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…
In our second staff spotlight/interview for 2011, I searched far and wide for a likely candidate. Luckily I was speedy enough to catch up with one of the staff's most prolific members this year, El Duque! Our humble news administrator has been been extremely busy bringing all of you the latest Transformers news and updates. The Decepticon from the state of Oklahoma was kind enough to not blast this innocent Autobot reporter, and fortunately enough for all of you Seibertronians, we have an interview!
Blurrz: Each origin story is different for each and every fan. Transformers and you. How did it start?
El Duque: Way back in 1984, I was in kindergarten and Transformers was just bursting onto the toy scene. Prior to this I had been a bit of a Star Wars kid, but I was a little too young to fully understand the the whole Star Wars culture. I mainly just liked the action figures and vehicles. Transformers on the other hand, I was in on the ground floor. As soon as I started seeing those toy commercials and the cartoon it was all over. All those Star Wars toys quickly became school yard trading fodder. I was pretty much all Transformers all, the time (much like I am now) between then and junior high.
Blurrz: Looks like the force put you in the right direction. Now there are Transformers fans... and then there's big Transformers fans. As you've been a prominent member of the Seibertron.com staff for close to a year, and a member of our community for over four years, just how big is your Transformers collection? Are you one to simply pick your favorites, pick everything, or just a completionist with certain Transformers styles or lines?
El Duque: To be honest I don't really know how many figures I have at this point. I would estimate the count at over a thousand, with about half actually on display. My wife was gracious enough to give me one spare bedroom to do whatever I wanted with, so naturally it became my "Transformers room". At least that's what she likes to call it. Even with a whole room lined with built in wall to wall shelving I quickly ran out of room. I guess I have a fairly eclectic collection with figures from almost every line. The exception being the Beast era, I have no figures from any of those lines. They're just not my thing. I recently purchased the Shout! Factory Beast Wars DVD's and have enjoyed the cartoon, but I just can't get into the toys. My wallet is grateful!
I don't consider myself a completionist in general. I can easily leave a figure hanging on the peg if it doesn't appeal to me, even if I have all the others in the series. The exception would be G1. I would really like to have complete set of all the figures domestically released under the G1 banner, and I'm getting fairly close. I just got one of the big purchases out of the way, that being a complete Fortress Maximus. I'm currently just needing to round out my Pretenders, Micromaster, and Action Masters.
As far as current releases go, I just buy what looks good to me. I typically don't buy figures smaller than Scout size, but if one catches my eye I'll get it. I've picked up several of Cyberverse Legion class figures lately.
The room El Duque claimed for Transformers supremacy!
Blurrz: But the shiny animals are calling you!
El Duque: I'll admit I do sometimes get tempted by some of the Japanese Beast Wars figures. A transforming penguin? For some reason that appeals to me! Must resist!
Blurrz: So we know a little bit about the collecting habits of Mr. El Duque. How about the El Duchess? Does she dig the Transformers collection?
El Duque: My wife actually got me back into collecting. When the DVD Edition MP Optimus Prime came out I would look at it every time we went to Wal-Mart, but I would never pull the trigger and buy him. That year she surprised me with him as a Christmas present. He was the only figure I had for while, but when Classics came out they immediately caught my eye. Again she encouraged me to get them, it was all down hill from there. I think her biggest issues are my lack of dusting the in the "Transformers room" and the frequent visits we receive from the postman, UPS man, FedEx man, etc. They seem to always show up and ring the door bell when she's taking a nap. I'm really lucky that she doesn't mind my love of Transformers. She enjoys the movies and the cartoons, but I think the toys intimidate her a little. I've tried to walk her through some transformations, but she's always afraid she's going to break something. Which would result in another visit from one of the various shipping agencies, and a potentially ruined nap
Blurrz: Earlier you talked about the newer stuff, more specifically, let's talk about Transformers: Prime. Does the line catch your fancy and is there a favorite of yours you can't wait to get? What do you think about Hasbro giving the fans some early birds with SDCC Prime and NYCC 'Bee/Arcee?
El Duque: I'm very excited for the Transformers Prime figures. I've enjoyed the show and can't wait to get my hands on these toys. It's hard to single out one figure as the one I'm most interested in, but being a long time fan of the zombie genre, that zombie/Terrorcon Cliffjumper looks really cool! I'm also really looking forward to that Knock Out that was previewed at the SDCC, he's one of my favorite new characters from the series. Wheeldrift, sorry Wheeljack, looks good too. To be honest they all look good to me.
I'm glad Hasbro has given us the convention teaser figures, I have both SDCC Matrix Prime and the recent NYCC set. All are really nice figures, though I do wish the Jack and Raf mini-figures were articulated. It would be nice have Jack riding Arcee in motorcyle mode (gotta throw "motorcyle mode" in there to keep that from sounding too dirty!). These have gotten me really excited for the full line to hit. It's a shame we have to wait for a season and a half of cartoon to get the toys though.
Blurrz: In regards to even newer Transformers stuff, mind giving us your take on following third party transformers subjects in a paragraph or two?
The Devastator Battle - TFC Hercules or MakeToys?
Mastermind Hexatron Terminus (Shockwave?)
Are you a new heads guy?
Which character would you want to be see done, and by which third party?
