David Jaffe says goodbye to Calling All Cars online
We have been playing Calling All Cars online for the past two nights and it has been a blast. The last hurrah was a success and tons of laughs were had for many hours. New friends were made as we said goodbye to an old one. David Jaffe even joined in on the fun and played a few rounds with his fans.
In the latest post from Jaffe’s blog, he gives an emotional take on the games final moments online:
In a few hours, the Calling All Cars servers go down for good. And after that, there’s no way in the foreseeable future to play Calling All Cars online. Heck, if I’m being honest, truth is: she’s never gonna be online again.
I’d say she had a good run online, but she really didn’t. With the exception of the first few hours when the game hit PSN, there were never more than 3-5 people playing at a time. Until tonite, that is, when a handful of loyal CAC supporters came out to say their goodbyes. Thanks for that, ya’ll. I know it’s just a f—ing video game but that meant a lot to me to see a good chunk (‘good chunk’ being relative) of you folks online and giving her one more go. Check it out:
I’m a little sad, naturally, to see the online aspect shut down. This was the first online game I’d ever done and so it was a HUGE learning experience. And it was my first step away from the more story based games I’d been working on (Twisted Metal:Black, God of War) and my first step into the arcade, play mechanic experiences our new company is focused on now. I loved working on it and many on the team did as well. My biz partner Scott Campbell often says this was the most fun he ever had making a game. I don’t know if it was- for me- the MOST fun but it was indeed a damn good time.
We enjoyed playing Calling All Cars online, and it’s very sad that the servers are closing. Perhaps if the game was expanded things would be different, but there’s no point in discussing that now since it won’t ever happen. We actually have Jaffe’s final game recorded and we’ll be uploading that very soon.
David Jaffe goes on to explain what he thinks went wrong with the game.
Even playing tonite after 3 very, very fun matches full of shouting and overtimes and comebacks, I was done. I didn’t want to play anymore. I think we did a really good job making a fantastic piece of bubble gum that was sweet and jam packed with sugar and had a hell of a bang when you put it in your mouth. But for some reason I still have not totally figured out, the flavor faded VERY fast. You could come back to it after 2-4 weeks and have that same great experience, but it was always a really short ride. Some folks say leaderboards and trophy support would have helped. And they would have, for sure. But the core game was lacking something that kept people coming back…I think most likely in our attempt to create a fast, furious, pick up play party game that reminded us of the classic SNES and arcade games we grew up on, we neglected the depth. I know you can have both in this kind of game…hard to know if Calling All Cars doesn’t have the depth because we were so focused on short term play goals that we simply forgot to put it in or because it never occurred to us to put it in in the first place (i.e. we thought the moment to moment fun would be more than enough)…
Jaffe also talks about some of the missing features in CAC and mentions a team mode and Twisted Metal style combat. Those additions would have been great for Calling All Cars and most likely would have kept many playing it for a much longer time. Stats and trophy support obviously would have helped a bit as well, but there really needed to be more to the gameplay itself to make it worthwhile.
The rest of the blog goes more in-depth about the problems with Calling All Cars and on how there was much uncertainty a few years ago regarding what a small game actually needed to be like. It’s great to know that Jaffe is fully aware of the issues and this learning experience will only make the game that Eat Sleep Play is currently developing for the PS3 so much better. We can’t wait until it is finally revealed.
Be sure to read the blog in its entirety, it’s very interesting and informative. We’ll now leave you with these positive and heartwarming words from David Jaffe.
Still I’m really proud of our baby. It’s a really fun game in short bursts and gets people yelling and laughing and swearing at the tv and that was always the core goal we set out to achieve. We wanted to make people happy with this game. And so when I hear stories of people playing together and having a great time, it really does mean tons to me. And I’m sure the rest of the team would agree. And so while I’m sad to see online go, most folks never played online anyway. It seems to have found a home- albeit a very modest home- via split screen and I’m glad Calling All Cars will live on as a local party game for years to come.
Goodbye Calling All Cars online