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Thread: WS interview at Gamespy

WS interview at Gamespy

  1. #1

    Unhappy WS interview at Gamespy

    Hello. I'm having problems getting to todays gamespy interview with Warren Spector. If anyone could put up a direct link or even cut and paste the text I'd be very grateful.

  2. #2
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    Arrow

    Well, this is the link:
    http://www.gamespy.com/interviews/march04/spector/

    (thanks for bringing it up, btw. Was an interesting read)

    Some quotes for you from Mr. Spector:

    Spector:
    The fact that the console community embraced Invisible War, and I hope will embrace Thief the way they have, tells me that people who said, "Yeah, these are two different audiences, and you have to approach them differently. Make the console game more actiony, make the console game for younger players, you have to dumb the game down!". We didn't have to do any of that.
    Hmmm...

    Spector:
    I think the console audience is growing so rapidly that it's supplanting the PC audience. I'm sorry that I've just lost my entire fan community [with that comment], but the consoles are getting so powerful now and except for certain kinds of games that really do require a mouse and keyboard, you know -- go and buy an Xbox, buy a PlayStation 2, because it costs less than upgrading your video card, for crying out loud!
    Oh-oh..

    Spector (in regard to implementation of 3rd person in T3):
    Third person has its strengths. I've always resisted it because the whole idea behind the games I've worked on is to make it feel like it's you in the world. J.C. Denton in Deus Ex has this flat, monotone delivery to his lines because I want the player to provide the emotion. I want the player to feel like "I'm angry." If the character is happy, happy, happy and the player is angry, all of the sudden it's not you in the world anymore. I want you to believe it's you.

    Manipulating a puppet ... here's the perfect example. When people play a Tomb Raider game, they say, "Lara jumped across that chasm. Did you see when she did this!?" When people play System Shock they say, "Did you see what I did?" and that "what I did" is what makes games special. So I always resisted third person, but now that I've done it I don't think that it has to be that way. I don't think it has to be just a puppet.

    It's kind of cool seeing yourself flatten against a wall as a guard walks by. It's cool to see your character fade into the background. It's cool to see yourself climb up a wall. It really does provide a kind of tactical awareness you don't get in a first-person mode. In a first-person mode, you're stuck. You can see what's in your view cone, basically. In a third-person game you can actually see the arrangement of elements. If you're providing a lot of tools, a richly simulated world, and a lot of ways to interact with them, seeing what's going on in the world from that tactical advantage viewpoint is kind of cool. As I play, I find myself switching back and forth constantly, which the game supports. We switch you back and forth. We switch you into first-person mode, even if you're in third-person mode, if you're using the bow and arrow.

  3. #3
    Reading that interview does not fill me with the blissful hope I desired.

  4. #4
    Oh... dear... god...
    ...well, it's been nice knowing you, Thief series...

    Here's the killer blow to any hopes I had for this game:

    In the original Thief games, Garrett was more or less incapable of combat; so much so that it became frustrating to many players, including Spector. While he's no match for a squadron of heavily armed guards, he has some teeth to him this time around.
    Translation"

    Many people, Spector included, were too poor to complete the game and went back to watching Lara Croft jiggle. This time, the game will be a cheap shell that is way too easy to complete and has no one-hit kills.

  5. #5
    I too would rather not have read the article...


    -JR-

  6. #6
    Originally posted by Xcom re:Warren Spector
    ... -- go and buy an Xbox, buy a PlayStation 2, because it costs less than upgrading your video card, for crying out loud! ...
    Jeez, I never looked at it that way! Duh! I've still got to upgrade the video card, dummy, for the gzillion other things I can do with it. What else could I do with a console? If I factor out the non-gaming use of that video card it's much, much, MUCH less than the cost of the console.

    Did he get kicked by a horse sometime I didn't hear about?

  7. #7
    It would appear he has some kind if inteligence deficit.

    A few points to our friend at Ion Storm:

    1 - If you got frustrated playing Thief because you couldn't fight, find something else to play, moron.

