View Full Version : What Would You Ask Warren Spector?

4th Mar 2004, 01:00
ok, well, after the latest review with spector, it's pretty obvious that some people are not too happy with some of the things he's said (myself included).

so i ask you, fellow members of the community, if you had the chance to interview warren spector, what would you ask?
what would you say? what topics do ya feel need more coverage concerning games, or mindset?

i would ask these things, in no particular order:

1) are you familiar with the term "lemon", in regards to products offered to consumers?

1a) are you aware just how much that term can be appropriately applied to deus ex: invisible war?

2) why was dx:iw released when it was? was there a rush to get the product out? or did you really feel the game was done?

3) you have stated that, for the european release of dx:iw, you and the development team have gone back and "addressed a lot of things the fan community told us we should have addressed the first time." (courtesy of the interview at gamespy). what were the reasons for not listening to the community at that time?

4) in the interview with gamespy.com, you answered this question-

GameSpy: Did you learn anything important about console gamers from the reaction to Deus Ex?


Spector: Yeah. I learned they're even more into framerate than I expected. (laughs) That's something we clearly have to do some work on.

but you have said numerous times that "gamers are gamers", so what would make you undermine the console community by believing that as gamers they wouldn't be concerned with framerates?

4a) should the communities of both platforms be concerned about framerate, and other technical issues, with the upcomming release of t: ds?

5) are tweaks really being made to the pc version of thief: deadly shadows, so it's more capable of being played on PCs that do meet the requirements, and not 3 times the reccomended requirements?

5a) what is your middle name? if you have one.

5b) going back to question #5. imagine i was your mother, and i was really, REALLY mad at you. how would you answer "are you telling the truth warren (middle name) spector?!?!"

6) how do you feel, now that we're a few months post-dx:iw's release, about skepticism being shown towards the development of t: ds?

4th Mar 2004, 01:38
7) Did it come as a big shock when DX:IW crashed and burned?

4th Mar 2004, 20:48
Hmm... this is generally not a bad idea. However, we all know that he's never going to answer these questions, as they are far too suggestive.

Instead, we could try to come up with a set of questions here that he would actually find acceptable to answer - diplomacy might be the key here to get the answers we want to have (not necessarily the ones we want to hear!).
Then, a moderator (Peter?) could sort through them, pick out the ones that are both interesting and not too unlikely to be answered and finally use his connections to get them answered by WS or at least by someone from the team.
This might be more successful than just posting them somewhere on the boards and waiting for someone to answer them.

Here are some I could think of right away:

- How does it affect you to hear so many self-proclaimed fans of your previous games being unhappy about your latest effort, IW?
- Has there been a fundamental miscommunication between the developers and the fan community, and if yes, how do you explain that?
- What measures, if any, are you taking to prevent this from occurring again with T: DS?
- How big are the chances of IOS fixing the remaining issues with IW that you yourself have come to see as mistakes - such as a point-and-click inventory - in a future patch or add-on?
- You have collected some experience with mods and fan content for games after you released an SDK for DX. Looking back, what is your view of the results, both from a gamer's and a developer's/publisher's perspective, and are you seriously considering doing so again for your current games?
- Can you tell us a bit more about how climbing will work in DS? Will we see the rope arrow again or are the climbing gloves the only way to climb in DS?
- Garrett is said to be able to roam the city freely in DS. Can we imagine the game as a sort of stealthy, medieval-fantasy GTA, then?
- How will you address concerns that the independent acqisition of loot between missions would upset the balance?
- Will Garrett be able to stealthily reach every place in town that is not critical to a later mission from the very beginning?
- If not, how do you block access to some? By adding an RPG element that only gives the necessary thieving abilites necessary to get there (lockpicking, moving silently and invisibly, climbing) as the player progresses, by items that do the same (progressively better lockpicks, gloves, boots) or by just unlocking parts of the city after certain missions?
- How will we be able to interact with NPCs in the city? Or will they all still react with hostility at seeing us?
- Will the free-roaming city feature a sort of day-night cycle with anything approaching npc schedules?

