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Deus Ex 3 Details

Computer and Video Games offers the promised (story) first detail on Deus Ex 3, as the shooter/RPG sequel is previewed in the 200th issue of print magazine PC Zone, which has begun reaching subscribers in advance of its release on newsstands this Thursday. The game is under construction at Eidos Montreal with Deus Ex writer Sheldon Pacotti consulting on the project, and while Harvey Smith and Warren Spector are not involved, word is it has their "blessing." According to the article, Eidos Montreal is aware of complaints about Deus Ex: Invisible War, promising to redress "mistakes" like ammo type limitations. On the other hand, changes are described that further depart from Deus Ex canon, and make the project sound more like Gears of War, including combat relying more on player aim than stats, a cover system for stealth (rather than skulking in shadows), and an auto-healing system for damage. Thanks Jonas.

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124. Re: Why? Oct 13, 2008, 12:09 Doc
 
The devs driven by eidos are making the game THEY want to make there is no way in HELL, they are making it for the current fans, it's not possible in any sense.

Given that fans tend to be a bunch of overreacting dicks with fonder memories of a game that might not have been as good as they remembered*... yeah, they're not. Secondly, you make the blanket assumption that Eidos devs aren't fans of Deus Ex, and by and large, when someone puts this amount of dedication into making a game, they are.

Besides, no one makes a game for fans, because that's stupid. Fans tend, more often than not, to know nothing about game design and have worthless opinions (see: Diablo III 'shops).

I know this concept might seem revolutionary to some, so I'll go ahead and answer the question you might be asking. Why would publishers make games if they're not to appease fans? Because they're out to make money--You know, like for jobs and stuff. People like money. It's very useful. Of course, the only way to make money on a video game is to make that game a good game. If it's not a clone of the original with updated graphics, hey, that's fine, as long as it's good. If Bioshock had been a clone of System Shock 2 (actually the levels pretty much i]were clones), it's possible people might not have enjoyed it as much. Sure, the fans might have been, but Bioshock was made to be a good game, not a gift to the fans.

Game developers are not a public service--they're businesses. The only time you have any right to call developers names is if they release a game that is clearly broken (See Stalker: Clear Sky) and don't even support it.

So I mean, you can sit here and bitch about Deus Ex 3 not being Deus Ex, or you can hope that it'll be the Bioshock to your System Shock.

I will say that the cover system for the original Deus Ex is absolutely retarded. Not sure where people are getting the Gears of War comparisons. Need I remind you that Splinter Cell was third person and used cover? Gasp! Regarding health regeneration, I know most of you want to compare it to Gears of War, but come on! Didn't they say something about it being more like Call of Duty's?

The main concern I've got is that Eidos almost seems to be mashing together a good bit of everything that worked for games like Bioshock (augmentations), Metal Gear Solid (LOS + Sound), Call of Duty (Regening Health), and other stuff, as opposed to making a game based on its own merits.

*Not saying this about Deus Ex.

 
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123. ... Oct 7, 2008, 16:49 theyarecomingforyou
 
It's sales weren't record-breaking but I don't think it was an utter flop.
Yeah, I wasn't implying it was a failure. It's just that a developer obviously their game to be well recognised and received, which is what the changes to Bioshock were designed to achieve.

I just wish the gameplay was deeper and more challenging.
Yeah, I agree. We seem to be on a similar wavelength apart from the label of "dumbing down", which I don't think is fair. The changes were made so the game would be better received and that was achieved from what we have heard. The challenge now is for them to improve the gameplay as a sequel with the same setting / gameplay simply won't cut it. Hopefully we will see deeper gameplay and more varied environments.

Another problem was that of the few choices that the player was presented with, virtually none had any real meaningful consequence. The situations where you could either harvest or rescue the little girl after killing her Big Daddy were brilliant - there was a palpable feeling of emotion and tenderness to the ensuing scene if you chose to rescue her that is rarely seen in games. But ultimately either choice was inconsequential except for which ending you might receive.
Very much so. The difference pretty much amounted to a different cutscene at the end of the game, which was disappointing (particularly when it was obvious from the evil ending you were meant to save them). I just opened up the movie file in bink player, as there was no way I was going to play through the entire game again.
 