El Duque: I'm a big fan of third-party products, I feel they really enhance my collecting experience. If I recall correctly my first third-party item was FansProject City Commander, and I was blown away at how well it worked. Since then I've bought a ton of third-party stuff. There have been a few misfires along the way, Impossible Toys Valkyrie and BTS Sonicron were both duds, but then you have things like the FansProject Non-secticons, MGT Delicate Warrior, and TFC Toys Exgraver that are pure win. I know some fans don't like the idea of these third-party groups threading on Hasbro's intellectual property, but as long as their designs are original I don't have a problem with them. Having these products in my collection won't stop me from purchasing Hasbro offering either. If Hasbro were to bring out an all new triple-changing Springer I would be the first in line to buy him despite already having Warbot Defender. I'll even own up to having a few KO's in my collection. I don't have many, but I couldn't pass up on that Headmaster 10 pack that reproduced the Japanese exclusive heads. I also gave in an purchased the iGear Coneheads, because I didn't think Takara would ever get around to producing official version, but given the recent announcement of the retooled MP-11 I have feeling I may be regretting that one! However, if they do release official MP Coneheads I'll get them as well. The only problem I see with third-party products is their prohibitive pricing, they're just too expensive for many fans to be able to enjoy. That said, I do understand why they cost more, it's just unfortunate that these products aren't in everyone's budget.
The Devy-war? I've made that decision an easy one, I'm getting both. I can never have too many Devastators! I can still remember how excited I was when I got the G1 giftset for Christmas as a kid. I kind of got that same feeling when Exgraver arrived. I guess if had to choose one or the other I would go with Hercules. The fact that he's bigger appeals to me, and I like that the individuals seem a little more G1. I look forward to having both in my collection.
Mastermind Creations is getting very ambitious taking on both Sixshot and HoS Shockwave. Hexatron Terminus looks incredible. Revealing a clear prototype was pretty clever, it allowed them to fully reveal the figure and maintain a little bit of mystery. I can't wait to see this guy in color and in all six modes. I also like how they let the fans pick the color scheme. Even more pleased that the deco that I voted for won! Cyclops looks like an interesting project as well. Maybe not as challenging as making a fully articulated six-changer, but still quite an undertaking. The only problem he presents for me is where to display him. I don't think he'll display well with anything other that their previous Knight Morpher. Which is fine, but these guys are going to need company, keep those HoS molds coming! If they pull both these figures off they will have established themselves as a force to be reckoned with.
I'm most definitely a "new heads" guy. It's amazing what a difference a new head can make, especially on a repaint. Renderform's RF-05 takes Universe Darkwind from mediocre repaint to completely believable. I've found that I actually buy extras of certain figures now anticipating potential new heads. As soon as I saw United Bumblebee I knew someone would do a Goldbug upgrade, and now we have two on the way. Luckily Hasbro seems to be learning how much fans value unique heads when planning repaints.
What character would I like to see as a third-party creation? I would take any of the city-bots. I think a third-party Metroplex, if done right, could be incredible. Hasbro doesn't seem to have much interest in revisiting the city and base-formers, so that seems like a good area for third-parties to break into.
Unicron and his glorious army!
Blurrz: Out of all the figures that you own, which one's the most precious to you? Is it your holy grail, or is that something yet to be acquired?
El Duque: I would say the ones that mean the most to me are the ones that were given to me as gifts from my wife. She gave me the DVD Edition MP Optimus Prime that I mentioned earlier for Christmas one year, the figure that got me back into collecting. She also gave me Classics Voyager Optimus Prime and Voyager Megatron for my birthday.
The "grail" of collection would probably be my complete Liokaiser. It took me forever to complete that thing, and I don't even know how much money. I wasn't really shopping for one, but I came across an incomplete set for a fairly low price so I jumped on it. It was missing Killbison's turret parts, Gaihawk's breast animal, and Jaruga's missiles. I didn't realize how difficult it would be to find those parts loose. After months of daily eBay searches I finally found Jaruga's missiles at a premium price. I finally just gave up on finding Killbison's accessories and Gaihawk's partner loose, and ended up buying new complete versions of both figures. I won't make the mistake of buying incomplete versions of rare Japanese figures again!
I also have a soft spot for G1 Windcharger. He was the first Transformer I ever owned as a kid, and the only figure from my childhood that I still own. I have no idea how that happened. I thought all the Transformers from my childhood were lost forever, but my mom found him a couple of years back while cleaning out a closet. He's a little rough, but there's no telling how many hours that little dude spent in my pocket when I was a kid.
Maybe if I'm fast enough I can 'borrow' one of these expensive combiners
Blurrz: You've been a part of the News Staff for close to a year. Unbeknownst to some, us newsies are generally the first people to see a toy, set or even rumor announcement. What was your most memorable Transformers news story so far?
El Duque: That's a tough one. I think the best I can do is narrow it down to the type of news I like best, which would be anything that has to do with Classics universe toys. I guess I could narrow it down further to news about the TFC Toys Hercules project. Devastator has always been my favorite gestalt so naturally I've been extremely interested in this project ever since we saw those initial teaser images of Exgraver. It's always fun to post news that gets the other members excited and receives a lot of feedback, and news on this project always delivers. In general I enjoy posting news that I actually have interest in. To be honest I have very little interest in most of the new I post, but it's not about what I'm interested in. It's about delivering comprehensive Transformers news for the Seibertron.com members.
Blurrz: What are your views on the latest Masterpiece figure, MP-10 Optimus Prime, and the upcoming masterpiece, MP-11 Starscream? Who would you like MP-12 to be?
