers on the title- came up with the title that stuck. And I love it. I love it more that Criminal Crackdown. I think it just fits better.
CALLING ALL CARS.
So there ya go. Let us know what you think!
Oh, and Happy Halloween! Be safe and have fun! I can't wait to take the girls out tonite. One is The Cat In The Hat and the other is a pumpkin! I LOVE the fact that my oldest girl is a character in a book versus a character from a movie or tv show. Go reading!
Ok, gotta go work!
Monday, October 30, 2006
I was talking to my wife this weekend about how bummed I was that I'm very quickly becomming one of the most hated men in video games.
I told her: I just don't get it. I try to do interviews and blog in the same way I talk to most people in my real life (i.e. being a pretty nice guy, when I'm not ultra stressed out). And yet, more and more, I'm seeing people who are like: FUCK JAFFE! HE'S AN ASS!
Now, sure, some of that is to be expected. When you are in a public role, you can't escape it. And when you pursue a public role (like I have), you're really just asking for it. And when you pursure a public role where MOST of the folks who buy your products are avid net users, you are pretty much fucked no matter which way you slice it.
Now yeah, you gotta chalk some of it up to the fact that some folks are just little babies who will complain and bitch about ANYTHING as long as they can do it hidden behind a stupid-ass user name. That stuff does not bother me in the least. Hell, most times it's kinda of funny (albeit pathetic).
But that's not what is happening here, at least that's not what it feels like. It feels like I've really offended some nice, normal, forward thinking people. And I don't want that; not in my real life, not in my 'public' life. I like gamers alot and feel a strong connection with fellow geeks, with folks who love games and movies and comics. So it bums me out that every step I take these days, I keep putting my foot in my mouth.
So I was talking to my wife about it; about WHY I seem to be doing it....and she really opened my eyes. She's real smart that way :)
I told her: look, I'm just a normal guy who doesn't want to bullshit people and do the PR dance. I want to just express how I really am; what I think. I'm not saying anything that most other geeks don't say when sitting around shooting the shit.
And she says: that's your problem.
And I go: why?
She says: Because you are in the public eye amongst gamers. And you CAN NOT just type and talk when you are in the public eye like you talk to your friends or co-workers. Because, like it or not, what you say carries weight. NOT because what you are saying is necessarily worthy of weight but because you are in the public eye (as far as console video gamers go). And so when you go "Dude, Xbox Live Arcade is lame compared to Sony's Downloadable Games", this is 100% fine to do sitting around, shooting the shit with your buddies. Everyone does it. You may not even mean what you are saying, but are saying it for the hell of it; to get a rise out of someone you know is a hard core Xbox fan. Again, this is totally fine with your friends. But when you do it on a blog or in an interview, it comes across as being more than just shooting the shit; or taking the piss out of the competition. It comes across as REAL. And that is why people are getting upset. They don't view you as a guy just sitting around gabbing and tossing off stuff that may be true, may be biased, may be just you goofing around, or may be just you saying something that is true for one day but not true for the next. They view it as the opinion of someone who works for Sony. And to some of those guys, that means war!
She told me she was watching The Dixie Chicks on Oprah and the lead singer- who said the Dixie Chicks were ashamed of Geroge Bush- didn't get why she could not just express her opinion like everyone else. And hearing that, it was clear to me why I've made a bit of a mess of things in regards to whatever public image I may have. It's because I really did just want to be 100% me with everyone. And that's a nice wish. But now I see that it's naive to assume that you can do that when you are NOT just a guy hanging out at Taco Bell while bitching about the latest game release or the latest hardware slip up.
When the spotlight is on you, I guess- within reason- you do need to put on a bit of a show. Nothing fake, no lies. But you need to realize that what you say is never a tossed aside flip comment. Whatever you say lives on.
So new leaf time for Jaffe, folks.
I'll never lie and never sell you bullshit. Ever. I just don't want to be a part of that. But I will hold my tounge more often than I used to and I will think before I speak/type. And not because I want to come across as a likable guy. But because it's the right thing to do. And because I LIKE gamers and even if they don't like the games I make, I want most of them to like me. Because we are brothers in our geekdom, I feel. We all love games and comics and movies and we should all be getting along alot better than we do and saving our real hatred for those folks that really deserve it: the jocks.
I'm kidding! Jeeze, I'm kidding!
Ok, back to work!
ps. and if you happen to be someone reading this who works for a gaming web site, please for the love of God, do NOT make this into a news story. I mean, it's your job so if you think it's news, go ahead. I guess that's part of it too. For some reason, some sites out there insist on turning 80% of my posts into news stories. And I guess I need to be ok with that as well and know that this is always a possibility.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Ok, so this hits on Joystiq today:
It's basically a summary from an article I did with N'gai, the longtime tech reporter (and all around nice guy) from Newsweek. I really appreciate they failed to put a link to the actual article on their site. At least I think they did, I may have missed it.
