It’s been fascinating to watch the MMO scene evolving over the past couple of years, and seeing the various players stepping away from traditional models. Now it seems to be Cryptic’s turn. After City Of Heroes, Champions and Star Trek, they are now looking at creating something a little different: Neverwinter, a D&D game that appeals to both the adventurer and the Dungeon Master, relying as it does on an amalgam of Cryptic’s own content and user-generated dungeons for its ongoing adventures. Cryptic’s bossman Jack Emmert has already spoken in interviews about how he felt that Champions and Star Trek lacked polish, and in this interview he speaks about what that realisation means for Neverwinter, and why this game represents a new era for the company that originally set out to make MMOs.
Posts Tagged ‘jack-emmert’
If any single figure’s connected in the public mind with Cryptic games, it’s its oft-outspoken Chief Creative Officer, Jack Emmert. While he was particularly busy showing off his new child to anyone in the buliding, we managed to grab him to talk about the interface between online MMOs and Pen and Paper games, the biggest challenges of Champions and the sacred cow of MMO design that’s next for the slaughterhouse.
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Los Gatos is the Beverly Hills of The San Francisco satellites. It’s not just home of people who really fancy a posh ZIP code, however. It’s also Cryptic Studios’ base. The veterans of the City of Heroes games are giving their first, real public showing of now-to-be-2K-distributed Champions to a selected band of gentlemen of the press. For some reason, I was invited. Spooks.
Since I’ve interviewed anyone who didn’t actively run away from me, I’ve a whole week of content to amuse you. But let’s start a little more general than that. Here’s an Jack Emmert and John Needham quote-packed overview of their action-influenced take on the MMO game, Cryptic’s love of the Champions pen-and-paper RPG, the tranquil-yet-troublesome expanse of Monster Island and what they have planned after Champions…
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[I was rooting around my hard-drive, trying to find the Freedom Force post-mortem which I swear to God I wrote, and I hit on something else similarly spandex-clad. The interview was done with Jack Emmert towards the end of 2004, so bear that in mind for some of the comments made.]
City of Heroes was the surprise Massively-Multiplayer game hit of the year. Yes, World of Warcraft dominated… but the surprise wasn’t that it was a success, but the sheer scale of it. For a game to come from a team no-one had heard of, about a topic that had oft seemed commercially unviable, and to quietly revolutionise the genre with a stripped-down action-RPG… well, that’s a twist ending. No-one saw this one coming, True Believer.
We take a few minutes to secure an audience with the public face of City of Heroes, at publisher NCSoft’s recent European launch. He’s the Statesman, the defender of truth, justice and reasonable ping. But no-one’s seen him in the same room at the time with mild-mannered Lead Designer Jack Emmert. Could these two figures be connected?