DX2: Invisible War Q&A, Preview

Building an Invisible War on GameSpy.com chats with Ricardo Bare and Harvey Smith of ION Storm about the original Deus Ex and its upcoming sequel. The extensive Q&A covers principles of game design, the reasons for some of the choices made in designing these games, working with the Unreal engine, and more. Also, the DX Invisible War Preview on PC.IGN.Com is based on getting to visit ION's offices in Austin, TX to check out progress on the project. The article describes the concept behind the game, offers some first-hand impressions of what they got to see, and offers several quotes from Harvey Smith.
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16.
 
Re: Emergent narrative
Feb 14, 2003, 10:41
16.
Re: Emergent narrative Feb 14, 2003, 10:41
Feb 14, 2003, 10:41
 
Sound interesting... I don't play much simulations, so I don't really know about it. Perhaps I should have

Still, perhaps an important point is that game developers are guided by a "picture" of a game should achive. NOLF and Unreal II is clearly guided by the traditional linear narrative. Thinking of the ideal game as an emergent narrative might inspire other technical solutions. Your suggestion, if feasible, would certainly enable a very different shooter.

Or another wild suggestion: what about dynamically generated world that does not depend on traditionally designed levels? Like autogenerated maps in SOF - just expanded to generate a set of levels the size of a real-life world. =)



15.
 
Re: Emergent narrative
Feb 14, 2003, 09:52
15.
Re: Emergent narrative Feb 14, 2003, 09:52
Feb 14, 2003, 09:52
 
A good point, well put - although I'm not 100% sure you're saying anything entirely new

I think what the Deus Ex "genre" is evolving towards is something similar to the way hardcore flight sims have a "dynamic campaign" mode, where the simulation is modelled at both a macro level (global/regional movement of forces) and at a micro level (individual troops, interaction with the environment).

Maybe this will lead to "level of detail" AI, where the two cases can be seamlessly integrated as the situation (and player's proximity) deserves.

Just a thought

14.
 
Emergent narrative
Feb 14, 2003, 06:18
14.
Emergent narrative Feb 14, 2003, 06:18
Feb 14, 2003, 06:18
 
"Emergent narrative" - it seems to me that this should be a key concept in the next stage for the first-person-shooter.

I often wonder how the genre will solve the problem with having a "story" and being interactive. The concept of story is by definition linear, while the notion of being interactive tends toward non-linearity.

As hinted in the interview, the apparent contradiction is solved by the introduction of *simulation*. This introduces the distinction between ex ante narrative and ex post narrative, and while the former is incompatible the full ambition of interactivity, the latter goes very well with it. Come to think of it, all the stories that matters most to us, are the ones that have a story line ex post - in other words those that came to be in the real-life simulation of our own natural environment.

Perhaps the ultimate goal for the genre should be a game that is pure simulation. The game merely sets up a setting, much in the same way that going to Iraq right would have the potential for an emergent narrative for the individual who did.

13.
 
Bad times
Feb 14, 2003, 04:28
13.
Bad times Feb 14, 2003, 04:28
Feb 14, 2003, 04:28
 
its hard to beleive that people accually liked this game.

Im Soupkin.
I hope i dont have aids.
Im Soupkin.
I hope i dont have aids.
http://users.ign.com/collection/Serious_Soup)
Postal 2 sucks.
12.
 
No subject
Feb 14, 2003, 01:35
12.
No subject Feb 14, 2003, 01:35
Feb 14, 2003, 01:35
 
The first Deus Ex was all about the plot line for me. It was probably the best damn story I have ever seen in a game, and it got bonus points for having illuminati and mj12 stuph. the new story will be what i most look forward to in the sequel.
"Think for yourself. Question authority."
-- Timothy Leary
11.
 
Stealth
Feb 13, 2003, 22:25
11.
Stealth Feb 13, 2003, 22:25
Feb 13, 2003, 22:25
 
I, for one, am very happy that I won't have to worry about my shadow in DX2. Thief 3 is stealth-oriented, so player shadows are fine in that, but DX2 is not so much about stealth. I would probably find it annoying always having to look down to see where my shadow is.

