Going Mobile with Daren Chencinski

Daren Chencinski

Earlier this year it was announced that Hasbro had formed a partnership with Glu Mobile to produce a mobile game based on the Transformers. I was curious as to how this was going to happen so with the help of KatherineC. de Leon I was able to get an interview with Daren Chencinski, Senior Producer for Glu Mobile. So here is my interview with Mr. Chencinski, I hope you enjoy it.

Hotrod Hotrod: For those who do not know much about Glu Mobile, could you tell us a little about the company and when it started up?

Daren Chencinski Daren Chencinski: Glu was founded in 2001 and develops and publishes entertainment for cellphones worldwide. Our portfolio includes primarily games, and some ringtones, wallpapers and information applications which include both original titles and entertainment based on major brands such as Hasbro, Atari, Cartoon Network, PopCap Games and Celador International.

Hotrod Hotrod: How long have you been working at Glu Mobile?

Daren Chencinski Daren Chencinski: For two years.

Hotrod Hotrod: What are some of the projects that you have been apart of while at Glu?

Daren Chencinski Daren Chencinski: I have been the producer and designer on a variety of titles, including PopCap’s Astropop, Marc Ecko’s Getting Up, Super K.O. Boxing!, Monopoly Here & Now and Transformers.

Hotrod Hotrod: On the average about how much time goes into creating a mobile game?

Daren Chencinski Daren Chencinski: We typically spend six to nine months on a game, which includes porting to a multitude of handsets.

Hotrod Hotrod: Are there any unique challenges in making a mobile game?

Daren Chencinski Daren Chencinski: Definitely. The main challenge is working with the wide range of capabilities for different mobile phones. For any given game, we will create a specific version for nearly 1,000 different mobile phones with multiple development platforms, varying screen sizes and pretty significant differences in processing power, application size, and memory.
Aside from technical challenges, the greatest difficulty is in creating a simple, yet fun game mechanic and design for users who play for short intervals, while also delivering a robust experience that will satisfy the more hard core mobile gamer. I’d say our consumers are more diverse than the phones we support!

Hotrod Hotrod: How did Glu’s relationship with Hasbro come about?

Daren Chencinski Daren Chencinski: In 2004 Hasbro and Glu (then Sorrent) worked together to publish Baldur’s Gate, the popular Atari Dungeons & Dragons RPG franchise owned by Hasbro’s Wizards of the Coast subsidiary.

Hotrod Hotrod: Were you ever a Transformers fan in the past?

Daren Chencinski Daren Chencinski: Yes! I have always kept up with the Transformers series, my favorite of which is the original Generation 1 series. I was immediately drawn to the Contructicons (and their combined form: Devastator), the original Triple Changers (Astrotrain and Blitzwing), and of course, the Dinobots (“Me Grimlock King!”). I was particularly excited when the movie was released – in fact, I own the VHS copy and still watch it to this day. And yes, I have the version before Spike cleaned up his dirty mouth.

Hotrod Hotrod: When you learned that the deal with Hasbro was going to happen what were you thinking?

Daren Chencinski Daren Chencinski: As a kid, I was a huge Transformers fan, so I was excited to have the chance to reconnect with the brand and work on bringing the game to life.

Hotrod Hotrod: Does making a game based on Transformers present any unique challenges or is it like making any other game?

Daren Chencinski Daren Chencinski: Each game poses distinct challenges. With Transformers, the unique challenge is working with characters possessing multiple physical forms. Like most challenges, it actually makes creating the game a lot more interesting.

Hotrod Hotrod: What can fans expect to see in the Transformers game?

Daren Chencinski Daren Chencinski: It’s too early to get into any details on the gameplay itself, but our focus is on creating an authentic Transformers experience with top notch gameplay, graphics, sound, and animation that will impress Transformer fans new and old.

Hotrod Hotrod: Will the game be marketed to fans or the entire gaming public?

Daren Chencinski Daren Chencinski: Both. Though playing a Transformers game will likely be more meaningful to a fan, we’re setting out to create a game that will genuinely be fun to play for everybody. It’s something we strive for with all our games.

Hotrod Hotrod: When can we expect to start hearing more about the game?

Daren Chencinski Daren Chencinski: We don’t have a specific date as of yet, but when we do, you’ll be the first to know.

Hotrod Hotrod: Will the game be made available outside of the United States?

Daren Chencinski Daren Chencinski: Yes, it will be available at least in North and South America and throughout Europe.

Hotrod Hotrod: One last question. If there is one thing you would like to tell people about Glu and the upcoming Transformers game, what would it be?

Daren Chencinski Daren Chencinski: I can’t say much, but maybe our friend Wheelie can help me out.
“Glu friend be everyone friend, Wheelie not lie. Mobile game Transformers be more than meets the eye.”

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