Guest Shack – Callum Godfrey from Activision USA

This week, we interview Callum Godfrey, producer of Transformers: The Game by Activision. This new video game is based on the soon to be released movie Transformers produced by Steven Spielberg. Click on the link below to read the interview.

Each week we bring you an interview with an interesting and relevant guest speaker on everything from brand new tech or gaming products being launched or a special topic.

Special guest for this week is Callum Godfrey, producer of Transformers: The Game by Activision. This video game is due for release in June, 2007 and will be available for the PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, PS2, and the PC.

  1. First up… can you give us a brief description about the game and
    what we can expect from the gameplay?
  2. CALLUM – The game is an action adventure that follows the themes of the upcoming summer movie and allows you to play as either the Autobots or the Decepticons. As a Transformers character, the player is able to switch between robot and vehicle forms at will, bringing their awesome alien weaponry to bear in a war that has raged for millennia, with both sides fighting to claim ownership of the AllSpark, an object so powerful that it will decide the fate of the universe.

    The game will put players in control of one of nine giant robotic warriors as they play out the key events of the movie for the Autobots campaign in a bid to protect all life. If the player chooses the Decepticons campaign they are given the chance to turn the movie outcome on its head with the bad guys finally able to emerge as the victor.

  3. Since the original TV series made its debut in 1984 what appeal would a Transformers game still have to audiences worldwide?
  4. CALLUM – The game, and the movie, has some really exciting features that no other franchise can deliver on. First and foremost is the ability to transform between robot and vehicle modes. With this seamlessly integrated in to the game as one of its primary mechanics it really makes you feel like you are both a robot and a vehicle.

    Second, let’s not forget that when in their robot form the characters are giant metallic veterans of a war that has been fought for thousands of years. The characters are powerful, agile and when placed on our planet the volume of destruction the game allows you to cause really makes you feel like a big, powerful being in what really is just a toy box to them.

  5. Other Transformer games have already been released previously, how does this latest Transformers game differ to remain unique?
  6. CALLUM – We do several things in Transformers: The Game that lift it above previous Transformers titles. Some examples of this are the sense of scale. In this game you will feel like a 40 foot robot placed in a world too small, rather than feeling like the world is all in proportion around you.

    Thanks to this sense of scale we are able to push elements such as destruction and interactivity in new directions. Players’ actions have consequences, so firing weapons at a building will blow it to a bare shell, maybe even start a fire that spreads as a chain reaction. Or if you find your weapons aren’t doing enough damage in combat, why not go and grab a weapon from the world around you? Most objects can be interacted with in some way.

  7. Can you talk to us about the game engine used? Are there any types of graphical wizardry that we should keep a lookout for?
  8. CALLUM – Each platform has been optimized to ensure that it looks as good as it can. For Next Gen that means lots of normal mapping, environment maps, speculars, HDR and the robot models look especially amazing.

    Even on current gen hardware the game looks great though, especially when you consider the size of the levels and the destruction and interaction we also have to support.

  9. What playable Transformers characters will appear in the game?
  10. CALLUM – For the Autobots you can play as Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Jazz and Ironhide. The Decepticons can count on Megatron, Starscream, Barricade, Blackout and Scorponok.

  11. What has been a highlight for you in developing the game?
  12. CALLUM – On the game side it has to be the first time we were able to transform. The animations are some of the best I have seen in video games and really make it feel like the car and robot are one and the same.

    On the movie side, it would be getting the chance to meet Michael Bay and have him show us most of the film in a rough cut form. We were blown away by it.

  13. Notably, two well-known voice actors from the original TV series have included their voices for characters for the movies. Why was Hugo Weaving’s voice used instead of Frank Welker for the game?
  14. CALLUM – We went with Peter Cullen and Frank Welker because Transformers has such a loyal fan following that we want to do as much as we can to give something back to them. I called in to some of the VO sessions and hearing Peter and Frank relive some of their classic lines was mind blowing. I grew up as a Transformers fan, and am still one today so this means a great deal to me, as I hope it does for all the other fans out there.

  15. Since the game is based upon the movie, what level of involvement has occurred between TT, Paramount and Hasbro?
  16. CALLUM – The game has been a strong cooperative effort from all sides. We have relied upon the resources from Hasbro and Paramount, and their experience and expertise. Between all parties we have a game and movie that deliver a thrilling revitalization of the Transformers franchise.

  17. With Transformers released across various platforms, has it been
    difficult to port other versions of the game across the different types of hardware?
  18. CALLUM – Not really. Traveller’s Tales has a lot of experience in the industry and their approach on this project has been very sensible. By treating each platform as an individual from early on in the project we have been able to make rapid progress throughout development. There have been some areas on each platform that have needed more careful management, but by setting up in the right ways early on we are having an easier time of it at the end.

  19. Lastly, which is your favourite Transformers character and why?
  20. CALLUM – I have always been a fan of the humble hero type character, so for that reason I am an Ultra Magnus fan.