Sunday, January 28, 2007

My work done.

Well maybe not "here" here...more like work "there" is done...if the meaning of "there" is "God of War 2"...then that is what I mean. Anyway, today is Sunday January 28 and it is safe to say that all of the primary work for God of War 2 has been completed. There are still bugs to be worked out as the game goes through the final bit of Quality Assurance (QA), but for all intents and purposes I am done with everything I can do on the project. My break between projects begins on Monday, though I will probably go into the office to take care of a few last minute things. If definitely doesn’t feel done to me, most likely because it was so abrupt. I was on a very funky sleep schedule for the last week of the project working through the nights several days in a row…but its all gotten done. I have to give many thanks to the sound guys Phil, Todd, Paul, Mike, Paul for putting in some great work unders ome pretty tough conditions. I also need to thank the cinematics sound guys (Mike and Chris) who drove up on a moments notice from San Diego and stayed up all night working on the movie mixes. The game sounds freaking awesome!!

As far as the billion questions Mr. (or Mrs. Anonymous posted)…you wouldn’t happened to be a journalist would you? I will try to answer some of them, but forgive me if I miss a few I am still trying to recover and get back on a regular sleep cycle.

The weapons switching is a single button (R2) and it is fast and easy. There is no animation delay and you can switch from the Blades of Athena in mid move to The Barbarian Hammer, do a big hit, and then switch to any of the four magic’s to hit the creature some more, and if you like (and the creature is still alive) you can switch back tot he Blades of Athena to do the final kill move…all while keeping your combo going. While everyone on the internet loves to say “Hey that is such a (insert game here) rip-off” or “They stole that from (insert game here)”…what they don’t realize is when someone does something cool in a game…everyone notices it. When I play a game and they do something cool I look at how they did it and file that away to use later. That isn’t to say that everything about the games we make is just found or borrowed from some other game, but when something really works well there is no reason not to use it. Some call it stealing; I call it realizing when something works. I’m not sure how much you can compare our weapon switching to DMC, my guess is all the DMC purists will say that DMC’s is better…whatever. The whole point for us was to give the player the freedom to switch whenever they wanted while still maintaining the easy to use accessible controls. So when the game comes out you will have to let me know if we succeeded.

As for the usage of the original magic’s from God of War 1…we were not able to get the full “everything you had from the first game crosses over to the second” functionality we originally set out to do. There just was not enough memory for that, but we did add some cool stuff for the second play-through of the game in the form of Urns that you find that allow you to assign a power or fiunctionality to whatever model you choose. So if you want to use Poseidon's Rage again you can, you just have to find the Urn that gives you that power hidden somehwere in the world of God of War 2.

This is a nicer shot of that Gamestop post the other day. This is going to be the cover for the Hardcore gamer magazine that comes out at the end of the month. They are gonna be giving some info on Atlas, so check it out!

In regards to the demo, it has been out in QA for a while now and is on target to get finished and pressed in the beginning of February. I have the list of people that will be getting demos and they should be the first to go out! So keep an eye out for a posting about that.

The website should be up soon, I looked at the final comps of that on Friday and it looks sweet. I think it could be up in as little as a week or so.

All right I am going to go relax a little bit and maybe play the rest of Gears of War. I am finally got into it a little and am at the Berserker boss. Man…one hit kill boss…that cliffyb is hard to the core. And I am playing on casual mode too. Yeah I know…but I like to get through a game once before I have it kick my ass on difficulty. Anyway…I am going to take some time and post again tomorrow…maybe with some more pics.


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The final blurry days...