El Duque: I've got mixed feelings about them. I would like to see some new characters get introduced into the Masterpiece line, but at the same time I feel both MP-10 and MP-11 surpass their predecessors. As much as I loved MP-01's robot mode, I hated his truck mode. Alt modes have always been a big deal for me. Even as a kid I wasn't found of figures that didn't transform into realistic real world vehicles. I was always a little bothered by the post Transformers: The Movie futuristic alt modes. MP-10 does a much better job of transforming into a believable truck, with the exception of the legs/rear section, but at least those are well masked by his trailer. I grew up around trucks, so MP-01's shortcomings immediately stood out like a sore thumb. Being a retool, MP-11 is a little harder so shallow. I can't help but look at him and think, "This is the MP-03 you should have sold me to begin with." I'm very pleased that they fixed the hip kibble in robot mode, it was really the only issue I had with the figure. I like that they are including the coronation accessories, though I doubt I ever use them. Makes me wonder what extra accessories they will throw in for the inevitable Skywarp and Thundercracker repaints. I know fans get frustrated by the rehashes of previously used characters, but I think we have to take into consideration how much technology and transforming techniques have advanced since the movies came along and really pushed the envelope in those areas. I'm sure if the Masterpiece line goes on long enough we will see a Convoy version 3.0.
As for the next Masterpiece figures, I would like to see Shockwave and Soundwave. I'm also very hopeful that we will get a proper Masterpiece Ultra Magnus using MP-10 as a base with full transforming trailer/armor. I've never accepted white repaints of Optimus Prime as Ultra Magnus. As a kid I never played with G1 Ultra Magnus as a robot without his armor. I'm also looking forward to Megatron 2.0 to get everybody roughly back in scale with one another.
Blurrz: The War For Cybertron video game last year gave fans an opportunity at Pre-Earth Transformers, in which many fans, including yourself, bought into the four figures released, Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Megatron and Soundwave. With Fall Of Cybertron on the horizon, which Autobot and which Decepticon are you most looking forward to perhaps being a part of the toyline this time around?
El Duque: Not only did I buy in, I bought in hard with all their repaints, which is something I don't normally do. I love the WFC/FOC aesthetic, and wish there was a separate line solely dedicated to these figures. One of my gripes about their inclusion in the Generations line is the lack of Voyagers class figures. Having a line dedicated to supporting the video game seems like a great idea to me. I'm sure I would bu them all.
I was really surprised Starscream didn't make the WFC cut in the previous Generations line, he's a fan favorite and they get two straight repaints that are sure to sell. That being said, I'm hopeful that the Seekers make an appears in the FOC line. I feel confident Grimlock will get a figure this time around considering how hard they've been promoting his appearance in the game. I never was that big of a fan of Classics Grimlock, so I welcome a new version to put on my Classics shelf. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we will get all five Dinobots even though I know it's unlikely.
Arise, seeker army!
Blurrz: Time for word association. I give you a word, name or phrase and you give us a one word response reflecting your feelings toward the subject.
El Duque: Gratitude
Blurrz: Megan Fox
El Duque: Who?
Blurrz: Transformers Armada toys
El Duque: Acquiring
Blurrz: Transformers Armada cartoon
El Duque: Unseen
Blurrz: Trukk not munky
El Duque: Truth
Blurrz: Transformers United
El Duque: Shiny
El Duque: Destruction
Blurrz: BotCon exclusives
El Duque: Frustration
El Duque: Excessive
Where El Duque makes the magic happen.
Blurrz: Our time has come to an end. Any last words for your fellow Seibertronians?
El Duque: Play nice with one another, don't take things too seriously, and keep this hobby fun! Oh, and REPORT YOUR SIGHTINGS to the News Crew!!!!!!
gameinformer has posted a couple of video interviews with Transformers: Fall of Cybertron game director Matt Tieger. Click here to view the interviews.
Matt Tieger has to direct Optimus Prime. He has to direct the player's experience and he has to direct High Moon Studios as they work on Transformers: Fall of Cybertron. While technically a sequel to 2010's War for Cybertron, due to some radical changes in story structure and gameplay, Matt Tieger prefers to call Fall of Cybertron a spiritual successor. We had a chance to sit down the game's director to talk about his history in the gaming industry and what it is like to be a key player in one of the largest franchises in entertainment.
Recently we got a chance to catch up with Stan Bush, the singer/songwriter most known to Transformers fans as the man responsible for the iconic song "The Touch" which first appeared in the 1986 Transformers cartoon movie.
Stan has recently released a brand new CD entitled "Dream the Dream" and has a lot of other things going on right now, and he was more than happy to take the time to fill us in with all his latest news, as well as giving us a look back at his career.
Seibertron.com: You've been recording albums for decades now. Has there ever been a time where you've felt like stepping away from the business and have
you ever thought ahead to how long you'd like to keep performing?
Stan: Well, although I’ve had a fair amount of success, it’s a tough business and can at times be overwhelming. I love songwriting and performing, and the artistic aspect is certainly very fulfilling. I kind of had my ‘break’ from the business during the nineties, when rock went sideways with the grunge thing. I kept making records mainly for my fans in Europe and Japan, where eighties rock was still happening. Looking ahead, I plan to keep trying to create music. I don’t really have a timeline in mind, but touring will probably make less sense after a point.
Seibertron.com: You've become a mainstay at BotCon having been a special guest at 3 of the last 4 BotCons and have also made appearances at a variety ofsci-fi and anime conventions and even the world famous San Diego Comic
Con. Do you have any upcoming convention appearances over the next few months?
Stan Bush: I’ve been talking with a European promoter about doing some shows after the holidays. I don’t have any definite info right now, but fans can check the website stanbush.com to see what’s happening. I’ve been asked to appear in Australia next summer, and I plan to keep appearing in the U.S. as well.
