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AI Prototype
21st Jan 2008, 00:31
"We have something that will please the fans that are loyal to the franchise. We'll do everything to respect their following."
- Stephane D'Astous

I've been thinking for a couple months about that comment, and have to wonder publicly if it's likely or even possible for Deus Ex 3 to please the people who loved the first game.

The question presents itself when considering Deus Ex's core demographic. I'm 23; I was just turning 16 when I bought and played Deus Ex, which probably puts me at the younger end of the spectrum of people who played the original. Gamers any younger than 16 were unlikely to appreciate the sophisticated and socially profound narrative. In fact, the entirety of Deus Ex's brilliance didn't dawn on me until years later.

It has now been 8 years since Deus Ex, and will likely be 10 before the new game is released. Thanks to the success of the first game and the failure of the second, the entire - entire - community of Deus Ex fans are now approximately 22-32 years old with, if you will allow my assumption, a median age of 25 or 26. In 2010 we're talking about a target demographic that is 27-28 years old!

There shouldn't be much need for me to relate the fact that the "gaming" demographic continues to be ages 16 to 25 with a real focus on the late teenagers. Therefore I accuse any developer of trying to market an action RPG to a 27-year old as working under a flimsy business model. And those are the people Mr. D'Astous claims to be trying to please.

I'm basically just trying to make the point that Deus Ex fans have aged a great deal. That fact should amplify the notion that Deus Ex 3 better be damn sophisticated. This demographic isn't looking for stunning graphics and fantastically entertaining combat. We're in it for the story, the dialog and the atmosphere - the same things that catapulted Deus Ex into hall of fame territory. The philosophical, cultural and political content of Deus Ex which was so totally unprecedented and yet phenominally crafted.. that might be the prime goal of a Deus Ex 3 team looking to create something that will please Deus Ex players. Writers over programmers.

Of course, Eidos might already be on the right track. D'Astous remarked that "People that we've hired were truly enthused by the first Deus Ex. They know the game by heart. They know what worked and what didn't work." Perhaps one of the strongest reasons for my own belief that it may turn out well is that it doesn't make sense to market a 10-year old IP to kids who have never heard of it.

Here's to hoping the DX3 team can pull off the unenviable task of having to captivate Deus Ex's intellectual crowd while still selling enough copies to teenagers. Though I suppose if Bioshock could do it, there may still be hope.

Papy
21st Jan 2008, 01:21
There shouldn't be much need for me to relate the fact that the "gaming" demographic continues to be ages 16 to 25 with a real focus on the late teenagers.
Actually, according to the ESA, the average game player is 33 years old.

For PC :
30% are under eighteen years old.
26% are between 18 and 35 years old
44% are over 35 years old

The demographics of consoles is younger, but there is still a lot of older player.
40% are under eighteen years old
35% are between 18 and 35 years old
25% are over 35 years old

Also, you have to realize that a lot of older gamers are dissatisfied with the current market, so a game that is different might have a chance to be a big hit (particularly when you consider that adults pirate less than kids).

jordan_a
21st Jan 2008, 01:21
I was thirteenish when I discovered the menu and this unforgettable main theme... Damn... embedded in my memory.

You're probably right when you say youngsters can't apprehend some aspects of the game. But I'm sure over the years, as we get more and more intelligent, analytical or critical, many of us appreciated it all the more.

It remains unclear whether Stephane D'Astous, when he said that, realized he was talking about an old game. I'm sure it slipped his mind completely. Howeverf if he was conscious, clear-headed (:D ) and honest then there's indeed HOPE. ;)

jd10013
21st Jan 2008, 03:24
they'll probably have stuff in there to please the loyal fans, but not enough to please the real hard core one. I think the reality nowadays is, people simply don't have the patients, time, or attention span for a game like the original. It'll be slightly dumbed down from that, but not to the point IW was. I think Bioshock is probably a good example of what we'll see. designed with the more experienced gamer in mind, but not so much as to alienate the casual gamer; or somebody new to the genre.

Personally, I don't see it going the IW route. I think that was a result of the limitations of those generation consoles. limitations that don't exist with the current gen.

just my 2 cents.

