EXCLUSIVE: Follow-up with High Moon Senior Creative Director Dave Cravens



So when we interviewed you at Comic-con, you weren’t at liberty to discuss most of the questions we had for you…but after we played the finished product, we didn’t really have a lot of questions. It was a solid, nostalgia-laced experience. Can you tell us a little bit about the primary inspiration for Fall of Cybertron story?

I’m just one of several G1 superfans. I mean, if you were to canvas the studio, most of us are G1 fans at heart. A lot of us are at that age group where we grew up with it…I mean, I remember the first time I saw a Transformer back in grade school. The creativity and the spark…it stems from all of us, not just me and Tieg (Matt Tieger). The drive came from our collective childhoods…and that’s where our hearts are.

As someone who grew up playing with the classic toys, I noticed that in Fall of Cybertron, there’s that distinct “control” feel when you’re driving around the bots in vehicle form…like you can imagine a giant hand moving the toys around an imaginary field. Was that intentional?

That’s funny, because we’ve been hearing that a lot. It’s interesting, because I’m not sure if that was super deliberate on our part, y’know? We wanted a younger audience to appreciate these characters as much as we do, and believe it or not: we go out of the way to not make them look or feel like toys. We want them to be these incredible, autonomous beings that transform…we really look at it like that. But that classic feel you described, it just creeps in. We’ve had a lot of people say “man, it’s like I’m with my toys again…but it’s cooler now, because I’m actually blowing stuff up.”

Cravens’ office was a collector’s paradise…


You brought up in your last interview that you have two kids, and one of the caveats from our review was “if you were born after 1990, you’re going to miss about a third of the throwback nods.” That being said, how did your children like the finished product?

My son made me play through the whole thing with him…and he’s three years old. He can’t play it himself, but man…he was just completely engrossed watching me play it. He couldn’t wait for Grimlock, that was the biggest thing for him…everybody loooooves Grimlock! He was enthralled the entire time, and when we finished it, he wanted to do it all over again. There’s something incredibly universal about Transformers that really speaks to what generation you are, and which characters really appeal to you. My son bought into it every bit as much as I did…maybe even more, and so did my daughter.

If you look at the two things you want as a kid, it’s robots and dinosaurs, right?

(laughs) Exactly!

In the credits, there was just a ton of 70s-80s type of hijinks, from the “Scooby Doo/Benny Hill running through the background” bit to the “Metroplex playing with Megatron and Optimus like they were toys” bit…all underscored by “The Touch” remix. Can you tell us a bit about that?

(laughs) I actually remixed a remix of “The Touch”…yeah, that was me. We wanted another Stan Bush song in there, because War for Cyberton had the song “Until All Are One” in the credits, and the definitive Stan Bush/Transformers song is “The Touch”, right? But it didn’t feel right butted up against the ending of our game.

He said “well, I have three versions of this song: the original, then there was another performance from 2007 and lastly, there was one called ‘Sam’s Theme’.” And I thought “that sounds interesting…let’s hear that one!” It’s a little more dark, but it still wasn’t “The Touch”, right? So I asked Stan “do you mind if I take elements from your original and put it together with ‘Sam’s theme’? I think the fans would dig it, and it fits the mood of the game a little bit better.” So we have that play for 60 seconds, but then we have to bring it back to the original for the end of the credits. It was a fun thing he let us do, and he’s going to be releasing that and another remix we did for him, as a single in a week or so on iTunes! The other version is definitely more in line with the original…we call it the “Power Guitar remix”.



Speaking of the score, we noticed that War for Cybertron was strong and rousing, but Fall of Cybertron took it to another level, with some incredibly stunning, dark orchestral moments. Can we expect a soundtrack anytime soon?

That’s a great question! Honestly, I don’t really know. When we first met with the composer early on, and reinforced that the score has to be memorable, haunting and something that sticks with you. He did such a fantastic job…we honestly couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. I’m not sure if the soundtrack is going to be released on its own…but if you get a fan push behind it, we could probably pull that off.

So up to this point, we’ve heard from everyone as to what their favorite in-game moment was; for us, it was Metroplex crushing Megatron…and that you could KEEP crushing him. What was yours?

I’m glad you liked that part…there were a lot of internal debates about whether or not to keep that sequence in the game. That is absolutely one of the greatest moments in the game. Of course, for me there are several. As a fan, I really liked the Grimlock/Starscream conversation just after the torture sequence, where Starscream’s saying “heyyyy…come work for me…”. Have you ever just let that scene play and not grab Starscream?  There’s just all kinds of fun, witty dialogue in there. Basically, any time there’s a dialogue part with a “push X to interrupt” option, there’s a bunch of good content in there if you just let it play.

But as for “favorite favorite”?  I’d have to choose the whole ending chapter, because it really culminated in an incredibly fun way–getting the chance to play as all of those characters in one level, and the fight between Optimus and Megatron…I felt like it was “just right”. And it felt good…it was a great way to end the game.

What has the fan response been like for the Dinobot DLC pack, because we noticed that the DAY it was released, seemingly every mode and map was crawling with Dinobots…

We don’t have the exact sales numbers yet, but it sounds like elements in the Dinobots DLC is what people have been waiting for. I almost feel like that, in and of itself is a great reason to buy the game…it’s a lot of fun to play as those characters.No other multiplayer game has Dinobots…or even dinosaurs. It would be the first thing I’d do if I bought the game and the pack right away.


Only HOURS after the DLC launched, ere’body was getting their Grimlock on!


From the very beginning cinematics to the roll of the end credits where Prime intones “until all are one”, it felt like a teary-eyed send-off to the franchise. Is this the end? It felt like every “mission” character you play in Fall is a fan favorite…and the whole experience culminates in the final chapter where you get to play as almost everyone! It feels like the greatest send-off that a fan could ask for…so is this the end?

I’ve said it many, many times…and I think everyone would agree: it was always our goal to make THE definitive Transformers game of all time. If you felt that way at the end, then we achieved that….it honestly all comes down to that. Whatever comes next, I’m not going to speak about, but the experience that you just summed up is exactly what we were going for…so that’s all I can say about it. Every game that we do here, we want to make a definitive mark, and it really feels like we’ve done that with Fall of Cybertron. So it’s GREAT that you feel that way! The fans have been so great about it, and people have been responding to it in every way that we had hoped they would. We’re fans ourselves, so it’s amazing to have that camaraderie recognized like that. Could we have done more? Sure…there’s always that thing you wanted to include but couldn’t…and from beginning to end, it is what we set out to do, and I believe we succeeded in that aspect.

Hard to argue with that!




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Author: Mick View all posts by

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