4th Mar 2004, 22:15
How about the expected date of his retirement? S******....

4th Mar 2004, 22:45
Alright...I'll just add this one for now and a very important question to the PC gameplay:

You've emphasied how so very difficult it was to try and implement "point/click" into DX:IW that you decided to exclude it in certain forms (and may I remind others, said they will not be putting it into any patches for it)....how then since T: DS uses the same engine etc., are you implementing it for this game????

Ta and Good Hunting!

4th Mar 2004, 23:31
Only three:

Are you a yokel?
No, really, do you ride in a big red truck with three American flags on it, beer in the back seats, shotgun on your lap, chewin' tobacco all over your face and a string vest on listening to Elvis and frowning when you hear a radio report of anyone who dares oppose George Bush?
That person sitting beside you, is she your sister?

5th Mar 2004, 00:15
I would like to ask him:
How much he plays his own games?
How many times has he played through each?
Did it ever occur to him to try testing DXIW on a PC equivalent to the recommended specs, rather than the super-computers used to build the game?
Given that this will show the kind of experience the customer receives, might it not be a worthwhile exercise? (Then he can talk about framerates)
Would he consider doing so for T: DS?
In the hypothetical situation that System Shock 3 was made, would he consider a joint project with Irrational Games?

5th Mar 2004, 08:22
Aww, c'mon guys, this is not entirely helpful. The direction and the undertone of your questions spell 'criticism' with every word - so much so that I suspect no moderator here will even attempt to get them answered.
I'm sceptical of this game, too, but what I want here is information, not to make my reservations - or outrage - heard. I'll do that later, if I'm not satisfied with their answers.
Some good questions, here, anyway, once they are re-formulated to something a little less aggressive:

You've emphasied how so very difficult it was to try and implement "point/click" into DX:IW that you decided to exclude it in certain forms (and may I remind others, said they will not be putting it into any patches for it)....how then since T: DS uses the same engine etc., are you implementing it for this game????

Good question, if a bit aggressively worded (just one question mark might look less threatening, especially since it is suspected that the answer might not be pleasing ;) ). I'm really wondering if there will be a point & click/drag inventory in DS, too!
(This would certainly require there to be some sort of inventory with limited size and equippable items which wasn't present in previous Thief games - is that really what you would like to see, Huntress?)

In the hypothetical situation that System Shock 3 was made, would he consider a joint project with Irrational Games?

Very cool question - although I strongly suspect he will not give us any straightforward answer on it even if we pointed a gun to his head... ;)

Edit: Changed a section that could seem disrespectful to Huntress.

5th Mar 2004, 11:21
I'd genuinely like to know if he plays his own games. I meant the older ones really. I wonder what kind of preparation he made for this game. If I were boss I would force the whole team to replay both games at least once to put them in the right frame of mind.

5th Mar 2004, 22:20
Kayscha...please do not attempt to put your words into my mouth, so-to-speak. I meant exactly what I said, the way I said it and I do carefully take time to word my thoughts/comments to express what I think. Thank you anyway, but truth be known, our questions won't be addressed/answered anyway, no matter what.

The only forum that got/gets any kind of response (very limited) is over at IS's and I don't care to get on over there except to read that one thread from time to time. Since afterall, Eidos is much envolved in this as well and I have been a member here for many years. Certain folks are then familiar with me and my way of speaking what's on my mind, so that I feel at least some of my message will be understood and not be taken as just another "whiner", which I am not!

As for the point/click question, that had limited references but also would include the idea of the wheel being used for item selecting as well...just generally...how much mouse use will be enabled? Ta and Good Hunting!

5th Mar 2004, 23:21
@huntress: Sorry if I seemed to put words in your mouth - didn't intend to.
I just wanted to pick out (and rephrase) the part of your question which I thought actually likely to have a chance at all of being answered in the hopes of getting this effort anywhere - and even did a mistake doing that, as it should read 'inventory', not 'interface'. Please accept my apologies - I didn't want to seem rude/arrogant, merely ... clumsily helpful. ;)
If that's all in vain on these boards anyway, too bad, but if Eidos has created these boards one should expect them to use them properly if they wish us to use them properly, too. This means their answers and acknowledgement of our presence for our continued support and good behaviour.