Frraksurred
21st Jan 2008, 04:54
My hopes are high as well... as are my doubts.

I've enjoyed Deus Ex numerous times and while the levels and gameplay become more aged, the storyline has yet to. I swear I have found something new almost every time I have played it. I want everything for this sequel, but I know the reality of that is small. I think this team has a great deal of ability, let's just pray it's well directed.

gamer0004
21st Jan 2008, 08:12
"Gamers any younger than 16 were unlikely to appreciate the sophisticated and socially profound narrative."

I was 11 years old when I first played the game and I immensely enjoyed it ;)

Unstoppable
21st Jan 2008, 08:41
Of course Deus Ex 3 will be a Deus Ex player's game. It's being developed by people who have played both the first and the second game. They love Deus Ex and are passionate about what they do. Have faith, you will not be dissapointed.

gamer0004
21st Jan 2008, 14:48
Exept when it's ****ed up because of the Eidos problems...
However, when there are no changes in policy or management, I think it's going to be alright.

monochromatic
21st Jan 2008, 15:44
With a market so dominated by consoles, which wasn't so much the case when Deus Ex was released back in 2000, it's harder for developers to create games for PC and console's.

But i believe a game such as Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is a great examples of a game that works well on both platforms.

Somewhere between BioShock and Oblivion would be a very good place for Deus Ex 3 to lay. With the depth of story we've seen in Oblivion and the excellent action funtime with BioShock, a healthy balance with the Deus Ex mythos would be a wet dream come true.

I believe the power available in the 360 and the PS3 allow for a much better game than Invisible War on both consoles and PC.

Unstoppable
21st Jan 2008, 15:50
Sorry but how many times do I have to say it. Invisible War's failure was not the fault of the Xbox. The machine was more than capable of doing large levels and everything else available in the first Deus Ex.

It was the fault of choosing a crappy engine. This time they are not going to do that. Check my posts for all my sources and the thread that I posted it clarifiying why Invisible War was dissapointing.

Again it had absolutely nothing to do with consoles of the Xbox. I know this to be FACT.

monochromatic
21st Jan 2008, 15:56
Thats a fine and valid point. But i believe it was to do with the mindset of the designers. Creating a more console orientated game trying to lend itself more to the casual gamer.

I rather enjoyed Invisible War to be honest.

jd10013
21st Jan 2008, 16:40
I rather enjoyed Invisible War to be honest.

viewed as a stand alone game, It was pretty good. but when compared to the original, and what we were originally told it would be, well that's where it begins to suck.

gamer0004
21st Jan 2008, 18:41
With a market so dominated by consoles, which wasn't so much the case when Deus Ex was released back in 2000, it's harder for developers to create games for PC and console's.

But i believe a game such as Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is a great examples of a game that works well on both platforms.

Somewhere between BioShock and Oblivion would be a very good place for Deus Ex 3 to lay. With the depth of story we've seen in Oblivion and the excellent action funtime with BioShock, a healthy balance with the Deus Ex mythos would be a wet dream come true.

I believe the power available in the 360 and the PS3 allow for a much better game than Invisible War on both consoles and PC.

LOL the "depth of story we've seen in Oblivion"? It was a little bit deeper than the everage shooter, but compared to games like TES:III Morrowind it was wat less immersive.
And "excellent funtime with Bioshock"? I know this is a very personal thing, but I don't really games in which the outcome of firefights almost solely depend on luck. I never had the feeling I was in control of the outcome.
In DX, HL-2, FEAR (excellent game!), Call of Duty, Project: Snowblind or whatever shooter, it was simple: you screw up, you're dead or you lose many medkits and/or ammo.
In BioShock however, it almost solely depended on luck. The first time in a certain firefight: lost half my health and 1 or 2 clips.
So I tried again.
The second time (excactely the same tactic) I wasted almost all my ammo and lost much, much health.
So I tried again. Same result.
Tried once more, lost no health and wasted as little bullets as possible.
Well, it's okay if you know you've done better the last time. But I didn't. I used excactely the same tactic, I was simply lucky.
And what was about the respawning? That was the worst part of the whole game.
Why waste all your ammo on the enemie if you can smack them with the crowbar (or something like that) and keep respawning until you've killed them all? It really wasn't a challenge like this.
Bioshock is, I think, the worst example possible for DX. It was hyped but it lacked depth and was very dumbed down. Not to mention many unrealistic things.

