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TM2012's Game Engines - For the History Books (Read 1233 times)
Certified Astronaut

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TM2012's Game Engines - For the History Books
09/08/18 at 12:22:39
A few months ago I got in a debate with Muddy and Aced in the TMA Discord about the game engine of Twisted Metal: 2012. By my memory, it was all done by the Havok engine, and Muddy and Aced were arguing that the game engine itself was based on Incognito's Warhawk engine.

My memory was based on an old Official PlayStation Magazine I remember reading right before the game came out.

Well, I finally tracked down the magazine (issue 55, February 2012) and it turns out I was wrong! Son of a bitch.

My apologies Muddy and Aced - good job on the reasoning.

Anyway, so that it gets recorded again and not lost to history, here is a transcription of the relevant parts:

"It's no accident, either: To realize its Frankenstein-like vision of a car combat game, ESP created its own bespoke engine that would accommodate its unique brand of sprawling, chaotic vehicular warfare. The levels are so enormous that they effectively become "open-world" experiences, often complete with distinctive localities, towering buildings, multiple vertical levels, and freeways connecting it all . . ."

"It started as Warhawk's engine, and since then, we've redone every single engine component and adapted it to Twisted Metal." - Scott Campbell

"In order to bring more heft to its car physics, the team licensed the popular Havoc physics engine. But it wasn't quite what they needed, and after some early experiments with realism, they promptly decided to modify it extensively to achieve a more exaggerated, more "fun" variation of reality."

"Havoc has done a great job for us, but we put our arcade layer on it, sort of bastardizing the Havoc physics. They've never had someone do that with their engine, but anytime we've had an issue, they've been right on it. They've really been great to work with." - Scott Campbell

Anyway, Scott goes on to say that Havoc even would send developers on site to help sometimes.

Reading the article was kind of depressing. It reminded me how excited I was at first, and it also talked about planned events that as far as I know never happened, or never happened to the extent described (special competitions, special XP events, etc.).

There you have it though. Another piece of the twilight of Twisted Metal's history.
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Spawn of Billy Mays

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Re: TM2012's Game Engines - For the History Books
Reply #1 - 09/09/18 at 02:24:52
Very awesome that you managed to hunt that issue down. I was left very curious myself since I could recall there being sources that said the game was based off of one of Sonyís in-house engines. You also made an intriguing point that it was unusual for a third-party developer under contract to work so directly with a Sony property, especially considering that a component of the engine needed to be reworked. Iím glad thatís sorted out and will be archived here if the question ever comes up again.
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« Last Edit: 09/09/18 at 04:05:37 by Muddeh »  

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Re: TM2012's Game Engines - For the History Books
Reply #2 - 09/09/18 at 06:52:19
I remember in that Discord argument, I linked to a post in a GameSpot thread referring to a 0:16 timestamp in a video where Scott Campbell claimed that Twisted Metal 2012 started out with Warhawk's game engine before being rebuilt. However, the video in question wasn't embedded into nor linked from the aforementioned post. I wasn't able to quickly find it and didn't see any value in further researching it at the time.

Decided to try looking into it again after seeing this thread and stumbled upon these:

The relevant YouTube video referenced in those posts no longer exists, but its page was cached by the Wayback Machine. It was first posted on June 16, 2010. Unfortunately, the Wayback Machine doesn't seem to cache YouTube's actual videos.

Thankfully, a copy of that video was posted to Dailymotion by a user (advertiser?) called Hintchallenge:

Here's a transcript of the start of the video...

E3 2010

Scott Campbell
Co-Founder Twisted Metal

"Well Twisted Metal, we like to think of it as the ultimate car combat... you know, vehicle combat game."


"Umm, we started with, uh, you know, the Warhawk engine and then we completely rebuilt it, uh, just, because car combat's a different, obviously a different genre than, uh, the Warhawk game. So umm, there's tons of new tech in there, it's allowed us, you know, we do a lot of paging, technical paging, geometry paging. Uh, it's a very high-paced game, so we've gotta be able to do all those things really quick and still make it look good. Umm, we've been able to bring a level of life, uh, back with interactivity, uh, there's traffic, there's pedestrians that you can mow down. So it's just, kind of a more rich environment and uh, it's been a, been a fun but very challenging, uh, process."


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The Ghost of Lance Armstrong's Cancer

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Re: TM2012's Game Engines - For the History Books
Reply #3 - 09/09/18 at 08:18:07
Good to hear from you again -Kilrahi-.

I always thought the engine was the same, it felt right, like classic 'Twisted Metal' should be so I never had an issue with it.

One problem I had with TMPS3 was that vehicles would appear suddenly, with no time to plan an attack.

So playing TMPS3 was like playing 'WACK A-MOLE'!!!
so you only had time to react to everything in the game.

I started seeing this in TMB which was tolerable, it did not ruin the game but the problem got worse in TMPS3 in my opinion, and of coarse all the other issues TMPS3 had.
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Superhero Accountant

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Re: TM2012's Game Engines - For the History Books
Reply #4 - 09/17/18 at 23:15:05
I feel like it slides too much in the new one, I liked it better on black how you could turn more aggressively. The game engine delvelpoers i think have always been scared to test the waters so to speak when it comes to changes. In any game. Sometimes change be is good sometimes itís bad, thatís why itís good to alpha and beta test over and over before launching the final product.
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