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City of Heroes: A Look At Cryptic Studios Recruiting

StraddenStradden Managing EditorHalifax, NSPosts: 6,696Member Common

Have you ever wanted a chance to work on MMORPGs? Cryptic Studios is looking for new staff members. Managing Editor Jon Wood sits down with a number of Cryptic developers to talk about what they're hiring for, and who they would like to hire. Joining Jon for the interview are: Michael Lewis, Chief Executive Officer, Jack Emmert, Chief Creative Officer, Bruce Rogers, Chief Technical Officer, Shayne Herrera, Art Director, Victor Wachter, Community Relations Manager, and Denise O'Laughlin, Senior Staffing Manager. I've noticed over the last little while that you have quite a few job postings on your company website. Why the sudden need for so many new bodies?

Victor Watcher: Because Cryptic is growing! We're continuing to develop and support City of Heroes and City of Villains, while also starting new projects like Marvel and others that aren't announced yet. We have a lot of cool opportunities, but it takes talent to make them all come true.

The full Q&A is here.

Jon Wood
Managing Editor



  • necrotherionnecrotherion Toronto, ONPosts: 130Member
    1st! Muahaha!

    Awesome interview, this is the first time I'm haering about Marvel Online. Call me ignorant, but STILL, sounds like it's going to be an awesome game :)

  • MrBookMrBook Mesa, AZPosts: 5Member
    I wonder if they need any help desk support.  If so, I'm all in.  image

    Nothin' to do but doin'.

  • bboyknockoutbboyknockout Palatine, ILPosts: 20Member
    I'd like to work at Cryptic Studios.  haha XD  i wanna kno more about Marvel Online!  image  i think its called Marvel Universe Online, theres a teaser trailer.  it shows super heroes.  i hope u dont pick a hero, i like making a hero MUCH MUCH MUCH more then just choosing one.  but yea, looking forword to that!  do i smell UI/HUD, animation, and graphical updates in CoH???  ooooh, if so, im excited!image 

      well, thanx for the info!
  • TechleoTechleo Grants Pass, ORPosts: 1,984Member
      I highly doubt there will be a graphical update to CoH of any degree. Most likely the interview is speaking of developers for Marvel Online. THOUGH! Id love to be wrongimage I play CoH ALOT and to see it upgraded would make me cry tears of joy!imageimage

  • spookytoothspookytooth Lansing, MIPosts: 508Member
    hire me! I can get coffee and donuts!

    But seriously where the hell are they getting all this cash to make all these new games? CoX has been good but I hadnt thought of it as an mmo money tree. Maybe microsoft owns their soul and is dumping truck loads of money on them. Thats almost as good as a money tree...

  • TechleoTechleo Grants Pass, ORPosts: 1,984Member
         They have a very loyal fanbase which bodes well for the permanence of there income. This taken into consideration would bode well for them getting loans. Not to mention if Marvel Comics is going to fund them for the mmorpg then they have plenty of money at hand. 

  • illeriller Aspen''s 4th hole, COPosts: 500Member Uncommon

    This is nice and all...  that they're actually willing to hire people who are fresh out of school or who lack those magical 5+ years and 3 or 4 titles 'under their belts' for these postiions....   But no where does it say that any of this is to actually expand or even maintain the CoH/CoV team which has clearly been understaffed ever since Issue-6.  Infact evidence and admissions from the Devs themselves seems to indicate that Content Designers are being pulled away from Co(X) to work on these "secret projects".   ...And that's also supported by their recent decision to make a planned Pay-for Expansion around the time of issue 9 -- free to subscribers instead, but with a greatly reduced list of planned-features for it.

    This is just like when Blizzard told us they had 3 "Teams" all working hard on massive projects (D2- patch 1.09, Warcraft3, and then WoW) but when it really comes down to it, they're seperate and NOT equal by any stretch, and the products they claim to "continue to support" typically are expected to survive on a skelton crew, or whither away entirely.... so I don't buy it.  Just sounds like the same old hype we've been hearing from every other Game Studio that's come and gone in the last decade.  

     I look forward to playing their Next "secret" Project, even if it turns out to be just another damn Fantasy game, but it's time to face the fact that they're just leaving City of Heroes on Life-supoprt from now on.  The actual content updates have been few and very far between.  If I was an Exec at NCSoft, I'd storm into their little commune and tell those damn dirty hippies to GET BACK TO WORK on the first Cash Cow.   There will be plenty of time/money with which to nurse these new projects LATER once all the millions of Marvel Fanboys inneviteably flock in and climb over eachother to throw their parents'/trustfund money at Cryptic. image

