Monday, January 08, 2007

PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN

Calling All Cars tuning kicks into overdrive this week as I head out to burden the talented folks at Incognito with my oh-so-wonderful presence! We've got a 3 day tuning spree set to start Wednesday and before that gets going, I need to get my crap ton of notes together and whittle down only the most important aspects that I really want to see addressed. Time is almost out and the game- in my mind- is getting there but is still 'not yet ready for prime time'. The thing about these pure mechanic driven games- I am finding- is that all it takes is a push in this direction, a tweak in that direction (i.e. adjusting a camera; speeding up the turn rate on a car) and it either all falls apart or comes together. One little decision, and your game can come alive!

Unlike GOD OF WAR where every sequence could be judged- to an extent- on its own (outside of the overall experience), with a game like CALLING ALL CARS there are probably 15-20 knobs we can adjust in tuning that have a profound affect on the entire title. Hell, those knobs- and the elements they affect- ARE the entire title! The good news is that we have until end of this month (give or take) to find that combonation of knobs. The bad news is- in my mind- we have not found it yet.


Here is a screen shot of just SOME of the issues that are left to be dealt with.It's a screen capture for MS Excel, the program I type all my tweaks into...

I am confident that we will end up with a great game, but that still doesn't soften the blow of seeing our game previewed in EDGE magazine yesterday.

I LOVE Edge magazine; I get it from Barnes & Noble each and every month and if it were a girl, I'd have a crush on it. I get giddy when I know it's coming in; I love the fucking SMELL of it; the glossy pages and great, great writing. Ahh, Edge!

But so they had a preview of alot of the PS3 games, and Calling All Cars was in there. And I know the version they previewed. It was a version that- trust me- didn't have ANY of the knobs tuned. They were not mean to it; they were not super kind to it. It was a just a standard preview. But it sucks because I KNOW we could have given them a better copy if we had known it was for preview in a major magazine. But alas we didn't know and chose to- development wise- focus on other aspects of the game.

But that's ok, more for them to love- we hope!- when the final game does hit.

So speaking of PS3, I played ALOT of PS3 this weekend. I finally had some time to spend with the consumer model and I have to say, I am really impressed. If you can, forget that I WORK for Sony. And try to remember that on more than one occasion I have professed a love for my 360 and my excitement about getting a Wii (if I can ever find one). These are NOT fanboy rants.

Keep those things in mind when I tell you that I played lots of Resistance, GO! SUDOKU, and GRIPSHIFT and had a blast; that I surfed the web on my PS3 and really dug the experience (although, how the FUCK do I resize the screen so it all fits on my SD tv screen?!?). There's something different about the PS3 than the 360...it's a real difference but I can not figure out what it is. There IS an elegance about the PS3 that is missing from the more workhorse, blue collar (in a great way!) 360 experience. Sure, I wish some of the amazing games I've seen behind closed doors would be OUT already! And I wish the stuff we have all seen (Motorstorm; Heavenly Sword;MGS4) would be out already...but on first blush- as just a consumer- I have to say, I'm excited about this system. And when I hook it up to my new 1080p Bravia, I'm sure it'll get even better! I LOVE how I can go from a blu-ray game, to a downloaded game, to messaging people on my buddy list, to surfing the web all in the same session...and imagining doing all that in 1080p (when my living room gets set up) is like: sweet! So it was a good time and I'm looking forward to more PS3.

Ok, so finally, I found this link and wanted to share.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=PxRldrBqEzk

This is a clip of Steven Spielberg in a hotel room, talking about the future of cinema. He comes in about 10 seconds into the clip, so give it a sec.

So he's around 34,35 in this clip. And he seems VERY rough around the edges. He says SHIT for God's sake! This is a man who, publicly, NEVER curses. And hell, is this the Spielberg of Saving Private Ryan and the Shoah foundation talking about MASTURBATION!?!? My goodness, it is!

Compared to how the guy seeems now, this guy is the life of the party. Toss him a lampshade!