    2 - That comment about consoles being so much easier/cheaper... yeah... so what if we want to go online? Play games that don't require button bashing? Edit the games? Use utillities? Consoles can't do any of that if I recall... |

    3 - "'Make the console game more actiony, make the console game for younger players, you have to dumb the game down!'. We didn't have to do any of that."

    Too easy...

  8. #8
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    Originally posted by Guineapiggy
    Here's the killer blow to any hopes I had for this game:
    In the original Thief games, Garrett was more or less incapable of combat; so much so that it became frustrating to many players, including Spector. While he's no match for a squadron of heavily armed guards, he has some teeth to him this time around.
    Ehrm.. it only says that Garrett has become tougher. It doesn't mean you'll be forced into combat (like in SplinterCell for example). As was said by one of the devs, the game can be ghosted (it's difficult, but nonetheless possible). Offering player a choice is not a bad thing because it allows you to play the game how you want. Just play it as you played original games; meaning if you get busted, consider yourself dead and reload the save.

  9. #9
    From what I have read (here and elsewhere), this game will not be THIEF, but a hodge-podge of Spiderman, SS, and other games with THIEF as a weak base on which to hype the new engine, and suck in the console players.

    More and more info is pointing to a wide deviation from the premise that made THIEF what it IS.

    As far as "extra toys" when you take "toys" out and replace them with "toys" that are not as useful, then you don't have "extra toys" you have diminished capacity.

    I don't want automatic aimming, a stronger faster Garrett, or any other fancy crap.

    I want smarter AI, better shading, more realistic physics and game maps, new villians and wider interaction with the world. But I don't want the basic values of the game play changed.

    It's obvious from the WS quotes that the THIEF world of gamers is not the target audience. The Splinter Cell, and other shooter game crowd with consoles (and money) is where this is going.

    This will definitely not be the THIEF we all love to play. To say that THIEF, as a total environment and concept, has been ignored would be a weak understatement.

  10. #10
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    PC games to become extinct? Not very likely at all. Granted, consoles have more mass market appeal, for the 'casual gamer' everybody is so keen on. As long as video games are all the rage in youth culture, this market is bound to grow a lot. Consoles are easy to use, cheap and available.

    However, youth culture hardly ever stays focussed on a toy for long, looking for the next great thing all the while. Once games are as commonplace as movies, the 'rage' will pass on. It will never reach the same level of appeal as movies have, though, simply because games demand more from the audience and entertainment media tend to be the more successful the less ativity they demand. So the casual gamer is not here to stay - either they move on to something easier or they become more involved, looking for deeper, more sophisticated gaming.

    An experienced, adult gaming audience, however, will always appreciate the strength of the PC as a gaming platform, it's customizability, it variability, its extendability. Here they can involve themselves just as much as they wish and are not restricted by limitations such as a console controller or the inability to modify the console's features. The two downsides of the PC will not matter to them so much - its price of a central multifunctional digital device for one's home is not a strong deterrent and ease-of-use/incompatibility will improve with every further generation of OS.

    Honestly, you got this one wrong, Warren!

    On a side note, I believe it can take away from the game if you have too many choices, especially if they are not properly balanced. Superman can walk if he wants to, but why should he?

  11. #11
    As of now I officialy expect Garret to get a sub-machine gun early in the game. I also believe his trademark witisisms will be replaced with such lines as, "My thief senses are tingeling."

  12. #12
    I am a MIT grad so I refuse to read the interview.

  13. #13
    Why do they still employ this Spector foo? From what I can tell his name is used to make it sound like they've got an almighty guru working for them. He ed up IW, and it looks like he's about to do it again. Drop him and find someone with vision.

  14. #14
    Well I was resistant to joining the doom and gloom posters but Im getting worried now.

    His comments about Garret fighting and 3rd person perspective are BS. He's trying to justify altering the game to make it more appealing to the console users.

  15. #15
    i really didn't want to reply to this....but man, it's just too much to bottle up.


