Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Death (and Future?) Of Twisted Metal

Twitter follower @Vyprstryke tweeted me this morning:


I wanted to respond here on the blog as I get the 'what is the future of Twisted Metal' question often enough (which is a really nice question to get cause it means the series still has fans!) that it seemed best to put my quick thoughts all in one place. So here's my take on Twisted Metal's future:

#1- I said it would for sure be the last Twisted Metal game I worked on, at least for a long while. I can't speak for Sony's plans for the franchise other than to say I've heard nothing about a new one. But I've not been a Sony employee since 2007/8 (?) so I am far from a Sony insider. For all I know they ARE making a sequel and I've simply not been informed. And to be fair, even if I had been informed, I could/would not tell you :). Just like with TM PS3's secret existence, I do not feel it is my place to decide when a publisher- who owns and pays for the game- wants to reveal its secrets. 

#2- As for Sony making a new TM, TM PS3 got some great reviews and some terrible reviews which has placed it at a 76% metacritic. It sold fine. Not a dud, not a hit. When all is said and done, I hope Sony will be satisfied that it made a decent investment in the game and in us. But it was not a mega blockbuster or even a big hit (was it even a 'hit'?...not sure what is in between 'dud' and 'hit' but I think TM PS3 falls into that category)...

#3- I HOPE Sony makes a new TM one day. Heck, once we get the new studio launched and we've brought some new IPs to the world that folks enjoy, I can see myself dying to go back and do a new TM w/the new studio and with Sony. But for now, I really want to do new things. But one day, sure, I'd love to return to straight up car combat. But I'd want to do it super small and all digital. So a launch would look something like:  5-6 vehicles, 2 levels (with 1 or both being able to be broken up into at least 1 other level map), 3 modes (TDM, DM, and 1 new, fresh mode), 8 weapons, a 4 level single player campaign with a single end boss, inexpensive stories for each of the 5-6 characters (aka TM2 but with darker visuals).

NOT cutting edge visuals at all. We would find an art style that fits the game but allows us to keep the budget down. Or we'd go photo real but just accept we're not going to compete with current gen visuals and budget/charge accordingly. I think TM works because of the play and the world and the genre. While bleeding edge TM visuals would rock, I don't think the genre is big enough to merit the cost.

And that gets put out and- if it's great- we can count on the fans to show up and we make our money back and a small profit. And if it's AMAZING, we can count on even more. And then we see if there is interest in doing add ons and such.

And heck: if the new free to play models I'm thinking of for our new games, perhaps we put out a f2p version as well. And before you balk, I assure you, it would not consist of you buying missiles and paying for a faster car or for more armor. It would not be pay to win. It would not be micro transaction based. 

But again, this is just me pie in the sky thinking out loud. None of this is planned.

#4- I think the dark Twilight Zone-meets-CreepShow-meets-Se7en world of Twisted Metal is ripe for more products and I hope Sony does something with that universe. Heck, I hope Sony reaches out to me to ask me and the new crew to do something with it. But instead of a super expensive sixty dollar game, I'd love to do a next-gen Twisted Metal/Sweet Tooth all digital graphic novel or a small, indie style adventure game (super low budget) or- as I've said in the past- a low budget Tooth slasher movie, etc. But whether we are involved or not, I really think that TM is a cool world that can yield a great deal of success outside of the vehicle combat niche. In fact, I would venture that the property would be substantially more successful if it were expressed in other game genres and other media. 

So those are my thoughts on the franchise as it stands on July 31st, 2012. I still love the Twisted Metal games Scott and I and the rest of the talented team have made over the years. I am still very proud of the TMPS3 multiplayer. And I still love, love, love the TM universe. 

But right now, I'm happily exploring new universes and am excited to report back my findings and the findings of my new team to the world when the time is right! 

And with that, I'm outta here! Oh, one more Twisted thing:

Tooth's machete from the Twisted Metal PS3 movies and its current, unseemly resting place: the trunk of my 2005 Toyota Corolla. I really need to frame this damn thing and hang it on my wall. 

Later Ya'll-