Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Last Days Of Twisted Metal #2 (plus random pics from game production!)

Hey all! Here's me heading in for what will probably be my last Twisted Metal visit with the San Diego QA crew!

Tell you what: this amazing QA team been instrumental in the game's tuning and gameplay quality, working tirelessly (and I mean TIRELESSLY- these mofos work some CRAZY ASS hours!) with myself, the rest of the Eat Sleep Play crew out in the Lake Of Salt, and the boyz up at Sony Santa Monica! Thanks Bill, Jon, Gregg, and the whole SDQA staff for helping to make this Twisted Metal the best one we've ever made!

Talk soon-


ps. hoping to get some one on one QA interviews for the blog with some of the team who have tested the game and helped us tune it. Stay tuned for those!

pps. oh, some random pics! :)

I have no recollection of how or why this amazing tradition began but DAMN am I glad I get to be on the receiving end of it! :) Every Christmas my amazing GOD OF WAR co-writer Marianne Krawczyk gets me a full on pack of fantastic bubble gum! For a few years running it's been Bazooka but I was just in Santa Monica for our final TWISTED METAL playtest and damn if the woman didn't go and get me a 90 piece pak of the best fucking bubble gum IN THE WORLD: SUPER BUBBLE!!! This is just the kinda gum I got as a kid when I'd get a hair cut and I fucking love it! Thank you MA! Oh, and for those of you not in the know, Marianne was also a writer on ALL of the the other GOW games, as well as this year's mega phenom SKYLANDERS and this summer's sure to be hit game STAR TREK!

My view from the playtest last Thursday/Friday! Always fun to watch the last playtest because- barring anything major (and yes, we did find one dial we wanted to tweak!), the game is done and you can just sit back and watch and see how the game came out! And if you are curious by the way, we had 5 play testers last week and here are the results...

Again, as I've said, we never expect/assume these OVERALL SCORES will= review scores and we also never assume just because they BRPs (Buy/Rent/Pass) answers are all YES that the world- or even these folks- will buy the game. In a play test like this - where they are IN the office of the people who are working on the game- you never know if you are getting a 100% accurate response to the game or if someone is fishing for a job! BUT- all of that said- the scores have been pretty consistent as of late and so, hey, I won't like: these are nice to see! 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Rambling Man Returns! AKA- DAMN this is long!!! :)

Pretty long and rambly. PLUS it's Sunday am and I'm working at home so my kids scamper in and out of the video at the start. If you JUST want some TM info, skip to around 6 min, 7 min...and that's all Doctor Who free and kid free too!

Talk soon- gotta run!


Saturday, January 21, 2012

My Day With Tim...And Morgan...And Garnett...

...and a whole lotta other super cool, super nice folks!

I hit LA yesterday to pimp our game on Garnett's fantastic WEEKEND CONFIRMED podcast! Here's a crappy pic of my view watching Garnett kick things off:
And yes indeed eagle eyed readers: that IS Michael McWhertor sitting next to me and Garnett. If you don't know, Michael just left Kotaku and is now doing his thang at Gametrailers where he - among other things- writes the biz's newest must read blog: SIDE/MISSION!

I've been a fan of Garnett and his podcasts since the 1up days and it was a real thrill, honor, and blast to sit with his crew (in front of the mikes and in the control booth) and gab games for 3 hours! The time flew by and I had a great time! Thanks ya'll!

So then I headed down Wilshire to the G4 offices where the team allowed me to pimp our baby on one of my fave game shows: XPLAY! I also got to do G4's podcast! Besides getting to talk games and pimp Twisted Metal, doing these shows meant I also got to spend time with the always kind, very talented, and- yes- stunning Morgan Webb!

Here she is hosting the podcast (which will air on/around Valentine's Day...the same day Twisted Metal hits! :)

Oh, and the XPLAY will air end of this month! Please stay tuned for both! 