    Spector:
    The fact that the console community embraced Invisible War, and I hope will embrace Thief the way they have, tells me that people who said, "Yeah, these are two different audiences, and you have to approach them differently. Make the console game more actiony, make the console game for younger players, you have to dumb the game down!". We didn't have to do any of that.


    wasn't more "actiony" than the original? wasn't dumbed down? i won't bother arguing the age bit, but the first two? has spector really become this dense? the action and dumbing down of IW go hand in hand because so much was removed! by not forcing the player to actually take the time away from fighting, sneaking, and having some real meaningful conversations, it does become more "actiony". the removal of skills, notes, logs, lengthy information etc etc meant that the gamer had more time to get into the fight. by making it more like a typical first person shooter it what, seperated itself more from the pack?

    the two systems argument? c'mon. has he learned nothing during the past few months? the reason why the console community embraced it cause the vast majority never experienced something like it. the pc community on the other hand have. spector is truly showing himself to be a joke.


    I think the console audience is growing so rapidly that it's supplanting the PC audience. I'm sorry that I've just lost my entire fan community [with that comment], but the consoles are getting so powerful now and except for certain kinds of games that really do require a mouse and keyboard, you know -- go and buy an Xbox, buy a PlayStation 2, because it costs less than upgrading your video card, for crying out loud!

    yes, they are getting more powerful. does that mean you should ditch the fan community that made the game successful?

    ok, so an xbox or ps2 are cheaper than a vid card. whoopdie sh**. thanks for telling us how to spend our own money for a machine that's 3 times more versatile than both consoles mentioned put together. Old Man is right, we have other needs for our vid cards. for a man that's been making pc games for 15 years (as mentioned within the interview), he seems to know jack about PCs.

    Spector:
    It's kind of cool seeing yourself flatten against a wall as a guard walks by. It's cool to see your character fade into the background. It's cool to see yourself climb up a wall. It really does provide a kind of tactical awareness you don't get in a first-person mode. In a first-person mode, you're stuck. You can see what's in your view cone, basically. In a third-person game you can actually see the arrangement of elements. If you're providing a lot of tools, a richly simulated world, and a lot of ways to interact with them, seeing what's going on in the world from that tactical advantage viewpoint is kind of cool. As I play, I find myself switching back and forth constantly, which the game supports. We switch you back and forth. We switch you into first-person mode, even if you're in third-person mode, if you're using the bow and arrow.


    anyone else get the feeling this guy just woke the up? he makes it sound like it's truly a revolutionary idea. 3rd person view, wow! never thought of that! i appareciate the fact that he's giving a choice for the player to go either 1st or 3rd person, but does he really need to sound like a schmuck when talking about it?

    Spector: Right. And Knights of the Old Republic is a very Deus Ex-like game, and it's a ton of fun. And I think part of the appeal of the game is -- part of the appeal -- is light side / dark side, which is woven into the fabric of George Lucas' fiction, but that's the part of the game I like the least.

    "a very deus ex like game"? is he so damn arrogant and conceited that he just can't say "RPG"? seriously, what gives him the right to claim that deus ex, although a great game (sequel sucked though, obviously), is what other games should be compared to?

    Spector: If what you want to do is sell a lot of copies of a game, you're probably better off giving people points, in essence, and telling them "you're doing good, you're doing good, you're doing good" or "you're doing good (because you're evil), you're doing good (because you're evil), you're doing good (because you're evil)." As opposed to the Deus Ex thing, and it's always been the Thief thing too. It's not about points or where you are on a line, it's about who you are as a person. It's so much more about the player in Deus Ex and Thief, and I love that. You don't know if your next action is going to make you "evil" or "good." It's just going to make you feel something about yourself.

    and this guy considers himself a gamer? does he really think a gamer is gonna stop doing bad when that's what he chooses to do so, and isn't penalized for it?

    dear mr spector,

    do you really play other games? hell, did you even play dx:iw?!?!

