Friday, June 13, 2008

From The Masters Themselves...

Tina Kowalewski- newly appointed head of external game development for Sony Santa Monica- has been an industry staple for years. As I said in an earlier post, the woman freaking knows EVERYONE in the biz. And one of the things she's been doing over the years is keeping this sketch book with little cartoon sketches from the biggest creators in gaming. Think of a game developer you know and like, and chances are, they've contributed to Tina K's sketch book. Some of the sketches are characters from the game creator's biggest games...others are just silly little drawings (mine was a terrible 'sketch' of Spiderman swinging over some buildings)...Either way, it's a damn cool piece of game biz memorabillia. And Tina's given me permission to show you/reprint three of her many game dev sketches on this very blog. Enjoy!

And don't forget to Hulk out this weekend! I hear it's pretty fun! Will let ya'll know what I think about it next week.


In honor of this week's MGS4 release- still not had a chance to play it- here's snake from Shinkawa-san himself!

Miyamoto sketching his greatest creation!

Something from the genius Will Wright that I am not sure I understand all together...what else is new! :)

ps. Tina! Get like 20 more of these and then get the folks who drew them to write little 1-2 para blurbs and publish this damn thing! I wonder if there are legal issues with it tho, as in: can someone do a sketch of a copywritten character and you put that in your book? Or do you need to get clearances for them all? I dunno...still, if you can do it, you should! :)


GrYnder McDuff! said...

That's pretty cool, It'd be really neat to see the entirety of the thing

Rex said...

Thats cool, here where I live a guy that is into the urban art scene decided toget a sketch book and just go to every artist known so they sign the sketch book with their graffitti style or whatever they feeled like... and its even mix media... the thing is every piece of art is dedicated to his son that is like 2 years old, he is almost done and he will make it a book to print cause he had all clearances from the artist themselves. And that thing if it gets stolen its worth a lot lot lot of money... now imagine this sketch book of game developers... it even had MIyamoto... that s crazy she should like hide it on a safe or something... Tell her to make it a book eventually. Thats cool. Can we see your sketch? hehe

Nikkoa said...

I am going this weekend to San Francisco to get my Metal Gear Solid 4 signed by Hideo Kojima!!

Anonymous said...

(hey dave um.. i'm really really sorry about commenting very off topic but i really want you to see this, it's really important to me! you will like though cus i think sometimes i think like you =D haha! BTW my name's Connor and i'm 18 years old just out of highschool looking for a *CAREER* haha, but on a more serious note):

Jaffe you are my god, TM is your brainchild. I've got it all figured out. The Marcus Kane/Sweet Tooth combo is a PROJECTION of yourself and the contrastive "dark side" of you you mentioned in the Dark Past video. and in the game, it is recurring that the entire twisted metal tournament is in Marcus Kane's (sometimes Sweet Tooth's) head. Whether it's Head On or Black, it's all in your head. Twisted Metal as a whole is literally a giant, massive, immersive, horrific, chaotic, archaic, dark, comedic, thrilling, psychotic, explosive, beautiful projection of YOUR MIND.

As we leech on to TM video games and it's surrounding culture, we are literally ALL in your brain, like a giant, twisted, playground for the id in all of us! TM is a reality you provided for us and one i will always latch onto over the real world.

intermission: i will never murder anyone, stalk david jaffe, or start a cult just so everyone knows =D haha!

anyways Jaffe don't you ever lose interest in Twisted Metal, like you always seem to think you have. You will never be able to escape the inner workings of your mind and their attempts to escape and be seen by the masses, and there are thousands of people who are just as connected to it, so please don't ever cut us off of that access. TM is not just a game series to all of us, to some of us it is literally another reality.

wow... epicly long comment and i'm not anywhere near done. fuck.

well to wrap it up LOOKING FORWARD TO PS3 release i will buy one JUST for this game. (and by the way Jaffe are you going to be implementing the third person walking stuff and the freeway streamline integration system and other aspects intended for Harbor City into the new one? there's been hints to it so....) and also, about the movie idea.. ALL SYSTEMS GO! pleaaaase make it! and PLEASE reconsider the toy lines! i will buy!!

