Saturday, July 24, 2010

Thoughts from Comic Con

Hey- just wanted to pop in and say a quick 'hey' to everyone, post a few pics, let you know what is up.

So we had a fantastic panel yesterday- packed house! To all blog readers who were there, thank you SO MUCH for showing up. We were so surprised we packed it. I shit you not: I expected about 20 people. Ya'll are too kind.

Will be posting some pics of stuff I saw and loved from the show a bit later in the weak. Meantime, two things:


Here are some behind the scenes pics from our ending movies for the new Twisted Metal. Lots more work to do on the post processing effects but I think we're off to a great start!

NOTE: YES, Tooth is gonna have flaming hair. As you can see from all the green, we're going to be doing TONS of post effects on these, from adding in the backgrounds, to adding in props, to- in this case- giving Tooth his signature hairdo.

Image of PREACHER represents the direction we're heading in for the look of the flicks. Not done yet by a long shot, but we think it's off to a cool start.

NOTE: A good 85% of the shots will be dream like slow motion with Twisted Metal:Black style voice overs. To be 100% frank, that helps reduce the cheese that can sometimes creep into these sorts of game flicks. Some scenes that we showed for comic con may end up feeling too cheese for our taste and so our secret weapon is to slow it down, add the voice over while still seeing the actors talking but no longer hearing the cheese dialogue. Again, most of the slow mo shots were planned way in advance but just so you know: we're looking out for the cheese and if it creeps in, we have a way to eradicate it! :)

#2- WE HEAR YOU! :) - Scott, Kellan, and I went to breakfast today to discuss the overwhelmingly positive comic con reaction (as well as to get some design work done). We also discussed the fact that some of ya'll are not digging only seeing 3 of the Twisted Metal characters in the game (4 actually if you count Preacher). Two things to that:

a- please keep in mind this Twisted Metal single player and co-op will be more varied than ANY TM you've ever played. We are NOT doing GTA style missions or vehicle escorts and such BUT we DO have mechanics laid on top of the core campaign deathmatch that adds to the play varied so you don't get bored. We also have more bosses than any TM game. We also have around 35-45 minutes of live action and- when it's done- super cool stories in the game (more than- I THINK- we've ever done). So while you may be disappointed by the fact that there are currently no plans for Marcus Kane or Bloody Mary or No Face, please know that the one player/campaign game you DO get is going to be the best one we've ever made.

b- we hear you. We talked about it at breakfast today and discussed possible ways to address the concern. Can we make those adjustments to the game in the time we have left? Not sure, no idea. But for those who respectfully voiced your issue, it is appreciated, the development and publishing team is aware of your issue, and we are looking to see if there is anything we an do about it. No promises at all. But just so ya know, ya'll are being heard. And it's appreciated.

Ok, heading home to get my kids. I always have them stay over in the last nite of the con (they are still so young that they get a mega kick out of staying in a hotel). Then in the morning we're gonna hit the Comic Con Kid's Day! Gotta bolt- hope all is well!



Wednesday, July 21, 2010

COMIC CON...HERE I COME! Well...soon...if I can get enough shit done tonite......

Oh My God! It's 11pm and I still got a metric shite ton of stuff to get done before tomorrow! Sheesh!

Screw it- gonna go to bed and get up at 5am. Trying to work while running on fumes=futile and shitty.

A few things first:

#1- If you like, check out this interview I did with the very cool website mydvdinsider about our LIVE ACTION stories for the new Twisted Metal! Wha!?!? Did I just say LIVE ACTION!?! I DID! Can you believe it?!? We're kicking this shit old school, Jungle Strike FMV style! Except with no white tigers.

#2- 1UP just put up an interview I did with them about all things Twisted Metal. Please do check that out as well, if you please :)...

Ok, I think I hear the laundry buzzing. I shit you not: I have like 4 shirts right now that I just wash over and over. And like 2 jeans that I can still fit into (yes I'm putting on some weight as the stress of the game kicks this sucks!) anyway, I hope I can find another pair of jeans I can get into and I'm not bumming around the con with nasty ass 2 day old jeans on :)...I really should go shopping but I fucking hate clothes shopping.

Oh- and if you plan on attending our panel at Comic Con- and I hope ya do- here's some info: We had some issue with customs in China and so we only got 100 masks to give away at our panel. Our room- Room 8- seats 350 but to be frank, I would be thrilled if we could get 50-75 people in there. I don't see us filling the place. So all you who plan on showing up should be taken care of if you want a mask. But just so you know, if you plan on coming and you really are dying for a Tooth mask, get there a few minutes early just to be sure. But again, I ain't expecting a full house given the competition we're up against at Friday 1pm. That's cool'll be nice and intimate for just us hard core Twisted Metal heads! :) We'll have fun!

