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Journalism: The Deleted Scenes Series

As a journalist I’ve been lucky enough to broach a number of big exclusives and work on some great articles, but the ones I’m most proud of collect, preserve and report how games change during development. I work with universities, museums and the original developers to uncover the design documents for these games, then usally write up my findings for the Gamer Network, including Eurogamer and RockPaperShotgun. For example, did you know that Warren Spector’s original design document for Deus Ex set the game in a Russian-occupied Texas? Or that a cancelled Thief sequel led by Ion Storm’s Harvey Smith would have rebooted the series in…

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The Deleted Scenes of Deus Ex: Insurrection

In 2014 I spent six months researching two cancelled Deus Ex games that had been in production at Ion Storm Austin before it collapsed. Neither of the games were announced at the time, but with help from the Dolph Briscoe Archive at the University of Texas I was able to uncover design documents, concept art and more. In the end I wrote a feature on the topic for Eurogamer, called Ion Storm’s Lost Deus Ex Sequels. Both games were cancelled ahead of release and suffered from protracted, troubled development. The first attempt, called Deus Ex: Insurrection, was led by Art…

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The Deleted Scenes of Thief 4: Dagger of Ways

In 2015 I gave a lecture at Videobrains in London about my exclusive research into a cancelled Thief game that was in development at Ion Storm before it’s collapse almost a decade previously. The lecture was based on an article I wrote for Eurogamer, in which I interviewed a developer who worked on the project and shared some of the original design documents. You can read the full Eurogamer article, The Modern Day Thief Reboot That Never Was, for more information on Thief 4 – but I’ve also included my slides and script below. The game itself was called Thief…

The Unlimited Hyperbole Christmas Special

[ download this episode ] This Christmas I’ve bought Unlimited Hyperbole back for a special episode, during which I threw the microphone into the crowd and asked you, the listeners, to send in submissions telling me the answer to one question. If you could change one thing about your involvement with games, what would it be? I was astonished by the responses which came back and I’ve presented them all here as straightforwardly as I can, with as little droning and editing from me as possible. Settle in for a longer, rougher and more optimistic episode of Unlimited Hyperbole than ever before,…

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…

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The Deleted Scenes of Disney, Doom and Deus Ex

In 2014 I spoke at VideoBrains in London and shared never-seen-before design documents for a cancelled Deus Ex game. I also talked about the early prototypes of Doom by id Software and warned about the importance of game preservation and documentation. The lecture was based on two articles I wrote for Eurogamer about Ion Storm’s Lost Deus Ex Sequels and the Deleted Scenes of Doom. You can read those features for more information or contact me for the original research documents. This talk was filmed and is now available to watch on YouTube, but you can also find the script and slides I…