Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

Twisted Metal, the TV series

Posted by Rampant Coyote on May 1, 2023

Back in 1994, with the ink still dry on my degree in Computer Science, I got a job in the video games industry working for a new startup called SingleTrac. I was Employee #16. Most of the people there were engineers and artists from a simulation company called Evans & Sutherland. My salary was pathetic, and we were working on tables people had brought from home and cardboard boxes. I had to wait three days before my computer arrived (a hot new Pentium computer!). In the meantime, I filled out the paperwork and was introduced to the team, project, and the development station called “PSX” that was to be for an upcoming game console by Sony that not many people had heard of, let alone expected it to challenge the console titans of Sega and Nintendo. With all that complete, someone found me a working chair and handed me the design documents for a pair of video games codenamed “Firestorm” and “Red Mercury.”

“Firestorm” was previously called “Urban Assault” (I think we even had a poster in the hall with that title for years), but after a trademark and brand search, they were searching for a new name. The final title for the game was “Twisted Metal.” It was all about cars and guns and a little bit of magic. As a fan of the “Car Wars” analog game by Steve Jackson games, I was pretty thrilled to be working on it.

“Red Mercury” was eventually renamed “Warhawk” (subtitled “The Red Mercury Missions”), and I got to work on both titles at the same time. They had a ton of code in common between them as we frantically worked toward a release date matching the release of the original Sony Playstation console.

Well, fast forward to last week, when I saw the teaser for a live-action TV series called “Twisted Metal.” I’d heard a licensed TV series was in the works many months ago, but I had no idea if it would actually see the light of day. Apparently so.

So… from what I get, it looks like its set in an alternate history 1990s. CD players in cars, “Got Milk” bumper stickers, the music… Pretty much about the same time Twisted Metal and Twisted Metal II arrived on the market. That sounds like a cool choice.

I don’t know if Anthony Mackie is a geek. But he’s been a Marvel superhero in the MCU, and now he’s starring in a video game show… I begin to suspect he’s got a geek gene. 🙂 I hope he has fun with this.

For me, it’s kind of surreal seeing this old project that I lived and breathed for months all those years ago getting turned into a TV series. Will the show be any good? I have no idea, but the teaser looks pretty damn fun. I’m excited to watch it later this summer.

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