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!