Ok, so get this: while I'm pimping the Metal, turns out the legendary Tim Schafer was doing some XPLAY too, promoting his studio's amazingly fun Kinect game Double Fine's Happy Action Theater! Check it out if you've not seen this super creative title:

Pretty cool, eh? It hits Feb 2nd and I will be grabbing it day 1 to play with the kids!

And even better, I got to jump into the game WITH its creator, along with Ms. Morgan and fellow XPLAY host (and always super cool) Adam Sessler (who is now sporting a bad ass Picard look, by the way)! Check us out, acting tha fools:

And here's Tom chatting it up on the podcast! I could talk games and the biz with this guy all day and hope I get the chance to soon! 
And yes, that's Xplay's very own Steve Johnson- man of 1000 voices!- in between Tim and me. Very cool, very funny dude! 

And here's me and Tim in another of my 'me meeting a hero' pics:
With this one and John Romero's from last month (and Shigeru Miyamoto's from a few years back), I'm building quite a collection! :)

Oh check it: me, Tim, and Morgan even made a flick together :)

How cool is that?!?!

Ok- gotta run- lots to do this weekend (including getting the contest finally judged by tomorrow!)- talk soon! 


Thursday, January 12, 2012


Check us out on Gamestats- how cool! Mega thanks to the Twisted Fans (not to mention Sony PR and Marketing!) for kicking us up so high!

And here is a link to the TWISTED METAL forums! Will start posting on there very soon (next few days).

Chat soon- later ya'll!


Saturday, January 07, 2012

All Things Twisted!

Hey- just a random catch all of some really cool TM stuff that hit this week. Wanted to share!

First up...twitter buddy @sarshelyam sent me these great pics from a GameStop in Pleasant Hill (up in northern CA). I LOVE the fact that Twisted Metal is started to get this kind of love from the retail stores! Thanks for the pics sarshelyam and thanks for the love Gamestop! 


Next up I wanted to say thanks to longtime twitter follower and super hard core Twisted Metal fan @Needles_Kane34 for showing his faith in the series and the team with a fully paid pre-order of the game! Check it out! 
I've gotten a handful of pics just like this on my twitter and I wanted to say thanks- on behalf of myself, the tireless beasts over at Eat Sleep Play, and the hardworking crew at Sony Santa Monica- to each and every one of ya'll who've preordered the game (not to mention those that have preordered and PAID FOR THE GAME IN FULL!)

That kind of faith and support has gotten us over 100K preorders on the America Pre Orders chart over at VGA! Check it out! 

Now, I know, I know, it's not the 400K of Mass Effect 3 or the 200K of FF, but Twisted has always been profitable but it's never been one of those super main stream titles and I don't expect this time to be any different. So trust me when I say, 100K+ preorders 7 weeks before we hit is something we're damn excited by! Now we just gotta hope those preoders turn into purchases once the game drops (aka- trust me, we're not assuming that a single preorder means a copy sold...but it's a nice indication that we're picking up some good momentum as we head into our launch week!)...

Ok so moving on...check this out- updated TWISTED METAL game stats:

Top of GAMESPOT's COMING SOON MOST POPULAR! And ALMOST in the overall top 10 over on Gamestats.com! Granted, these things change like the weather- more so actually- as we've dropped from the top 5 overall games at IGN (but are still sitting at #3 on their PS3 list)- so it's not like we look at these and think it means we're going to outsell all those games under us (not even fucking close)...but at worst it's a fun little things to track that tells us people are becoming more aware of the title and at best it's one of a handful of helpful tea leaves we can read to get a sense of how excited the world is for the game!

So hey- have you been to our updated website as of late?!? Here's a pic!
The Sony marketing and web crew have been going nuts adding all kinds of stuff. So please check it out at twistedmetal.com! 

