Transformers: War for Cybertron: The Interview

If you haven’t checked out my review of Transformers: War for Cybertron you can find it here….KAPOW! I also sent a few questions over to High Moon studios and they were nice enough to answer them for me!

Check out what Matt Tieger, the Game Director for Transformers, has to say about the game!

Channel Massive: Crafting a story that has been approved by Hasbro as canon! Pressure? How did you guys “research” the subject and work with Hasbro to create new concepts like Dark Energon.

Tieger: We felt a huge responsibility to the fans; I mean this is Transformers – over 20 years of history. Cartoons, comics, toys and books; we poured through as much as we could so that we knew the material.  From there we focused on G1 as our touchstone.  We approached any new story ideas in the same way that we redesigned characters.  We did our homework and looked for source examples from what had been done before.  If something existed we put our spin on it.  If it was new, Like Dark Energon, we focused on the spirit of Transformers stories and visuals and derived our concept from that.

Channel Massive: So…no lasers weapons! How did you decide on the style of gameplay, like using ammunition, for instance? What other options did you brainstorm for the type of gameplay that could have made up War for Cyberton?

Tieger: We tried lots of stuff for the weapons, but settled on a ‘Earth-like’ style simply because it was more in line with what gamers expect from a quality title.  If you survey many of the best games (even if they are sci-fi in nature) use ammo systems.  Maybe ammo feels more realistic (even though sci-fi) for maybe the subconscious effort inherent in a limited ammo resource adds tension to the game, either way ammo felt like the right call.

Channel Massive: So, all limits set aside, what would have been the Transformer that you most wanted in the game?

Tieger: Easy. Grimlock.  He is a cool and powerful character.  There are two reasons why he isn’t in the game. 1- although he talks slow he is not a dumb character.  Finding enough screen time to reveal the depth of who he is wasn’t something we had game time for with the huge list of characters already in the game. 2- I felt strongly that there were some things inherent in what his character needed to be that they would require special mechanics and that also was something we didn’t have time for.

Channel Massive: Transforming fits really well into War for Cyberton. What was the process in working the transformation mechanic in as an essential part of gameplay?

Tieger: Thanks.  Transforming has to be core to the gameplay in any Transformers game.  For us that translated to tons of work on the controls to make it feel intuitive.  Once we had that right we focused on the audio and visuals of it.  visually the transforms are so fast that we evolved it down to this – the player can really on focus on one single element in the transform so guide their eye with that one part (like Megatron’s gun) and all the other parts can assembly as quickly as possible.

Channel Massive: It’s official! There will be DLC and I will get a chance to roll around as Jazz! What else can we expect from the upcoming DLC, and what factors helped you decide what content to release?

Tieger: We tried to listen to the fans and give them what they wanted in the DLC pack.  As for what to expect in the future we aren’t ready to disclose anything but keep your eyes open!

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