  • vandipepvandipep Tuckerton, NJPosts: 1Member
    I want to be a beta tester! That would be a job for me! I would love that.. before it went out to the public beta testing. I would love to be one to plan events! I would have them running one after another. And it wouldn't matter what server, I would run different ones for each server. Would be a fun job for me, I would probably never leave work. I wanted to be one for other online games, this would be awesome if I did it for CoX or for the new marvel lines coming out.
  • bboyknockoutbboyknockout Palatine, ILPosts: 20Member
    haha yea!  beta tester for the win!  XD  not to be arrogant or anything, but i think i'd make a good beta tester.  i'v played ALOT, i mean ALOT of mmorpgs.  AND im quite picky, so i think that might help.  XD  haha man o man, that would be the day, being a beta tester.....imageimageimage  i want more info on their "Secret Projects" and Marvel Online.  image  u really think Cryptic Studios looks at these posts?  lol image
  • UnSubUnSub PerthPosts: 252Member
    Well, I'll be sending in a resume, but don't expect to get a reply :-)

  • AnofalyeAnofalye Quebec, QCPosts: 7,433Member

    Hehe, I don't believe Victor, when he says: we make product we want to play.  It is maybe the case for him, maybe the whole staff "pretend" it is the case, but I would be surprise if actually more than 50% are actually looking forward to playing the game they work on.


    And there is nothing wrong with that.  Some of the best artists I meet as a designer myself, they barely never play ANY game.  That doesn't change the fact they are freaking great artists and make kick-ass games as I would like to put it myself.


    Honestly, the only part of the staff that should dream about the game and actually play it in their free time, it is the designers.  If they don't, it isn't good.  Other staff are welcome to play it, but you really should try having an open mind and accepting that many staff member don't play the game they work on.  Diversity is good and healthy.


    See, a game that have only staff that want to play it would have other problematic, you need to keep some critic minds, and if everyone is playing the game, you may take a wild curve that a critic mind would have warn you, but you never consider this wild curve, as it was cool with the staff who play, but maybe not to a new player, and the staff who doesn't play always bring the point of view of a new player, a noob, a casual, someone you want to hook to the genre.  See, the best example I have for this...I was with my team on a project, we where working hard and thinking it was kick-ass and perfect...we where drooling.  1 of the artist, a very sweet and very pregnant lady see a huge weakness that none of us ever consider for any moment, we where all fans of the game and dreaming to play it.  She made sense and once we adapt the game in accord to her comment, it was a LOT better for a new player, which is the point of having non-playing staff member, they represent the noobs, the casuals, the new blood. Without them, you would end-up with hardcore mechanics without even noticing it (and more snakes kicking!).  This experience would be hard to get otherwise, because if you ask a casual to check exhaustively the is easy to lose his casualness or interest, while someone working, even if they are more or less interested, they are working, thereby they will keep focused about this game and why it is good or bad, even if they don't really want to play it, ever.


    So having a part of the staff which doesn't play the game is not only acceptable, it is desirable, because they represent the noobs, the peoples who are not hooked yet, the outsiders, the peoples you want to seduce.  Even if you don't seduce your own staff, it may make the difference between a WoW and a...AA.  I am pretty sure that most of Blizzard didn't play the game, and I am also pretty sure that Net Devils are playing AA all the time, all of them or almost...but you can check with Net Devil, you have some links to get true answers from them.  I know that a big chunk of the original staff of CoH didn't play the least not the PvE game it was and make it a success, they where obsessed with the PvP...and this obsession is also partly why it never appeal to the masses, because too much fans.  You can check with Netdevil, but the few comments I made about their game, they where kinda casual, from a noob point of view...which is indeed quite rare that I fill such a role, as I am a GD myself and extremely fanatic about gaming...but with the distance from it now, I feel they lack much casual-input.  AA was extremely sweet and nice IMO...anyway, just my 0.02$


    PS: I may have an opposite point of view once, but I did think more about the topic with time...and it is natural to hate peoples who are differents...especially in a gaming company, hating non-gamers would be too easy...and not good at all.  You want the non-gamers there, they add much.  Of course, you need the gamers even more, but it is like everything in life, you need some balance to be healthy.

    - "If I understand you well, you are telling me until next time. " - Ren

  • AnofalyeAnofalye Quebec, QCPosts: 7,433Member

    Originally posted by spookytooth

    But seriously where the hell are they getting all this cash to make all these new games? CoX has been good but I hadnt thought of it as an mmo money tree. Maybe microsoft owns their soul and is dumping truck loads of money on them. Thats almost as good as a money tree...

    I am not on the insider, but here are my 4 guess for money income:


    - Marvel, they didn't need any money, everything is provided by Marvel who want the game done by THIS team, which explain why much of the key staff was moved to that new project, when someone pay, they have a right of decision.  This is likely their main income now.

    - CoH/CoV bring some money, enought to allow the new IPs and the maintenance of CoH/CoV.

