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Seibertron.com's exclusive interview with TRANSFORMERS: LEGENDS

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Seibertron.com's exclusive interview with TRANSFORMERS: LEGENDS

Postby Seibertron » Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:54 am

Motto: "Tell my tale to those who ask. Tell it truly; the ill deeds along with the good, and let me be judged accordingly. The rest ... is silence."
Weapon: Twin Shock-Concussion Missiles
To coincide with today's launch of the popular TRANSFORMERS: LEGENDS game on iOS devices (iPod, iPad, and iPhone), the folks behind the TRANSFORMERS: LEGENDS took some time to answer a bunch of our questions regarding this game. The responses are from Tom Hess, DeNA Producer of TRANSFORMERS: LEGENDS.

TRANSFORMERS: LEGENDS is available on Android and iOS devices. You can download the app for Android devices here in the Google Play Store and for iOS devices in the iTunes App Store by clicking here.

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Seibertron.com: How long was the development process on this game? Did Hasbro approach DeNA or did DeNA approach Hasbro about the idea?

DeNA: It has taken almost a full year since the idea was born. We were looking for a strong intellectual property (IP) that would work great with the card battle game design system. Both myself and other members of the team are huge Transformers fans and we felt that we could make a great card battle game with the Transformers license. So we approached Hasbro about the idea, and thus TRANSFORMERS: LEGENDS was born.



Seibertron.com: Can you tell us about your experience working with Hasbro? Maybe tell us a little bit about the approval process, etc.

DeNA: Our relationship with Hasbro has been fantastic. Both companies are very excited about the game. Our team at DeNA comes up with the characters we want to make and the themes of the Episodes. We then send those ideas to Hasbro so they can help make sure everything is authentic to the Transformers Universe. It's great to have access to such a valuable resource. Once the theme and characters are approved then we start creating the art.


Seibertron.com: Are there any other games that the development team used as inspirations for the Transformers Legends game?

DeNA: We’re fortunate at DeNA that our parent company in Japan is an established leader in developing mobile card battle games like the popular title Blood Brothers. The TRANSFORMERS: LEGENDS development team is based in DeNA’s San Francisco office, and it has been great to leverage our Japanese colleagues’ expertise in mobile game design with our San Francisco-based team’s knowledge of making games in the West.

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Seibertron.com: The artwork of the Transformers is beautiful. Can you share some information with us about the artists involved with the game such as their names, backgrounds, past experience, other games or projects they have worked on in the past?

DeNA: Our internal art team has quite a diverse background with experience in developing PC/Mac, AAA console, and of course mobile games. Here are some quick bios of the internal art team:

Steve Abeyta (Art Director)
DeNA: Eliminate, We Rule, We Farm, Quests and Sorcery, TRANSFORMERS: LEGENDS
Bungie Software: Oni, Halo, Halo 2
Worked freelance for quite a few years as well as an Animator/Artist
Graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from UC Berkeley, but quickly switched industries and started at Bungie as an Animator

Sunghoon Kim (Senior Artist)
DeNA: We City, Quests and Sorcery, TRANSFORMERS: LEGENDS
Highimpactgames LLC.: Ratchet and Clank and Jak and Daxter
Graduate of Savannah College of Art and Design, majored in Animation
Hongik Univ. in Seoul, majored in Industrial Design

Brian White (Senior Artist)
DeNA: Quests & Sorcery and TRANSFORMERS: LEGENDS
Perpetual Entertainment: Star Trek Online
Linden Lab: Second Life
EA: Sim City, The Sims2, etc.
Fisher-Price Toys
Graduate of RISD: Industrial Design

We're also very lucky to work with some excellent external sketch artists including Transformers comic veterans Guido Guidi and Dan Khanna. They were instrumental in helping develop the new angle on the Transformers robots. Additionally, we work with some extremely talented painters. It was a challenge to get all the different parts of the pipeline to create a cohesive look but we're happy with the results and excited about some new twists we have coming up.

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Seibertron.com: Are there any plans to have a book tie-in that showcases the artwork from the game? I'm sure a lot of Seibertronians out there would be very excited about a Transformers Legends book.

DeNA: Stay tuned to find out!


Seibertron.com: For the programming and computer geeks out there, can you tell us a little bit about what's going on behind the scenes programming wise? What programming language was the game developed in? Anything cool from a programming perspective that the developers would like to share or rave about? Any brand spankin' new technologies being used that the programmers are excited about implementing?

DeNA: TRANSFORMERS: LEGENDS is entirely developed using javascript - Client and Server. Game clients are using a cross platform game engine called ngCore (https://developer.mobage.com/en/resources?set_sdk=ngCore). It enables us to create native quality mobile games for Android and iOS. The server is developed using node.js with mongodb, redis and memcached. The common language allows faster iteration times during development.


Seibertron.com: Will the upcoming iPhone version be identical as the Android version or will there be some differences between the two? If there are any differences, what can you tell us about what to expect?

