Saturday, 17 July 2010

Unannounced Ubi Project is Driver: San Francisco!

Update: Driver: San Francisco is now scheduled for release early 2011.

A short and fun one, this. The second project I've been involved with that will see release this year can now be revealed as Driver: San Francisco. The trailer is particularly whizz bang, but if anyone can teach me how to make YouTube videos embed in skinny Blogger columns without going off the edge of the screen you know where the comments box is :-)

For those that don't know, I'm represented professionally by Sidelines, an agency dedicated to providing experienced video game writers and narrative designers. Do check them out if you're not familiar already, their audio arm - Side - recently won a Develop award. I was part of a Sidelines writing team including Dean Wilkinson (Little Big Planet), Iain Lowson (Wheelman), Gordon Rennie (Rogue Trooper) and James Worrall (GTA 3), personally developing and scripting more than 30 in-game characters.

Check out the previews for a fuller run down, but the central Big Interesting Shiny Thing is the frankly bat shit crazy 'shift' mechanic. When Driver's released in November this year it'll mark the first of my AAA projects to hit the shelves, but when I first saw the pitch I would have sworn it was out of left field: in a twist I thought might have been reserved for an in-game reveal, series protagonist Tanner is in a coma dream in which he can posses the drivers of other cars. The monstrous amount of dialogue I produced was for the incidental barks of the terrified passengers in the cars you take over. It was Fun. My favourite was, I think, the car salesman who's torn between screaming for you to watch the paintwork and trying to point out the finer features of the ABS.

The tone verges on dark humour in places, so it was right up my street. It's not ideal that I've not seen any more of the game than is in the trailers, but I hope the writing is well implemented and that the gameplay lives up to the promise of this debut footage.


  1. Just check the code YouTube gave you to embed the video and you'll see two instances of width="" and height="". Change their values to whatever you want and you're golden.

  2. @æclipse: there seems to be a minimum below which you can't seem to resize the video sometimes, I've had problems on my own blog like that


    For Driver SF, sounds like you were not intimately involved in the development of the game. Was that frustrating or a case where it wasn't too much of a hindrance?

    On a totally different note, I'm the one stalking you as ElectronDance on Twitter (Harbour Master was already taken). I played Kerry in Neptune's Pride recently and was wondering what this everything you were "pretty much wrong about" was. But I'm guessing this is more about how to raise puppies than, say, modern-day narrative in games.

  3. Really good to hear this. That's quite a good selection of writers too.

    I'm already pretty excited for Driver SF (It's DRIVER!) so this doesn't help.

    However, looks like it won't be out in Nov:

  4. Yeah, I'm fairly web-unsavvy, but I did have a go at editing the dimensions to no avail.

    @harbour master
    Ultimately on any games job - especially a shorter job like Driver where I'm not embedded in the team - my job is to supply writing of the style and quality expected by my employer. I'm passionate about making good games, about furthering games as a meaningful endeavour, but at the end of the day it's my job not to get frustrated, but to do the best job I can.

    It's never ideal to work on a project where you're not intimately familiar with the game, but I hope that given the talented senior writer and producers involved on Driver that the work we've produced to their spec will be appropriate and implemented smoothly.

    Thanks, updated!

  5. Oh, and I think Kerry and I were discussing the pros and cons of being a games professional. She likes the freedom of having a non-games day job and therefore not having her income be related to her art; whereas I - as scary as I sometimes find that scenario - pursue AAA with the hope one day we can spend more money on making games that have something to say.

  6. Now I wish I could've made time to meet up in London on the weekend after I saw Kerry's tweet. Meh. Life.