Monday, August 30, 2010

Join Us This Week In Los Angeles!

Hope to see some of ya'll there! Should be a blast!

Goodbye Summer Movie Season 2010!

Ok, that's a wrap on summer movies 2010! And ya'll knows I luvs me the summer movie season! But this year was kinda meh. Granted, I didn't see as many as I usually do. Part of that is just me getting older and digging watching movies at home more. Part of it is I've been slammed busy with work. Part of it is there just wasn't tons that got me off my ass and to the theater.

BUT there were some things I really dug, some things I hated.

So- if you are curious- here are my top 3 movies of summer 2010 and my most disappointing 3 as well.

TOP 3 SUMMER 2010 MOVIES (in order of favorites):

PRINCE OF PERSIA- Fun, entertaining, some great action. A solid B movie that wanted to be nothing more. Sometimes good enough is much better than movies with a reach that exceed their grasp.

GROWN UPS- Yeah, yeah. I know. But look, as a guy nearing 40 who practically grew up with these actors AND as a guy nearing 40 who could relate to the character's mid life crisis plights, this was pure win for me. Funny, gross out, old school stupid Sandler humor along with a bit of heart. What's not to love?

INCEPTION- I had some issues with it but so what. Imaginative, creative as hell, and smart.


(in order of ones that bummed me out the most):

IRON MAN 2- Blech. Dull and overblown and missing the heart and soul and spirit that made the first such a blast.

TOY STORY 3- Yes I cried at the end. LOVED the ending. And I LOVED the Night/Day cartoon that kicked off the movie. The rest tho was typical Pixar: too long, too emotive, lacking a fresh narrative drive. Toy Story 2 was the last great Pixar movie. All the rest since then have had flashes of brilliance but they just don't hang together.

THE KARATE KID- Meh. LOVED the original. LOVED the casting of Smith and Chan. But this movie needed more heart, a few more script tweaks, and a director who can shoot fight scenes that the audience can follow.



I'll be catching those on blu ray in the next few months. For now, bring on the Fall! Looking forward to The American!

Holy Cow! I needs me some!

Saw this over on Kotaku! Check out their story and video about a guy who made some custom GOW sneakers! WTF?!? How damn cool is that?!?

I mean, that's damn neat, yes? Now if the guy would just make some Twisted Metal sneaks, I'd be complete! Maybe he can make some Calling All Cars sandals or some such as well...since Calling All Cars was not a hit, maybe I can just convince him to do some Calling All Cars Crocs for that game :)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Where it all began...

Just got back from a nice weeklong trip to my hometown of Birmingham, Alabama. Took my daughters to visit with the fam and we had a blast. Great to be back in San Diego tho. I'm ready to work (not that I didn't work over the break, but it;s great to be back in my office, dev kit by my side, ready to crank). One thing I wanted to share first:

My dad and I took my kids to Brookwood Mall, the mall that was my hangout from probably 6-18 years old. Readers of the blog have heard me talk about the mall before, probably in very amateur but still loving poetic terms. But I can't help it: this mall was crucial to my creative development. It's where I spent thousands of my parent's quarters at Aladdin Castle, where I poured over game and movie magazines at Bookworld, where I fell in love with the imagery and vibe of heavy metal album covers at Musicland, where I practiced my basic programming and made little adventure games in the walled off area of the Radio Shack, where I stared longingly thru the glass case at Atari 2600 games at Circus World, where I fell in love with Chick-Fil-A waffle fries, and where I- at this little end of the mall that you see in the above picture- discovered my creative soul.

It doesn't look like much now (the big mall- which went thru a major renovation a few years back- is on the other side...this picture shows shows just a little side arm of the place. And it hasn't been touched. It looks pretty much just like it did 30 years ago!).

Yeah, it's just a little strip mall area but for me, this place is mythic. It's the shell of the movie theater where I saw Raiders of the Lost Ark, ET, Excalibur, and many more seminal geek movies. It's where I- as a 10 year old boy- discovered my passion for living a creative life. And it was good- just for a moment this week- to be back there.

I used to be a pretty nostalgic person. Not so much anymore. Having kids cured me of that. Now I like to  live for today, tomorrow. But it was still neat to go back, see the old place.

Ok, just wanted to share. Gotta get to work. Chat later in the week!


