Monday, January 08, 2007


Calling All Cars tuning kicks into overdrive this week as I head out to burden the talented folks at Incognito with my oh-so-wonderful presence! We've got a 3 day tuning spree set to start Wednesday and before that gets going, I need to get my crap ton of notes together and whittle down only the most important aspects that I really want to see addressed. Time is almost out and the game- in my mind- is getting there but is still 'not yet ready for prime time'. The thing about these pure mechanic driven games- I am finding- is that all it takes is a push in this direction, a tweak in that direction (i.e. adjusting a camera; speeding up the turn rate on a car) and it either all falls apart or comes together. One little decision, and your game can come alive!

Unlike GOD OF WAR where every sequence could be judged- to an extent- on its own (outside of the overall experience), with a game like CALLING ALL CARS there are probably 15-20 knobs we can adjust in tuning that have a profound affect on the entire title. Hell, those knobs- and the elements they affect- ARE the entire title! The good news is that we have until end of this month (give or take) to find that combonation of knobs. The bad news is- in my mind- we have not found it yet.

Here is a screen shot of just SOME of the issues that are left to be dealt with.It's a screen capture for MS Excel, the program I type all my tweaks into...

I am confident that we will end up with a great game, but that still doesn't soften the blow of seeing our game previewed in EDGE magazine yesterday.

I LOVE Edge magazine; I get it from Barnes & Noble each and every month and if it were a girl, I'd have a crush on it. I get giddy when I know it's coming in; I love the fucking SMELL of it; the glossy pages and great, great writing. Ahh, Edge!

But so they had a preview of alot of the PS3 games, and Calling All Cars was in there. And I know the version they previewed. It was a version that- trust me- didn't have ANY of the knobs tuned. They were not mean to it; they were not super kind to it. It was a just a standard preview. But it sucks because I KNOW we could have given them a better copy if we had known it was for preview in a major magazine. But alas we didn't know and chose to- development wise- focus on other aspects of the game.

But that's ok, more for them to love- we hope!- when the final game does hit.

So speaking of PS3, I played ALOT of PS3 this weekend. I finally had some time to spend with the consumer model and I have to say, I am really impressed. If you can, forget that I WORK for Sony. And try to remember that on more than one occasion I have professed a love for my 360 and my excitement about getting a Wii (if I can ever find one). These are NOT fanboy rants.

Keep those things in mind when I tell you that I played lots of Resistance, GO! SUDOKU, and GRIPSHIFT and had a blast; that I surfed the web on my PS3 and really dug the experience (although, how the FUCK do I resize the screen so it all fits on my SD tv screen?!?). There's something different about the PS3 than the's a real difference but I can not figure out what it is. There IS an elegance about the PS3 that is missing from the more workhorse, blue collar (in a great way!) 360 experience. Sure, I wish some of the amazing games I've seen behind closed doors would be OUT already! And I wish the stuff we have all seen (Motorstorm; Heavenly Sword;MGS4) would be out already...but on first blush- as just a consumer- I have to say, I'm excited about this system. And when I hook it up to my new 1080p Bravia, I'm sure it'll get even better! I LOVE how I can go from a blu-ray game, to a downloaded game, to messaging people on my buddy list, to surfing the web all in the same session...and imagining doing all that in 1080p (when my living room gets set up) is like: sweet! So it was a good time and I'm looking forward to more PS3.

Ok, so finally, I found this link and wanted to share.

This is a clip of Steven Spielberg in a hotel room, talking about the future of cinema. He comes in about 10 seconds into the clip, so give it a sec.

So he's around 34,35 in this clip. And he seems VERY rough around the edges. He says SHIT for God's sake! This is a man who, publicly, NEVER curses. And hell, is this the Spielberg of Saving Private Ryan and the Shoah foundation talking about MASTURBATION!?!? My goodness, it is!

Compared to how the guy seeems now, this guy is the life of the party. Toss him a lampshade!

These days Spielberg seems...well, boring. His movies are- while stunning on some level- a bit boring as well. He seems so much more interested in being earnest and having something important to say; having something to leave behind. But even with all that good stuff, he's become- to me- a pretty big drag. I don't know the man personally, but as a public figure, he just seems to be...not real, anymore. He seems like a walking ICON versus a person.

But it's nice to see ol' Stevie back in the day, when he was clearly- to me- full of piss and vinegar and passion....and he seemed like a real guy you could hang out with. Maybe this fades with age, maybe it will fade for me as well. I hope not but maybe that's just life.

Even so, I dug this. If any of you are old time Spielberg fans (like me), you may as well.

Ok, off to work! Gotta get to tuning!