Monday, April 30, 2007


Jesus, that last post generated a lot more shit than I had intented.

Appreciate all the kind words that came in; hell even the 'fuck you jaffe' posts were fine. Everyone is welcome, pull up a seat :)

Latest Reviews:

IGN: 8.5/10
GAMEZONE: 84/100
1UP: 8/10
GAMESPOT: 67/100

Overall, not too bad. Still pretty happy with where we are so far. Real eager to see what the buying public thinks of our game tho. As much as we care about official reviews, it's the reviews of the buying public that matter most to us.


Not much to say tonight, just wanted to move that last post down a notch so we could talk about something else. As I've said before, I am ok with all the hate and shit that goes on here from the standpoint of: I'm not taking the time to delete it. I don't have the time or interest in being a moderator. But I do have to say, man, there are some angry, pissed off, sad motherfuckers out there, ain't there? And not just at me. Some real nice people post in the comments and man, some ass holes just come out of the woodwork to tear them apart. Makes me wish the last scene in JAY AND SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK could really happen in real life.


I will say this tho, when I think about it. I am torn about reviews of these sorts of games. Getting the gamespot review really made me think. And before any of you cowards who don't post your real fucking names tell me that I should stop crying, here's a big, juicy: 'GO FUCK YOUR MOTHER UP HER JIGGLY ASS TWAT' for you. Go ahead: Take it; that's right, it's just for you! So take it and shove it up your ass there real good! :)

Cause jeeze man, what am I supposed to be? A fucking robot? I make games for a living, we care if people like what we do. We are not perfect, our games are not perfect (even the ones that score 10/10) and it sucks when people don't love our stuff as much as we had hoped. Why is that such a sign of weakness to some of you pricks? I swear I don't know. But either way, I can live with you asshats if you can live with me.

But onto the topic on my mind...and yes, it still has to do with reviews of small games. Not my own, just the idea in general:

Do you guys think every game needs to be:

a- reviewed on if it achieved its purpose and intent and provides what it sets out to do? Assuming what it sets out to do is at least semi-noble in some way (and hell, even then)? I mean, I love DUMB AND DUMBER and I love GOODFELLAS. Only a fool would say D&D is the 'better' movie...but when I want to laugh and cut loose and watch stupid shit, D&D is towards the top of the list. So do I rate that movie lower than GOODFELLAS or do I rate it amongst other movies like D&D (i.e. Something About Mary, for example).

b- Reviewed as a game, no matter the intent, or cost to the consumer? I think a good case can be made that games are games and they could all be lumped together as fun can be found anywhere, no matter the cost to the player or cost to the dev team/publisher. Uno to me on XBLA is more fun than 80% of the retail disc based games I've purchased this year.

This is what I wonder...I can see the point of both sides and I just don't know.

Someone else posted on the blog that they could get a 5 dollar bargin bin game that USED To be 60 bucks with more content than 99% of the XBLA/PSN titles so why should a game like CAC be 10 bucks? It's a good question I guess. I mean, by that logic tho, is the XBLA/PSN biz model broken? One guy a long time ago posted that it should be like arcades or porn token sites where you buy tokens and don't buy the games but just plunk in 25-50 cent tokens to get a single play. Maybe that would go down easier for some folks. I could support that model as a player.

Anyway, gotta go. Chat with you guys later.


Saturday, April 28, 2007

MY RESPONSE TO GAMESPOT (and the reviews in general)


The nice thing about having a blog, is I can review the reviews! :)


As of now, here’s what we’re looking at:

IGN: 8/5/10
1UP: 8/10
GAMESPOT: 6.7/10

The first two I can live with, they feel fair and make sense. I am very, very proud of those reviews. Although, I have to say, when I hear the 1up guys on the podcast saying the game is the best on PSN AND saying that it's closing in on being one of the top 3 download games out there, it does seem 8 is a bit low...but what the hell...8 is good in my book, so thank you guys!

I’m not so keen on the GAMESPOT review, and who would be? It simply feels unfair and simply wrong. Granted, why would I not say that? I am the director of the game they are saying is simply ‘fair’. So take my opinion with a grain of salt.

I think tho, much of it has to do with expectations for titles such as this, as well as maybe me not really understanding the review process.