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sittin' Up In My Room

Hey all- in Utah for a magazine feature a really great games mag is doing on TM. Also here for a coupla days o' design meetings. Not sure what our official agenda is but I think we're going to be hammering on online features (rankings, stats, flow), 1 player campaign mode, breaking out the smaller and alternate versions of the suburbs map we showed off at E3 (i.e. we're looking at making just the movie theater a tight, fight for your life style map for 16 players as well as a smaller 2-4 player split screen map), and messing around with some of the core pick up mechanics. But you never know the day will end up unfolding.

Above is my hotel desk with my grilled cheese, Sun chips, Perrier, and my MacBook (think it's a mac book...I get the names of Apple products mixed up with one another). Been checking out the GamesCon stuff and there's some great footage coming out of there. Loving what I'm seeing for Dead Space 2 and Halo: Reach. Bulletstorm is looking sweet too. As I've said before, much as I'm grateful and honored when a game we make is deemed worthy of being at a big game show, I still like 'attending' game cons virtually. So much more relaxing and fun. The people who run these shows- from E3 to GDC to Comic Con to Gamescon- really need to create an online pass where people can enjoy the show from the comfort of their own homes. I get that the social aspect is a big part of it but it's not the only part. Plus, if I could attend GDC from time to time from the comfort of my office, picking and choosing the individual panels that I want to watch in real time (even submitting questions to the panel for the q/a sessions) I would totally pay for that. Or the same for Comic'd have access to all the panels live (including Hall H) streaming in HD, as well as show floor cameras and events and even a comic con Ebay exclusive site (just for people with online passes) to purchase and bid on exclusive geek items! Ok, ok, I'm getting jazzed now. Someone make this shit happen!!! :)

Ok, gonna get to bed early. Gotta be up at 5:30 to type up a doc for the day's meeting.

Later ya'll- hope you're well!


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Message From An Old Friend

Man, I got a tweet from the Twisted Metal 2,3,4 Calypso Voice Over actor, the great Mel McMurrin!

He saw my previous video and saw how frazzled I was. I guess he decided to make me this as a tonic! Old school fans of Twisted Metal will get a kick outta this!

Man, it's great to hear that voice again!

As for fans of the series wondering if Mel will return: well as you know, we've shot live action videos for the new TM and so the role of Calypso is already cast. However, my mind is rolling over a number of cool ways we may be able to bring Mel back into the TM family. Nothing set in stone, it may or may not happen, and PLEASE do not send me ideas or suggestions on ways we could do it as we just are not allowed to see them.

But GOD he nails that 'THANK YOU FOR PLAYING TWISTED METAL!" ya know? Thanks Mel!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Jaffe and the Stresses and Joys of Making Games

Here's the Rocky Balboa speech I reference in my video above.

And here's Pachino's amazing Any Given Sunday speech. This one gets your ass out of bed every morning no matter how challenging the day ahead may seem.

ps. By the way, the Boy Scout Rejects? That idea is so mine! Don't rip it off- I think it'd make a super cool comic or game or movie or something! Kthx! :)

Rest in Peace Sweet Tooth!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I am so fried...

...just thought I'd share. Between full time on the end movies, full time on the game, being a dad, trying to work out 4-5 times a week, and just live life, I think I'm officially spent.

Plus I have little headaches these days cause I'm getting very little sleep AND I'm trying to cut back DRASTICALLY (again) on the diet Cokes (evil motherfucking brew). So yeah, I'm a mess.

Not to complain- I have an amazing life, an amazing job.

But FUCK! I need a break! When this game is over I'm taking 1-2 weeks off and going to Hawaii or NYC or some such.

Ok, just venting!

Gonna go pop some popcorn, watch some movies (Costner's Open Range, Demme's Manchurian Candidate) , and veg.

Talk soon ya'll! I promise I'll get back to mega regular blog updates. Just honestly have had little to talk about as of late cause all my life is is TM (which I can't talk too much about).

Ok- later!


Wednesday, August 04, 2010


Hey ya'll- just an fyi: I turned on comment moderation on posts older than 2 weeks. This should help a bit with the recent spam explosion in the comments section.

If ya'll have any other ideas on how to combat Spam on Blogger (other than having to go thru every comment before it hits, which I won't do), let me know.

