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View Full Version : Deus Ex 2 Speculation Thread (Part 1)



Catman
26th Jun 2002, 16:54
A topic originally started by TechImmortal on the old Eidos Deus Ex Forum.

Note: I have edited the original threads by removing several off-topic posts, user signatures, and a few other minor items. In some places, this causes inconsistencies in alternating colors for individual posts.

<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="95%" border=0> <TBODY> <TR> <TD bgColor=#000000> <TABLE cellSpacing=1 cellPadding=4 width="100%" border=0> <TBODY> <tr valign="top" bgColor=#00104f> <TD vAlign=center width="18%"><FONT face=Arial color=#ffffff size=1><B>Author</B></FONT></TD> <TD vAlign=center><FONT face=Arial color=#ffffff size=1><B>Topic:&nbsp;&nbsp; SPOILERS! Tech's DX2 Speculation Thread (as Promised)</B></FONT></TD></TR> <tr valign="top" bgColor=#c0c8d0> <TD vAlign=top width="18%"><FONT face=Arial size=2><B>TechImmortal</B></FONT><BR><FONT face=Arial size=1>Member <P>Posts: 514<BR>From: Cabal of Technophiles mod group<BR>Registered: AUG 2001</FONT></P></TD> <TD><FONT SIZE=2 face=Arial size=2><FONT face=Arial color=#001450 size=1>posted 02-28-2002 11:08 PM</FONT> <HR> SPOILER WARNING: <P>If you have not finished the game at least once, and if you have not seen all the endings -- at least, the 3 *official* endings<IMG src="http://forums.eidosgames.com/images/smilies/biggrin.gif"> -- you really don't want to be here. <P>THIS IS AN EXPLICITLY SPOILER-FILLED THREAD -- YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED <P>Ok, now that I've done the ethical thing, if you still belong here or want to be here anyway, then keep reading. <P>-----------<BR>General comments and disclaimer: <P>I'm posting this because I'd like to share it with the community here. Please be aware that THIS IS NOT OFFICIAL information, but educated conjecture on my part. If it *were* inside information, I wouldn't be allowed to post it! <P>So, I may be wholly or partly right, or I may be completely wrong, in the messages that follow. I'm willing to end up looking like a fool in the interest of posting my guesses so you guys can have fun with it all. <P>However: <P>-- Please, if you quote me anywhere else, especially in articles, give me credit. As I said, I'm willing to look like a fool if I'm wrong; what would upset me is if I'm right and don't get credit when I'm quoted. <P>-- I don't claim any of this is original, but I haven't seen these theories and guesses done QUITE THIS WAY anywhere else. I do claim that I came up with this myself, most of it many months ago, but "Great Minds Think Alike" so these guesses about how the Deus Ex endings are converged, and how (and where) JC starts off in Deus Ex 2, may have shown up elsewhere. I think not, though, or STL would have seen them and understood my hints by now. The *details* of all this have of course been mentioned before, just not put together in this way. <P>-- Because of my recently healing tendons, there is only so much typing I can do. So, after I post my 3-part message, you guys can run with it. I won't always be able to do long typing, filling in details or engaging in debate, fun though that would be. I'll try to comment when I can. <P>-- In the end, it's really not all that much. Hope you aren't disappointed, after all this build-up.<IMG src="http://forums.eidosgames.com/images/smilies/smile.gif"></FONT> </TD></TR> <tr valign="top" bgColor=#dfe0e0> <TD vAlign=top width="18%"><FONT face=Arial size=2><B>TechImmortal</B></FONT><BR><FONT face=Arial size=1>Member <P>Posts: 514<BR>From: Cabal of Technophiles mod group<BR>Registered: AUG 2001</FONT></P></TD> <TD><FONT face=Arial size=2><FONT face=Arial color=#001450 size=1>posted 02-28-2002 11:10 PM &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</FONT> <HR> <B>Part 1: Endings? What endings? We don't need no steenking endings...</B> <P>What follows is my guess, which I've been keeping close to my chest for a long time (because I had reason to believe I was right, but never mind that) as to how the three Deus Ex endings are resolved into one beginning for Deus Ex 2. <P>First, a word on my first play-through of the game -- as some of you know, I deliberately played in a vacuum. I read no reviews, I did not play the demo, I did not visit boards, and when I needed the D3D patch, I got someone else to get it for me. So, when I got to the choices at the end, I was really in the dark, and the choice was totally mine. <P>Not knowing otherwise, I really did believe that it was a dark-ending, sacrifice scenario -- JC would die no matter which ending he chose. After all, I had played another game where in order to redeem himself, the main character had to die. I thought this was the same. <P>If JC merged with Helios, I thought he would lose his mind and individuality to the computer, effectively "dying" but still getting the chance to do some good. <P>If JC blew up the facility, he would die in the explosion. <P>If JC joined the Illuminati, he would be stabbed in the back as soon as he served whatever purpose Everett envisioned -- after all, Everett did not trust the technology, which was one reason Page and his cronies split with the Illuminati in the first place. <P>No matter what he did, JC would die -- after having done some good on the way out. <P>What if I was right? JC DIES. Think about it. More on this, below. <P>Also, consider this: No matter what JC does, all of the factions *except* MJ12 still exist: X51, Tracer Tong (currently at X51 with Gary Savage), the Illuminati (especially Everett and Dowd), the NSF, the trio of Decker, Young, and Todd, and Chad and his rebels (perhaps including Nicolette). This aspect of the endings has been discussed elsewhere -- I'm sure I've seen posts pointing this out. <P>So, in the Tong ending, the facility is blown up, JC is dead, and as for the technology, it does exist elsewhere (in at least two places, but that's the *next* post). As for Helios, I assume such a valuable entity is backed up somewhere, or starts backing itself up as soon as it sees what's about to happen. I have no doubt that Helios could do this very quickly. Page and MJ12 are gone, and everyone else is still around. <P>In the Illuminati ending, JC gets stabbed in the back, the Illuminati move all the goodies out of Area 51 and blow the place up, put Helios on ice, and well, Page is dead and everyone else is still around. <P>In the Helios ending, either the merge goes wrong and JC dies, or the Illuminati move in and take control long enough to kill him. (One thing everyone has overlooked is that there is a way to control Helios. Helios had already started taking over before the merge. Yet in the Illuminati ending, the Illuminati plainly have control of the situation.) Then they collect the goodies, and blow the place up (possibly killing JC that way if he isn't already dead). Remember, Everett and Dowd are very nearby, waiting to arrive as soon as JC kills Page (in the Illuminati ending). So, it would not take them long to move in and take control if they had to, and probably before JC had adjusted to the merge, assuming he even can adjust. He looks OK in the Helios ending, but who can say if he really adjusts? Of course, as before Page is dead, and the other factions all still exist. Oh, and Helios can't stop an explosion -- it says so in the Tong ending. <P>So, as long as you assume JC is DEAD, all of the endings easily converge: JC is dead, Area 51 is blown up (regardless of who does it), Page is dead, Helios is backed up elsewhere, the nanotech enhancement technology exists elsewhere (see next post), and all of the factions except MJ12 still exist. <P>Make it 15 years later, and that gives all factions time to consolidate their positions, develop their technologies, and start trading in (legal and illegal) goodies. <P>Well, well, well...in this way, Ion Storm can now write, from scratch, whatever story they want to tell. Which is why neither I, nor anyone else, is going to be able to guess what it is. <P>Stay tuned for<B>Part 2: Baby, it's cold outside</B><IMG src="http://forums.eidosgames.com/images/smilies/biggrin.gif"> This upcoming post is the one that will answer some recent questions. <P>(This cliffhanger format allows me to rest my hands, and it's fun, too.)</FONT> </TD></TR> <tr valign="top" bgColor=#c0c8d0> <TD vAlign=top width="18%"><FONT face=Arial size=2><B>TechImmortal</B></FONT><BR><FONT face=Arial size=1>Member <P>Posts: 514<BR>From: Cabal of Technophiles mod group<BR>Registered: AUG 2001</FONT></P></TD> <TD><FONT face=Arial size=2><FONT face=Arial color=#001450 size=1>posted 03-01-2002 01:47 AM</FONT> <HR> <B>Part 2: Baby, it's cold outside</B> <P>So, if JC is dead, how can you be JC Denton in the sequel? We know you will be, it's been stated several places, such as page 39 of the August 2001 PC Gamer. <P>Answer: You're a clone. You always were one, anyway. <P>But wait, you may say, a clone is not going to have the same personality as the original JC. It simply won't be JC - it'll be someone new. Paul and JC were clones but they were different people, right? <P>There are two ways to approach this, and Ion Storm could take either one: <P>-- Right. You aren't the same person. You're you, and you don't even know about the previous JC. <P>-- Wrong. You're really the original JC, reincarnated through technology. This is the tack I think Ion Storm's going to take. More on this after we get the physical cloning aspect out of the way. <P>In order to create another physical JC, a lab has to have the genetic material or the genome, and a methodology. There are two methodologies available: cloning the original genetic material and then accelerating the growth, or entering the genome information into a UC. The first method was the one used to create the JC of the first Deus Ex. <P>By the way, it needn't be a clone of the male JC/Paul/Alex. The genetic material used (and reworked) to create JC came from a family with certain characteristics. So material from that family can be used instead -- and this is how you can get a female JC. <P>Information on the families from which genetic material was collected, and on the accelerated growth method of raising cloned bodies, can be found in a message on the computer on the desk just inside the Aquinas Hub blast door. I'll let you guys find it and post screenies, now that you know what you are looking for. It's called "Cloning Prospectus" and it refers to the smallpox vaccinations of the 1940's, thus indicating that the Illuminati had been up to genetic manipulation projects for more than the previous 100 years. It also refers to implanted memories, which will come up again, below. <P>At least two places have the genetic information and the technology. One is X51 -- Gary Savage has the genome and a UC (check his computer in the command center), so he and his group can use the second method. (And they can get a female JC by directly manipulating the information.) Since his group used to work for Page, I'm sure they know everything they need to know in order to create another JC. However, they may have some trouble getting their hands on the exact augmentation technology. They can create what they want with the UC, but do they have the "blueprints" for the augs, and can they properly install them? In 15 years, they may be able to build what they need. They *are* pals with Tracer Tong -- he is no doubt the Hong Kong connection who sold them their military bots (this is mentioned in a conversation) and at the end of Deus Ex, he is a guest of Gary Savage. And this type of technology is his specialty. What X51 does *not* have is the above-mentioned implanted memories -- so any clone they create would not start out with the same "memories" and training as the original JC. Their clone, if they create one, would be a different person. <P>The more likely place, though, is the one that's already been doing these types of experiments, and therefore has the experience. No doubt, they have the right "starter" memories to implant, too. And if they have the data that was constantly sent from JC's infolink, they may be able to recreate the rest of his memories, - the ones he acquired during the story of Deus Ex. And, naturally, they'd edit out anything they don't want him to remember...which not only provides a nice, evil, paranoid touch, but makes up for any differences in how any players of the first Deus Ex did things. From a technological standpoint (not a theological one, I refuse to get into that) he is reincarnated. He, or she, will at least think he/she is the