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Twisted Metal: Harbor City (Read 35625 times)
Kilrahi
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Re: Twisted Metal: Harbor City
Reply #45 - 07/18/12 at 23:37:51
 
Okay, look, every time I start posting stuff that gets detailed about this I think it wigs TMA admins out and they scrap it.

I wish rather than delete whole damn posts though when they do that they'd just delete my one reply and private message me to shut up, but here are some "opinions" of mine gleaned from a few Incog team members who spoke off the record, as well as just some facts in general.  Now,
while it is entirely possible, and likely, that there are some things below that are assumptions, and some bunk or just crap based on other people's opinions (or perspectives), I guarantee you a good portion of it is fact, or pretty damn close to how it all went
.
 So, there you go, read and enjoy.  

1.  No, Dave Jaffe had nothing to do with TMB2.  He was aware of it, and even came by TMA once to hint about it (he referred to it as secrets that the good folks at Incognito were cooking up for us that it was not his business to spill the beans on).  Keep in mind his interest in Twisted Metal has, and I don't mean this as an attack, came and went with time.  At the time of TMB2 he was not interested in another Twisted Metal and was instead hard at work on God of War.

Also, and most people seem to miss this, he was NOT a part of Incognito.  He was a part of Sony Santa Monica Studios.  They were two separate groups.  


2.  Twisted Metal Black: 2 was nearly completed.  It didn't have one or two levels, it was a whole damn city, and according to several on the team it functioned amazingly well with very little slowdown.

Some basic car models were clearly done (though keep in mind they probably planned and could have used many of the models from Black with touched up finishes).  

3.  At the 9th hour the higher ups at Incognito (read: Scott Campbell) freaked out about TM's viability.

This seems to be a trend they started after Black.  Apparently a million selling greatest hits is a reason to crap your pants.  Further, even though TMHO sold well enough even though it was put together sloppily, they still freaked out.

At any rate, like many game companies of the time they worried the only way to make a game "viable" was to slap Grand Theft Auto on it.

It's similar to what many game companies do now where they slap "Call of Duty" on it (see new TM game).  

So they tried incorporating on foot elements which according to few on the team who spoke on it, and in my opinion, was a bad idea.  

4.  Twisted Metal Black: 2 was halted 3/4 of the way through production to throw together TMHO at Sony's request.  The plan was to then go back and finish TMB2.

5.  By the time TMHO was finished Incog found itself with a few dilemmas.  Rumor mill says Scott and a few other higher ups were sick of Twisted Metal.  Furthermore, Warhawk was way bloated (i.e. over budget on time and money) and they desperately needed to save that whale (which Dylan Jobe, my personal hero, did).  

Furthermore, Dave Jaffe came in and was interested in doing a PSP game (Heartland).  

So, despite it being very VERY close to done, and despite 18 months of work and money, and despite the fact it probably would have been one of their best selling titles (which Incog seriously needed after a few years of snoozers) they scrapped Twisted Metal to focus on finishing Warhawk and Heartland.

6.  Unfortunately it sounds like the team at Incognito really didn't jive with Dave's ideas on Heartland (this seems to be a reoccurring motif with them).  So, it was shit canned.

The majority of the team focused on saving Warhawk.  This involved gutting its lacking single player to instead make it's killer online mode.

What was left on Incognito finished up the respectable "Calling All Cars" (which for reason I have never understood, ESP seems to always take the credit for . . . I'm sure they were mostly the same peeps but seriously, WTF).  

7.  Dave and Scott, and a ton of Incognito, then bail on Incognito to form ESP.  Around this time, and probably not coincidentally, the server for TMBO is killed.  

It was probably running on a computer in Incog's basement and it went out when the power went out.  

8.  By August 2007, and at the release of Warhawk, Incognito had about 6 people on the team.  Kirk Baum, a TM and internet genius, who wore his love for all things TM on his sleeves, left Incognito pretty much the week or so before release day.

Game comes out; the last of the once great Incognito dies shortly after that . . .

And that folks, is the rest of the story.  


One thing I think that has to be clear and said about TMB2.  Every single person of the team who has ever spoken about it communicates that they thought it was awesome, would be the best Twisted Metal ever, and that they were quite proud of it.  Furthermore, it is implied, if not outright said sometimes, that it was one of those "stupid upper management" things that got it shit canned that we will all experience from time to time in our own jobs.  You know the kind I mean!

So who do you believe?  Those who canned it and say it was a good decision, or those who worked on it and said it wasn't.

Both are biased.  Of course teams are invested in what they do and believe in it, and hate to see it get cancelled for any reason.  Of course, managers are notorious for being egocentric and having to interpret every decision they ever make, even dumb ones, as part of some divine plan.  Both have biases.