Papy
21st Jan 2008, 23:42
Personally, I don't see it going the IW route. I think that was a result of the limitations of those generation consoles. limitations that don't exist with the current gen.
The limitations will always be there... or never existed depending on the way you look at it. An X-Box was incredibly more powerful than a 25 MHz 386 with 4 MB or RAM, yet the levels of IW where smaller than the levels of Ulitma Underwold. In the end, it's always a question of where the priority is. Will it be to use that power to show pretty graphics, or will it be in AI, level size, quantity of NPC, quantity of objects... Since marketing is mainly done with screenshots, it would take a lot of convictions to forget about graphics and put priorities on other aspects of the game.



But i believe a game such as Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is a great examples of a game that works well on both platforms.
If Deus Ex is anything like Oblivion or BioShock, two great examples of dumbed down games, then I'll simply pass. I'd rather play with Invisible War again than something like one of those two. (Yes, Invisible War, which I didn't like much, was still a much better game to me than Oblivion)

Kill Switch
22nd Jan 2008, 01:44
Not to be off topic or anything, but I'm 16 right now. I was 11-12'ish when I played Deus Ex for the first time and I understood it compleatly. It was a little blurry at first but I understood it pretty clearly my second time through. Its a little sad yes, but I'm playing it right now for about the 9'th time. I still cant beleive I have found hidden items and conversations I've never had. I love Deus Ex and will never stop loving it. So with that said, I have been seeing multiple people saying that the younger gamers arn't likely to grasp the entire concept. Does that make me a smart cookie? :p

Laputin Man
22nd Jan 2008, 04:40
Not to be off topic or anything, but I'm 16 right now. I was 11-12'ish when I played Deus Ex for the first time and I understood it compleatly. It was a little blurry at first but I understood it pretty clearly my second time through. Its a little sad yes, but I'm playing it right now for about the 9'th time. I still cant beleive I have found hidden items and conversations I've never had. I love Deus Ex and will never stop loving it. So with that said, I have been seeing multiple people saying that the younger gamers arn't likely to grasp the entire concept. Does that make me a smart cookie? :p



I first played the original when I was about 16. And I think that if I were only 10 or 11 at the time I am not sure if I'd have understood it or even enjoyed it as much as I had.

So to answer your question, yeah I think that makes you a smart cookie...

Adventure Lover
22nd Jan 2008, 04:49
Just wanted to post about my own demographics. I am a middle-aged female gamer who has been playing video games since 1981. The first one I played was Zork when it was only a masters thesis for the brainiacs at MIT, before Infocom was even a company. My all time favorite games are Infocom's Zork, Planescape Torment - and Deus Ex. Deus Ex was a fascinating experience for me to have to think about the next move I was going to make, what part of my body was I was going to augment, how I was going to hack, how I was going to sneak past a turret. It made me think. It made me use my brain. It was awesome and thrilling. It made my heart pound. The soundtrack was great too. I even ripped it off the CDs and still have the tracks on my hard drive. Ok, enough about me, but I thought it would be significant to let the developers know that games are not just for guys in their teens and twenties. I keep trying to get my husband to play JUST ONE GAME, but he's not interested. I used to beat him at Pole Position when the only games you could play were at coin arcades, so I think he never got over that. ;)

Laputin Man
22nd Jan 2008, 05:24
Just wanted to post about my own demographics. I am a middle-aged female gamer who has been playing video games since 1981. The first one I played was Zork when it was only a masters thesis for the brainiacs at MIT, before Infocom was even a company. My all time favorite games are Infocom's Zork, Planescape Torment - and Deus Ex. Deus Ex was a fascinating experience for me to have to think about the next move I was going to make, what part of my body was I was going to augment, how I was going to hack, how I was going to sneak past a turret. It made me think. It made me use my brain. It was awesome and thrilling. It made my heart pound. The soundtrack was great too. I even ripped it off the CDs and still have the tracks on my hard drive. Ok, enough about me, but I thought it would be significant to let the developers know that games are not just for guys in their teens and twenties. I keep trying to get my husband to play JUST ONE GAME, but he's not interested. I used to beat him at Pole Position when the only games you could play were at coin arcades, so I think he never got over that. ;)



I'd say get a Wii if you can find one. Wii sports is kind of the gateway drug of gaming. That might get your husband into gaming.