original JC. <P>This place in question is a hidden lab -- in Siberia. Note the following: <P>-- Warren Spector, in the GamaSutra post mortem of Deus Ex, says: <P>"We worked out a bunch of missions -- more than 25 of them, taking the player from New York to London to Paris to San Antonio, to Austin to Siberia to Washington, D.C., to NORAD to Sunken L.A. (post-earthquake) to the Moon. We had wars in Texas, raids on concentration camps to free 2,000 prisoners from UN troops under FEMA control. Those of you who think the Deus Ex story line includes everything plus the kitchen sink now should have seen what we started with!" <P>(The link to the article is here:<A href="http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/login.php3?from=/features/20001206/spector_02.htm" target=_blank>http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/login.php3?from=/features/20001206/spector_02.htm</A> <P>but you can't get there unless you are a member. However, I believe STL is a member, and I know he's read this article because he's referred to it before.) <P>Note that reference to Siberia. It was going to be a location in the original Deus Ex. <P>-- Now check the genome email that arrives on Smuggler's computer. Note that it comes from Sverdlovsk (Siberia). Now, think about the recent references to the existence of a snowstorm in Deus Ex 2. <P>Bingo! Yes, there is a secret lab in Siberia, which has JC's genome and has been up to this sort of work for some time. Now does it belong to Page Industries, the Illuminati, or some third party? <P>I do wonder who Smuggler's buyer (of that information) was. Gary Savage? If not, then there is yet another group with JC's information. <P>So, now you understand my references to the importance of snow. I immediately thought of the Sverdlovsk reference. <P>(Note the grievous error in referring to Sverdlovsk by that name, and in calling the Net node "SOVNET." The Soviet Union is of course long gone, and Sverdlovsk reverted to its older name of Yekaterinburg when the Soviet Union ended.) <P>The lab may well be this one:<BR><A href="http://www.planetdeusex.com/images/image.asp?/dx2/files/art/dx2art04.jpg" target=_blank>http://www.planetdeusex.com/images/image.asp?/dx2/files/art/dx2art04.jpg</A> <P>Look at the scientist in the picture. Now, look at this picture:<BR><A href="http://www.planetdeusex.com/images/image.asp?/dx2/files/art/dx2_scientists.jpg" target=_blank>http://www.planetdeusex.com/images/image.asp?/dx2/files/art/dx2_scientists.jpg</A> <P>Note that they work for "PiezoChem" (Also notice how bloody one of them is...) Don't they just reek of Page Industries, or something very like them?</FONT> </TD></TR> <tr valign="top" bgColor=#dfe0e0> <TD vAlign=top width="18%"><FONT face=Arial size=2><B>TechImmortal</B></FONT><BR><FONT face=Arial size=1>Member <P>Posts: 514<BR>From: Cabal of Technophiles mod group<BR>Registered: AUG 2001</FONT></P></TD> <TD><FONT face=Arial size=2><FONT face=Arial color=#001450 size=1>posted 03-01-2002 01:56 AM</FONT> <HR> OK, that's the basic theory. Post, comment, have fun, knock yourselves out. In other words, this discussion is now open, have a ball. <P>Part 3 is just going to be general comments about what all this implies about the Deus Ex 2 world, but that's not time-critical and you guys will probably come up with most of it, anyway. I'll do that once I get some sleep, and get some other things done, if it still looks necessary. <P>The main question I don't try to answer is *why* anyone would re-create JC. There are just so many possible reasons, depending on who is doing it. <P><B>Part 3</B><BR>I'll go ahead and add Part 3 here, as I originally said I might, just for completeness' sake. Part 3 is a summary of all the story and gameplay issues that are resolved by my proposed scenario: <P>- The fact that there were three possible endings in the first game (PLEASE remember, this discussion is not about which ending is right, it's about the fact that different players will have made different choices, and how to resolve that.) <P>- The statement that you'll return as JC Denton in DX2 <P>- The statement that you'll be able to choose to play as female <P>- The gameplay issue of starting afresh with no augs or skills, so you'll be able to develop your character in DX2 <P>- The related issue that the aug and skill systems have been changed for DX2 (mentioned in a recent interview) <P>- A world where computers, bots, transgenic creatures, secret labs, cloning, nanotech, assorted conspiracies and rebels, black market items, and all the other cool Deus Ex-like features can once again exist no matter what ending the player picked in the first game <P>- The statement that some old characters will return <P>- The ability for the DX2 team to tell any story they wish, as long as it fits in this world, and make it difficult for us to guess what's up <P>- The ability to create a paranoid scenario where JC once again doesn't really know who he is or why he was (re)created <P>And here is a<A href="http://www.planetdeusex.com/dx2/files/art" target=_blank>link</A>, well-known in the DX community by now, that really belongs here, because it shows, in concept art, some of these elements, and hints at others. <P>Note particularly the reference to the WTO Forces on one of the pics. World Trade Organization? In<A href="http://202.139.253.82/pc/features/deusex/" target=_blank>this interview with Sheldon Pacotti</A> he talks about the WTO-related situation in Seattle and the influence it had on him while he was writing Deus Ex. In fact, this may be the Seattle connection discussed later in this thread. </TD></TR> <tr valign="top" bgColor=#c0c8d0> <TD vAlign=top width="18%"><FONT face=Arial size=2><B>DeusExJew</B></FONT><BR><FONT face=Arial size=1>Member <P>Posts: 356<BR>From: Halifax,NS,Canada<BR>Registered: DEC 2001</FONT></P></TD> <TD><FONT face=Arial size=2><FONT face=Arial color=#001450 size=1>posted 03-01-2002 03:29 AM</FONT> <HR> Excellent job Tech, insightful and logical<IMG src="http://forums.eidosgames.com/images/smilies/smile.gif"> <P>Some issues certainly depend on how the story played out for each individual player. For example, if you do not bring Ambrosia to Stanton Dowd in the crypt, it is implied that he is dead so if Ion Storm wished to include Everett and or Dowd in Deus Ex 2 there will be a problem. </FONT></TD></TR> <tr valign="top" bgColor=#dfe0e0> <TD vAlign=top width="18%"><FONT face=Arial size=2><B>-Random-</B></FONT><BR><FONT face=Arial size=1>Member <P>Posts: 81<BR>From:<BR>Registered: AUG 2001</FONT></P></TD> <TD><FONT face=Arial size=2><FONT face=Arial color=#001450 size=1>posted 03-01-2002 03:41 AM</FONT> <HR> From what I remember though, Dowd still shows up in an infolink message in Area 51, regardless of whether you bring him the Ambrosia or not (I purposely threw it away once to see what would happen<IMG src="http://forums.eidosgames.com/images/smilies/wink.gif">). So if he lasted that long, he may have been able to get Ambrosia from another source. <P>Anyway, very nice theories, Tech, and it certainly seems plausible (even likely). What you've written is probably a little complicated for most gamers though, so I wouldn't be surprised if it was dumbed down a little bit.<IMG src="http://forums.eidosgames.com/images/smilies/biggrin.gif"></FONT></TD></TR> <tr valign="top" bgColor=#c0c8d0> <TD vAlign=top width="18%"><FONT face=Arial size=2><B>STL[Caltech]</B></FONT><BR><FONT face=Arial size=1>Member <P>Posts: 676<BR>From: Pasadena, CA<BR>Registered: AUG 2001</FONT> </P></TD> <TD><FONT face=Arial size=2><FONT face=Arial color=#001450 size=1>posted 03-01-2002 05:03 AM</FONT> <HR> TechImm: <P>I like your points, and I even agree that JC could die in the Illuminati and Tong endings (we know Everett's not a nice guy, and the GOTY change makes me suspicious), but I don't think he could die in the One True Helios Ending. <P>&gt; In the Helios ending, either the merge<BR>&gt; goes wrong and JC dies <P>But we see JC immediately after the merge, and he's fine. I am dubious. It would be bad storytelling to say, "oh, but the merge went wrong later and JC died". <P>&gt; or the Illuminati move in and take<BR>&gt; control long enough to kill him. <P>Except that JC/Helios is such a badass, I don't think it would be that easy for the Illuminati. Possible, but unlikely. <P>&gt; (One thing everyone has overlooked is<BR>&gt; that there is a way to control Helios. <P>Helios, yes. Helios doesn't understand human motivation. JC/Helios does. He's invincible. <P>&gt; Helios had already started taking over<BR>&gt; before the merge. Yet in the Illuminati<BR>&gt; ending, the Illuminati plainly have<BR>&gt; control of the situation.) <P>Because JC didn't merge with Helios there. ;-) <P>TechImmortal:<BR>&gt; So, if JC is dead, how can you be JC<BR>&gt; Denton in the sequel? We know you will<BR>&gt; be, it's been stated several places, such<BR>&gt; as page 39 of the August 2001 PC Gamer. <P>This is new information to me! <P>&gt; Answer: You're a clone. <P>Ah, excellent. I like. :-&gt; <P>&gt; But wait, you may say, a clone is not<BR>&gt; going to have the same personality as the<BR>&gt; original JC. <P>But JC has no personality other than the one programmed into him. He's like a year old! <P>&gt; but you can't get there unless you are a<BR>&gt; member. However, I believe STL is a<BR>&gt; member, and I know he's read this article<BR>&gt; because he's referred to it before.) <P>This is correct. You've made an awesome chain of inferences here (and correctly guessed I totally missed it). I would LOVE to see Russia in DX2. <P>&gt; -- Now check the genome email that<BR>&gt; arrives on Smuggler's computer. <P>--<BR>From: IVelikovsky//SOVNET.2198.1893.123<BR>To: 328.2133.1230<BR>Subject: Informatsiya <P>I found the files you wanted, but I had to obtain them from the Biopreparat data well in Sverdlovsk at great expense. Strange -- this information wasn't part of any official Biopreparat research effort that I've been able to find, but was conducted under the codename "Velichestvennii" over the last two decades. There were several other projects attached to the same name being conducted throughout the world, but it was impossible to derive anything from them aside from their existence. In any case, your buyer must have some fairly esoteric interests. <P>You'll find my fee debited from your account.<BR>- I.V. - <P>[[[ATTACHED Nanoscale Molecular Interactions with Polymerase.doc]]]<BR>[[[ATTACHED Biochemical Immunity Rejection Studies Series 33a.doc]]]<BR>[[[ATTACHED Genome Map 1/1A/3C Subject: &lt;PLAYERNAME&gt;.doc]]]<BR>[[[ATTACHED Sulfur Catalytic Reaction with Protease Site 3-4.doc]]]<BR>[[[ATTACHED Regressive Degredation of Human Immune Complex.doc]]]<BR>[[[ATTACHED Velichestvennii 6287c78sdXX.DOC]]]<BR>-- <P><B>For those that don't know Russian, "velikii" is the adjective which means great. "Ekaterina Velikaya" means "Catherine the Great". "Velichestvennii" is a related word from the same root. It is the adjective which means "grand". We might know it better as "majestic".</B> <P>That can be my little contribution. :-&gt; <P>&gt; Bingo! Yes, there is a secret lab in<BR>&gt; Siberia, which has JC's genome and has<BR>&gt; been up to this sort of work for some<BR>&gt; time. <P>Wow. <P>&gt; The Soviet Union is of course long gone, <P>DX takes place circa 2050. How do you know the Soviet Union has not been resurrected? With nanotechnology, hardline communists could have staged a coup, especially given an economically weak and corrupt Russia tired of half a century of gangster capitalism and yearning for the good old days they heard their grandparents talking about? <P>I am a "member" of Gamasutra, but it was free. Since I don't want Gamasutra's database polluted (more) with fake info just because people want to see the DX postmortem (registration assumes you are a game developer, fancy that), here is the article:<BR>--<BR>Postmortem: Ion Storm's Deus Ex<BR>by Warren Spector<BR>December 6, 2000<BR><BR>Deus Ex shipped in June 2000. Sales were, and continue to be, strong, worldwide. Critical response (with one or two notable exceptions) has been positive. We've already won several "best of year" awards in the U.S., the U.K. and Germany. Needless to say it's gratifying when people appreciate your work. <P>We did a lot of stuff right on Deus Ex; we did a lot of stuff wrong. In this article, I'd like to take the opportunity to looks at some of that stuff. Specifically, I want to discuss: <P>* The design philosophies that led to the creation of Deus Ex. <BR>* Technology licensing: where it helped us and where it hurt us. <BR>* Scheduling methodologies and why they all failed (as they always do, on every project…)<BR>* Management structures and team building techniques, some of which seemed like good ideas on paper but turned out to be unmitigated disasters in practice.