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122. Re: ... Oct 7, 2008, 16:42 Prez
 
Bioshock had atmosphere in spades. That wasn't its problem. I think it was billed as more of an "open-ended" world than it really was. The world, while vast and amazing, felt a little restricting if you took them at their meaning.

Another problem was that of the few choices that the player was presented with, virtually none had any real meaningful consequence. The situations where you could either harvest or rescue the little girl after killing her Big Daddy were brilliant - there was a palpable feeling of emotion and tenderness to the ensuing scene if you chose to rescue her that is rarely seen in games. But ultimately either choice was inconsequential except for which ending you might receive. The game needed more choice and consequence. But the template for an absolutely brilliant game is there. Ken Levine and his team still have it in them to make another System Shock quality game.

All in all, Bioshock was a great game that could have been sublime with just a few important refinements.


It (Deus Ex) obviously made enough profit to warrant a port, a sequel and a prequel.

From what I've read in interviews with Warren Specter, had the sequel to Deus Ex been pitched by anyone other than a game designer of his pedigree and stature, it never would have been given the go ahead. This tells me that the first game, while obviously a huge critical success, was a commercial failure, and only Specters formidable reputation and track record got him the funding for a sequel. He never quantifies it with actual numbers, but he has stated that Deus Ex was not a successful title at retail.

This comment was edited on Oct 7, 2008, 16:44.
 
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121. Re: ... Oct 7, 2008, 16:38 Prez
 
Double Post deleted.
This comment was edited on Oct 7, 2008, 16:44.
 
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120. Re: ... Oct 7, 2008, 13:03 Jerykk
 
I thought Bioshock's atmosphere was great. I just wish the gameplay was deeper and more challenging.

Or they could have gone down the Deus Ex route and achieved low sales, low recognition with a small group of loyal fans.

I wouldn't say that. Deus Ex is widely recognized as a classic and has received numerous awards. It's critical reception was very good. It's sales weren't record-breaking but I don't think it was an utter flop. It obviously made enough profit to warrant a port, a sequel and a prequel.

This comment was edited on Oct 7, 2008, 13:04.
 
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119. ... Oct 7, 2008, 10:24 theyarecomingforyou
 
I disagree. I think they recognized that SS2 was simply too complex for a mainstream demographic (particularly a console demographic) so they decided to simplify Bioshock to expand their audience.
They made decisions based upon feedback from the game throughout its development. Those changes considerably increased the game's appeal, garnering great reviews and a fanbase - not only that but guaranteed sequels and a movie (due 2010 from the director of the Pirates Of The Caribbean films and an experience screenplayer writer).

Or they could have gone down the Deus Ex route and achieved low sales, low recognition with a small group of loyal fans.

I agree that I'd like to see deeper gameplay elements in first person shooters; Clear Sky and Far Cry 2 both headed in that direction. However, that doesn't stop me appreciating a game like Bioshock with strong writing, great atmosphere and memorable characters (though not as much as HL2) - those are all elements I think too many games lack and so I was happy with Bioshock until it became incredibly samey by the end (if it had gone on much longer I'd have probably left it for a while before completing it). I put more stock in writing and atmosphere so for me Bioshock was a good direction.
 
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118. Re: ... Oct 7, 2008, 00:31 Wowbagger_TIP
 
I disagree. I think they recognized that SS2 was simply too complex for a mainstream demographic (particularly a console demographic) so they decided to simplify Bioshock to expand their audience. I do agree that we'll never know which version of the game was better.
True. But I know for sure which one I couldn't bring myself to play more than about half way through. :-/

Give me a game with at least some decent choices and consequences any day over the watered-down crap that was Bioshock.


 
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117. Re: ... Oct 7, 2008, 00:04 Jerykk
 
Being cerebral doesn't make something good, just as simplifying things isn't necessarily bad.

I agree. I just find cerebral experiences more entertaining than simple ones, which is why I so often use "dumbed down" in a negative connotation. The process of dumbing down, or simplifying, holds no inherent value and can be a good or bad thing.

I think one example of this is the train/tube system that allows you to go back and forth between other levels. It's entirely pointless in the game as it is now and probably left over from a canned game mechanic.

Well, it's not entirely useless. It lets you backtrack and pick up plasmids/items you may have missed or kill Big Daddies you previously ignored. SS2 had a similar layout, only you had more reason to backtrack because of the skill system and the ability to unlock containers or hack machines that you previously couldn't. It was also a good way to scavenge ammo.

