The next major superhero MMO to be released will be Champions Online, based off of the pen-and-paper RPG system and in development at Cryptic Studios, slated to be released in mid-July 2009. To add even more superhero cred to the game, Cryptic has hired writers well-versed in the comics industry like John Layman, of both Marvel and Wildstorm fame.
IGN is hosting a Champions Online developer diary written by Layman that focuses on his work at Cryptic Studios. Layman introduces what he does,"I'm the writer-guy for Champions Online, a comic book writer imported specifically to write a comic book themed game. And, just like writing comics, coming up with the right words, concepts, and plots is the very first part of a very long chain of work." He writes about the process of hashing out the best ideas with other Cryptic notables like Jack Emmert, Randy Mosiondz, and Brian Gilmore, and then working to tailor those concepts to 'comic book-ese' that works for Champions Online.
Layman discusses how the game has been humming along. "Champions Online is making fantastic strides every day of every week, and so is Cryptic's underlying technology platform (currently used by Champs and Star Trek Online.) With each advance, the Cryptic design teams are inspired to push the game further creatively. We're continually finding new ways to deliver missions and make types of missions and gameplay more varied."
For more on what John Layman is doing at Cryptic Studios, jump on over to his dev diary written for IGN.