<BR>* The public relations triumphs and nightmares that often seemed as if they'd have as much impact on our success as the quality of our work. <P>Let's start with a simple question for those of you who have no idea what Deus Ex (a.k.a. "That Game with a Wacky Name") is… <P><B>What is Deus Ex?</B> <P>I'll try to be brief. (Those of you who know me know I'll probably fail…) <P>Fictionally, Deus Ex is set in a near-future version of the real world (as it exists if conspiracy buffs are right). For some real shorthand, call it "James Bond meets The X-Files." (Remember that seemingly innocent claim that Deus Ex is set in the real world. It'll come up again shortly…) <P>Conceptually, Deus Ex is a genre-busting game (which really endeared us to the marketing guys) -- part immersive simulation, part role-playing game, part first-person shooter, part adventure game. <P>It's an immersive simulation game in that you are made to feel you're actually in the game world with as little as possible getting in the way of the experience of "being there." Ideally, nothing reminds you that you're just playing a game -- not interface, not your character's back-story or capabilities, not game systems, nothing. It's all about how you interact with a relatively complex environment in ways that you find interesting (rather than in ways the developers think are interesting), and in ways that move you closer to accomplishing your goals (not the developers' goals). <P>It's a role-playing game in that you play a role and make character development choices that ensure that you end up with a unique alter ego. You make your way through a variety of minute-to-minute gameplay experiences (which add up to a story) in a manner that grows naturally out of the unique aspects of your character. Every game system is designed to differentiate one player-character from another, and to allow players to make decisions that reflect their own biases and express character differences in obvious ways in the game world. <P>It's a first-person shooter because the action unfolds in real time, seen through the virtual eyes of your alter ego in the game world. Your reflexes and skill play an important part in determining your success in combat. However, unlike the typical FPS, Deus Ex doesn't force you to shoot every virtual thing that moves. Also unlike the average FPS, in which gameplay is limited to pulling a virtual trigger, finding blue keys to open blue doors and jumping to reach seemingly inaccessible locations, Deus Ex offers players a wide range of gameplay options. <P>And finally, Deus Ex is like adventure games in that it's story-driven, linear in narrative structure, and involves character interaction and item accumulation to advance the plot. However, unlike most adventure games (in which you spend the bulk of your time solving clever puzzles in a search for the next static, but very pretty, screen), Deus Ex asks players to determine how they will solve game problems and forces them to deal with the consequences of their choices. <P>Deus Ex was designed from the start to combine elements of all of these genres. But more important than any genre classification, the game was conceived with the idea that we'd accept players as our collaborators, that we'd put power back in their hands, ask them to make choices, and let them deal with the consequences of those choices. It was designed, from the start, as a game about player expression, not about how clever we were as designers, programmers, artists, or storytellers. Which leads naturally to a discussion of having clear goals -- the first thing I think we did right. <P><B>What Went Right</B> <P>1. A clear high-level vision. It's pretty self-evident that you can't achieve goals if you're not clear about what they are. We knew with a high degree of confidence what kind of game we wanted to make. This was possible for two reasons. First, Deus Ex is a natural outgrowth of work done by and in some cases with the late, lamented Looking Glass Technologies. We were inspired as well by games made at Valve, Origin, and a host of other places. Many of the things we wanted to do were a reaction to things they (or we) didn't do, didn't do well or couldn't do at all in earlier games. We weren't building from scratch, but rather building on a foundation already laid for us. <P>Second, and on a personal level, Deus Ex is a game I've been thinking about since right around the time Underworld 2 shipped. I've tried to get a game like this started several times (as Troubleshooter at Origin; in some respects, as Junction Point, for Looking Glass). Those games didn't happen for a variety of reasons: <P>* I didn't or couldn't sell the concepts to the money people. <BR>* Then current technology wasn't up to the job.<BR>* I didn't have a team that wanted to make this kind of game or the resources to build one.<BR>* Publishers weren't interested in a first-person, cross-genre game.<BR><BR>Still, I never stopped thinking about these games and, despite their failure to reach production, they laid much of the conceptual groundwork for Deus Ex. The lesson here is that if there's a game you really want to make, don't give up on it. Someone will be foolish enough to give you the money eventually. <P>As an interesting (I hope!) historical footnote, I include here for the first time publicly, complete with typos and misspellings, the very first proposal I ever submitted for the old Troubleshooter concept back at Origin. Note the budget and projected release date and, oh, those system requirements! Note also the similarities (and differences) between Troubleshooter and what eventually became Deus Ex. <P>Several years passed. Lots of games somewhat like Troubleshooter came and went. Game budgets went up dramatically -- $500,000 indeed! I left Origin and go to work for Looking Glass. Troubleshooter stayed on my mind. <P>In the fall of 1997, before Ion Storm entered the Deus Ex picture, I drafted a manifesto -- a description of an ideal game -- and also a set of "Rules of Role-Playing." Much of that material ended up in an article published in Game Developer ("Remodeling RPGs for the New Millennium". Here (for more of those historical reasons mentioned above) is the original draft of my Rules of Role-Playing, circa 1997: <P><B>The Rules of Role-Playing</B> <P>* Always show the goal. Players should see their next goal (or encounter an intriguing mystery) before they can achieve (or explain) it. <P>* Problems not puzzles. It's an obstacle course, not a jigsaw puzzle. Game situations should make logical sense and solutions should never depend on reading the designer's mind. And there should always be more than one way to get past a game obstacle. Always. <P>* No forced failure. Failure isn't fun. Getting knocked unconscious and waking up in a strange place or finding yourself standing over dead bodies while holding a smoking gun can be cool story elements, but situations the player has no chance to react to are bad. Used sparingly, to drive a story forward, O.K. Don't overuse! <P>* It's the people, stupid. Role-playing is about interacting with other people in a variety of ways (not just combat… not just conversation…). <P>* Players do; NPCs watch. It's no fun to watch an NPC do something cool. If it's a cool thing, let the player do it. If it's a boring or mundane thing, don't even let the player think about it -- let an NPC do it. <P>* Have you patted your player on the back today? Constant rewards will drive players onward. Make sure you reward players regularly. And make sure the rewards get more impressive as the game goes on. <P>* Players get smarter so games get harder. Make sure game difficulty escalates as players become more accustomed to your interface and more familiar with your world. Make sure you reward the player by making him or her more powerful as the game goes on. <P>* Think 3D. A 3D map cannot be laid out on graph paper. It has to take into account things over the player's head and under the player's feet. If there's no need to look up and down -- constantly -- make a 2D game! <P>* Are You Connected? Maps in a 3D game world must feature massive interconnectivity. Tunnels that go direct from Point A to Point B are bad; loops (horizontal and vertical) and areas with multiple entrance and exit points are good. <P>A year or so later, Deus Ex lead designer Harvey Smith clarified and extended the original rules as follows: <P><B>The DEUS EX Rules Amendments &amp; Addenda</B><BR>Drafted by Harvey Smith (and endorsed enthusiastically by me) in 1998 <P>1. Problems will have multiple solutions. Locations will be reachable in several ways. All missions, locations, and problems will be specifically keyed to:<BR>* Skills (and skill levels)<BR>* Augmentations (and augmentation levels)<BR>* Objects<BR>* Weapons <P>2. Gameplay will rely on a variety of "tools," rather than just one: <P>* Character capabilities (skills/augmentations)<BR>* Resource management<BR>* Combat<BR>* Character interaction<BR><BR>3. Combat will require more thought than "What's the biggest gun in my inventory?": <P>* A more relevant question might be, "How do I deal with this situation involving a few intelligent, dangerous enemies?" <P>4. Geometry should contribute to gameplay -- Whenever possible, show players a goal or destination before they can get there. This encourages players to find the route: <P>* The route should include cool stuff players want or should force players through an area they wants to avoid. (The latter is something we don't want to do too often.)<BR>* Make sure there's more than one way to get to all destinations.<BR>* Dead ends should be avoided unless tactically significant. <P>5. The overall mood and tone will be clear and consistent: <P>* Fear<BR>* Paranoia<BR>* Tension<BR>* Release (through combat and/or reaching a predetermined goal or NPC conversation) <P>The details of Deus Ex -- plot, character, game system design -- all changed radically since the days of Troubleshooter and manifestos and rules and rules addenda, but conceptually the game still follows most of the rules and meets the ideals outlined in the Game Developer article. With these conceptual tools in mind, the Deus Ex team was able to *****s design decisions and game system specifications, in light of what we wanted players to experience during the game and in light of our ultimate design goals. <P><B>So What Were Our Goals (In the Beginning)?</B> <P>How did we intend to move from abstract ideas to game design specifics? We had to take our thinking to a deeper level. We had to start thinking about what we wanted players to be doing and thinking about as they played the game, rather than what we would be thinking about as we developed it. <P>This led to some critical concepts, outlined here: <P>* Who are you? We wanted players thinking about who they wanted to be in our game world. Character differentiation was to be paramount. Even more important, though, was the desire to ensure that those character differences would be more than cosmetic -- they had to be expressible, minute-to-minute, in a deeply simulated game world, resulting in a unique gameplay experience for each player. This proved to be a far more important goal than any of us expected it to be.<BR>* How do you behave? We wanted players thinking about how they wanted to interact with our game world. We knew we'd have to wean players from traditional puzzle/solution thinking and show them that Deus Ex was a game of problems (not puzzles!), all solvable in a variety of ways. This seemed critical to making character differentiation meaningful. The idea was to create a believable world and then offer game systems that encouraged players to explore that world in whatever way or ways they chose. The game would tune itself (however slightly) to the player's play style rather than forcing the developers' desired play style on players. We were tired of games that kept us on rails, offering the illusion of freedom and interactivity but without the reality, and we hoped players were as tired as we were of guessing what developers had in mind. We're a long way from being able to create a game in which players are truly free to do whatever they want -- believe me, there's plenty of illusion in Deus Ex -- but we knew we wanted to start taking at least some steps on the road to player control. <BR>* Are you willing to pay the price? "Choice" and "consequence" were the two most frequently uttered words during our two to three years of development. What good is player control if all choices lead to the same result? Without real, predictable consequences, choice is irrelevant. (Which is probably why so many games seem so trivial -- they are trivial!)