Seibertron.com: Since you mentioned Europe, you have become a bit of a "Hasslehoff" over there, meaning your European fanbase is astoundingly large. Do you have any thoughts as to why?
Stan: I’m not sure why, but it kind of took off during the late eighties when I did the "Stan Bush & Barrage” album with “The Touch”. I did tours in Germany and surrounding countries, and kept making albums. It was cool to have such devoted fans.
Seibertron.com: Speaking of "The Touch," it has become your signature song. When you first recorded it, did you have any inkling that would be the case?
Stan: No, it took us completely by surprise. Lenny Macaluso and I originally wrote “The Touch” for the Stallone movie “Cobra” and then found out it was going to be in a cartoon movie about robots. We were like, ‘what’? Anyway, it turned out to be quite a phenomenon!
Seibertron.com: "The Touch" has been re-released multiple times on some of your more recent albums. Your other big song from The Transformers soundtrack
was "Dare," and some TF fans enjoy that song just as much as "The Touch." Do you have any plans on doing a remake of "Dare" and including it on a future album?
Stan: “Dare” is also a great song, although I didn’t actually write it. It’s been suggested that we put “Dare” on Rock Band. “The Touch” will be coming out on Rock Band fairly soon. I think you know this but my other song “Til All Are One” is featured in the new Activision game “Transformers: War for Cybertron”. I’m working on a couple of new ‘action’ songs as well.
Seibertron.com: You mentioned your website earlier. For those who have not visited it, or at least not visited it recently, what kinds of cool things can they expect to find at Stanbush.com?
Stan: Well, the new website is set up to be more easily updated, and I’m also now on Facebook and Twitter, and we have a YouTube account. We’ve had a lot of positive feedback on the new site.
Seibertron.com: What are the biggest differences in the music industry now and how it was when you first started?
Stan: Well, the industry used to be controlled by the major record labels and radio syndication. Now it’s anything and everything on the Internet. The overall quality of music perhaps is a bit lower, but people have more choices than ever.
Seibertron.com: For someone who has never heard your music before, how would you describe it and who are some of your influences?
Stan: I’m still an eighties guy. Early influences would include Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, and I also liked the Motown stuff, and later, bands like Foreigner.
Seibertron.com: Having said that, If you could play on stage with any one musician or group living or
dead, who would it be and why?
Stan: I think Jimmy Page (back in the day) was probably one of the most creative musicians ever! I’ve always been a huge Paul McCartney fan.
Seibertron.com: What are the biggest differences in the music industry now and how it was when you first started?
Stan: Well, the industry used to be controlled by the major record labels and radio syndication. Now it’s anything and everything on the Internet. The overall quality of music perhaps is a bit lower, but people have more choices than ever.
Seibertron.com: What do you consider the biggest honor or achievement of your career?
Stan: Winning an Emmy Award was definitely one of the biggest moments in my career. It was for best original song for television.
Seibertron.com: I'm sure your fans have been vocal to you as to what some of their favorite Stan Bush songs are, but what's your personal favorite?
Stan: I really like “I’ll Never Fall” from the “In This Life” album. From the new album I like “Dream the Dream” and “Never Hold Back”.
Seibertron.com: How much do your own personal experiences factor into your song lyrics?
Stan: Many of my ‘go for it’ ‘believe in yourself’ songs have an uplifting message that resonates with my outlook on life. Each of us makes our own reality. Some of the loves songs are true and some are fictional, but have situations that happen to most of us.
Seibertron.com: Stan, thanks so much for your time today. We have time for one more question. You mentioned your new album "Dream the Dream." How does it compare to past albums you have made?
Stan: I think the “Dream the Dream” album has reached a new level of sophistication of songwriting and production. My producer Holger Fath really does a great job with arrangements, guitars and keyboards. As a writer I think I’m still learning though. I guess we all keep learning in life. Anyway, I really appreciate the support! Please visit stanbush.com!
Comicbookresources.com have posted an interview with High Moon studios, the developers of Transformers War for Cybertron.
CBR News: Matt, what do you feel are the central elements to the Transformers experience that you wanted to incorporate into “War for Cybertron?”
Matt Tieger: Selfishly, I wanted to make the game I have been waiting 25 years to play. The team at High Moon Studios are all huge gamers as well as Transformers fans. Early on we committed to an old-school nostalgic vision of Cybertron that was true to the spirit of the enormous Transformers history. Creating an excellent shooter was central to that vision because if the foundation wasn’t strong the entire game falls apart. This meant incorporating transformation as a key component to the player’s arsenal.
Question: Please reference for us what the play-style will mimic. Will it be similar to the RotF game? How does the gameplay compare to other shooter games such as Modern Warfare 2?
We are targeting not only the Transformer fan but also the hardcore gamer. Gamers can quickly discern the difference between a good game and a lousy one – it has to feel right. We have spent the entire project driving toward the right feel in every aspect of the product so when you get your thumbs on it, it is going to be a great shooter, not just a great TF game. Gears, COD and Halo are all reference games we often look at.
Question: Are there any RPG elements to the game?
No response given.
Question: Does the game use the same engine as any of the previous Transformers games?
We are using the Unreal Engine, which is the powerhouse behind Gears of War and Batman (along with scores of other great games). No other Transformer game has used the Unreal engine to my knowledge.
Question: Will there be downloadable content to enhance the game?