So my thoughts in general on aspects of the reviews:

MAGNET ISSUE- Here was a nice, simple, clean PROBLEM with the game that the reviewer hit on that was pretty black and white. Hard to argue with this one. IGN hit this spot on and we’ve fixed it already! Nice thing about download games is you can see a review and then rush back to the code and do some tweaks :) So while we don’t know if we’ve solved IGN’s issue where the AI seemed to be able to dominate with the magnet weapon, we’ve at least toned it down and increased the amount of time a player needs to be in the magnet ‘cone’ before the criminal is sucked away. We did not touch the multiplayer aspect of this, just the single player where IGN had what we felt was a great point about how the single player was feeling. So thanks IGN!

LACK OF CONTENT: This one just makes no sense to me but I can live with the fact that I may in the minority here. I can also live with the fact that my take on what something should cost (as a guy who gets games for free mostly) is different from the take of a reviewer as to what a game should cost (as people who get paid to play games they usually get for free…but to be fair, the reviewers ARE paid to take the consumer mindset into mind….but then again, so am I…so anyway…). But look, it’s a 10 dollar game. And for that you get: the core game (which in multiplayer- which is the point- EVERYONE says is at least fun, and many say is really, really fucking fun). 4 maps, split screen, internet with voice, and 10 cars to unlock. I fail to see how this is a bad deal, especially since if you like the multiplay- and all of the reviewers have- you can play the game for hours (over time) before you burn out. How is this a bad deal for 10 bucks? I just don’t see it. The gamespot review- I think- didn’t seem to like that you could finish the single player game in 20 minutes. And maybe this is a fault of the game’s presentation but it’s not an adventure game…it’s like a fighting game in that sense: you work thru the single player to learn the game and unlock stuff. And when you get thru one level if you want to get better, up the difficulty. I get thru Tekken and Mortal Kombat single player in 5-15 minutes on default setting. Again, maybe our presentation did not make this clear and it's a fair call that Gamespot would want more from the single player experience. But it's not like I go out and buy Madden or NBA JAM or NBA HOMECOURT cause I'm going to be playing it by myself. But that could just be me and it's Gamespot's job- I assume- to take all gamer's desires into account and I can appreciate that.

But again, this may be the problem. Gamespot was not saying it’s a shit game. They seemed to like aspects of it. So I’m not bashing them or the score so much as just being confused a bit. We set out to make a balls to the wall, trash talking, fun ass multiplayer/party game. From all reviews we did that and from a few of the reviews (IGN and 1up) we did that really, really well. And so really, that’s all I care about. And I can see reviewers are not going to JUST review the game portions I care about. Hell, I guess I could have just taken out the single player so it would have never been an issue. But somehow that would have just felt wrong.

SCORES IN GENERAL: And maybe therein lies the problem. With the exception of the GAMESPOT score- which I really just feel is simply unfair- these scores are good scores and I am happy with them. I am proud of those scores; happy with them and grateful for them. So thanks IGN and 1up! But the issue may be that our goal was to provide a trash talking fun ass time with your buddies. And I feel we did that really well…between an 8 and a 10 depending on all the factors that determine fun that go into any individual game (who is playing; skill level;etc). So to me, I’m like: grade us on THAT because that was what we wanted to do.

But I guess that’s like asking a movie reviewer to grade a horror movie 10/10 that wanted to do nothing more but provide a visceral thrill ride (and did that) while at the same time there may be other movies out there that provide the thrills AND drama and story too? You guys know my shitty analogies....not sure if that makes sense. And I'm rush typing this as I gotta head out for some shit to do today.

CASUAL: Diner Dash got like a 3/10 on a game site the other day. And that game is considered a watershed/masterpiece in the casual space. It may also be that as I get away from hardcore games, some of the reviewers (that have no interest in those sorts of games) that used to love the kind of stuff I did, will simply not find as much in the stuff we do nowadays to love? Could be…and I can understand that.

Or it could be that the game really is a 7/10 and I just WANTED it to be more. I can live with that as an option if that's how- once the game ships and people play it and pass judgement and time passes- that is how it all comes down. Hope that's not the case, but what can you do?

I don’t know…I wanted to get a response to the scores up fast. I will prob. think on this some more and hit you guys back.

But overall, I am so proud of this game and think in many aspects it’s the most fun game I’ve ever worked on. If you want a fun party game, then I think we’ve got something for you. I hope you read the reviews from folks who are into these sorts of titles and THEN make your decision to buy or pass.

Ok gotta run...thanks for indulging me. A more mature designer would say: 'my game is my response' and shut up about it. But come on, this is me :)


Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Here's a link:

But here's the gist:


Very happy with this first review.

