Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Random, Ramblin' Stuff


Coupla media things I wanted to bring to ya'lls attention if you are interested in hearing me gab even more! Check out:

#1- INSOMNIAC PODCAST- I am the mystery guest this week...lotsa fun doing that one! Check it out at:

Click on DOWNLOAD LATEST EPISODE to give it a listen.

#2- ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY INTERVIEW: Wow, I made the big time! Give it a read at:,,20014359,00.html

#3- Finally, a quick interview I did on the floor at GDC with some readers of this blog. Tons o' fun! Check it at:

Ok, back to the blog!


Hey ya'll...been busy trying to lock down CAC with the boyz at Incognito; we are almost done but NOT quite. I will be getting a build in today- I hope!- that has some of the code that we hope will keep scores close without making the players feel much- if anything- is happening behind the scenes. I spoke to some of the guys who worked on the old Midway games that CAC was inspired by (NFL Blitz; NBA JAMS) and it turns out those games had a crap ton of behind the scenes code that kept the games tight. We don't plan on pushing it anywhere near what the older Midway games did but at the same time, our job is to make fun and sometimes fun needs a little push in the right direction :) I may or may not let you know if the 'catch up code' as I call it, actually made it in the game.

Ok, so some random hits...NO time to edit so deal with the typos, bitches!

So the show was great; I loved it; best one I've been to. Often times tho, the quality of GDC has to do with if you get lucky/smart and go to the right panels/roundtables. As I am very passionate these days about the smaller game world, I hit most panels dealing with that and thus, had a great time, learned alot,etc.

Saw a pretty interesting panel from the designer/coder of FIFA 2007 on creating emotions in sports games. Man, I gotta tell you, with all the talk of emotion thru in game characters and plot points and twists and turns, I LOVED this panel cause here was a guy who was like: let's deal with emotion THRU gameplay! Granted the emotions were things like victory, shame, pride, etc. but hell, those are the kind of emotions I think games do really well. So I loved that talk evnn tho it didn't go as deep as I had hoped it would.

Chatted with my buddy Heather Chaplin, one of the co-authors of the great 'behind the scenes of the game biz' book SMARTBOMB. She's always fun to gab with but what was interesting is, as we were discussing games as art- a frequent point of discussion between us- I caught myself saying: yeah, I'm not all that interested in games as art anymore because, honestly, I have nothing to say.

And when I heard myself say this, I was like: is this apathy or maturity?

It's actually a nice place to be, whatever it is. It's nice to care and have an opinion but not be all chomping at the bit and dying to share it with everyone. I mean, sure we could have made Heartland- and may still make it one day- but from a MESSAGE standpoint, what's the point? So here's a game that says: I HATE GEORGE BUSH! I HATE THE IRAQ WAR! I HATE HOW AMERICA HAS LOST ITS REPUTATION AROUND THE WORLD IN THE LAST 6 YEARS,etc,etc,'s what? The folks that agree with me will nod in approval, the folks who don't will call me an ass...and there will be one more opinion out there that we've all been hearing for years. Maybe if I had something NEW to say, something fresh, ok then it makes sense. But I really don't. I just want to make games that make people feel like this:

That is really all I want to do these days....

And it was SO AMAZING to watch folks playing Calling All Cars at GDC and they were pretty much doing what they are in that stock pic above! People always seemed to have smiles on their faces and were laughing and talking smack. It was so nice to know that- for those folks who liked our game- that we did that; that we gave them that feeling! See, to me, that's a damn nice feeling! That's what games do better than any other medium!

So hey, the Game Design Challenge went great! I was REALLY worried about it for like weeks leading up. But it went off great and even tho I came in dead last, I was proud of my entry and thought it was just tons of fun. It's odd...maybe I've just grown up but I generally did not care about losing. It was the first time in my life where the addage 'don't matter if you win or lose, it's how you play the game' really made sense to me. I just really appreciated being there and pitching my stuff!

Here's Eric Zimmerman (Diner Dash fame); Harvey Smith (Deus Ex); Myself; Clint Hocking (Ubisoft Creative Director); and Alexy Pajitnov (Tetris and this year's winner!)


