At this point in his career, it's difficult to tell whether Sony Santa Monica creative director David Jaffe is better known for his great games or his brash behavior. The Twisted Metal series of car combat games would have been sufficient to secure Jaffe a place in the console pantheon. But upon the 2005 release of God of War, the side of Jaffe that many only saw privately--fiery, profane and uncompromising--burst into public view and never retreated into the shadows. It was as if the dark odyssey he'd survived to make his magnum opus had transformed him into his own title character; a comparison Jaffe encouraged when he drew parallels between Kratos' raging at the Gods over the Ares-induced murder of his family to the anger Jaffe himself harbored for having embarked on an insanely long and difficult development process that was keeping him away from his wife and child.
The Jaffe of 2007 continues to be outspoken and inflammatory, but he's a workaholic no more. While game director Cory Barlog, executive producer Shannon Studstill and others handle day-to-day development for the God of War series, with Jaffe in an creative oversight role, he has chosen to focus his own game directing efforts on smaller games ("pop songs," as he described them to us last year) rather than the big-budget epics ("operas") that he's previously been identified with. As he and his team of developers at Incognito were winding down work on Jaffe's first ditty, the party game Calling All Cars, he took some time out of his schedule to answer some questions about the extent of his involvement in God of War PSP and God of War III for PS3; why he cancelled the sure-to-have-been controversial PSP game Heartland; and the ongoing tension between his own desires as an artist to spread his wings and those of his fans who want him to keep making large-scale action games.