AND ONE LAST question. though subtle, you have at times tied the ends of the frayed storyline(and other stuff) of TM 3 and 4 in the newer games, so this might not be unrealistic: What about an old school release of Twisted Metal? remember back in the TM4 intro video with those old ironclad rustbuckets duking it out with mounted tommies and other primitive stuff like that? a lot of stuff in TM has explored a futuristic or modern feel but what about an ancient edition of twisted metal back when the automobile was first invented? if it was an odyssey in itself, surely there could have been reason to integrate it with the traveling circus (also a huge thing at the time), so it's very realistic, and would be VERY different, like small brawl, except toys are NOT as fun as RUSTY CONTRAPTIONS OF PRIMITIVE DEATH. and as far as the storyline is concerned? have it be the ancestors of the current twisted metal regulars! how interesting would that be? the great grandfathers of today's twisted contestants. after all, psychosis does run in the bloodline, also realistic.. and with such a difference in time setting, how could there not be feeling of freshness? I know it would be a big jump and a dangerous one, but much less worse than, say, a futuristic release, or something to do with your crazy "black is a demon sent from a parallel universe's more colorful Calypso to kill the darker Calypso" idea hahaha!! although a parallel universe TM release would be funny haha, you could just re-release a current game and change the color scheme to be "more colorful" HAHA.

ANYWAYS. I think going to the past with TM would be fresh and attractive. "Theme" is in SO many ways a huge part of TM, and when dealing with Themes of the entire releases, such as the darker theme for "black" and rc theme for TMSB, they have been fairly subtle IMO.

1920 TM would be a slap in the FACE. just think of how well received star wars episode one was! just DON'T CLOSE THE GAP. don't do a 50's one or something the closes the gap between the distant past and present. (for example star wars 2 and 3). if you just release a vintage one, i think it would be incredibly well recieved especially since you've already got the attention and enthusiasm of the TM fanbase, and the freshness and newness of PS3 on your side.

C'mon Jaffe. think of all those harsh reviews on the graphics of the first couple games. Even what they did on 3 n 4 wasn't exactly FLUSH. and think of all the people playing TMHOETE on ps2 thinking "whoa these graphics suck they look like this game should have been on psp or something!" black is good and lost is too obviously but ALWAYS you have been too busy with the intensity and variety of dimensions in the game itself to focus enough on graphics.

Twisted Metal "Origins" (haha 10 points for silent hill pun) would be PRIMITIVE enough in theme for you to focus on a TRULY stunning release. I mean the cars won't be going over 50, the color scheme would prolly be more sepia-esque, and how expansive are weapons from the 20's gonna be? You could spend a LOT of time on graphics, physics, simulation and other realistic aspects of the game to really make this a down to earth, SOLID release of twisted metal. that's not to say it wouldnt be on the fucking EDGE like every other twisted metal game though haha!

and quite honestly, look at how much more gruesome and intense and horrific characters stories and etc got when black happened! that was because you tied it down to what black was themed on. you were also eventually somewhat bored with black in creation, however, and a MORE primitive environment/time era would probably bore you even more now that i think about it. BUT black is just a different reality of the same thing, this would be so fresh and it's WAY different, so i think that in itself lends interest and drive to create it!

and back to the point, if tying TM to an ASYLUM made it freaky and awesome (which it truly truly did holy shit), think of what an actual 20's traveling circus would do! i've seen and heard the life stories of sideshow "freaks" from the old days that scare the bejesus out of me more than the stories in Black and that shit is REAL. The tolerance for TRUE twisted stuff increases the further you go back in time,and in the 20's there were some TRULY dark stories. Not just for sideshow freaks either, EVERYWHERE. Gangsters and mafia, pimps and prostitutes, drug lords, circuses and other outsider outfits, the poor, improper institutionalization and treatment of psychotics/neurotics, probably much more, hell i'm only 18 i'm sure you know way more about all that than i do! But i think you and the team would have a fun time thinking of some MESSED UP olde tyme horror stories and even MORE fun creating the ORIGINS of the characters we all know and love instead of once again thinking of how you can change/reboot/build off of them.