    - NCsoft may be funding some, NCsoft is fighting for MMO dominance and Cryptic was successful, so some funding from NCsoft for a precise project doesn't sound unlikely.  However, NCsoft is likely to wait AFTER Marvel, since they know Cryptic is busy and their is no point in sending money their way now and distract them from their current task.  Marvel makes more sense than anything new they may send toward Cryptic, so waiting for Marvel is logical...NCsoft may also be funding the Marvel project as well.  Not to forget, for NCsoft to wait just make sense, a team may became a bad horse after a race or two, so again, checking if Cryptic is still in after CoV questionnable successes is a good move IMO.  Not like they are left beside, they are still with Cryptic for that project about, all is good that way...if Marvel is good, I expect them to try to get the next MMO from this team hehe, but that is quite ahead in time.

    - Whatever initial source they got for CoH may fund them again, but I think it is unlikely.  As an initial source, I would expect to get some back, not to put more back in.  This is the way capitalism work, but it isn't impossible and I honestly wish their initial investor is just that cool for games...but nobody can expect that, hoping is the best you can do.  Anyway, whoever they are, they are cool enough in my book.  image


    PS: I hope that Marvel would be less bad than LA was with SoE, but I hope they won't give total freedom, this team requires some supervision from Marvel IMO, otherwise they may get into self-satisfaction too a Marvel watchdog is definitely in order, as long as they are not donkeys like LA is always, I know Marvel prolly want to be cool and friend, but they shouldn't be too friend, in order to make sure they work hard.  Hehe.

    - "If I understand you well, you are telling me until next time. " - Ren

  • Cryptic and many other MMO companies (sony and blizzard) have had job posting up constantly for a few years. I think more companies are taking the approch of if they keep job postings up year round they will get more qualified and expericed canidates. Unfortunatly for us underqualified and underexpericed group that kinda lowers our chances ^-^
  • SteamRangerSteamRanger Great Northwest, WAPosts: 920Member Uncommon

    I think what you're going to find is the "City" franchise continuing its downward spiral into obscurity while Jack diverts resources from it to build his dream game. Jack is positively euphoric about working on next-gen consoles. He gravitates to the newest shiny thing. Like Bethesda did with Elder Scrolls, Cryptic will spend the bulk of their efforts on console development and let the PC gamers pay for it while getting crumbs in return. If you want to see who's going to be paying for this next big adventure, look for the poor schmucks with wings and all the extra Veteran Rewards. It doesn't matter to them that all the lower level zones are fairly empty on a Friday night. They get their epeen from telling the world that they were there in beta. Whoop-de-doo! I was there in beta too, but had the good sense to stop playing when things got stale.

    You don't give away free copies of your game when things are going good. What Cryptic will do is dispense just enough enticements to keep the faithful salivating, then yank them back for more "testing". The latest carrot is Inventions. Wait and see. Jack wants to keep you engaged so he has enough capital to get MUO past the sparkly cinematic stage, then he'll be trying to draw in investors. Marvel won't be putting up much money, either. They don't have it. Comics are not the hot property they once were and Marvel is going to be piling more eggs in their movie-making basket since that's where they're seeing success. Marvel's most valuable resource is it's intellectual properties and licensing is where their bread-and-butter is, not developing risky online games. I also wouldn't read too much into Marvel's deal with Cryptic. Who else has any experience with a superhero MMO?

     You can also forget about help from NCSoft since Cryptic is pulling away from them. Microsoft is the partner here because they want more X-Box 360 exposure. But they're a fickle bunch at best. Remember, they were well into development on a MMO before. Anyone remember a snappy-looking little title named Mythica? That baby didn't even wind up on anyone's doorstep. They just left it in the wilderness to die. They also decided to end their relationship to Vanguard. That's why Sony's publishing what looks like the game that will nail the coffin shut on EQ2. If the Marvel game ever gets off the ground, it will be because Microsoft wants it for the 360 and can stay focused and commited through the years of development. Color me skeptical.

    I had an extra game card gathering dust, so I used it this week and re-upped to see what the latest publish brought to the game. Well , it wasn't more players, that's for sure. I can fly through Skyway City and not see another soul, except maybe a moron named "xabcdefx" or "Mr. Poop Pants".  The new flying animations were repossessed, so that was a disappointment. I did get a Trench coat and a kilt. Woo. The game is like a little storefront church, lots of enthusiasm among the faithful, but no real growth.

