Cuz: Early on in development, Hasbro shared that Hot Rod was rocking a new “Time Bubble” cannon. Tell us a) were you pumped on this b) how you created the effect and c) how would things be different if it was a “Time Bubble” chainsaw as some fans had predicted?
Nick: I was absolutely pumped about Hot Rod’s “Time Bubble”. It’s an effect that really shines on the higher end devices (to witness all of the bells and whistles).
For this effect I needed to communicate that not only the character was in suspended animation, but that reality itself was suspended. I started with a sphere as my bubble shape to encompass the character and then added a warp ripple that distorts the entire game view as it flows along the bubble shape. I then added some lightning that flows along the sphere which also gets distorted by the warp. This helps to break up the sphere shape by giving the appearance of flowing energy waves. I then added some lighting bolts that shoot outside of the sphere to show that the energy can hardly be contained within the time bubble. Lastly there is a soft outer blue glow to enhance the sphere shape and some tiny dust specs on the outer edges. These last two additions help give the sphere a real “space/time” bubble look. I was really happy with the final look.
A time bubble chainsaw could also have been cool! I would have added lots of grinding sparks and energon sprays for the chainsaw.
Cuz: Tangent time, bear with me. Piero, your name means “clown” in French. And, some have said Hot Rod’s French accent in Last Knight bordered on being clownish. You must have been psyched. Did you try to incorporate clown skills or attributes into Hot Rod’s design? Does he have any rad seltzer bottle or pie in the face skills?
Piero: Nothing clown-ish in Hot Rod’s ability design! He is definitely one of the strongest damage dealers in the game with the help of his Time Bubble Gun. Hot Rod is able to “Decelerate” opponents when hitting with his Ranged Attacks. This supports all the other abilities in his kit.
Ranged -> Dash -> Melee Hitting opponents is his specialty since he gains Critical Rate Buffs when punching opponents. Using a Heavy Attack at the end of a combo is going to have a high chance to inflict a Critical Hit and Stun opponents.
Cuz: In the movie, Hot Rod spends some time speaking with a suspect French accent, perhaps to amuse or confuse his fellow Autobots. Is there any chance we get a sweet confusion or amusement attribute? If not, then how about telling what mod works best with him.
Piero: Hot Rod’s Signature Ability “Acceleration” will allow him to get Power really, really fast. Because of this increased Power Rate, he will be extremely effective on modules that provide even extra Power like the “ Robot Resources”, and the Superconductors.
Moreover, Hot Rod’s Deceleration Debuff activates when he hits with his Ranged Attacks, a module that will help with that will be the Laser Guidance module. The laser Guidance module increases the defender’s Projectile Speed, making it harder for opponents to Sidestep it.
Cuz: I’ve gotta start with the Hotness. In HR’s special 1 move he exhibits serious breakdancing skills. Hand on ground, spin, kick, twisting kicks inverted in the air…we’re talking Electric Boogaloo stuff. So, who inspired you more…Ozone or Turbo?
Louie: I was aiming for a combination of smooth, smooth, smooth with a finish of power. So I think Turbo, haha.
Cuz: Cool, but maybe next time you could have him throw down some cardboard so he doesn’t scuff up his paint job. Onwards. Having seen the movie now, it seems he could have a new ranged attack. Were you tempted to have him transform into car mode, haul ass at opponent, then transform and eject a human projectile like he did the woman in the movie? If not, what was your focus for making Hot Rod stand out?
Louie: Haha, that’s right. This is a completely new and different version of Hot Rod that no one on the team was familiar with. Coming up with the fighting style for this Hot Rod was very challenging, even after deploying our Kabam ninjas for something juicy. We were able to get a hint but still required a lot of back and forth within the character team. The team did agree on making Hot Rod a very gymnastic style ninja where he was doing a lot of handstand and aerial attacks. We really wanted to make him different from his brother in arms Bumblebee. Hope we were able to capture that for our game.