These days Spielberg seems...well, boring. His movies are- while stunning on some level- a bit boring as well. He seems so much more interested in being earnest and having something important to say; having something to leave behind. But even with all that good stuff, he's become- to me- a pretty big drag. I don't know the man personally, but as a public figure, he just seems to be...not real, anymore. He seems like a walking ICON versus a person.

But it's nice to see ol' Stevie back in the day, when he was clearly- to me- full of piss and vinegar and passion....and he seemed like a real guy you could hang out with. Maybe this fades with age, maybe it will fade for me as well. I hope not but maybe that's just life.

Even so, I dug this. If any of you are old time Spielberg fans (like me), you may as well.

Ok, off to work! Gotta get to tuning!

David

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

If spielberg didn't stop cursing publically and didn't evolve I would have been worried. Sadly, yes, Spielberg has gotten boring and too involved with trying to say something or wave some flag in his movies, but at least he's changed. A fan can map his progress as an artist and say that he evolved. I think that's really important if an artist is to have a lasting effect on an audience. I tend to believe, in most cases, that the same trick never works twice unless the culture in which that trick was engaged hasn't evolved.

Good luck with the tweaking. I hope to be playing a PS3 when I can afford one for real. I sold the one I got myself for Christmas when I realized what kind of Christmas present debt I had been running up and realized that PS3 doesn't have any great games out right now...I'm sad, but I had to be practical.

I'm looking forward to Calling All Cars, GOW2...and GOW3! :)

da criminal said...

Agree with you on the whole 'evolve or die' idea, Eric. The issue I have is, in my opinion Spielberg has evolved into a dull, boring movie maker. You can still see the amazing command he has over the craft in everything he does; all of his films still have those unforgettable movie moments (the bathtub filled with yoy airplanes in CATCH ME IF YOU CAN; the blood mixing with the milk in MUNICH; the scene with the mirror and the eyeball thingy in the basement in WAR OF THE WORLDS)...but those moments live in movies that are dull looking and just plain dull in general.

But I also get- and can relate in some way- to what you are saying as well.

Anonymous said...

I loved parts of MUNICH as well. Spielberg doesn't have those moments when he's not trying to hammer home a message...and I think that's his problem: his craft has evolved to the point in which it's meddled to his persona and, as an icon for filmmakers, he probably feels impelled to have an important message in all his new movies. I say: give me Indy and whip it up!
Hopefully Indy 4 will see a return to Spielberg as a director, not a film maker....that said the very fact I long for the Indy-kind of movie from Spielberg makes him a more powerful artist in my mind. I actually noticed when his work started to suffer or evolve or suck...I still care about his work and it matters. That's what keeps the persona and the work alive, no?


BTW, Ooo, can you open that folder that says "PS3 Builds" and grab and post another screen?!? Thanks! :)

I love that you're thinking about little details like the sound efx. Those things are so critical to making the gameplay feel real.

Anonymous said...

oops...I meant to type "Spielberg DOES have those moments when he's not trying to hammer home a message..."

Andy Capps said...

Agree with you on the Spielberg thing. His latest movies always seem to be too preoccupied with having a "happy ending." I've got to say that there are lots of times where I'd like to say a sad, depressing ending that actually flows well and makes sense, but mainstream movie goers would probably not "get it." Haven't seen Munich yet, but wanted to. War of the Worlds was pretty good, Tim Robbins had a great performance, and Tom Cruise actually did pretty well in it.

About how to get the web browser on the PS3 to fill the whole screen, try pushing in R3. That should do the trick. I believe if you press L3 it brings up a zoomed out view of all your open windows and you can then scroll and select which window you want to view. I hear you on the PS3 thing, I'm loving mine so far. Been playing Resistance: FOM, Ridge Racer 7, Gripshift demo, Motorstorm demo. Looking forward to a Calling all Cars demo when you're able to get out one.

Jack V. said...

Haven't the time to watch the video, but will tomorrow.

You mentioned you're looking forward to Heavenly Sword. Since it's been compared to God of War umpteen billion times, do you have any specific opinion on that? Do you think it's an accurate comparison, or just the sort of thing anyone would say about a game where the swords are on chains?

Jees, I'm sounding like a gorram journalist. Sorry, but that's looking like a must-have title for me, and so I'm interested in what other devs think about it.

da criminal said...