...here's the ACTUAL article, not an out of context rehash of it:http://ncroal.talk.newsweek.com/default.asp?item=243757
And here is my response to the whole thing, if you care about such things:
Wow...I just can't win. But that's cool. I can appreciate how I may have come off as an ass, especially in this somewhat out of context verson of what I actually said to N'gai (and what N'gai actually printed)....for what it's worth (and you can see proof of this by clicking the link to the newsweek site), the gist of it was:
I think BIG epic games (besides mentioning GOW, I also mentioned FALL OF MAN, GT, and one other one) are LIKE Operas (story; music; spectacle; special fx;etc) COMPARED to these smaller games for XBOX LIVE and SONY PS3...to me, the smaller games are LIKE pop songs. And then I explained that there are great pop songs and there are shit pop songs. The great pop songs are from bands like THE BEATLES and ROLLING STONES and the shit ones tend to come from folks like Ashlee Simpson. I then made a CORRECT comparison saying XBOX LIVE ARCADE (which- by the way- I said I LOVED) was more like an oldies station. And it is...I pay my cash/year for the service, I deserve the right to have an opinion. And my opinion is that the VAST majority of games on the service are OLDIES, classics from the arcade days long gone by. Doesn't make them bad but they ARE OLDIES. And I was explaining how Sony downloadable games are putting the focus on NEW games AND older games.
I DID kinda take a jab at some of the newer games on XBLA and say they are like ASHLEE SIMPSON. That was just me mouthing off and cracking a joke and not realizing how shitty and petty it sounded until I saw it in print. I dig castle crashers (and I've played it as we had an early version in the office); I LOVE UNO; and GEO WARS is one of the best games of last year. So yeah, sorry to those folks on those teams who took offense. But my oldie comment still stands as so many of the games we get on Wednesdays tend to be old games. Hard to say that is not true.
And no, I don't think my games are as good as the Beatles, I don't think GOD OF WAR is perfect (I said that in the N'gai interview), and I don't think I'm the shit. I am just a guy doing the best work he can who has enough of a self-esteem to feel that my opinion is worth expressing when asked for it.
So there you go. Hope that helps some of you rational folks get a sense of where I'm coming from. If not, I guess we will never see eye to eye. Please continue to hate me. At least we gave it a shot.
For you irrational folks who are just a bunch of asses, I invite you to go down to the nearest corner and fuck yourself.
Monday, October 23, 2006
I LOVE this image and want to have the whole team sign it when the game is done; have it framed and hung in my office. I think it's so cool.
So the press for the game has been really, really good so far. There have been some folks who are like: what the hell is Jaffe doing?!?! THIS is his follow up to GOD OF WAR!?!?!
But I've been thinking about it and the best way to try to explain it to folks is that sometimes movie actors take a break from making the big epic summer tent pole films and instead do an off Broadway show. They do it to get back to the pure aspects of the craft of acting; to get away from many of the elements of movie making that have little-to-nothing to do with the thing they love the most (i.e. acting). I think this is similar in many ways. I wanted to do this game (and games like it) to speak to the pure designer in me (while also giving players a great time for their money). And some folks get it; but a handful of them don't. And that's too bad and I hope they come around and at least give our game a try at the demo level as we are working really hard to make sure they enjoy it.
On that note, I really appreciate the gamers out there who are like: if it's fun, it's fun...I don't care if it's deep and epic or small and shallow...as long as I'm having a good time. And to me, isn't that the whole point?
Here are some other comparisons about the Sony Downloadable Games service I've tossed to the press in the last week...these are ones that stuck with me as being pretty appropo...I know my analogies get me in trouble but I dig them and hope they help explain where I'm coming from. Worst case, you'll get a laugh!
Games like GOD OF WAR and RESISTANCE are our industry's version of the Opera. Games like CRIMINAL CRACKDOWN and BLAST FACTOR are like our pop songs. And there's nothing wrong with pop songs as long as they are GOOD popsongs (i.e. THE ROLLING STONES vs. JESSICA SIMPSON)...
Games like GOD OF WAR are our epic, summer movies whereas games like CRIMINAL CRACKDOWN and/or flOw are our indi films or our HBO ORIGINAL PROGRAMMING.
Games like GOD OF WAR and DEVIL MAY CRY are our 7 course meals; games like CRIMINAL CRACKDOWN and SWIZZLE BLOCKS are like jumping right to the dessert.
So there ya go...I like those analogies and feel they speak much to how I feel about the whole Downloadable Games section of the Playstation Store.
Ok, need to get back to work. Talk to ya'll soon!
Thursday, October 19, 2006
We announced our new game today: Criminal Crackdown for Sony Downloadable Games Service. I am SO SO SO excited about this game; I am having such fun working on it and it's just great to be able to finally show it off a bit.
People have seemed surprised that I've gone from working on these big epics to making these smaller games but I have to tell you, I am so proud of this game and what this game has the potential to become. It's not going to change the world but I really think it has a good shot at being pure fun. Fun in the way that the original NBA JAM was fun, fun like BOMBERMAN, fun like the first few games in the NFL BLITZ series. Will we be as great as those classics? Man,I wish. BUT that is what we are striving for. Wish us luck!
So here's a link to a clip that explains the game pretty well...It was a shot for me to pitch the title to Sony execs at Tokyo Game Show. I didn't make it and my boss' boss had the idea for me to do this. And me, always looking to be a ham, jumped at the chance to make an ass of myself!
Pleaseforgive the grain, but the actual game runs 1080p at 60fps...the final game is very nice looking....and I have to say, this video- because of the resolution- just doesn't do it justice!