Also- as a special treat for coming to visit me today, check this out:

So we thought my oldest kid had pinworms. Lots of little kids get them, I had them as a kid. They go away with a tablet and washing all the sheets in super hot water. Not a big deal.

But so how did I know she had pinworms? She said her butt itched. As I recall that's a pretty good sign that some animals have made themselves a home inside your body. But I didn't know for sure so I hit the internet to see what was up. One of my first stops? Youtube. And when I typed in PINWORMS one of the first things to come up was this hellish video.

I shit you not, this is scarrier and more distrubing than any horror movie I've ever seen. I LOVE it!!! :)

Now let's be clear: my kid didn't have THAT! That's not a pinworm. A pinworm is a microscopic or almost microscopic little strand that looks like a tiny piece of string when viewed under a scope. THIS? This is a motherfucking anaconda that has clearly crawled up someone's ass and made a nest. HOLY FUCK!

Ok, that's it. Had a great design meeting with Scott and Kellan this morning. Now I'm off to Sony to review edits for the end movies and look at how the post processing of the shots is coming along (i.e. adding in the cool CG visuals instead of the green screen background). Talk soon!


Tuesday, August 03, 2010

EXTENDED interview from Comic Con with Geoff Keighly

Here is the full on extended cut of my interview with Geoff Keighly of Gametrailers TV. I talk about Twisted, my original not used ending for GOD OF WAR 3, and other stuff. This was fun to do. I thought when it was over I had given Geoff a shit interview (which I hate doing) but people seem to dig this one. So here ya go!

More Proof That I Have No Artistic Bones In My Body

Pancakes for my kids- and me!- this past Saturday morning. My oldest asked for a Pegasus/Unicorn. The unholy terror on the right is the result. I dig the horn on the head- upper left circle that looks like broccoli- cause it looks more like a growth of some sort than a fucking unicorn horn.

I made my youngest a snowman and that came out a bit better!

And for me...a circle. I can do circles :) But hell, even that has this odd, weird little globule thingy coming off the top. What the hell, man?

Ok- back to work- crazy week! Hope all is well for ya!


Sunday, August 01, 2010

Twisted Metal At San Diego Comic Con!

Hey- in case you missed it- the press was very kind to us at this year's San Diego Comic Con! We got a great deal of press from the show. Here's some of the stuff you may have missed. If you are interested in our new game, please give it a watch! Thanks!

This is an interview Scott and I did with the Playstation Blog. This was actually from E3 but they launched the vid during Comic Con so it still applies! :)

This is the full on panel we did at the con. Me, Scott, and Kellan gabbing about the game. Lot of behind the scenes end movie stuff in here, as well as us showing off our very early rooftops and desert chase levels.

And here is a little one on one with super nice Ryan MacDonald of Gamespot fame.

This is an interview I did at the Sony cocktail party. So I was well on my 2nd or 3rd shot of Patron. I actually sound a bit more focused in this interview than most. Perhaps it's cause I knew I was already tipsy and really had to concentrate on what I was saying. Hmmmm....maybe I should drink before all my interviews! :)

Here's the GameTrailers TV episode with Geoff Keighly from the con. I'm in there somewhere, along with other lots of cool comic con stuff. It's a great episode!


Readers o' tha blog know that I loves me the San Diego Comic Con. I eagerly anticipate those 4 days in July each and every year, sometimes getting jazzed for the Con as early as December the year before! It's a great, great show for people- like me- who obsess over geeky pop culture. And this year was no exception. It was a fantastic Comic Con.

My super bad ass assistant managed to get me into the Hard Rock hotel this year which- it turns out- is really THE hotel to be at during the con. Tons of stuff/parties/events always going on plus it's right across the street from the convention center (at 6am I'd look out my window to peep the already GARGANTUAN line waiting to get into Hall H).  It's also a great place for wall to wall geek celeb sightings. Dignitaries from movies, comics, and gaming were swarming the place the entire four days! Harry Knowels of AINT IT COOL NEWS fame, movie director Guillermo Del Toto, and little Scotty Evil (aka Seth Green) were all eating breakfast in the same joint as me! I almost ran over Marvel Comics editor in chief Joe Quesada while trying to get my car to the valet stand. I ran into game designer Cliff Blezenski as he was heading in and I was heading out of the lobby. And Scott Campbell and I had dinner sitting right next to Data, Jordi, and Troy from Star Trek: The Next Generation! Jordi even came over and professed his love for God of War!!! What's not to love?!?