Now the website ain't done yet, not by a long shot. It's gonna be coming together over the next few months in piecemeal sort of fashion. Here's what's coming up on the site:

  • Bug fixes :): yeah, we pulled the trigger a tad early and some mistakes made it in (TLMS supports 2 teams, not 4; Kamikaze is indeed the name of one of our sports cars, NOT Specter;  and 1-2 other factual errors that we'll be cleaning up very soon)

  • Twisted Metal University! I'm real excited by this! Sony is putting together a series of deep drive videos to explain how all the weapons and levels and vehicles (and more!) work! These will hopefully hit a major gaming site first and then- after an exclusive window closes- migrate to the blog so by launch, you'll be able to click on every vehicle, weapon, level, and mode and get a pretty great sense of not just the basics but some cool strategies and tactics as well. 

  • Twisted Metal Blog + Forum: very soon, I'll be a frequent contributor at the TM blog where we got lots of fun stuff planned. It's not quite ready for all my crazy videos and pics yet but it will be soon and lots of the TM posts that you usually see on this blog (like this one right here) will live either on both blogs or on the TM blog exclusively. TM Forums will also go up soon that you can access from the site. I'll be a frequent poster both before launch and post launch as we make it our defacto location where we'll connect with the community , hear what is working, what needs to be fixed, what weapons may need some balance love,etc. 

  • COOL COMMUNITY FEATURES!- Can't speak to specifics AT ALL right now! But this stuff has me very, very excited because I know these features- which will be live by launch- will serve to bring the worldwide TM community together like never before! Stay tuned!!!!

Speaking of the TM COMMUNITY- check this shit OUT: 
We got a page over at Major League Gaming/GameBattles! 

As a lot of ya'll may know, from the very first design emails, we've always thought of this new Twisted Metal as an over the top, bloody, nasty, super violent E-SPORT! The fact that GB/MLG have given us a shot at proving that out? Well that's some damn exciting news, I can tell ya! Can't wait to watch and see if the game- like we've hoped from the start- inspires a strong, vocal, and passionate community of hardcore vehicle combatants! Hell, when I get some downtime from work, I may just start my very own TM clan! :)

Finally- been doing a number of the promised podcasts with the gaming sites out there. So far I've done this one with the always fun and entertaining crew over at PSNation:
Thanks to Glenn and the gang for the opportunity, hospitality, and horrific image of me in children's underwear :). CLICK HERE TO LISTEN! 

I also did a podcast with Doc (who I first met when he was on season 1 of PSN'S THE TESTER) and his crew. That's gonna hit soon and you'll be able to hear it in PSHOME as well as download it on itunes and- I think- 1 or 2 other places.

And then just 2 nights ago I had a really fun conversation with the team at Splitkick, they of the super fun Fall Damage podcast.

Will post links to both of those shows as soon as they go up. And going to try to lure my partner in crime Scott Campbell onto at least a few of these gab fests, so stay tuned! 

And then there's a lot more lined up in the coming 3-5 weeks as we lead up to Twisted Metal. Gonna be sitting down with Garnett Lee and his crew at Weekend Confirmed start of next month; gonna chat with Blair Herter over at X-PLAY/G4 for their great pcast; still hoping to do the Destructoid Podcast with Jim Sterling wherein we discuss/debate Online Passes! Plus, will be talking to other podcasts and blogs as well and will be linking to them here. Also, if you are one of the smaller (and small does not mean small on talent or passion, mind you!) blogs or podcasts I've chatted with over the last 6 months who was promised- or who wants to chat- please reach out to my amazing assistant Q on twitter at @QSincock and we'll get you set up (if I've already promised an interview) and try to get you set up if it's a new request.

Ok whew! That's a lot! I need to take a break then I got a bunch of fantastic, amazing, stunning Twisted Metal Spirit contest entries to judge! If you've entered the contest and are wondering if you've won (same with the New Year's Eve 'Shut Up And Bleed You Motherfucker!' contest) check back with the blog this weekend and I'll have a list of entries as well as the winners!

Talk soon- thanks for visiting the blog! Hope your weekend is going great!


Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Contest Update #2

FYI: New Year's Eve contest winner details + 'Show Your Twisted Spirit' winners coming this week. Been sick, running behind. Sorry :(.