    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.

    who would think a gamer regardless of platform wants as smooth a gaming experience as possible? what a tard. there are reasons why people criticize the technical aspects of games, again regardless of platform, you ignorant noob.

    Spector: And we should achieve it. It's unforgivable that we didn't and I now know that. But the biggest lesson I learned about console gamers, and I've been saying it for all the years, is that they're just gamers. PC games, console games ... I mean, they're games. Gamers want good games.

    yeah, you should've achieved it. or at least done your best to try to achieve it. but now you're just bs'ing gamers worldwide when you release that statement AFTER THERE'S A JOKE ABOUT IT IN THE SECRET LEVEL OF DX:IW ON ONE OF THE QUOTE PADS.

    yes, gamers do want good games, regardless of platform. but i guess this means that the pc users are gonna get another xbox port, huh?

    You can play essentially, and I probably should even take that qualifier off, you can play the same game on both platforms now. In every significant way, you can play the same game on any platform now. I think in that sense the audience is converging, but it's really that the console audience is growing, growing, growing, and a lot of PC gamers are moving onto consoles as they realize, "Wait, that's where all the games are and that's where the developers are going. The games I want to play are over there, so I'm going."

    yup, there's the answer to my previous question.

    spector:
    The response to the overall game, though, did have an impact on things. Our European release of Invisible War is going to be more solid and more robust because we addressed a lot of things the fan community told us we should have addressed the first time.


    but then goes on to say:

    Spector:
    Well, you can't let the fan community design your game.


    as if we wanted to. we want good, smooth, gaming experiences that will utilize our systems to the fullest. this means providing you with our input for tweaking the game so it'll be better. and, believe it or not, there are plenty of games out there from developers that have listened to the community when it came to additions and subtractions to the games in design. Soldner is just one, and possibly the latest example of this. and it's just as highly anticipated, if not more so, than t: ds. but spector wouldn't know that, cause he's stuck in his own little world.

    Spector:
    We took a lot of chances on Invisible War, and we're going to continue to take chances even in our sequels. We're going to continue polishing and refining, so yeah, I think it is really important. But I've told everybody, in addition to telling me what you're going to do better when you start a new project, you need to tell me where you're going to innovate. If there are ten elements in a game, I want at least two where people go, "Oh my God. I've never seen that before." So there's going to be a certain percentage where we're pushing the envelope at Ion Storm, always, in even the sequels. In the games where polish is the number one priority. We are going to do games that have new characters, new worlds, new gameplay ideas. We're always going to be doing stuff like that, too. We're not just going to be the polish company. •


    and what innovations, or polish for that matter, was done with dx:iw? hell, after this interview, should i even try to expect either for t: ds? probably not, but who knows? stranger things have happened.


    i think spector, if he really was a smart guy (since he obviously isn't an "MIT grad"), should just refrain from doing interviews from now on. he doesn't do anything for promotion, interest, or...well, anything. other than make himself look like he should've been casted in "dude, where's my car?".

    spector's up to his old tricks in this interview. trying to prove that his games will be all that when they clearly aren't. it's doubtful t: ds will be any different now.

  16. #16
    My basic opinion on Spector coming from this interview is that he must be a really bad game player. Seriously, sticking up against walls? WHEEE, like I didn't do that in Metal Gear Solid, 6 years ago, or more recently Splinter Cell. Thief is the first person sneaker, not the 3rd person sneaker. Spector probably found Thief way too hard, and hence feels that since he couldn't beat the original games, only 'MIT grads' could do it. Wake up Spector, I was 11 when I beat The Dark Project. Also, giving Garret a better chance against guards? He's a THIEF for crying out loud, hence the flashbombs.

    What Spector seems to be doing is making a new Deus Ex game and slapping the Thief name on it. I'm still going to get Deadly Shadows, but if it turns out badley, there'll be hell to pay.

    Oh, and Spector is really, REALLY bad at interviews. I might have come away from the interview more optimitic if it hadn't been WS talking.