    "Soloists and those who prefer small groups should never have to feel like they''re the ones getting the proverbial table scraps, as it were." - Scott Hartsman, Senior Producer, Everquest II
    "People love groups. Its a fallacy that people want to play solo all the time." - Scott Hartsman, Executive Producer, Rift

  • wascommikewascommike gonzales, LAPosts: 5Member
    Speaking of getting hired as a programmer....i was wondering which languages i should look in of right now i know a good bit of c++ but i could still learn more about it and i will get into java this semester....i am a senior in high school and will be at lsu in the fall semester for computer science....Any suggestions are welcome
  • dodsfalldodsfall Rockford, ILPosts: 173Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by wascommike

    Speaking of getting hired as a programmer....i was wondering which languages i should look in of right now i know a good bit of c++ but i could still learn more about it and i will get into java this semester....i am a senior in high school and will be at lsu in the fall semester for computer science....Any suggestions are welcome
    C++ and ASL languages are used often in game programming. A degree in C++ should get your foot in the door. Good programmers are always at a premium in the game industry. Be prepared for long hours and time away from loved ones, thats part of the job.
  • njdevi66njdevi66 dumont, NJPosts: 220Member Uncommon
    As long as they dont hire any former SOE dev, they will be fine. If they do, they can kiss their MMO goodbye.


  • wascommikewascommike gonzales, LAPosts: 5Member
    ok thanks for the suggestions....
  • GorukhaGorukha WarsawPosts: 1,441Member
      New Lead Designer for Cryptic studios right here folks, yup I'm unatached Cryptic. You know you want a piece of this.

    It's better be hated for who you are, than loved for who you aren't.

  • LordCaptainLordCaptain Sitka, AKPosts: 178Member

    It's kind of sad to see everyone crying Gloom and Doom at CoX. Just because they are working on diffrent titles doesn't mean anything. If you look at all of these forums, you get the same people over and over again crying wolf that a game will fail because another game is coming out or the developers have all switched over to working on another title.

    Cryptic is NOT Blizzard people. Cryptic has only ever delivered. Just because people get screwed over with big companies like Blizzard and Sony doesn't mean that smaller developers will do the same thing.

    I play CoX as my main. I have played WoW and SWG among others. And yeah, bigger developers are quite slimy when it comes to stuff like this. Blizzard specifically. They have let me down everytime since Warcraft 2.  Now adays, they develop more card games, movies and board games then actual PC Games. Ugg.

    Cryptic delivers, Issue 8 was incredable. Issue 9 promises to be more so. As I develop single player games, if I had a choice of entering the MMO market in a company, I would go to Cryptic. As a matter of fact, I was really hoping on sending off an application coming up pretty soon.

  • SmileyManSmileyMan HaslevPosts: 56Member
    Originally posted by bboyknockout

    haha yea!  beta tester for the win!  XD  not to be arrogant or anything, but i think i'd make a good beta tester.  i'v played ALOT, i mean ALOT of mmorpgs.  AND im quite picky, so i think that might help.  XD  haha man o man, that would be the day, being a beta tester.....  i want more info on their "Secret Projects" and Marvel Online.    u really think Cryptic Studios looks at these posts?  lol 
    I think you got the betatester idea wrong. Being paid for beta testing INSIDE a gamestudio, is nothing like what you, most likely, are used to (E.G.: Get key > Sign-up > Download > Play) It involves sitting day and night, looking at the same, again and again, until you figure out what the hell is wrong; sometimes you even sleep at work.

    I've seen betatesters who did that, and they didn't look fresh.


  • DocOctaneDocOctane Greenville, NCPosts: 16Member

    Resume is on the way.....

  • FearMezFearMez londonPosts: 12Member

    hi i would love to join as a web Devloper and designer iv been designing web skins for about a year or so me and a friend have our own design site we made 100% our selfs  i am alot beter at designing sites then i am at codeing ect... if i joined my friend who also helped make the site would join with me as a team to produce and design websites to the best of our ablity. you can contact me at .

    information about my self





    uses-photoshop cinamatic 4d and dreamweaver

    anythink ele just contact me though email


  • rmeyerrmeyer Sparks, NVPosts: 151Member
      Who are these people?  They think that COH has gotten more content than when it first started?  It's been given the same damn content when it was first released.  They didn't start from scratch with COV, they made it the same thing with slight variation.  COH is the same game it was when it was released.  No depth and no fun.

    Don't listen to the crap here programmers, they are trying to feed you with lies.  I like how he said that it's like hollywood, you have to first get used and abused until you become a star.  So when do you become a star?  When they lay you off after the project is completed?  Programmers, if you have any knowledge of working for game companies is that they will use you and spit you out.  If you like working 60+ hours a week, then this is the place for you.  Any of us can go home and jump on our 360 rather than get placed into the "cool game room".  Stay away from Cryptic before you become a slave and have no life outside of work!  (besides you could probably make a better game by yourself because crpytic hasn't figured out what fun is yet)
  • dsorrentdsorrent Greenville, SCPosts: 1,627Member Common

    Have any of you looked at housing in Los Gatos? I wonder what they start their employees at to afford housing in that area.

    Fact: In the United States, 4% of all children are born with a heart defect.
    Fact: Only 1% of those has Ebstein's Anomaly.
    Fact: My daughter is in that 1%.
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