I will say this year there was a lot more working involved during the con than ever before (meetings, press, interviews, design sessions) but it's hard to complain about that. I love doing that stuff and it's a great feeling to have a game coming out that people care about. That said, I still coulda used a non-work/no obligations day to just walk the floor and hit more panels. Perhaps next year! 

Ok, so here's some shots of stuff I found cool/neat/interesting from the show:

Two of my faves: Freddy and Jason! 

Hyper Violent, Super Bloody Star Wars! What a fantastic combo! Lucas should let the God of War team take a crack at a Star Wars game! It would fucking sell thru the mother fucking roof! Dunno if he wants his property all M rated but M rated Star Wars would kick all kinds of ass! 

Mary Marvel! Circa 1940s! Love the old school/Golden Age look...even her hair was all 1940s'd out!

This was my in-the-back-of-the-room view,watching the Ready At Dawn team talk all things God of War. Good panel overall and the King Midas drag sequence is fucking FANTASTIC! I gotta say: really interesting experience to watch other people talking about a franchise and character that I had such a hand in. Not that I ever had any doubt- or any issues- that the franchise had moved on from me and was in super great hands, but this panel made that all the more clear. 

Don't look at it Marion! Keep your eyes SHUT! And no, I didn't buy it. Not much of a prop/toys guy. I love that stuff, like to look at it, but I don't have an office full of it. 

Speaking of cool props and toys: here's the amazing Sideshow Collectables Kratos statue! Isn't it great!?!? Man, I hope we can find someone to do statues for us for Twisted Metal! But this one, this one is just great! 

Thought these Chrono Trigger little figures/action scenes were fantastic. I woulda bought those but they are not out yet. Man there is so much cool stuff at the con! 

The extended Comic Con trailer for the new Nic Cage flick- Drive Angry- looks like a shit ton of fun! LOVE movies like this! 

This was a GIANT mural of Marvel characters posted on the back wall of their booth. You can kinda see the two out of focus people walking by next to Hawkeye's bow. So you can see it's big! And there's more of it too! My camera would not capture it all. It's about 2x the size of this. So one day- when I'm crazy rich and living in a super cool penthouse apartment in New York City, I want this on one of my walls.

I was incredibly unimpressed by the stuff I saw for the new Thor movie. Looks like a SyFy channel original flick or something. And this is coming from someone who actually liked Wolverine Origins. But the Thor stuff just looks...dull? Cheap? But the CAPTAIN AMERICA flick- little I've seen- seems like it's going to hit the spot. Great director, great setting, great costume, great promo poster/art. Just the whole thing feels like it could really work. Fingers are crossed! But's cap's shield. In some ice. :)

Get inside a box, make it look like the chicks are killing you. That's what this display was. Kind of cool. Ya'll know I loves me the horror. But I hate this shit is in full display to little kids, especially on the Comic Con advertised/promoted KIDS DAY. Either make the show adults only (which I am totally opposed to) or put the gore stuff in its own adults only section. Don't take the gore out- the gore rocks! But come on Comic Con, be a little responsible; ya'll should know better. 

Saw this really cool book called MOVIES ARE FUN. It's designed like a kid's board book but each page depicts very non-kid appropriate scenes from famous drama/horror movies. Here's THE SHINING and SILENCE OF THE LAMBS! Loved this! 

Man, I love old pulp sci fi! The concepts were just so imaginative and clever!  I mean, this image alone- what a cool ass set up for a story! Anyone who digs the end movies for the Twisted Metal games- especially TM2- can see an attempt at this sort of storytelling reflected in the stuff we do. Granted, our stuff is not as good as the classic stuff from pulp mags like this (duh) but I think with some of the TM2/TM:BLACK stories (as well as- perhaps- some of the news ones we are doing for the new TM) we are clearly taking inspiration from this sort of pulpy vibe. 

Ok ya'll- that's a wrap on the con! Hope your weekend is going well! Gonna play some more Splinter Cell: Conviction (loving it!), type up notes from our Twisted Metal play test on Friday, take a walk with the kids, and get a work out in! Talk soon!