Personally, I believe the team.  Bad decision to shit can.
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Re: Twisted Metal: Harbor City
Reply #46 - 07/19/12 at 02:29:08
 
That's it! I'm writing Eat Sleep Play!!!! Assuming they aren't dead, someone has to see it right? ESP.biz, here fanboydome comes to hail blaze!

Seriously, Scott, without being pejorative, seems like the freakout type in a way. I wonder where the material went, or is?! What does a company do with a 3/4 complete game? How do you just 'delete' that much production? Did they assume we were going to take this very well, and importantly not gripe or write them possibly? IDK
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Re: Twisted Metal: Harbor City
Reply #47 - 07/19/12 at 02:37:49
 
Well, this depresses me even more. But you know what it happens to the best. What I mean is this is't the only well anticipated game that got shot down. I was so ampt for Fear Effect inferno when it was announced, I never found out the details on what happend to that game *sigh*.

Edit* ^ yep ESP went under, or on the verge of it.
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Re: Twisted Metal: Harbor City
Reply #48 - 07/19/12 at 03:06:00
 
Well, I wrote them, considering the fact that their website and twitter is still up, I gave it a shot and hopefully will get something of a response at least in return. I really don't know how futile my efforts are, but not knowing is what makes this fun for me in the first place. Smiley

I feel saddened, the ESP twitter lacked much activity compared to Jaffe's. There many tweets that never got responded to, I feel bad. Sad

I really don't think I have the guts to make a false LINKEDIN profile just to write Scott, lol, I know that sounds bizarre and immaturely mischievous but sometimes you gotta' pull strings as they say. Don't worry, I won't! *Throws hands up at Admins*
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Re: Twisted Metal: Harbor City
Reply #49 - 07/19/12 at 03:46:54
 
I'm just not sure what ppl expect to come of this?

It's a dead game and had little success of being restarted at a later date even if TMps3 had been perfect.

I was getting emails from 'Incog Guy' long after TMHO had come out and though I don't know if that stuff was genuine I think we can agree that at the time the name Harbor City wasn't in common knowledge around here?

The best thing I can say is I am actively looking for some code if it still exists and would buy it if the chance appeared.

Releasing it though?

Probably a very different matter...


On an unrelated matter ESP are in fact sadly dead.

I hear there was another train crash...
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Re: Twisted Metal: Harbor City
Reply #50 - 07/19/12 at 04:11:27
 
Very authentic Arch, but, I'm addicted, and how do you deter an addict?
You just don't lol. I don't know what I expect really. I'm in fantasy land, can't help if I go over the edge from here. I know it seems way lost, but I'm not the kind that gives up even when he's holding his own entrails in his hands.

People have done more miraculous things out there in the world, what makes this seem so impossible next to what's 'improbable'? Beside this, it's like we might as well become devs ourselves, come out with the same game with a different name. lol I know I'm crazy

The age of technology just makes it too easy to try, lowly bums get famous on youtube for the love of G@d.
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Re: Twisted Metal: Harbor City
Reply #51 - 07/19/12 at 04:22:35
 
This is also one game that has sort of being released already.

Sony would say that we got TM:L which I know is not an absolute substitute but it does contain some material from TM:HC.

I think they would say:

"be happy with that".

I don't see a problem with optimism though.
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Re: Twisted Metal: Harbor City
Reply #52 - 07/19/12 at 17:41:50
 
I guess what I realistically expect is info out of my efforts. I know they went in and modded the HC material, why can't they do it again, just with more intention of completion?
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Re: Twisted Metal: Harbor City
Reply #53 - 07/19/12 at 18:01:28
 
Would it be worth it from a business point of view?

I'd love for the old guys to get together and decide to finish the game as a fan project.

The license would be the main issue.

The only tiny (I might microscopic) chance we ever have of seeing TMB2 in the wild is if the proto is leaked (possible if the code still remains or was burnt to rom).

OR if it's is finished and legitimately released as part of a TM collection.

I don't think a TM collection is unlikely but one that contains HC as it was meant to be is pretty moot imo.
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Re: Twisted Metal: Harbor City
Reply #54 - 07/19/12 at 18:02:10
 
Quote:
Okay, look, every time I start posting stuff that gets detailed about this I think it wigs TMA admins out and they scrap it.

