Wednesday, April 25, 2007

This station is now the ultimate power in the universe!

Well my schedule has picked up considerably since I last posted, leaving me little time to update as frequently as I would like. I actually have a little time here and there, but when I have it the last thing I want to do is sit at the computer. Plus I can’t really talk too much about most of the things I am working on now, so it is not much fun. But it is good to see that God of War: Chains of Olympus is finally fully out of the bag! Well maybe not fully out of the bag...but it is out there now. I can't really give you any more info than is already out though, but more info will be coming soon I promise. That game is shaping up nicely though...hopefully all of you were able to sign up for the free demo offer so you will get a chance to play the game when the demo is done.

This week has actually been one of the more hectic weeks as I am preparing for a nice little vacation. I hadn’t planned on it, but I am so very thankful it is happening. Since I spent a large portion of my break prepping for the current game I am working on I am not going to do any work, or even think about anything work related on this one for a full two weeks. (maybe I will take some time to play through some of the games that Totilo reccomended as well as my newly acquired copy of Planescape:Torment. Sweet) My god my brain really needs this. Lately I have been feeling like everything is moving in fast forward…like one of those old keystone cops movies. It will be good to slow the ride down for a bit and catch my breath so I can come back and make the push I know is coming.

Today Mark Ryden put up one of his prints for sale, an event I have been looking forward to for some time. He usually only puts out one print a year with a very limited number (500) so they are very hard to get. I got lucky last year and picked one up, a cool print called Rosie’s Tea Party.(pictured above) This year he was releasing one to promote his Tree show he has going around galleries. I was up at like 6:30 this morning refreshing his webpage like crazy hoping to catch the buy button the first moment it came up. I even had my mom (down in San Diego) working on this one. The button came up around 8:45 this morning, but the traffic quickly crashed the servers several times. Neither of us made it past the “add to cart” page. After about an hour or so the site went down completely and I had to get to work. So my mom took the reigns and kept an eye on the site. IT came up a few times over the next few hours but always quickly crashed. It seemed all hope was lost and that it was not meant to be. I was getting ready fro lunch when I decided to open the page up to see what it said, and in place of the buy button was a message apologizing for the bum servers and saying to send an email to the store with your info and they will take them on a first come first serve basis. I guess they still had a few hundred of the 500 left, so both of us sent an email in hopes of getting one of the last few. About two minutes after we sent them in the page refreshed with a “Thank you, this edition is sold out.”

Damn, no such luck I guess. They said they would call people today to let them know if they got it. By 6pm I had no call, so I was pretty much resolved that I got no love. But then an email shows up in my inbox like mana from heaven saying I got a print. Sweet…that was a nice way to cap off the day. Plus, my mom was able to get one as well…so we are both happy.

After that sweet victory it would have been nice to just call it a day and go home, but I still had a bunch of script notes to take care of so it was back to the grind for me. But I still got out of work at around 8:15 tonight, so I can’t really complain too much.

God of War II sold like 833 thousand units in the first month…good god that is crazy. That is like more than three of my previous games lifetime sales combined. Thank you all so much for supporting this game!!! I hope we can keep it up…then maybe we will get to make another one!

Let’s see…what else is new…I am going to go speak at CSU in early may. That should be fun. I got to go talk with a few classes at USC over the last few months and that was a blast. I always have a good time doing that kind of stuff. It gives me a chance chat with people without the fear of something I said ending up as a negative punch line on Kotaku.

Ok…I am going to watch a movie now.


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

It is 5:01...and you are listening to Los Angeles...

It has been a while folks, but I honestly haven’t been that compelled to write on the blog as of late. I think mostly because things have cranked up pretty heavily at work. It’s weird, in the beginning of a project you are supposed to (or at least I think you are supposed to) have the creative ramp up. The point where you have died down to zero from the last gig, and then you slowly throttle up to full speed and find your pace. But right now I feel like I have gone from a dead stop to full speed, like I am trying to hold on to the tail section of a rocket as it blasts off to freakin’ space. The strange thing is I have a lot more confidence in what I am doing now…I mean I know what it is I want to do. But trying to get it 'done' seems to be getting in the way.

Imagine this…it is like trying to write a term paper while running a mile in the rain with your coach pacing alongside you screaming for you to “move faster!” Perhaps I am over dramatizing it a bit…in fact I know I am over dramatizing it a bit. But you get the point.

I think I am just experiencing a little creative block or something. But at the end of the day this is a job, so being creative ‘on call’ is part of that job. Sometimes that is so much easier said than done. Only 24 hours ago I felt pretty damn good about everything we are doing…but what goes up must come down. I guess I am still good with where things are at right now, but there is still a ton of work. And some major points of where the story is going right now are starting to lose their luster. Perhaps I am allowing the excess noise to get in the way you know? Yeah maybe that is it…I just need to step back from things and take a look from a different perspective and I will see it.

Man that sounds convincing to me. Maybe it will work?

Nice, I haven’t written in a while and all I am doing now is bitching like I just skinned my knee playing kickball. That is lame. I mean the game is doing really well out there. People seem to be enjoying it. Well except that cat from the action-button site…he was not loving life when playing GOW2. Though it seemed the content of the review spoke fairly well of the game…at least what I could understand of it. That thing was more of an incoherent ramble than my post-alpha, late night, sleep deprived posts. Though I am sure it got their site a bunch of traffic. Smart move when you think about it. That is why Kotaku probably picked up on it…I loved the write up about the review that says people should read it “if only to see just why God of War II is so shit.”

Sweet. Perhaps not every gamers cup of tea, probably not the greatest game ever made, but ‘so shit.’ Maybe I am just biased but I really don’t see it as shit. But this is coming from a site that is the gaming equivalent of the freaking “Bennifer report!”…so whatever. Well maybe that is not entirely true since I do read the site form time to time and it has some good stuff. But I just wanted to find a way to throw the Bennifer thing in.

I suppose I should feel much differently than I feel now. I should be stoked. Aside from the usual smattering of haters, which you will get no matter what you do, most people are into the experience. I think we finished a great game, a game we are all so freaking proud of, and I am now full speed into another project. Things seem to be going pretty good right now. I should feel pretty damn sweet.

But I don’t. Instead I feel this insane case of writers block, or creative block…whatever. Like there are so many great ideas dangling from a string right in front of me, only someone just hit me in the head with a hammer, and I can’t make out which of the twelve things I see is the real idea. It’s there…I just gotta’ make sure I don’t get hit with a hammer again.

In other non-self indulgent news, Tim Moss, our director of technology has started a blog. After a few years of using my blogging as a weak punch line for his own amusement, he has finally succumbed to the world of the blog. (I think he even said that he was disappointed in the Wii…get HIM!!!) I imagine it is because he has a lot more free time on his hands right now…though that will all change when his kid arrives.

I honestly do not know how anyone does it here. How they can do this job and have a family. I am so completely consumed with the work that I can’t imagine how I would balance this job with trying to see a wife and kids. I can’t even have a freaking pet! I had fish…but even they required more time than I was willing to give. How freaking sad is that?

“Looks like I picked the wrong day to stop sniffin’ glue.”

I am sure this is just me though, since there are so many people here that have families as well as pets. They make it work…and god bless em’ for it cause’ it is so not happenin’ for me.

Ok, I have rambled on for long enough, I am going to go to sleep. Tomorrow I will wake up and all will be right in the world.