NYCC 2009 Recap

As you've probably noticed, we had quite the adventure in New York last week during the 2009 Comic Con. Now that our coverage is complete we wanted to give everyone a recap just in case you missed anything.

Champions Online: Welcome to Monster Island - We met with Champions Online Design Director Bill Roper to get the inside scoop on Champions Online. We weren't exactly thrilled with what we saw, but there is plenty of room for improvement.

Star Trek Online: Live Long and Prosper - Even though we've already talked with Executive Producer Craig Zinkievich about Star Trek Online, we covered new ground at NYCC. We still haven't played the game, but from what we've seen, we're excited.

Jumpgate Evolution: Jumpgate Innovation - It's been a long time since we've seen an MMO with such a fresh, unexplored concept. Many will argue JGE offers nothing new, but we think differently.

DC Universe Online: Prepare to Fight - DCUO continues to be the most impressive game at conventions. Everytime we see the game we fall a little more in love. With the addition of legendary comic writer Marv Wolfman, can this game fail?

NYCC: Magic: The Gathering Has Many Online Options

When most people think of an MMORPG, they picture a character running through a virtual world, slaying monsters for experience and loot. However, those first three letters stand for Massively Multiplayer Online, and that description covers a wide variety of games in this day and age, including Magic: The Gathering. While gamers have been playing Magic: The Gathering Online, the competitive PC version of the popular Wizards of the Coast trading card game, since 2002, we got a first-hand look at the company’s newest online version of the TCG at the New York Comic Con. Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers will be coming exclusively to Xbox Live Arcade this spring and will serve as a perfect starting point for new players, as well as a refresher for old players looking to return.

NYCC: Welcome to Monster Island

The New York Comic Con was, as one would expect, overflowing with comic book fans, making it the ideal place to show off Champions Online. There was even a live-action Defender walking around the booth, enticing people to come take a look at the gameplay demo. We got the chance to speak with Design Director Bill Roper about numerous topics, from character customization to the creative nemesis system. And while I was highly impressed with numerous aspects of the game, such as the physics system that will lend itself to some interesting quests, the somewhat repetitive nature of the Monster Island demo didn't completely pull me in to the world or show off all the game has to offer. Regardless, Cryptic is obviously listening to its fans in beta, as shown through a recent UI revamp to make character creation less confusing, so hopefully the game will be a polished machine for launch.

NYCC: Live Long and Prosper

Admittedly I haven't always been a Star Trek fan. To that extent, I've only begun to explore the Star Trek final frontier in the last eight months. I find it amusing that something as non-direct as Cryptic licensing an intellectual property could actually introduce me to a new lifestyle. What's more, a lifestyle I’ve always been out of the loop about from within my circle of friends. I love Star Trek, but the biggest question I continue to ask myself is, "Will I love Star Trek Online?"

Sitting down with Craig Zinkievich at New York Comic Con, was a genuine pleasure. Even though we had spoken with Craig back in October, there was a lot of new, exciting stuff to go over; namely the character customization that was shown in a trailer at the Con, as well as the differentiation between space and ground combat. For the sake of structure, I'm going to start with character customization.

NYCC: Choppa, Slayer Prepare for War

As people walked toward the crowded Warhammer Online booth at the New York Comic Con, the only words that could be heard out of their mouths were Slayer and Choppa. The excitement surrounding these two new classes was certainly noticeable at the convention, and with good cause. They both look like fun, simple damage-dealers that can break into the frontlines in battle with incredible force. Associate Art Director Adam Gershowitz showed us the two classes and talked with us about the Call to Arms live expansion and the massive Patch 1.2, and Warhammer fans have a lot to look forward to in the coming months.

Gershowitz started out by explaining the Orc Choppa and Dwarf Slayer shown at the convention were in-development alpha versions that were literally being worked on by developers at the same time. Test versions will be available for players in the coming weeks so you’ll be able to get a first-hand look at these classes very soon. For those of you who would rather just wait for the official launch of the characters, Gershowitz said they will be introduced in the Bitter Rivals live event, which should kick off either at the end of this month or the beginning of March.

