In-Depth Interview with Fall Of Cybertron Game Director Matt Tieger

In-Depth Interview with Fall Of Cybertron Game Director Matt Tieger

Monday, December 12th, 2011 3:07pm CST

Categories: Game News, Interviews
Posted by: LOST Cybertronian   Views: 76,961

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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.

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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…

Credit(s): Metro.co.uk Gamecentral


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Re: In-Depth Interview with Fall Of Cybertron Game Director Matt Tieger (1322461)
Posted by Ratman_tf on December 12th, 2011 @ 3:39pm CST
No love for cartoon Grimlock. :-( I respect their opinions, but I can't say I agree with them.
Re: In-Depth Interview with Fall Of Cybertron Game Director Matt Tieger (1322469)
Posted by metaphorge on December 12th, 2011 @ 4:07pm CST
I wish Michael Bay et al had put a tenth of this much thought into the films instead of into "Balls! Dur hur! BALLS!"
Re: In-Depth Interview with Fall Of Cybertron Game Director Matt Tieger (1322478)
Posted by NatsumeRyu on December 12th, 2011 @ 4:29pm CST
"This time around we have dedicated some space: two, three, four, even five minute spaces where you can explore a little bit, you are not pulling the trigger and you're just experiencing the world of Cybertron and what's going on. "

THIS, is a very good assessment of what they needed. Big spaces where the player doesn't have to transform (ie, no pressure, no time limit, or enemy pursuing you), but it certainly can make travel faster. So some players will continue on foot, wandering around, while others will transform right off the bat and go trekking a la' alt mode.
Re: In-Depth Interview with Fall Of Cybertron Game Director Matt Tieger (1322481)
Posted by Ratman_tf on December 12th, 2011 @ 4:43pm CST
NatsumeRyu wrote:"This time around we have dedicated some space: two, three, four, even five minute spaces where you can explore a little bit, you are not pulling the trigger and you're just experiencing the world of Cybertron and what's going on. "

THIS, is a very good assessment of what they needed. Big spaces where the player doesn't have to transform (ie, no pressure, no time limit, or enemy pursuing you), but it certainly can make travel faster. So some players will continue on foot, wandering around, while others will transform right off the bat and go trekking a la' alt mode.


Agree. Action is fine, but it's nice to explore too. The stuff about Jazz makes me hopeful that there will be some puzzles and exploration like in the Metroid Prime games.
Re: In-Depth Interview with Fall Of Cybertron Game Director Matt Tieger (1322503)
Posted by MINDVVIPE on December 12th, 2011 @ 5:25pm CST
Ratman_tf wrote:Agree. Action is fine, but it's nice to explore too. The stuff about Jazz makes me hopeful that there will be some puzzles and exploration like in the Metroid Prime games.


Given the fact that you can upgrade weapons throughout the game, I'm sure exploring will reap some rewards such as that.
Re: In-Depth Interview with Fall Of Cybertron Game Director Matt Tieger (1322537)
Posted by funeralthirst7 on December 12th, 2011 @ 7:10pm CST
metaphorge wrote:I wish Michael Bay et al had put a tenth of this much thought into the films instead of into "Balls! Dur hur! BALLS!"


This x1000.

As much as I enjoyed DOTM those movies could have been so much more.
Re: In-Depth Interview with Fall Of Cybertron Game Director Matt Tieger (1322580)
Posted by 1337W422102 on December 12th, 2011 @ 8:52pm CST
No PC version, no deal. Though I can't say I'm surprised, considiring how awful the WFC PC port was. At least I'll have the satisfaction of not giving Activision any money.
Re: In-Depth Interview with Fall Of Cybertron Game Director Matt Tieger (1322583)
Posted by MINDVVIPE on December 12th, 2011 @ 8:58pm CST
1337W422102 wrote:No PC version, no deal. Though I can't say I'm surprised, considiring how awful the WFC PC port was. At least I'll have the satisfaction of not giving Activision any money.


