City of Heroes: Ask a Dev

CoH Community Quiz: Get Us Your Questions For Jack Emmert!


Jack Emmert is the Creative Director of Cryptic Studios and the second guest in our City of Heroes Community Quiz. This roughly monthly event gives the CoH community the chance to pose questions of key Cryptic staff. Find out a bit about Jack, then leave your questions in the comment thread.

Official Bio Courtesy of Cryptic Studios

imageSo who is Jack Emmert?
Jack Emmert is a long time gamer and comic book aficionado. His first foray into gaming was, of course, Dungeons & Dragons®. His professional career in the hobby game industry started at a local comic book store in the outskirts of Philadelphia, Showcase Comics. He earned his first Master’s degree (ancient history) from the University of Chicago, and his second Master’s degree from Ohio State University. During this period Jack also wrote supplements for a variety of gaming lines, including Deadlands, Hell on Earth, DC Universe, and Marvel Superheroes. He left academia in July 2000 to co-found Cryptic Studios, and design the hit MMP games, City of Heroes® and City of Villains?.

And what does he do?
Jack is the Chief Creative Officer at Cryptic Studios; he guides and oversees the design of Cryptic’s games. He coordinates with the leads on each project on a near daily basis to offer suggestions and advice. He reviews all design documentation as well as pitches in with a few things himself. Jack’s focus is not only on the games currently under development, but also forecasts the games in five, ten and fifteen years.

imageWhy does he call himself “Statesman”?
Early in the development of City of Heroes, I sat down and generated a list of several hundred unique hero and villain names. Some of these were bursts of inspirations, but a great many had developed over years of superhero pen and paper RPG’s. Statesman was a character I originally created for a game called Villains and Vigilantes, then later Champions. Originally, Statesman’s background was that he was a super powered assassin for the US government! The name, however, struck such a chord with us that we decided to make Statesman the core character of the City of Heroes franchise. Naturally, we changed Statesman’s secret origin to make him fit better. When we launched our first CoH forums, I simply used Statesman as a board name on a lark. It just made sense that we’d use CoH characters as board names. To be honest, that was about as much thought as went into this.

Now you know. So give us your questions in this message board thread!

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