6th Mar 2004, 02:28
My question? Simple:

What are you smoking and where can I get some?

6th Mar 2004, 05:06
1. Did you, at any point, stop to ask any persons from the existing Thief community for input on the game's design? Yes, some ex-Thief people are working at IS, but like any company, customer input is still more relevant than that of a developer.

2. How much of the DX:IW criticism have you actually turned into constructive, positive improvements in T:DS or for future games?

3. You were once quoted in the media (paraphrasing) that you "didn't get Thief", i.e., didn't get the whole Thief genre (paradigm of stealth vs. if-it-moves-kill-it games). Can you expound on that, and has/have your understanding(s) changed?

4. Have you been able to use the Eidos forums or TTLG forums as a source of input?

5. Regarding voice actors, will any of the old people be brought back for T:DS character voices? (everybody has asked about Steve Russell, I want to know about some of the other distinctive voices such as Benny the guard)

6. Will there be any annoying time-based missions or "if you are discovered you get to start alllllll over again" missions?

7. There are no formal hardware requirements pubbed on thief3.com. What will the minimums be?

8. Has somebody asked about demos? Will a demo precede or follow the game's release?

6th Mar 2004, 05:16
Kayscha...OK fine and no hard feelings taken :) However I'm sure you understand that not really knowing anything about me, you should not have assumed to try and reword my question but simply to make one of your own and perhaps just taken my lead and added onto it, as another concerned player over this particular element? ;)

Now I do know that certain mods/admins do look over these threads but do not input much as a whole. However, I feel that perhaps some of our thoughts do get passed on should it warrent a significant consideration in the overall picture. I could be entirely incorrect in that idea but hopefully not. Warren's interview at GameSpy did say that not much is taken from players suggestions (they don't let players tell them how to make their game). I can understand the main of that comment, simply cause there would be too many saying this or that about every aspect of the game and they do have to be the ones in control. But then on the other hand, if many players are expressing displeasure about the same ideas, then I feel there should be some communication to the devs to make things better. Afterall, isn't that the idea of trying to make the game better and more enjoyable for more ppl by this feedback? As well as in making patches for games due to player feedback along with their own ideas of what could have been done better? It would be so much better for everyone I think, if these things could be done before releases ILO of a patch(s) later on.

It's unfortunate the tide of patches that are expected to come after many games releases anymore as the quality of many have been released because of deadlines, etc. been less than acceptable (too many bugs for one thing). But I think this process only makes the buyer more reluctant to spend their money till after the game has proven itself one way or another and "if" a patch will be released before buying. :( If a game should prove itself not to play well and they (whoever) don't want to spend the time/money to make a good patch...then both parties lose. But when they do care...believe me...the player will spread that word as well and tell their friends or just posting wherever, that this game is a must buy!

Now consider the Thief games...I don't know how many sold and I realize that it's fan base may not have been in the league of Doom, Quake or whatever...but it's had a following for many years because of it's specialized nature of gameplay. It took a certain kind of gamer to appreciate it and because we did, it has a very loyal following...not only players but just as important, the modders! That wonderful community that enjoys Thief so much that even with a most difficult editor to use...they keep making them!!! Now what better community to have than that to give some consideration to when producing the next Thief game? Unfortunately, they don't quite feel enough of the PC gamer that has stood in back of this franchise but want to do more for the console ppl in the way it's being produced because they want more ppl to play it therefore receive a better profit. Well you can't blame them for wanting to get a good return on their investment...but I tell you my opinion is that if you keep the platforms seperate...give the console ppl what they need to play a good game and make an equally good PC player game...they'll sell their game and make everyone happy! But they won't and they didn't and that's the sorry state of things. So instead of selling as many as they probably could have to the PC crowd...it may well turn many away!

Well I've rattled on long enough I guess, but there it is. Take care and Good Hunting!

6th Mar 2004, 06:08
Hi Huntress!! I pretty much agree with all of your points, although I'm still optimistic about T3.

