Tuesday, September 30, 2008

CALL ME CLIFFY B!!!!...and some politics and game design thrown in :)



erico316 said...

lol now that is funny cliffy b.

grasshopper said...

How long before Kotaku picks up the name news...Nice post Cliffy B =)

Anonymous said...

Youtube has just removed the video I posted in the other thread. You see how things work now right Dave.

This is another one:

It'll get removed too. Let's see.

David Jaffe said...

Anon- yes, I heard about some of this yesterday when I was in the drive thru line and listening to Hannity (whom I fucking hate). BUT this was interesting stuff, for sure.

I am not one of these peeps who think Democrats are the Jedis and the Republicans are the Sith. I am not 100% sure however that this tape reflects all of the Democrats in terms of the general thinking among the party. Just like it's unfair to assume all Republicans are neo cons who want WAR! WAR! WAR!!!

BUT it is interesting for sure. And worth some more research.

I can't imagine Youtube is just taking it down cause they don't agree with it. Surely there is tons of stuff on the site that the corporate owners of Youtube- is it google?- feel is questionable that still stays online.


Anonymous said...

The things that youtube/google do not touch are things that is half true or out-right lies. They do so because they want to cast the sincerity of the posters thus make the candidate (Mccain) less credible.

Things that are truthful will get removed.

Remember Google made a big deal about compromising information in China? That was just a smoking screen.

Anonymous said...

They call him Dude Huge now. They've called him that every article since giving up the name, I forget how that joke name came about though. Please keep calling yourself Cliffy B though, I hope it gets picked up. Anyways...Around 6:25 in the video I heard a noise in the background till you pointed out it was your kid and then it all made since. I must also say yay to Iron Man coming out on Blu-ray also.

Da Dark Knight said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Hi Cliffy ;)

Interesting view on game mechanics.
However, it seems I'm a bit confused..

Are you talking about games like Portal/Zuma?
Can you explain please?

Zodiak said...

Hey Mr. Cliffy B,

I think that's the 1st time you've shown your hair on camera, it always been a hat!

I'm glad as much as you that the bill didn't get passed. I mean inflation would boil up again and the dollar would become completely worthless if that 700 billion were to pass. Cliffy is right these big wig companies should pay for their crimes and it's about time the big bear chewed them up the ass.

hey quick suggestion Cliffy, for the youtube videos you should name the "Cliffy B" instead of "Jaffe" =D


erico316 said...

well i do have a question to david do you know cliffy b in person if so what is he like?

Anonymous said...

Nice post and I enjoyed your injection of game design. I wish all this voting shit was over. I don't really like either, but if I was force to vote at gun point it would be for Obama.

By the way, how could McCain fuck up so bad and chose Palin as his running mate. Her speech and communication skills are comparative to a 6th grader. I guess good looks gets you places.

Thanks for the update Cliffy B!

Marc Alva said...

Jaffe D. maybe?
also about politics, it helps out getting a Bull-shit filter

David Jaffe said...

Cliff is very nice, very smart, very cool. I don't know him all that well. On the surface tho, he seems much cooler and more stylish and more hip than I ever will be. But he's always been a super nice guy and I dig his work.


Unknown said...

What was so great about iron man? I really didn't like it that much. I liked the first half,(spoiler) but why did he fight a giant robot at the end? Like, that just seemed kinda stupid to me. O well, i probably gonna get a lot of crap for saying that. I would have been more satisfied if he fought off like an army of terrorists. I say that only because when he went back to the country to destroy his weapons and get revenge, that part was sick. And then it just went downhill after the partner was showing his true colors to the audience.

Anonymous said...

nice post cliffy b. Hope to see your new game soon. I sure hope it's twisted metal

Anonymous said...

Yeah, i agree with marcalva.
JAFFE D. !!!

hope 2 see your new game soon. Twisted Metal!!!

Sadeq said...

LOL. Nice one on the Cliffy B name but sorry man, I can't call you that. I think, in my opinion at least, David Jaffe is cooler since it is, in my mind, hard-wired to the name God of War.

Anonymous said...


Can you respond to my previous question please?

David Jaffe said...

fells- it's a bigger topic than I have time for.

In essence, I refer to single player experiences versus gamey games. Zuma=game games and Portal=experience.

I found the problem in Portal, not as much in Zuma.

But even gamey games suffer from it unless they are very well designed that they can be played over and over and over in small spurts....

Portal was short so it was not that big of a deal but you could tell they were behind the scenes pulling he strings and going: ok, now let's take this element and mix it with that!