I wish rather than delete whole damn posts though when they do that they'd just delete my one reply and private message me to shut up, but here are some "opinions" of mine gleaned from a few Incog team members who spoke off the record, as well as just some facts in general.  Now,
while it is entirely possible, and likely, that there are some things below that are assumptions, and some bunk or just crap based on other people's opinions (or perspectives), I guarantee you a good portion of it is fact, or pretty damn close to how it all went
.
 So, there you go, read and enjoy.  

1.  No, Dave Jaffe had nothing to do with TMB2.  He was aware of it, and even came by TMA once to hint about it (he referred to it as secrets that the good folks at Incognito were cooking up for us that it was not his business to spill the beans on).  Keep in mind his interest in Twisted Metal has, and I don't mean this as an attack, came and went with time.  At the time of TMB2 he was not interested in another Twisted Metal and was instead hard at work on God of War.

Also, and most people seem to miss this, he was NOT a part of Incognito.  He was a part of Sony Santa Monica Studios.  They were two separate groups.  


2.  Twisted Metal Black: 2 was nearly completed.  It didn't have one or two levels, it was a whole damn city, and according to several on the team it functioned amazingly well with very little slowdown.

Some basic car models were clearly done (though keep in mind they probably planned and could have used many of the models from Black with touched up finishes).  

3.  At the 9th hour the higher ups at Incognito (read: Scott Campbell) freaked out about TM's viability.

This seems to be a trend they started after Black.  Apparently a million selling greatest hits is a reason to crap your pants.  Further, even though TMHO sold well enough even though it was put together sloppily, they still freaked out.

At any rate, like many game companies of the time they worried the only way to make a game "viable" was to slap Grand Theft Auto on it.

It's similar to what many game companies do now where they slap "Call of Duty" on it (see new TM game).  

So they tried incorporating on foot elements which according to few on the team who spoke on it, and in my opinion, was a bad idea.  

4.  Twisted Metal Black: 2 was halted 3/4 of the way through production to throw together TMHO at Sony's request.  The plan was to then go back and finish TMB2.

5.  By the time TMHO was finished Incog found itself with a few dilemmas.  Rumor mill says Scott and a few other higher ups were sick of Twisted Metal.  Furthermore, Warhawk was way bloated (i.e. over budget on time and money) and they desperately needed to save that whale (which Dylan Jobe, my personal hero, did).  

Furthermore, Dave Jaffe came in and was interested in doing a PSP game (Heartland).  

So, despite it being very VERY close to done, and despite 18 months of work and money, and despite the fact it probably would have been one of their best selling titles (which Incog seriously needed after a few years of snoozers) they scrapped Twisted Metal to focus on finishing Warhawk and Heartland.

6.  Unfortunately it sounds like the team at Incognito really didn't jive with Dave's ideas on Heartland (this seems to be a reoccurring motif with them).  So, it was shit canned.

The majority of the team focused on saving Warhawk.  This involved gutting its lacking single player to instead make it's killer online mode.

What was left on Incognito finished up the respectable "Calling All Cars" (which for reason I have never understood, ESP seems to always take the credit for . . . I'm sure they were mostly the same peeps but seriously, WTF).  

7.  Dave and Scott, and a ton of Incognito, then bail on Incognito to form ESP.  Around this time, and probably not coincidentally, the server for TMBO is killed.  

It was probably running on a computer in Incog's basement and it went out when the power went out.  

8.  By August 2007, and at the release of Warhawk, Incognito had about 6 people on the team.  Kirk Baum, a TM and internet genius, who wore his love for all things TM on his sleeves, left Incognito pretty much the week or so before release day.

Game comes out; the last of the once great Incognito dies shortly after that . . .

And that folks, is the rest of the story.  


One thing I think that has to be clear and said about TMB2.  Every single person of the team who has ever spoken about it communicates that they thought it was awesome, would be the best Twisted Metal ever, and that they were quite proud of it.  Furthermore, it is implied, if not outright said sometimes, that it was one of those "stupid upper management" things that got it shit canned that we will all experience from time to time in our own jobs.  You know the kind I mean!

So who do you believe?  Those who canned it and say it was a good decision, or those who worked on it and said it wasn't.

Both are biased.  Of course teams are invested in what they do and believe in it, and hate to see it get cancelled for any reason.  Of course, managers are notorious for being egocentric and having to interpret every decision they ever make, even dumb ones, as part of some divine plan.  Both have biases.

Personally, I believe the team.  Bad decision to shit can.


Campbell and company should have known better than to add on foot levels to TMB2. If people want to play GTA they will play GTA. TM might not have a huge audience but it has a loyal and dedicated following that wants car combat.

TM fans want TM, and if the game was 75% complete they should have just finished the game (Sans on foot levels of course) and followed up on the success of TMB and TMBO. TMB sold a million copies and TMBO distributed the game a lot more.