<BR>* Are you there? We wanted players to feel like they were actually there, in the real world. We wanted this not only because we thought it would be cool (though we did think that!) but because we thought it was critical to making the above concepts actually work. If players were going to solve problems, they needed to be able to make some informed guesses about how those problems worked. If they were going to deal with consequences, they needed to be able to predict what those consequences might be. In other words, they needed to be able to apply some real-world common sense. If you fire a gun in the room you're sitting in as you read this, you can pretty much tell what's going to happen. (If you're in a public place, all **** is going to break loose; if you're at home alone, your neighbors might complain about the noise but that's about it…) Fire a gun in a game set in a fantastic alternate dimension and there's no telling. How can you possibly make a plan and execute it if you can't apply simple, real-world logic to the most straightforward situation imaginable? We wanted that real-world common-sense stuff. Firing a gun in Deus Ex should result in the real-world response. (Speaking personally, I was also just sick and tired of goofy fantasy settings and alien invasions.) Everything in the game would be real, based on something real or based on something someone, somewhere believed to be real. (We can show you the research behind most everything in the game, no matter how outlandish it may seem.) We looked for two kinds of real world spaces: Those that were naturally great game spaces (highly interconnected, multi-level stuff) and places people would just enjoy poking around in ways they couldn't in the real world (such as the White House). There was never a time when we thought realism should get in the way of fun -- anytime that happened, reality lost. <P>To recap: Know what your gameplay goals are and what kind of experience you want players to have before you spend ten seconds thinking about anything specific. Nice talk, but what did clear goals, manifestos, and commandments buy us? <P><B>2. We didn't skimp on preproduction.</B> We spent the first six months of I (before we licensed a game engine), with a team of about six, just thinking about how we could turn our high-level goals into a game. We hammered on the setting and decided to move the game into the near future to buy ourselves some room to play around -- the real world, as we quickly discovered, was very limiting. Ultimately, we settled on a conspiracy-oriented background. <P>Here's what we had when we started: the very first design proposal (again, as is) for Shooter, our ironic working title for a game we never intended to be "just" a first-person shooter. [Link to Shooter Proposal] <P>First of all, ignore the projected ship date of Christmas 1998. That was never possible, not for an instant. I don't know what I was thinking. Anyway, other than that (ahem) little misstep, the original Shooter doc does a pretty good job of describing the game that eventually became Deus Ex. Details changed. System specs definitely changed, but overall I don't think anyone can say we didn't deliver the game we said we would. <P>But how did we get from Shooter to Deus Ex? What were our first steps? <P>We worked on back-story stuff so we'd know what was going on in the world, even in places the player never got to visit. Some of this stuff may come to the forefront in Deus Ex 2 but, for Deus Ex, it was just a way of making sure we knew enough to include the kinds of small details that make a fictional world convincing. <P>We did a vast amount of research into "real" conspiracies -- the Kennedy assassination, Area 51, the CIA pushing crack in East L.A., Dwight Eisenhower's UFO connection, and of course Freemasons tunneling below the Denver airport and building abducted-baby cafeterias for alien invaders at George Bush's direction. Only a fraction of this stuff ended up in the game, but it gave us a peek into the minds of conspiracy buffs that was both scary and useful. <P>We also created a cast of more than 200 characters, many of whom didn't yet have specific roles in the game. Ultimately, this list proved to be both a help and a hindrance to designers as they fleshed out the missions. Characters sometimes suggested missions or subquests, but just as often ended up being filler we were reluctant to cut, even though their missions or story purposes changed during our storyline-focusing p*****. <P>We worked out a bunch of missions -- more than 25 of them, taking the player from New York to London to Paris to San Antonio, to Austin to Siberia to Washington, D.C., to NORAD to Sunken L.A. (post-earthquake) to the Moon. We had wars in Texas, raids on concentration camps to free 2,000 prisoners from UN troops under FEMA control. Those of you who think the Deus Ex story line includes everything plus the kitchen sink now should have seen what we started with! <P>We hammered on game systems. We conceived a skill system that didn't depend on die-rolls or tracking skills at a fine level of granularity. We came up with a system of "special powers" (nanotech augmentations) that differentiated the player character from ordinary humans. We designed a conversation system with some cinematic elements and some elements borrowed from console RPGs. We mocked up 2D inventory, skill, and augmentation upgrade screens, map screens, even a text editor so players could take notes. We conceived several player reward systems, including skill point awards, augmentation upgrades, weapon availability timelines and tool/object availability timelines. <P>By March 1998, we had 300 pages of documentation and thought we knew everything we'd needed to know to make a game. Were we ever wrong. In the time between March 1998 and our Alpha 1 deadline of April 1999, that 300-page document mushroomed into more than 500 pages, much of it radically different from what we thought of and wrote initially. Clear goals and a detailed script are all well and good, but goals change, thinking changes, and game designs have to change, too. Which leads nicely into the next thing that went right. <P>3. Recognizing that game design is an organic process. Why did our thinking and goals change? There were lots of reasons. <P><B>NEW PEOPLE = NEW IDEAS</B> <P>First, new people joined the team, with new ideas. Our staff grew from six people to roughly 20. I hired a bunch of people, of course, but we had the added excitement of integrating an entire art team assigned to us, in Austin, by an art director a coupleof hundred miles away in Ion Storm's Dallas office. <P>Despite all the preproduction work, despite all the rules and manifestos, Deus Ex was, like all projects, going to be created by a group of people, each with his or her own agenda, many of whom hadn't been involved in the preproduction process. In other words, like all projects, Deus Ex was a living, evolving, growing thing. And there were some amazing growing pains associated with its development. Getting everyone on the same page wasn't always easy. (O.K., sometimes it was a nightmare!) <P>As we brought on new people, we found ourselves to be a team of hardcore Ultima geeks, hardcore shooter fans, hardcore immersive sim fans, strategy game nuts and console gamers. Some of our new team members proved to be "maximalists" -- wanting to do everything, special-case lots of stuff, and stick as close to reality as possible. Other team members proved to be minimalists -- wanting to include fewer game elements but implementing them exceptionally well, in ways that could be universally applied rather than special-cased. <P>Also, we made a point of letting select friends and colleagues play the game at various points along the way. We were interested in well-reasoned opinions from folks who understood the kind of game we were making intimately and who had a handle on the development process that was at least as good as our own. With all the new folks contributing and all the feedback from our chosen critics, well, let's just say we had some interesting debates at Ion Storm, Austin. Out of those debates new ideas arose, and the game changed as a result. <P><B>TECHNOLOGY IMPOSES LIMITS</B> <P>Technology forced design changes, too. It took time to become familiar with the Unreal engine. I wish I could say we uncovered all its potentials and limitations quickly, but we didn't. Months of experimentation were necessary to reveal how best to do things in Unreal and what things not to do at all. When we stopped playing with Unreal andactually started working with it (roughly six to nine months after we got our hands on it), lots of ideas we'd come up with in the abstract didn't work quite as well in reality. <P>Multiple solutions falling out of our simulation didn't happen as often as we'd hoped. We just didn't have a deep enough simulation nor did we have the time or personnel to create one. We found ourselves in the position of having to brute-force the multiple-path idea, as developers on Ultima games, for example, have done for years -- though I think we do more of it, more consciously and more effectively, than anyone else has to date. Designers have had to plan a "skill" path past problems, an "action" path and a "character interaction" path. It works, but it's not what we originally intended. <P>Our original plan to build large, outdoor areas -- whole sections of New York, Area 51, lovingly recreated in excruciating detail gleaned from maps and satellite photos and, most notably, my dream of allowing players to explore the entire White House -- just proved to be unfeasible. There was no way any then-current renderer was going to allow us to do all that. The design had to change. <P><B>GAME SYSTEMS DIDN'T WORK AS INTENDED</B> <P>A third area that influenced the changing nature of the game's design was when the game systems didn't work as we intended them to. High-level concepts imply gameplay but don't -- and can't -- define it. We quickly found that descriptions of game systems are no substitute for prototypes and actual implementation. We prototyped every game system, as documented, relatively early on. We built some test missions, not quite early-on-enough but still early. <P>These test systems and missions revealed gaping holes in our thinking or things that we thought would be true that turned out not to be true at all. For instance, our augmentation and skill systems proved dry and rather dull, once implemented, despite looking really good on paper. Those systems were designed around the totally valid idea that the computer would resolve actions without any secret (or even non-so-secret) die rolls required. Players would always know, with absolute certainty, based on their character development choices, whether they could accomplish something or not. The trick would be whether they wanted to do something or not, based on an *****sment of the likely outcome and the likely consequences (for example, blowing down a door and setting off alarms versus the risk of picking a lock and being caught while doing it). In addition, I thought the tension of standing outside a locked door, not knowing if a guard was going to show up while you picked the lock would provide sufficient excitement. I thought knowing you could leap across a chasm because you had the Jump augmentation at Tech Level 3, opening up new paths through maps that were inaccessible to players without that augmentation, would be good enough to keep players interested. <P>When Gabe Newell from Valve came down and played our prototype missions, he correctly identified the utter lack of tension in our skill and augmentation use, as written up in the design doc and ably implemented by the coders. The worst was confirmed when Marc LeBlanc, Doug Church, Rob Fermier, and other friends from Looking Glass Studios and Irrational Games played the proto-missions and came to the same conclusions. Actually using skills and augmentations revealed things that merely thinking about them could never have revealed. <P>We took the criticism, and with it in mind, lead designer Harvey Smith revised the skill and augmentation systems pretty thoroughly, proposing an elegant system of consumable resources and time passage, all tied to skill level. This increased the tension level, provided new rewards, and allowed players to think and make informed decisions. Harvey also proposed a revision to the augmentation system, introducing an energy cost for their use (something I had foolishly rejected earlier on). Again, this gave us the opportunity to hand out items that would replenish energy -- in other words, we instantly had more things to hand out to players as rewards. It also introduced a level of tactical thinking to augmentation use that makes the system work. None of this would have happened without prototype missions and some harsh (but fair) criticism they allowed. <P><B>HOW FUN IS THE REAL WORLD, REALLY?