Epic Diaries: High Moon Studios

Epic Diaries: High Moon Studios

By Mark Rein

August 13th 2010 at 8:30AM

Mark Rein looks into the creation of High Moon's two new titles with UE3

High Moon Studios last worked its Hollywood magic with Unreal Engine 3 by introducing Jason Bourne to gamers with The Bourne Conspiracy.

The developer recently shipped another game based on a blockbuster film franchise. But rather than turning a book-to-film property into a game, they worked with Hasbro to add a new chapter to the Transformers story. 

The Transformers: War for Cybertron game is set on the Transformers home planet before the events seen in the recent Paramount Pictures films.

The Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC versions were created using Unreal Engine 3 by a core team of 68 individuals with a support group that totaled 30.

Matt Tieger, game director at High Moon Studios, said having previously shipped The Bourne Conspiracy game on Unreal was a huge advantage, as they were able to hit the ground running from the first day.

“Knowing the pipeline allowed us to work smart and fast,” added Tieger.

“We were also able to iterate on our internal tools for a second game and leverage the work flow speed that has granted us, especially on the art side. We wanted to continue to leverage what we knew and Unreal Engine 3 is a great engine for us to work with for the type of title Transformers: War for Cybertron would become – a third-person action shooter.”

High Moon used Unreal Kismet for all of its design scripting and utilised Unreal Matinee sequences for in-game cut scenes and animation vignettes.

The team also took advantage of the UE3 framework for multiplayer and co-op gaming, and the technology helped with the creation of the game across multiple platforms as well.

The game environments were built to accommodate both the hulking Transformers and their hidden vehicles. High Moon worked with Hasbro and used UE3 to bring the fantastical world of Cybertron to life with destructible environments.

High Moon also introduced a lot of firsts with the new Transformers game. Players can create their own Transformers and take them online for head-to-head multiplayer combat. Four character classes and an array of customisation options can be used online.

Players can also select from a wide variety of weapons, and customise their skills loadout, with the ability to level up characters and gain new upgrades and attributes in a impressively deep, genuinely rewarding multiplayer experience.

“Gamers are in for something special with multiplayer because the strategies and tactics used are familiar and at the same time unique,” said Tieger.

“The foundation of the experience is intuitive controls and gameplay modes, but the tactics change surprisingly when you can transform into a vehicle at a whim.

“The other key aspect of our multiplayer is that there are several distinct classes to choose from, each with strengths and weaknesses, as well as character growth as you level up each class.”

In addition to the online multiplayer combat, High Moon is introducing some superb co-operative gameplay elements. Never before in a Transformers game have fans had an oppotunity to play with their friends in this way.

The new game offers drop-in and drop-out co-op for the entire campaign game, including all the boss fights.
High Moon Studios has used UE3 to assemble the perfect blend of original action combat for one of the most popular brands out there with Transformers: War for Cybertron, allowing fans to explore the home world in an all-new interactive adventure.