Sucks how they were afraid of TM's viability despite the modest success of TMB. If they built a giant city and new car models as well as had functioning code than they clearly missed out on a chance to finish a great game.

Would love for them to leak the games remaining code to some of the more hardcore and tech savvy members of TMA. Not saying the game could be finished but maybe we could get a good idea of what the game was going to be and maybe it could be functional on some level to see exactly what they were going for game play wise.
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Re: Twisted Metal: Harbor City
Reply #55 - 07/19/12 at 18:22:17
 
Or just sell it to me.

I like to hang around the proto forums and I know what kind of price range unreleased games tend to move around for.


If any hard-up ex Incog staffer has the game pm me...

Smiley
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Re: Twisted Metal: Harbor City
Reply #56 - 07/19/12 at 18:22:38
 
Quote:
  Kirk Baum, a TM and internet genius, who wore his love for all things TM on his sleeves, left Incognito pretty much the week or so before release day.


In Kirk Baum we trust. Grin


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Kilrahi
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Re: Twisted Metal: Harbor City
Reply #57 - 07/19/12 at 21:28:47
 
Yeah . . . there's nothing that can be done.  Seriously.  This happens fairly often in the video game world to many, many games.  Occasionally one gets leaked, but . . .

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

1.  ESP could NOT help you at all.  They are not a part of Sony, and were they to leak the code, there's a very high risk they would be sued seven ways from Sunday.

Further, do they even have the game?  I suppose for this question it appears that at one point they did, or at least a large part of it, as evidence by Jaffe's own comments here:

http://criminalcrackdown.blogspot.com/2007/09/level-design-mix-and-match.html

http://www.wired.com/gamelife/2008/01/interview-david/

Clearly he played around in it.  Do they still have it?  Dunno.



2.  What would a nearly done Twisted Metal game actually mean?

This is an important question, and I think it's the critical one.  While I believe it's absolutely true the game was nearly done, I'm certain it doesn't mean that there was a product that you could actually stick in a PS2 and play.  Consider:

1.  At one point on foot code was begun but not completed.  Where is this part of the game?  Does it interrupt if you play a level?  

2.  Can you play a level?  I'm confidant you could select the big ass city they built, and drive around in it, but . . . it doesn't look like they ever added computer AI and enemy cars so . . . what would you do?  I guess it would be a massive peep show.

3.  Speaking of drive around, in what cars?  So far the only cars ever shown exploring the level are Roadkill and Spectre.


Start to see the problems?  A nearly complete game (80% maybe?) in chunks . . . is still a nearly complete game in chunks.  Were all the cars nearly finished BUT on a seperate drive?  Were there even levels at all and so would it just be one big empty city?

This is awesome crap to explore, for sure, and if they'd wanted to do an even better job than they did on TMHO:ETE they would have had a bonus unlockable section entitled, "The rest of the crap," but it never happened, and now that Twisted Metal appears dead, I don't think it ever will.


One thing I was very bummed about, they promised they'd be far more honest in the documentary than most documentarys on TMHO:ETE, and they were, and in fact, were very upfront about 989.  However, there isn't as much risk there as they weren't a part of that team.  As fun as the fake story about the plane crash was, I was always very disapointed they didn't give the real story and more detail on TMB2, like running video of what they'd made.  Damn.   Cry
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Re: Twisted Metal: Harbor City
Reply #58 - 07/19/12 at 21:46:53
 
well say on a chance they wanted to bring it back... Couldn't they just copy and paste any missing code for cars/ai from TMB? and if the code for the on foot area isn't done... Scrap it. I'd pay 100 dollars just for the Harbor City section of the game itself (car combat portion is what I'm talking about.) To see all the new enviorments and what they had done so far is enough for me... Without the huge changes they made to the formula.

I don't think this will ever happen but I can always hope.
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Zerathustra
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Re: Twisted Metal: Harbor City
Reply #59 - 07/19/12 at 22:44:19
 
What jaffe says so much in those links about ground work and fenestration of the levels they did for LOST seems considerably extensive. Yet, when I play those levels, the texture work and interest scheme of the levels were really shallow IMO. I respect the work the art team and jaffe himself did on those, but they didn't seems to flow or function right. I know they were incomplete to begin with and merely structured through an artistic standpoint, but they just don't qualify as levels to me. I,wonder why they didn't bother using the train yard and the downtiwn-china town districts we know of? Hell, even the ghetto and slums look far more done than the ones we got. How did they convince Sony to reuse or revitalize the HC stuff in the first place? Seems a little random or abrupt to propose maybe?
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