Oh and the extra 1-2 thousand masks we HAD planned to give out at the con are still coming. Just need to figure out how to give them out. PAX perhaps? Not sure, will let ya'll know!

Ok-later ya'll! Hope all is well!


Sunday, July 18, 2010


Being away from the blog for over a month allowed me to accumulate a bunch of photos. Perhaps ya'll would be interested in checking them out?  Hope so cuz I'm a-fixin ta share some pictures :)

Oh, I also plan to post a bunch of comic con photos in the next week. I LOVE blogs and websites that post pics from the con. There's just so much cool stuff to see and- if I may let the depth of my nerdiness be known- a handful of times during the year I'll get to craving the con and it's always cool to hit the net to remind myself of/relive the annual mega explosion of all things geek. So I'll get those up next week once the con winds down.

But for now, chex my random shit: 

We were so excited and grateful that Sony pulled the trigger and made a full fledge Tooth van for the E3 unveiling. What a great, fun way to make an entrance! This is me a few days before the show at a rehearsal for the press conference. 

Pretty darn good replica if I do say so myself! 

Interior was pretty bland. If it would have gotten any screen time at the press conf I guess we would have had to tackle what exactly the inside of Tooth's truck DOES look like. I imagine it like a serial killer's lair, with dead bodies stuffed into the ice cream freezers and hundreds of little hanging pictures of the neighborhood kids- carefully cut out from school year books- dangling from the roof of the truck on dirty little pieces of string; sort of like his 'bucket list' of the kids in the hood he's yet to get to. Man, that's kind of sick. What is wrong with me?!? :)

Just a few of the many Eat Sleep Players who made it to the show to promote our baby. They all did an amazing- and tireless- job of helping new players settle right in to the Twisted Metal experience. Thanks ya'll! 

This was the ballroom of the Shrine Auditorium where we prepped and practiced our on stage press conference demo. As a film nut who grew up religiously watching the Oscars with my family, being in this room was a real thrill. This is the room where- for years- the Academy would host the Governor's Ball, the big, swanky first party of the night. This is the room where Spielberg celebrated after winning his first Oscar; where Cameron probably had to live down a shit load of evil eyes after saying he was king of the world. Not trying to over dramatize it- it is just a fucking old building- but for me, the whole dang place was just filled the ghosts of my childhood heroes. It was a real thrill to be on the same stage, walk the same halls, and pee in the same bathrooms as the movie directors that I used to idolize. But speaking of ghosts, man this building is old and dank and creeky and I would LOVE to spend the night in it with some ghost hunters cause you KNOW it's fucking haunted! 

My view backstage a few minutes before they shoved us in the back of the ice cream truck and we hit the stage. I took this pic to remind myself how amazing the opportunity we were about to have really was; to remind myself how grateful I was to be in the position we were in. To close the Sony press conference, to be included among such amazing games as Killzone 3 and Assassin's Creed and Little Big Planet 2 (and many others), to be at a level in the industry that a game that I had a mega hand in bringing to life was now about to be presented in such a cool way...well, it's just hard not to take it all in with a mega sense of gratitude. You never know if the game you are making is your last game. You never know if the game you are making will crash and burn and in doing so never allow you to have such support and press and interest again. And so- for me- when moments like the press conference arrive, I really try to take it all in and process it and remember all the details so it really stays with me, so I really am living in that very exciting moment. Jimmy Buffet has a great, apropos quote: "If you decide to run the ball, just count on fumbling and getting the shit knocked out of you a lot, but never forget how much fun it is just to be able to run the ball!"  To me, right now, we're getting to run the ball in the fucking NFL. Will we score a touch down? Will we get our back's broken as we get slammed by the opposition? Will we win the Super Bowl? Who knows. But it is sure is fucking fun to run that ball. 

Me and Scott meeting Sweet Tooth backstage, a few hours before the conference started. What a total thrill for me to see one of our creations brought to life. Love that machete! 

Our little corner of the Playstation Booth :) Look at the line! The game had lines the whole 3 days which sucked for convention goers. But for us, it was great because it meant interest in the title, great word of mouth on the show floor, and people coming back to play the game again and again. When I worked for Sony it was cool to have a game I was involved in in the Sony booth. But now that I'm independent, it becomes more clear what an honor it is to be part of the Sony family. To have our game chosen to stand shoulder to shoulder with such amazing first party titles like Killzone 3 and GT5 and's just a cool thrill to be included in that line up! 

Kellan Hatch, Eat Sleep Play's art and creative director taking a pic with our baby in the background :)

Close up shot of our booth.