Circuses and carnivals have always been a collection of freaks, outsiders, misfits and people who just can't handle "normal" life. Back in the day was when the circus life was STRONGLY contrastive to normal life and i think if you stuck TIGHT to the traveling carnival of automobile chaos idea (for once.... . . ...) instead of just deciding to occasionally mention it or include it, like in almost every current release.. you would be able to create a VERY encompassing story mode as a whole. Black did this by having all the characters come from the same asylum, all using whatever they could find for a vehicle, and stuff like that, in the BEGINNING anyway. But i think black holds as loose as the rest of the previous releases do when it comes to story mode.

i think the key to really sweeping the player into the twisted metal carnival is to... well.. DO IT. :)
people in carnivals and circuses have always been in it TOGETHER. they travel together, and perform/ maintain the carnival together. If this game's story mode held tight to the circus idea (and would integrate the actual travel ides, that the TM: Lost freeway idea would have helped to simulate) you could make the player feel like they're in for a ride both during the matches, between them, and during the storyline as a whole. I don't have to fill in the gaps, you're already a genius, you could figure out a perfect way to bring the feel of a "1920's carnival of traveling automobile destruction" to the story mode, because i know what is in those quotes is as mouth-watering to you as it is to me.

the key with this game though is to bring SOLIDNESS. in graphics, gameplay, continuity, relation of the drivers to how their grandkids are now, looks in general, and most importantly, storyline all sewn together from start to finish (dealing also with interaction between the characters themselves, considering they travel through the carnival with each other (even though they die after each match, but that's something that has never been really focused on and i dont think ever should hehe)).

C'mon, just think of Charlie Kane as a young man, think of a really old civil war general pissed off that he lost a battle having let his *kids and grandkids* down. think of a young, ambitious racer that had a horrible crash or got cheated out of winning the indy, his/her dreams crushed, willing to do anything for revenge and to get that money he/she needs to raise their kids in the harsh economic times. think of the idea of a twisted, evil clown in an old 1920's carnival that could have been wreaking havoc before modern day sweet teeth (haha PLURAL FORM) ever got to!!!! i'll be more blatant with this one: think of a 1920's axel, steam powered, wheels probably steel like the old tractor wheels they used to have. damn. that sounds sexy. Think of a police constable entering the contest to try to stop the evil carnival from destroying the world in the already harsh times, in fear of his own *childrens* safety! Two more blatant ones: 1920's Mr. Grimm?! 1920's Shadow?! WOW. and i have NO IDEA what your twisted mind would come up with for Roadkill, but i'm sure you could manage, Jaffe.

Boiled down, i'm sure the upcoming ps3 release is going to be classic twisted metal, or perhaps better said, Twisted Metal 2 literally about 15 years later. (Jesus, Jaffe, your kids all grown up haha! I am seriously seriously proud of and for you and all you have done with twisted metal over all these years.) So we all know it will include mayhem, thrills, great fun, great intensity, lots of twistedness and evil, and "high octane" fun, and a real "urban assault" of a time HAHA (i just ran halfway through the Twisted Tour to find the factoid that showed your old promo poster cus i forgot the old name JUST to make that really bad pun =D). But anyway, with the ps3 release being all fun and sweet and awesome like twisted metal always has been, why not come out with something that will be STRONG and STURDY, encompassing and whollistic? There are so many hardcore fans out there and once i again i have to say that releasing this vintage edition would be like Star Wars Episode 1 was to the Star Wars universe.

Fucking Epic.

Like this comment was. whoa..
sorry. but yeah i have a TON more ideas for twisted metal that i haven't even begun to cover and i would love to be hired by you so i could get them to you daily and have them shot down HAHA. Seriously though, is there any position open for work on the game developing team? i'll even work for free and die of starvation i dont fucking care haha i want to be a bigger part of the Twisted Metal world than just a witness of it's amazingness!