</B> <P>Another big reason for changes from our original design doc was our realization that the idea of a real-world RPG with real-world locations and real-world weapons was better in some ways than it turned out to be on the screen. Not to put too fine a point on it, Deus Ex became a lot less realistic as time went on. <P>When we started building places such as the Statue of Liberty, a couple of square blocks of New York City, the White House, Parisian streets, and so on, we found ourselves constantly asking several questions: <P>* How interesting is most of the real world as a gaming environment? The answer was a tough-to-swallow "not very." Hotels and office buildings aren't great game spaces. And we were a bit naïve in thinking we could create a believable environment that didn't include many such locations.<BR>* How do we live up to people's expectations, particularly of places they've actually been? Believable settings raised expectations to unrealistic levels. We started facing comments like, "That's not what the inside of the Statue of Liberty looks like. I've been there. I know."<BR>* How do we force current simulation tools to deal with the object and NPC density and, even more crucial, the level of object and NPC interaction people expect in a "real-world game"? We worked very hard to make sure our world was overflowing with people and objects. But we wanted every person and object in the game to be believable. People had to behave like people. Every last object in the world had to serve some purpose. There would be virtually nothing that was "just" decoration. But that doesn't mean that everything works just the way you'd expect. We started hearing things like, "Hey, why can't I use that telephone to call anyone I want whenever I want?" and thus had to cut some objects whose real-world functionality we couldn't capture in the game.<BR>* Are humans interesting enough to carry an entire game? The answer to this question surprised me more than anything else we encountered during development. We were about year into the game's development when designers and artists started balking at a game that was entirely about human beings. Movies don't need nonhumans to be cool but the same cannot be said, apparently, for games. People seemed to want monsters and nasty bad guys. The feeling was so pervasive that it changed my thinking completely. The original design spec called for a couple of robots, but the team demanded that they be made a more important part of the landscape, so we added several new bot types. We also introduced genetically manipulated animals and even some alien-looking creatures, all of which grew naturally out of our game fiction. The game benefited, but this was a radical change from the original plan. <P>How do you know which of your core game goals are valid and which need rethinking? How do you know which game systems work and which don't? When is it possible to know what your game is really about? These questions are all answered by the "proto-mission." This is the first implemented mission, playable start to finish, the one that captures everything you want your game to be. Get this mission working as early as possible, so you can see all the things you thought would work that didn't. Then fix them. <P><B>4. Scheduling around successively more refined "proto-missions"</B><BR>It's a truism that milestones should be testable, showing visible progress, whenever possible, and we lived up to that standard. We could always pull a version together, always show off for press or our publisher. Most importantly, we always knew where we were (even if that knowledge was sometimes painful). But the proto-mission idea is something beyond simply visible, testable milestones. The proto-mission is critical in the process of design, as well as in milestone and schedule setting. <P>One example of where our proto-mission idea was successful was in May 1998, when our milestone was to have prototypes of critical game systems in place and two test maps running, in this case the White House and part of Hong Kong. The maps were crude, the conversations raw, and the game systems hacked, but we could see -- and show -- the potential. To our advantage, we resisted the temptation to do just the stuff we knew would work and the stuff that would look the prettiest, and prototyped new, risky stuff first. Conversation, interface, inventory, skills, and augmentations were all at least hacked in so we could see them in action. The White House was likely to prove our toughest map challenge, so we built it first. (Almost unbelievably, I missed what may have been the riskiest, most critical game system in all of our early prototyping, NPC AI. I should have insisted on early prototyping of our AI but I didn't.) With the proto-mission system, we could immediately see some of the limitations of our technology. For example, we had some serious speed problems with areas as big as the White House and Hong Kong. After this, we knew we'd have to break maps up into small pieces. And we began to suspect, though I couldn't quite embrace the idea, that we'd eventually have to cut maps and missions from the game -- most notably the White House. <P>In May 1999, we had a milestone calling for the delivery of the first two missions of the game, playable start to finish. All of our game systems were implemented (not hacked) as originally documented. You could start a game, create a character, upgrade skills, solve problems in a variety of ways, manipulate inventory, acquire augmentations, talk to NPCs, get and accomplish goals, save your game, and so on. To the team's chagrin, I had a tendency to call this the "Wow, these missions suck" milestone. It was around this time when Gabe Newell came for a visit and gave us our wake-up call, and where we all went, "Ulp! We have a lot of work to do." Our earlier demos had shown the potential of what we were doing. This demo showed us how far we had to go before we reached that potential. <P>This milestone also benefited us in that it showed us all the steps necessary to create a mission, and revealed the elements that really made the game work. That knowledge allowed us to go through our 500-page design document and cut everything that was extraneous, winnowing it down to a svelte 270 pages. Less game? Not at all. What was left was the best 270 pages -- the stuff that worked. "Less is more" was something Harvey Smith had said over and over, from the day he signed on as lead designer. While some team members resisted this notion outright, I took a middle road, which just frustrated everyone. In the end, we cut a lot, left a lot, and made a game that everyone on the team was happy with (I think). This milestone made it clear that the time had come to make cuts, while giving us enough knowledge to cut intelligently. If we had waited until beta to make cuts, with just a few months to go before our ship date (as many developers do), it would have been a disaster.<BR><BR><B>5. Licensing technology.</B> We went into Deus Ex hoping that licensing an engine would allow us to focus on content generation and gameplay. For the most part, that proved to be the case. The Unreal Tournament code we ended up going with provided a solid foundation upon which we were able to build relatively easily. Dropping in a conversation system, skill and augmentation systems, our inventory and other 2D interface screens, major AI changes, and so on could have been far more difficult. UnrealEd, the main tool our designers used to generate our maps, was superior to anything else available. UnrealScript was very powerful and allowed programmers to do lots of interesting things quickly and easily. The dollars and cents of the deal were right, and I didn't have to hire an army of programmers to create an engine, 80 percent of whose functions already existed in Unreal Tournament. We were able to make what I hope is a state-of-the-art RPG-action-adventure-sim with only three slightly overworked programmers, which allowed us to carry larger design and art staffs than usual. <P>However, to my surprise, licensing technology didn't save us all the time I'd hoped it would. You'd think cutting a year or more of engine-creation off a schedule would result in an earlier release date. On Deus Ex, that didn't prove to be the case. Time that would have been lost creating tools was lost instead to learning the limitations and capabilities of "foreign" technology. Time that would have gone into making an engine went into focusing more on gameplay systems and tuning than normal. Unreal certainly allowed us to focus on content generation over everything else, but we spent more time doing it. <P>The biggest downside to licensing was that we were just never going to understand the code as well as we would have if we'd created it ourselves. That led to two distinct kinds of problems. First, there were areas where we ended up treating the engine as a black box. I think it's pretty well documented by now that we shipped Deus Ex with some Direct3D performance issues. Honestly, that didn't show up in any significant way during our QA process -- a slight problem here or there, but none of the dramatic slowdowns some players reported in the early days following our ship date. Once players started reporting troubles, we were kind of in a lurch -- we couldn't very well go in there and mess with the Unreal engine -- we just didn't understand it well enough to do that safely. We had built around the edges of Unreal without ever getting too deeply into the nuts and bolts of it. <P>Second, because we didn't know the code inside out, and because we'd shelled out a fair amount of money for it, we tended to be conservative in our approach to modifying it. There were times when we should have ripped out certain parts of the Unreal Tournament code and started from scratch (AI, pathfinding, and sound propagation, for example). Instead, we built on the existing systems, on a base that was designed for an entirely different kind of game from what we were making. It's not that Unreal had bad AI or pathfinding or sound propagation, but those systems were designed for a straightforward shooter, which was not what we were making. <P>Technology licensing bought us a lot and cost us somewhat less. I guess the fact that we'll be licensing technology for our next round of projects, Deus Ex 2 and Thief 3, says the price was right. But it remains an interesting dilemma, and we will be able to approach our next licensed engine with the wisdom gleaned from using Unreal for this project. <P><B>What Went Wrong</B> <P><B>1. Our original team structure didn't work.