David Goldfarb reveals the hardships of development and the anxiety of approaching the launch of Metal: Hellsinger. And that Gamescom gig …
As a developer, few things are more anxious than the review embargo. It’s standard practice to have a select number of gaming sites and influencers with early access to major new releases, and give them an embargo – a date and time when they can start talking about the game and their impressions. This is where games, including Metal: Hellsinger of course, get a vote and sites like Metacritic fill with reviewers’ opinions.
“I haven’t slept because the game comes out on the 15th, but the embargo was set for today, so everyone went crazy,” David Goldfarb, director of The Outsiders, told GLHF on the morning of September 12th. Metal: Hellsinger was just days away from release and the reviews could have decided whether thousands of people would play it or not. This was enough to make it a nerve-wracking moment for the team.
“You never know what’s going to happen, and I haven’t launched games in, like, nine years, so I’ve forgotten what it feels like,” says Goldfarb, referring to his role as director of PayDay 2. Before that, Goldfarb was working on the series. EA Battlefield and the exclusive PlayStation Killzone 2. Clearly, it doesn’t get any easier over time. “I think it’s been nine years of building this moment, and then you get there thinking ‘oh let’s get this off our feet.'”
The idea behind Metal: Hellsinger –
Metal: Hellsinger is a new rhythm shooter in which you have to wipe out waves of demons in time with the original soundtrack. Each level is associated with a unique song and you can compete for high score in global leaderboards. Best of all, Hellsinger includes vocal tracks performed by well-known members of metal music, such as System of a Down’s Serj Tankian, Trivium’s Matt Heafy, Lamb of God’s Randy Blythe, and more.
“How did the idea come about? I was playing Doom (2016) and by chance I had the music turned down, and I was listening to Meshuggah in the background. And I decided to start doing everything in time, ”Goldfarb recalls, explaining the moment he came up with the concept of the game. “I thought there might be a game there, there’s this overlap of flows that happens when you listen to music and shoot in time. Then I came up with the idea of playing as a demon and fighting to leave Hell. And then I forgot everything. After a few years, Funcom asked me if there was a game I wanted to play ”.
The first star contacted –
The fact that very popular artists collaborated on the Metal: Hellsinger soundtrack was fantastic for marketing, and the Metal: Hellsinger gig at Gamescom 2022 probably wouldn’t have been viable were it not for the famous names that populated it. . As a huge metal fan, Goldfarb knew exactly who he wanted to collaborate with.
“But that didn’t mean we could do it,” he says. “Two Feathers are the composers and sound designers. We talked and we still didn’t know who we would be able to convince, we only had a prototype. Nicklas’s mother (Hjertberg, half of Two Feathers) knew the girlfriend of Mikael Stanne, the lead singer of Dark Tranquility, ”says Goldfarb, citing the series of coincidences that solidified Hellsinger’s direction.
The Gamescom concert –
“So Stanne was the first one we turned to, and then, when we prepared the track, we did a handful of iterations and heard it, and we thought ‘ok, yeah, this will work.’ Then there was a sort of snowball effect, in which every time we signed a person, suddenly we had a growing circle of people who wanted to work with us ”.
The Metal: Hellsinger concert at Gamescom 2022 seemed to be one of the highlights of the event and cemented Gamescom’s return among the events in attendance. According to Goldfarb, it was organized in less than four months. “Thank God it wasn’t me who organized it. It took a lot of planning and coordination, because we weren’t even on site, ”Goldfarb explains. “The other thing is, all of these artists were on tour. So we had a super narrow window of opportunity to make it happen. It was amazing that we were able to do that. Our team, I don’t know how they did it ”.
One regret –
The tension is high in the approach to a big launch, as is clear from Goldfarb’s words about the hours of sleep he had in this period: “probably, four hours in three days, or something like that”. But, even with that kind of stress and anxiety, he has a single regret to share in this whole conversation. “If only we could have had more people in the pit. I had just fucked my foot, I really wanted to be there but, no ”.
Written by Dave Aubrey for GLHF
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