Transformers Universe First Details - An Interview with Steven Huckle - Page 2

Posted Thu, Aug 25, 2011 by B. de la Durantaye

TTH: Obviously we know that it’s an MMO. But is it more of an MMORPG or a MMO action game?

Steven Huckle: I can’t really say at the moment. It’s more action oriented.

TTH: Gotcha. Do you get equipment upgrades that you wear?

Steven Huckle: There’ll be weapons in it and there’ll be a progression system, so as you play the game, you won’t have the same exact stuff and stats that you start with.

TTH: You’ve got a great IP. You’re going to be pulling in a broad audience. You said that you wanted a big mix, so what age range are you shooting for?

Steven Huckle: 13 and above. There are many, many reasons behind that, but I don’t want to go into them. Making it accessible for 13 and above, in many ways, makes it a lot easier.

The films are PG as well, so it works. We didn’t want to say, “Let’s make an 18 game,” because it’s transformers. There’s too many people outside that who would want to play it. We keep it really broad. That’s probably not the best words to use, but it’s true. With transformers, there’s very few people who haven't heard of it, and the kids now will love the new stuff. We’ve got it all at our disposal.

TTH: What I really liked about the transformers movies was Megan Fox.

Steven Huckle: I can tell you now that she isn’t going to be in it.

TTH: Oh no, disaster.

Steven Huckle: No chance on that one.

TTH: What kind of timeline are you looking at for launch?

Steven Huckle: We’re hoping for beta around Christmas time, but that’s quite flexible. We’ll have a closed beta, then we’ll have an open beta, and then we’ll have a release. The release is going to be sometime in 2012. Those set dates we don’t know yet.

It’s one of those projects where we've got the time and we want to make sure that we get it right. We’re conscious that we need to deliver and get it out. We want to make sure, and we’re all big transformers fans on the project, what we do and what we deliver is absolutely right for us. When we go to beta and go over beta, we get the fans’ feedback. Don’t forget that online, we get the opportunity to be open to changing and updating on the fly as we do it. We can see how people are playing, what they’re liking, what they’re not liking, what they’re fans of.

TTH: Are you concerned at all about players making transformers that look too much like the iconic transformers, such as Optimus Prime?

Steven Huckle: It’s something that we’re trying to avoid. Bumblebee is the most popular character out there. We don’t everybody getting a sports car and making a Bumblebee out of it. There are design and style cues that we’ve gotten from Hasbro that we know to stay slightly away from, but so far, our relationship with Hasbro has been brilliant. I can’t fault it. They’re loving everything we’re doing. We’re really happy with the feedback that they’re giving us, so we’ve been quite clever with the way that we’ve designed everything that we don’t too close to what the main guys are like, but close enough so that the fans go, “Hey, I can see myself being…”

TTH: Inspired by?

Steven Huckle: Exactly.

TTH: Will the look of their character change during the course of the game?

Steven Huckle: I don’t know. Those are things that we could potentially do or not do. There’s a lot of stuff, as you guys probably know, that change as you get into beta and you start really hammering out the game with the fans. They give you very good feedback! You need to react to that and follow what they’re saying and listen to them, because at the end of the day, they’re the ones who are going to be paying and playing the game. If we’ve pleased them and everybody else, then we’ve done our job brilliantly.
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