NYCC: Interview with Marv Wolfman on DCUO

Earlier in the week Sony Online Entertainment announced that famed comic book writer Marv Wolfman was joining the DC Universe Online team as the third major talent from the comic book industry. Fortunately for you, we were in New York for Comic Con and had the chance to ambush an unsuspecting Marv, talking him into sitting down with us and even answering a few questions. During the interview we discovered how much of a gamer Marv really is. Calico Vision for the win my friends!

Tamat : To start, welcome to the DCUO team. It's a cool project to be on, I'm sure.

Marv Wolfman : Yeah, I've been waiting for it to happen, because I've known about it for a while. But, now it's finally at the stage that I can come in.

Togikagi : To start off, how long ago were you approached with this?

NYCC: Threat of Peace

As Knights of the Old Republic fans know, BioWare has always done an amazing job of telling unique stories that embody the Star Wars Universe. Star Wars: The Old Republic, a new MMO in development by BioWare Austin, is likely to keep that traditional method of storytelling, but the team has decided to try something new: a web comic series that will build the lore leading up to where the game starts.

BioWare writer Rob Chestney is working with Dark Horse Comics to create this bi-monthly, three-page treasure that will find its way to the game's official website later this month. We sat down with Rob at New York Comic Con to talk with him about the overall purpose and direction of the comic titled "Threat of Peace." It's important to note that famed editor Dave Marshall and seasoned artist Alex Sanchez will be joining Rob to give fans exactly what they've been waiting for, which is a deeper look into The Old Republic.

NYCC: DCUO Panel Answers Fans' Questions

The DC Universe Online team held a panel on Saturday at the New York Comic Con to discuss the game with fans and introduce legendary comic writer Marv Wolfman to the fold. Wes Yanagi, the senior producer for DCUO, welcomed the members of the panel before jumping into questions. As Yanagi pointed out, DCUO executive creative director and famed artist Jim Lee, writer Geoff Johns and Wolfman needed no introduction for the crowd of comic book fans. Creative Director Jens Andersen, Art Director Jared Carr and Studio Creative Director Chris Cao filled out the table to answer numerous questions regarding the upcoming MMO.

Yanagi began the session by asking Lee to talk a little bit about the challenges of turning two-dimensional drawings into three-dimensional images for the game.  “When I draw my characters, they’re not necessary meant to be turned around in 3D,” Lee said, noting it was “rude awakening” he learned to quickly overcome. The artist said he envisions the ideal version of the DC universe as he oversees the creation of concept art. For example, he said the Metropolis in the game will be a composite of all other versions. Even smaller details, such as the size of Batman’s ears or the design of his belt, have to be taken into account.

NYCC: Pictures From Comic Con

Now that New York Comic Con has officially come to a close and we've uploaded all the pictures that we took at the event, we wanted to give you the opportunity to take a look at what this year's event looked like through our eyes. Our NYCC coverage will continue to roll out tomorrow so stay tuned, the fun hasn't come to an end quite yet!

Click here to view our New York Comic Con Photo Gallery.

NYCC: Star Wars: TOR Web Comic Announcement

We just got word from Bioware that they've teamed up with Dark Horse to work on a new comic series that tells the back story leading up to Star Wars: The Old Republic. We're going to try to catch up with Rob Chestney to talk with him more extensively about how the comic will work. Stay tuned!

FEBRUARY 6, NEW YORK – Dark Horse has joined forces with LucasArts and BioWare™, a division of Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS), to create a new comic series, published entirely online, to introduce both the gaming and comics worlds to the upcoming massively multiplayer online game Star Wars®: The Old Republic™.  Debuting this month, Star Wars: The Old Republic - Threat of Peace will feature action-packed, character-driven episodes written by BioWare’s Rob Chestney and published by Dark Horse.  The stories will span the three decades from the pivotal signing of the Treaty of Coruscant to critical events at the beginning of the game.

War between the Galactic Republic and the Sith Empire has gripped the galaxy for generations, but the sacking of Coruscant and a subsequent peace treaty are changing everything. As the Republic scrambles to re-establish order, the Sith Empire moves quickly to consolidate power within its new dominion. Behind closed doors, however, individual Sith Lords engage in a quiet but deadly power struggle, and discord breaks out among the Jedi as they wrestle with the moral implications of the new galactic balance. During these chaotic days, the stories of several critical characters interweave as they pursue their passions, stand up for their convictions and ultimately lead the galaxy back to the brink of a catastrophic conflict.