And that to me was not all that fun. BUT portal was a puzzle game really more- to me- than an experience game...so it really was more about the challenge of the unique puzzle mechanics versus putting you in an immersive world.

Hope that helps- can clarify later if time allows.


MattQ86 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MattQ86 said...

Yo Cliffy, been a fan for a long time.


thanks for the 360.

Michael Jarvis said...

Firstly, Jaffe D. for the win! :P

Nextly, just a few thoughts re Portal. In my opinion Portal wasn't as much about the experience or immersion as it was about telling a great story. Granted there was immersion, though I think that came much later in the game, specifically in about the last half hour (assuming most folks beat it in about 4 hours), where you finally find out what is going on, and destroy glados and then get teleported to the surface, at that moment I was like WHOA! Where am I?! and then BAM end of game.

As per mixing game mechanics I think, at least for me, that was part of the fun (assuming you are speaking about the differing ways in which the Portal Gun could be used) having to take full advantage of the Portal Gun to figure out the puzzles.

In my opinion if the game were longer, say 8 to 16 to 20+ hours then ya it would/could have drifted into repetitious and overused gameplay mechanichs but I think Valve was quite smart with the game knowing how long they could keep the user engaged simply using one 'tool' as it were.

If the tool is multifaceted I don't think you can really claim that as mixing mechanics if the design was intentional at least.

But perhaps I am misunderstanding you.

Thinking about it further, maybe you were speaking about combining things like the accelerated jump with an on the fly portal shot, and such? If that was your line of thinking I suppose I can understand where you are coming from though for me that added to the challenge, in a good way.

Anyhow, Jaffe D. should be your name, suits you much better. :P

Cheers sir.

Anonymous said...

Yo Cliffy B,
hilarious. You should start leaving your sig as that. Seriously, see how long you can ride this one out before you start getting in trouble or the joke becomes stale, because there's nothing people love more thatn a joke that has gone on for too long that has become stale:)

Anonymous said...

@t Geta-Ve and David,

I'm not exactly sure about it,
but I think that David meant that games like Portal have a tendency to stack features upon each other, because their relying on a specific game mechanic, in this case just one mechanic.

To me Portal kinda kept destroyed the experience that was so gently built up because of the continuous elevator-to-next-level thingy.

Sure, it was exciting waiting in there just to see a new level. But at the same time it sure felted like a wasted oppertunity.
Waiting in the elevator didn't really built up the tension for me.
The tension however did came from the moment the elevator opened.
But by then the tension had to rebuilt itself up once more.

It would have been better if the elevator instead was a simple gate connecting one level to another.
This way the immersion wouldn't die out.

However, I do know from the general point of drama that there's a thing called an arc, whichs builds up, and then MUST be released after.
If this is not done, then it's audience tires way too quickly.
My solution would be to make this elevator more like a gate you would see at an airport: a gate plain.
Since that's what it is.

A long and stretched corridor surrounded by glass which provide a quick peek to what this new level is all about. You'll hear nothing but your feets. Then, the solitude is gently broken down by the startup of the new level. You'll hear machines and such powering up.
Some make very loud noises that tinker your senses, while others are downright scary.
During this walk you'll hear glaDos speaking to you as if there's nothing to worry about.
Perhaps in Portal 2?

Any comments on this?

Michael Jarvis said...


While I understand your point of view, I am not sure if I agree with it entirely.

I think the 'elevators' were needed and intended for reasons which I will explain.

Needed - This is simple because of load times and such. An elevator system provided a great way to go through different 'floors' of the facility perhaps giving you the impression that this place is HUGE.

Intended - In my opinion the elevators also gave a clear break in floors/levels/puzzles, which is why you don't see them anymore after you escape the furnace. The elevators showcase that for their (aperture) experiments the subjects (player) are intended to go in one specific direction and accomplish one specific goal. Through the whole first half of the game I think you are supposed to feel like a lab rat, doing what 'the man' tells you to do, always being watched and studied.

The elevators gave a clear beginning and end to each puzzle, a goal to accomplish.

While an airport style level 'chooser' would be totally possible I think it defeats some of the emotional impact that was intended.

But that is strictly my opinion. :P

Anonymous said...

@t Geta-Ve

I like your reasoning and it even gave me more solutions to the opposed problems:

Needed & intended - Loading during an elevator move is indeed a decent and practical way. And you can even create your game around this approach, like it seems they did. However, there are multiple options you know.

And why stick with the tried and true?
This idea here took a like 2 minutes, and provided more impact, and ofcourse a little more work.

