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Default Junction Point Studios - Spector Interview @ Gamasutra

March 7th, 2007, 15:04
Warren sure does bring out a lot of emotion in gamers.

I think the best advice we could collectively offer WS would be, "Show me, don't tell me. Now shut up and go make a game." I don't care if he has to effectively go indy and do it all out of his garage with only a couple coders and artists. Stop talking about what you would do if someone gave you a hellalota money, Warren. You didn't need $50 million and a 100 heads to make UU, Thief, or DX. Stop chasing the money and put your development effort where your mouth is. Forget whatever inclinations towards excess you picked up from the Garriotts. Forget the idiocies so rampant in the industry today.

Make a game. Ship it. Impress us.

You've done it before. Now go do it again.

Hammer, anvil, forge and fire,
chase away the hoofed liar.
Roof and doorway, block and beam,
chase the Trickster from our dream.
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March 7th, 2007, 15:20
Oh yeah, and for the small levels, lack of rope arrows, etc. Those are technical issues. I don't think Warren should be blamed for those.

Go peruse the T3 editor forum on TTLG. The engine used for DX:IW and T3 was… poorly implemented. And that's being polite. The guy who wrote it evidently left ISA part way through the project, and they were stuck with a mess, not enough time left to start over, and no one who understood it well enough to fix, optimize, or completely overhaul the whole of it.

The only blame I'd level towards the engine development would be a general blame towards all of management. If you're going to take an existing engine, gut it, and rebuilt it, then you'd better have some serious oversight on the effort to make absolutely certain the work can be done early enough to either manage all of the issues that arise, or pull the plug and fall back to the original engine. By the accounts I've heard, whoever redid the engine was given free reign, and only too late did they realize the hole they'd dug for themselves.

Mind you, I'm going on heresay here. Most of what I've heard has been second hand accounts of off-line comments by the devs, who are understandably reluctant to air dirty laundry on the problems that came up during DX:IW and T3's development.

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March 7th, 2007, 17:28
I could live with engine problems/frame rate issues, because that's an honest consequence of being ambitious and underestimating the task. You take chances sometimes, and they come up snake eyes. But 95% of Invisible War's problems stem from the core design philosophy of the game — and that design philosophy was "Make the game for a new audience on the X-Box instead of making a true sequel for the PC". Small tiny levels (thanks to 64 MB of X-Box RAM), crappy interface, crappy menus, huge writing, gimped role-playing system, stupid inventory system — all of those problem stem from having to design the game for the X-Box as the lowest common denominator and making it more, ahem, "accessible".
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March 7th, 2007, 18:01
For reference: the scenes Ion Storm wanted to show you.

Statues wouldn't be better if they could move. Model airplanes would not be better if they were the same size as airplanes.
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March 7th, 2007, 22:05
I agree with all of that. Yes, it is time for Spector to show us the gameplay and they did design DX:IW "down" to a bigger audience and lost the game's appeal in the process. I'm hoping he learned from that.

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March 8th, 2007, 05:13
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
There were 25-30 people layed off in 2004 but by Ubisoft, rather than Spector, and because DX2 wasn't successful enough, not because of creative differences. I have an email from insider who wrote to RPGDot about the layoffs…I'll dig it up if this conversation continues.
Eidos, not Ubisoft.
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March 10th, 2007, 06:31
abbaon
http://www.evilavatar.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13902
"Jonathan: I understand. Ahem, any relations to Harvey Smith?

Randy: Yeah, we're brothers.

Jonathan: Of blood?

Randy: Sure, sure.

Btw, I cant see your gamesutra link since we allarently have to regester.
Kk, since I get the idea you intend scarcasim (not in a bad way, at least to me . ), and I am always willing to learn.
If team members get fired/layed off and are not their for completion of the project, let consider for the moment it could have been unabmible split, would they get credit for working on the title credits?

Also I never said it was absolutly 30 people either did I, nope I said about and best of my memory from 7 years ago.
So if you basis for believeing or not, is Omg he didn't know the exact number!
Well it would make this really not worth talking about.

Dhruin
Maybe this its misinformation, it's how I recall it and the Smith's being brothers was easy to show it happened only 6 months or so ago, but this wasn't very public back 7 years ago and I even remember WS talking about the team split on Deus Ex and no I am not refering to IW.

I have no problems with remembering things incorrectly, but fact is so far nothing has really changed my mind or memory and its really too much trouble to scour dead forums and news from 7 maybe 8 years ago.
I also like Moby, so I am not knocking them it's just not sure if every person whom worked on the game is listed.

