We have asked a few questions to members of our development team so fans can get a better look at who the people really are that work here at the studio and to get a little bit of how they got into the game industry.
Today we interviewed the Lead Producer at High Moon Studios, Chuck Yager.
What is the most exciting part about your job?
Being in charge of Production allows me to interface with nearly every member on the team on a regular basis. Not only do I set the schedule for work to be done and manage the communication between the publishing side of production and our development studio, but I get the benefit of working side by side with truly passionate and dedicated gamers every day. Watching the process evolve and guiding our workflow from preproduction to production and beyond is a reward in and of itself. As the leader of the production team for Fall of Cybertron, I don’t contribute the world geometry, textures, sounds, code, or animations that people experience when they play the game, but I do ensure it gets done in the time we need it to, that it’s on budget, and that people have the resources necessary to do their jobs effectively. When that product is on the shelf at the end of the day, I am proud to know that I was a part of getting it there.
Working on Fall of Cybertron, what was most challenging for you?
Being the person to create and manage the schedule also means you need to be the face for when things might need to be cut or scaled back to allow for enough polish time and resources to get the game finished at a high quality. The hardest part of any schedule is adhering to it; ultimately we (as developers and creatives) always want more time to explore and add elements to any game we work on. Fall of Cybertron was no different, but in the end the team made great choices early on that allowed us to fulfill nearly all our wishes for the game. The challenge for me was making sure that we made hard decisions early enough that we could spend the time polishing what we elected to do in the end and I know that paid off in the final product you play.
What is your favorite part of the game personally?
I am huge fan of Escalation mode. I love playing co-op games with my friends. Furthermore, I am a fan of this mode because it lets me play the iconic characters in the Transformers universe and allows me to fulfill a role during the matches, which adds a sublevel of enjoyment for me as I swap from being a healer, to an ammo replenisher, to a guardian at the gate with my sentry. Plus it’s fun to be the last one standing in a match and trying desperately to get to my friends and revive them before they explode! J
How did you break into the game industry and what advice would you have for someone who wants to get in?
I was running the mail room of a company called Mindscape back in the mid 90s. I was finishing up college and was about to embark into my career (Criminal Justice and Business) when a position opened up for a Assistant Producer on a Dungeons and Dragons title at SSI (another developer that I knew quite well, being a huge RPG fan). SSI had just been acquired by Mindscape and so they literally moved into the building where I worked. I jumped at the chance to apply and after several interviews was blessed enough to get the job. Over the next 2 years I worked up to Producer before releasing my first title. While most people in production start in QA, I didn’t take that road and was honestly pretty lucky (right time, right place, right set of skills). However, over my 13 years of being in production, I can tell you three things I think help anyone trying to get into the industry: be persistent in your search (don’t let a couple of Nos turn you away – there’s always someone willing to give you a shot if you keep looking); show a good work ethic (get good references from people you have worked with before – there’s a lot of hard work needed in game development and having a strong work ethic will help you stand out); be passionate about what you do (nothing shines more than a person who has studied his or her craft and demonstrates that knowledge regularly – you don’t have to be an expert on your chosen field from the start, but you should endeavor to do your best at every turn).
Although Deadpool has now forced his way into being acting president of High Moon Studios, the North County Times was able to get great interview with High Moon Studios’ president Peter Della Penna.
Not only do they talk about Transformers: Fall of Cybertron in this article but also touches base on the game industry as a whole and take a small look back on what has happened in the past to get a good glimpse of what is to come for High Moon Studios.
We mainly focused on abilities and weapons with our first update, and we're happy with how those changes turned out. We've had enough time to gather data about the weapon and ability upgrades, and it was clear some changes could improve the parity in these choices. So, the focus in this update is to make the upgrade choices better balanced.
Energon Recharger - There was more energon recharger camping going on than we would like. So, the duration of the effect has been cut and half, and speed of healing has been slightly reduced.
Ultra-Power Core - Was 20% damage increase, now 30%. Perhaps this will be a more alluring counter to the recharger.
Nucleon Charge Rifle – Although it does require considerable skill to use it well, this is actually the most powerful weapon in the game currently. So, we're going to try doubling the charge time.
Deadeye - Cuts charge time in half instead of a third.
Scatter Blaster - 10% increase in fire interval.
Sonic Blast - Used to increase fire interval 25%, now only 15%. Combined with the base fire interval boost, its almost the same.
Fireblast - Previous buff wasn't enough, so fire damage per shot is being increased again from 40 to 60.
Shotgun Ion Cartridge - Used to be 4 extra shots per clip, now 6.
Magma Dampener - Used to be a 60% reduction in cooldown, now only 35% reduction.
