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View Full Version : The elusive "Deus Ex Formula"



xaduha3
22nd Apr 2015, 02:36
It might be painful to watch, but here they are. Dreaded Pillars of Gameplay on which Human Revolution apparently resides.

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A very crude approximation of what Deus Ex is, if that was even a goal.

Some of us can write essays about it:

I'm sick of trying to explain my reasoning behind how I view Human Revolution vs the original Deus Ex, and while nobody may read it when it's published, I just want to be able to point to a cohesive document and say "There. That's why."

But how about distilling it? An elevator pitch of sorts, not as crude as Combat/Stealth/Social/Hacking, but something small that still catches the essence.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Aenean commodo ligula eget dolor. Aenean massa. Cul sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus.
Donec quam felis, ultricies nec, pellentesque eu, pretium quis, sem. Nulla consequat massa quis enim. Donec pede justo, fringilla vel, aliquet nec, vulputate eget, arcu.
In enim justo, rhoncus ut, imperdiet a, venenatis vitae, justo. Nullam dictum felis eu pede mollis pretium. Integer tincidunt. Cras dapibus. Vivamus elementum semper nisi. Aenean vulputate eleifend.

I don't know how long it should be, that's 140*4=560 characters for reference.

CyberP
22nd Apr 2015, 03:07
No elevator pitch could do it justice. You try, but it soon becomes a wall of text. If it isn't a wall of text it isn't a fair summary. Can't really say it is the "Deus Ex formula" though. More like the Immersive Sim formula. Most of the core design concepts are present quite strongly in Ultima Underworld. That was the grandest innovator, but Deus Ex certainly was an evolution of those concepts (and System Shock's, of course) in many respects.
When you compare them though, what does Deus Ex do differently on a major scale? Simulated storytelling? Simulated, deep gameplay? Multiple solutions to problems? Nope, already done by Underworld, albeit on a somewhat lesser scale.
Deus Ex's major evolution of those concepts was probably it's highly reactive game world (especially NPC dialogue).

xaduha3
22nd Apr 2015, 03:25
It must have been very hard for you not to mention GMDX. I appreciate that.

CyberP
22nd Apr 2015, 03:30
And here it is (http://www.moddb.com/mods/gmdx), dubbed the "Deus Ex formula perfected" by fans such as yourself.

xaduha3
22nd Apr 2015, 04:24
See, I haven't played any Ultima games or System Shock games. And I certainly have not played GMDX. So I don't care about that. All I care is experience that feels like the one I had when I played Deus Ex. Playing DX again doesn't solve that.

I think it's like with drugs, that's what I fear. Tolerance build-up. Try Elite: Dangerous using Rift and suddenly words 'Immersive Sim' sound funny when applied to old games like Deus Ex.

We live in a interconnected world, an idea + a team of developers + Kickstarter campaign and boom, you might have a possibility of a new game that is close to what we want will see a light of day. But we need to coherently express what we want in the first place. Can we do that?

CyberP
22nd Apr 2015, 04:52
See, I haven't played any Ultima games or System Shock games. And I certainly have not played GMDX. So I don't care about that. All I care is experience that feels like the one I had when I played Deus Ex. Playing DX again doesn't solve that.

Pure ignorance. So you're telling me you've fought for years for a DX-like experience from Eidos Montreal that you're certainly not going to get when you could have simply picked up, say, System Shock 2 and relived that feeling? You've basically just said "I want a DX-like experience but I don't care about a DX-like experience". Deus Ex is part of a family. A very gifted family. Start with System shock 2. It's basically Deus Ex's blood brother. There isn't much they don't share, core design-wise.


Can we do that?

You've - we've done it for years. Each point a horse beaten to death and well into decomposition. Eidos Montreal was reading, but they have their reasons for not acting, even if it is purely a difference of opinion. You've had plenty of time to look elsewhere to get what you desire. start with this: http://www.moddb.com/mods/2027 completely free, exceptionally fast setup, and then come back and tell me you haven't been completely blind. Better yet, try System shock 2. Try Arx.
Eidos Montreal are not dedicated to what we desire, the new official Deus Ex content is in their vision now, like it or loathe it.
I fight (or fought) because this family of game design is ******* exceptional and I desire to see its evolution using modern engines and a solid perspective on design, even if it has to be at my own hand. (realistically not likely beyond a limited mod. I don't have millions of dollars).