So no, I don't think Bioshock was "dumbed down" due to focus testing, so much as they realized the RPG game wasn't working out (not to mention marketing started advertising it as an FPS), so things got cut to get it out for shopping season 2007.

I disagree. I think they recognized that SS2 was simply too complex for a mainstream demographic (particularly a console demographic) so they decided to simplify Bioshock to expand their audience. I do agree that we'll never know which version of the game was better.

 
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116. Re: ... Oct 6, 2008, 23:49 Krovven
 
I know it's your opinion. And on some levels I agree with you. What I don't agree with is how you skew things to support your argument or how single minded you are and don't seem to look at the bigger picture sometimes. This whole Bioshock postortem thing is an example.

Being cerebral doesn't make something good, just as simplifying things isn't necessarily bad. There are plenty of games over the years that have forced the play to figure out the entire game on their own, with complicated game systems. A good example of this would be Derek Smarts space sims. Very cerebral games. I don't find these very fun or well designed.

Puzzle Quest. Simple game, just have to move the mouse and click 1 button. Game starts you out with walking you through the gameplay, eventually gets more challenging in some aspects, but really all you are doing is matching up colored squares, a child can do it.

In Bioshocks case, could the game have been better? Yes. Would it have been cool to see Bioshock have more refined RPG aspects? Yes. Is what we got better than what was in development but canned? I don't know, and neither do you. All I know is that to have deeper and more meaningful RPG aspects then a lot in the game would have to change and that might have not made Bioshock any better. Obviously they were trying to do something that just wasn't coming together near the end. I think one example of this is the train/tube system that allows you to go back and forth between other levels. It's entirely pointless in the game as it is now and probably left over from a canned game mechanic.

So whether these other game systems would have made the game better as they were at that time...I doubt it. I think they pulled it for a reason and that was because it wasn't fun and they didn't have enough time to make it all work. So no, I don't think Bioshock was "dumbed down" due to focus testing, so much as they realized the RPG game wasn't working out (not to mention marketing started advertising it as an FPS), so things got cut to get it out for shopping season 2007.

http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=19146

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115. Re: No subject Oct 6, 2008, 23:25 Jerykk
 
The fact that Bioshock sold so well on PC by comparison virtually guarantees that future Shock games will be more 'Bio' and less 'System' .

I'm still holding on to the hope that their success with Bioshock will let them take more risk and slowly inch towards SS2 levels of depth.

 
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114. Re: No subject Oct 6, 2008, 23:22 Prez
 
Strictly on the question of dumbing-down versus streamlining, I have to say I agree with Jerryk. That entire postmortem is essentially one big exercise in rationalizing why they dumbed-down the gameplay.

Having said that, Verno is ultimately right - the bottom line is that Deus Ex and System Shock's sales were far too low to give the developers any incentive to emulate them any more closely than they did for Bioshock. The fact that Bioshock sold so well on PC by comparison virtually guarantees that future Shock games will be more 'Bio' and less 'System' .
 
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113. Re: No subject Oct 6, 2008, 23:10 Jerykk
 
If they were attempting to "cash in" on it, then they could do a lot better than Deus Ex and System Shock.

I think they use the association to generate hype in the hardcore demographic, which then spreads out into the more mainstream demographic.

Speaking of which, it's a silly catchphrase. Lowest common denominator is shit like Barbie's Playhouse.

No, lowest common denominator means lowest common denominator. For Bioshock, the lowest common denominator is someone who plays first-person shooters. It's not a catchphrase, it's a technical term. I highly doubt that anyone who played Bioshock had also played Barbie's Playhouse.

Sooner or later you guys are going to have to face that deep and complex FPS/RPG hybrids are expensive and take years to make. They are quite the risky proposition. Anyone even attempting it deserves the benefit of the doubt, not scorn and derision.

We should respect developers trying to advance the genre, not trying to make it appeal to the masses. We all understand the economics of it. We just don't care. As gamers, we care about games, not investors or shareholders. Why should I care if you sold 5 million units if I think your game is crap?


This comment was edited on Oct 6, 2008, 23:14.
 