DeNA: They will be exactly the same. In fact you will be able to access the same account on both devices. So if you want to play on your Android phone on your way home from work and your iPad when you get home, you can!


Seibertron.com: Some of the character designs appear to originate with the toys. Some of the characters have not received a toy in modern times. Can you tell us about the design process and where the character designs came from? Maybe provide a few examples to demonstrate various sources ...

DeNA: We use as much reference as we can but get our key elements from the toys. When developing a look for a character we follow one guideline - the character must be instantly recognizable. So even though we will adjust proportions and levels of articulation, the character must have the identifying features that define it. We may do a new angle on those features, but the original integrity of them must be kept in tact.


Seibertron.com: From what I've seen so far, Transformers Legends is very G1 based. Are there any plans to integrate popular characters from other series such as Blackout (Movie/Animated), Barricade (Movie), Jolt (Movie), Strika (Animated/Beast Machines), Obsidian (Beast Machines), Bulkhead (Animated/Prime), and other popular favorites?

DeNA: Right now we are really focused on G1. There are so many great story lines that we can still explore, but that doesn't mean we can't start incorporating different characters and styles of Transformers. That is one of the great things about the brand; the Transformers Universe is so broad.


Seibertron.com: Are there any plans to roll out other versions or editions of the game such as Beast Wars or the live action Movie universe?

DeNA: We have been exploring ideas around Beast Wars. You’ll have to stay tuned for upcoming Episodes to find out. As for the movie universe, that is an interesting idea but we're focused on G1 for now as there are so many interesting storylines to explore. The movies are great on their own of course, and I personally can't wait to see Transformers 4.


Seibertron.com: Is there any hint or suggestion about the game that the developers would like to share with everyone? Maybe a tip for something that they think players might be overlooking or something.

DeNA: TRANSFORMERS characters are already very powerful by nature, but you can push their strength to even much greater heights by following these tips:

  • Upgrade your cards to make them more powerful. Use redundant cards you collect throughout the game to upgrade your favorite cards. The redundant cards are converted into XP, which is used to level up your selected card. With every next level the stats of your card increases. Maxed out cards also receive an extra bonus in battle.
  • Trans-Scan is an excellent way to increase the power of a TRANSFORMERS character card. Trans-Scan is the process of combining the Alt mode and the Robot mode of a character card. If you upgrade both the Robot Mode and the Alt Mode to Max Level before performing the Trans-Scan, you will get the largest stat increase - a 10% bonus per card on all stats! Cards that have been Trans-Scanned also receive a bonus during combat.
  • Weapons are cards that can be equipped by TRANSFORMERS character cards. Every TRANSFORMERS character card has a Specialization and Class. By equipping weapons that match these roles the power of the character card gets boosted. But every TRANSFORMERS character card from rarity 3 and up also has its own unique signature weapon card. Matching the character with its unique own weapon card boosts the stats of character cards significantly, over 150% and more. Obtain the matching weapon card that belongs to your strongest character cards to unlock the full potential of your deck. Some weapons also have special abilities that really put the power in your card’s punch; triple attacks, increased critical strikes or increase card’s attack power by a multitude!
  • Recommend is an easy and quick way to make sure you have the strongest deck possible. When you hit recommend the game selects and equips the most powerful character and weapon cards available. Checking the Deck Power stat is an excellent and easy way to monitor the increase of your deck’s power.
  • Rarity determines the power of a card; the higher the number on the card frame the stronger the card. Try to collect as much high rarity cards as possible to make your deck stronger.
  • Always make sure you not only have the strong Team, but also make sure you put your strongest cards in the AUTOBOT and DECEPTICON Squads. These squads are used for boss battles and by winning boss battles you can capture it’s weapon. You don’t want to miss out on these opportunities by losing the battle - so always bring your strongest cards with you!


Seibertron.com: Will DeNA be attending BotCon (the official Transformers convention), San Diego Comic-Con or any other events where fans can interact directly with DeNA? I'm sure everyone at Seibertron.com would love to see Transformers Legends represented properly at BotCon.

DeNA: We're always excited to meet our players and get their feedback on the game. We are still in the midst of planning our events presence for this year, but San Diego Comic-Con and BotCon are definitely on our radar. In the meantime, if you have any thoughts or suggestions on other events we should bring the game to, please feel free to leave us a note on our feedback page in the game: https://transformerslegends.uservoice.com/forums/188000-transformers-legends-1-0

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Seibertron.com: Are there plans to release the game for other Android based devices such as the Kindle?

DeNA: There are no plans at this time. But I've passed the suggestion along!


Seibertron.com: Does the Transformers Legends team have a consensus on a favorite character? What about their favorite allegiance: Autobots or Deceptions? Why?

DeNA: There is no consensus. We all have our favorites. Below are the team’s answers to the last two questions.