The method of thinking that I would use is to look closer at the type of game Portal is, and embracr that.
Portal is about a lab-rat.
Then why don't you simply collapse the previous level until it's completely flat?!
And when it's flat, simply remove all hidden geometry, which is now below the floor. And if this is gently done, there won't be any noticable loading times.
The rat feels trapped, thus moves.

And it doesn't matter if the player sees the level collapsing, in fact it's even better. That way they'll know the level is over, simply because the room is flat once more.
There's litterly NOTHING to do, except to move on. If this doesn't make you feel like a lab-rat..

And elevator gives you the impression you're in control, and takes that beautiful lab-rat feeling away.

This method gives the ongoing impression that there's MORE to come in later stages.
bigger rooms equal bigger challenge,
atleast that's what they think.
What I'm doing here is invoking another 2nd layer of emotion.

Imagine that for a second.
You enter a HUGE room that's completely empty. You wait. Suddenly the floor opens up and all the kinds of machinery and such show up, as if something is coming to life just for you and you only.

The emotional impact would be ten fold compared to the current Portal.

It could have been SO much more cooler.

Any comments on this would make me happy ;)

Alastor Mused said...

Yo Cliffy B,
1. The problem with the bailout is it needs to be strict and just buy assets not pay C.E.O's etc. I don't think anyone that doesn't have first hand experience with the issue will really understand the problem or solution. It's just another political spin tool now.
2. About the Game Design. It seems like you're saying that the game should blow the load at level 4-5 and just end the game there, at least that's my interpretation. I agree that it's not fun seeing the the mixing. However it seems like an easy solution to "why isn't there more in the game?" and it's easier on time development and funding (aka cheap easy solution). I agree that it doesn't make the game more fun nor should it be applauded. However, to my understanding, the only solutions available are
A) keep stretching out the game with a fairly constant or consistent level of difficulty (Which gets dull but people demand quantity as well as quality; a 1 hour game seems, in generalization, more dull then a 5 hour game or "I paid 60 bucks, Why the hell is there only 1 hour worth of this crap")
B) if the company has more funding then yeah it's also better to see legitimate new mechanics.
C) Mix it up like your blog mentions.

However I think gamers have become greedy. Meaning, We see 5 great game mechanics and want more.. so Devs have more pressure to add more which forces the lame solution in your Blog video OR creating absolute new mechanics which takes time and money. If you go with the latter you can create, lets say 10 fresh mechanics but at 2x the cost, and yet gamers will still question "why isn't there more?" and put pressure on dev's to add more. It seems like a never ending game of gamers wanting more and dev's trying to find time efficient and economical solutions to the problem. I agree that the state of mixing mechanics isn't award winning or worth applause but it works. I just don't see a solution unless you throw time and money to create new legitimate mechanics and if you do you still might get criticized with "why isn't there more?". Having an interesting story seems to keep me, and most of my friends, pushing thru games with similar game mechanics so I guess that is another solution if applicable. Psychologically, Once a human is subjected to something and gains a comfort with it, it becomes dull and repetitive. So I guess the question is how can Dev's create an uncomfortable solution to keep the gamer outside that comfort zone?

GrYnder McDuff! said...

Hahaha! Man your vlogs are always fun to watch. I actually laughed pretty good when you said
"Ive decided I do not want to be David Jaffe anymore. I want to be Cliffy B now."
Something about the way you said it just made me crack up. I had to go back a few seconds cause I missed what you said directly afterward. :P

Also, completley changing topics, today on the bus I had some Twisted Metal tunes playing on the iPod (Thanks for the TMSymphony, btw. As if the game itself wasn't enough :D) and, since I come to your blog often, I started wondering how large of a part you played in selecting the music for each game and each level. I was also wondering how you felt about the outcome of the soundtracks. Do you think that each song was a good choice for each level, or were some just sort of there to have something playing during the level? I'm talking namely TM1 and TM2 since those games have the most memorable soundtracks of the series.

If I were to ever be a game designer, I would totally want to be a part of selecting the types of music, and the songs used in the game.

Just curious about your thoughts on the music of your games thus far. I don't even know if you really get a huge say in the selection of music, since I know next to nothing about game designing.

Catch ya later, Cliffy >:D

Mikee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

David - I recall perhaps two years back there was a single episode on MTV called "Gods of Gaming," in which they interviewed: You, Cliffy B., Will Wright, and another game director (whom I obviously forgot the name of). I thought it was a cool interview, and I wish MTV and other networks would do more interviews like that, with multiple game designers sitting around and discussing and answering questions. But in the meantime, do you know where I could watch that episode again? Cause I can't seem to find it anywhere.


Anonymous said...