We are fully committed to this game and plan to support it after it ships as best we can, but we’re not ready to talk about specific details just yet.
Question: Will the story progression be linear?
There are 2 separate campaigns (Decepticon and Autobot) each is completely original and unique, and yes since the beginning we have been about telling a great story so there is a natural progression through it. Both campaigns are unlocked at the start. The Decepticon campaign takes place before the Autobot campaign (but you can play them in any order), and I like to think of it as the prequel game to the Autobot game. Both are full fledged unique stories and levels - players don’t travel through the same level ever!
(Click on the above image to view a 3000 pixel version)
Question: Will the transforming be done with a button press or a button hold action?
Will combat damage be self healing over time or will there be an absolute health gauge?
Are both factions playable?
How will the issue of air superiority be addressed for multiplayer? (the flying mechs were vastly more powerful in RotF)
This is a very valid question, however I am going to save my response for a bit until we are ready to talk about all our multiplayer details, which I’m really excited for – stay tuned.
Question: Will there be any epic level battles (Shadow of the Collossus style or Tidal Wave from the Armada game style)?
You see the big guy in the teaser trailer (you know who I am talking about)? How does fighting vs. him sound – epic enough? And we’ll talk about more soon.
Question: What was the most important thing learned from the RotF game that will be corrected in this new game?
At what point in the "War for Cybertron" is the game starting storywise?
Will there be any bonus attacks for characters such as Powerlinking or Minicon boosts from previous eras?
Being that the game is set for all platforms, will each system carry its own version of the game ala Revenge of the Fallen or will every system feature the same campaigns?
The story follows the same major beats on all platforms, but there will be some differences on the NDS and Wii versions. High Moon is developing the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC versions.
Seibertron.com would like to thank everyone at High Moon and Activision for making this possible.
Greetings Seibertron. Counterpunch here bringing word down from the mountain.
The Staff here at Seibertron.com was privileged to participate in a conference call with Aaron Archer of Hasbro and Activision regarding the upcoming War for Cybertron game that you may have seen in our recent news cycles.
We were given free reign to ask questions and pry for information on your behalf and over the course of the interview found out some interesting and intriguing information. The conversation was free-flow and just presenting the questions as they were flatly asked would not really give you the same information that this article presentation will. A lot of what was said, wasn't said and knowing what was repeated or had emphasis placed upon it is just as important as the straight answer to the question. I will do my best to provide summary of the important topics and then I will simply bullet-point any other information that did not fit easily elsewhere.
This is a project that has been in development since 2007. Hasbro indicated to us, that the idea is to create a more linear story and that the game as a story-telling device is a "jumping off point". Specifically, they stated that the events of the game will live longer/carry-on past the life of the game itself. The basis of the story is the Cybertron Civil War. From our conversation and our inference at what was said, it appears that they are finally telling that part (the pre-Earth, Civil War) of the Transformers mythos the way they want it to be told. The word "canon" was used several times as we discussed this and when asked if this game/story was creating a canonical back-story for G1 ... we were not told "no". Of course, over the years, it has seemed that Hasbro has been careful to never truly define certain things, the origin of Prime, origin of the Constructicons, etc. The feeling that I and others had was that the plan was to tell a Cybertronian Civil War back story ... and if it so happens to make perfect sense as the canon G1 Civil War story ... well, that's how it is. Repeatedly, we were told that the effort is to tell great stories. Specifically, we were told that "Canon is a good word ... " I'm not sure there's a G1 fan out there who wouldn't consider the Transformer's Civil War Story to be the kind of great story they've been waiting on for years.
So, what else? What other specifics can we give? The story will be set on Cybertron. The Civil War will be hot and volatile. This will be the story of the Autobots and Decepticons before they left for Earth, before they really even know of other races. The setting and visualizations of Cybertron will be new and different. The one resounding piece of information seemed to be that this game will have a significant impact on the life and direction of the franchise over the next few years.
I know you all want to know about this, but there's not much to discuss. They weren't allowed to talk about the product yet. However, things that they aren't allowed to talk about are still things that exist. So, we know that there will be corresponding toys to the story and game.
(Click on the above image to view a 3000 pixel version)
The game itself is scheduled for a 2010 release date. Judging from the time it takes other games to hit the market, my personal opinion is that we'll see it sometime in late Fall or Winter of 2010. It seems to me that a summer release would be ambitious. We were told that the game platform provides for a very sizable audience for this story. The use of games as story platforms has taken off in recent years and seems to be in line with Hasbro's expansion of the brand ideal. The focus on gameplay discussion centered around the intensity of the combat and situation on Cybertron. This was described to us as a "Gamer's Game". The presentation of the in-game story is set to have dark overtones with large scale impact. Specific information on the game such as the number of playable characters or names of individual characters was not available for release yet. Along side this information becoming public, Activision plans on releasing a significant amount of assets (rendered pictures) and press info on Wednesday. At this point, we were told that on-line multi-player aspects of the game are key and are recognized as important play elements.
Other Information of Interest
* When asked if this game/story was meant to be the filler between now and Transformers 3, the answer was a fairly strong, "no". The movie universe was described as its own separate entity, which of course we all realize. The point seemed to be, that this storytelling event via the game and the things that are to come after it are not just distractions to hold us over until the next film, but are instead the firm foundations of the next few years of the franchise.
* Hasbro is co-developing the story alongside Activision. Creative control seems to be something that they are paying close attention to. Statements such as "We're really looking to leverage what's happened before" and "This era in Transformers is full of opportunity" show that the development teams on both sides are really looking into the things that long time fans have been after in regards to the story elements. We were told that "Anything that's taken place on Cybertron has been mostly in comics" and that they were eager to explore this new venue.