I can't blame the designers for not listening to forum posters more since if you read through the posts there is quite a variety of opinions. My own hope would be that they would hear the overall tone of what is being posted--i.e. don't give us another DE:IW style coaster & make the game suitable for PC play. As far as I'm concerned, details such as rope arrows or adding a compass to the light gem are negotiable. I've just been rope arrowing around the Bonehoard this evening & will certainly miss them if they're gone, but I'm willing to wait & see what the gameplay is like. On the other hand, if the game is constantly pausing to load new areas or I'm stuck with a clunky console-style interface, I'll be pretty annoyed.

As far as patches are concerned, remember that they released a 20+ MB patch for Thief (or was it T2, I can't recall) so a patch for T3 would not be the first for the series. Of course, the old Thief patch was not needed to play the game but it was still a patch!

Anybody who produces a product has to choose between making a lot of money quickly or making something that will sell for a long time but which makes money slowly. Thief definitely falls into the latter category--you can still go out & buy TDP in retail stores even years after its release!! By going after the console market, they seem to be trying for the first category & that is what is most worrisome about T3.

6th Mar 2004, 14:34
Maybe one of the moderators here might shed some light on our chances of turning parts of this thread into a short Q&A and have it answered by someone in the know?

While I agree with you that a disregard for the series' original fanbase will hurt DS' sales in the long run significantly, and moreso the ones of any further games in this series, I'm don't think you are right about the shelflife of console games.
As far as I am informed, console games stay in store shelves longer than pc games and take more time to move into the bargain bin - as long as they are successful, that is. The reason for this is that while PC games are usually graphically outdated in about a year becouse of the steady improvements in PC hardware, console games don't look worse to buyers even two or three years after their release, since the console's specs remain the same. Only the very first games for the consoles that do not yet properly make use of the device's potential start to look bad.
In fact, this long shelflife is one of the reasons publishers do so like to produce for consoles...

Anyway, back to the topic on hand - any more resonable questions for Warren, Randy or his team?

8th Mar 2004, 18:59
I've gone and posted some of the questions here in the 'questions' thread on the IS boards - if any get answered, I'll post here about it.

8th Mar 2004, 22:13
Oh - they answered my questions pretty quickly. I just might move over there for good ;)

QUOTE (Moorkh @ Mar 8 2004, 12:08 PM)

For climbing, will the game simply differentiate between easily recognizeable 'climbable' and 'unclimbable' surfaces, or are there going to be degrees in between, that simply require more or less skill by the player?
Forgive my bad English, but what is 'mantling' supposed to mean?
Will the missions take place within the same parts of the city as the freeform thieving in between (so that you could leave your mission at any time to shop for some more water arrows and return later) or are they played out in closed-off sections that you can only leave once the mission is over?
How will the game handle mission failure?
Similarily, has Garrett access to all tools (provided he has the money to buy them) required to get to all non-mission critical places from the beginning or will he only attain them after certain key missions?
Is there any RPG element in the game, say to chart the development of Garrett's thieving skills?
What kinds of peaceful NPC interactions can we expect besides shopping?
Will there be anything like a day/night cycle or NPC schedules that would create an impression of time progressing, or will the game take place in an everlasting 'dead of night'?
We already know there will be no equipment slots. However, Warren has recently mentioned the lack of a point & click/drag inventory in DX:IW as one of its greates failings - does that mean we will likely see one in TDS?
Thanks in advance for reading through this lengthy list and even more so if you should find yourself able to answer any of them.

* We're still tuning the climbing convention. We want it to be easily recognizable without marring the player's sense of immersion.

* Mantling means that Garrett leaps up, grabs onto a ledge of some kind, and pulls himself up.

* The missions are completely enclosed, highly focused experiences, like the previous titles showcased. You decide when you want to enter, and then you're on the job 'til it's done.

* Mission failure conditions are based on the difficulty settings. If something you do breaks a restriction, you fail and can load a previous savegame. It's a lot like T1 / T2 in that way, although the settings per difficulty level may have changed.