I jazzed about H-Sword. Played it at E3 and really loved it. Have not seen anything beyond the E3 demo but it was sweet! Loved the combat, loved the graphics...think the main hero is pretty interesting...so I'm looking foward!

Dutch DeGay said...

You know, I use to revere Spielberg as the superhuman director who had great vision and could make a movie like no other.....and then came "War of the Worlds"!

As far as I'm concerned, he's done.

Dutch
www.thedigitalblast.com

Arnaldo Licea said...

I don't see how exactly Spielberg has changed because I wasn't around for his early days but I kinda see what you mean. I think that he feels like he has nothing more to prove because he's synonymous with film directing. When he was young, he was "hungry" and wanted to prove himself and was more of a visionary (?).

I need to get a PS3, but I don't feel that there are enough good games out to justify a $600 purchase. I might get it in March when Motorstorm, Heavenly Sword, and Calling All Cars are out.

-Arnaldo

Anonymous said...

Has anyone else read this?

http://www.collisiondetection.net/mt/archives/2007/01/in_the_vc_condi.html#comments

Anonymous said...

I dont think that Speilberg has so boring as I think Hollywood and the film making community in general has evolved to become more like speilberg and embrace his style of moviemaking.
The "Pirates" movies, LOTR Movies, and most recently the Earagon movies all try to emulate Speilberg, maybe not quite as well as in story telling but' in visuals definitely (with the exception of the storytelling in regards to LOTR).

Anonymous said...

Darn... Im always like 11 or 12th at posting i meen i check this blog a good 1-3 times a day for updates and the one tie i dont BAM :P I personally like alot of steven speilbergs older films such as jaws one of my favorites :P Read and article on GAMESPY about MK2 coming out the PS network


Woo...Just a question what had heard is there is no E32007 how do you feel about that? anyone

PlayStation Museum said...

Well, lets see how Spielberg handles Transformers. I saw the previews and it does look pretty good in a 'war of the worlds' sort of way.

I have to be honest, I have never played GOW. In fact, I don't even own a PS2 anymore. When the next PS2 price cut happens, I'll probably buy one and GOW will be the first game I buy. For now, I'm having too much fun with PS1 (still). Watch my blog for some exclusive screenshots of an unreleased shooter....it'll make you cry when you can't understand why this game was never released.

Anonymous said...

They said "when you're green you grow".
I think Spielberg now has about 2 billion dollars of fortune so his passion and ideas for movies are kinda waning.

Spencer Wasden said...

If you need a gamer guest to test/play CAC to find some of the tuning issues for a little while when you’re out here in SLC...let me know. It might help find some of the tuning issues while watching a n00b. I know-I know it’s unlikely to happen, but you never know until you ask...? :)

spencer_wasden@hotmail.com

As for Stephen Spilburg...we can only hope Indy 4 is the movie that Spielberg and Lucas can look back and say: “We still got it Bitches!!!”

Anonymous said...

Yo Jaffe, Calling all Cars looks ok but please no more racing games!
I wish you guys were making a platformer for PSN.

NO FEAR said...

Interesting clip. To say Steve has matured with age is a nicer way to put it but I see your point. I like his work still. Maybe we have reach a point when trying to hit all those bullet points in a movie is no longer new and exciting.

I liked War of the Worlds and though it worth buying but it wasn't the best remake I have ever seen. I've been a Peter Jackson freak since LOTR and thought Kong was a great retelling.

To back peddle to your intro with CAC.

You got a GAP beta tester sitting right here ready and willing to give you a report.

One of the things I hope Sony takes advantage of with the PS3 is more Beta Testing with secured network downloads rather than the Fed-ex CD that always seems to find it's way on ebay or in the hands of a 10 year old.

We cound give you our survey report then we could download a tweak and tell you what we thing....Make it happen Dave : )

Again I'm gonna say if you like the PS3 on the SD OMG your gonna freak over the 1080p. On the wide screen you can hit triangle and select the view from there but some pages still don't fill the screen because that is the way the html was coded, like some text doesn't change even if you increase the text size.

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