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Memory Leak - Warren Spector Interview

by Couchpotato, 2014-08-12 05:54:41

Memory Leak interviewed Warren Spector this week to talk about his new teaching career, and his views on the game industry of today. Here is a short sample.

The open structure of the levels in Deus Ex is still very unique. What was the level design process like for that game? What did the development team find challenging about creating those spaces?

Creating levels for Deus Ex was a bit more complex than other games I’ve worked on, for sure. Instead of just planning a single path through a level, the designers had to conceive of several. We had to make sure there were combat and stealth-oriented paths as well as ones that allowed significant character interaction. It was almost as if each level was actually three levels! And beyond that, designers had to take into account, as much as possible, how players might exploit our simulation to come up with paths we never even intended. It was a lot of work most developers don’t have to worry about.

How has the game publishing business changed since you started developing games? What do you wish modern game publishers would do differently?

You don’t have time for me to answer this! Everything’s changed since I started developing games! At this point, no one knows what business models or distribution methods will work. It’s a frontier out there – a wilderness. If I knew what was going to work I’d probably just do it!

If you only had one paragraph to advise a young person just starting a career in game development, what would you tell them?

Learn to write some code. (In other words, do as I say, not as I do!) You don’t have to be great, just reasonably knowledgeable. Games are software and it’s crazy not to acknowledge that, no matter what your discipline might be.

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