Thanks so much for anybody who had the time to read this entire thing or at least scroll past it! and if David Jaffe reads this please email some sort of response to me


Anonymous said...

dude the incredible hulk ownd face

Anonymous said...

Hi David !

I have a question :

To what extent does Tina Kowalewski have influence on God of war 3 development.

I ask this because we still have no confirmation on who the new director for GOW3 is.

Thanx in advance.

Anonymous said...

attention blog readers:

david does not work on god of war any longer. quit asking him about gow3. move on.

Marc Alva said...

id buy that book in a second

Delriach said...

:) I wonder what Jaffe is going to say about MGS4.I didn't know he was interviewed for the LE Blu-ray disc. Cool stuff.

Exophrine said...

I'm so jealous of you, getting to see such a booklet, holding some of the greatest video game art ever collected.

I have to ask, did it have a sketch of Mega Man by Keiji Inafune?

I have to see this book now.

Anonymous said...

Hi there David who asked the question about Inafune. Yes, he drew Mega Man's head and it looks perfect. When I was in his office, he shared his old sketchbooks from when he was designing Mega Man (Rock Man). He showed early versions of Rock Man and some characters that never made it into the game. Really cool! He's a super nice guy.

Anonymous said...

Those are pretty neat to see. Dude , you have to find time to play Metal Gear Solid 4 , it is amazing.

Exophrine said...

Tina...I'm in total agreement with David (Jaffe). You should seriously get a book of these sketches together and publish it. (Nice touch with the artist's opinions, David!) I'm very confident that it'd sell a lot.

Hell, I'd buy it on the spot, and tell everyone I know about it. I would do everything I could to spread the word.


If Tommy Tallarico can get clearances for all the videogame music he does with VIDEO GAMES LIVE, I'm sure there's a good chance of getting this book together.

I really wonder how the classic Mega Man looked before deciding on the blue costume that we all know him to wear now. I still have G4's (when it was still purely about the games, in the G4-TechTV era, the *GOOD* era) episode of ICONS about Mega Man. I love seeing those sketches, like his MIGHTY KID logo. :P I'd love to buy one of 'em and hang it on my wall. :)

Anonymous said...

Hey there David,

Yeah, the reason I was in Inafune's office was to film that Icons episode. I was the VP of Program Development and Editorial in the first few years when G4 was decent. Or should I say the Icons series was the best thing we did. Unfortunately, the new President of Comcast programming came in and said he didn't like video games, and wanted to make G4 into another Spike TV. I got the hell outta there.

Thinking about publishing the book for non-profit charity, but I don't know. Still need a dozen more drawings I think. Missing Iwatani, Suzuki, Bruce Shelley, Richard Garriott, Mikami, and a few others.

Exophrine said...

Damn, Tina, that's a shame. I knew something was afoot when they started phasing out the TechTV shows (I *LOVED* Screen Savers!, and Pulse (personal favorite), Call for Help, Fresh Gear, Unscrewed), and then the good hosts disappeared (Laporte, Patrick, Rose, Lane, Sargeant). I still listen to TWiT (DVORAK.ORG/BLOG!!!), but it's just not the same. :(

I didn't know that they Kassar-ed the whole network. I made up that term btw, Kassar-ed :P (it means to completely destroy an already good and promising business venture in favor of what will eventually be the beginning of the end of the company) ... heh, like it? I'm sure good ol' Ray won't mind.

I loved ICONS to death, I have 20+ episodes that I recorded straight from the broadcast. I wish I had paid attention and recorded more of them. I actually used a few for reports and presentations I've done in school! :)

You get those doodles, Tina. I'm sure you can do it! The sketch book itself is worth a fortune already.

Joel said...

wow, those are awesome sketches.

i would love to see an art book full of sketches from designers.

at the very least, keep getting sketches!!

i do like the idea of using the profits for charity, or something, because that would probably ease the minds of those in opposition to you releasing artwork of copyright characters, etc.

anyways.. good luck with that tina!