Transformers Universe – Sneak Peek and Booth gallery at NY Comic Con 2011!
By Michael Sagoe (mikedot), OnRPG Journalist
In the midst of all the craziness that happened over at NY Comic Con 2011, Jagex Games Studios and Hasbro was there to showcase their upcoming title: Transformers Universe. Powered by an advanced and evolved engine that powers Jagex’s ever popular “RuneScape”, Transformers Universe will continue Jagex’s trend of creating high quality MMO experiences straight in your internet browser.
Besides from that, very little is known about the game, so I took the time to check out the booth, ask some questions and possible grab some swag!
The booth for the new Transformers game was set right across from the Hasbro toy gallery, with a gigantic Optimus Prime watching over everything.
The outside of the booth, you could check out live demonstrations from the animators at Jagex, while getting a glimpse at the level of detail and quality of animation you can expect from the game.
Inside the booth, guests were treated to an exclusive new trailer which also uses the in-game engine. Those that are really huge fans of Transformers will appreciate this: Guests got a chance to create their very own Autobot or Decepticon! Guests got to name their bots, select what they transform into and customize their appearances. To top it all off, guests got to take pictures of themselves next to their creations.
That’s all well and good, but enough about the booth… How about the game? I was able to chit-chat with Laura West to shed some light over all this:
OnRPG: Could you tell us a little bit more about the engine that will be used in Transformers Universe?
Laura: The engine is based on the Jagex’s proprietary engine, the same engine that powers Runescape and has been evolved and enhanced for this new title.
OnRPG: What “Universe” is Transformers Universe set in? Is it set in one of the Transformers comics or movies?
Laura: Transformers Universe is set in the Prime Continuum (based on the ongoing animated series.) The game will start on planet Earth, and as an ongoing MMO, we’ll update and develope it with new content, so where players will be able to go from there contains endless possibilities.
OnRPG: Between Autobots and Decepticons, what will be the differences in terms of how they affect gameplay?
Laura: Well there are obvious differences between Autobots and Deceptions, as they have different agendas and different ways of doing things. We haven’t announced how they’ll play out yet, but if you could imagine what you could do as a 30 foot Deception, hopefully you’ll get the picture of what they can do in the game.
OnRPG: With the core gameplay: Will it be point & click, action based, or a little bit of both?
Laura: It’s very much an action based game.
OnRPG: With the bot customization that was showcased inside the booth: Would that be an example as to how deep the customization will be in the game?
Laura: Yes, very much so. You could say it was a thin slice of what’s to come. After you decide to play as an Autobot or Deception, you’ll be able to select various character classes and determine what your bot will be able to transform into. You’ll be able to color select different parts of your bot, so if you want a giant pink robot, you’ll be able to do so. On top of that, there will be weapon customization as well.
OnRPG: As Transformers Universe plans to be a Free-to-play game, what made Jagex decide to continue with that business model?
Laura: The free-to-play business model is something that Jagex has worked for the last ten years, and our flagship game Runescape turns ten years old and remains the biggest Free-to-play MMO in the world. It’s a business model that Jagex is most comfortable with and really trail blazes in the industry.
OnRPG: With Free-to-play, I assume there will be some sort of item mall. What kind of items will be available?
Laura: We haven’t announced the monetization model as such, but the way we like to pitch it is that we are planning to make this game as open to as many players as possible, from hardcore MMO fans to Transformers fans and to people that aren’t necessarily gamers. We want our model to be accessible to all. You can imagine that you could pay a certain amount of money to get an exclusive package, or pay a small amount of money here and there to get a more general package.
OnRPG: What kind of learning curve are we looking at?
Laura: Along the lines of what was previously mentioned, the hardcore MMO fans that want to play to the extreme will have all that, but at the same time, we want to make it nice and accessible for casual players that just want to customize their bot to run around smashing stuff.
OnRPG: So when can we expect a beta test?
Laura: We haven’t announced a date yet, but with the launch date set for 2012, it should be fairly soon.
OnRPG: Personal question time: Autobot or Deception?
Laura: I’m a Decepticon! (laughs) I’m basically evil… I work in PR, after all!