Ain't It Cool News caught up with IDW Senior Editor John Barber to discuss their upcoming Transformers Prime: Rage of the Dinobots mini-series, which is scheduled to release in November. Click here to see how the Dinobots factor into the Prime universe and the Aligned continuity.
Tying in with the video game TRANSFORMERS PRIME: FALL OF CYBERTRON, comes the IDW comic book TRANSFORMERS PRIME: RAGE OF THE DINOBOTS. Hitting shelves in November and taking place in the 'Prime' Universe, Transformers readers can get to meet everyone's favourite robotic T-Rex, Grimlock for the first time, in this incarnation of the Transformers. In RAGE OF THE DINOBOTS, the Grimlock and co are forced to battle Shockwave with the very fate of Cybertron hanging in the balance. Written by Mike Johnson (Star Trek) and Mairghread Scott, the writer of the TRANSFORMERS: PRIME animated series. Artist Agustin Padilla (Dungeons & Dragons) provides pencils while Ken Christiansen provides covers. I spoke to IDW Senior Editor John Barber about the book and the Transformers legacy on the screen and in comics.
JOHN BARBER (JB): Well, the Prime Universe is the timeline where theTransformers: Prime TV series from Hasbro Studiostakes place, along with the FALL OF CYBERTRON video games from Activision and the novels that Random House publishes, like Exiles and Exodus by Alex Irvine. So if you’re familiar with any of those, you’re already familiar with the characters. The team at Hasbro takes special care to ensure there is continuity between a wide variety of storytelling platforms for the brand.
Earlier today, popular game site Kotaku hosted a live Q&A interview session with Matt Tieger, the game director of the highly anticipated Transformers Fall of Cybertron game. The session ran for about an hour starting at 10am PT. Fans quickly bombarded Tieger but he addressed many of the questions presented to him.
MrOpto: How did you first get the Transformers license? Did Hasbro put out offers or did you go them?
Matt Tieger: ATVI already had a relationship with Hasbro, but what they were looking for was someone to make a non-movie based game. They both felt that we would be a great fit and War for Cybertron was born. The success of that game allowed us to make Fall of Cybertron.
bigduo209: I love games that use Sci-fi inspired weaponry/abilities and not just future-looking guns (Ratchet and Clank, Bioshock), how many crazy weapons have you made for Fall of Cybertron?
Matt Tieger: The great thing about this game world is that there are absolutely shotguns and sniper rifles, but also lightning guns, acid guns, and 'tron' disk guns. The guns are divided into Primary and Heavy weapons. Many (but not all) of the more sci-fi guns fall into the heavy weapons category. In SP there is a Teletraan Store where you can buy and upgrade those weapons. In MP the weapons are divided between the classes based on countless play testing hours - so not every class can use every weapon. As to the exact number of them, since you explore and find blueprints to unlock them i don't want to spoil anything, so ill say quite a few more than we ever had in War for Cybertron.
Jason Schreier: How would you convince a non-Transformers fan that he/she should play your game?
snowtires: Play the demo, it's awesome.
Matt Tieger: Good Question, and one that I often think about. The worst compliment we get about War is, "what a great game, too bad nobody knew about it." What i would say is this (in my most passionate game dev voice. "forget Transformers, forget Michael Bay, forget the toys, and consider for a moment a game that allows you access to your vehicle at any moment in time, a game where the core tactical choices are movement based, and now imagine a game where each character is a unique experience with different vehicles or special abilities. This game offers something that no other game can, huge variety and tactical variety. Oh yeah and it happens to be Transformers"
SaburoDaimando: What are some of the lessons you learned on designing Fall of Cybertron compared to War for Cybertron?
