Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Developed at Luxoflux
Publisher: Activision
Genre: 3rd Person Action
Platforms: XBox 360, Playstation 3

Released June 23, 2009

My Role: Senior Technical Designer

Game Trailer:



A Battle Against Time

A short time after finishing Kung Fu Panda, Luxoflux was given 1 year to make the Transformers movie game. The race was on, and there was no room for error.

To accomplish the daunting task of finish a game with a plethora of playable characters with varying abilities and a requirement for a variety of missions in 12 months, we decided to create the majority of the single-player missions as a series of bite-sized, time-based challenges that can be replayed for higher scores with different characters.

With the exception of a few of the boss battles, each mission was designed to fit into one of the shared environments representing hot zones around the world. In a sense, it was similar to designing the generic city crimes from the True Crime series, as each environment support multiple gameplay types.

My experience from True Crime taught me that creating and sharing reusable gameplay components was a great way to keep the game debuggable, so as senior technical designer I created many of the shared gameplay modules that were used for various mission functions, and a standard framework from which to hook major mission functions, including HUD, voice-overs, music, and mission logic.

The key to creating effective reusable modules was defining clear inputs, outputs, and data that needs to be filled in and/or placed spatially, and to push the data proxy system of our engine as far as it can go so if modules change, the levels can get the changes with minimal work.

That's ONE BIG FREAKIN' ROBOT! (Made Up of Lesser Giant Robots)....

In addition to laying down the groundwork for many of the regular campagin missions, I was also given the opportunity to design and script some highlight levels in the game. My favorite level to design and script was the Devastator Battle in the Autobot campaign.

There were so many ideas I wanted to explore, but the reality was we only had about 2 months to do this highlight level. On top of that, the other departments were really impacted at this point, and so I had to make a cool boss battle with mostly features that were already in the game. This level was my "Taco Bell Philosophy of Game Design" in action: Make tasty gameplay with the set of ingredients before you by putting them together in interesting ways.

What we wound up with was a memorable fight vs. one of the biggest Combiner Decepticons ever featured in a game.

But, if you look behind the curtain, this boss was created simply using the existing technology of a scaled up character with missile launchers, flak cannons, and kill boxes attached to it and following a very simple path (literally just "walking around the block") with some destructible objects intentional placed in its path for it to stomp over. I put a lot of attention was put in to making Devastator's attacks dangerous but fair, and to design the environment so the player has places hide and rooftops to shoot from. Later in the process, I added some minions to give the player something else to deal with and also to give the player a chance to fill up the Overdrive meter and use Overdrive to momentarily up his character's firepower.

I hope the fans of this behemoth Decepticon were happy with the results.


Projects                   Gallery                   Résumé


©Richard Yeh