Tom
Character: Skywarp. He was my favorite toy as a kid.
Faction: Decepticons all the way. I always wanted them to win just once in the cartoon and I like fighter jets as well.

John
Character: Soundwave
Faction: Decpticons hands down. They have the cool tech.

Scott
Character: Jazz. I always like him in the cartoon.
Faction: I root for the Autobots on the show, but my initial selection in the game was Decepticons. Being a jet is way cooler!

Vince
Character: Ravage
Faction: Decepticons, because 'good is dumb'.

Max
Character: soundwave (me love gadgets)
Faction: Decepticon (muhahahaha)

Maximiliano
Character: Optimus Prime
Faction: Autobots... sanctimoniousness.

Bert-jan
Character: Without much doubt that would be Devastator. He is this incredibly powerful Gestalt, and his combined physical power is only rivaled and surpassed by a few. Mentally though, that's a different story. His limited psyche is quite primitive and he only really gets anything done when all parts agree, which is rare, and so more often then not he's a giant of uncontrolled rage and fury. For the most part he's as dumb as a box of hammers and only capable of destruction and little else, but considering how Decepticons go, that's not much of a problem.
Faction: Decepticons. They got the cool jets. They've got Devastator. How many more reasons do you need?

Appie
Character: Have to agree with Bert, I think Devastator is pretty cool because he literally ate a pyramid in the 2nd movie and sometimes I'm that hungry too
Faction: Whichever has more girl ones

Fabian
Character: Laserbeak: As a Chilean I have to choose Laserbeak. He can transform into a Condor, the national bird of Chile, which is really awesome and beautiful.
Faction: Decepticon. Being the good guy is too easy, and Decepticons always had the best transformations (in my opinion).

Sunghoon
Character: My favorite character is Autobot Jazz and it is transformed from the car, and cars are my best interest.
I painted the car version and I was very excited while I was painting.
Faction: however, I love the most characters in Decepticon because many of them have strong personality in style.

Sam
Character: Grimlock
Faction: I'd have to say the Autobots. They're working to protect the universe, which is a plus, and they have some of the most memorable members: Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Jazz, and of course Grimlock (technically). Oh, and Daniel Witwicky. Never mind lets go with Decepticons.

Cameron
Character: Steeljaw. He was the toy I could always carry with me wherever I went, and he's literally a magnetic cassette tape that turns into a lion. That's either ridiculous, awesome, or a little of both. I'm not qualified to judge.
Faction: Autobots. Evil is only fun when it's competent.

Ken
Character: Unicron. Go big or go home! Unless you live on Unicron, because you're already home. But you probably have a very short lifespan.
Faction: Decepticons. Evil is only fun when it's INcompetent.

Jason
Character: Grimlock
Faction: Autobots because red > purple

Nathan
Character: Jetfire. He came in this huge box, and you could only buy him one hour away from where I lived. I spent all my allowance on him and even though he repeatedly bruised my finger when I popped open the metal front landing gear, he was always my favorite Transformer.
Faction: Autobots

Seibertron.com: From all of us here at Seibertron.com and from Transformers fans around the world, thank you to DeNA for taking this time to answer all of our questions about TRANSFORMERS: LEGENDS. Keep up the great work!
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Re: Seibertron.com's exclusive interview with TRANSFORMERS: LEGENDS

Postby Burn » Thu Apr 25, 2013 1:51 pm

Despite my on-going gripes with the game, I am still blown away by the artwork.

If we don't get a book out of it, at the very least I hope they release some of them as high quality images for our desktop backgrounds!
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Re: Seibertron.com's exclusive interview with TRANSFORMERS: LEGENDS

Postby Megatron Wolf » Thu Apr 25, 2013 5:57 pm

Motto: "Cry havoc and let slip the Wolves of War, Vae Victus!"
Weapon: Saber Blade
is there a place where we can download those pictures? id like to use that megatron as my wallpaper
PSN: MegatronWolf
Current TF count: 1470

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Looking for better version of this picture, if you know where to find one please PM me.
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Re: Seibertron.com's exclusive interview with TRANSFORMERS: LEGENDS

Postby GuyIncognito » Fri Apr 26, 2013 1:31 pm

I love the artwork on the cards, but the gameplay seems really shallow and boring. You basically just choose stuff from menus and the game plays itself. And since you can mix and match 'Bots and 'Cons on the same team, there doesn't seem to be any reason why these battles are taking place; no context. If they'd put half as much work into the game itself as they did the artwork, this could have been a winner. I was expecting something more along the lines of Magic: The Gathering. Instead, it's like playing "War" (the old kiddy card game) with a deck of TF-themed cards.
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Re: Seibertron.com's exclusive interview with TRANSFORMERS: LEGENDS

Postby MGrotusque » Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:25 pm

I"m using the handle MGrotusque. If any of you buggers wanna have a go.....you know where to find me.
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