</B> You'd think after 17 years of making games and building teams to make games, I'd have a clue about team structures that work and those that don't. Ha! When I started pulling the Deus Ex team together I had a core of six guys from Looking Glass's Austin office. Having tapped Chris Norden to be lead programmer, I needed to find a lead designer and a lead artist. As I started casting about for the right person for the design job, something really good, but ultimately really bad, happened -- two guys came along with enough experience to expect a leadership position. Instead of doing the sensible thing and picking one of them, even if that meant the other chose not to sign on, I got cute. I created two design teams, each with its own lead. <P>I put together two groups of people with differing philosophies -- a traditional RPG group and an immersive sim group. We were making a game designed to bust through genre boundaries, and I thought a little competition and argumentation would lead to an interesting synthesis of ideas. I thought I could manage the tension between the groups and that the groups and the game would be stronger for it. My plan didn't work. <P>The design team was fragmented from the start. We had to name one of the groups "Design Team 1" and the other "Design Team A." (Neither group would settle for "2" or "B.") It became apparent -- later than it should have -- that I was going to have to merge the two groups and have a single lead designer. When I finally made that change I disappointed some folks, but the game was the better for it, and that's what's important in the end. <P>There were also challenges on the art side. Deus Ex suffered dramatically because for over a year, the artists "on the team" worked not for me or for the project, but for an art director in Ion Storm's Dallas office. Don't misunderstand -- the art director was a talented guy. But talent doesn't make up for a matrix management structure (wherein resources in a department or pool are "lent out" to a project until they're not needed anymore) ill-suited to the game business, and it doesn't make up for being off-site. During this time, the art department drifted a bit. It was unclear whether the artists worked for me or for the art director in Dallas. I couldn't hire, fire, give raises to, promote, or demote anyone on the art team. We were assigned some artists who weren't interested in the kind of game we were making. The matrix management experiment made things a little tense, and presented many unanswerable dilemmas. Matrix management may work in some circumstances, at some companies, in some businesses. But I've never seen it work in gaming, and I've seen it attempted at three different companies. It especially doesn't work when one of the department managers isn't on-site. <P>I argued for a year that matrix management had failed at Origin and at Looking Glass. I had no doubt it would eventually fail at Ion. Eventually I got my way, and things got much better on the art front once the artists were officially part of the Deus Ex team. Still, I can only imagine how Deus Ex might have looked if we'd been one big happy team, including the artists, from the start. <P>If the experience of Deus Ex taught me one thing, it's the importance of team dynamics. You have to build a team of people who want to be making the game you're making. You have to deal with personnel issues sooner rather than later. And there has to be a clear chain of command. Many decisions can be made by consensus, but there can only be one boss for a project, there can only be one boss for each department, and department heads have to answer to the person heading up the project. <P><B>2. Clear goals are great . . . when they're realistic.</B> We started out thinking very big. That in itself isn't bad -- it's necessary to advance the state of the art -- but we were unrealistic, blinded by promises of complete creative freedom, and by assurances that we would be left alone to make the game of our dreams. A really big budget, no external time constraints, and a marketing budget bigger than any of us had ever had before made us soft. <P>Let me give you some specific examples of ways in which we outreached ourselves in the original design of Deus Ex (before we made significant cuts). For one, there's no way, in a first-person RPG, to stage a raid on a POW camp to free 2,000 captives. Also, there's no way to re-create all of downtown Austin, Texas, with any degree of accuracy. Third, blinded by the power of UnrealScript, many of our original mission concepts depended upon special-case scripting and lots of it. We discovered the need for general solutions rather than special-case solutions later in the project than we should have (this despite much harping on the subject by some team members). <P>Find your focus early and maintain that focus throughout. General solutions are better than special casing. Give players a rich but limited tool set that can be used in a variety of ways, not a bunch of individual, unpredictable solutions to every problem. Always work within the limits of your technology rather than trying to make your technology do things it wasn't meant to do. Big budgets, lots of time, and freedom from creative constraints are seductive traps. Don't fall into them. Don't settle for less than greatness, but don't think too big. Balance should be the goal. <P><B>3. We didn't front-load all of our risks.</B> In fact, we missed a big one. We were smart enough to realize we'd have to prototype and implement our new game systems early so we'd have time to tweak and refine them sufficiently. We did our conversation system and our complex 2D interface screens early, which was a good thing, too -- they required as much tweaking as we feared. And in the end, they turned out pretty well, I think. <P>Unfortunately, we missed one huge risk area -- artificial intelligence. I don't know how we missed it, but we did. It's not that we didn't spend time on AI. We started thinking about AI early in preproduction. Unfortunately, what that meant was that the AI was, to a great extent, designed in a vacuum, and as is often the case, we didn't really know what the game required with respect to AI until relatively late in development. And that meant implementing AI features early on that ended up being unnecessary later, once our design had evolved into its final form. In addition, building on the base of Unreal Tournament's pure shooter AI meant that, instead of designing a system specifically for our needs, we ended up adding stuff and tweaking until the bitter end, causing NPC behavior to change constantly, right up to the last day of development. <P>We ended up with some pretty compelling AI, but the problem of convincing people they're interacting with real people is immense, particularly when you're talking about characters whose reactions have to run the gamut from fear to friendliness to violent enmity. That's not a challenge many games take on (with good reason), but it was one we had to take on for Deus Ex. Our sin was, I think, giving people a hint of what human AI could be in games, but delivering the goods inconsistently. <P>As I write this, we're discussing whether we want to risk making some fairly radical changes to the AI in a patch for a game that most people seem to like, and in which NPCs basically behave as much like real people as they ever have in any game. There's no telling which way our decision will go at this time. <P><B>4. Proto-missions redux.</B> Game Developer's Postmortems typically focus in on things the team clearly did right and things the team clearly did wrong. It sure is nice when things are that clear. Maybe it's just me, but I almost never see things in such black-and-white terms. Most of the time, problems are knotty and solutions are far from obvious or clear-cut, which is where the final two "What Went Wrongs" fall. <P>As I already mentioned, we recognized the need for proto-missions relatively early on, and built our schedule around the idea. We implemented two such missions, which helped us identify many things that didn't work (and many that did). With proto-missions in hand, we found ourselves at a critical juncture with two possible choices to make, the implications of which I still don't entirely understand. <P>On one hand, I could have gone off with some subset of the team and tweaked our proto-missions until they were absolutely right and models for all subsequent mission implementation before turning the rest of the team loose on implementation of the rest of the missions. On the other hand, I could have kept the entire team in implementation mode, getting all of the missions to the level of the proto-missions, meaning none of them would be exactly right but we'd be able to see the shape of the entire game and all of the missions would be ready for tuning at about the same time. The first approach would have left large portions of the team in thumb-twiddling or make-work mode for some unspecified period of time. This promised to prove that we could create a ground-breaking, compelling game, but could leave us without a finished game to ship. The second approach would have kept everyone productive throughout the project and at least put us in position to decide whether or not to ship the game at some foreseeable point in the future. The question was whether we would be able to turn all of the bare-bones missions into something fun or not. <P>I chose the latter approach and told everyone to get the game "finished" and playable at a bare-bones level. We'd worry about fleshing out all the missions, making the game as interesting and fun and dense and exciting as it needed to be during the inevitable gameplay tuning, tweaking, and balancing phase at the end. This probably isn't so much of a "What Went Wrong" as it is an open question of whether that was the right call. I think so, and the plan clearly worked to the extent that we shipped a game that people seem to like pretty well. But it's unclear to me whether using our proto-missions to fine-tune might not have resulted in an even better game. <P><B>5. Is it true that any publicity is good publicity?</B> Naturally, this wouldn't be a complete or accurate picture of the development of Deus Ex if we didn't take a look at the Sturm und Drang that was Ion Storm. In case you you've been living under a rock, there's been a lot of hype surrounding the company. On the negative side, Ion Storm was heaped with bad press for much of 1998 and 1999. The company did the same things all game companies do, went through the same problems, but because we painted a big ol' "suck it down" target on our chests, the gaming press and a fair number of hardcore gamers went after us with a vengeance. <P>Not too surprisingly, this had an effect on those of us working away in the Austin office. Morale hits were frequent and problematic. It simply isn't possible to be bombarded by negative press about the company you work for and not take it somewhat personally. Trust me when I say that seeing your personal and private e-mails posted on the Internet is a devastating experience. Also, recruiting was more difficult than it should have been. We were able to put together an incredibly talented team for Deus Ex, but too many talented people told us that while they would like to work on Deus Ex, they couldn't work for Ion Storm. Eventually, a "we'll show them" mentality became prevalent in Austin. I don't know that anyone who worked on Deus Ex thought of him- or herself as part of the same company making Daikatana and Anachronox up in Dallas. That kind of us-versus-them thinking is rarely good in the long run. <P>Now that we've shipped, the reviews seem to fall into two categories -- those that begin with some statement implying that Warren Spector makes games all by himself (which is silly), and those that begin with some statement proclaiming that Deus Ex couldn't possibly have been made by Ion Storm (also silly). Silly or not, there's a level on which we're still trying to live down our past, at least in terms of the media's perception of our game and the company that paid the bills here. <P>But, for all the problems, being associated with Ion Storm wasn't all bad -- far from it. On the plus side, it isn't as if anyone from Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, the New York Times, the L.A. Times, USA Today, Mother Jones, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fortune, Time, Architectural Digest, CNN, or the BBC ever banged down the doors at Origin or Looking Glass to talk to me or anyone on any of my teams. In reality, the bad publicity was almost entirely limited to the gaming press. The mainstream media, which barely notice anything about gaming (other than the fact that we supposedly turn normal kids into vicious killers) didn't seem to care about the bad stuff. But they sure did take notice of us. Ultimately, Ion's ability to attract attention to itself, even if it was sometimes in negative ways, probably worked to our advantage. Whether publicity at any cost is good or bad is still an open question for me. <P><B>What I'm Not Sure About</B> <P>Given the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, it's easy to identify some things<BR>as having gone "right" and other things as having gone "wrong." However, some of the most interesting things to consider are the ones that aren't so easily pinned down. Here are some questions that are<BR>still very much open in my mind. (If any of you have answers, feel free to share them!): <P>* Is it better to start the design process with fiction and high-level gameplay goals or to dive right into game systems? We did a much better job, I think, of the former than the latter. Too much of our system stuff had to be rethought relatively late in the project. Only the conversation and inventory systems