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'Q&A with 'Bee Movie Game' producer

October 24, 2007

By John Powell - G4 Canada

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It took New York comedian Jerry Seinfeld four long years to bring his cinematic labour of love - 'Bee Movie' - to the Big Screen. Due out in theatres November 2nd, the DreamWorks animated film follows the adventures of a rebellious bee, Barry B. Benson, who dares to be different. Before the movie flies into theatres though, fans can live out Barry's fun-filled exploits on their gaming consoles as the game hits stores on October 30th.

Canada sat down with the game's associate producer and Activision's busy bee, Matt Hunt, to find out what all the buzz is about.

Bee Movie: The Game Interview

John Powell: Do you incorporate any scenes from the movie? Will children be able to play out their favourite moments?

Matt Hunt: Bee Movie Game follows the film very closely; all of the key action scenes from the movie are in the game and allow you to play out all of Barry’s most exciting moments. Beyond the movie though, the game features addictive multi-player mini-games, compelling side-quests, plus a wide variety of never-before-seen content co-created by DreamWorks Animation and Activision exclusively for the game.

John Powell: Which characters can you play as?

Matt Hunt: You play as the main character, Barry B. Benson, throughout the game.

John Powell: Like the movie, are there any appearances by other DreamWorks characters in the game?

Matt Hunt: Bee Movie Game focuses on all of the interesting and new characters that Jerry Seinfeld has created for the movie.

John Powell: Can you tell us how the ability to stop time and the “buzz” comes into play and how it is worked into the game?

Matt Hunt: Well, if you’ve ever seen a bee flying about, you know how fast they can move…we’ve incorporated that into the gameplay as “bee reflexes.” Basically, for a brief period, you can slow down time to help you achieve your goals, whether that’s dodging the swats of a threatening bee keeper or zooming around individual rain drops.

Bee Movie: The Game Interview: Driving on the curveJohn Powell: What kind of mini-games or achievements are included?

Matt Hunt: Bee Movie Game is filled with achievements for everything from the basic - completing levels, defeating bosses - to the more difficult - completing entire levels without taking any damage. There are dozens to find and unlock.

As for mini-games, New Hive City is filled with them. There are racing games, delivery games, old-school-style arcade games, taxi games, and a bunch of very unique experiences in Honex as you help the Hive produce the honey they’re famous for. And the best part is all of these mini-games can be played with a friend in offline multiplayer as well.

John Powell: How do the different formats (360, DS...etc) vary in presentation and gameplay?

Matt Hunt: Well, the Xbox 360, PS2 and PC versions are nearly identical to each other, allowing for differences in hardware. The Wii version parallels the other consoles very closely, but with a lot of the gameplay
mechanics, mini-games especially, reworked to take advantage of the Wii’s unique controllers. We’ve even introduced some Wii-specific mini-games to really take advantage of how fun the controls are.

John Powell: Are there any circumstances or levels which are not in the movie but you specially designed for the game?

Matt Hunt: There are a number of levels in the game where we expanded upon the movie’s storyline giving the player the chance to see and experience some of the events only hinted at in the movie’s script.

John Powell: What part of the development of the game are you most proud of?

Bee Movie: The Game Interview:  Run!  It's a human!Matt Hunt: Well, I can’t take credit for it personally, but I’m most proud of how phenomenal Bee Movie Game looks. It’s the closest that any video game, based on an animated film, has ever come to matching the quality and style of the actual movie. The credit for this really has to go to the developer Beenox, who have just done an amazing job and to Dreamworks for being willing to work very closely with Beenox to make sure the game matches the quality standards of the movie.

John Powell: Does multi-player and Xbox Live factor into the title?

Matt Hunt: As I noted before, all of the mini-games in Bee Movie Game can be played either single-player or multi-player with a friend offline. We also have online leaderboards so you can track your high scores on the arcade games and compare them with your friends.

John Powell: Can you give us more details about the Generation Hex Arcade?

Matt Hunt: Generation Hex Arcade is a place for busy bees to relax and unwind with some old-school style arcade gaming. As you progress through the game, the various arcade games will unlock for purchasing with your nectar drops, and once unlocked you’ll be treated to some classic arcade gaming.

John Powell: Are there collectables in the game or special rewards?

Matt Hunt: Aside from the achievements for the Xbox 360 version, all of the versions have badges that are awarded for accomplishing goals, and in every level there are a huge number of collectibles and hidden items that reward you for finding them.

 
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G4 Canada (formerly TechTV Canada) launched in September 2001. G4 is the one and only television station that is plugged into every dimension of games, gear, gadgets and gigabytes. Owned Rogers Media Inc., the channel airs more than 24 original series. G4 is available on digital cable and satellite. For more information, see www.g4tv.ca.