An evening with Warren

Posted on 30 August, 2012


Warren Spector

Last week (belated post this one) I had a double-whammy of good fortune. Firstly, I’ve been regularly visiting the Disney Hammersmith office over the last few weeks, for a soon to be announced game project I’m working on. It’s an exciting project and the Preloaded team is really enjoying working on something with the love, quality and attention to detail that Disney apply to all their work. More on this one soon.

Coincidentally, Warren Spector was also at Disney last week to talk about Epic Mickey 2, and I managed to grab an invite to sit in on the event.  Warren Spector is a legendary figure to many in the games industry, including me.  His work on one game in particular Deus Ex, whilst working at Ion Storm, continues to be cited as one of the highest benchmarks for game design and development, and is without question one of my favourite games and biggest influences (if you’ve ever read the About page on this blog you’ll have seen Deus Ex at the top of my favourite games list from the first day that page was drafted).

Epic Mickey 2 - Mickey and Oswald

Whilst Warren was at Disney to promote the forthcoming Epic Mickey sequel, the discussion and Q&A inevitably covered many aspects of his career.  It’s refreshing to hear to so much passion from someone who has been in a tricky industry for so long.  Equally evident, is how much time large budget projects get to refine and test in a way that small studios, tight on budget and time, simply don’t.  The two opposite ends of games development.

Regardless Epic Mickey 2 sounds like being a lot of fun.  The addition of co-op mode and multi-platform release means it will certainly be played in our household over xmas.  There were some great development tales including it being an absolute pre-requisite to have content that not everyone will see (in stark opposition to the dev mentality of features that don’t get played are wasted spend) and the rigging complexities for a video game character that aims to mimic the stretchy squashiness of his cartoon original.

Thanks go to the Guardian and Disney for arranging the event. There’s more  on Keith Stuart’s Guardian games blog.