are largely untouched from where we started. We remained true to our high-level goals, but I can't shake the feeling we could have done a better job early in the project on the system design front. <P>* Is iconic/abstract representation of characters, power-ups, player rewards, tools, objects, and so on better than realistic/specific representation? In other words, are instantly identifiable floating crosses better as healing items than a med-bot, something the player may or may not be able to identify? Is it compelling to wonder if that guy over there is a good guy or a bad guy? Or is it better to know just by looking at him, so you can plan accordingly? As in so many things, we went with a hybrid approach -- nothing as extreme as floating health restorers, but instantly recognizable good guys, bad guys, rewards, and objects. <P>* Is it better to stop the action while the player is in interface screens or to keep the action going * la System Shock 2? We chose to stop the action because, for us, the tactical decisions this allows outweighed the artificiality and the loss of immersion. Was that the right decision? Probably, but there's no way to *****s the road not taken in this case. <P>* Should you get to name your character or not? A holy war almost broke out on the Deus Ex team about this. "If you can't name your character, it's not an RPG," said some. "If we don't name the character, how do we write and record compelling conversations and create a cool story?" said others. "Story isn't the point…" "Yes, it is…" and on and on and on. We compromised: we gave the player character a code name and back-story but let the player select his real name, which came into play in various ways (though never in speech). <P>* Is it better to worry about graphics and art direction and cinematics early or late? We did zero flic work until the very end of the project, and though the game looks good, we left it to the end to go back and make a pass at consistency (getting the lighting and texturing just right, and so on). I decided it was more important to get the gameplay under control than to get the game looking good. We did make our art direction pass and we did make the game look better -- really good, in fact, in my totally prejudiced opinion. But it's unclear to me whether the game could have looked even better if we'd gone the other way and dealt with art issues sooner rather than later. <P><B>The Bottom Line</B> <P>Part of the challenge of game development is making the tough decisions along the way, leading to many difficult junctures when you have to determine that something that can't be done right in the game shouldn't be done at all. Notice the complete lack of references to multiplayer action in this Postmortem. We wanted to provide multiplayer support but didn't have the time to do the job we knew we needed to do, and so it got cut. <P>Now, generalize from that point: It's all well and good to have design goals and an ideal game pictured in your head when you start, but you have to be open to change and realistic about what can and can't be done in a reasonable time frame, for a reasonable amount of money, with the personnel and technology available to you. And if you don't have time to do something right, cut it and do everything that's left so well that no one notices the stuff that isn't there. <P>I'm not saying we did that perfectly on Deus Ex. We certainly didn't ship a perfect game. But if we hadn't gone into development with the attitude that we'd do things right or not at all, we would have fallen far shorter of perfection than we did. How close we did get is something all of you can decide for yourselves. All I know is we're going to get closer next time. <P>Game Data<BR>Deus Ex<BR>Publisher: Eidos Interactive<BR>Number of Full-Time Developers: Approx. 20: 1 of me, 3 programmers, 6 designers, 7 artists, 1 writer, 1 associate producer, 1 tech<BR>Number of Contractors: Approx. 6: 2 writers, 4 testers <BR>Development Time: 6 months of preproduction and 28 months of production<BR>Release Date: June 23, 2000<BR>Target Platform: Windows 95/98/NT/2000 plus third-party Macintosh and Linux ports<BR>Critical Development Hardware: Ranged from dual Pentium Pro 200s with 8GB hard drives, to Athlon 800s with 9GB fast SCSI, and everything in between. More than 100 video cards were cycled through during development.<BR>Software Used: Visual Studio, Lightwave, Lotus Notes<BR>Notable Technologies: Unreal engine and associated tools such as UnrealEd and ConEdit (our proprietary conversation editor)<BR>-- <P>Enjoy</FONT></TD></TR> <tr valign="top" bgColor=#dfe0e0> <TD vAlign=top width="18%"><FONT face=Arial size=2><B>STL[Caltech]</B></FONT><BR><FONT face=Arial size=1>Member <P>Posts: 676<BR>From: Pasadena, CA<BR>Registered: AUG 2001</FONT> </P></TD> <TD><FONT face=Arial size=2><FONT face=Arial color=#001450 size=1>posted 03-01-2002 05:11 AM</FONT> <HR> Okay, I have decided that I am going to create a "Deus Ex's Story" page this weekend. It is clear that even a fanatic like me can miss a huge amount of DX's story, because there's so much going on at once. I want resources - any juicy information on Deus Ex. Here's what I know about/can find easily:<BR>1. This thread!<BR>2. Deus Ex's internal files (the main source I will use).<BR>3. The DX QA internal document (I have that somewhere).<BR>4. The DX Postmortem above. <P>Does anyone know of anything else? In particular, I am thinking of WS or Witchboy interviews and TechImm posts.</FONT></TD></TR> <tr valign="top" bgColor=#c0c8d0> <TD vAlign=top width="18%"><FONT face=Arial size=2><B>DeusExJew</B></FONT><BR><FONT face=Arial size=1>Member <P>Posts: 356<BR>From: Halifax,NS,Canada<BR>Registered: DEC 2001</FONT></P></TD> <TD><FONT face=Arial size=2><FONT face=Arial color=#001450 size=1>posted 03-01-2002 03:43 PM</FONT> <HR> Just by chance I happen to have that particular PC Gamer with me at this moment, this is a direct quote from the aforementioned article, my commentary in brackets: <P>"This time around, you'll have the option of playing as either man or woman, which, according to Harvey, was meant to be an option in the first game but had to be dropped to fit the game on one CD. Whether the female character will be an all new persona or a gender bending JC will be couched in the weaving plot twists we'd expect. Graphics wise, expect DX2 to be a stunner, Harvey says that the Unreal Warfare code has been radically revised even more so than the Unreal code used in Deus Ex. To prove it, he showed us a test map of Seattle (speculation on a DX2 level methinks) rendered with the DX2 engine. Whereas the original game could show a maximum of only 400 polygons onscreen at a time, DX2's virtual Seattle wowed us with a whopping 40,000 polys. The Space Needle alone was 6,800 of them! (Good that the developers will continue to show cities the way they are in real life)." </FONT></TD></TR> <tr valign="top" bgColor=#dfe0e0> <TD vAlign=top width="18%"><FONT face=Arial size=2><B>Danaelus</B></FONT><BR><FONT face=Arial size=1>Member <P>Posts: 657<BR>From: Washington, DC<BR>Registered: AUG 2001</FONT> </P></TD> <TD><FONT face=Arial size=2><FONT face=Arial color=#001450 size=1>posted 03-01-2002 03:48 PM</FONT> <HR> I had no idea there were so many picture from DX2 released!</FONT></TD></TR> <tr valign="top" bgColor=#c0c8d0> <TD vAlign=top width="18%"><FONT face=Arial size=2><B>Farouk</B></FONT><BR><FONT face=Arial size=1>Junior Member <P>Posts: 23<BR>From:<BR>Registered: AUG 2001</FONT></P></TD> <TD><FONT face=Arial size=2><FONT face=Arial color=#001450 size=1>posted 03-02-2002 06:29 AM</FONT> <HR> <BLOCKQUOTE style="margin-top: 0px;"><FONT face=Arial size=1>quote:</FONT> <HR> Originally posted by TechImmortal:<BR><B> <P>So, if JC is dead, how can you be JC Denton in the sequel? We know you will be, it's been stated several places, such as page 39 of the August 2001 PC Gamer. <P></B> <HR> </BLOCKQUOTE style="margin-top: 0px;"> <P>Are you sure?<BR>I have no clue at all what PC Gamer says and how it is said. (Direct quote from Smith or Spector or just a preview? I don't trust latter ones at all.)<BR>But I've read many Spector interviews online and in ALL of them he (as well as Harvey Smith) gave pretty evasive comments on that topic.<BR>I hope (and think so far) JC will become an NPC and the player starts with a fresh and new character. <P>To the main topic:<BR>If Area 51 is destroyed (which it is in your version) there is no tele communication at all (except oldschool FM or LW radio transmission). Of course tele communication could be rebuild within 15 years but what makes you think that the Illuminati are in favour of that? Wouldn't they try to control the Aquinas hub instead of destroying it. (That was the whole meaning of the Illuminati ending IIRC). </FONT></TD></TR> <tr valign="top" bgColor=#dfe0e0> <TD vAlign=top width="18%"><FONT face=Arial size=2><B>DeusExJew</B></FONT><BR><FONT face=Arial size=1>Member <P>Posts: 356<BR>From: Halifax,NS,Canada<BR>Registered: DEC 2001</FONT></P></TD> <TD><FONT face=Arial size=2><FONT face=Arial color=#001450 size=1>posted 03-02-2002 10:06 AM</FONT> <HR> Farouk, I just posted the meat of the PC Gamer article above. </FONT></TD></TR> <tr valign="top" bgColor=#c0c8d0> <TD vAlign=top width="18%"><FONT face=Arial size=2><B>Farouk</B></FONT><BR><FONT face=Arial size=1>Junior Member <P>Posts: 23<BR>From:<BR>Registered: AUG 2001</FONT></P></TD> <TD><FONT face=Arial size=2><FONT face=Arial color=#001450 size=1>posted 03-02-2002 10:51 AM</FONT> <HR> Thanks, I missed that it was that article. <P>And again: That line about the "gender bending JC" basically says nothing at all.<BR>It just appears that the PC Gamer editor just somehow assumes that it is a given that the male character will be "our" JC. But there is no clue at all why he does think so. </FONT></TD></TR> <tr valign="top" bgColor=#dfe0e0> <TD vAlign=top width="18%"><FONT face=Arial size=2><B>TechImmortal</B></FONT><BR><FONT face=Arial size=1>Member <P>Posts: 514<BR>From: Cabal of Technophiles mod group<BR>Registered: AUG 2001</FONT></P></TD> <TD><FONT face=Arial size=2><FONT face=Arial color=#001450 size=1>posted 03-02-2002 02:25 PM</FONT> <HR> Before this goes off on the wrong tack, there IS a direct statement on that page and it's NOT in the quote repeated above. I'll get it later, I've been having to type all morning and I need a break for a few hours. <P>Yes, I've been reading the posts here.<IMG src="http://forums.eidosgames.com/images/smilies/cool.gif"><BR> </FONT></TD></TR> <tr valign="top" bgColor=#c0c8d0> <TD vAlign=top width="18%"><FONT face=Arial size=2><B>DeusExJew</B></FONT><BR><FONT face=Arial size=1>Member <P>Posts: 356<BR>From: Halifax,NS,Canada<BR>Registered: DEC 2001</FONT></P></TD> <TD><FONT face=Arial size=2><FONT face=Arial color=#001450 size=1>posted 03-02-2002 02:29 PM</FONT> <HR> You're right Tech! Surprised I missed it the first time. "...you once again play as JC Denton, and its powered by a heavily modified version of the unreal warfare engine." </FONT></TD></TR> <tr valign="top" bgColor=#dfe0e0> <TD vAlign=top width="18%"><FONT face=Arial size=2><B>OldGrrl</B></FONT><BR><FONT face=Arial size=1>Member <P>Posts: 139<BR>From:<BR>Registered: AUG 2001</FONT></P></TD> <TD><FONT face=Arial size=2><FONT face=Arial color=#001450 size=1>posted 03-06-2002 05:23 AM</FONT> <HR> &gt;&gt;Also, consider this: No matter what JC does, all of the factions *except* MJ12 still exist: X51, Tracer Tong (currently at X51 with Gary Savage), the Illuminati (especially Everett and Dowd), the NSF, the trio of Decker, Young, and Todd, and Chad and his rebels (perhaps including Nicolette). This aspect of the endings has been discussed elsewhere -- I'm sure I've seen posts pointing this out.<BR>&lt;&lt;<BR><BR>you know. that was one of the things that struck me in the game. no matter which ending you chose, in the long run, how would it really change anything? only the technology was destroyed FOR NOW. the Illuminati had been around for hundreds of years, they'd just rebuild. with the Tong ending, they were planning to rebuild the world but better, but how well would that really work? people are still people, so wouldn't all the same stuff happen again eventually? hmm.<BR><BR>sounds like i don't have much faith in peoples.