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112. No subject Oct 6, 2008, 23:07 Verno
 
It screws the fans in an attempt to cash in on lowest-common-denominator gameplay and name recognition.

Uh, Deus Ex and System Shock didn't exactly set sales records man. We're talking about games 10+ years old now and that an entire generation of "lowest common denominator" players have no familiarity with. If they were attempting to "cash in" on it, then they could do a lot better than Deus Ex and System Shock. Bioshock is a good example of a re-envisioning and update of an old franchise to newer technology. People disagree with some of the design choices made and that's fair enough but it's a far cry from "lowest common denominator".

Speaking of which, it's a silly catchphrase. Lowest common denominator is shit like Barbie's Playhouse.

Sooner or later you guys are going to have to face that deep and complex FPS/RPG hybrids are expensive and take years to make. They are quite the risky proposition. Anyone even attempting it deserves the benefit of the doubt, not scorn and derision.

We're lucky to be getting a PC version at all these days thanks to people like Jerk.


This comment was edited on Oct 6, 2008, 23:12.
 
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111. Re: ... Oct 6, 2008, 23:02 Wowbagger_TIP
 
Obviously developers aren't going to call it "dumbing down". But when you ask PC gamers what that term means to them, then you'll find that the decisions that the developers admit to making pretty much meet that definition. The developers feel that this made the game easier and more accessible to a larger audience. That translates to more sales. So from their point of view it was a good decision. From the point of view of someone who likes games like SS2 or DX1, it was certainly a horrible decision. But that's because those gamers weren't the target audience.

That's why fans of the System Shock games and Deus Ex get pissed when a developer takes the franchise in a completely different direction. It screws the fans in an attempt to cash in on lowest-common-denominator gameplay and name recognition.

 
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110. Re: ... Oct 6, 2008, 22:43 Jerykk
 
Bull fucking shit it's not. You were the one that asked the damn question.

No, I already know my own opinion on that matter. Dumbing down is not inherently bad because it is not subjective. If something goes from cerebral to less cerebral, that is dumbing down. To me, dumbing down is bad. Again, that's just my opinion and that's why I think the original version of Bioshock would have been better than what we ended up with. Now, there are some people who feel the opposite way. They prefer the dumbed down gameplay of Bioshock. There are also people who prefer the dumbed down gameplay of DX2 over the more cerebral gameplay of DX1. Hey, that's fine. To each their own. But you cannot deny that these games were dumbed down, which is the whole point of this debate.

Whether it's better for the game is what it's ALWAYS about.

And it's up to the player to decide. Developers are not infallible. The best intentions can end up not turning out so well. Refer to unified ammo, level scaling, etc. As a player, I decide what I find fun and what I find fun is a deep, challenging, cerebral experience. Evidently the developers disagree.


This comment was edited on Oct 6, 2008, 22:48.
 
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109. Re: ... Oct 6, 2008, 22:37 Jerykk
 
That is the goal of game design after all...to make things functional, understandable and fun.

Functional? Agreed. If your game doesn't work, that's a problem. Understandable? That depends entirely on the player. There are many players out there who don't understand how to play Civ. Does that mean the game isn't understandable? No, it just means certain players are retarded. Fun? Completely subjective. Only players can determine what is fun. The intent of designers is irrelevant. I found System Shock 2 to be more fun than Bioshock. According to the developers, I should find Bioshock more fun because it's more accessible.

If a player can't understand what they are supposed to do or how to upgrade items, then they need to let the players know that somehow.

Again, it depends entirely on the player. As I mentioned before, focus testing is usually performed with the lowest common denominator of players. I'm guessing that Bioshock was originally very similar to SS2, which is to say it was completely incomprehensible to the Halo kiddies they undoubtedly used as their focus group. SS2 was not incomprehensible to the many players who consider it a classic.

When all you do is focus on the slightest semblance of statements that supports your position while ignoring the fact that she outright says the changes made the game better...yes, your interpretation is slanted.

Say it with me: The player decides whether a game is better or not. Not the developers. I'm sure some of the developers of Bioshock think it is better than SS2. As a player who has played both games, I think SS2 is better. See what I'm getting at?

 
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108. Re: ... Oct 6, 2008, 22:10 Krovven
 
Jerykk - This isn't a question of whether or not the changes were for better or for worse.