* The story and the game are not movie based.
* Character identity appears to be a recognized issue. If you've seen the pictures for Optimus Prime in the game, you will automatically recognize him. For core characters, the design teams are taking visual cues from those characters across the continuum of Transformers History. After all, most of the G1 gang did not have the most flattering Cybertronian modes when you think back on it.
* When asked if any of the design work borrowed from Transtech (because elements of the new Prime model do reference it ...) we were flatly told that Transtech hasn't been discussed in the office in 10 years (we know that's an exaggeration, but the point remains the same). I could hear the dreams of some of you shattering right there and then.
* Hasbro paid some genuine complements to High Moon in regards to the character designs.
* An emphasis on bringing some very obscure characters into focus for this story was highlighted to us. While no one was specifically named, we were told that they were referring to characters that hardcore, long-time fans would be interested in seeing.
Thanks for reading. I will be around to take questions on any of this, to clear it up, or to speculate along side you. I'm sure Seibertron, First Gen, and Mkall will also be happy to add their input into the discussion.
Thanks go out to Hasbro as well as Activision for making this possible and for reaching out to the community. It is greatly appreciated.
Mike Costa, writer of the new Transformers on going series set to debut this week is answering a few of the questions posed by Seibertron.com staffers i_amtrunks, Darth Bombshell, and tigertracks 24. Mike also contributed to the recently completed IDW title, G.I. Joe: Cobra, a book that surprised many fans with its seriousness, and more mature handling of this particular portion of the joe-verse.
Mr. Costa is living the dream that so many folks in our community would love to get to do...get paid to be creative with Transformers and have your work officially effect the Transformers mythos, effectively carving out your own little niche in our beloved franchise.
Speaking of your own little niche, Mr. Costa, here are some questions relating to your work with the upcoming Transformers ongoing series...
-- What direction are the Costa written Tf stories going to take? Will we be heading back to a universal scope of war ala what Furman was working up to, or will we be getting an Earth-centric style story? Will the ongoing feature one large, over-arching plot with several ongoing subplots set up along the way?
All great questions. I'll try to give them great answers.
Here's the thing - Shane literally blew up the world in his last storyline. That is a really, really tough act to follow. I mean, I can't really blow up the world again. So rather than try to top that with spectacle - I guess I'd have to blow up the galaxy or something - I'm going to start small again, and then gradually expand the canvas. That's not to say that there won't be big events - there will be. They'll just be big character-events at first. No less status-quo changing, but we're staying Earth-centric in the beginning. You're going to find out why Earth is such an important place for the Transformers - and it's probably not the reason you think it is.
We'll definitely be building to events that, currently, are pretty far-off in the future. But the template I'm trying to follow is the one set by Bill Willingham in his Vertigo book FABLES. What that book does so well is juggle big storylines with smaller one, two or three-issue vingettes in between. With a cast as vast as Transformers, I feel like that's the best way to give as many characters the opportunity to shine as possible. But every issue will build on the next, even if it doesn't seem to at first. There's no guarantee how long I'll be on the book, of course (so... please, tell everyone to buy it and write glowing reviews online!) but hopefully I'll get to do all the things I have planned. That'll take quite a while.
-- Will the series be easy to get into for those who may have only become fans due to the live action movies?
I hope so. But the fact is, it's not a total reboot, like GI Joe was. These are still the same characters in the same continuity we've been seeing at IDW, so obviously there are many differences from the movie. I think we've struck a good balance though, between honoring previous continuity and being new-reader friendly. It would be great if fans of the movie jumped on. I think they'd really like what they'd see.
-- How much work have you had to do to correct errors of AHM, or has the CODA done this job for you?
AHM was planned quite a while before we consolidated our ideas for this new ongoing, so rather than start monkeying with Shane's story and forcing him to change his ending to better dovetail into our series, we created the CODA series to tie up the loose ends that the ongoing wouldn't have time to get to in the first few issues, and to work as a bridge between the two series'. Obviously all the issues are out now, so you guys can tell us how successful we've been in doing that.
We all have certain characters we want to see, but overall, we really know we want good characterization of whomever is in the story. The next set of questions revolve mainly around characters in your new series.
-- Will there be any lesser known personal favorite characters that you plan to bring to the fore in the ongoing series? Will you be able to use more of the obscure generation one characters, or even characters that were previously known only to the Japanese G1 universe (such as Victory Saber, Overlord, or Dai Atlas)? Are we following the same characters as were used in AHM? Will the cast start out small and then expand? Will the cast focus on a small group of characters or will we be moving all over the place and get to see different perspectives from different groups of characters?
The cast will definitely have it's core characters whom the major storylines follow, but we will break away from them occasionally to focus on other characters in the universe. Also, the core cast will definitely be evolving, expanding and contracting. It's not going to be "Optimus Prime and the Same Five Other Autobots" every month, but you'll definitely be able to tell who the important characters are by the end of the first arc.
Most of those "core" characters will come as no surprise to Transformers fans, but I'm definitely throwing some curve-balls in there as well. One of the major characters of my run will be someone I've had my eye on for quite a while. Shane in particular gave him some really interesting development in AHM. His inclusion in my cast will be the logical extension of what happened to him there.
As for the Japanese characters. Hm. Not a bad idea...
-- Can you please kill Drift ASAP? (Note this is a question submitted that not everyone agrees with.) Along these lines, will we see any more new IDW and creator originated characters in the near future, or will you be pulling from only currently existing Generation One Transformers?
