Warren Spector Joins Otherside!


Posted today: Gamasutra’s Alex Wawro’s interview with Warren at GDC: http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/294585/Warren_Spector_believes_games_need_to_be_asking_bigger_questions.php

There’s a snippet of talk about System Shock 3, including a comment about “AR projections” (but I think he just means the “ghosts” as seen in previous SS games).

Mostly, though, Warren gets to talk about what it is that he thinks makes computer games a unique art form, and about his passion for making games that showcase this unique capability, and he is right.

Insprirational and thought-provoking stuff, as usual.


Really great interview. A couple points:

  1. He mentions video logs. A suggestion I made in the forum. Glad to hear it may make the cut.

  2. Non-combative AI is addressed. Everyone is dead, so this will not be the game to explore that concept. Glad to clear that up, because now we can start exploring other concepts.

  3. A little disappointed the interviewer has not played System Shock. Because it is “too old.” Get the graphical patches, buddy. Number two still holds up well, despite age (great games age like wine - not milk.)


Thank goodness you mentioned it, I don’t think anyone else would have thought of that! :stuck_out_tongue:

Seriously though, this is a sensible move - I’d say that more work should be done in games to diversify the means through which exposition, hints, objectives etc. are conveyed. It’s hard to suspend disbelief when everything of importance is either written in an email or recorded to a convenient “audio log” - and happens to be left in an oh-so-convenient location.

I’m guessing it’s going to be a while before we hear/see any more real details from System Shock 3? Are the team going to be communicating with fans/backers on this forum as the UA team have?


I wonder if AR projections are going to be interactive holograms. Like the memories of people stored to disc. You can actually interact with the video logs, and ask them questions.


NG Resonance from Deus Ex 2: Invisible War says hello. :wink:

No, I’m not suggesting the Deus Ex and System Shock universes are identical, or connected. Both original games being set in 2072, but with radically different timelines at that point, suggests that any similarity of SS3 vlogs (if interactive) to DX2’s NG Resonance is coincidental, or at best just an in-joke for fans of Warren’s work.


Time for the next installment of WarrenWatch. :smiley:

Here are a couple of the bits that grabbed me from Warren’s interview with James Brightman of GamesIndustry.biz ahead of his keynote speech to PAX Dev:

"[W]e're certainly seeing more depth in game storytelling now than we used to, and even more depth in terms of player agency."

He adds, “It almost seems like we’re bifurcating now even more than we did before… When you look around the world of games you see lots of cinematic stuff that’s pretty linear and straightforward, but you also see games that require incredible creativity. Even something like Minecraft or the Arkane games, Dishonored and Prey. Or Fallout and the Bioware stuff. You’re seeing lots of games now that empower players to tell their own stories, which I’ve been waiting decades for.”

"I'm going to be a little coy, but I'm a big believer that every game needs to have one thing that no one's ever seen or done in a game before," he says. "That's also one of my success metrics. We're working on one thing that's scary as hell because no one's ever done it before and we don't know if it's going to work. It may end up getting cut because it's this grand idea that we're playing with which might not work out. There is going to be something completely new and scary in this game.

“The big thing we can do now which we couldn’t do before is just build a really deep simulation. System Shock and Ultima Underworld before it were built on the back of as good a simulation as was possible back in the '90s, but we can go way deeper in simulating a world now. That deep simulation is going to empower players to solve problems in a way they want to, which I think will surprise people.”

In this interview, Warren also discusses VR, his legacy, and the real thing he wants to talk about, which might be described as, “Do You Know Why You Want To Make Games?” It’a a good read.