Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Transferrable Skills: Marv Wolfman on Planetside 2

Marv Wolfman seems to have been around forever. I interviewed him over a quarter of a century ago. I vaguely recall asking him a lot of overly-detailed questions about the Teen Titans, which he answered patiently and with good humor, even when I gave him a hard time over the death of Terra. I think he was hearing a lot of that at the time...

He had a reputation as a steady, professional comics writer. A very safe pair of hands. I lost track of his career trajectory sometime in the early 90s, when I stopped buying comics for the final time. Well, it's been final so far...

Yes my mentor is Ambush Bug. What exactly are you trying to imply?
If I'd thought about him at all since then, which I haven't, I'd have guessed he would have left comics by now, possibly retired. I certainly wouldn't have expected him to turn up working  on MMOs, much less for SoE, but there does seem to be a bit of  genre bleed going on, what with Todd McFarlane over at 38 Studios and Michael Bendis on the Marvel  MMO so maybe I shouldn't be surprised. 

I knew he'd done something on DCUO but I was never entirely sure what it was. I played DCUO quite a lot and still do on occasion and it certainly has a very 70s-80s take on the DC Universe, which I appreciate. It does feel a little like being inside a Marv Wolfman title from that era, although perhaps a Gerry Conway fill-in would be nearer the mark. Maybe the DC universe hasn't changed all that much. I don't know. As I said, I'm not keeping up like I used to.

Bats is out of town, okay? You got me. Stop laughing at the back!

 Marv must have done a pretty good job doing whatever it was that he did, though, because he's back at SoE again, working on the backstory for Planetside II. Is that a plum job? I wouldn't have thought so. Not for a writer, anyway. Hard to see how much backstory a 24/7 running firefight needs. I don't think there's all that much congruity between comics and MMOs anyway. Not in the writing department. But then, a good pro can turn his hand to anything.

Oddly, given that SoE is my preferred MMO development house, I never played Planetside. I often meant to but somehow I just never got round to it. I mean to rectify that with Planetside II. I'd be doing that anyway, but knowing Marv's on board gives me just that little bit more confidence. I don't expect to notice what he's done, but his influence will be there, solid and stable. He's such a pro, after all.

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