deus ex 3 cancelled

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…

cut content thief 4 dagger of ways deleted scenes

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…

tomb raider cut content deleted scenes

The Deleted Scenes of Tomb Raider

In 2015 I wrote for Trusted Reviews about the development of the 2014 reboot of Tomb Raider by Crystal Dynamics, focusing on content that was cut from the game before release and alternate directions the team pitched. The article focused on two different pitches that Crystal Dynamics proposed, the first an unnamed survival horror version and the second known as Tomb Raider: Ascension. Primarily a survival horror game, Tomb Raider: Ascension would have taken place on an entirely different island, with an entirely different cast. In 2013’s Tomb Raider reboot, Lara starts off young and timid, relying on the encouragement…

half-life cut content deleted scenes

The Deleted Scenes of Half-Life 2

In 2012 I was commissioned by RockPaperShotgun to research and write about the development of Half-Life 2, focusing on the content that was cut from the game during development. I also played restored versions of that content using the Missing Information mod for Half-Life 2. I thumb open my copy of Raising The Bar and take a fresh look at what lays inside. A quote from Gabe Newell’s foreword immediately pops out: “It doesn’t matter what we cut, so long as we cut it and it gives us the time to focus on other things, because any of the options will…

doom deleted scenes

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…

outcast deleted scenes cancelled game out cast 2

The Deleted Scenes of Outcast and Outcast 2

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…