Your donations keep RPGWatch running!
Box Art

Deus Ex - History of the Game

by Myrthos, 2015-06-23 17:25:05

Gamasutra looks back to the development of Deus Ex (15 years ago) based on separate conversations with project director Warren Spector, lead programmer and assistant director Chris Norden, composer Alexander Brandon and lead writer Sheldon Pacotti.

Warren Spector: There's no question the development of Deus Ex was a high point for me. The team was like a dysfunctional family at times, but their commitment to the project and our mission was complete. People worked very, very hard to deliver on the promise and potential, that's for sure!

There was a very strong sense that we were doing something special... unique. That kind of opportunity - to make the game of your dreams with no creative interference - comes up very rarely in life, and I think everyone, not just me, knew that and, as a result, really swung for the fences.

Sheldon Pacotti: Deus Ex was total immersion for me.  I lived and breathed Deus Ex for a year, seven days a week, fourteen hours a day. I was just that excited by the potential of the game.  The only comparison I could make is to writing a novel, where you completely lose yourself in a fictional world until it becomes indistinguishable from reality.  

At the time, few people expected video games to represent reality or tell a story you actually believed in, so I was thrilled to find a team that was trying to make that happen.  But I had no idea if fans would "get it."  The most gratifying thing for me is the number of players, continuing up to today, who -- like good players in a paper role-playing game -- have stepped into the fiction and abandoned themselves to it.   A collective hallucination.

Alexander Brandon: Deus Ex is the game I hear the most about. I'm proud of everything I've worked on. Unreal pushed boundaries of level design and fantasy world exploration in the context of an FPS. Unreal Tournament honed multiplayer combat. But Deus Ex blew the doors off genres, and at the time, hardly anyone had done that.

The time that I spent on it was pretty incredible. And I hardly made any revisions to anything I did. I'd certainly change that in hindsight, but at the time what we did just worked.

Chris Norden: At the time, we had no idea what it was or what it would turn into. We really had no idea. We hoped it would be a success, at least critically, and it kinda turned into something...big.

Information about

Deus Ex

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Sci-Fi
Genre: Shooter-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released