Interview: Cuz Parry, Creative Director of "Transformers: Forged to Fight"
Kabam Studios Visit: Cuz Parry Interview (May 30, 2017)
I first spoke with Kabam's Creative Director Cuz Parry back in December 2016 when "Forged to Fight" was beginning to make the social media rounds. Later we would meet again at Toy Fair 2017. Aside from a lot of facts and information about "Forged to Fight" itself, the biggest impression I walked away with was that the creative side of this game is firmly in the hands of a Transformers fan.
As the Transformers franchise has matured over the years, so has some of the audience. Fans who were kids when they first found their love for the Robots in Disguise are now adults working professionals and that has offered the chance for fans to actually participate in the creation of Transformers product. Cuz is an example of a fan who can talk toys, generations, characters all while keeping an eye on what will make "Forged to Fight" a success.
Developing the story behind "Forged to Fight" was a challenge and it had to happen at the very beginning of the game's development. Fortunately, the Transformers brand was a comfortable fit for Kabam. "We were lucky that we found that the robots lend themselves to it." Parry explains "Everybody’s got a range to attack, necessitates sideways movement in the transformation we got it.". "Forged to Fight" aspires to tell a story while offering action, and Kabam's vision determined the game's direction early on. Says Parry "We needed a fighting game structure which is choose your favorite hero. It’s like Smash Brothers. Bring them in. They fight. Then you put a wrap around it.What we knew was unique about us, one of the things that we were pretty adamant about in talking with Hasbro was we wanted...the generations, as many different types we’ve been talking about from the different eras – whatever you want to call them – the different realities."
Having characters from different eras and universes was a conscious decision to help "Forged to Fight" distinguish itself from other Transformers games. "So we’re like, 'What makes us unique?'," Parry says "Then that means we needed a wrapper." Of course, Hasbro had to buy into that wrapper. "They have pretty strong feelings about certain things. One: factions. In a traditional Transformers game, you choose your faction right away. You don’t cross over, or you play a chapter and then a chapter there. You choose. We’re like, 'No, they all got to be on the same team.'".
Still, in time Kabam and Hasbro managed to come to a happy medium for the story. This largely involved the use of Quintessons as the factor that would bring the various characters to one planet. According to Parry "With Marvel, we just said, 'It’s a contest in space.' Then that was like, 'Okay.' But for Transformers, it was going to be harder...Because the character, Optimus, like, 'Hey, we’re having a contest. Do you want to come out in the contest?' Megatron...'No.' It was different. Some cosmic entity is controlling you guys in a contest. It’s a little different.".
While the story now centers around a Quintesson plot, the original story concept felt a bit more like "Transformers Universe" from the early 2000's. "It would’ve been more unicronic. It was more like time. More about the Cronus sort of thing...and they’ve got space bridge technology. We used [Dark Energon] from Prime. We’re like, 'Wow, that [would] corrupt everybody. Oh, okay. If we use that mixed with space bridge...the original creators could’ve possibly gone and figured out different realities and pulling them in."
While Kabam develops stories and characters months ahead of release, at this point it is not towards an end. The game is young and when I visited Kabam in May everyone was very hopeful it would have a long life. On Parry's part, he hopes to keep the story going for quite some time. "Unraveling that because it’s one of those things that’s got to be… It’s like a comic. It’s got to be an evergreen story. There’s no end."
Ben's World of Transformers would like to thank Cuz Parry for taking time out of his very busy day to sit down for this interview.
TRANSFORMERS: Forged to Fight is a new high-definition, action-fighting RPG mobile game developed by Kabam and Hasbro. For the first time ever, Transformers fans and mobile gamers everywhere will be able to build their Transformers team and battle with the most iconic Autobots and Decepticons from nearly every era of the storied franchise’s 30-plus year history.
The game features authentic Transformers action set in a stunning 3D environment, challenging players to assemble the ultimate team of Autobots and Decepticons, including fan-favorite bots from previous and current animated Transformers TV series, Paramount’s blockbuster films, Transformers comic books and Hasbro's line of iconic action figures. As fans assemble their team, they will forge alliances, battle other players and dive into a unique storyline that goes beyond good versus evil.
Download Transformers: Forged to Fight Today! http://www.bit.ly/PlayTransformersFTF