Matt Tieger: When we developed WFC we looked for similar games that tackled similar level design issues and frankly, found none. So we blazed a trail and learned alot. With FOC we again did a survey and found WFC to be the only comparable game, so we set out to exceed it in every way. As one example, the driving got a bit stale in WFC, it might seem like a small thing but in FOC we added terrain, so instead of all flat metal surfaces, you now had hills - which innately make driving more fun. We also bowed down to the gods of player choice, and for much of the game you can tackle problems as you see fit - stay in vehicle the whole time, Transform constantly, etc. We had some of that in WFC, but now it is the rule in FOC.
Mike Fahey: WHERE IS OUR BEAST WARS GAME!?!?! ALL CAPS!>!!>!??
Hlokk: Most important question! Notice the all caps!
Matt Tieger: I get asked this alot. Lets see how this game does. We do have Dinobots and Insecticons, so i'd say its in the realm of possibility - someday.
Marquis_Gabriel: When taking on a IP, especially one with tie in's to a movie. What are your expectations?
Matt Tieger: just to make sure - we are not related to the movies in anyway, we are a distinct storyline. We do this by telling their story before they ever reach Earth. With any game you need to find the 'heart' of what makes that game so unique (original or licensed). Strip everything else away and Transformers are about 'transforming' (i know sounds simple, right?). By focusing on that single concept and making everything else supportive to that, we stay true to the license while still making a great game.
KnickKnackMyWack246: How does this universe connect (if at all) to any Transformers stories other than G1? A friend of mine suggested it's a prequel to Transformers Prime while another believes it's a prequel to the Michael Bay films. Can you clarify?
CodeMonkey76: It's a prequel to the G1 television series
Matt Tieger: G1 is our primary touchstone, meaning that we look to G1 for visual ques, abilities, VO quotes, etc. We look to not violate the Movie universe, but aren't beholden to it (and we do in-fact stay in the distant past to help with that). Prime has the most relevance with our game, there are many things introduced in WFC that are not part of the Prime show, like Dark Energon. There are a few elements that have the same 'visual DNA' like the Nemesis for example.
Emmerson: With how the Transformers scaled in the first game, with Scorpinok and Omega Supreme being the biggest we had seen. Then in the second game with having combiners, and then summoning Metroplex, how can you guys top that in terms of Transformers power and scale? How will you handle the issue like Fortress Maximus and Unicron?
Matt Tieger: Quick edit : last game didn't have Scorpinok in it (although that would have been cool) it had Trypticon. Your essential question is, "How do we keep ratcheting up from here?" Honestly, I dunno - you made some good suggestions, what we will do is wait and see what the reaction from this game is before thinking that far ahead.
Brian Erice: Im curious about the campaign design change for FOC. Why did you move away from the two split campaigns that were in WFC?
Matt Tieger: Excellent question. Game Director is often thought of as the best job ever, and some days it is, but often we have to make excruciatingly tough calls - the campaign change was one of those. In WFC, you had 2 separate campaigns that you could play in either order, so we never knew how you were going to play. What this meant for the game that there were functionally 2 first levels, 2 second levels, 2 3rd levels - you get the picture. and when you had played 50% of the game you had really played 100% of the game. We believe that one of the primary reasons for the major criticism of the game, "The gameplay got repetitive", was in-fact because it DID get repetitive based on the campaign structure. So we made a single interwoven campaign where we could pace it well.
Mungry: Hey Matt, huge fan and I love everything about the game we have seen so far! My questions is about multiplayer. I am wondering if their will be killstreak rewards in the game and if we can expect new multiplayer game modes as the game progresses through its life? Thx - SoooMungry
Matt Tieger: SoooMungry - I'm actually a fan of yours. At the studio we watch your Youtube channel and read the comments - thank you for your excitement for the game. Regarding Killstreaks, we had them in for a while during our dev of the game, we took them out for balance reasons. Let me explain, every game has a very unique MP pace and with all the changes from WFC, what we were seeing was runaway gamers, specifically due to killstreaks. By removing them, they game was more competitive. Along a similar vein we removed double jump, many gamers initial reaction were negative until the played it for a bit and realized that the streamlined approach actually made it better. remember this isn't WFC2 this is FOC.