Me and my wife went to Old Town, San Diego this weekend and toured the Whaley House. It's supposed to be one of the most haunted houses in the world and we did see something odd. In the upstairs bedroom we kept seeing this curtain that divided the bedroom and closet move in an odd way. All the windows in the room were closed and the curtains on the windows were not moving at all. Just this one curtain that divided the closet. And it didn't move like it was being blown around, it moved in a stiff, irregular sort of way. The docents of the house say they have heard many people talk about the curtain but I don't know. I want to buy into Ghosts and stuff...I LOVE ghosts! But this curtain seemed almost too constant to be anything supernatural. Has anyone else been to the Whaley house? Anyone seen the curtain moving?

Either way, it got me thinking about how much I love ghosts and stuff. There seems to be a pretty active ghost hunting community here in San Diego and I may just sign up for a tour to go with them on an investigation. I love that stuff man.

PICS: Coupla random pics from my trip and the net I wanted to share:

GANDALFFE? JAFALF? I dunno, but I love it...from the freaks at neogaf, naturally!

Another NEOGAF classic! Man, I wish they had used a new pic as I've lost like 20 pounds since this pic! Still, Jessica's hot so I don't mind as long as she doesn't!

Another JAFFE LOVES HERMINEY (I KNOW!!!) pic from Adam!

SITE FOR SORE EYES! Man, I found this little corner of old arcade games in the Metreon Arcade across from where GDC was being held. It was like stepping back in time; all those old arcade games lines up, a dark little corner. It was like coming back home!

Ok, that's it for now. Gotta get to work! Talk to ya'll soon! Gonna be in Utah next week doing what I feel is our last tuning session. Then I hope to squeeze out ONE more focus test and then that's all she wrote! We'll see how it goes!

Talk to ya'll later! And sorry for the typos...not even gonna re-read this before I post. Too much to do on my TO DO list! See ya!



derrickgott007 said...

Glad to hear that you actually had fun and a good time at the GDC...You really deserved it since its been all work and no play cause that can make Jaffe a dull boy! Haha.

Man I love finding hidden corners in arcades full of vintage games. Thats like hittin the mother load.

So Calling All Cars in about two weeks? I can't wait to play it, and I can't wait to beat you at

thecapps said...

I thought CAC was being released tomorrow. Did the release date get pushed back a couple weeks or was I just wrong?

Anonymous said...

Hilarious pictures.

Anonymous said...


Unknown said...

Hey, this is Anthony from We filmed an interview with you just after the game design challenge. I just wanted to let you know that's it up if you want to take a look.

Also, on the topic of the game design challenge, I have to say yours was the most original use of "Zimmerman's pain in the ass interface" as I think you put it. It's going to be pretty hard to beat the man who made Tetris at anything, but you definately had some ideas the other two entries didn't touch on at all. I definately enjoyed it.

Thanks again for the interview. Take care.


Zodiak said...

Yay more fun photoshoping with Jaffe! Well, kinda like MS Paint lol. Especially that limited edition Dave Jaffe doll! lol. I love all those funny pics.

Glad you had fun over at the GDC! Just as long as the world has video game controllers and can play online, the world is fine for another 2 years!

I'd re-read and send ya the revised version of the blog, but I just got off of work, you're on your own here. lol. take care Dave.

Dustin (Elessar) said...

I never got a chance to say thanks for the Christmas card (i think thats when it arrived) that you sent out a while back.

I was a video of CAC's and it looks it reminded me of my old TMNT game on the gameboy. Completely different gameplay, but it was a blast to pick up and play.

Joel said...

hey, good to hear the works almost done, but im not going to lie.. im a little worried about your choice to add the "handicap" feature to keep games close. it seems like the type of thing that could become extremely frustrating if you cant go into a menu and turn it off.
also.. i hope you guys are adding in some kind of unlockable content.. even if its just the ability to play the game at double speed or something crazy.

also... good to hear you enjoyed the design challenge.. i loved this years design challenge, and i thought your idea was pretty good, although i definetly though the creator of tetris had the best one.

Joe Laurino said...

Good stuff, Jaffe! Loving the Photoshopped pics.

Yeah, I'll agree with you there - GDC this year was phenomenal. I've been friends with Derek Yu (Aquaria) a long, long time, so it was amazing to see him win the big award at IGF.

I agree with you on the other point you've mentioned a couple of times as well - how interesting the independent gaming community is. It's where I came from, and I want to get back to it. I didn't realize how...different the big dogs were until I jumped in on that side of the pool.

