Exclusive Interview: Dave Jaffe And Scott Campbell
PSXE: Dave, after seeing a little of God of War III, do you regret in any way leaving; do you wish you couldíve been part of that project?
Jaffe: "Actually, here was my response to GoWIII- I had gone to Santa Monica studios and I saw the trailer they were going to show on the SpikeTV [Video Game Awards]. But they didnít show it all; I was watching it on TV and I was like, "I donít know if theyíre going to dole this out over time, like break the trailer up into chunks throughout the night and weíll eventually see the whole thing." But they didnít do that. Anyway, when I saw that trailer, to me, it looked like a next-gen God of War. You know, Iím not blown away; I expect the level design and codes and stuff to be as good as it has always been, and yeah, it looks just like a next-gen God of War.
But they showed me this [other] sequence Ė thatís all I can say about it Ė and they mustíve put it together only two or three days prior to me showing up. And thatís the stuff that absolutely blew me away; it looked better than Gears 2; it looked like a Renaissance canvas-style painting come to life. Stunningly beautiful. I actually found myself getting nervous and sweaty and I was like, "why am I getting like this?" But it was because I was wondering, "how the fu** are we going to compete? The bar has just been raised again." Our game just doesnít look that good and it never will, and there are reasons for that. But no, I don't say I want to be part of the project and I wish those guys the best."
PSXE: What can you tell us about the new project youíre working on?
Jaffe: "This probably constitutes the best game design work Iíve ever done if Ė and thatís a big if Ė everything comes together and I get everything I want in the game. Iím not saying others will feel that way but Iím crazy in love with the design. We havenít figured out what the scope of this game will be, though, because we might take a chunk of this game and sell it on the PSN or go further and sell it on Blu-Ray. Weíre looking at the market, the budget, the schedule, that type of thing. Weíll have a meeting next month at Sony that will tell us how far we have to go. But itís all up in the air right now and the scope is utterly scalable."
Again, Scott had plenty to say concerning this topic, but it's stuff they wish to keep under wraps right now. We can tell you a few things he said: first of all, they're using the Warhawk engine as the basis for the game. This makes sense, of course, as Warhawk was an Incognito title. Secondly, they had initially planned to make something smaller; their initial plan was to make it available on both the PSN and Blu-Ray. But the game keeps getting bigger, and while they're not ruling out a PSN offering, it may not happen now. Thirdly and lastly, they cannot give out an estimated release date, but Scott did say they have several "critical milestone deadlines" coming up in January.
PSXE: Down the road, what kind of games do you see Eat Sleep Play making? Anything different from the action genre?
Jaffe: "Well, my gaming diet is much more varied than Scottís. He likes the action and arcade stuff; the meat-and-potatoes games, so thatís where his mentality is. Iíd say 80% of my mentality lives in that space, too, but are we going to eventually branch out? You might see a casual game, you know, something for the PSN or iPhone. Something more casual, more stuff like what PixelJunk is doing. But we wonít do huge stuff; we wonít do a game like what Quantic Dream is doing with Heavy Rain, you know, nothing to that degree."
Campbell: "I think our forte is in the action genre. I donít ever see us doing role-playing or anything like that, but itís possible youíll see a FPS from us at some point. Weíre suited to the action games, but anything is possible. We could do something simple and casual or something larger and fulfilling like what weíre working on now."
We would like to thank the founders of Eat Sleep Play, Scott Campbell and Dave Jaffe, for speaking to us at length. We probably took up too much of their time, but when gamers get to talking... And that's the point; these guys are gamers. They're businessmen, of course, but who they are and what they're passionate about comes shining through in every word they say. We get caught up in that, and talk right back, and that's why we spent an hour and a half talking to these two guys. Pretty sure I could've spent another 30 minutes talking to Scott about Eat Sleep Play's business model and the direction of the PS3 and the industry, and another hour talking to Dave about God of War III and MGS4 (the MGS4 discussion; I can't even include 'cuz it's off-topic and this is really long, anyway).
We hope you enjoyed the interview, and when they're ready to lift the lid on that secret project of theirs, we'll tell you all about it. Stay tuned! In the meantime, please feel free to visit Eat Sleep Play and Dave Jaffe's blog.
12/19/2008 Ben Dutka