DinoDinoBot: What made you guys change your mind about releasing it on PC after you said you wouldn't? And what do you think is the best addition or special feature in this version?
Thanks for the Q&A.
Matt Tieger: coming off of WFC we needed to laser our focus on FOC. Reducing the number of platforms that we ship on was one way to do that - and it was the right call for the dev team. The fan outcry wasn't lost on us, however and once we saw how much PC gamers wanted it we started looking for solutions. The short version is that, a PC version exists because of the fans.
czen2: Is there any plans to include other combiners like the aerial bots ,protectobots, or even transformers like ultra magnus ,hot rod,cup, etc.
Matt Tieger: Yes and no. The curse of Transformers is that there are so many of them. Last time I spoke with Hasbro i asked them how many there are, their response was in excess of 11,000! We simply cant put that many into the game. What we do have is customization in MP. There are millions of combinations and enough color choices that you can make, and name, a garage full of Transformers.
Emmerson: As my favorite Transformer(s) ever, I have to ask, Where is Devastator? Any chance on seeing him in the new game?
Matt Tieger: Devastator isn't in this game. however, who knows where we go from here
Leebee: how did you guys approach designing multiplayer this time around? what features did you guys want to add to make it fresh from the last game? how often did you guys release new builds to tweak overpowered/underpowered stuff? will keeping the MP suite fresh and balanced be a priority for you guys after release?
I'm a huge fan of asymmetrical competitive multiplayer design, and I love giant robots. you could say that I'm a huge fan of your games. :3
cheers, and thank you.
Matt Tieger: We host 5pm MP matches for the team, EVERY night through the ENTIRE project. Now not everyone can play every night and sometimes the build breaks, but more often than not the team is playing. What that means is that it gets tweaked every day, we try all sorts of stuff, game modes, who has what gun, footspeed adjustments, everything. the 'secret sauce' is countless hours by a dedicated team.
James De Moss: Will we see humans in the franchise? I know WfC and FoC take place waaaaaaay before humans were in the picture, but will the franchise ever go that far into the future?
Matt Tieger: Certainly not is this game, but we will have to see.
Aidil42: During development, with all ideas flying around, do you sometimes wish you're not tied up to an already established franchise?
Matt Tieger: In this case, i'd say no. The harder decisions are what not to put in.
FullmetalPrime: Are there any characters, save the Dinobots of course, that you'd like to have included into this months Fall of Cybertron?
Matt Tieger: Triple changers. I always thought that concept was a cool one. We just didn't have the bandwith to do it right, that I am not sure how much fun Astrotrain's train mode would be.
CFNexus: Any chance there could be a Transformers MMO in the future? Ive been thinking about 1 for years. I have already thought of character creation, mechanics and plenty of other things. I think and MMO has some very interesting things going for it.
Callum F, Northern Ireland.
Matt Tieger: It is definitely a big enough universe, but at HMS we aren't geared for MMOs.
mandrate: Is Co-op has been taken out for a more immersive single player storyline?
Matt Tieger: I mentioned earlier about tough decisions - this was the other big one. We do however recognize that Co-op is part of fan expectations, so we really put a lot of focus on Escalation. It is crazy addictive 4 player online Co-op, trust me you will like it.
Zurick: Will there be a 3rd game in the series?
Matt Tieger: Maybe. Lets see what the fans are saying about this one first.
dinowho: Why you no give autobots combiners? AerialBots! Thanks for revitalizing the Transformers to the glory they deserve
Matt Tieger: Deceptions get Bruticus, Autobots get Dinobots - sounds pretty fair to me!
Glenn Beck: Pre-order G1 DLC has been shown played to "The Touch." Make us all happy and tell us you have some Stan Bush somewhere in the game.
Matt Tieger: you will be happy.
Trax0r: How come it took 25 years for a designer to finally make a great Transformers game (WFC)? It seems like its the perfect premise and platform for a good story/fighting/shooter, and yet until, WFC, the ones that did come out were total shit.
