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Wednesday, 12 March - link

Orthogonal Unit Dinner

Dinner with Harvey Smith, Deus Ex 2 project lead. Harvey is one of the vegetarian Texans I know, most of whom work at Ion Storm Austin, an intelligent game development house. He's reading Manifesta and Them. Curious vegetarian feminist-literature readers - part of a new wave of North American commercial game design?

Dinner was "Texas-Style Italian" - meaning large servings. I had three heads of garlic to help fight this cold. And to test my lover's resistance to strong smells.

Jane is on the floor of Randy's apartment playing Deus Ex: The Conspiracy on the PlayStation 2. She's heartily chortling as she pepper sprays and then bludgeons NSF guards. Though the game is already two years old, the guards respond well - screaming and twitching and running around. It makes chasing them down and killing them fun, even for spectators.

Sage game developer Will Wright gave an acclaimed but apparently un-blogged talk "Dynamics for Designers" at the Game Developer's conference (slides here). Harvey shared his favourite line: Players can quickly sense the range of possibility in a play space. Watching Jane play Deus Ex, I remember why I loved that game: I spent the first half hour of play swimming, running and jumping, poking at trash bags and boxes and finding things in them I could throw or stack, even before I discovered any bad guys or plot. There was a wide range of possiblity in that play space, and I'm pleased to see they're hard at work on the next installment.

>> Read Harvey's PowerPoint presentation from GDC: Orthogonal Unit Differentiation including his candid notes!

Posted on 12 March 2003 : 23:24 (TrackBack)
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Justin's Links, by Justin Hall.