VideoBrains: The Deleted Scenes Video

If you didn’t fancy reading the transcript of my VideoBrains talk, The Deleted Scenes of Disney, Doom and Deus Ex, then you now have the option to watch the video instead. I actually lost my presentation notes immediately before the talk, so I end up rambling an awful lot and maintain a numbing monotone throughout. Sorry – but at least there’s a Q&A at the end!

Other videos from VideoBrains are now being posted up at the official VideoBrains website and I can particularly recommend watching the talks that Alan Williamson gave (“The Uniquely Alien World of Unreal”) and Meg Jayanth (“How to Ruin Videogames”) – which is why I’ve embedded both below.

Continue reading

VideoBrains: The Deleted Scenes of Disney, Doom and Deus Ex

10410220_10100954479442951_3413021746860930157_n

Last week I spoke at VideoBrains and shared never-seen-before design notes for Deus Ex 3. This was an unmade Deus Ex game which Ion Storm was developing when it collapsed in 2005 – not Deus Ex: Human Revolution, which was developed by a different team.

I’m writing more about Deus Ex 3 at the moment for a larger article, but I also spoke about the importance of deleted scenes and why developers and journalists need to take a more active role in game preservation.

You can support VideoBrains by pledging $1 to support on Patreon, but I’m also putting my script and slides here for those who don’t use Patreon or who wanted the links I couldn’t include in the performance. Click to enlarge any of the images.

Update 05/10/14 : Now on YouTube!

Continue reading

Updated Hyperbole…

Unlimited_Hyperbole_Header

Unlimited Hyperbole has been officially on-hold for a while, but nevertheless I wanted to give an update about some things that have happened with the show recently.

Firstly, I was persuaded to keep the show going in some capacity.  I’ve promised to do at least one more episode and I’m currently planning it as a Christmas special, though what the theme will be and who the guest could be, I have no idea. Let me know your suggestions on Twitter!

Secondly, over the last 12 months I allowed the old Soundcloud account to lapse. That caused some episodes to become unavailable or reach their download limit. Both were a pain, so I’ve rehosted all episodes on Dropbox. That’s broken the old RSS feed and iTunes subscription, but you can at least listen to and download all episodes easily.

Deleted Scenes at VideoBrains…

In my opinion preserving the processes and lost details of game development is one of the most vital roles a journalist has. That’s the whole reason I started the Deleted Scenes series and it’s why I’ll be giving a talk about it at VideoBrains next month.

VideoBrains is a new monthly event where writers, developers and gamers discuss their work and the games industry at large. There’ll be beer, DOTA and talks by the likes of Alan Williamson, Laura Kate Dale, Meg Jayanth, Ben Meredith and me.

I’ll be talking about ‘Deus Ex and Doom: Saving the Deleted Scenes of Gaming’. I’ll cover why preservation is important, how you can get involved and showing exclusive excerpts from the design document for Deus Ex. If you’re reading this, you should come along.

Update 02/09/2014: Hooray, Videobrains is now sold out! If you missed tickets then I’ll be putting my notes online after the event.

Press X to Speak…

Last week Jason Dewey interviewed me for a new video series he’s doing called Press X to Speak. I talked about what I like about games, what I hate about them and what my biggest professional regrets are. This teaser clip features me talking about The Secret of Monkey Island and why I enjoy co-operative singleplayer more than just straight multiplayer. Watch it, do.

The Deleted Scenes of Outcast and Outcast 2…

x

Even today, Outcast is one of the most adored PC games ever made. There are fans so enamoured with it that they’re rebuilding it in new engines – a years-long undertaking reserved only for franchises such as Half-Life.

Yet, while many remember the otherworldly adventures of Cutter Slade fondly, the original design was much more terrestrial and rote by games industry standards.

“We had this idea for a 3D game set in a fictional South American country,” says Franck Sauer, Outcast’s Art Director and Appeal studio co-founder. “[Players] would infiltrate a drug cartel in first person to free abducted tourists from a local drug baron.”

Continue reading

The Deleted Scenes of No One Lives Forever…

deleted-scenes-of-no-one-lives-forever-4s

No One Lives Forever was one of the bravest games of its time. A camp spy comedy set at the height of the swinging sixties, NOLF merged action, stealth and RPG elements while pitting you against henchmen and everyday sexism alike. And it did so while other developers released games such as Soldier of Fortune and Diablo II.

But it was by no means a perfect game. Working across so many different genres meant No One Lives Forever didn’t do any single thing as well as its peers – and the frequent stealth missions are an excellent example of this. They not only forced abrupt mission restarts the moment you were spotted – they also offered no way to gauge your own visibility.

“The mandatory sneaking sequences needed to be balanced better,” says Craig Hubbard, who served as NOLF’s Lead Designer. “I do regret that it was impossible to return to sneaking once you’d been spotted…”[Those sequences] were meant to be tense, not frustrating…but we didn’t have a playtest lab in those days.”

Continue reading