I have no plans to kill Drift. But... I have no plans to use him right away either. So, everybody wins. Also, I can't speak for Zander or Nick, who are both doing auxiliary books, my intention is to exclusively use currently existing G1 Transformers. Of course I'll be creating supporting cast members, but the core cast will be recognizable faces for the time being.
-- What kind of Starscream are we going to get in the series, the Starscream of Infiltration, the Starscream of late AHM, or AHM #13 Starscream? They all were a bit different, there seemed to be no consistancy, or it was not explained well enough why he suddenly changes.
Every writer is going to have his or her own interpenetration of a character, and now you've seen mine of Starscream. I can tell you guys he's my favorite character, and that's why I was very excited to make him the star of my first-ever Transformers story in CODA #1. (Clever readers with an eye for pretentious writer-gags might even have noticed that I made sure his name was the first word written on the first page.) I'll agree there are some differences in how the character has been portrayed, but in a hugely collaborative medium like comics, those core character attributes are all you really need for a character. Brian Bendis doesn't write exactly the same Spider-Man as Stan Lee, or Gerry Conway, or David Michelinie. But he'll always be smart, guilt-ridden, wise-cracking and heroic. And Starscream's core attributes are always the same - he's ambitious, treacherous, manipulative and often cowardly. Anything after that is just an artifact of the medium.
And now Mike, we would like to know a bit more about you, and your feelings about the titles you have been involved with. Answer as honestly as you want (or at least as honestly as you feel you can to these questions).
-- Who is your personal favorite TF artist of all time? And what is your favorite previous TF story arc (from any series, comic or show)?
Guys... that first question isn't fair. I'm going to be working with a lot of great artists on this title (and I have already in CODA) and I can't make that call. I will, however, say that working with Don on my first stroyline is like getting Spider-Man and having John Romita draw it. And the man does not disappoint. When I saw the art he turned in for the first issue, my mind was blown. I'd really never seen anything like it on a book I've written. I couldn't be more thrilled about it.
As for my favorite Transformers storyline... that's hard. Recently, I really did like AHM a lot. It had a lot of really great, fan-pleasing bring-the-house down moments. From the older, original marvel run, it's probably issue #13, written by the legendary Bob Budiansky, where Megatron temporarily loses his memory and is found by a criminal who uses him on a crime spree. That was over 20 years ago but the story - and the cover image - have stayed with me even though I was probably 7 when I first read it.
And from the original cartoon - not counting the movie, which is actually the first movie I ever saw in theaters - it was probably The Return of Optimus Prime. That Hate Plague really scared me as a kid.
-- What's your personal opinion on the Transformers stories IDW has written thus far? Good, fair, poor, lame... How do they stack up to what has been done in the past by previous companies Marvel, and Dreamwave?
Here's the thing: There are two legends in the Transformers comic book canon. One is Bob Budiansky. The other is Simon Furman. For the past five years, Furman has basically been the driving force behind IDW's Transformers universe (not counting Shane's AHM of course.) I think anything he did for us here is pretty equal to what he did for Marvel back in the day.
--- If given the opportunity to write for the Movie-verse, would you take it? What kind of story would you like to do?
At the risk of bouncing myself out of later work opportunities, I'm going to be honest and say that, though I actually do think some of the ideas underpinning the Movie-verse are good ones, I much prefer the continuity I'm in. More characters to play with, really. And I like our Spike better than Sam (sorry Shia!)
--- Having written a GI Joe tale (GI Joe: Cobra), which franchise can you say you enjoy writing more?
This is a lame answer, but I enjoy them both in different ways. COBRA is a really dark espionage tale that I get a certain kind of evil satisfaction from. Writing about the bad guys is not only fun, but cathartic. They do stuff the good guys would never do, and finding motivations for chaos and mahem is a really rewarding challenge. But Transformers was always my first love, and the satisfaction I get from that is on a totally different level.
Back when I was in college, Wizard broke the news that Dreamwave had gotten the license for Transformers after Marvel lost it. I sat down at my job at the college library, and over two days I typed up a full pitch for a new ongoing Transformers series, planned up until about issue 60. It was the first comic book proposal I'd ever written. Of course, I never heard anything back about it. Obviously they already had their plans made before the announcement, even if I wasn't some totally unknown 19-year-old punk.
But to think that now, less than ten years alter I am actually writing a Transformers ongoing, starting at issue 1... well, that couldn't be more of a dream-come-true type situation.
--- GI JOE: Cobra was a very gritty, mature tale. Can we expect Transformers to start heading into a similar direction? In other words, you aren’t going to pull any punches with these robots, right. Humans will get squished, Robots will get atomized and not return, etc.
Humans will be getting squished and robots definitely get atomized, but this is not going to turn into a dark, gritty book like COBRA. COBRA is a very specific tone for a very specific book - if I was given the chance to write the G.I. JOE ongoing, I wouldn't use COBRA's tone there either. That tone works in that franchise specifically because we're only looking at a small corner of it, and the main book exists to give it context. Now I'm handling the flagship of Transformers, and my job is to keep that ship steady so creators like Zander, Chee, and Nick Roche can party below decks if they want.
I'm very lucky to have spent the last year watching how Chuck Dixon handles those kind of flagship responsibilities on G.I. JOE, and I have learned a lot from him - specifically how generous he is to creators like me, who handle the smaller books. I hope I can do as good a job as he does of both writing the main book, and staying involved with the smaller ones.
