Monday, October 23, 2006

BIRTH OF AN ARCADE GAME

I always love seeing concept art from the old ATARI games. They were such simple titles that the designs were usually 2-5 page pamphlets with little sketches on them vs. full blow design docs. And sure enough, as we began the work for CRIMINAL CRACKDOWN, we found ourselves working in the same way. Here's some work from one of our AMAZING concept artists on the game, John Wu.

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!

David

13 comments:

Dutch DeGay said...

Dave,

Bottomline is an artist its all about branching out and trying new things. I can only hope that you bring the mind that created the epic GOW to this new game. We all enjoy a good game no matter what the genre.

I totally agree with concept art too. I love our engineer drawings when they're working on new stuff.

Dutch
www.thedigitalblast.com

da criminal said...

Thanks Dutch!

Great to talk to you again!

Hope all is well!

David

Spencer Wasden said...

Hey David...Glad your back!

I was very skeptical when I first saw Xbox360Live Arcade and the games you could play. Little did I know I would be spending about half my time playing little games like Outpost Kaloki X and Cloning Clyde (with my wife) as I do playing Epic’s like Oblivion.

As Dutch said it is good you are branching out and creating things you enjoy because I believe others won’t find enjoyment from a project you didn’t have fun creating.

Best of luck on Criminal Crackdown...I hope you and Incog can create 1 or 2 more of these babies in the future because this one is looking great!

Spencer

Anonymous said...

Good analogies, much more on point and understandable than Kojima and his wacky ones.

I like desert.

It's my favorite part of the meal.

:)

Anonymous said...

That concept art is terrifc. It's like a comic book page. So cool. Can you make prints of it for your fans?

Arnaldo Licea said...

Everybody needs to go back to the roots of what they do once in a while and to a point ignore current trends and what gamers think they want in a game, and just make something pure and true to their craft.

Arnaldo

Dutch DeGay said...

Dave,

Just damn glad to see you're still making games. We were worried there for a while.

Dutch
www.thedigitalblast.com

Joey Spiotto said...

Looks like a really fun back to basics game! Lookin forward to it :)

sugarhigh4242 said...

I just wish this game weren't coming at the expense of HL.

I was really looking forward to seeing your work on the PSP, which Sony in general seems to be losing focus on.

ArchMagnus said...

David as a Gamer I love everything from the Epic (7 course meals) to the Deserts (Lumines)...

I'm psyched to try Criminal Crackdown...It looks like a Blast!

Think you'll ever do another Epic title someday? The Media says you've stated you wouldn't...But they can be wrong. Thanks,

~Joe Thompson

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