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.

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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 used below.

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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 No One Lives Forever

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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.”

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A Steam Swap Story…

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Steam Trading Cards. When Valve introduced them, my first reaction was to cringe. It seemed a crass new direction for the store and the notion of turning game-playing into a wider card grind was one I didn’t want anything to do with. I sold the first cards I got out of curiosity, made 20p, then quickly lost interest. This wasn’t for me.

Until earlier this week, when Teleglitch was reduced to £2.25. I’d had Teleglitch on my wishlist for a while, but I was also trying to save money and couldn’t justify any expense. So, I set myself the challenge of raising the money in a single day, just through Steam Trading Cards.

After all, everyone’s read about the man who swapped his way from a paperclip to a house. This goal didn’t seem anywhere near that grand…

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