David Jaffe: On Health Pickups In ‘Twisted Metal,’ Demo Announced

Over in the Playstation Forums and on Twitter, David Jaffe makes a convincing argument for health packs in his team’s vehicular shooter.

First up, January 31st will see the release of the demo for Twisted Metal on PSN, and will include a Nuke Mode, a Training Mode, however it will not include splitscreen. Also, unlike the full retail game, the demo will only include instant action matchmaking.

David Jaffe, co-director and co-lead designer on Twisted Metal is an interesting contrast to most developers who tackle community questions about upcoming releases. Case in point, his lengthy breakdown of the rationale behind health packs in Twisted Metal, an issue which seemed to have some gamers concerned about issues of balancing and how it might affect death matches in the remake.

One of his major points in that including regular spawn points for health packs around the maps is actually a means of balancing the game for those less skilled players who might not be as adept at dodging and in turn soak up enemy ammo. So in theory, it should provide a means of equalizing things. The overall piece—which I encourage you to check out, iPad-related spelling errors and all—sees a designer grappling with an audience’s expectations of what an unreleased game is supposed to be, particularly when it’s a sequel to a long-running franchise. Jaffe can be prickly and a little defensive at times (check out his Twitter feed and he’ll get down in the mud with his followers), but for all of that he remains introspective about what goes into designing a game and what his vision is for the game.

Twisted Metal will be available February 14th for the PS3.

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