Here are a couple of cool images I just got from marketing showing some of the gamestop promo stuff that is starting to appear. It is a pretty firm reminder to me that we are almost done with this long, long journey. Well there's that and the fact that we are shipping our disc to FPQA in the next 24 hours...if everything goes right. I got home around 1:45am or so this morning (which is nothing compared to the hours the rest of the team is putting in) after our marathon two day playtest we just finished. It went really well, with great responses and test scores all around. The game seems to be pretty tight...we just made some last minute adjustments to fight difficulty and the overall economy of the games upgrading system. Of course I would love to have another playtest...maybe even two...but that is not in the cards. I am confident that we have got everything shored up though. And the game length has stay right around 15-17 that is pretty freaking sweet! I slept into day so I could be ready for the all nighter session I have tonight going over the whole game for the final sound mix approval. The really cool thing is all the final movies will be in with their sound mixes as this will be my first playthrough seeing everything as it should be. I was supposed to sleep until 3pm or so but I just couldn't get back to anxious. I am sure everything will work out fine, but knowing that after today I will not be able to go in there and make changes is pretty scary. This usually happens to me with whatever I am working...but this time it is on such a large scale that my brain just wont shut up...I am going over every detail constantly to make sure there wasn't something I missed. (I am sure there will be many things I missed)

What else is new in the world of God of War? The demo's are getting closer, unfortunately I still don't have a rock solid date for them yet..they need to go through QA and then manufacturing so I would rather not just throw a date out without really knowing. But when they are ready I will post something and let everyone know about it.

I think I am going to be starting my hiatus soon...still working out the specifics on it. I will need to get back to work pretty soon so I can't start fleshing out the next project I am going on. I think it is going to be a pretty big one...but nothing is set in stone so I won't talk about it too much now. But I will give you a hint...the duff sisters have agreed to play a major part in it, and it is an MMO, and it has all the teen stars of today in it, with guns, and orcs...cause really...orcs just make a game I right? Actually I really haven't even wrapped my head around the whole thing yet, so there isn't much to talk about anyway. As much as I didn't want to, I think I will end up working on it over the break just so I can get a head start and hit the ground running. I think it would be impossible for me not to be working it out over the break...though I really want to try and step away from all that stuff at LEAST two weeks. Here's to hoping I can do it!

Oh and to the anonymous poster who wrote about the Typhon story...I think you might have written me a message on myspace a couple days ago as well, sorry for not responding...Keep an eye out for the game though, as I think you will be pleasantly surprised when it comes out. :)

'aight...gotta go to work.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

It's coming...

I came into the office today to play through what will be our final submission to QA for the demo. I was checking the sound mix and making sure everything is good to go...we are still tracking down a few sound volume issues but for the most part the demo is done and ready to go out. I am really freaking excited to finally get this game into some fresh hands and hear the feedback on it. So to celebrate this monumentus occasion I thought I would post a copy of the demo cover art for your enjoyment. It is a pretty sweet of the concept artists (Andy Park) whipped this image up awhile back and I am a huge fan of it.

We are still on track to get the demo out in the early part of next months so when I get the word that the demos are in I will post something and let you guys know that your discs will be showing up soon!! Sweet...Christmas in February.

Let's see...what else is new? Well we are going to have all of our final movies and sound mixing done this Wednesday and then the full game will be going through its last round of QA in only a few short days I will have reached the point where I really can't change much. I think that is going to be hard for me. As much as I need a break and some time off...and to just let this thing go...I know it is going to be hard to know that I can't make any more tweaks or changes. You have to let it go sometime...but since this is my makes it that much harder. Hopefully Old grandma Hardcore will play the game on titan mode and cuss up a storm...thus giving me, and the rest of the team, a true sense of accomplishment! :)

Speaking of Titan that is not a rumor. We still have four difficulty modes in the game, (3 available right away and one unlocked after beating the game) but we have really tweaked the higher difficulty much so that God mode no longer felt the "hardest". So now we have "titan" mode...and let me tell you it is freaking hard...doable of course...but hard. The demo only has one difficulty available, but the final game will keep those of you who appreciate the challenge buys for awhile I think.

I think I saw someone ask a question about DEMETER in the comments...unfortunately Demeter is not in the game. I wrote a story originally that had her and her daughter Persephone and several other gods in it, but it never really felt right for what we wanted to do with God of War 2. But there might be something in the game in relation to an earth based magic you had half of the info right. Keep an eye out for more info on that. I think we have a cover story in next months Hardcore Gamer magazine that will talk more about where you get this magic from.