Hyper Interlink - Used to be 1.5x reload speed, now 2x.
Cyber Optics - Used to be 35% less spread, now 25% less spread.
Cloak Intercooler - Used to change refill time from 14 to 7 seconds , now only 14 to 10.
EMP Intercooler - Used to go from 15 to 10, now is 15 to 8.5.
Neutron Assault Rifle - 10% boost to damage.
Ion Cartridge - Instead of 14 extra bullets per clip, its now 20.
Gear Shredder - Another small boost to homing, much smaller than last time.
A4 Pulsar Cannon
Ion Cartridge - Used to give 2 extra shots per, now gives 3.
Ion Cartridge - Used to give 3 extra shots, now gives 4.
Thermo Rocket Cannon
Hyper Interlink - Was 50% faster reload, now 35%
Amplifier Pak - Used to give 6 extra shots, now 10
Aerial Clamper - You now regenerate ability resource if you stop moving.
Ensnare - Used to last 3 seconds, now 2.
Energon Harvester - Was 17 damage per pellet, now 15.
X18 Scrapmaker - Increase spread 20 percent.
Cyber Optics - Was 65% spread, now 75%.
Ion Cartridge - was 50 extra bullets, now 100.
Dropshot - Windup time further reduced.
EDK Techvolt - Another small damage increase, 140 per second to 150.
Ion Cartridge - was 30 extra ammo per clip, now 50.
Corrosive Slime Cannon - 15% increase in goo radius.
Corrosion Accelerant - This used to double the duration, now it 2.5x it.
Sonic Blast - Used to be 66% increase in fire interval, now 33%.
Brute Force - Was 50% damage taken, now 70% damage taken.
We just got word that transformers are fighting in the streets! Check out the new http://transformersonyourstreet.com/ site, where you can type in your address and see Grimlock and Shockwave fight it out on your street!
Here is a breakdown of the three DLC packs, all of which are available for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.
AVAILABLE NOW –Dinobot Destructor Pack – includes the following multiplayer characters, which includes their full body + individual body parts for use in the multiplayer character creator.
AVAILABLE NOW – Multiplayer Havoc Pack – includes the following multiplayer characters, which includes their full body + individual body parts for use in the multiplayer character creator.
AVAILABLE SEPT. 25 –Massive Fury Pack – includes the following multiplayer characters, which includes their full body + individual body parts for use in the multiplayer character creator. Also includes the following single-player campaign items.
KICKBACK (Flying Insecticon)
SHARPSHOT (Flying Insecticon)
HARDSHELL (Beetle Tank Insecticon)
G1 RETRO OPTIMUS PRIME
Single-Player campaign items:
G2 BRUTICUS (character skin)
G1 SHOCKWAVE BLAST CANNON (weapon)
G1 MEGATRON PISTOL GUN (weapon)
The price for each pack is 800 Microsoft points or $9.99 for PlayStation and PC gamers.
We at High Moon Studios want to thank all of you so much for playing our demo. We have had millions of players download and try our game. The Feedback we received from fans was amazing and very helpful in making the final product shine.
Now with the full game having been released for a few weeks, we have shut down the demo beta servers. While the single player content is still playable, you will no longer be able to access the multiplayer via the demo. We hope all of you will join online in the full Fall of Cybertron game.
High Moon Studios again thanks you for playing. The Full version of Transformers: Fall of Cybertron is available now in stores everywhere!
Now that fans have experienced the epic single-player campaigns and multiplayer modes of TRANSFORMERS: FALL OF CYBERTRON, we wanted to let you know that the team at High Moon Studios listened to fans and have been hard at work on exciting downloadable content to support the growing Fall of Cybertron community.
We are thrilled to announce that the legendary DINOBOTS will be playable in online multiplayer modes with the “Dinobot Destructor Pack,” set to launch next week for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.
The DLC pack will include the following characters, which includes their full body + individual body parts for use in the multiplayer character creator.
See attached images for renders and screenshots.
The TRANSFORMERS: FALL OF CYBERTRON “Dinobot Destructor Pack” will launch on September 11th
The Havoc Pack features 5 new playable multiplayer characters, plus all of their parts. The new body parts can be interchanged with all the Transformers in that class, adding to the millions of combinations that can be created. All parts can also be bought individually for those who wish to have a few select parts from the Havoc Pack.
The Havoc Pack can be bought in game from the character selection screen or by using that specific system's store directly. Purchased DLC will be immediately added to the multiplayer character selection for fast and easy access. Don't miss out on being Ultra Magnus, Wheeljack and others or just using their parts to make even more unique Transformers.