Trust me, most of the names I have been called you can't translate in any language…they're not even real words as much as a succession of violent images.
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March 16th, 2007, 00:45
There a dollop of new info over at gamespot.

http://www.gamespot.com/news/6167439…ewstop;title;5

Looks like they've got two projects going, but have only been working on them for a few months. Sounds like they cancelled whatever game(s) they were working on. I'd heard they had cancelled something , and other rumors that they'd ended whatever partnership they'd been trying to set up with Valve/Steam. It wasn't clear if those references were to the same game, or different projects.

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Roof and doorway, block and beam,
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March 16th, 2007, 18:07
Ah, I always love to quote from the Escapist when it comes to spector. In issue nr. 38 he writes:
We have to find ways to go direct to consumers. We have to tap into that $10 or $15 a month MMOG players get charged and forget about long after they've lost interest in the game. I mean, NCsoft got about $60 off of me after I stopped playing City of Heroes and before I remembered to cancel my subscription. My wife's WoW habit has gone down to once or twice a week now, but Blizzard is still collecting her $15, like clockwork, and she can't bring herself to stop playing completely.
Nice attitude. Cool, developers of single player, offline games have to find ways to charge players of such games 10 or 15 $ a month long after they have lost interest in the game. Whenever I read that sentence I'm sitting there staring at that sentence wondering how retarded, shameless, or both must a person be to write something like that?
Shows me what kind of person Spector is. I'm not saying he did not create nice games, but today he seems to be only after people's money.
Last edited by Ionstormsucks; March 16th, 2007 at 20:56.
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March 16th, 2007, 19:22
thanks for that quote. i however get something entirely different from that small morsel. first i see him giving examples of his and his wifes wastes of money for something that didn't really have a lasting content. personally i think this taps into all our desires to have subscription based items wheter it a game, newspaper, magazine, online movies, etc. for people who have tons of free time subcriptions are usually good deals, like a netflix account or a gym membership. ultimately though we all live much more sporatic lives where even if used intensely for a while the usuage peters off and we don't cancel either because of the hassle or we 'hope' to pick up the pace in the near future. so i think he is trying to tackle the issue that many people are spending more money on online games than offline games and ultimately getting less value for their money including himself. personally i would like to see quality episodic content released but there really hasn't been a good case of that to me since siege of avalon. the dreamfall chapters shows promise but to early to tell on that one.
also if warren spector wanted people money as a priority i think he would have chosen a mountain more of gaming jobs at larger companies than spending all these years under the radar attempting to make games he believes in.
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July 21st, 2007, 09:56
Found this bit, while it doesn't talk about the firings (actually forced layoff as I recall) it does touch on the major conflict itself, so the conflict was real, just hope someone can eventually find something on the numbers.
Here is a quote from Warren Spector talking abuot life at Ion, here in Austin.

http://www.computerandvideogames.com….php?id=162858


" The game eventually got underway at Ion Storm but it wasn't all plain sailing: "Down in Austin, we had a team of incredibly talented people, many of whom didn't get along at ALL," he explained."

Trust me, most of the names I have been called you can't translate in any language…they're not even real words as much as a succession of violent images.
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July 21st, 2007, 13:09
Sheldon Pacotti is in Junction Point now? He is a few designers who read books of my liking and write good dialog. Spector seems to be gathering his old (dysfunctional?) family and he knows Pacotti is an important key in making games which he wants to make. Even Deus EX: Invisible War definitely had its moments with the learned content although the lack of coherence and the soul of the original made it just snobbish at times. Of course, if he goes with this design philosophy of “I would rather fail gloriously than succeed at something mediocre”, he is doomed to some failures and blunders at times or - probably in most of the cases.

BTW, is Spector excited about what Doug Church is doing at EA – must be that unknown work with Spielburg…hmmm…sounds interesting.
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July 21st, 2007, 15:24
Yeah I have to agree there was poteinal in DX 2, but there was so much wrong it was painful to play.

Yeah a top Exec at Eidos leaked the Offical Deus Ex 3 is in production in May 07, so I guess Sheldon wont be writing it, unless he has left JP since the big sale in the last month or so.
http://www.computerandvideogames.com….php?id=164196

Here is maybe another reason HSmith should never be lead designer again, sort of a wierd ending he was trying to push for DX 1.
I am so glad there were people fighting his ideas on DX1, just too damn bad there was no one slapping him down on DX2.
http://www.computerandvideogames.com….php?id=168573

Trust me, most of the names I have been called you can't translate in any language…they're not even real words as much as a succession of violent images.
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