As the project begins to wind down I find myself starting to think about all the games I have missed out on because of the crazy crunch to get this game done. And then I think of the time off I will probably get between this and whatever it is I am going to be doing next. (cough, cough) And to show how truly freaking nerdy I am I actually wrote up a list of all the games (some I have started and some I have not) I want to get to now that I am looking down the barrel of a sweet vacation. I broke it down by system I need to get a life outside of games....though honestly doing this stuff actually makes me happy so I guess I don't need to get a life...I already have one. Just one that most talk show hosts, politicians, nutritionists, and Zealots would not approve of. Who cares...fuck them it my world right? I will just embrace my pseudo Howard Hughes like love for "shut in" gaming goodness and hope that over the break I do this so much that I am bored...and itching to create again. That is really what I need to do...I need to get bored so I can reignite that creative flame (cheesy I know) and prepare for another huge, in your face crazy gaming opus. Perhaps I am giving myself too much credit with the "opus" part but oh well...that is how I roll. is what I got...feast on my nerdyness:

Oblivion (Need to Finish)
Gears of War (Need to Finish)
Rainbow Six: Vegas
Splinter Cell: Double agent
LOTR: Battle for Middle Earth 2
Lost Planet
Just Cause (Need to Finish)
Call of Duty 3
Dead Rising
Tomb Raider: Legend (Need to Finish)
Hitman: Blood Money (Need to Finish)
G.R.A.W. (Need to Finish)
Condemned: Criminal Origins (Need to Finish)
Saints Row (Need to Finish)

Resistance: Fall of Man (Need to Finish)
Tony Hawk: Project 8

GTA: San Andreas (Need to Finish)
Final Fantasy XII (My god this is one going to take forever)
DMC3 (Need to Finish)
Silent Hill 3

Zelda: Windwaker (Need to Finish)
Zelda: Twilight Princess

W.O.W. + some Burning Crusade loving
Titan Quest (Need to Finish)

Jesus that is a lot of games I need to play. There really is no possible way I am going to be able to finish them...but I am going to try and polish off some of the big ones that I have been jonesing to play. (Like MGS3) We will see. I will probably be posting a lot more during that time and lurking around the forums to see how the game is being received...god I hope it is good.

OK enough for today...I am going to go check on the build and see if we have everything sewn up and ready to go.


Monday, January 15, 2007


Ok so here is a little shout out to all my PAL brotha's and sista' order to spread the God of War 2 loving evenly around to the masses I have just gotten confirmation that we WILL in fact be doing a PAL demo of the sweetness that is God of War rest assured my European will be rocked by the demo of God of War 2!

All of you who sent in demo requests from far off lands (far off from L.A. that is) will be rolling with a brand new sweet PAL copy of the demo...why...because you freaking rock...and don't let anyone tell you different.

So stick that in your pipe and le' smoke it! YEAH!!! (Currently I am striking the sweet "Zelda" I just opened a chest pose!)

Hopefully that will bring a little belated christmas joy to everyone!

ok...back to work for me.


"No, man, they got the metric system. They wouldn't know what the fuck a Quarter Pounder is." -- John Travolta in "Pulp Fiction"

Sunday, January 14, 2007

GOW 2...Grandma approved!

So today will just be a mini update as I am worn out and not all that enthusiastic about sitting at the computer for much longer. I am as tired as I look in the IGN video :) It is funny how many people say that to me now…though I looked a hell of a lot worse around alpha and beta. I really need to start sleeping more. Not sure how much of an improvement it is going to be even when I do sleep though…I think I am one of those perpetually tired looking people…like Vince Vaughn and Susan Sarandon. We are members of the “Oh god I am tired” club. It’s a pretty sweet club…we have a secret handshake and everything…though we are usually too tired to do it.