Freddo
22nd Jan 2008, 06:09
Sorry but how many times do I have to say it. Invisible War's failure was not the fault of the Xbox. The machine was more than capable of doing large levels and everything else available in the first Deus Ex.

It was the fault of choosing a crappy engine. This time they are not going to do that. Check my posts for all my sources and the thread that I posted it clarifiying why Invisible War was dissapointing.

Again it had absolutely nothing to do with consoles of the Xbox. I know this to be FACT.
Strange, I seem to recall something very different.

For example, take DX:IW. It was hurt by the xbox version but that's another story.
However, I do agree that it's unlikely something similiar will happen with Deus Ex 3.

Adventure Lover
23rd Jan 2008, 00:06
I'd say get a Wii if you can find one. Wii sports is kind of the gateway drug of gaming. That might get your husband into gaming.

Hmmm, that is something to think about but I doubt it. I already have an XBOX, he loves that I play games ( he gets to nap when I do ) and I have Nintendo DS. I had resisted buying a Wii because my PC can handle almost all of the games that I want to play, but - well, I'll think about it but he's just not into games, he prefers live action, like movies. All the controls and memorizing the key combinations is just not his thing. :(

Laputin Man
23rd Jan 2008, 01:17
Hmmm, that is something to think about but I doubt it. I already have an XBOX, he loves that I play games ( he gets to nap when I do ) and I have Nintendo DS. I had resisted buying a Wii because my PC can handle almost all of the games that I want to play, but - well, I'll think about it but he's just not into games, he prefers live action, like movies. All the controls and memorizing the key combinations is just not his thing. :(



That is why Wii sports is such a good "gateway drug" game. Instead of just hitting buttons you use the controller lije a bat, tennis racket, bowling ball, fists, etc. So it is much more physical. People that I've known for years that have never been into gaming love Wii sports. It is a great system for parties.... or for getting people into gaming. At least I think so. I'd still love a 360 and a good gaming PC though. Just saving up for the PC and waiting until they release a more dependable 360 that doesn't fall victim to the dreaded RROD.

matches81
24th Jan 2008, 02:38
I agree with gamer004 about Bioshock as well as Oblivion, and I really don't get why those two games are always brought up as good cross-platform games. They sold well, yes, but that's about it.

On topic:
I think with Papy's info about the gamer demographic it seems pretty feasible to actually produce a more complex game with a sophisticated story targetting mature gamers. The vast majority of gamers is older than 20, even on consoles, and if I had to guess based on Papy's numbers I think still the majority of PC gamers and about 40% of console gamers are above 25. So, that's not exactly a small market to target. Seeing that most gamers I know actually hunger for a game with a proper storyline, atmosphere and perhaps more complex gameplay than your standard FPS or hack'n slay, it's actually a pretty wise thing to do, in my opinion.

Papy
24th Jan 2008, 06:29
I'll think about it but he's just not into games, he prefers live action, like movies. All the controls and memorizing the key combinations is just not his thing.
Of course there are people who don't like playing games, I'll even say the majority prefer simple pastimes to real games, but if you want to get your husband to play games then maybe you could try "Trackmania". It takes about two hours to really get into it, but as the demographics for this game is extremely wide, from 4 years old kids to 38 years old hardcore gamers, there is a change he might like it. Another game that is almost always a success with non-gamers is Carmageddon. I guess you could also play Pole Position again (with Mame). Maybe nostalgia will get him.


it seems pretty feasible to actually produce a more complex game with a sophisticated story targetting mature gamers.
This is what Warren Spector said in an interview : I think there's a widespread belief that, even as developers and players get older, at its core, our market is young and that our games are made for kids - and that people stop playing as they get older. [...] Games are still aimed at kids even though the players may be adults. It’s a problem that comes from many developers who have no experience of life other than “I've played a lot of games, I love games, let me make games.”

