God of War and Twisted Metal designer David Jaffe is known for being a man with opinions, even about his own projects. Adam Sessler asked Jaffe whether he considered Calling All Cars a casual game during the Sessler-hosted "Hot Topics" session at DICE 2010, to which Jaffe joked (to much laughter) that creating Calling All Cars was not a casual game but "a mistake."
He seemed to be mostly joking, but Jaffe outlined some clear lessons learned from the game. Jaffe said his team at Eat Sleep Play ended up designing a casual looking game ("e-rated" graphics) for a hardcore audience. Calling All Cars had a cartoonish look but a hardcore feel.
If he were to design Calling All Cars again, he'd have matched the hardcore gameplay with a hardcore visual look, too. Jaffe said Calling All Cars was created with old school arcades in mind.
"Our gameplay was sort of designed to be more akin to the old NBA Jam games," he said.
Jaffe also said the price caused an issue. Calling All Cars was launched at $10, a price point Jaffe thought seemed reasonable given the interest in downloadable games at the time. But Jaffe didn't anticipate that people would end up judging a $10 game just like a $60 game.
"The reality is you buy $599 system and you still bring that same kind of consumer mentality to a $5 game or a $60 game," he said. "It was just kind of wrong for us to assume there'd be a different kind of mentality."
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