Matt Tieger: Transformation is a tough concept to wrap you brain around. It sounds simple enough, but when you start to really knuckle down with the geometry and the mechanics it is a unique problem with no real parallels. We took this as an opportunity to do something different, I am glad you feel that we succeeded.
opieman2010: From what I can understand, War and this game are considered the "revised" official canon for the Transformers, as well as the Prime cartoon. How involved was Hasbro, outside of just overseeing the story? Were any other writers brought in to work on this that have also contributed to the Transformers story?
Matt Tieger: Hasbro was very involved, but the story starts and ends here are HMS. We have some very talented writers, a studio full of G1 fans, and a design staff that is passionate about bringing the story out in the world.
Cabbagetroll: Any hints to what else you guys are working on? Maybe a little bit of news about Deadpool?
Matt Tieger: No can do.
frizzlestick: The first level of the demo had you playing as Bumblebee, but for some reason his voicebox was smashed. I really enjoyed Johnny Yong Bosch as Bumblebee in the first game, so will he still have a voice or is this a reflection of the Bay-era where he never speaks?
Also, Dinobots are awesome, but they did get messed up by Devastator in the 80's film.
Matt Tieger: BB does not have a voice in FOC. This is one element that is in fact a reflection of the Bay movies. Per a comic that was a 'movie prequel' he has his voice box crushed by Megatron, in the game there is a VO that allude to that fact.
Chris Zombiechild: Are there any other cartoon series from the same era that you would like to make a game for?
Matt Tieger: Thundercats, Dinoriders, He-Man. Not sure that anybody other than me would want to play them, but they could be awesome. Also Big Trouble in Little China would make an amazing video game.
djs2879: How soon do you expect the Dinobot DLC to come out after launch?
Matt Tieger: not soon enough by most peoples standards, but it will happen.
Anubis_Arcane: Will we be able to use our custom built transformers for escalation mode? A few of my friends and I were wondering if that might be a possibility down the road.
Matt Tieger: in Escalation you play as the named characters, we chose this for 2 reasons. 1 so that you could use the official iconic characters with your friends and 2 because that mode requires an extreme level of balance within the team, we needed to set the rules.
montymonster50: I love the WFC multiplayer, but I thought it died out (relatively) quickly. Are there any plans to expand the multiplayer to keep players involved for a longer period of time?
Matt Tieger: Tell your friends about it. Seriously, we are very hopeful that the community can reach a much larger self-sustaining size this time around. ATVI has gotten behind the product in a big way, so if you love it help us get the message out there.
Seibertron.com: Are there any Easter Eggs in the game that die-hard Transformers fans can look forward to? (other than Stan Bush's "The Touch")
Matt Tieger: tons of them, keep your eyes open
TheBigTsk: Will the MP skills that were so popular in the first game be back? Right now there doesn't seem to be much info and the info that is out there looks bleak.
Matt Tieger: This game stands on the shoulders of WFC, but it isn't WFC2. Things are slightly different, and in our opinion significantly better. What I suggest you do is try the demo, you initial reaction might be that you miss something specific, but i'd bet that after a few matches you will realize the clarity of the MP experience and see how much better this game is. WFC had really good MP, FOC has great MP.
mannoroth0913: My question has to be: Is Grimlock as amazing in game as the trailers make him out to be, because there's no way I can miss a chance to play as the King
Matt Tieger: Yep. Not only is the gameplay fun, it is very unique compared to every other playable character and the story is exceptional - you get to see how they are created in a brand new official cannon story.
Atomic3xplosion3564: Is it possible for you guys to make a movie?
Matt Tieger: LOL. I hear that alot. Thanks for the vote of confidence.
Liquid-X: Will we get some version of Starscream in a cape and crown?
Matt Tieger: smells like an easter egg to me.
opieman2010: What does an Easter egg smell like? Probably a lot like a regular, hard boiled egg.
