David Jaffe’s latest public service announcement encourages the nation’s youth to be jerks.
David Jaffe, known for his work on the Twisted Metal and God of War games, wants everybody to know that being nice is underrated. According to him, game development success can’t be reached by making it a priority for everyone to like you.
In a blog post today, Jaffe explained that he’s “had a reputation for being kind of a hard ass to work with.” He often focuses his anger on the technical frustrations of developing games, but admits he hasn’t hesitated to give people a stern talking to when necessary.
Jaffe evidently decided that he’d go with a change of pace recently, writing: “As of late I’ve tried to be nicer, kinder, more inclusive.” How did it go? “Fuck that. Doesn’t work,” he says.
The outspoken designer that once had to ban himself from the internet is thankful “no real harm was done” to his current project by being too sugary sweet. Most importantly, he writes: “Never allow your desire to be nice and liked to get in the way of the vision because the game will suffer. And the team will suffer as well because a failed game means the studio is at risk.”
He admits: “Can I still be nice? Always. But not at the expensive of the game’s vision.” The problem in Jaffe’s mind is that: “Not everyone on a game will always get [the vision] and so it’s key to know when an idea improves and when it takes away from the game’s core.” If an idea just isn’t working, you’ve got to speak up and be a jerk sometimes.
So to all you aspiring developers out there, you’d better start learning how to be a little salty sometimes to protect your vision if you want to make it anywhere in the business. David Jaffe is known for making, shall we say, “interesting” statements, but this one is actually a decent piece of advice for most walks of life. Thankfully, he still included expletives.
EDIT: This article was not written to slander David Jaffe or to paint him in a bad light. Jaffe meant that he doesn’t have room to be nice when it comes at the cost of a game, and it was the author’s intention to convey that. It was not the author’s intention to say that Jaffe is a complete jerk to his staff at all times or that he abuses them with a whip. Please read Jaffe’s blog for the full message.