Swamped right now but will wright more about what it's like to get reviews, wait on reviews, get stressed and elated about reviews in a few days, when the other site reviews hit on Friday. But for know, three things:

1- Yah! 8.5 for a game that took 11 months and cost very little AND let us do the work we LOVE but still- for the MOST part- live normal lives (although some members of the team gave up SOOOO much time to get some aspects of the game working, so to them: THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!)....and the best part is, 9.99 for what IGN- at least- says is fun. How can you beat that? We're very happy!

2- Game is NOT OUT TOMORROW. It is out May 3rd. I am very sorry about this but we're still in format, chasing a few bugs and we don't want the game out until it's bug free. But it WILL be out 5/3! I will let you guys know when it clears format.

Ok guys, heading out to dinner with the family. Will talk to you guys soon. 8.5! Sweet!


ps. Please don't feed the fucking animals on the comment board. I am 1000% fine with them post the stuff they do (the insults and the bullshit,etc)'s the net, what are you going to do. I sure as hell am not taking the comments off. And I know what it's like to want to get attention and be willing to say ANYTHING to get it (ya think?!?) but please unless you really feel compelled, just let them be. I like that they are here, I'm ok with them being here but I'd rather the comment section not turn into a battle. Let them do what they want and we can get back to just talking about games,the biz,etc. Thanks!


Friday, April 20, 2007


In a more rambling mode than usual, ya'll...hope you don't mind too much :)


Hey guys, took Wednesday off as sort of a 'sweet! We finished Calling All Cars' celebration. Unlike GOD OF WAR where I needed 3 months of comp time to recoop, I'm thinking of taking like 3 days of PTO, and even then spreading those few days across a few weeks. Making these games is hard and challenging but since it does not drain your soul like the epic titles, you don't need as much down time before you dive back into the trenches. In fact, hell, Scott and Kellan (Creative Director/Art Director at Incognito) are flying down to San Diego Monday for a double day marathon session of game design for game #2! I can't wait!

So what did I do on my day off? I took my wife and oldest daughter to Disneyland! Man, what a blast. My kid is almost 4 now and it was her first time there. She loved it and we did as well, mostly cause we got such a blast watching her enjoy the park! Hell, she even got to ride Space Mountain and The Matterhorn! A fucking 3 year old kid on SPACE MOUNTAIN!?!? I was stunned they let her on but they did!

Man, that is still a great ride and may very well be my fave coaster of all time. Especially now when they are blasting a version of HIGHER GROUND by THE RED HOT CHILLI PEPPERS thru the headset speakers as you whip thru those corkscrews! So much fun!

When it was over, I looked behind me (kid was riding with the wife in the seat behind me) and my daughter was just sort of starting into space, overwhelmed by the sensations and blasting music and flashing lights. I was like: oh shit, we've just scarred this kid for life! But within a few seconds of it all coming to an end, she was telling us how much she loved it! When she got home she was jumping around and using her arms to mimic the curves and turns of the coaster she liked the most and telling us all about how much fun it was! And I was just like: sweet! I got a coaster buddy for life now!!!

But yeah, when you go with a kid, it's just more fun I think. I like going as an adult but taking my kid, I got to enjoy her enjoying it. And about 2 years ago, I had a realization that I assume most parents eventually have- or should have- where you stop TRYING TO MAKE THE FUN for your kid and just let your kid pretty much be (from a standpoint of entertainment). For a while I kept trying to make sure the stuff we were doing was fun, come hell or high water. And then I realized after about 6 months of this that it didn't feel genuine to me, it felt all manufactured and I HATED that feeling. So I just relaxed and assumed: hell, she's a kid...If anyone can find the fun, it's a kid. So I just allowed myself to be along for the ride as she found fun and- when she decided to- shared it with her dad. And it's been so much more...well, FUN since then! I guess as a game designer I am always feeling responsible for people having a good time...and with kids I really had to curb that desire. So there's a, whatever, a Jaffe parenting tip for you, if you ever wanted one!

Pic I grabbed as we were leaving the park...Ahh, Magic Way! Glad I live only 50 minutes from the park as now I wanna go back with my kids alot more often. Pretty amazing that I can just make it a spur of the moment Saturday trip if I want to! Ahh, the joys of Southern California!

