'DC Universe Online' MMO Writer Geoff Johns Talks Parallel Earths, Secret Identities

My MTV News colleague Jennifer Vineyard recently got on the phone with comics writer Geoff Johns and was kind enough to ask him some questions about writing the upcoming Sony Online Entertainment massively multiplayer online PC/PS3 game "DC Universe Online."

Johns gave her the basics of how he's approaching the game:

"Lots of gamers create their own characters. Everyone knows Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, but this game gets you more entrenched in the universe. You meet the Metal Men, or Doom Patrol, and everyone gets a chance to embody something different. I like the idea that your secret identity is really outside the computer. You're a normal guy, and then when you log on to the game, you become the superhero."

Good enough. But that was the easy part. How about a weirder question?

I asked Jennifer to ask Geoff if he was tempted to script the idea of DC's parallel earths into "DCUO," given that DC's parallel Earths concept is very similar to the idea of server-based sharding in MMOs. Undeterred by the geekery of such a question, Jennifer asked.

Said Johns:"Each player represents a parallel Earth in a way. I like that idea, when you're entering it for the first time. There are some major storylines that you can play out and live."

And how about an update about the game's release and his progress in the assignment?

"It launches I think in early 2010, it could be late 2009. I've written the overall story and the path that gets you into the game and the areas of the universe and how to explore them, but not every line of dialogue. That's a fulltime job, it's too frigging big, too intense to write every line of an MMO. I'd probably jump off a building."

Check out more from Jennifer's interview, covering "Smallville" and the Legion of Super-Heroes over at MTV's Splash Page comics-crazy blog.

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