DCUO Interview: Creative Director Jens Andersen

Following the recent DC Universe Online press event, Andersen shares his thoughts on the game's delay, the planned update schedule, the status of secret identities and more!

I recently had the chance to attend the DC University press event at Sony Online Entertainment's Austin studio to learn more about DC Universe Online. After the class, I was able to get some additional insight from Creative Director Jens Andersen on why the game was delayed until early 2011 and what sets it apart from other MMOs and action games.

Andersen goes into detail about the planned update schedule for DC Universe Online and confirms that the secret identity system is currently on the back burner. He does shed some light on the team's original secret identity plans, which included an offline component that would make you the secret identity for your character! Keep reading after the jump for more information on the game straight from the creative director.

ZAM: DC Universe Online was supposed to launch on Nov. 2. Can you tell us your thoughts regarding the delay?

Andersen: I've been doing this for over 14 years now, and you want everything to be so perfect and awesome and polished. It's hard to imagine it would have been out on Nov. 2, and I just feel so fortunate that Warner Bros. and Sony gave us more time to really bring it home. We were so close, but we needed that little extra time to get some time in beta, which was really important, and finish some interface issues and stuff like that.

ZAM: The entire game is currently available in closed beta right now. What key parts of the game did you feel really required some extra time to develop?

Andersen: Character create was the big one. It wasn't the concept of character create or anything like that, it was mostly just the interface. When you click ice, it does the ice power. We you choose a personality, it shows that movement. If you want to see what it's going to feel like to be a fire guy or a speedster or something like that, we actually have that incorporated into character create so you know what you're getting into. You're not making a blind choice. That was really important to us because console gamers in general are going to play a premade character that has its own package, like in God of War for example. They don't really have that choice. But for us, what if you don't like what acrobat looks like when you get in the game? What if you don't know what ice means or what it feels like? You get a little taste of it in character create because we took that extra time to put in these animations and effects to make people visually understand what they're selecting for their character.

The other things were just getting all of the animations, special effects and combos for the action combat locked down and as polished and smooth as possible. We also needed to make sure that all of our content is bug free. Here's the cool thing about DC Universe Online: we've been putting this game in front of people for a long time, way sooner than most companies would put a game in front of people. Not only were we putting it in front of people, we were letting them play it and get their hands on it at conventions. To me, that really indicated some maturity on our part, not just because we're confident in the game, but we wanted to make sure we were going in the right direction and making something new and different. It's not just an MMO and it's not just an action game. It's something new. It was very important for us to get the game in people's hands early so that we weren't making fundamental mistakes that would surprise us as we got into this phase. The reason we were doing that is because it was a reality check for us that we were making the right decisions. Make the right decision early and you'll benefit from it. Make the wrong decision early and change it late and your game will suffer. Putting it in front of people helped us make the right decisions. The delay wasn't because the game's in trouble or there's something wrong with it. We just want to make sure our first impression with players is a good one. We want it to shine.

ZAM: I know the game's scheduled to launch in early 2011, but do you have an internal date you're working toward?

Andersen: The second we can get it out and release it to the public, we will. We have an idea of when it's going to be, which is why when we say early 2011, we mean early. I can't give a specific date in that window, but unless something else changes, it's not going to be June or sometime halfway through the year. It will be sooner than that.

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Future Hero Home Cities
# Nov 15 2010 at 9:12 PM Rating: Decent
Although I really love Gotham City and I can see myself spending a lot fo time there, because Batman and the rest of the Bat family are my favorite characters in the DC Universe. Yet I was just wonder want about other cities on Earth that are home to the other heroes. Say someone likes Green Arrow or The Flash a lot. Would you be adding Star City and Central City and other home cities? Also for our underwater swimming buddy, Aquaman, Will we see Atlantis as well? Well anyway just wondering. Cause not everyone might like Gotham like I do or like someone might like Metropolis.
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