Did some tuning of the final boss this weekend and make some huge leaps forward. We have been struggling with this boss for awhile trying to figure out what to do with him. We have this huge collection of ideas that never really felt right to us…but finally we hit a moment of clarity and really honed in on what the fight should be about. Derek (The combat guy tackling the Herculean task…and no that is not a hint as to who he is...the boss that is not Derek. I suppose he is quite Herculean for a vegetarian.) and I decided to just step back and rethink a few things and really just throw away things that didn’t work. Once we stripped the boss down and got out all the clutter it was like “Oh shit…there it is. I can see it now.” I love those moments. Not only because they mean we are close to being done…but also because they really feel like a nice victory. And right now we really needed that victory with all the last minute chaos going on. But the good news is the End Time is near!! And when it comes I hope that you are all as into the game as we are. Except for bruceleethree on the IGN boards…he is obviously disappointed in what we have done. J Just kidding bruce...I think it is cool that you stood up and said what you said…but hopefully you check the game out when it comes out so you can see what we have done with it.

About the demos…there seems to be a lot of people posting their email addresses saying send the demo here. Just to clear things up…I am not sending out a digital version of the demo. It will be a NTSC disc that will be sent out to the peeps who responded a while back when I posted about it. Sorry to all who are hoping to get one now, but I am already waaay over the number I originally set out for. For the people who are hoping for a PAL demo, I am really, really sorry but with the time frame we have in front of us there just is not enough time to get both a PAL and NTSC demo done. I would love to do that, but I really want to ship this game on time. So many apologies to my non NTSC homies but you can revel in the fact that you most likely use the metric system…which while I do not understand it…I know it is far superior to the Scientific American system. So there you go!

Hmmm…this is turning into a bigger post than expected…oh well I shall continue on. I suddenly got inspired to buy a little present for myself last week. I honestly thought it would take much longer than it did to arrive…but Saturday morning I took delivery of my sweet new Astro City arcade cabinet with Marvel Superheroes.

This is a really sucky picture of the actual cabinet. My camera phone is wicked ghetto...I thought it might be good but alas it is so very not.

This is a much better photo of pretty much the same thing...the "suck" has been removed.

I am looking to pick up Marvel vs. Capcom 2, which is the main reason I bought the thing. That freaking game rules. I still suck ass at it, but who knows maybe I will get better from the countless hours that both I and my buddy Ralph Macchio will be spending on it. Who better to learn the ancient arts from than the Karate Kid?

The cabinet is pretty damn sweet, but the one downfall is that it smells like red curry. Not like a little bit either…a freaking lot…which is pretty dope if you loves you some red curry I suppose. While I enjoy the red curry…it is not so great to have the house smell like it. I will have to do some serious disinfecting and scent removal.

Not much else going on really…perhaps that is a little sad now that I think about it. But our game is going final soon so I will have more time to have a life I suppose. I think I will play a few rounds of Marvel before I retire this evening.

Man I so lied...this was way more than a mini update. I must have channeled the power of the double "K".


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The End Begins... 62 days!! Today’s image is our new mascot for the Santa Monica Studios. Sadly, Beta, the “Chuck Norris” of mascot cats has passed on in what is being called a freak accident involving a hedge-trimmer, a 73 Dodge Dart, and a middle-aged Tae Kwon Do expert with an overbite named Floyd. He had an overbite and his name was wasn't some guy who had an overbite he had named floyd...that would just be weird. The details are still sketchy at this time, but we have The Scooby team looking into it. Meanwhile life must go on, so we brought in our second in command in the mascot world, “Almost Final” the Dog. You may not know it from looking at this deceptively cute canine, but “Almost Final” trained under world renowned sensei and master blues guitarist Steven Segal in the ways of Aikido. I once saw “Almost Final” Tear a man limb from limb using only a pair of toenail clippers and a sippy cup straw for cutting in line at the Jamba Juice. Never get between “Almost Final” and his morning hit of wheat grass…it is not pretty. As you can see “Almost Final” is a big God of war fan. I think it is the first canine in history to participate in Video game cosplay…but don’t quote me on that…and never make fun of his slightly edgier “crossplay” Sailor Moon outfit.