Popular game site Kotaku will be hosting a live Q&A with Matt Tieger, the game director on the highly anticipated Transformers Fall of Cybertron game. Kotaku said it best: "That's probably a fun job, but let's not assume anything. How about you ask him yourself?" Tieger, whose team at High Moon Studios is releasing Transformers: Fall of Cybertron this month, will be joining Kotaku live to answer your best questions in just a few minutes, starting at 1pm ET (12pm CT / 11am MT / 10am PT). Join Seibertron.com in this Q&A to find out the answers to all of your burning questions.
We're all back together for a new episode of the Seibertron.comTwincast/Podcast. Join host Counterpunch, along with Jon 3.0, Seibertron, Tigertracks, and Razorclaw as they reunite after SDCC 2012, and catch up on the latest news, toys, and reminisce over the reveals.
Activision's upcoming (and highly anticipated) Transformers: Fall of Cybertron video game continues to generate a lot of buzz. [a]listdaily.com recently spent some time with High Moon Studios President Peter Della Penna and Marketing Manager Greg Agius to talk about the game and the brand in general. Below is an excerpt.
Transformers: Fall of Cybertron hits shelves on August 28th.
[a]list: How did you get a chance to do a game based on an original take on Transformers in the first place?
Peter Della Penna: It was pretty obvious to us and Activision, that our studio capabilities and sensibilities were a great fit for the Transformers license. Also, it was perfect timing for us to develop a Transformers game that was not based on the film property and did not interfere with the movie franchise release schedule. The natural place for us to go was back to our childhood roots in G1 and start telling the story of Transformers before they came to earth.
[a]list: What are ways that you look to bring in fans of the classic cartoon series? Do you try and tap veteran voice actors?
Greg Agius: Authenticity is our biggest strength at High Moon Studios. You walk around the studio and you see G1 fans everywhere. I'd say that bleeds through to the game in every way. The look and the feel all are heavily inspired by G1. But everything is updated so that it feels right and up to date with the look of a modern game. Landing original G1 voices like Peter Cullen to voice Optimus Prime and Gregg Berger to do Grimlock is another key. Transformers: Fall of Cybertron reboots your childhood and makes it cool again!
[a]list: What games do you try to emulate as far as being successful with a classic brand? Do you try and learn something from the recent Batman and Spider-Man games?
Peter Della Penna: Game wise I would say both Batman and Spider-Man are great references. Especially the Batman Arkham series where everything you do in those games drives the player back to the core of what makes Batman so cool. For us, it's about transformation and the variety of awesome characters in the Transformers lore.
A massive article titled Transforming Grimlock: How High Moon saved the Dinobots has been posted by theverge.com's Russ Pitts. In this extensive article you get to hear from game director Matt Tieger what it takes to create Dinobot's in the current game story arc. There a lot of great new pictures of Grimlock Slag, Snarl and Swoop.
Matt Tieger has decided that what he wants in his next game is a giant Tyrannosaurus Rex from outer space who fights with a sword and a shield and breaths fire. And is a robot.
What he wants, in other words, is Grimlock, the Dinobot. All that stands in his way is the company who owns the Transformers, Hasbro, and they've decided that Grimlock (and the rest of the Dinobots) are being retired.
According to Hasbro, the Dinobots will not be in any Transformers movies. They will not be in any Transformers games. They will not be in any Transformers anything. They are finished.
The people at Hasbro, in other words, tell Tieger that Grimlock will be done away with.
This is the story of how he tried to change their mind.
Matt Tieger wanted to be a paleontologist when he grew up. And a marine biologist. And an artist. But mainly: Paleontologist. He loved dinosaurs. Knew all of their names. He wanted to dig their bones out of the Earth and tell their stories.
By the time he went to college, he'd changed his mind. He wanted to be a marine biologist again. He studied marine biology. Then, just shy of a Ph.D from Rutgers, he changed his mind yet again and left to make videogames.