10.
 
Stoners
Feb 13, 2003, 19:53
10.
Stoners Feb 13, 2003, 19:53
Feb 13, 2003, 19:53
 
I think they were stoned! Look at carrots example and players strategy elements all so logical like stoned logical they were like explaining to themselves not to us.

Hopefully you all understand what i`m trying to say(type)

This comment was edited on Feb 13, 19:55.
9.
 
Re: Hmmmm Deus Ex : Invisible War
Feb 13, 2003, 19:06
9.
Re: Hmmmm Deus Ex : Invisible War Feb 13, 2003, 19:06
Feb 13, 2003, 19:06
 
Yea, the developers have definitely revealed in past interviews that the player would not cast a shadow in DX2 and would cast a shadow in Thief. It seems pretty minor to me, and is certainly not "the entire point of having real-time lighting." I'm sure they have gameplay reasons for doing this.

~Jedi

8.
 
Re: Hmmmm Deus Ex : Invisible War
Feb 13, 2003, 18:31
8.
Re: Hmmmm Deus Ex : Invisible War Feb 13, 2003, 18:31
Feb 13, 2003, 18:31
 
lol.. i agree with everthing Creston said. Even the Kiefer Sutherland part. 24 is a sweet show

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell (I think...)
Avatar 9540
7.
 
Hmmmm Deus Ex : Invisible War
Feb 13, 2003, 17:10
7.
Hmmmm Deus Ex : Invisible War Feb 13, 2003, 17:10
Feb 13, 2003, 17:10
 
I feel like taking my pants off and covering myself in Nutella! (old PA joke).

The thing with the shadows is odd, but it won't ruin the game for me. It would be nicer if they DID put it in, but since we're talking a guy / girl with nanites in their body who can actually turn invisible when they want to, the lack of a shadow isn't TOO hard to explain in the game's context.

Also, I mean, LOOK at these two guys. Harvey and Ricardo. They're like... ubergeeks! I don't want some businessman looking guy in a suit with a tie to develop my games, I want guys that look like they are nerds, whom you can tell that they spend 16 hours a day reading comics and playing games, and thinking how cool it would be if you could run really fast and punch through walls and shit like that.
Maybe I should stop ranting...

Or maybe not. Here's one snippet that I found really interesting :
"I was here talking to a journalist earlier and he said, "Hey, if I took that noise-maker thing you talked about, and I threw it over by the gas barrel to attract the guard and waited for him to get near it and shot the barrel, would it kill him?" And I was like, "Uh yeah, that would work."

Now, I know that all of us are sitting here going "Well Duh!!! OFCOURSE that would work!"
But that's because that's the level of interactivity we've come to expect from games these days. We don't really think about it, since we've been going there slowly, it's kinda grown on us, and we don't really remember the games where something like that WOULDN'T work.
No point to this really, just something I thought of.

(Oh btw, now look at that example, and then realise that in Unreal 2, this actually DOESN'T work, and perhaps you'll see just how crap Unreal 2 really is..)

Edit 2 : Dammit Kiefer Sutherland, I support 24, I bought the first season on DVD, I sit there every tuesday night watching you chase after terrorists, now PUT YOUR VOICE IN DEUS EX 2! You OWE me!
Sorry, I just think his voice would be really cool in it



Creston

This comment was edited on Feb 13, 17:40.
Avatar 15604
6.
 
Re: WARREN SPECTOR IS MY GOD
Feb 13, 2003, 16:36
6.
Re: WARREN SPECTOR IS MY GOD Feb 13, 2003, 16:36
Feb 13, 2003, 16:36
 
It's not the end of the world - BUT! Think about it - for Thief III, it's even MORE appropriate and important to the gameplay.

'Tis fortunate then that the developers have said that in Thief III, the player does cast a shadow which the AI will react to. Deus Ex 2 wasn't deemed to require the same level of stealth gameplay as Thief III.