SyfeKS
24th Jan 2008, 09:08
It has now been 8 years since Deus Ex, and will likely be 10 before the new game is released. Thanks to the success of the first game and the failure of the second, the entire - entire - community of Deus Ex fans are now approximately 22-32 years old with, if you will allow my assumption, a median age of 25 or 26. In 2010 we're talking about a target demographic that is 27-28 years old!

yeah i may be like an outsider to that one. i liked the first one, becasue of fact that kept track for what happened during the game

matches81
24th Jan 2008, 11:50
This is what Warren Spector said in an interview : I think there's a widespread belief that, even as developers and players get older, at its core, our market is young and that our games are made for kids - and that people stop playing as they get older. [...] Games are still aimed at kids even though the players may be adults. It’s a problem that comes from many developers who have no experience of life other than “I've played a lot of games, I love games, let me make games.”

Well, I agree with that basically. But then I have to wonder: Why are there so many games with content that's just unsuitable for kids? It seems game developers have realised they're not essentially developing a kid's toy when it comes to gore, drugs, sexuality and so on, but somehow story-wise most games leave it at the kid's toy level. This discrepancy between mature content and immature/simpleton story is what I don't understand about the whole topic.

Zegano
25th Jan 2008, 00:35
I agree that "mature games" are usually just kiddy games with sex, drugs and excessive violence glued on. But the beauty of DX was that while it was deep it didn't actually beat the player over the head with philosophy.
I first played through it when I was 15 and I enjoyed it for its combination of stealth, action and decision making. I didn't really notice much of the philosophy, I just saw the goals of each faction. Yet now I'm 17, playing it through for the 3rd (or is it 4th?) time and I'm actually talking to people after they've given me my missions and exhausting the dialogue tree. These elements of philosophy only come in when you look for them. Therefore wouldn't it make sense for DX to only show the player what story line is needed for progression, and show a deeper side only to those who look for it?

matches81
25th Jan 2008, 01:51
a few beers with a friend later and I probably answered the question myself (why mature gamers don't offer mature content besides excessive violence, perhaps drugs and sex):
It is far simpler to just roll a few dice to determine the setting and the "story" for a game than putting some thought into those things. The problem is that the creation of a believable world and story, including characters takes far more time than just going ahead and say "Hey, let's make an FPS taking place at a war in the Middle-East. Our hero is a generic US military grunt, those guys don't ask questions anyway. Weapons are a given thing thx to reality... we're done, let's go make that game."
So, in my opinion developers seem to choose the "simple" path that contains close to no story, no background information and doesn't require them to reimagine things too much. Somewhat understandable, because those games sell like hotcakes, so why do more?
On the other hand the sheer mass of simpleton generic shooters should justify approaching a more sophisticated game to reach a hungry crowd of mature gamers.

Laputin Man
25th Jan 2008, 02:33
Well, I agree with that basically. But then I have to wonder: Why are there so many games with content that's just unsuitable for kids? It seems game developers have realised they're not essentially developing a kid's toy when it comes to gore, drugs, sexuality and so on, but somehow story-wise most games leave it at the kid's toy level.



But the drugs, sex, violence isn't necessarily meant just for adults. Just go to gamefaqs or Xbox Live and see how many immature kids there are there. And they go on about wanting to see more gore in the next Gta or Halo game, picking up strippers, or bragging how they smoke some weed while they play. Not all of these people are kids I'm sure but they all are a little immature. And that is what this industry seems to target mostly. Immature boys/teens/young men. It's kind of sad and I think it is kind of bringing a decline to the rpg genre mostly. More and more RPG's feature less choices, streamlined controls, less complicated or involved story lines. Some even have idiot proof features in the game. At least that is how I see it.

matches81
25th Jan 2008, 13:33
Sure, there are lots of kids that play games that have content that is rated mature. That doesn't necessarily mean those kids are the target audience for the game. It probably is true that developers do target those kids inofficially, but I doubt they make the most of the dev's income, since they need either an irresponsible salesman to sell the game to them or parents / friends that buy the game for them. Either way, they can't just buy the game whenever they feel like it, so they're not an ideal target audience for a game with "mature" content.

