Deus Ex is one of my favorites. The sequel, Invisible War, was a disappointment, but didn't erase my nostalgia for Warren Spector's conspiracy-laden original. A third Deus Ex is in development at Eidos Montreal, a prequel to the events set in motion in Deus Ex. Harvey Smith, now of Arkane Studios, played a major hand in both games, as Spector's right-hand-man -- also known as the lead designer.
While chatting on the phone with Smith about his newfound happiness at Arkane Studios and his enlightening experiences developing Karma Star for the iPhone, I couldn't help but ask him what he thought about a developer returning to the world of Deus Ex. Did he have any recommendations for the new team?
"Not really recommendations," he said, "but I'm really excited that they're doing it. It'll be cool to see what someone else does and to be able to play a Deus Ex game. I did largely the same thing on both games, I think, except that my title was different."
"The biggest difference with the second one was that…" he continued, pausing. "Well, let me say it this way, the biggest difference was that during the first game, we did not rewrite [the] Unreal [Engine technology], so our tools and stuff were usable through the entire project, whereas on the second game, some of the tools were really only useable in the last six months. And then also we were totally independent when we made the first one."
Every time Invisible War came up in our conversation, Smith's voice adopted a nostalgic tone -- it sounded clear Smith wish things had gone differently with its development. Smith even mentioned Invisible War was "almost not a first-person game." Following the success of Deus Ex, though, Smith said it was a project that "had a lot of weird pressures on it."
I can't imagine what a third-person Deus Ex would be like, can you?