Looking very forward to CAC - can't wait to play it! Keep on rockin'!

Also, let's make a ghost hunting game. You and me. Let's DO IT!

Sadeq said...


I'll just order that from amazon right now!

Nice to know you care about games that much, Jaffe.

Just finish CAC already!

Anonymous said...

Hey Jaffe old boy,you know what,my brther just bought youre game and hes playing this verry minute.from what i see it has a lil bit of what the first one had ,and a lotta new cool stuff with a biger bader adventure.And the idea of adding the clash of the titians guy is totaly extreme. P.S Youre pictures crack me up you a funny dude.

Anonymous said...

Dave your the man,and the king and god of all freaking games. P.S YOU ROCK

Anonymous said...

I think youre games are sexy.

Anonymous said...

Hey David, I'm the strange guy who wrestled you on the street in SF outside GDC and forced you to play The Ward on the Nintendo DS! :) Thanks for playing. Drop me a line sometime. Here's my blog:

Anonymous said...

David man,
I can't seem to get a decent, humanized troubleshoot on this issue from SCEA or otherwise, so I'm going right to the man thats behind it all, so to speak.

I've encountered 2 glitches that require a system restart in God of War 2 on my first playthrough. Now don't get me wrong, I'm loving it, but twice in a matter of 2 hours...not normal. Is this common? Maybe Barlog didn't have the same QA you did on GoW1. Who knows, all I know is I just lost another hour of play, already losing 2 before.

Do you know of this being encountered by others?

derrickgott007 said...


Best Mystery guest ever on the Full Moon Show! Awesome info and great conversation....I'd be honored to review every PSN game that you make.

Tapion440 said...

#1 - Damn Insomniac's podcast is long. Interesting to listen to regardless though.

#2 - Speaking of politically story driven games...have you heard about the Blacksite: Area 51? It sounds an aweful lot like what you wanted to do with Heartland. I believe it has both the "fuck Bush" story and a soldier "torn between his professional orders and his own ethical standards" story.(straight from the developers site)

#3 - That short video interview is the first footage I've seen of you in a little while and I must say you look 5 years younger and way healthier. Just my opinion though.

#4 - What no mention of Little Big Planet? I don't see how you couldn't have any thoughts on the game.

Sadeq said...

I would love to play a level in LittleBigPlanet designed by Jaffe (maybe I'm just a little bit ahead of myself here).

Anonymous said...

Miyamoto, was saying that too @ GDC. As far as making games and studying people's reactions to the games.

I dunno it's just weird, because i use to make those faces all the time playimg twisted metal, i don't really make faces that often playing god of war though, but my heart is beating pretty fast, i think co-op play has alot to do with drawing out those emotions of excitement. there's always that almost automatic need to display your emotions when there is someone in the vicinity, although i do remember telling my ps2 to fuck off when battling the kratos clones in god mode.

Anonymous said...

this is totally off topic, but i just have to say that GOW2 is a fucking amazing game. Thank you david, and everyone else that worked on this game. You guys did an unbelievable job. though i wish it supported the better resolution running off of the ps3, but still, from start to finish, this has to be one of the best games i've ever played.
Every step of the way it felt like an epic experience vs. just any other video game. i can't say enough about this game and all the work you guys put into this. it toally shows!
awesome job!

Anonymous said...

*my edit to your edit*

I liked the interviews still gg.

The though of you going independent seems interseting.

GOW the Movie. If its done like an R rated Spiderman it would be great...if it's like all the other game/comics to movies...fuck that. (Ok, I sort of liked parts of DOOM but it's not in my must own library).

I'm liking GOW2 gameplay, not to fond of the 480p on my 46" Bravia. Maybe I've already been spoiled with next gen but the jaggies do seem a little excessive. I'm considering borrowing back one of my PS2's from my kid to see if it's any better on that.

You know I keep hearing you regaurd the story aspect of a game as a nut you havn't cracked. I have to disagree. It's been cracked shelled and eated. Sure there are various nuts and some have yet to be tried but games like God of War, Metal Gear, Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts...that's about as much story as I would ever desire in a game. If I want a great story to immers myself into I'll watch a movie or read a book. That sort of immersion is a passive experiance where you let the story take you away from where you are and what your doing. Gaming is an interactive experiance, Sure I want to "Be Kratos" but I still need to be activly thinking about how to control the game. Interactivity is why I game...I don't want it to be filled with passive experiances.

derrickgott007 said...

