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Generation 1
Interview - GLU Mobile on Upcoming Generation 1 Game
Blitzwing - Monday, June 02, 2008

We recently got a chance to interview the people at GLU Mobile: Chris White, the head of our EMEA studio and Martin Edelman, Product Manager on Transformers. If the name sounds familiar, they released a mobile game for the movie last year. They are now hard at work on their second mobile game, and it's in the G1 realm!

TFormers: First of all, I and the people at would like to thank you for taking time to discuss your latest project. Before we get too far, can you quickly touch on how well your first Transformers game was received?

GLU: The first game was a huge success for Glu and received great reviews. We feel we made a really enjoyable action-packed game that captured the spirit of the Transformers movie. With our second game, we decided to take Transformers on mobile in a new direction as this title is not directly tied to a film release.

TFormers: Currently, you are working on the next game for the Transformers universe. This game is G1 based, correct?

GLU: That’s right. The Transformers team is a huge fan of the classic G1 franchise, especially the Marvel comics and the original animated movie.

TFormers: What style of game will this be? A shooter, an action game? Or something different?

GLU: Transformers G1: Awakening is a turn based strategy game with RPG elements. This gives us plenty of scope to capture the epic spectacle of the titanic battles the Transformers engage in while still allowing us to develop characters and provide a rewarding challenge to the player.

Most strategy games treat military units as expendable cannon fodder. In Transformers G1: Awakening we attempted to foster a sense of attachment and pride to the characters, with each being an individual persona found in the existing Transformers universe, each with unique attributes, strengths and weaknesses. Further to the RPG analogy, individual units will become more experienced during battle, which in turn leads them to becoming stronger more effective units.

TFormers: In what era of the G1 universe will this game take place? Will it be an Optimus Prime vs. Megatron setting? A Rodimus Prime vs. Galvatron setting? Or maybe a Gigatron vs. Powermaster Prime setting?

GLU: The game will be set during the initial episodes of the original animated series. The Transformers have just been re-activated by the Ark after crash landing on Earth millions of years before. So you’ll see plenty of Prime vs. Megatron action as well as other classic battles.

TFormers: What is the basic plot line for the game? Is it something borrowed from past episodes or completely new?

GLU: The plot is loosely based upon initial episodes of the cartoon and comic, although there are plenty of fresh plot twists and elements to keep players hooked! We’ve kept the storyline consistent with existing continuity, but it is fully original.

TFormers: Tell us a little bit about the characters. First off, who are the main playable character or characters?

GLU: There are 23 characters in the game, and you can play them all! Key characters include Optimus Prime, Megatron, Soundwave, Blaster, Grimlock, Bumblebee, Shockwave, Starscream, Jetfire, Metroplex and Trypticon.

TFormers: Will players be able to pick between Autobots or Decepticons?

GLU: You can play as both. In story mode, you control the Autobots. However, there is an additional mode called Cybertron Arena, where you can also play as the Decepticons.

TFormers: Can you switch between characters mid-game or are you stuck with your first pick?

GLU: Yes, you can switch between characters midgame, as you control multiple units per turn. As you progress through the game, you gather energon, which enables you to activate additional characters. You also unlock new characters as the game progresses.

TFormers: Is Wheelie going to be in there?

GLU: Sadly, Wheelie was not one of the original Autobot team on earth. So that’s a no! (YAY!)

TFormers: Do the characters in the background interact with the main characters?

GLU: There are no background characters. If a character is in the game, then you can interact with them and they play an important part in the plot.

TFormers: Now, even though mobile phone technology is quickly evolving, there is still only so much you can do in terms of graphics. How detailed of graphics can we expect?

GLU: On high-end 3D handsets, you can expect fully 3D cut scenes of the characters in action. We had videos of the game running at Botcon this year, and a lot of fans presumed it was a console game!

TFormers: Will this be a first person or third person based gaming style?

GLU: Third person. If you’ve played Advance Wars, you’ll have a good understanding of the viewpoint.

TFormers: What access do the characters have to weapons in the game? Do they get one stock weapon, or can they change weapons mid-game?

GLU: Each character has unique a unique set of stats. Whilst they don’t change their weapon, these stats differ depending on whether they are in robot or alt-mode. Characters can also be upgraded as the game progresses.

If characters are positioned correctly, they can provide supporting fire, and cause additional damage by working as a team.

TFormers: Will they be able to transform? And if so, how will the transformations help interact with the game?

GLU: Of course. Transforming is one of the key strategic elements of the game. For example, if Bumblebee is in vehicle mode, he can travel greater distances per turn but won’t be able to attack the Decepticons. On the other hand, when in robot mode he can secure Energon and attack Decepticons. And a jet, like Starscream, has the advantage of being able to fly over water.

TFormers: People always seem to like hidden extras in their games. Without going into great detail, do you have any surprises waiting for them such as easter eggs or cheats?

GLU: Yes, there are plenty of game modes and characters waiting to be discovered!

TFormers: Will the gamer be able to download wallpaper or ringtones from the game?

GLU: Nothing tied specifically to Transformers G1: Awakening, but Transformers wallpapers and tones are already available on most major carriers worldwide!

TFormers: For those who might have played your first Transformers game, will the controls be the same?

GLU: The game is very different from the first Transformers game, so not really – it’s a completely new experience.

TFormers: How will the game be controlled this time?

GLU: The game will be fully controllable by touch-screen if your phone supports it. On traditional keypads, you move the cursor with the phone’s keypad. It’s easy to control and you can play the game with just one thumb.

TFormers: When people think of mobile games, they of course think cell phones. However, smart phones with PDAs built in are becoming more and more popular. Will you take advantage of any of those newer technologies?

GLU: Yes, we actively produce versions of our games for a higher end handsets. We are excited about the new opportunities that we can explore creatively as the technology improved in mobile devices.

TFormers: Will this be available globally or is it only region specific?

GLU: It will be available worldwide this fall from all major carriers and

TFormers: What ideas are you pondering for the future with the Transformers Universe? Perhaps something based on Beast Wars or Transformers: Animated?

GLU: We have no plans right now but we are always looking at interesting and exciting opportunities to bring the Transformers Universe to the mobile platform!

TFormers: I really appreciate the time you've taken today. Thanks again for this opportunity and best of luck with your latest offering!

GLU: No problem. We hope you enjoy the game, launching this fall on all major carriers worldwide.

last 10 shown - scroll to view more   TFormers Member Comments
1:37 am

"TFormers: Will this be available globally or is it only region specific? GLU: It will be available worldwide this fall from all major carriers and " Correction: The game will be availably in many regions, but not 100% globally, as regions such as Japan, even with its "... read more 
9:33 am

It's a shame this is a cell phone game.. playing games on a cell phone sucks ass. :\ Sounds like the game itself has tons of potential.. i've always thought a turn based strat game along the lines of Fire Emblem/Shining Force/Advanced Wars would work REALLY well for TFs.. Here's ho... read more 
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