Now Tieger works as Game Director for High Moon Studios, the company behind 2010's Transformers: War for Cybertron. For Matt, it is the best job in the world. Particularly because he is now in charge.
His new game is the sequel to War for Cybertron, Fall of Cybertron, and what Tieger wants more than anything is to let players be the leader of the Dinobots.
"As a fan of Transformers," Tieger told Polygon, by phone. "Grimlock is, if not my favorite, in my top three favorite Transformers of all time.
Also included in this article is the origins of the Dinobots in Fall of Cybertron, and anyone who has read SPOTLIGHT: SHOCKWAVE, will know just where this is headed:
As Tieger explains it, it goes like this: "It's all about loyalty in the Decepticon.
"Megatron is obviously in charge of the Decepticons, [and has] three lieutenants: Shockwave, Soundwave and Starscream (which by the way is very confusing to people who are not big Transformers fans because they're all Ss), but it's all about loyalty.
"Soundwave is loyal to Megatron above all things.
"Starscream is loyal to Starscream above all things.
"Shockwave is loyal to Cybertron above all things.
"So Shockwave's plan is:
"'We're not going to leave Cybertron. I'm going to save it. I'm going to search the cosmos, find a world that is teeming with what I can covert into Energon (the Transformers energy source). And I'm going to suck that planet dry and ... use it to reboot my home.'"
This is a thorough article packed with Dino-information. A great read for Transformer and video game fans alike. Check out this full article by clicking HERE.
Along with the write up are dozens of concept art, reference pictures used by the design team and artwork used to pitch the idea of Dinobots in this game to Hasbro. Mirrored below are some of the new Dino screen shots and concept designs. Click on any image to be taken to the full article.
With the release date of the highly anticipated Transformers Fall of Cybertron quickly approaching, several videos have been posted that cover a full range of features, gameplay and insight. These video's come from multiple sources in the gaming community and have been collected here in one place for your viewing pleasure!
First is an interview with game director Matt Tieger by Machininma:
Next is an article from Kotaku.com This includes more gameplay of Bruticus and others and features an interesting side article regarding the fate of the Dinobots:
The solution? It turns out these Cybteron games take place about 70 million years ago. When Decepticon Shockwave goes looking for some new transformation forms for a bunch of kickass robots, he happened to get a glimpse of prehistoric earth and the beasts that roamed the planet then. Tieger cautions us not to get too technical about which dinos were on the Earth then; just go with it. It gets us Grimlock in this game, a double-height robot who only can do melee attacks but turns into a marauding mechanical T-Rex (he looks very fun to play as). It also gets us other Dinobots, such as Snarl, Swoop and Sludge, all of whom I caught glimpses of in a level that started players as Starscream and transitioned into a very cool Grimlock rampage.
We will continue to update this article with any Fall of Cybertron videos that are revealed!
So hot on the heels of our ToyFair coverage where we got to see the upcoming FOC Bruticus in the flesh plastic, it looks like Bruticus is the center of attention - like everywhere.
Kotaku have posted an article all about FOC Bruticus and the Combaticons, while it's mostly about the toy it's also part memories about combiners and part interview with the FOC creators. You can read the full article by clicking here.
If you are like us and are still agog over the recently released Fall Of Cybertron trailer, sit back and get your reading glasses on. Gamecentral has set down for an in-depth interview with FOC game Director Matt Tieger.
There is some juicy tidbits in the interview involving Grimlock's dinosaur origin. Also read about your ability to take control of the mighty Bruticus and what other games inspired certain gameplay. There is an excerpt below, click here for the interview in its entirety.
Gamecentral wrote:GC: Shockwave is one of our favourite characters, we openly wept when we saw what they'd done to him in the last movie.