* I will only say that some tools are acquired later in the game. Best I can do, for now.

* Few RPG elements, overall. Garrett is already a master thief. We spend a lot of time working to help the player control said scoundrel to the best of his or her own ability. Some RPG-like elements include the global economy and the faction system, however. (Can't go into a lot of detail there, either.)

* T:DS takes place at night. Garrett sleeps during the day. Our game is about sneaking. Daylight, while a potentially interesting challenge, isn't particularly conducive, so we elected not to include it.

* T:DS does not use the same inventory system as DX:IW.

van_HellSing PL
8th Mar 2004, 22:18
"Are you Steven Spielberg's evil twin brother?"

Spot the difference ;)

8th Mar 2004, 23:16
kayscha, mad props on the questions posed. some of the answers given, especially the one that centers on the RPG elements (although light, still are making me curious to what's in store) are starting to make my interest(s) in the game rise again (to the point where i'm not levelheaded about my outlook).

no joke, great job. but you will be to blame if the game is a dissapointment now ;) :p :D

i guess since the thread has seen a bit of a hijacking from what you would ask WS? to what might we expect from the new thief?, i can add a few more questions to the mix

1) by comparison to either the previous thief titles, or to dx:iw, how big (on average) will the levels in t: ds be?

1a) will they include sections that will require load times, or will the player be able to move from one section of the level to the next without interruption?

2) we know the dagger replaces the sword, and the WCG replaces the rope arrow. what other items will be replaced, or added to garret's arsenal of tools and weapons?

3) it's been mentioned that garret will have some assassination requirements (according to the site, i believe). are these actual objectives one will perform to progress? or is this based on difficulty setting?

4) will we be seeing any old faces? ie. the guy we break out of clagscleft prison (forget his name), or sherrif mosley? (don't remember if she died or not)

these next few questions are purely curiosity at play. doubtful they'll effect gameplay in the slightest, or give someone reason to to get dissapointed over. except for maybe 7.

5) not that they're important, or even necessary IMO, but will cheats be included this time around to the series?

6) will there be a secret level added? i still think the best part of dx:iw was them quotes!

7) has the world of thief moved on from scrolls, papyruses, and lil looseleaf notebooks? or can we expect them to be included as well to provide more depth and immersion for the player?

9th Mar 2004, 00:05
Thanks - I'll gladly bear any blame if the game turns out badly. I used to be a profesional scapegoat once, you know, so I'm used to it ;)

Anyway, I think I'll collect another bunch of questions here in a while and post them on the other boards. We'll see if I just got lucky last time or if null & friends are really that good! Certainly managed to raise my confidence to new heights, they have :)

Also, from reading all of null's, faceless' and endlessdespair's postings this afternoon, I'm getting a good idea of what kids of questions they are allowed to answer, and which ones they aren't. For example, they will not answer any game details yet such as how exactly thinks will work in the game since those are still subject to change. Also, they apparently may not answer Qs about the engine's limitations due to their multiplatform strategy.
I'm afraid this rules out pretty many of your questions. Some answers, though, I can give you right now from what they have already revealed:

1 - they will be noticeably larger than the ones in IW, but smaller than in T1&2 - you're not likely to get a more detailed answer.

2 - they have explicitly stated that they can't give details on Garrett's tools - I suspect they are to be revealed on the official Thief site, one by one, courtesy of Eidos' marketing monkeys.

3 - null said it was one of the game's design goals that it could be completed without ever alerting anybody else to your presence (in the missions, I assume). So I guess assassination will never be a required objective.

4 - they have confirmed Benny the guard and have darkly promised some 'surprises' - I guess this is going to be similar to #2

5 - they wouldn't have decided for sure yet, so they aren't going to answer this. Cheats are always in during debugging, the question is whether they will be removed before the end.

6 - no game comes out w/o some easter eggs, these days. So will DS - don't expect the devs to tell us about them, though :)

7 - faceless (I think) promised us lots of stuff to read in the game, although he won't give any numbers. You won't be collecting single sheets of paper though but keep track of information differently (not specified in detail)