5.
 
I want to have Warren's baby!
Feb 13, 2003, 15:11
5.
I want to have Warren's baby! Feb 13, 2003, 15:11
Feb 13, 2003, 15:11
 
We thought we were making a better stealth game, and the stealth part's kind of broken.

In comparison to other so-called "stealth" games like RtCW and STV:EF, DX stealth worked very, very well. I'd much rather have a game with no stealth at all then very poorly implemented stealth. Actually, come to think of it, I can't think of anyplace where DX's stealth breaks down. There was a weird thing where all the enemies instantly knew exactly where you were but that's more of an AI problem to me. Maybe with so many of the designers' Thief pedigrees, they have higher standards ...

And another thing. The designers are always lamenting about their "forced failures," and yeah I see their point, but to me the Secret MJ12 Facility was one of the best levels in the whole game. How could they have done that if you weren't captured and imprisoned without your weapons? To me, the worst aspect of the game in this vein, was that you couldn't ever choose to remain loyal to Unatco and clean up those filthy terrorist scumbags (and I use "worst aspect" very gently).

If Harvey doesn't stop giving such great interviews I'll give up on Warren and start stalking him instead!! (Sorry sorry Warren if you're reading this!!)

This comment was edited on Feb 13, 15:22.
4.
 
Re: WARREN SPECTOR IS MY GOD
Feb 13, 2003, 14:15
4.
Re: WARREN SPECTOR IS MY GOD Feb 13, 2003, 14:15
Feb 13, 2003, 14:15
 
The point of real time lighting gameplay wise is that you are supposed to be able to make shadows with parts of the environment (pushing boxes around, etc). You can hide in shadows that you made with the dynamic lighting.

I dunno, sounds pretty cool to me. The AI not noticing player shadows seems pretty minor in comparison.

3.
 
Re: WARREN SPECTOR IS MY GOD
Feb 13, 2003, 13:51
3.
Re: WARREN SPECTOR IS MY GOD Feb 13, 2003, 13:51
Feb 13, 2003, 13:51
 
Damnit!

(We noticed that the player character doesn't cast a shadow at all. The team seems to be hiding something about this feature but they did mention that a player shadow would be incompatible with the AI. Otherwise the team would have to design AI to notice shadows.)

Is anyone else horribly troubled by this? This was part of the whole point of having real time lighting, wasn't it? If suddenly the player has no shadow, then it's just another case of walking around in a world you're not part of, albeit prettier.

It's not the end of the world - BUT! Think about it - for Thief III, it's even MORE appropriate and important to the gameplay. Sneaking around a corner, you'd have to be careful of your shadow giving you away, as well. They'd "have to" design AI to notice shadows??

You're DAMN RIGHT!

Get on it guys. The games are going to be incredible, I'm sure - don't let a little flub like this screw up the suspension of disbelief.


2.
 
Re: WARREN SPECTOR IS MY GOD
Feb 13, 2003, 12:57
indiv
 
2.
Re: WARREN SPECTOR IS MY GOD Feb 13, 2003, 12:57
Feb 13, 2003, 12:57
 indiv
 
That about sums it up. Thanks!

1.
 
WARREN SPECTOR IS MY GOD
Feb 13, 2003, 12:18
1.
WARREN SPECTOR IS MY GOD Feb 13, 2003, 12:18
Feb 13, 2003, 12:18
 
WARREN SPECTOR, I LOVE YOU MANG

YOU MAKE THE BEST GAMES MANG

READIN THAT MADE ME WANT TO INSTALL DEUX EX AGAIN, BUT I CANT FIND IT???? WHYYYYyyyYYYYyyyyyyy......

MANG I WONDER IF DEUS EX WOULD RUN OKAY ON MY NEW COMPUTER, IT WAS A SYSTEM HOG AT THE TIME BECAUSE OF THAT DAMN UNREAL ENGINE!!!

PLEASE DONT MAKE DEUS EX 2 SUCK LIKE UNREAL 2 DOES!!!!

THANKS!!!

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