  17. #17
    I wasn't as depressed by this interview as everyone else was, although I obviously would have wished for more assurance that the game would be what I hope it will be. I pulled a couple of my own quotes out, one good & one bad:


    The Deus Ex challenge is so over the top. People expect us to be the best shooter, and the best sneaker, and the best role-playing game, and I suppose if you spent infinite money and infinite time you could get really close. Just being able to make a game where it's just about sneaking -- boy, it's pretty pleasant. Obviously the stakes are a little higher in a sense because we have to make the best stealth game around. But having a clear target to shoot for is kind of nice for a change.
    This sounds encouraging. For those who worry that T3 will be more of a shooter or have RPG elements intruding, Spector seems to be saying that the game will focus on sneaking as the first two games did.


    except for certain kinds of games that really do require a mouse and keyboard, you know -- go and buy an Xbox, buy a PlayStation 2
    This bodes ill for the control scheme, which he has said elsewhere has been altered to suit console gaming. Hopefully the PC version will be designed to work with the otherwise worthless mouse & keyboard.

    A lot of the things he said in the interview were simply his comments (right or wrong) on gaming & games in general. If he feels consoles are supplanting PC's as a gaming platform, that's his opinion & he's entitled to it--it doesn't mean T3 will be a bad PC game.

    Until we get further information or a demo I will remain...

    Optimistic but Concerned
    "Give him a gun & he's Superman--give him two guns & he's God."

    http://members.aol.com/chwyunfat/ima...lpostcount.jpg

  18. #18
    It's amazing, all they had to do was update the AI, give us a good graphics engine and we would have been happy... OR WOULD WE? No! We need to expand the audience to include people who need 'THIS WAY UP' written on either side of their CDs...

    I honestly think Thief would have worked well on a console if you'd dropped the difficulty curve a bit, but we can't have that, can we? Every game has to be a revolution now for some reason...

  19. #19
    Spector:
    I think the console audience is growing so rapidly that it's supplanting the PC audience. I'm sorry that I've just lost my entire fan community [with that comment], but the consoles are getting so powerful now and except for certain kinds of games that really do require a mouse and keyboard, you know -- go and buy an Xbox, buy a PlayStation 2, because it costs less than upgrading your video card, for crying out loud!
    BWAHAHA!

    /me listens to the sound of a thousand PC pre-orders being cancelled.

  20. #20
    Sad thing is, after all the PC players stay away in droves he'll think he's right about console players taking over.

  21. #21
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    I really do not think Warren Spector is as stupid and irresponsible as some of you are making him out to be. Do you hear me HOC?

    If Mr. Spector were an artist, as I think the folks at Looking Glass Studios were, then I am sure he would be playing a different tune. He has developed and played PC games. Surely he is keenly aware of the fact that the PC would be a superior platform if it were the only platform, and he clearly knows that making Thief 3 as a console port will drag it down for PC players if nothing extra is done to fix it. The question is, how much is being done to fix it? We don't know the answer yet. We can hope it is more than was done with DX: IW

    I think that Warren's actions and tone indicate that profit is higher in his priorities than artistry. That is what I would expect of him. That is what the board of directors and probably Eidos expects of him. He has a boss, too. I am sure that his market research shows he will make more money by emphasizing consoles. That's very unfortunate, but evidently true. I am guessing that all his recent interviews, including the one under discussion, are attempts to put a positive spin on what he knows is a regretable compromise. I read that between the lines of everything he says. LGS went broke being artists, a fact that I am sure is not lost on Mr. Spector.

    Mr. Spector has indicated that he is aware of the problems caused by rushing his last console port to market more quickly than he should have. He has stated that he is trying to do better with Thief than he did with DX:IW. I believe he is being truthful about that. Making the game cross-platform compatible, with each platform performing and working well, is clearly possible from a technical standpoint. All it takes to do that job well is time and money for programming.