I had never heard of one time Youtube sensation Charlie The Unicorn until my kids became obsessed with watching it over and over and quoting the little web movie verbatim during mini van trips all over town. Heck, I really like it as well. Very PG rated South Park stuff, very strange in a great way. Charlie is now my oldest daughter's favorite character and so when it was time to have the grocery store cake maker put something on my kid's b-day cake, Charlie was the obvious choice :) 


Had my kids at D-land last month and saw these very cool Hot Wheels style cars. Boba and Indy are two of my favorite characters ever created so to see them given the Hot Wheel treatment was pretty sweet. Didn't buy them because- as I've said before- I'm trying not to clutter my office with tons of toys (been there, done that) but they are still pretty cool. Maybe LucasFilm will let us put them in the new Twisted Metal!?!? :)

Me and my brother took my girls to the amazingly big and fun Del Mar fair on the 4th of July. We had a total blast! Great games, foods, and rides! And since people didn't start flooding the place till the night (for the fireworks) we pretty much had the place to ourselves all morning and afternoon. So NO LINES! :) Here are two random pics:

For some strange reason, the Del Mar racetrack- and thus the Del Mar fair- has a small, miniature version of Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor.  Readers of the blog knows how much I loves ma' Farrells! :) So I took a pic of the candy counter. Doesn't come CLOSE to the amazing relaunch of Farrell's in Orange County but this one is only a few miles from my house :)

What's this I see on my soda cup?!? Dennis DeYoung (original lead singer of Styx as well as the main man who wrote most of the band's classics) was at the fair this month?!? And what's this?!? He was NOT doing his own, original post Styx stuff (which is kinda...not great) but he was actually doing music FROM Styx! Oh man! And I missed it?!? FUUUUUUCCCCCKKKKK! Man I dig Styx! :)

Dark Rides- for those not in the know- are the haunted house ride-thru attractions you find at pretty much every fair in the country (world?)...some are lame and shitty; some are downright scary! Here is a great website about dark rides for those who are interested. But man, I just love dark rides! And there were a lot at this year's fair and I rode most of them. And the thing I love the most? The artwork on the outside of the dark rides. 

Now I can't put my finger on the art style. I don't know if there is a name for it. Cynics and people who have lost touch with their inner 14 year old would probably use the word 'bad' to describe it but I say, 'fuck them'. I just love this kind of stuff. It's has this sort of this '70's/early 80's airbrushed-on-the-side-of-a-van' look that just really appeals to me. It's got this 'little kid, sci fi/fantasy, Heavy Metal Movie-Magazine, 2000 AD comic, Tales From The Crypt, EC Comics, music of Styx with the D&D lyrics of Zeppelin'  kind of mentality that I just LOVE so much. Anyone who has played Twisted Metal and God of War should recognize the same vibe because they are one and the same. Here are some pics of some of my fave dark house exteriors from this year's fair: 

 Check out the chick with the mega boobs up top. There's always this sexuality sprinkled in with the sci fi/fantasy stuff. Which I love. Just like God of War, it really represents that perfect balance when you were still a kid but you were also growing up. So you still loved the imaginative stuff of your childhood (dragons and sci fi battles) but you were also starting to dig girls. I like to think I've kept that balance over the years and well into my adulthood as- for me- I find it a very nice place to be :)

Japanese flavored sci fi dude battling some demon?!? Totally makes no fucking sense but in such a great way! 

Again, sci-fi meets sexuality. Check the demon out grabbing at the half-naked chick's tush. 

Castle INSIDE the mouth of a monster rock...with a fucking DEMON ON TOP! That's metal baby! And I LUVS it! :)

Sex and MONSTERS! Great mix! 

Very Creepshow! I LOVE IT!

Neat underground comic/70's drug influenced stuff. Love this as well. Had hoped Calling All Cars would feel more like this, more XXX rated and sexy and druggy but...well, that's a totally different story. NEXT TIME! :)


Ok ya'll! So that's what's up! Now I'm heading off to clean the house a bit (kid's bday party last nite+kid sleep over= house is a fucking disaster), gonna write up notes and design docs for a game design/production meeting we are having next week (when Sony and Eat Sleep Players are in town for the con), gonna work out, and then catch an afternoon showing of INCEPTION. So that's what's up...

Great weekend ya'll!


Friday, July 16, 2010

Twisted Metal: Apocalypse!

There was a time- 2 years ago about- that the new PS3 Twisted Metal was going to be set in an apocalyptic wasteland. Co-Director Scott Campbell was not in favor as he doesn't dig the whole post apocalypse vibe. So we nixed it. Good thing we did given the glut of apocalypse style games now flooding the market. Scott so smart! :)

That said, I still love this design for post nuke Sweet Tooth!

Come see more images from TM:APOCALYPSE as well as images of the also nixed urban vibed Twisted Metal (along with cool give aways and other cool Twisted Metal stuff) at the Twisted Metal panel at the San Diego Comic Con! It's in room 8 on Friday at 1pm!

Hope to see ya there!


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Jaffe Ramble!

Hey world, check me out! I made a video!

And here is the link from the Eurogamer Twisted Metal hands on I was mentioning.

Later ya'll!