YEAH CLIFFY B hahahaha. i agree about the games man, so many games milk exposure into the game as long as they can and then finally there's nothing left to introduce to us the gamers and from then on they either just increase difficulty or do stuff like "oh no you lost all your weapons now you have to get them back one by one again!!!".

you are right in focusing strongly on the feel and experience and more minimally on the mechanics and mixture of mechanics. watching that post made me realize how much i hate when games do that! jolly good show

Anonymous said...

A little late, but Cliffy B became Dude Huge when "Dude Hugs" became a typo and the commenters all made a big deal over it.

Unknown said...

Go Cliffy B!

Michael Jarvis said...


Your collapsing idea is a pretty cool one, but I think it misses out on an important part of the (current) Portal story line.

The fact that later in the game you actually travel through the tubes right back to one of the previous floors was a genius move as it sort of brings everything together giving you this sense that you are actually in this big facility, not just playing levels in a game (so to speak)

Granted I believe heavily in the approach that was taken in Portal, I do however believe that your approach could work as well, however the story would have to change to coincide with your collapsing idea.

To use that would be akin to being in a holographic chamber (aka holodeck in star trek). This could work if in the later levels you 'glitch' out the system show parts of the actual room (the hologram would fail or what not) which allows you to escape and then explore the real facility, etc etc.

There are a multitude of ways they could have went about it and still had a fantastic game (in my opinion) but I definitely wouldn't fault them for the mechanics they stuck with. Listening to the behind the scenes stuff in portal shows that they had specific reasons for using any/all mechanics they chose to use in the game.

sakboi said...

haha - Great post B.

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Anonymous said...

@ Geta-Ve

To be honest, coming back via one of the tubes didn't really have an impact on me. But perhaps I was playin with my eye's closed ;)

I hate to be pushy, so for now, I'll try NOT to come up with another (a-hem better) solution, unless you want to hear it ofcourse..

I know I was kinda being picky of Portal 1, but the moment Portal 2 comes out, eveyone else will be picky too, and I hate to say
"I told you so.."

That being said, in the end I fully agree with you that Portal was indeed a good game ;)

Can you perhaps re-post that youtube video on your blog?
It's interesting.

Michael Jarvis said...

It is interesting to see how differently a game can effect 2 individuals. Or the perspectives in which they perceive the world they are traversing.

To be honest I am not quite sure what they CAN do with Portal 2. Unless they intertwine HL2 and Portal stories/world, where can they really go from there? The experimentee had escaped and now what?

Will Valve allow you to use your portal gun simply anywhere? can you throw down a portal in the beginning of the game and throw up another at the end to basically transport you instantaneously back to the beginning? I think that sort of freedom somewhat negates the beauty of the first game, the challenge and the puzzle aspects.

I am sure they could simply not allow portals to be shot on specific surfaces (ie. doesn't work on concrete) but that would, in my opinion, seem like a cop out of the sorts.

As per my blog entry the link has been fixed.

Funny you know, I admire folks that can keep a blog going, I always try but never seem to have anything of interest to write. Or at least anything that I personally am interested in.

KillerCroc said...

i think in regards to game design we as consumers get blinded by some game designers who spout their mechanic as the greatest thing ever (e.g we have the most realistic grass ever,..but hey the rest of the game is shit but who cares we'll blindside them with some techno babble) what happend to making the game all it can be and just putting it out there and letting us decide what we like (instead of us being told we like it). i suppose its all about cost which a few years ago never came up much when reading about a game, now its thrown in our faces like some fetid cream pie made out of upper class spunk.

sorry for the rant grate blog cliffy b (a.k.a david jaffe)

Rob Shock said...

I think you ought to be dubbed "Davey J".

I do agree I completely loath games that are difficult for the very sake of being difficult. It pisses me off when people go "OMG GOW is EZ lawlz!" and call it a button masher. It's usually DMC fanboys who can't come to grips that there is an action game more popular than DMC. (Nothing against DMC. I love it too.)

But the fact is that GoW is engaging and you don't have to come out of the game and go "Jesus! Why is this game so fucking hard!" And the notion that it's a "button masher" is bullshit because I know there is no way anyone would be able to get through all the combat portions of GoW by mashing the buttons. There are several enemies that require you to change up your combo strategy. But it's still done in an intuitive and engaging way.

Anonymous said...

I'm a hard right kind of guy, but I love coming and seeing this stuff Cliffy. :)

Funniest shit ever.

Anonymous said...

CliffyB is a dickhead - not you new CliffyB - old CliffyB is the dickhead - can I do that? :) lol nice one