    The purpose of a port is to save time and money by avoiding some duplication of coding effort. I have written cross-platform programs, and I know it can be done without sacrificing anything. The fact that it is a port does not mean that one cannot remedy some of the problems that the port creates. The main question is, have enough time and money been allocated to do the job well, or will profit motives cause PC players to be on the hind end, so to speak. Again, we don't know, but the results of DX: IW are making us all fearful. You have observed that the release has been delayed quite a bit, probably to put more time and money into it. That gives us some hope. The longer the delay, the better, I think.

    I am not apologizing in any way for the outcome of DX: IW. Spector dropped the ball on that, as he admits. He is trying to do something about it. I really hope he is successful. I am not completely optimistic, but I will get the game just to see.

  22. #22
    LGS went broke being artists, a fact that I am sure is not lost on Mr. Spector.
    And THAT is the way to go if you ask me.

    But seriously, in the interview in question, WS didn't actually talk that much about Thief as he did of DX:IW. And, read the other recent Thief article, it does restore ones confidence in ISA. Mostly, anyway.


    -JR-

  23. #23
    Originally posted by Peter Smith
    I really do not think Warren Spector is as stupid and irresponsible as some of you are making him out to be. Do you hear me HOC?
    haha, you're right. after rereading what i posted, i did come off exaggerating quite a bit in some areas...

    but in others, he really does hand out some really lacking responses. you're right that he is putting a positive spin on things, and that's what his old tricks are. it's very obvious to me that he's trying to take advantage, and no offense to anyone out there, the clueless. and, no offense again, the clueless seem to be either young or new gamers in general. this doesn't mix well with his "gamers are gamers" mindset, if ya ask me.

    which leads to the profit topic that you brought up. he's never denied going for the wider audience. and he's still making that his number one priority. which i feel is why he's able to put out some of those answers and seem like "he just woke the up" to gaming in general.

  24. #24
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    I think that Warren's actions and tone indicate that profit is higher in his priorities than artistry.
    I agree, and it saddens me to see. True artists never did their work with profits high on their list of priority. If they went broke somewhere on the way, they usually didn't regard that as more than a temporary setback. 'Artists' who did it for the money were in fact nothing but very talented craftsmen.
    I realize that bankruptcy (sp?) is more of a problem if a team is involved, but still I expect some developers to emerge (or re-emerge) that work like artists, either lead by a visionary that doesn't give a damn about the money like some great Hollywood directors did in the past or as an artist commune that devotes their life to the art, not to the petty ideal of a home, kids and a car...

  25. #25
    Originally posted by Kayscha
    I agree, and it saddens me to see. True artists never did their work with profits high on their list of priority. If they went broke somewhere on the way, they usually didn't regard that as more than a temporary setback. 'Artists' who did it for the money were in fact nothing but very talented craftsmen.
    I realize that bankruptcy (sp?) is more of a problem if a team is involved, but still I expect some developers to emerge (or re-emerge) that work like artists, either lead by a visionary that doesn't give a damn about the money like some great Hollywood directors did in the past or as an artist commune that devotes their life to the art, not to the petty ideal of a home, kids and a car...
    the only way they can do that is through promotion. there are a lot of great games from back in the day that didn't get a lot of advertising out. some turned out to be successes, some turned out to be sleepers.

    in this day and age when consoles have gotten a ridiculous amount of media coverage, and continue to yank their own cranks with magazines that have the console in the name, there really is little excuse to believe ya have to make a title lesser just to receive a wider audience.

    i believe kayscha brought this up in another thread, that when it comes to pc gaming, where no standardization is there, no one speaks for it or promotes it, and comes with other problems, it's still holding it's own on the market. and if ya ask me why people are buying less and less pc games for the most part, is cause way too many games are console ports for the pc. but titles like cod, mohaa, quakes, unreals, warcrafts and rise of nations, morrowinds etc etc etc are successful because they've all had good development for the pc and it shows.

    if t: ds fails on the pc just like dx:iw, it'll be because of poor decisions for the pc version were made. and the people will again rise up and make their voices known. not because the console community is "supplanting" the pc community.

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