So here we are just days away from another milestone for God of War 2 and the studio is buzzing with sounds many bugs being closed. I am not sure what exactly it sounds like when a bug is closed…but whatever that sounds it…it is being heard quite a lot.

We are going to be breaking off the demo code pretty soon and tuning the final tuning pass on the demo level so that is pretty damn exciting. It means that those of you who emailed earlier about the demo will soon be holding your sweet copy of the God of War 2 Demo…looking all bad ass and glistening in the sun…the demo…not you. Of course if you choose to oil yourself up before playing the demo that is your business…I am not here to judge. No firm date on when that stuff will go out yet but rest assured that when I know…you will know.

IGN is stopping by for a visit tomorrow to check out the latest stuff so that ought to be fun. I still wish we had more time before we show stuff…but I am going to feel like that all the way up to the street date…and probably many weeks beyond that. Such is the nature of my OCD I guess. Anyway it will still be nice to get some fresh eyes on this thing and see what their reaction is. Let’s hope it is a good reaction J I believe they are going to put it up pretty quickly but not 100% sure as to when so keep an eye out.

I need to get to a character tuning session now so I will end this update here, but I will probably come back to it later in the day to blab on about some more cool stuff that is going on in the wonderful word of carnage and brutality.

Another funny thing of note…some of the titles I use have yielded some funny results on the visitors. I saw that someone entered a google search string of “Don’t date an Beta male” and ended up here…hopefully that person is still checking in on the blog as I will be starting a ten part series on “the beta male and you.”



Thursday, January 04, 2007

Happy freaking New Year!

Wow…lots of stuff to cover today. I will try and answer as many questions as I can as well as update the progress of all things God of War 2. With Beta behind us and the final disk just a short distance away things are quite hectic around the God of War ranch.

First let me comment to all about the release issue. It was no easy decision to push the date back, and we weighed all the options before pushing forward with that plan. I know it sucks…I know this because I play a ton of games and I too hate it when they get pushed back numerous times. But when the game I have been waiting for comes out and it is good, then I am thankful they took the extra time to make it good instead of shoving it out the door just to make a buck. I don’t want to do that as I think it is freaking lame. Of course we are not pushing it back so much that you could call the game "God of War 2: Forever" or anything. Anyway we pushed the date back to March for the sole reason of making sure this game fucking rocks. Hard. I hope when it is released that you all share that same sentiment.

As for the cut scenes…yes…we are having both high resolution cut scenes and in game cut scenes to progress the story along…so no worries there. I know I am biased, but I really think the cut scene work on this game is such an incredible step forward from what we had on the last game, but I will let you all be the judges on that one when the game comes out. Please come back and comment on stuff …good or bad. I love to hear feedback from people.

Let’s see…the demos! Well good news is we are working on the content for that stuff right now…which is looking pretty freaking sweet in my totally biased opinion. We are doing a final asset lock on the 12th of the month and then finishing the final balancing and tweaking and sound mixing and then we are good to freaking go. There is still some time left, but the end is in sight and let me tell you it feels fucking great to see that. We have worked pretty hard for the last two years and I know I am eager to get this thing out in front of people. (And take a vacation) When we finish the final tuning and then manufacturing on the demos I will make a post about when they will be sent out. My free time is not too abundant these days so I can’t really go through the list and let everyone know who is getting a demo…but rest assured that if you sent an email in that you will be getting one. There was a little mess up on my part the first day, but only two people were affected and they sent in like four other emails after so it is totally cool.

We had a playtest over the Christmas break which went pretty well. The game still has some balancing issues that came to light which we are resolving now but overall it went good. We also found a little issue with the clarity of the story that I am working out but nothing too major. Other than that the team is working like mad to get the last minute touches and polish in on the game…we are on our last of the big late night pushes until the 12th. I am sure there will be some more late nights after that though.

Well I want to sit and just write a bunch more about what is going on and such but I think I need to get back to work.


Here is a link to the God of War 2 Kratos action figure being done by is really freaking sweet! These guys rock the house that rocks the house.