Throw in the towel. We're not getting the next step of Immersive Simulation design from Square-*******-Enix. Not even the original numerous developers seem to be pushing for it (Otherside, Irrational, Arkane).

xaduha3
22nd Apr 2015, 05:07
I expect nothing more than a sequel to HR from SE or EM, that battle was lost long ago.
But your 'message' was essentially the same since you first started posting on these forums. I got it and I don't care for it.

SS2, Arx Fatalis, GMDX, Ultima Underworld, GMDX, Immersive Sim, blablabla. A game might age well, it might not, but it does age. I can play old games that are seasoned with my own nostalgia. I can't play old games that aren't, I just don't want to.

Are you done with this thread?

CyberP
22nd Apr 2015, 05:15
I can play old games that are seasoned with my own nostalgia. I can't play old games that aren't, I just don't want to.

Urgh, ignorance certainly isn't bliss in this case.


I expect nothing more than a sequel to HR from SE or EM, that battle was lost long ago.

So what is the point in this thread?


Are you done with this thread?

Yes. Enjoy continuing shouting at a brick wall. It really isn't fun.

xaduha3
22nd Apr 2015, 06:32
So what is the point in this thread?


Imagine HR is like Big Mac, easy peasy, blablabla on a sesame seed bun. Deus Ex is like some some Gourmet dish that you tasted once, but either don't know the recipe of or the recipe would require a long-winded explanation, with many details.

Now me, I'm not that picky. Big Mac is fine, but I'd rather have something more refined. I'm not going to get that at Macdonald's, but there's a possibility we might get something close to it on the menu in some other place, if enough people are interested.

You say that was discussed to death, but to an outsider it sounds like a bunch of weirdos are nitpicking, so it's all worthless. Come to think of it there is a word for what I want - a Manifesto.



Yes. Enjoy continuing shouting at a brick wall. It really isn't fun.

I'm trying to talk to fellow Deus Ex fans of, that's all.

CyberP
22nd Apr 2015, 07:36
Now me, I'm not that picky. Big Mac is fine, but I'd rather have something more refined.


I've already pointed you to exquisite fine dining restaurants, the only locations of which you'll find the most superior of dishes, but you continue to eat big macs in MacDonald's toilets.

xaduha3
22nd Apr 2015, 07:59
I've already pointed you to exquisite fine dining restaurants, the only locations of which you'll find the most superior of dishes, but you continue to eat big macs in MacDonald's toilets.

Places you describe closed some time ago, are you a time traveler? I'm not into frozen for decades, microwaved stuff. That's not a that I would call "superior of dishes", not now.

CyberP
22nd Apr 2015, 08:07
Places you describe closed some time ago, are you a time traveler? I'm not into frozen for decades, microwaved stuff. That's not a that I would call "superior of dishes", not now.

Careful, you're starting to sound like [Censored], dismissing them as relics frozen in time. Those games rival DX1 in quality. You consider DX1 refined design. Well there you go. It is the only place you'll find prestigious craft of this style.

Suit yourself, enjoy your big mac, toilet seat and brick wall.

xaduha3
22nd Apr 2015, 08:14
Careful, you're starting to sound like *edited out* dismissing them as relics frozen in time. Those games rival DX1 in quality. You consider DX1 refined design. Well there you go.

I'm all for bringing the dish back on the menu, in some place(s). All I want is a succinct recipe that I can give to the chef. He might even listen.

You're saying: we can't create a recipe, we discussed it a million times already. Here, eat this, it's just like old times. Well, I don't want to live in the past.

Lady_Of_The_Vine
22nd Apr 2015, 08:16
CyberP, I had to edit your post to remove a banned member's name. Please avoid using this tactic during debate, its not fair to the party named as he/she is no longer here to add comment.