Makes me wonder tho: thru my career I've know lots of Disney obsessed folks in the game biz. They grew up with it, love it to death, want to be part of it. I can see that, I can appreciate that. I'm more of a Spielberg/Lucas nut, but I can see the allure of the Disney Magic. But then almost all of the folks I know who end up working for Disney always tell me they don't enjoy working for the company as much as they had hoped. Not the admin types or producers; and I actually hear it's a pretty good company to work for in terms of benefits and what not. But it's like, Disney fired so many imaginations around the world and within the game biz, that the work of that company really turned people into professional creative types themselves! But now, as those creative types head to work for the company that inspired them to be creative, they find that they can't really be the creative juggernauts that Disney created because to work for Disney means you gotta do it the DISNEY WAY. There's only one way to draw Mickey Mouse and it ain't yours! So to work for Disney means you gotta suck it up and be a cog in the machine I guess. I've never worked for Disney so this is all secondhand....but I can see how that could be a challenge for the very folks Disney inspired in the first place! least to me :)


So hey, I played multiplayer with the IGN crew last night. Since the game is not out yet, we go online with the reviewers so they can test out the online portion of the game (otherwise there would be no one for them to play with over the net). It was lots of fun and, being ultra protective of all the games I work on, I was like begging for the review score from them because I really do care about I said, I feel compelled that people have fun! :) But they were like: dude we can't tell you the score now, sorry. And I got that, and I appreciate that. But they assured me they dug it so that made me feel good. And then last night I saw this on the IGN message board:

It's from Jeremy Dunham who is the Editor in Chief of the Playstation site on the board (I don't think he's EIC of the whole site, but I could be wrong).

So that's always nice to see. Score aside, it's nice to know that we've given people some good fun! That is what you work for. And it's even better to know that you've given folks fun who are in a great position to let many others know about the fun that they've had!

So thanks for giving us a shot IGN!


Finally, CALLING ALL CARS will be out either next week or the NEXT week. It's not May 18th in USA...that seems to be the date for Europe (I am not sure on this, I'm just getting that date from the net like alot of your guys). We are shooting to have the game out next week but it's not us at this point as the game has been done for about a week now. There's just some format stuff we gotta clear and as soon as we do-and thus get the street date- I will let ya'll know. So thanks for being patient!

And nice talking to those I've talked with in the chat box! Chat with ya'll soon!

Take care ya'll, have a great weekend!


Monday, April 16, 2007


Hey all....put a widget on the right side of the blog that will let us chat together in real time. Not sure how much use it will get, but it seemed like a fun thing to do. Plus, if there's ever a time we wanna hook and and do Q/A about the games and stuff, I could get some of the key members of the team in- from whatever game we are working on- to answer questions and give insight into the process, if that would be of interest to any of ya'll.

As of now, it doesn't look like there is a way for me to lock names, which means ANYONE can sign in and say they are someone they are not. I hope to see if I can change that in the future but for now, I guess it's the honor system...shyeah, right! But I'll leave this up for a bit and see if anyone likes to use it!

Ok, back to work. Today begins focused design on small game project #2! Wish us luck!


My brother just sent me this....from the Sony Picture lot in Culver City, California. He's shooting the show CLOSE TO HOME there and he knows I'm a big Spidey fan! Some great reviews coming in for the flic on AINT IT COOL NEWS! Man, I am getting excited!!!


Friday, April 13, 2007

That's it...I'm calling this bitch!

Calling All Cars is done.

Incognito sent the code off to first party QA a few hours ago for weekend test. If they find no serious bugs, it goes to Format and will be up on the network soon!

If there are bugs, the Incog guys will tackle them over the weekend.

But 99.9% sure, those bugs will not be design related. This late in the game, they never really are.

Because of that, I think it's safe to say that the designers on the game- and probably the rest of the team- are done with this thing!

What was that? Like 11 months total? Ahh....and it's still light outside!

And it's my fucking birthday today to boot! Nice ass present, if I do say so myself! Thanks Incognito!

So to all the CALLING ALL CARS folks who worked on the game and who are reading this, congrats to us all! It was a blast to work on with you guys.

Now we just gotta see if players enjoy playing it at all! Focus tests have been going real well last week and EGM gave us a nice blurb/review in the latest issue, putting us in the 'buy' category for Download games (not sure where they were able to review it as I was not aware we've sent anyone code yet, but hey, we'll take all the good press we can!!!)....maybe they were basing it off playtime at GDC?!? Hope so as the game has gotten better since then! :)

But I feel we've made a game we can all be proud of and I really, really hope players give it a shot and enjoy themselves with it!

I am sure you guys will let us know either way!


ps. just to be clear, the game is done for the MOST part. It's not 'gold' yet (not that there are gold masters with DL games) cause it needs to clear all the proper channels. I will let ya'll know when we've cleared those last vew hurdles!

pps. Virtual cake for us all...birthday cake AND 'Celebration for finishing the game' cake!

