Thursday, September 06, 2007


As some of you know, I was not involved in Twisted Metal:Black 2 while it was originally in production. I was tied up on God Of War at the time and could only watch from afar as Sweet Tooth and the boyz (yes, I'm kidding with the 'z') had another go. But for reasons to be revealed in the upcomming TM Doc, TM:BLACK 2 was canned and for a while, those levels just sat around, collecting virtual dust.

Well now we're bringing some of the coolest levels back to life and putting them on the port of TM:HEAD ON in a bonus game we're calling TWISTED METAL:LOST. Lost will have a handful of the levels (prob. 5) from the cancelled TMB2. And these lost levels are what I've been working on the last few weeks. Take a look:

So I sit here in San Diego- as well as the days I'm out in Utah- and we try to figure out how to get these levels to play great, especially in multiplayer. I send my little photoshopped images with my chicken scratch all over them out to the magic makers in Utah and then sit anxiously, waiting for a new built to go up on the network to see if I've guessed right in the changes I've asked for ...and they are all guesses, believe me! Sometimes we get lucky and it plays great...other times it's crap and we go back to the drawing board.

See those big red bars? Those are just placeholder- obviously- barriers thrown in to test out what reconfigurations of the maps could feel like. Sometimes they are just adding a little path to streamline things a bit...other times tossing up some of those giant walls changes how the level plays entirely.

NOTE: Lots of the art in these images is placeholder, like the ground texture which- clearly- is not finished. But you guys can handle some REAL behind the scenes stuff, right? Vs. the bullshit 'behind the scenes' stuff game co's usually toss out...this is the real deal, bitch! This is what game production actually looks like! Ahem....anyway....Just FYI :)

But if the game was so far along when it was canned, wasn't the play already established for these levels? Well, before the original game was canned, the levels were really just nice looking levels with cool ideas but not a whole lot of gameplay love given to them. So now we find ourselves mixing maps together, chopping out entire sections, and adding entire areas of gameplay to make them work. It's actually a really fun design exercise: instead of starting from scratch you're given a bunch of left over parts and pieces and asked to make it fun! And it really is a ton of fun doing it. It's great to see a level take shape before your eyes, to see one or two adjustments make the difference between crap and fun. I'm having a ball and really looking forward to player reactions to these new battlegrounds.

We're also trying to lock our logo down for the new venture. It's tough because on one hand we plan on doing these hard core Sony titles for hardcore and medium core gamers. And that seems to demand a specific kind of logo. But on the OTHER hand we plan on doing casual titles for more mainstream players...and THAT seems to demand a totally different kind of logo. I've been obsessing looking at game boxes from companies like Komami and Capcom where they put out casual and hardcore games. I wanted to see if the logos they chose could travel between game styles... and you know, you don't even think about it. It just kind of is and eventually, you just don't even think about it. Komani has Silent Hill and MGS but the same little red and white Komani logo also graces the cover of DDR. So it kind of doesn't matter.

And I know that...intellectually I get it: the logo matters only if the products matter. But when you own part of the damn company, suddenly it DOES matter....the trick is to be aware that it really only matters to you and some of the team and that gamers- end of the day- will only care about the logo if the products they get from you are amazing. So maybe that's my way of telling myself to stop obesssing about it, pick a fucking logo, and get back to working on the stuff that matters! Thanks Blog! I appreciate it! And cheaper than a therapist too!

Ok, heading to work (which means going to get a bagel and then coming right back here to my office to focus on Twisted Metal)...hope things are going well for all ya'll out there! Shit man, fall is coming! I'm so jazzed! Halloween stuff is already up at Rite Aid and I can sense the shift in the great man! So ready for fall! Ok, see ya!



Grande said...

So for Twisted Metal:Lost do you use the cars and their designs from TM heads on? or do you use the cars from Twisted Metal Black? or other?

Anonymous said...

So for Twisted Metal:Lost do you use the cars and their designs from TM heads on? or do you use the cars from Twisted Metal Black? or other?

Unknown said...

Yeah I was wondering the same thing. Are they really two different games or can you use all the cars and all the maps? I would think its the latter so there are more combinations and possibilities, especially for multiplayer matches. Guess we'll find out.