I'd pay $5.00 to watch you interview Nolan Bushnell and have him say those Anti-Sony things to you! Geoff was too nice to him. Oh yeah, Nolan Bushnell is a dick....Must be hard for him to talk with Bill Gates ass over his lips.

Toodles said...

Hey, you sounded real purdy on that podcast. :) I especially enjoyed your discussion on the more subtle connotations of "Go Fuck Yourself". Truly, this is the stuff of legends.

Devin Greer said...

Well, it's good to see that at least you're still alive, Cory and Derek on the other hand... seem to have died...

Anonymous said...

OH NO, Computer Assistance!!!

Dave, PLEASE, if possible, allow us to turn the Computer Assistance off. That was an option in most of the Midway Arcade ports, and could be turned off on the arcade versions of NBA Jam and Hangtime (it was called 'Tournament Mode') Please please please allow it to be turned off.

Anonymous said...

I've just listened to insomaniac podcast. Great interview Jaffe. Glad you like old cool 16bit arcade titles. If you'd really focus on making new arcadish games for PSN it would be great. Like reborn of 16bit fun. Good luck. Can't wait when CAC will hit Euro PSN.

felman said...

Jaffe, what is up with Sony? Do they not care about exclusives? I mean, why does Sony act like they don't care if exclusives go to the 360? I don't care about blu-ray, I want games. I bought my PS1 for games, same for PS2 and I bought my PS3 for the kickass games but if all those games go to the 360, then what's the point? Aren't you worried about the prospect that the PS3 could become like the dreamcast? Is there a trump card up their sleeve that when unveiled will tip the scales in their favor?

Anonymous said...

My name is Jeremy Carr and I wanted to leave a comment regarding the God of War movie. When I first played God of War I knew that it would make a great movie and I think that Robert Rodriguez(Sin City) would be a great director for it. Hope you like that idea. Let me know if you need an extra person working in production on that : )
Jeremy Carr
Genius Artists & Entertainment LLC

Joel said...

i agree with whoever it was that posted above.. you REALLY need to talk more about LittleBigPlanet, and maybe about what ideas you've taken away from it, that you might like to implement in a future game.

namely.. the community sharing and ranking system. thats really got my eye. (my inner designer, you know)

also.. just wanted to leave you a note saying Kotaku just posted a gameplay video of CAC they got from GDC. it had what seemed like placeholder music, not at all like the other music i'd heard before.. i'd be interested to hear your comments about that vid, or AT LEAST just let you go there and read peoples reactions, i know you liked doing that.

derrickgott007 said...

I agree with JOEL....I saw that video too and was going to say something about it...They bitched about the music, but thats not even the music from the game!

Also, how did Little Big Planet play? Cause I can shine up a turd, but it will still smell like shit.

Anonymous said...

I gained a good appreciation for small games when I took a class with my professor Brenda Brathwaite and we had a good discussion on gamers in general. And she kinda reinforced the idea that there are people that play video games often that don't consider themselves gamers at all. And its probally is more popular than video games like God Of War, Civilization, Madden, GTA, ect.

But really these games can be family oriented, can be loads of fun. My mother which used to think video games were too complicated now plays stuff like pac-man racing and super mario racing with my nephew and I go on her comptuer to clean out all the spyware and adware and I find polar bear bowling among other things. Of course if you'd ask her if she is a gamer she would say no, but if you think about it she kinda is because she will play them with my nephew and have a little fun then she will get on her laptop and play some smaller puzzle games.

But even though your not making games for art, the game itself is always art. At least thats my opinion. It doesn't matter if its has a beautiful 3-D environment with amazing cinematics, a re-invented pac-man, or just a video poker game. You have to create the artwork, the interface and program it to work a certain way and usually it gets somewhat similar effects from people. Just like a painter has to paint an image to have the veiwer experience an emotion game designers create art you can touch, play with and become a part of in some instances. Maybe I sound like a idealistic nutjob but really its difficult for me to convince myself otherwise... feel free to chime in if you dont agree as I like hearing different ideas.

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