As much as the PC lacked dlc and a larger number of online player, it allowed coders to create an FPS unlocker as well as some mod-like updates that made the game look even better/more challenging in single player. I definitely don't regret buying it for PC because it looks/plays better on it.
Re: In-Depth Interview with Fall Of Cybertron Game Director Matt Tieger (1322591)
Posted by 1337W422102 on December 12th, 2011 @ 9:10pm CST
MINDVVIPE wrote:
1337W422102 wrote:No PC version, no deal. Though I can't say I'm surprised, considiring how awful the WFC PC port was. At least I'll have the satisfaction of not giving Activision any money.


As much as the PC lacked dlc and a larger number of online player, it allowed coders to create an FPS unlocker as well as some mod-like updates that made the game look even better/more challenging in single player. I definitely don't regret buying it for PC because it looks/plays better on it.

There are WAY more issues than the two you mentioned, man. The fact that people had to make a framerate unlocker in the first place indicates that there is a problem. Mods were few are far between since there were no mod tools and .ini files were encrypted. Where there even any worthwhile mods, besides for that one Zeta Prime .ini? I had fun with WFC for PC, too, and while it wasn't as terrible as the PC versions of Resident Evil 4 or Phantasy Star games, it was a good example of how to mess up a release on a platform.

EDIT: I'm not trying to be a jerk to you or anyone else, MINDVVIPE! Hope I didn't come off that way. Sorry if I derailed this thread, folks.
Re: In-Depth Interview with Fall Of Cybertron Game Director Matt Tieger (1322602)
Posted by MINDVVIPE on December 12th, 2011 @ 9:54pm CST
1337W422102 wrote:
There are WAY more issues than the two you mentioned, man. The fact that people had to make a framerate unlocker in the first place indicates that there is a problem. Mods were few are far between since there were no mod tools and .ini files were encrypted. Where there even any worthwhile mods, besides for that one Zeta Prime .ini? I had fun with WFC for PC, too, and while it wasn't as terrible as the PC versions of Resident Evil 4 or Phantasy Star games, it was a good example of how to mess up a release on a platform.

EDIT: I'm not trying to be a jerk to you or anyone else, MINDVVIPE! Hope I didn't come off that way. Sorry if I derailed this thread, folks.


No worries, I didn't take offence, but that is polite of you to state.

Yea, the port alone was definitely terrible, but as far as I know, theres no fps unlocker for the slow frame rate on 360, so that gave the pc some points.
The mod I have unlocks Zeta, but it was also a graphical mod that added some higher res textures and a buncha other stuff that the game was capable of doing but wasn't for some reason. I think we are talkin about the same .ini though (if you have it, you'll notice randomized spawning in multipalyer). I was just comparing the console to the pc version, and to me, the only pluses for the console is more players and dlc. The rest of the issues seem common to both, no?
Re: In-Depth Interview with Fall Of Cybertron Game Director Matt Tieger (1322608)
Posted by 1337W422102 on December 12th, 2011 @ 10:14pm CST
MINDVVIPE wrote:
1337W422102 wrote:
There are WAY more issues than the two you mentioned, man. The fact that people had to make a framerate unlocker in the first place indicates that there is a problem. Mods were few are far between since there were no mod tools and .ini files were encrypted. Where there even any worthwhile mods, besides for that one Zeta Prime .ini? I had fun with WFC for PC, too, and while it wasn't as terrible as the PC versions of Resident Evil 4 or Phantasy Star games, it was a good example of how to mess up a release on a platform.

EDIT: I'm not trying to be a jerk to you or anyone else, MINDVVIPE! Hope I didn't come off that way. Sorry if I derailed this thread, folks.


No worries, I didn't take offence, but that is polite of you to state.

Yea, the port alone was definitely terrible, but as far as I know, theres no fps unlocker for the slow frame rate on 360, so that gave the pc some points.
The mod I have unlocks Zeta, but it was also a graphical mod that added some higher res textures and a buncha other stuff that the game was capable of doing but wasn't for some reason. I think we are talkin about the same .ini though (if you have it, you'll notice randomized spawning in multipalyer). I was just comparing the console to the pc version, and to me, the only pluses for the console is more players and dlc. The rest of the issues seem common to both, no?