Bull fucking shit it's not. You were the one that asked the damn question.

Jerykk - That sounds like dumbing down to me. Now, is it a better game for it? Perhaps... but I doubt it.

Whether it's better for the game is what it's ALWAYS about.

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This comment was edited on Oct 6, 2008, 22:23.
 
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107. Re: ... Oct 6, 2008, 22:05 Krovven
 
Whatever you say Jerykk. This just takes us back to the part about it being a better game (or not) due to the changes. You are all happy to quote everything they say, right up to the part where she says...

We ended up with fewer choices overall, but each one of those choices was infinitely more functional, understandable, and fun than the previous ones.

"...more functional, understandable and fun than the previous ones."

That is the goal of game design after all...to make things functional, understandable and fun.

...or how the way the game played the way you claim would be better...

The first level, they said, was overly dense, confusing, and not particularly engaging. Players would acquire new powers but not know how to use them, so they stuck to using more traditional weapons and became frustrated. They didn't interact with the Big Daddies, and they didn't understand (or care) how to modify their characters. They were so overwhelmed by dialogue and backstory that they missed key information. A few of the players did start to see the possible depth of the game, but even they were frustrated by the difficulty of actually using the systems we had created.

That's bad game design and has nothing to do with "dumbing down". If a player can't understand what they are supposed to do or how to upgrade items, then they need to let the players know that somehow. In Bioshocks case they didnt have a "tutorial", so it had to be integrated into the gameplay of the first level.

Don't know what the systems were before, but all of the things mentioned above are still in the game. They had design issues to deal with. What we got was the vending machines as they are now, which I don't see that as a bad thing.

So...yes. When all you do is focus on the slightest semblance of statements that supports your position while ignoring the fact that she outright says the changes made the game better...yes, your interpretation is slanted.

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106. Re: ... Oct 6, 2008, 21:18 Jerykk
 
You automatically assume that whatever game system they had in place was "cerebral" and what they released was "non-cerebral".

Once again, here's a direct quote from the postmortem:

This was because we hadn't been thinking as much about making a shooter as we should have, and many of our key interactions (weapons tuning, plasmids, length of AI engagement) were designed and tuned for a slower and more cerebral experience. To put it another way, nerdy RPG-like stat changes just didn't seem meaningful in the vibrant and dangerous world of Rapture.

Once we recalibrated the game to be more like a shooter, we simplified many of the deeper systems tremendously so that the user would be able to understand them.


Firstly, the developer clearly states that the original version of the game was "more cerebral." That doesn't mean "boring" or "crappy" or "inefficient" or "convoluted" or "overly complex." It means that the game simply required more thought.

Secondly, the developer suggests that the original version had stats. Stats = more cerebral experience and more depth. It forces you to make meaningful choices and think about their future repercussions. You actually have to role play, as opposed to being a master of all things.

Thirdly, the developer states that they removed or simplified these more cerebral features to make the game more accessible.

This isn't a question of whether or not the changes were for better or for worse. That's up to the player, not the designer, to decide. The question here is whether or not they removed/changed the complex features of the game in favor of simpler, more accessible ones. The answer, according to the developers, is yes. Going from more cerebral to less cerebral = dumbing down. Whether or not that's a good or bad thing is up to the player.

 
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105. Re: ... Oct 6, 2008, 20:46 Krovven
 
Taking a cerebral experience and turning into a non-cerebral experience

That comment right there is slanted. You automatically assume that whatever game system they had in place was "cerebral" and what they released was "non-cerebral". This is your own interpretation of what was really said in order to argue your point. It's not based on any sort of fact, just your own imagination.

I'm not going to argue whether what they changed was "dumbing down" or simply better game design, because we have not played the other iteration of Bioshock.

It's painfully obvious that you aren't really aware of what game designers go through because every time a developer states they simplified something you call it "dumbing down" whether it really is or not and this is especially true if it happens to be a console game. Game Designers every day have to analyze their own games and make decisions that may make a 5 step process into a 2 step process. This is not necessarily "dumbing down" but rather, ongoing game design.

ie: When EQ2 first came out, players had to go through a large number of steps just to create a couple items in the tradeskill aspect of the game. This took a long time and wasn't much fun. This was eventually changed and redesigned to simplify the procedures. Dumbing down? No. Fixing poor game design.

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