As promised yesterday (2nd May 2007) when Martin Edelman, Product Manager (EMEA) from Glu Mobile sent through the first press images of the mobile Transformers game, its our pleasure to bring you our exclusive interview with Chris White who is head of Glu Mobile's studio EMEA. Unfortunatly, Chris was unable to answer all of our questions, there were quiet a lot, but I'm sure you'll find the Q&A extremely interesting anyway.
Transformers At The Moon: What got you first interested in producing a Transformers™ Movie themed mobile game?
I’ve been a fan of The Transformers since the early 80s. At the time, I asked my parents to buy me a Transformer for Christmas and they nearly purchased a voltage converter! I also religiously watched the show and bought the Marvel comic. In later years I remained a devoted follower and even helped organise the UK Transformers convention “Transforce”. That was a great experience because I got to meet the team that worked on the original comic.”
Transformers At The Moon: How long has the game been in development?
Games are usually six to nine months in the making. Transformers has a strong contingent of die-hard fans and we wanted to make sure the game would match up to their high expectations.”
Transformers At The Moon: I understand that there will be two versions of the game, a 3D version and a 2D version, is this correct and can you tell us a little about the difference between these versions?
Yes, that’s right. We wanted to make it inclusive and at the same time let mobile gamers get the most out of their handset. For this reason we’ve made a 2D version and also a 3D version for 3D capable phones. The 3D version features enhanced cut scenes and environments that make use of 3D models. This gives the levels a greater sense of depth on high-end handsets.”
Transformers At The Moon: What was the biggest technical challenge when developing the game?
Every game brings a unique set of challenges. The shape-shifting of the characters was something quite new. Making a game suitable for use on such a wide range of handsets with different capabilities is also a big challenge in game development.
We want to let users focus on having fun by reacting to enemies and objects. This meant streamlining the controls and making the game as high-octane as possible.”
Transformers At The Moon: I understand that compatibility can often be a headache with the increasing number of handsets on the market. With this in mind can you give us any ideas of what the requirements are for the game in terms of handset compatibility?
We’ve specifically developed the game so that as many mobile users as possible can get full enjoyment out of it. This is the main reason for offering both 2D and 3D versions – we want everyone to be able to join in the fun.”
Transformers At The Moon: Have you developed localised versions of the game for different markets (North America, Asia, Europe, and Australasia) and, in particular, local languages?
Yes, there will be localised versions for all territories. In Europe, the game will be localised into French, German, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese. The game may also be localised into further European languages at a later stage.”
Transformers At The Moon: In the game you play as Optimus Prime in his search to find the AllSpark, can you tell us a little more about the challenge players can expect to come up against within the game? The plot for the game mirrors that of the movie making it a really engaging experience. The focus has been on creating an authentic Transformers experience with the best possible gameplay, graphics, sound and animation.”
One funky feature is that gamers can use the other Autobot characters throughout the game to progress. An example is if players get stuck by an obstacle like a wall, by pressing a key, Ironhide will come down and destroy the wall for Optimus Prime.”
Transformers At The Moon: The game features “A unique and robust combat system never seen before on mobile”, can you tell us more about this?
The team developed tools to script a series of diverse behaviours for the Decepticons. This allows each enemy to exhibit a unique movement pattern, and have customised attacks and defensive behaviours. Combined with your ability to transform, this ensures combat is more tactical than simply relying on brute force.”
Transformers At The Moon: Does the game feature any speech, and if so are these sound bytes provided by the Movie actors?
Mobile games are typically very small, and builds are generally multi-lingual. Unfortunately, this leaves little room for speech. However, Glu will also be offering a range of mobile Voice Tones featuring the voice of Optimus Prime, Peter Cullen. Peter recorded some mobile specific dialogue for us so you’ll be able to hear Optimus speak to you when your phone rings or you receive a message!”
Transformers At The Moon: Have you been surprised by the level of hype and expectation that surrounds the Transformers movie and tie-in products?
Like a lot of classic TV shows Transformers has a massive cult following of people who grew up watching the cartoon. I was tremendously excited to hear we’d be working on it. The movie and this game are introducing the characters to a whole new generation; the buzz is fantastic and goes to show that good ideas and good characters can cross generations.”
Transformers At The Moon: Can you tell us when the game will be available for eager mobile gamers?
The game will be available in time for the release of the upcoming movie in July. As I mentioned, Glu will also be providing Voice Tones featuring the voice of Optimus Prime and we will also be offering a range of cool Transformers wallpapers for your mobile.”
Transformers At The Moon: Some of our site users are not sure how to get a game on their phone. How can Transformers fans get the game?
From July you can get the game from your mobile network operator’s wap portal or by visiting www.glu.com. We are also creating the mobile site where fans can try a 1 full level demo of the game for free and get wallpapers and voice tones. This will be available from June so check www.transformersmobile.com later for more details”
I'd like to thank both Martin and Chris for taking the time to answer our questions and we look forward to continue working with Glu Mobile in the coming months including bringing you a working online demo of the game!.