Check Out Warren Spector’s Design Rules For Deus Ex

Check Out Warren Spector’s Design Rules For Deus Ex

For many, Deus Ex is the greatest video game ever made. Its design is as open ended as any video game that succeeded it, even 15+ years after its release. In fact Deus Ex is still ahead of its time — it did things that most modern games aren’t ambitious enough to attempt. Now, in a blog over at Games Industry International, Warren Spector has put together the design rules his team worked to whilst creating Deus Ex. Its fascinating.

I won’t list them all here, since that would be a disservice to the original blog, which you can read here but I do like this one, particularly because it seems like I spend half my time in games these days watching someone else do something cool.

Players Do; NPCs Watch — It’s no fun to watch an NPC do something cool. If it’s a cool thing, let the player do it. If it’s a boring or mundane thing, don’t even let the player think about it – let an NPC do it.

Yes Warren, yes. Preach.

Warren Spector’s Commandments of Game Design [Games Industry International]


  • Hundreds of people are now reinstalling Deus Ex right now. I always have it installed on both my desktop and laptop 😉

    Spector kicks ass

      • Deus Ex is one game I never uninstall, because I seem to go back every year for a playthrough. It’s strange, after 11-12 years of doing this I still haven’t gotten sick of it.

        • It’s weird isn’t it?

          Yet I struggle to get half way through most modern 5-10 hour games before losing interest.

  • Within reason. Having to walk the perimeter of a warehouse flipping three switches to activate something while your NPC teammates just stand around is simply artificial lengthening, and boring.

  • This and System Shock 2.

    Putting these on Steam caused me to buy them for the third and fourth times, respectively.

    Once I’m done with my current SS2 playthrough, I’m going to have to play Deus Ex again to see how they implemented all of this.

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