Man, the graphics in the actual PAC MAN game for the 2600 were WAY WORSE than this fucking cake decoration!!! Amazing!!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


EDIT: To the cocksucking comment poster who says I should stop thinking about the past, I offer this:

suck it, bitch!


Swamped with final days of CALLING ALL CARS (final focus test in LA tomorrow to make sure we got the default difficulty setting tuned right). But I had to share:

Richard Donner (director of Goonies flic as well as many, many other huge, great movies like SUPERMAN, THE OMEN, and LETHAL WEAPON) is co-writing along with Geoff Johns (who writes the best DC comics around these days). Word on the street is the live action sequel will never happen :(

Ahhh, what could have been!

Man if there's a game license besides Indy that would get me back into big epic game making, this would be it!

...but hell at least we get a comic...and maybe they can turn that into an animated DVD movie or something? Sweet! Now we just need comics for BACK TO THE FUTURE!

Ok, back to tuning!


ps. anyone ever find out why Cory Feldman just up and left in the middle of recording the DVD commentary track?!?! If you know, you gotta tell me!!!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


Harry and the boys at AINT IT COOL NEWS have posted a series of articles about the genre films that hit theaters in the summer of 1982. They relate their personal experiences with the movies of that year, talk about how magical a summer it was to be an 'almost but not quite teenager' in the early 80's and how some of the best genre movies ever hit between May and August of that amazing year (ET, Poltergeist, Tron, Conan, Blade Runner,etc). They talk about their love for the sci fi mag STARLOG and how, before the internet, it was their only link to other sci-fi/fantasy lovers, just like them.

I wish I could write better than I do because I would have expressed many of these same sentiments long ago. But hell, I guess that's why they have pro writers. And the guys at AICN- in these series of articles- do it really, really well.

If you want to have a good insight into what my childhood was like (why you want that info, however, is a different story!)...but if you do, you'll find it here: (Poltergeist) (ET) (Tron)

These really touched me and brought me back to a very special time in my life.

They also made me realize how important the movies used to be to me.

These days, I still love the movies but nowhere near as much as I used to. Some of it is just me getting older and just having other things that take up my time; some of it is that the magic of the movies has really been ruined with too many behind the scenes/making of docs; much of it is that the movies today are still pretty good but the business side of the movie biz seems to have won out in a big way; to the point where 95% of the time when you go to a movie, it doesn't so much feel like a movie anymore but instead feels like a 2 hour synergistic attack on the senses brought about by a number of companies trying to sell you shit.

There are those movie makers out there who are able to rise above that bullshit, the true artists working in movies today. And I am so glad they are still around.

And I'm not going to lie...Summer movie season is right around the corner and I'm pretty excited for it. In the same way a sports fan probably has fantasies that their team will make it thru every game of the season and never suffer a single lost game (isn't there a name for that?), movie fans actually hope for a perfect summer...where every flick they've seen advertised lives up to its potential. It's pretty rare....and the AINT IT COOL NEWS guys could make a compelling argument that the last time it happened was the summer of 82.

But hey, this summer brings PIRATE'S 3 (trailer looks amazing); SPIDEY 3 (trailer=meh, but the last 2 were great); Transformers (could be good in an ID4 kind of way); KNOCKED UP looks fucking hillarious, so does that comedy with Sandler and the dude from King of Queens.

So it could happen again...

Man, I gotta start carving out more time for the movies. I really do still love them, I guess. Even though these days they usually let me down, I still hold out hope. Maybe I just need to watch more of them and make the time, you know?Instead of typing on this damn thing, I should be downstairs watching my blu ray of THE DEPARTED (no, I have not seen it yet!)....

...maybe I'll go do that. Can't sleep anyway :)

Talk to ya'll later!


ps. and if you have never read STARLOG, they still make it. Give it a read! It's good for you!

pps. then again...I was on a media tour for TWISTED METAL:BLACK in 2001 and the PR guy took me to the Starlog offices and I was gushing to the editor-in-cheif or publisher (who has been with the mag from the start) about how much his mag meant to me as a kid. And he just tossed off this ass-holian comment about: thanks! Thanks for putting my kid thru college.

And I'm like, dude, I'm telling you your mag touched my fucking heart and soul and inspired me to reach for my goals and dreams. And he gives me this smart ass comment. Maybe he was shy. Maybe he has a hard time with compliments. Who knows...but it stuck with me....fuckin' douche.

ppps. Just kidding...he's not a douche. He was probably just having a bad day :)

pppps. I'm fucking