A lot of the issues are PC-specific, things like lack of control over graphic settings, independent x- and y-axis sensitivities with no way to adjust them independently, mouse acceleration you cannot disable, no way to change your controls, frequent "multiplayer is unavailable" errors even though it is and just won't let you log in, no chat support of any kind in multiplayer (voice, typing, pre-recorded character callouts, or otherwise), no dedicated servers, game rooms that close once the master leaves, lack of bots (which would do away with the player requirements which is one of the reason only TDM and Conquest are the modes people play), no developer console, no mod support, no anti-cheating, no patches/updates or additional content, and the encrypted .ini files. Some of these issues could have potentially been resolved by manually changing settings in an .ini file, but that that option (among others) wasn't given to us. Encrypting the .ini files was supposed to prevent people from cheating in multiplayer. It might have, for a week.

Those are the issues that I remember and were common complaints. There are others. Personally, I often run into situations where the world doesn't load, resulting in you having to load a previous checkpoint or kill yourself to force a checkpoint reload, which is a pain in multiplayer. I don't know how widespread that one is, though.

I really enjoy the game. The day after it came out, I travelled around two cities to get a copy and I played the hell out if it. But there are serious and completely inexcusable oversights, omissions, and a just-plain-not-giving-a-crap atmosphere to the entirety of the PC version, which really is a shame. I'd buy Fall of Cybertron as soon as it came out, even if it was bogged down by these issues, but it seems I won't have to. No skin off my back; I'll just play something else and they'll have lost a customer.
Re: In-Depth Interview with Fall Of Cybertron Game Director Matt Tieger (1322613)
Posted by MINDVVIPE on December 12th, 2011 @ 10:41pm CST
Fair enough, but the console version isn't better, is all i'm saying, hehe. And you don't have to tell me, I'm seriously so pissed at how games are going further away from PC and more towards consoles. NFS unleashed for example, RAGE is probably another (I say probably coz I don't know for sure, unlike unleashed where i was sitting next to the one guy QA testing the game on PC). As for cheating... thats impossible to keep out these days (I don't know why some games are easier to moderate than others, like counterstrike; maybe its got somthing to do with how complex nowadays games are).
Re: In-Depth Interview with Fall Of Cybertron Game Director Matt Tieger (1322629)
Posted by 1337W422102 on December 12th, 2011 @ 11:02pm CST
MINDVVIPE wrote:Fair enough, but the console version isn't better, is all i'm saying, hehe. And you don't have to tell me, I'm seriously so pissed at how games are going further away from PC and more towards consoles. NFS unleashed for example, RAGE is probably another (I say probably coz I don't know for sure, unlike unleashed where i was sitting next to the one guy QA testing the game on PC). As for cheating... thats impossible to keep out these days (I don't know why some games are easier to moderate than others, like counterstrike; maybe its got somthing to do with how complex nowadays games are).

Well, for cheating, Valve uses VAC rather than locking up a file and hoping no one can get in.
Re: In-Depth Interview with Fall Of Cybertron Game Director Matt Tieger (1322719)
Posted by noctorro on December 13th, 2011 @ 7:46am CST
1337W422102 wrote:No PC version, no deal. Though I can't say I'm surprised, considiring how awful the WFC PC port was. At least I'll have the satisfaction of not giving Activision any money.


And Activision wasn't satisfied when WFC pc players didn't give them money.

I think that's the problem with pc gamers, they don't buy the games. Hence you didn't get the downloadable content because that would simply be torrented just like the game.

I love exploring! I mean, Transformers can do a lot more then just destroy stuff. You can have constructicons building things, resque operations etc. etc. The story-mode can also feature some non-combat game moments.

Great stuff, me no like waitin a year :BANG_HEAD:
Re: In-Depth Interview with Fall Of Cybertron Game Director Matt Tieger (1322731)
Posted by 1337W422102 on December 13th, 2011 @ 9:06am CST
noctorro wrote:
1337W422102 wrote:No PC version, no deal. Though I can't say I'm surprised, considiring how awful the WFC PC port was. At least I'll have the satisfaction of not giving Activision any money.


And Activision wasn't satisfied when WFC pc players didn't give them money.