MT: (laughs) He's pretty different in the game. He's a very pivotal story character. So here's the way I look at the Decepticons, I think of the four main characters in the Decepticons: Megatron, Starscream, Soundwave, and Shockwave. By the way, which is incredibly confusing to non-Transformers fans because everybody starts with an 'S'. But think about it all in terms of loyalty. Starscream is loyal to Starscream, right? Soundwave is loyal to Megatron, and Shockwave is loyal to Cybertron.
So each of those characters and the things that they're doing is really based on loyalty in this game. Starscream, all things he does is all about Starscream. Soundwave all the things he does is all about Megatron. And Shockwave everything he's doing… he happens to be a Decepticon because that's the most logical choice at this point but really his loyalties lie towards Cybertron.
So he hatches this plan, he discovers this ancient, long forgotten technology - space bridges. The ability to open up wormholes in space, it's how the ancients used to travel and it's kind of a lost technology. Well, he's the mad scientist. He uncovers that technology and starts looking around the cosmos. Energon, I believe, is not just energy. It's not just crude oil, it's life force. It is a combination of raw energy and life.
So he's looking through the cosmos, he's trying to find more energon sources. Because what he wants to do is find enough energy to reboot Cybertron and get it back online. That's what he cares about. He spies Earth. The Earth that he spies, 65 million years ago is when dinosaurs are still stomping around. He doesn't find the Earth when humans are around, he finds primordial Earth, ancient Earth. And what he finds is this planet teeming with life and he can basically suck all that life energy out of the planet, killing the Earth and rebooting Cybertron. Which again comes back to what his loyalty is to Cybertron. He has no compunction about destroying a planet to save his own.
And in his investigations he sends probes through and he sees these lifeforms, these dinosaurs. He's also, as I've said, the mad scientist. So he captures a few Autobots and frankly he experiments. In this cosmology he's the progenitor of the Insecticons. There are some denizens of Cybertron in the below ground areas that he then converts into the known Insections. The next evolution of that is that some Autobots get captured - Grimlock and his team - and get converted into these dinosaur forms.
And the reason he does this is his philosophy is, 'I'm going to remove a lot of their brain processing power and put it all into raw combat power and therefore control them.' Obviously that never works, right? But what it does do for me personally is it gives a really great explanation for why Grimlock, who is the strongest of them, has the most work done to him and also has the problems vocalising his thoughts.
He's not stupid, he's not a dumb guy in anyway. I think of Grimlock as a person with a really bad stutter. It has nothing to do with how they think, it just has to do with getting the words out sometimes.
GC: As you implied earlier there is no single universe or canon in Transformers, it's a very fractured thing. My perspective coming from the UK is that the comics were the most important background for the characters, not the cartoon - which I think is the reverse of the situation in the US. But particularly in the early UK comics the Dinobots were this sort of elite commando squad. Grimlock never spoke funny, he wasn't stupid. But it seems like you've taken the later comic book approach where he's fully intelligent but he still has the vocal tick?
MT: You've actually nailed it. We really talked at length about it and the cartoon Grimlock was just… almost unloveable.
GC: Exactly, as kid I hated him. Why… how could a robot be like that?
MT: Yes, so now we have Shockwave trying to control him and him breaking out of that. His power, turning into the… he's a unique character in the game. One of the things in this game that's really special is the variety of what you can do. And we've really embraced the characters and made their abilities inherent in them. Grimlock is the only character in the game that you can't transform whenever you want.
The reason that is, is that he builds up rage. When he kills enemies - this is a very common game mechanic, right? - when you kill enough enemies you absorb some energon and then you go into rage and that allows you to trigger your transformation when you want to, when it's full.
But thematically what that does for me is that it ties it back into he's not entirely in control of himself. He's a bit of a Hulk character, you know? And so that also for me ties back into he's… where he has difficulty processing is a little bit in the emotional side, not in the cognitive reasoning side.
He's smart, he's tactical, he's intelligent. He just… his rage gets a hold of him sometimes. And on occasion he'll say things like, 'I can't process….' I'm paraphrasing here, something because of what Shockwave did to him. That is a much more adult, much more interesting, in my opinion…
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