Ten Ton Hammer: Since
style="font-style: italic;">Star Trek and
style="font-style: italic;">Champions are so
far along, is Atari really just keeping their hands-off at this point?
Are they just being more supportive in helping you get these two
products out the door?
Could we see another D&D game in the near future?
think they have made it very clear that whatever support we need to
make the best games we can, we’ll get. That goes for
resources, that goes for man power…whatever we need. Atari
has, under no circumstances, made it clear that they don’t
want to come in and take over. They’re buying us because we
make MMOs. They’re not buying us so they can prove that they
can make MMOs.
Ten Ton Hammer: Will style="font-style: italic;"> Champions Online still
be published by 2K Games?
can’t really comment one way or another on that at this
Ten Ton Hammer: Will this
deal affect the release timeline for style="font-style: italic;">Champions Online?
We’re still targeting the same period of time –
spring of 2009 – and everything is going extremely well.
I’m very, very happy with the progress we’ve made
I can also tell you that we’re doing things a little bit
differently in Champions than what we did in CoH and CoV. One thing
that we did, that I think is pretty cool, is that essentially the game
is going to be done by the end of the year. Then what we’re
going to do from January to the first quarter of next year is put in
features, polish and suggestions that players have made in the beta.
We’re completely focusing on trying to improve the game as
much as we can based on the feedback of the actual players.
And we’ve always had it scheduled out like that.
It’s not like we’re grinding like mad to get all
the content done. We want to have everything done by the end of the
year then make that content even better. Add to it. Whatever
we’re missing, we want to try and get in because whatever the
fans think we’re missing we want to try and put it in.
We had a meeting with Bill Roper, the executive producer, Chris Lena,
the producer, and Randy Mosiondz, the lead designer, and we
all made a list of every single comment in the beta boards. These were
the observations that people had made; then we ranked how important
they were based on the number of people that said it and the
persuasiveness of the argument. Then we asked ourselves how we could
address their concern and started scheduling out our resources to
address their issue.
I think the fans will be thrilled to know how much we’re
trying to make sure that we’re making the best super hero MMO
that we can.
Ten Ton Hammer: So these
aren’t ground-breaking changes, it’s just throwing
in a tweak here or an addition there?
We’re doing that, but we’re also trying to add some
new technology into the game. Sometimes a person might ask for a
feature, but we’re already putting something like that into style="font-style: italic;"> Star Trek Online.
Those sort of additions are really easy to put in because
we’re using the same code base and so we can enhance
Champions much quicker than you might otherwise think.
Ten Ton Hammer: Speaking
of speed, how long have you been working on Champions Online?
What’s the official time now, because I heard that style="font-style: italic;">Champions Online may
be one of the fastest MMOs ever to be developed by a company.
could be! We started in August of 2007 and we’re planning to
release in Spring 2009. It has been a very quick development cycle.
Ten Ton Hammer: Might we
see Cryptic undertaking MMOGs for some of the larger IPs that Atari
owns? Maybe a D&D: Forgotten Realms, Dragon Ball Z, The Witcher
or Alone in the Dark MMO or something like that?
There's nothing that Jack Emmert loves more than a good comic book.
Anything is possible! Nothing is set in stone, but those are definitely
possibilities. Being part of Atari, it would be a matter of sitting
down and strategically choosing what the best use of resources and
technology are. But nothing is off the table.
Ten Ton Hammer: Is there
anything that you’re personally excited about in the Atari IP
yeah. Atari has – as you already mentioned – the
D&D brand, which is one of my true loves. First on that list
would be comic books, but second would be hobby games, among which
D&D is one of. Obviously that would be absolutely phenomenal.
Number three would be giant monsters, but I’m not sure how
that fits in.
Ten Ton Hammer: Atari has
released a couple Godzilla games…
did two Godzilla fighting games, in fact. I have them both.
Ten Ton Hammer: Godzilla
MMO! You can make your own Mothra!
Believe me, if I could, I would.
Let me tell you, I’m a real aficionado. I can tell you
exactly what type of game needs to be made, but nobody ever does it.
The Godzilla fighting game is really cool, but I think a better
direction would be Crush,
Crumble, Chomp, which was a great game that I played on my
Commodore 64 way back when.
Really, I’m just tickled pink. I’m going to go buy
Ten Ton Hammer: A Prowler?
Jack: Yup, I
just called the dealer today. It’s not a super-expensive car,
but I’ve always loved ‘em. It’s the
closest thing to a super hero car that I could get. They stopped making
them in 2002.
Ten Ton Hammer: Color?
It’s candy apple red. Today’s an awesome day!
Ten Ton Hammer: Is there
anything else you’d like to tell Ten Ton Hammer readers and
Cryptic fans? Champions fans? STO fans?
Jack: Go to
our websites and register. The most important thing for everyone out
there reading this article is to know that we listen. We listen and we
respond. If you have any questions and concerns, go on our forums and
post them. We will do our best to let everyone know what is going on,
not just about our acquisition but about our games too.
To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Star Trek Online Game Page.