Also, please edit the "Square-*** Enix" part of you post. Dodging the censor isn't allowed.

How long have you been here? You should know the rules by now.

CyberP
22nd Apr 2015, 08:21
I shall do as you ask in the name of order and sensible discussion, no diversions into insanity, and perhaps as a result we can make progress. Lookin' at you, 'dex.


Well, I don't want to live in the past.

Nor do I. But it is where supreme design resides, and that's where you'll find me, making progress by applying mods of various non-profit artists ;)

nomotog
23rd Apr 2015, 14:26
The elevator pitch can't be that hard. "It's a game where on your third play through you will discover shotguns can open doors." But ya your going to get a lot of different views form different people. Some people like to focus a lot on the story/setting, some more on the game mechanics, others on game flow or game feel. I tend to wrap the game around the idea of subversion of choice. The game will often present you with ,what looks like, a non choice that isn't. It's why the game is a linear storyline rather an open world type game. Having a linear game sets up the idea that you are following a script, so you come in thinking you can't go off script until you do.

Other games offer just as much if not more choice, but they literally offer it to you so you know both the options you picked and the ones you didn't. It's a much different feeling when you discover a choice then when your offered one.

FrankCSIS
24th Apr 2015, 01:35
Other games offer just as much if not more choice, but they literally offer it to you so you know both the options you picked and the ones you didn't. It's a much different feeling when you discover a choice then when your offered one.

This is extremely important in understanding how interactivity, in all mediums, actually work. It has the double function of allowing the player to construct his own conflicts or options, all the while avoiding making false choices about the issues he does not particularly cares about, or connects with. It makes every dilemma fully real, because the player, not knowing all the options available, will only notice the dilemmas he has strong feelings about. It makes his course of action the only natural course of action, without inducing choices he would have naturally never considered.

It makes the entire experience an active one, instead of a passive one. I can't stress enough how "options" do not rhyme with interactivity. What matters is how those options are structured. This is what the current team failed to recognise, when they brought up the pillars I've disliked since day one.

To conceptualise it, it's Instinctive Storyplaying. In gameplay terms, I believe most people have already adopted Emergent Gameplay. When combining both those gameplay and narrative constructs, in a coherent united fashion, what you get is Deus Ex.

nomotog
24th Apr 2015, 03:37
This is extremely important in understanding how interactivity, in all mediums, actually work. It has the double function of allowing the player to construct his own conflicts or options, all the while avoiding making false choices about the issues he does not particularly cares about, or connects with. It makes every dilemma fully real, because the player, not knowing all the options available, will only notice the dilemmas he has strong feelings about. It makes his course of action the only natural course of action, without inducing choices he would have naturally never considered.

It makes the entire experience an active one, instead of a passive one. I can't stress enough how "options" do not rhyme with interactivity. What matters is how those options are structured. This is what the current team failed to recognise, when they brought up the pillars I've disliked since day one.

To conceptualise it, it's Instinctive Storyplaying. In gameplay terms, I believe most people have already adopted Emergent Gameplay. When combining both those gameplay and narrative constructs, in a coherent united fashion, what you get is Deus Ex.

I would go yes and no. The pillars talk makes it sound like they have no idea what they are talking about, but the actual results end up playing better. You end up with a lot more pillars like the ever lovely stacking boxes pillar. :P

xaduha3
29th Apr 2015, 22:22
I think that the Hubs are very important part of the DX formula. Some may half-seriously say that Dishonored was a better DX game that HR, but Dishonored didn't have Hubs, only a hideout and mission locations. That's one corner (A), on the other (B) you have sandbox games, one big shallow-ish city. Neither are good fit for a DX game (C). And there are games that have several cities (D).

A: Alpha Protocol, Dishonored
B: Various sandbox games (GTA, AC, Sleeping Dogs, Watch Dogs, etc)
C: Deus Ex, VTM:B, HR
D: Elder Scrolls, Fallout 3+

Invisible War doesn't fall into C, it's closer to A I think.

More examples welcome, but keep in mind the point - I'm not looking for fine details, quite the opposite - broad strokes.