--- Should the next Transformers cartoon have a similar style to the very popular G.I.Joe Resolute cartoon that saw airtime recently?
As long as they don't make me look bad by being better than the comic, they can do whatever they want.
(But seriously, I think it would be great if they aimed at a slightly younger audience than Resolute did. I discovered the Transformers cartoon at age 6. It would be nice to have something that could be enjoyed for people that age again, now that the previous series is over.)
--- Can you comment on your feeling of the use of humans in Transformers storylines? At times, the stories seemed to forget that we buy Transformers because they are books about huge sentient robots that have the same faults, and strengths that humans do, not to see how humans react to said robots upon interaction.
It's a difficult line to walk. Sure, the hard-core fans want to see robot action, but for your average reader, they're going to pick up the book and say "who cares about all these robots? I have no idea what's going on." In my opinion, having human characters is a way of grounding the story in a familiar world, and having an instantly relatable character.
That's why the Transformers movies make sure they have a major plot line involving Sam Witwicky trying to get with the hottest girl on Earth - because that's a lot more relatable to audiences than an interstellar war between talking cars. Whether you think those subplots are brilliant or terrible, I can guarantee you those movies would not have been as successful worldwide if they didn't have a kid, his car, and his girlfriend along with Optimus and Megatron.
That said, my stories are definitely going to err on the side of more robots rather than more humans. But humans are definitely major characters, on par with the Autobots, and we will definitely be seeing some stories through their eyes. Just not as many.
--- Simon Furman started this whole IDW Transformers generation of comics and wrote many beloved issues for Marvel, Marvel UK, and Dreamwave as well. How do you feel about what Simon has written in the past for Transformers? Do you think he really deserves all the credit that he gets for what people expect in a Transformers story? Do you love Grimlock as much as Simon does? Any pressure trying to follow up this force in the world of TF lore?
I have not met a die-hard fan that doesn't credit Simon as having written some classic storyline that established these characters in comics for them. He is a living legend, and he really did set a template for how to write Transformers comics, the way that Chris Claremont defined X-Men comics for a generation. The pressure to follow that is huge, certainly. I really hope I don't blow it.
--- Who is your favorite Autobot? ...Favorite Decepticon? Do your favorites change when you have to consider writing them in stories? For example, HASBRO may tell you, you can’t write your favorite bot that way, so you strategically decide not to include him/her in the comic book.
My favorite Autobot is Blurr, and I make sure I gave him at least one scene in the first storyarc. My favorite Decepticon, as I mentioned above, is Starscream, all the way. And though Starscream and most of the other big Decepticons are going to be benched for a little while, they will be back in a big way.
But this is the way the story is working out. I don't want to shoehorn in tons of scenes with Blurr or Starscream just because I like them. I don't even think about it, really. When they're needed, they'll show up. And luckily, Hasbro has not questioned this at all. So far, they're happy with what I've been doing, and have been very supportive and helpful.
--- Who are your favorite GI Joe and Cobra characters?
To write, it's Tomax, Xamot and Hawk. As a fan, it's Flint. Back in the old cartoons, I was always wondering why he wasn't kicking Duke's butt.
--- ‘Rise of Cobra’, or ‘Transformers Revenge of the Fallen’, which movie is better?
You guys are just intent on getting me in some kind of trouble. The honest answer is, I have not yet seen GI JOE, so I can't say. But a friend of mine just got it (and REVENGE OF THE FALLEN) for me on Blu Ray, so definitely own both.
--- GI JOE and Transformers crossover, are you interested in writing/planning one especially now that IDW has both licenses?
If the right idea struck me, I’m definitely interested. But even though (or maybe because) I write for both sets of characters, their universes feel totally different to me. It would be like crossing Mickey Mouse over into the JLA. I'm not a good enough writer to make that work. We definitely have people out there who are though, so I suppose it is always a possibility.
--- Sienna Miller, Rachel Nichols, or Megan Fox?
I never kiss and tell. I'm a gentleman of the old school
--- Does gender exist in Transformers? Can you share where you stand on the whole fembot issue?
Gender definitely does exist. And where I stand on the fembot issue is this: A Cybertronian robot should have the right to marry anyone he or she desires, provided that they are consensual beings.
--- Who would be your ultimate Transformers comic book production crew? Artist, Writer (I would assume you would write it), inks, etc.? What might this ultimate story be about? Who would be featured?
Other than the book I'm working on (duh)... I'm going to say that the ultimate Transformers comic book would be anything that Nick Roche is working on. I first met him at BotCon this year, and I have learned so much from him, not just about who these characters are, but how to tell stories with them. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that there is no writer/artist double-threat working right now who knows and cares as much about Transformers as Nick. I will follow that guy anywhere. I am really, really lucky to have him as support on this book.
And finally, what can you tell us about Supreme Convoy that members of our community should know about him? He talks about you guys ‘geeking out’ together, what exactly does this involve?
I've known Supreme Convoy for probably two years now. He's a cool guy and part of the very cool circle of the writer/comic book fan friends I've made since moving out here to the Los Angeles. As for what our "geeking out" entails... once again, a gentleman never tells.
Seibertron.com would like to say thank you to Mike Costa for answering our questions about the new Transformers ongoing series, and our questions about Transformers comics in general.
Be sure to check out Mike’s work in the new Transformers ongoing series, starting this November!!!
*TF Ongoing is set to be released this Wednesday, you can pick yours up at your local shop. Not sure if you want to or not, check out First Gen's review here, or the 8 page preview here.