Earlier this year Jagex announced its latest MMOG project, Transformers Universe
Details were still a bit thin so Ten Ton Hammer caught up to Art
Director Steven Huckle on the show floor at gamescom this year to see
what more we could find out. As it turns out, Steven was happy to
answer our questions.
long have you been developing Transformers Universe?
We started in earnest in January, but there was a build-up before then.
TTH: Are you talking
about a persistent world where everybody is a transformer, an autobot?
Yes. Essentially, it’s more self-contained, I want to say it's a
traditional MMO but it’s not. It’s combat based because you have 30
foot robots going around smashing the crap out of stuff. It’s going to
be good. We have some very unique things other than traditional
vehicles or class mounts that get you from A to B. Here, the mounts are
Character progression is something that we really want to get right. If
we get too complicated, people don’t know what we’re doing.
TTH: Are you using a
No, it’s our own design. We have a whole new graphics engine for it.
Runescape is what we’re built on. We’ve got a lot of experience with
engines. With Transformers, we’ve got something more.
TTH: So it's going to be
Yes, it is. It's more accessible. It makes it easy for people to get
their heads around it.
TTH: Obviously, there’s
going to be some PvP?
Yeah, it’s going to be a mixture of PvP and PvE. I think, again, it’s
that broad audience we're after. We want to give players the
opportunity to do both.
TTH: Now when we were
talking about the universe, are you looking at the modern universe or
at the classic universe?
That’s a difficult one to answer. Transformers had 11,000 transformers
in the last 25 years so we’ve got a lot to choose from. Obviously we
have the big names in there. We want to give something special to the
fans and we’ve got a couple identifiable characters that we’re not
really talking about at the moment.
It’s set in the Prime Continuity because that’s what is on the latest
TV show now that the films are out of the way. We’re kind of conscious
that there’s a big world of wealth of transformers to choose from so
we’re going to take cues from everyone. It’s an MMO, we’ve got ten to
twenty years hopefully so over that time, we’ll be able to add lots and
lots of stuff into it. We feel like kids in a candy shop and
sometimes have a hard time which bots we're going to choose.
TTH: Sometimes picking up
a large IP like Transformers can be somewhat restrictive by trying to
stay true to the canon and all. Do you find it restricting at all or do
you find it just so invigorating that you just want to do it?
I think that it’s a combination of both. We knew that we couldn't make
Optimus Prime pink for example, so I think certain restrictions were
kind of set.
With the character customization, and the fact that we’re creating our
own and we’re designing the world and making it for the players to use,
we have a lot more freedom there. We’re restricted in some ways, but
more free in other ways. Which works out really well. It makes our life
very, very easy. We can actually focus on making it look good and play
well as opposed to battling over smaller details.