Laputin Man
25th Jan 2008, 22:29
Sure, there are lots of kids that play games that have content that is rated mature. That doesn't necessarily mean those kids are the target audience for the game. It probably is true that developers do target those kids inofficially, but I doubt they make the most of the dev's income, since they need either an irresponsible salesman to sell the game to them or parents / friends that buy the game for them. Either way, they can't just buy the game whenever they feel like it, so they're not an ideal target audience for a game with "mature" content.



Maybe they aren't targetting kids but the audience they do target is pretty immature. Or at least it seems so to me. Which I believe is the reason why we keep seeing more and more games stripped of layers of complexity. Just look at the Elder Scrolls 3 and the Elder Scrolls 4. Like from DX to IW, devs seem to want to make games too simplistic because if they don't... they believe the majority of people will find the game too difficult or that it might actually require thought. A lot of people seem to be more interested in instant gratification than having to figure anything out by themselves.

matches81
26th Jan 2008, 02:35
Maybe they aren't targetting kids but the audience they do target is pretty immature. Or at least it seems so to me. Which I believe is the reason why we keep seeing more and more games stripped of layers of complexity. Just look at the Elder Scrolls 3 and the Elder Scrolls 4. Like from DX to IW, devs seem to want to make games too simplistic because if they don't... they believe the majority of people will find the game too difficult or that it might actually require thought. A lot of people seem to be more interested in instant gratification than having to figure anything out by themselves.
Well, I can't argue with that. That's the exact same impression I get the last few years. Latest example is Bioshock. Bummer.
Isn't that an incentive to do a complex game now, when even the series that used to "fill that gap" have gone simpleton? There's obviously a demand for such a thing.

jd10013
26th Jan 2008, 02:54
I think it comes from pushing the technology too hard. the Dev's get so caught up in the best graphics, physics, lighting and so on, that they forget about the game play. on top of that, they drive the cost of making the games so high that they have to sell a million copies just to break even. that forces them to try and appeal to the largest possible audience. I'm afraid though, that with the large companies like EA gobbling up all the small firms, we may not see story and game play drivin titles anymore. just lots of eye candy and flash.

Smoke Screen
27th Jan 2008, 05:09
I think it comes from pushing the technology too hard.


To much ppl beeing indoctrinated by advertisment campaigns who basically
say that better technology means better games and that the most fun out of
a game comes only with the newest hardware available. Well,thats a typical
and quite anoying PR lie,but it safes profits and makes game development on
tight schedules possible. I have nothing against dumb games for those who
want those,but at least now and then there could be a game for educated ppl
with decent intellectual capacity.

AI Prototype
27th Jan 2008, 06:59
Well, I agree with that basically. But then I have to wonder: Why are there so many games with content that's just unsuitable for kids? It seems game developers have realised they're not essentially developing a kid's toy when it comes to gore, drugs, sexuality and so on, but somehow story-wise most games leave it at the kid's toy level. This discrepancy between mature content and immature/simpleton story is what I don't understand about the whole topic.

There's a good point there about the general lack of writing finesse within this entire medium and its cousins (movies and television). I made the poor choice to watch "Live Free Or Die Hard" last week and was struck by how incredibly bad the writing was in comparison with the effort put in visually. I can see from wikipedia that the film had a $110 million budget and contracted a slew of special effects firms. Judging by the script quality I'd say they paid someone a thousand dollars for it. How do you spend $110 million on acting talent and visual effects and have a bad script? With that kind of money you could hire anyone to write it. It's not particular to that Die Hard either; it's everywhere.

I bet the budget pie-chart for Deus Ex had a more sizeable chunk allocated to writing talent. But I can't explain why so few games and movies are well written except to suggest that most people in society must be idiots.

Let's hope Eidos knows they're in the storytelling business and has invested in it appropriately.

Xcom
27th Jan 2008, 12:13
I bet the budget pie-chart for Deus Ex had a more sizeable chunk allocated to writing talent.

I think you'll lose your bet. :whistle: