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Inside the Developers Studio: Travis Williams

Travis Williams's Avatar + Posted by Travis Williams on Jun 26, 2007 // Sr. Producer, SCEA

Hey everyone, I’m Travis Williams, I’m a senior producer for SCEA in San Diego and working on an upcoming title for the PlayStation Network called “PAIN.” In the spirit of this Q&A series, I, along with many other first party developers, were posed with the following questions from the SCEA PR team. Here are my answers…enjoy!

1. What game do you have at E3 this year?
PAIN for the PlayStation 3 PlayStation Network and it’s being released soon. I would love to give myself the “finished game” Christmas present.

2. Tell us more about your game. What’s the story?
PAIN is cool in that there is no story. I could come up with a reason why seemingly “normal” people climb inside of a huge slingshot and fling themselves into dangerous situations, but you wouldn’t buy it.

SO NO STORY FOR YOU, SORRY!

The “more” I would like to say about PAIN is that although PAIN is meant to be funny it’s really a skillful sandbox game. The challenges start off pretty easy but trust me the game gets pretty daunting at the PAINful levels. You can play for five minutes or five hours.

3. If you could sit one person in front of your game for an hour, who would it be?
I dunno. Maybe Super Dave. That dude could take a hit for real.

4. What did you do on this game that you couldn’t do on another platform?
PAIN is different in that it’s made specifically for the PlayStation Network. Before PSN, we didn’t really have a dialogue with the people who play PlayStation games. That’s changed with PS3. That means we’re looking to the PSN community to help us shape future PAIN themes. So there’s a level of interaction with the game players that we couldn’t achieve until now. We’ve got cool ideas, but I’m really looking forward to see how other people play PAIN. We are also always making launchable characters for PAIN so if you guys have some ideas for characters you wanna fling (famous or not) chime in here on the comments thread. Of course, no guarantees, but we’ll do what we can.

5. Do you have any “firsts in this game that have never been done before?
If you can find a game where you can Toss Mimes and Spank Monkeys for points that I can play then I can stop working on this one.

6. What do you think is the coolest aspect of this game?
I’d say the coolest part of PAIN is how I never get tired of playing it. I know that might sound self-serving but it’s true. I’ve made some games that I was just sick of playing near the end. I can actually sit down with Coker (the associate producer on PAIN) and play for hours. When you first start playing PAIN it’s all about the funny. Soon, it’s all about your skillz.

7. What game do you most want an hour to sit in front of yourself (besides your own)?
Killzone. I hear it looks AMAZING.

8. How many E3’s does E3 2007 mark for you?
Been to EVERY one. Man I am old.

9. Describe the pre-2007 E3 experience in five words or less.
It’s hectic, but exciting too.

10. Most overused phrase(s) or expression during E3 Season.
- Dude! Have you seen the new Metal Gear Trailer?
-Huh? I can’t hear you. (Because there are explosions in the background)
-So, what company you working for NOW?
-I’m not waiting in that line to see a demo (and then you go wait in THAT line)

11. You are asked to make suggestions for an E3 survival kit- what three
items HAVE to be included?

Breath mints – To make sure you’re fresh to def
Comfortable shoes – To make sure you’re a Gellin
A Backpack – To make sure you can carry all the schwag

12. What advice would you have for someone who has never experienced E3?
Don’t ask me for Sony Party tickets. I don’t have any!

13. Describe what you anticipate from 2007’s newly formatted E3 in five
words or less.

A lot less booth babe-age.

14. What’s your favorite part about developing games for a living?
My mother told me that my knowledge of elves and magic was would never pay off…Having the last laugh on that one makes my whole career worth while. IN YOUR FACE MAMA!!

Was that disrespectful? Sorry Mom….

//Add Your Own

139 Comments

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1

+ Godofwar55555 on June 26th, 2007 at 12:58 pm said:

I can’t wait for this game, It will be a great addition to the PSN. I am taking his word on Killzone, I hope it does look amazing.

[]^XO


2

+ Gorvi on June 26th, 2007 at 12:59 pm said:

PAIN looks like it could be a lot of fun. Any hint as to when we’ll get to play it?


3

+ Godofwar55555 on June 26th, 2007 at 12:59 pm said:

About the character fling thing, how about Kratos, that would be sweet and funny.

[]^XO


4

+ Ghostm on June 26th, 2007 at 1:02 pm said:

It’s like xmas today, two blog post in one day! Yeah baby!!!


5

+ GFXology.com on June 26th, 2007 at 1:02 pm said:

This was a nice post, a lot more informational. And stop mentioning Killzone, because every time you mention it, it makes the wait for E3 seem like forever.


6

+ Totobeni on June 26th, 2007 at 1:03 pm said:

OH MY CAT …this is interestin
(Killzone. I hear it looks AMAZING.)

so Travis Williams (SCEA dude ) heard it’s AMAZING..it seems that sony is very confident about it , they will show it straight after MS Keynote…

can’t wait for july 10th


7

+ GFXology.com on June 26th, 2007 at 1:04 pm said:

“it’s being released soon. I would love to give myself the “finished game” Christmas present.”

Soon, but maybe Xmas?


8

+ rukusa on June 26th, 2007 at 1:06 pm said:

Im already [DELETED] in my pants for July 10th. I hope there isnt a NDA so that we can see and hear impressions by the geusts :).


9

+ EvoAnubis on June 26th, 2007 at 1:06 pm said:

This game looks like fun; can’t wait to give it a try.


10

+ rukusa on June 26th, 2007 at 1:07 pm said:

Uhh, some one mentioned Killzone! HYPE RISING! DOWN PERISCOPE!


11

+ TheDevilsJoker on June 26th, 2007 at 1:07 pm said:

PAIN looks amazing fun, its the light hearted original game (that even looks good!) that the PSN needs, once you get this, warhawk and Little big planet out there the PSN will be a very different place!
Also make your own guy to fling would be great, even if its slight character customisation. Id love to fling myself from a slingshot into a bowl of cerial


12

+ person34 on June 26th, 2007 at 1:09 pm said:

Until now I havn’t really heard much about this game. But after reading this it really makes me want to play it. After the last couple of blog posts I’ve been sort of dissapointed with this site, but this totally makes up for it!

I’m glad the PSN is getting more games for it, since right now it’s sort of slim pickings. But games like this make having a PS3 worth it.

Keep posting like this, its fantastic!


13

+ rukusa on June 26th, 2007 at 1:11 pm said:

@Travis

I do hope you’ll include Home Trophies in PAIN. It will probably be very statisfying for the future ‘trophy hunters’ plus extend the longivity :).


14

+ homy on June 26th, 2007 at 1:13 pm said:

Suggestion:
The problem with PSN online games is that they don’t have a lobby room where you can see or wait on other players, such as Griftshift, Go Puzzle and Mortal Combat. Without the lobby room, player will quit searching for a match if they can’t find one or even creating a new game because they think nobody is playing. That will lead to nobody want to search to play online. When you have a lobby, you’ll know there’s some one else is playing or waiting so you can wait or play.
I love Griftshift. I think it is the most fun game but it kills me every time i think about playing it online because I can’t find a match and I just quit.
Calling all cars is an example of good implementation (still not perfect). It has a lobby, by which I know that i can always play if I wait for a little while even though there are very few people playing at any one time.


15

+ Ghostm on June 26th, 2007 at 1:13 pm said:

Nice interview. I really enjoyed reading this one. Keep them coming. By the way, we are all excited about KillZone 2.


16

+ Godofwar55555 on June 26th, 2007 at 1:14 pm said:

Killzone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Killzone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Killzone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Killzone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
[]^XO


17

+ papa-action on June 26th, 2007 at 1:16 pm said:

PAIN look GREAT!! Here are some suggestions for throwable characters:
Bill Gates (or a character that looks suspiciously like him) :-)
Barney (The purple one) :-)
Evil Knieval
Crash Bandicoot
Steve-O (or any one of the Jackass crew)


18

+ sequoia on June 26th, 2007 at 1:18 pm said:

Nice interview, liked learning more about an upcoming game, definitely looks like it’ll be fun. Doubt you’d be able to do it, but I’d love to put George Bush (aka the President) in a slingshot and watch him bounce off buildings and stuff!


19

+ Neil on June 26th, 2007 at 1:19 pm said:

I’d like to see a fairly robust “create a character” mode for this game.


20

+ K on June 26th, 2007 at 1:19 pm said:

Pillsbury Doughboy is the perfect character, free advertising for Pillsbury too. Why, a lot of food related characters could work. Easy money if you get revenue from it.


21

+ tielo on June 26th, 2007 at 1:22 pm said:

characters I wanna fling:
– Paris Hilton
– George Bush
– Lou Pearlman
– All of the Teletubbies

Thanks.


22

+ Kratos_ate_Snake on June 26th, 2007 at 1:23 pm said:

Has there been any news on how many different environments there will be?


23

+ ziggyd24 on June 26th, 2007 at 1:23 pm said:

oh man I wanna fling PARIS HILTON so bad


24

+ SonnyJim on June 26th, 2007 at 1:24 pm said:

much better than yesterdays interview. bill gates definitely for a flingable character. what about flingable objects? such as an xbox that you can fling and destroy. just a thought.


25

+ omegasyde on June 26th, 2007 at 1:25 pm said:

The game looks great. I do suggest you make some more money for the game by implementing in game add’s. It would make sense, since you are in a city ad billboards are all around.

Character suggestions:
Nicole Kidman
Rosie O’donnel
Paris Hilton
pumpkins
IRS tax agent’s
Chuck E Cheese(the rat)
Donna Frye (San Diego joke)
Osama Bin Laden
Fred Durst. He deserves it.
Fat Italion plumbers wearing overalls.

:)


26

+ djtortilla on June 26th, 2007 at 1:25 pm said:

obese people
old people
the chimera from Resistance FOM
dick cheney
donald trump
star jones
donald rumsfield
tony blair
rupert murdoch
bill gates
steve ballmer


27

+ SonnyJim on June 26th, 2007 at 1:27 pm said:

FLING PARIS HILTON!!!!!!!


28

+ OrganicShadow on June 26th, 2007 at 1:32 pm said:

-Oprah
-Paris Hilton
-Britney Spears
-Lindsay Lohan
-Fergie(complete with peed-her-pants-on-stage wet spot)
-Carlos Mencia
-Rosie Odonnel(or whatever) complete with a giant Bob Barker fist to slam her into
-Jack Thompson
-Hillary Clinton
-All judges from American Idol
-Everyone from The View
-Ted Haggard
-that one guy on SNL that won’t stop looking at the camera and laughing and messing up his lines because he doesn’t give a crap about the show and thinks he can get away with half-assing his job…..and was on that taxi movie.

Think im going to stop here so the server has room for everyone else…


29

+ BazC on June 26th, 2007 at 1:33 pm said:

Character wise i’d lie to see different Playstation characters. So Kratos, Snake, Crash, Lara Croft, Nariko etc. If it were possible a GT car, if that had rag doll physics and so could be smashed about that would be fun.


30

+ Katfish711 on June 26th, 2007 at 1:34 pm said:

I can see it now… downloadable series of “flingables” (for a nominal fee of course):

Hated politicians/world leaders series

Superheroes series

Holiday series (Santa, Easter Bunny, Turkey, Pumpkins, etc.)

Should be fun.


31

+ nmc75 on June 26th, 2007 at 1:39 pm said:

PAIN looks really fun. If it’s ok to offer some suggestions though to make it even cooler:

-customizable face (using PS3 Eye cam) having your own face wince in pain can be more painful

-how about mod-able functions? It’d be so cool if we could trade custom built stunt-levels with our friends online

-if Sony is coming out with a Rumble SixAxis, incorporating Rumble would seem to be a no-brainer

Regardless, Pain looks fun and I can’t wait until it hits the PSN!


32

+ aiphanes on June 26th, 2007 at 1:42 pm said:

I say we fling Paris Hilon or Linsey Lohan!


33

+ PS3_123106 on June 26th, 2007 at 1:43 pm said:

#32 I like the way you think!

I can’t wait for this game, the rag doll physics should be incredible on the PS3


34

+ KEFIOX on June 26th, 2007 at 1:46 pm said:

This game looks great, glad to hear it’s shaping up well, this is definately going to be a game that I will be able to play for hours ;)


35

+ raqtimer on June 26th, 2007 at 1:49 pm said:

Hi i’m form Poland and i would love to have a duck called Lech or Jaroslaw Kaczynski,one of the borthers is a president and the other is a prime minister in Poland. You can called them ducktators because they name in polend is formed from a word duck.


36

+ Nebo on June 26th, 2007 at 1:52 pm said:

When i first thought of PAIN, i thought…wow this looks freakin funny as hell…for sure ill buy it on the PSN store.


37

+ Stallone on June 26th, 2007 at 1:52 pm said:

I can’t wait for this game, or E3 :P.

Models I would like to fling around:

– Bill Gates
– Kratos
– Crash Bandicoot
– A PS3 “It can crush small children”
– An Xbox “It can crush bigger children”
– Nathan Hale
– One of the Shadow of Collossus Bosses
– A rag doll from motostorm.


38

+ SeanScythe on June 26th, 2007 at 2:01 pm said:

Will we be able to listen to custom music in this game? Since sony has confirmed that the option is there and it’s up to the developers to add it.

I’m sick of not having this options aswell as not being able to play a game and have access to the XMB.


39

+ 40cal on June 26th, 2007 at 2:05 pm said:

Pain is going straight to my HDD just let me know when.

Off topic: Can Ubisoft get a phone call, how many times can Rainbow Six get pushed back. I swear thay do it again and I wont even be buying Assasins Creed! *!^%$#@


40

+ mikehc69 on June 26th, 2007 at 2:10 pm said:

More than anything else right now, I wish Sony would find a compromise with the third-party developers in allowing them to post their additional content on the store. Games like Marvel: Ultimate Alliance and Oblivion both have downloadable content available on XBL, but no such content is available for PS3 users.

The reason I keep hearing is that Sony charges developers to post their content to the store whereas Microsoft doesn’t. Is this the real reason? Extra content for games such as the ones I listed are what gamers like myself want to be able to purchase.

Seriously Sony, find a compromise with them. Its frustrating that I own such a powerful and enjoyable system, and yet certain game features that COULD be available to be me, aren’t.


41

+ TyranX on June 26th, 2007 at 2:14 pm said:

I WANNA FLING JACK THOMPSON PLEASE!!!
THAT GUY IS ANNOYING I WANT TO CAUSE AS MUCH “PAIN” AS POSSIBLE!!!

Seriously make a Jack Thompson model, every gamer will love it!!

and boost sales ; )


42

+ MasterCharged on June 26th, 2007 at 2:15 pm said:

pain will be awsome


43

+ aaquib on June 26th, 2007 at 2:24 pm said:

It seems kind of confusing. Is the whole point of the game to fly off buildings?


44

+ sneakattack28 on June 26th, 2007 at 2:26 pm said:

u guys should put bill gates with a room full of x360 elites and crush all of them and then put one ps3 and make bill gates hit it and make his body explode just imagine how awsome tha would be. He can break every 360 but th ps3


45

+ Kaze88 on June 26th, 2007 at 2:28 pm said:

@Travis

That looks PAINfull man, ive seen one vid of that game and its looking great. its not a typical game and it looks fun!

Character suggestions:

-Solid Snake
-Killzone dude
-Death/Reaper (hes pretty famous and it would be funny to give him some PAIN for a change.)


46

+ Novaoblivion on June 26th, 2007 at 2:29 pm said:

I havent heard about this game before but it looks pretty sweet.


47

+ shadow gamer on June 26th, 2007 at 2:34 pm said:

looks to be a cool game.

too bad you couldn’t get the old david bowie song “FAME” and change it to “PAIN.”

it’s got a funky sound that would go well with the game.


48

+ TONX on June 26th, 2007 at 2:35 pm said:

PLEASE GUYS. Have E3 specific trailers and movies on PSN DURING E3!!!


49

+ PSheddy on June 26th, 2007 at 2:40 pm said:

Honestly I havn’t heard about this game until 5 minutes ago.. It looks pretty fun and unique.

Also I’m all for flinging Jack Thompson around.. I’m sure he’d love it :-)


50

+ fragged_23 on June 26th, 2007 at 2:46 pm said:

awesome interview! very entertaining and informative.
I would like to see the following Fling-ables:
1. a Helghast (bad guys from Killzone)
2. Bill Gates (hell yea)
3. Princess Zelda…she pisses me off
4. My HOME avatar (long shot i know)
5. A kitten
6. Jack Thompson (that would be soooo hilarious)
7. My little brother.


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