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NYCC 09: DC Universe Online Panel – With Video Interviews

Posted by Luke Brown On February - 17 - 2009

Want to know what you can expect once DC Universe Online hits the PS3 and the PC? Hit the jump to see what the development team, as well as comic icons Jim Lee, Geoff Johns, and Marv Wolfman had to say about the project. We’ve even got video interviews with Jim and Marv, so what’re you waiting for? Hit that jump.

Speaking on behalf of Sony Online Entertainment at the panel were Wes Yanagi, Jens Ansersen, Jared Carr, and Chris Cao. The DC Comic talent joining them on the stage was Jim Lee, Marv Wolfman, and Geoff Johns. The guys wasted no time jumping right into the questioning, which was led by Senior Producer on DCU Online, Wes Yanagi. The look of the game is very much inspired by the ideal version of the DC Universe. “It may not necessarily be the Metropolis you saw on TV, or in a movie,” Lee stated. “But a composite of what all of the different versions mean.” Continuing on about the design aspects, Jared Carr spoke briefly about how when developing a game, unlike comic artists, there’s no individual style; every artist is working on the same designs, and in this case they had to work off of Jim’s. “There were times when I came across characters that I hadn’t drawn before,” Jim added. “So I had to think, ‘What is my take on this character?’.” Both Jim and Jens assured us that each of the characters have a unique look specific to the game, but characters will also be easily recognizable. Lee also mentioned how things that wouldn’t generally be as prominent on a comic page, like Batman’s ears, need to be embellished for a game so they stand out. Things like capes or cowls need to be kept in scale, since you can’t use any of the tricks in comics (foreshortening or forced perspective) to add some visual flair.

Moving down a chair to Geoff Johns, Yanagi asked what it was like to work on a project this huge. “I can’t talk about anything,” Johns chuckled. “That’s why I took the job.” Almost as famous for his secretiveness as he is for his actual comic work, Johns did manage to mention that the game would encompass the entire history of the DCU, but wouldn’t spend so much time on specific storylines. Again, Andersen wanted to reiterate the fact they were shooting for the “ideal universe,” not just a carbon copy of what was happening in the books. Even though there wasn’t much to say about the story process, the recently announced member of the writing team, Marv Wolfman, did relate that the action will stay at the forefront, and that what Geoff had laid the groundwork for will make a really great story. “Geoff’s overview blew me away,” Wolfman added. Yanagi was quick to mention that the end goal they have in mind is just trying to truly immerse players in the universe.

At this point, Yanagi rolled a video showcasing some highlights from the Villain Walkthrough we witnessed earlier in the week. If you’re curious at all what playing as a bad guy is all about, check out our video footage here. As the trailer comes to a close, Lee mentions he doesn’t want to be a “namby pamby. I want to destroy the world.” On that note, Yanagi opened up the panel to questions from the audience.

- Will Atomic Skull make it into the game? We’ve been waiting until Marv’s had a chance to really dig deep into what characters he’ll be using.
- Can we expect cross-platform compatibility? There are plans in the works, but no definitive decision has been made at this time.
- Will the cut scenes be FMV? The Sony team will not be doing any of the cut scenes… and that’s all we can really say at this point.
- Once you pick a class, is that it, or can you dabble with other abilities? The game will not feature a class-based system. You will create your own custom hero/villain out of all sorts of elements and traits.
- What will the pricing be, and will there be a monthly subscription fee? There is no business model at this time.
- What was the hardest part to program? What was the most difficult power to show visually? Telekinetic powers. DCU Online is a physics-based game, and just bringing that into an MMO is difficult enough as it is.
- What will the scope of customization be? You will not see tons of other characters that look like you. You can also change your look throughout your career. If you want to change your costume down the road, you will totally be able to do it.
- Do you have a style guide? Jim Lee [points to his head]: “Right here.”
- If I die in the game how will I come back? “You have to wait a year for the relaunch.” – Lee. The Rally mechanic is in place to solve the player death problem. You will only be knocked out. You won’t ever actually die.
- Power sets? There are plans for different powers, one of their big things is making sure that even though you cant play batman, you can play like batman.
- Will there be light-powered constructs ala Green Lantern? Yeah, but there’ll just be presets. Examples like saw blades and boxing gloves were given.

I think it’s safe to say that I’m looking forward to this game more and more each passing day. Stay tuned to TheQuarterbin for more on DCU Online as it breaks.


1 Response so far
  1. Balram Said,

    This game is gonna kick Champions Online soooooo HARD yh, that they’ll run away from their country n tell the police they’re hypnotising people to play it, lol

    Posted on June 14th, 2009 at 10:00 AM

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