Sunday, October 16, 2011

Transformers: Universe Teaser Trailer, New Info

As part of its participation at the 2011 New York Comic-Con, Jagex, and the makers of Transformers: Universe released a new teaser trailer (below), provided artwork and participated in a panel. They also have a chance for fans to vote (or suggest) a class name for the Autobots and Decepticons. Voting closes at 6pm EST today. Site to vote is here.

On the information front, a few details were revealed during the panel about the multiplayer online game. The game will be browser based (Internet Explorer, Firefox, etc), using Java programming language and be available for free. No indication of how money will be made but sure ads and micro-transactions (paying for some equipment, upgrades, etc) will play a part. Since Java based, this could mean that tablets (iPad, etc) and smartphones will be able run the game but that could depend on how character and menu controls are handled in game. Not entirely sure but I think that consoles (PS3, Wii, 360) and handheld games (PSP, Gameboy) could also run the game if Jagex chooses to go in that direction.

The game's continuity is in the official Hasbro timeline so same universe as the War for Cybertron game, Fall of Cybertron game, Exodus book, Exiles book and Transformers: Prime cartoon series. The story starts on Earth but separate from those other events. Keep in mind that Cybertron has unknown number of colony worlds so plenty of story opportunities that do not have to collide and risk contradicting what may occur in future High Moon games and next season of Prime. One avenue of approach involves the Quintessons but no details yet. Nor what actors will be used in the game even though there were hints that actors might be asked to reprise their various roles from previous cartoons.

As artwork reveals, the game design is inspired heavily by Transformers: Prime with an attempt to make it seem as if watching an episode of the cartoon. Universe will provide level up opportunities in PvP (player vs player) and PvE (player vs. environment), common for MMOs. While the characters will be customizable, it will be limited to certain forms with size and other characteristics leading to different strengths and weaknesses. There will be female Transformers and fortunately they will not be restricted to a motorcycle alt mode.

Jagex said the game will be designed to for both the casual and hardcore gamer. Should be interesting to see how they juggle this as the biggest obstacle of all these games (outside of class balance) is how to keep the hardcore gamer happy while still giving the casual gamer a chance to play and enjoy all aspects of the game.

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