<IMG src="http://forums.eidosgames.com/images/smilies/wink.gif"> </FONT></TD></TR> <tr valign="top" bgColor=#c0c8d0> <TD vAlign=top width="18%"><FONT face=Arial size=2><B>STL[Caltech]</B></FONT><BR><FONT face=Arial size=1>Member <P>Posts: 676<BR>From: Pasadena, CA<BR>Registered: AUG 2001</FONT> </P></TD> <TD><FONT face=Arial size=2><FONT face=Arial color=#001450 size=1>posted 03-06-2002 05:28 AM</FONT> <HR> I have begun the Deus Ex Story page as promised, but it's going to take a LOT of work to finish (300 kilobytes of text! *shudder*). <P>See the current version at:<A href="http://stl.caltech.edu/dx.html" target=_blank>http://stl.caltech.edu/dx.html</A> <P>Everything after the point where I'm current working on will appear as a total mess. It's somewhat more cleaned up in the HTML source.</FONT></TD></TR> <tr valign="top" bgColor=#dfe0e0> <TD vAlign=top width="18%"><FONT face=Arial size=2><B>ICEBreaker</B></FONT><BR><FONT face=Arial size=1>Member <P>Posts: 2186<BR>From: Sydney, Australia<BR>Registered: NOV 2001</FONT></P></TD> <TD><FONT face=Arial size=2><FONT face=Arial color=#001450 size=1>posted 03-06-2002 06:13 AM</FONT> <HR> <BLOCKQUOTE style="margin-top: 0px;"><FONT face=Arial size=1>quote:</FONT> <HR> Originally posted by OldGrrl:<BR><B>sounds like i don't have much faith in peoples.<IMG src="http://forums.eidosgames.com/images/smilies/wink.gif"></B> <HR> </BLOCKQUOTE style="margin-top: 0px;"> <P>Which proves that only the AI ending is the viable one.<IMG src="http://forums.eidosgames.com/images/smilies/smile.gif"> <P><B>STL</B> I look forward to reading your novel. I had wanted to do exactly the same thing myself, but now I can give up since I know you can do a better job than me.</FONT></TD></TR> <tr valign="top" bgColor=#c0c8d0> <TD vAlign=top width="18%"><FONT face=Arial size=2><B>STL[Caltech]</B></FONT><BR><FONT face=Arial size=1>Member <P>Posts: 676<BR>From: Pasadena, CA<BR>Registered: AUG 2001</FONT> </P></TD> <TD><FONT face=Arial size=2><FONT face=Arial color=#001450 size=1>posted 03-06-2002 06:22 AM</FONT> <HR> There's just so much information, aieee. While cleaning up DeusExText.u took me under an hour, it's going to take a lot of writing to properly comment and attribute all the text snippets. (I want to break up the text by mission and describe where each is found, which will require a playthrough of the game - it's not as bad as it sounds since I can write on Northwood and hit Ctrl-Ctrl to switch over to my Dell instantly where I would run DX.) For example, I would need to explain the meaning of 'Velichestvenni' as I have done in my post above, as well as elucidate why I think the Soviet Union has reformed, and cross-reference that with the one other reference to the USSR in the text, as well as possibly comment on the meaning of 'Biopreparat' (the Soviet biowarfare program, which is another indication the USSR is up and running). <P>DeusExConText is another [nightmare] story altogether. That monster is almost<B>four megabytes</B> - worst of all, it's not almost pure text like DeusExText.u. Most of DeusExConText.u's four megs is binary gibberish which DX processes to weave the flat file into a ConEdit conversation. If want to include the dialogue (and I essentially have to), I have to delete all the gibberish and reformat the conversations (ugh) into something approaching linearity (not a terrible nightmare, because most DX conversations are linear, but it still won't be a walk in the park).</FONT></TD></TR> <tr valign="top" bgColor=#dfe0e0> <TD vAlign=top width="18%"><FONT face=Arial size=2><B>ICEBreaker</B></FONT><BR><FONT face=Arial size=1>Member <P>Posts: 2186<BR>From: Sydney, Australia<BR>Registered: NOV 2001</FONT></P></TD> <TD><FONT face=Arial size=2><FONT face=Arial color=#001450 size=1>posted 03-06-2002 06:51 AM</FONT> <HR> I know exactly what you mean!! *sigh*...<BR>Well at least you can good at writing parsing programs. I had to do it for Natural Language Processing and then just gave up afterwards. Scary.</FONT></TD></TR> <tr valign="top" bgColor=#c0c8d0> <TD vAlign=top width="18%"><FONT face=Arial size=2><B>STL[Caltech]</B></FONT><BR><FONT face=Arial size=1>Member <P>Posts: 676<BR>From: Pasadena, CA<BR>Registered: AUG 2001</FONT> </P></TD> <TD><FONT face=Arial size=2><FONT face=Arial color=#001450 size=1>posted 03-06-2002 07:23 AM</FONT> <HR> Someday, I'd like to be able to say to a computer, "clean up this text" and it would do it for me, automatically. <P>Perhaps in 20 years.</FONT></TD></TR> <tr valign="top" bgColor=#dfe0e0> <TD vAlign=top width="18%"><FONT face=Arial size=2><B>OldGrrl</B></FONT><BR><FONT face=Arial size=1>Member <P>Posts: 139<BR>From:<BR>Registered: AUG 2001</FONT></P></TD> <TD><FONT face=Arial size=2><FONT face=Arial color=#001450 size=1>posted 03-08-2002 04:15 AM</FONT> <HR> i am truly amazed at the dedication you have to take on this project. all i can say is "Wow."<BR><BR>well, no. i can also say "Thanks" on behalf of all us DX fanatics.<IMG src="http://forums.eidosgames.com/images/smilies/smile.gif"><BR><BR> </FONT></TD></TR> <tr valign="top" bgColor=#c0c8d0> <TD vAlign=top width="18%"><FONT face=Arial size=2><B>rhalibus</B></FONT><BR><FONT face=Arial size=1>Junior Member <P>Posts: 2<BR>From:<BR>Registered: DEC 2001</FONT></P></TD> <TD><FONT face=Arial size=2><FONT face=Arial color=#001450 size=1>posted 03-08-2002 11:25 AM</FONT> <HR> TechImmortal and STL, you both make it a joy to be a Deus Ex fanboy. <P><IMG src="http://forums.eidosgames.com/images/smilies/smile.gif"></FONT></TD></TR> <tr valign="top" bgColor=#dfe0e0> <TD vAlign=top width="18%"><FONT face=Arial size=2><B>STL[Caltech]</B></FONT><BR><FONT face=Arial size=1>Member <P>Posts: 676<BR>From: Pasadena, CA<BR>Registered: AUG 2001</FONT> </P></TD> <TD><FONT face=Arial size=2><FONT face=Arial color=#001450 size=1>posted 03-08-2002 05:04 PM</FONT> <HR> Heh. :-&gt; <P>Welcome to the forums!</FONT></TD></TR> <tr valign="top" bgColor=#c0c8d0> <TD vAlign=top width="18%"><FONT face=Arial size=2><B>TechImmortal</B></FONT><BR><FONT face=Arial size=1>Member <P>Posts: 514<BR>From: Cabal of Technophiles mod group<BR>Registered: AUG 2001</FONT></P></TD> <TD><FONT face=Arial size=2><FONT face=Arial color=#001450 size=1>posted 03-09-2002 12:27 AM</FONT> <HR> You're welcome! We do try. Enjoy the board. <P>And BTW STL, I do applaud your massive project. When I get a chance I'll post my personal collection of cool interview links, some of which seem not be be well-known, in your Story-site thread. I just have to gather them up. </FONT></TD></TR> <tr valign="top" bgColor=#dfe0e0> <TD vAlign=top width="18%"><FONT face=Arial size=2><B>STL[Caltech]</B></FONT><BR><FONT face=Arial size=1>Member <P>Posts: 676<BR>From: Pasadena, CA<BR>Registered: AUG 2001</FONT> </P></TD> <TD><FONT face=Arial size=2><FONT face=Arial color=#001450 size=1>posted 03-09-2002 04:02 AM</FONT> <HR> Awesome! :-&gt;</FONT></td></TR> <tr valign="top" bgColor=#c0c8d0> <TD vAlign=top width="18%"><FONT face=Arial size=2><B>Green Greasy Greasel</B></FONT><BR><FONT face=Arial size=1>Member <P>Posts: 37<BR>From: USA, Arizona<BR>Registered: OCT 2001</FONT> </P></TD> <TD><FONT face=Arial size=2><FONT face=Arial color=#001450 size=1>posted 03-10-2002 11:09 AM</FONT> <HR> This probably won't be the case but I think it would be cool for JC to be the Antagonist in DX2 and you have to battle him. This still works with the whole cloning thing, maybe JC lived and is still merged with Helios and a clone of himself is created to put an end to his tyranny? <P>Hear me out on this... <P>Area 51 is blown, Helios survives, 10 years later Helios becomes more powerful and gives JC a call wanting him to merge with him. JC merges. For the next 5 years Helios/JC turn the world into a living **** . Secret Rogue Scientist lab in Siberia seek to reincarnate the one man who would have the power to stop JC/Helios, JC Himself. So in DX2 you are a clone of JC running around trying to stop the JC/Helios entity from turning the world into ashes. </FONT></TD></TR> <tr valign="top" bgColor=#dfe0e0> <TD vAlign=top width="18%"><FONT face=Arial size=2><B>Danaelus</B></FONT><BR><FONT face=Arial size=1>Member <P>Posts: 657<BR>From: Washington, DC<BR>Registered: AUG 2001</FONT> </P></TD> <TD><FONT face=Arial size=2><FONT face=Arial color=#001450 size=1>posted 03-10-2002 11:51 AM</FONT> <HR> Wow GGG, thats a pretty good idea!!! I always had a feeling that they intended to do a JC vs. himself thing in the first Deus Ex but it got cut for some reason.</FONT></TD></TR> <tr valign="top" bgColor=#c0c8d0> <TD vAlign=top width="18%"><FONT face=Arial size=2><B>ICEBreaker</B></FONT><BR><FONT face=Arial size=1>Member <P>Posts: 2186<BR>From: Sydney, Australia<BR>Registered: NOV 2001</FONT></P></TD> <TD><FONT face=Arial size=2><FONT face=Arial color=#001450 size=1>posted 03-10-2002 05:29 PM</FONT> <HR> Very interesting idea. However it would really take some convincing as to how a Helio/JC merge would result in something bad. </FONT></td></TR> <tr valign="top" bgColor=#dfe0e0> <TD vAlign=top width="18%"><FONT face=Arial size=2><B>Green Greasy Greasel</B></FONT><BR><FONT face=Arial size=1>Member <P>Posts: 37<BR>From: USA, Arizona<BR>Registered: OCT 2001</FONT> </P></TD> <TD><FONT face=Arial size=2><FONT face=Arial color=#001450 size=1>posted 03-10-2002 06:21 PM</FONT> <HR> Well I think that anyone who is that powerful, becomes invincible, has a AI counterpart to them is a supreme being, with a quick hand gesture nations could fall! Would during some time become corrupt. This could also be part of the story, how he became corrupt, are you as the clone trying to save him or kill him (possible end movies?). Somewhere in the game maybe there will be a choice to redeem the JC from the first game or if he has become too unhuman, kill him. Either way and however it turns out, like I said im probably way off on my predictions but one I know won't be off is DX2 will be one **** of a game! </FONT></TD></TR> <tr valign="top" bgColor=#dfe0e0> <TD vAlign=top width="18%"><FONT face=Arial size=2><B>Ghyron</B></FONT><BR><FONT face=Arial size=1>Member <P>Posts: 792<BR>From: February 31st, 1901<BR>Registered: JUL 2001</FONT></P></TD> <TD><FONT face=Arial size=2><FONT face=Arial color=#001450 size=1>posted 03-10-2002 07:32 PM</FONT> <HR> I hope and beleive that the DX2 story line will surprise us and be something that none of us expected.</FONT></td></TR> <tr valign="top" bgColor=#c0c8d0> <TD vAlign=top width="18%"><FONT face=Arial size=2><B>ICEBreaker</B></FONT><BR><FONT face=Arial size=1>Member <P>Posts: 2186<BR>From: Sydney, Australia<BR>Registered: NOV 2001</FONT></P></TD> <TD><FONT face=Arial size=2><FONT face=Arial color=#001450 size=1>posted 03-10-2002 07:45 PM</FONT> <HR> <BLOCKQUOTE style="margin-top: 0px;"><FONT face=Arial size=1>quote:</FONT> <HR> Originally posted by Green Greasy Greasel:<BR><br><B>Well I think that anyone who is that powerful, becomes invincible, has a AI counterpart to them is a supreme being, with a quick hand gesture nations could fall! Would during some time become corrupt. This could also be part of the story, how he became corrupt, are you as the clone trying to save him or kill him (possible end movies?). Somewhere in the game maybe there will be a choice to redeem the JC from the first game or if he has become too unhuman, kill him. </B> <HR> </BLOCKQUOTE style="margin-top: 0px;"> <P>Since Helios and JC are without the basic desires which all human have, I do not think they will succumb to the inevitable (in your view) corruption you mention. I am not sure what you mean by "redeeming JC from the first game" as he didn't do anything wrong in the first game, no matter which ending you chose. They were all meant to be strategies to topple Bob Page and "save the world". Perhaps I misunderstood what you meant. JC was never really human to start with and he certainly is not human after the merge with Helios. To kill him because he is "unhuman" is wrong. Or did you mean inhumane? But all very interesting ideas and can be worked in with some changes. For example, Helios was actually programmed by someone (as oppose to being a self emergent awareness) and so did have a hidden directive. Thus the Helios/JC had more sinister agendas. Then your scenario would work itself in well. </FONT></TD></TR> <tr valign="top" bgColor=#c0c8d0> <TD vAlign=top width="18%"><FONT face=Arial size=2><B>Green Greasy Greasel</B></FONT><BR><FONT face=Arial size=1>Member <P>Posts: 37<BR>From: USA, Arizona<BR>Registered: OCT 2001</FONT> </P></TD> <TD><FONT face=Arial size=2><FONT face=Arial color=#001450 size=1>posted 03-10-2002 08:20 PM</FONT> <HR> Redeem him I was referring to that JC would be evil in the second game, no he didn't do anything bad in the first game really but between the first and second in my scenario the JC/Helios entity is 'evil'. <P>Yes inhumane not inhuman sorry. </FONT></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>