I think that's the problem with pc gamers, they don't buy the games. Hence you didn't get the downloadable content because that would simply be torrented just like the game.

Common misconception. More people would have bought it had they made a PC game and not a garish half-assed port. Just look at the amount of "Should I Buy This?" threads/posts from potential buyers on the Steam forums while it was on sale who ended up deciding not to because of the ridiculous oversights of this port job.
Re: In-Depth Interview with Fall Of Cybertron Game Director Matt Tieger (1322938)
Posted by NatsumeRyu on December 13th, 2011 @ 7:54pm CST
1337W422102 wrote: ...frequent "multiplayer is unavailable" errors even though it is and just won't let you log in...no dedicated servers, game rooms that close once the master leaves, lack of bots (which would do away with the player requirements which is one of the reason only TDM and Conquest are the modes people play)


These are all common to the console versions as well. At least, I get them all on PS3. It's the game's fault and not specifically the port, there. Hence many people hoping HMS is good/experienced enough now to fix these "problems" on FoC. :) Who was it, again, that said HMS couldn't program their way out of a box? :lol:

Also, how does game room connection work for the PC version? Is it automatic or is it a list selection?
Re: In-Depth Interview with Fall Of Cybertron Game Director Matt Tieger (1322939)
Posted by MINDVVIPE on December 13th, 2011 @ 7:57pm CST
NatsumeRyu wrote:Also, how does game room connection work for the PC version? Is it automatic or is it a list selection?


Its pretty much automatic. I don't know how it prioritizes, but if theres a spot in a room, you take it. If not, you become the host of a new room.
Re: In-Depth Interview with Fall Of Cybertron Game Director Matt Tieger (1322941)
Posted by 1337W422102 on December 13th, 2011 @ 7:59pm CST
NatsumeRyu wrote:
1337W422102 wrote: ...frequent "multiplayer is unavailable" errors even though it is and just won't let you log in...no dedicated servers, game rooms that close once the master leaves, lack of bots (which would do away with the player requirements which is one of the reason only TDM and Conquest are the modes people play)


These are all common to the console versions as well. At least, I get them all on PS3. It's the game's fault and not specifically the port, there. Hence many people hoping HMS is good enough to fix these "problems" on FoC now. :) Who was it, again, that said HMS couldn't program their way out of a box? :lol:

I hear ya. That's more of the fault of this gaming generation. More than one game's multiplayer modes have died because of "Waiting for players..."

NatsumeRyu wrote:Also, how does game room connection work for the PC version? Is it automatic or is it a list?

Unfortunately, no server browser. You choose a mode and it tosses you in a room. If you don't like it, leave, choose a mode again, and you'll probably be tossed into the same room. Primus help you if you decide to play Codex of Wisdom, though, because then you'll have the lobby all to yourself until you decide to close it since no one will join.
Re: In-Depth Interview with Fall Of Cybertron Game Director Matt Tieger (1322950)
Posted by MINDVVIPE on December 13th, 2011 @ 8:11pm CST
1337W422102 wrote:Unfortunately, no server browser. You choose a mode and it tosses you in a room. If you don't like it, leave, choose a mode again, and you'll probably be tossed into the same room. Primus help you if you decide to play Codex of Wisdom, though, because then you'll have the lobby all to yourself until you decide to close it since no one will join.

Add me up, we can play some other game types and maybe attract others.
"BLACKWAR"
Re: In-Depth Interview with Fall Of Cybertron Game Director Matt Tieger (1322954)
Posted by 1337W422102 on December 13th, 2011 @ 8:16pm CST
MINDVVIPE wrote:
1337W422102 wrote:Unfortunately, no server browser. You choose a mode and it tosses you in a room. If you don't like it, leave, choose a mode again, and you'll probably be tossed into the same room. Primus help you if you decide to play Codex of Wisdom, though, because then you'll have the lobby all to yourself until you decide to close it since no one will join.

Add me up, we can play some other game types and maybe attract others.
"BLACKWAR"

Sounds good! I'll add you the next time I'm in. During one of those Double XP Weekends, I spent my time trying to get Countdown and Codex matches going. I felt bad when I had to quit, though, knowing that my leaving would bring the whole room down.

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