Anonymous said...

I psyched to play the final game David. Are you only going to be commuting to Utah for a little while, or is it something that you'll have to do on a regular basis?

By teh way, Calling All Cars still kicks all kinds of ass. We had some great matches the other night, and I think that 2 new swear-words were invented.

Anonymous said...

Awesome to hear the update and to find out some of the back story of TMB2. Considering my love for TMB, I don't know how TMB2 would have been without you doing it. Thanks for the update!

Anonymous said...

in regards to logos it dosnt really matter as long as its easy to recognize...look at all the big ones...nintendo , capcom, konami, squaresoft or enix (pre or post joinint) theyre all simple, and unless youve been in a bubble you can tell which is whicha fucking mile away..

it all comes down to box art or online art before downloading....hardcore games tend to look more dark and detailed (metroid, zelda, dmc...the list is huge) where as arcade games or pick up and play games like katamari tend to be cleaner images with brighter colours...

then again the fuck do i know? lol but it seems to make sense

PlayStation Museum said...

Behind the scenes rocks Dave!! Now about those Dark Guns behind the scenes....?

Coldhand said...

Great news David Jaffe!, Thank you!
I hope the new Battlefields will be successful for the upcoming TM:HO ps2 game and nice to play like all others from TM:HO/TM:BO ^^

Yes man! fall is coming near!
and our Twisted Metal Fan page too, still working on Graphics for the page...

see ya next post!


derrickgott007 said...

You are the Great OZ, thank you for the peek behind the proverbial curtain!

DKSE said...

Those levels look awesome! And I hope the PS2 port comes with online(fingers crossed)! And a multi-player split-screen would be cool too.

Anonymous said...

I love it when you post about your design and development process :)

Anonymous said...

"this is the real deal, bitch!"
LOL that's friggen funny.

I realy liked some of the beta testing I have done and even then the games are made to look good for the most part but still lack the spit and polish, but many of my fellow testers just don't get it.

I think it's interesting seeing the very raw images when your testing the pure machanics and playability of the level.

Thanks for sharing and explaining.

Anonymous said...

I hope you'll release a compilation of the music from Twisted Metal 1,2 Black, Small Brawl and Head-On. I still have the Paris's Theme from TM 2. Can't wait to put on TM : HO for PS2 ! Here a design for your logo... I hope it could help you !

Anonymous said...

Damn...I was late.

Would you be able to accept design ideas/concepts from fans? Cause it sounds like the sort of thing I'd like to try out.


Anonymous said...

Nice behind the scenes look. As someone trying to break into the industry is good to hear someone so passionate about what they do even after they've been doing it for so long.

Joel said...

awesome behind-the-scenes pictures!

i am VERY glad your paying so much attention to the level design... re-doing and changing and fixing and tweaking.

its so important to get that stuff all worked out great!

and you have a great intuition as to what would be fun, and great ideas!

i truly envy your job! (but i know its not all fun and games...)

but ya.. i am SO stoked for more twisted metal, you dont even KNOWW.

as for your logo... what about very basic computer font

eat. sleep. play.

why does it need to be anything else other than that?

simple text.

when it animates...

just have it type out like its on a computer screen.

i dunno.. that seems good to me.

Anonymous said...

Will TM: Lost be compatible on PS3?

CaMacKid said...

I beg of you, please fix Thumper!!! I hate the crappy fireball special. I miss the huge flamethrower that cooked up anyone with just two or one blast if your lucky.

Good luck with the port!!!

Anonymous said...

Yo David Jaffe,I got sick,badass ideas like plot,title,and more to share with you.Is there a way i can contact you.

Oliver Snyders said...

Thanks for the great post, David. I know it takes a lot of time but please continue to share 'Behind the Scenes: The Real Deal' with us.

Also, try to convince your developer friends to post video blogs like you have. That info about 'Dark Guns' was great - I love seeing behind the scenes stuff that people would generally not have access to.

Thanks, wish the launch of Twisted Metal ('The New One'...that title...) all the best. It's gonna' do great.

Anonymous said...

wtf, why didn't you just finish the game.. it could of been one of the best games. you did already a bunch of work on it and just decide to cancel it...
that's a waste black 2 would of been great.

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