Text by Luke Flora, pages by Stonecold Skywarp.
|The Fairmont Miramar hotel room in which I stayed for
When Dan Suarez tells me that he had to ask some of the employees at Travelerís
Tales to move their action figures to be able to fit devkits on their desks, it
really sinks in how different the upcoming Transformers games are going to be
from typical movie licensed affairs. Now, I had played the games on the available
platforms just before he says this, and I had already interacted with several
extremely enthusiastic Activision employees, but this was (for whatever reason)
the epiphany for me.
In the interest of full disclosure, and just to tell a story, let me relate the
events leading up to this moment. Iíll even tell you about some cool stuff that
happened after that too. If you just want to get to everything I learned about
the games and then my impressions on the parts played on each of the platforms,
skip to page two
|We were close to the famous Santa Monica Pier.
About three weeks ago, the people at Activision who supply us and other Transformers
fansites with official pictures from the game (and who have also supplied us with
the videos that will be going live now or in the very near future) sent our webmaster
an invitation to Los Angeles to have a hands-on experience with the new games
and have a question and answer session with the development team. Unfortunately,
our boss monkey lives in Canada and couldnít get the passport in time, and
Stonecold Skywarp was in a similar situation on the other side of the pond. Being
a person on staff with an intense interest in both videogames and Transformers,
AND being fortunate enough to not need a passport, I volunteered. Actually, I
think I may have made some death threats. The trip, for me, was entirely dependent
on being able to take two days off near the end of my school semester, including
one of the days on which my students would be taking their final exam. Obviously,
I was able to work things out, but knowing about the trip made the last few days
of school even rougher.
|Breakfast. At the heads of the table are PR people from
Step-3 and Activision. Up the left side from the bottom are Joe, Kevin,
Jack, and Rob. Going up the right side are Ian, Adam, Ryan, and Daniel.
Having rambled on like old Kup, Iíll spare you the details of my flight and cut
right to the excitement of arriving in LA for the first time and meeting some
of the bigshots in our Transformers fandom. After arriving and finding the woman
holding the sign for Activision, I was soon joined by Jack from Tformers,
Ryan of Seibertron, and Dan Ross who was not only representing The Allspark,
but the voice of Starscream in the upcoming games. For all the infighting among
the Transformers fandom in the past, all of these guys were really cool and I
had a very pleasant dinner (at 2AM in my timezone) with Jack and Ryan. I feel
bad that we kind of ditched Dan after losing him somehow in the lobby. Sorry about
|The view from my room.
In the morning, waiting in the lobby, I met Joe Moore from TFW2005, Adam Paulauski from
CollectionDX, and newcomer Ian Hamilton of PlanetTransformers.
It was really easy to pick out the people who were there for the Transformers
event, because they would either be wearing something Transformers related or
would have some facial hair. We Transformers fans love us some goatees, let me
tell you. Breakfast had us meeting Kevin Lukis of unicron.com as well as Rob Caminos from
Vicarious Visions, makers of the DS Transformers games. It was fun to share notes
and talk about the fandom and Transformers, and it made me wish Iíd planned to
go to Botcon this year to see these guys again.