Deus Ex's Original Design Docs Show Deleted Scenes

Deus Ex's Original Design Docs Show Deleted Scenes

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Underwater cities, zero-g combat, and a Mexican invasion were cut from the final game.

While Deus Ex is often remembered as one of the greatest games of all time, it's easy to forget that someone had to actually build the darn thing. Now we have a look into the growth and development of this classic thanks to the original design documents, annotated by legendary producer Warren Spector himself. Originally titled "Majestic Revelations", it was slated to be an "RPG Adventure" with a Christmas 1998 release date. However, by the time it shipped two years later, it was almost unrecognizable from its initial form.

Lead writer Sheldon Pacotti told Eurogamer his take on Deus Ex's development; "Warren once commented that in the beginning he envisioned the game as X-Files but he somehow ended up with James Bond". While "Majestic Revelations" still featured JC Denton as an augmented terrorist-hunter, he worked for the rather bluntly-titled "Terrorist Limitation Coalition", instead of the more subtle "United Nations Anti-Terrorist Coalition". As the title suggests, the Majestic 12 initially played the role of an openly aggressive villain engineering war in Mexico instead of the dark, secretive organization with which most players are familiar. While most of the characters and plot points survived the title's evolution, their roles and behavior often shifted dramatically. "Most successful stories coalesce around the characters at their center and that's what happened with Deus Ex," Sheldon explains.

While the final game featured plenty of globe-trotting, the design documents reveal a dizzying list of additional locales that didn't make the cut: Mexico invading Texas, a space station, an underwater city, and the villainous Denver airport itself. "I had this sense that [Majestic Revelations' plot] was too crazy, too much," explained lead designer Harvey Smith. However, whenever possible, the remaining art assets were repurposed into new locales. For example, the space station was used as Area 51, saving time and sidestepping the issue of coding zero-g combat.

While the scope of the game was pared down for thematic reasons, the mechanics were also similarly trimmed. The skill system, while initially much more expansive, was reduced down to those with "more demonstrable effects". For example, increasing weapon skills would increase accuracy instead of damage, a much more immediately noticeable progression for the player.

The development history of Deus Ex is a textbook case on how to properly produce a game, which is ironic considering Ion Storm's troubled story. Even though the final game underwent some significant rewrites, it always stayed true to its core vision. Sections in the design docs labeled "Deep Simulation, Small Environment", "Problems, Not Puzzles" and "Believable, Object-Rich Worlds" show that the developers know what made their game special and focused on that. Undoubtedly, their efforts paid off. The meme is true; every time Deus Ex is mentioned, someone reinstalls it.

Source: Eurogamer

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maybe I should finally install it from Steam... maybe

The meme is true; every time Deus Ex is mentioned, someone reinstalls it.

Alternately, try The Nameless Mod instead. Very DX-ish but not something you've played a zillion times before.

JC Denton as James Bond. I like the sound of that. Must...resist...urge...to...install...

I should play this right after playing Human Revolution. Drastic changes are drastic.

*searching for the DX CD*

captcha: "you're not listening" - love it

gardian06:
maybe I should finally install it from Steam... maybe

Noooooooooooooooooooooo get the beautiful blue CD from ebay! That's true Deus Ex, not some steamed DRM crap. I say it for every game, but especially DX.

Must.. Resist... Installing...

I play it at least once a year, so I'll install again at some point anyway.

I still wonder how the White House mission would've been like. Some say it was almost completed before it was removed - the hint at that, is the fact that you can spawn the president using the developer console.

When are we getting an HD edition of this game?

Why do I keep uninstalling Deus Ex again? Seems like I'm only wasting my own time.

One the view pc games that I still have the cd to mind :D

Doom972:
Must.. Resist... Installing...

I play it at least once a year, so I'll install again at some point anyway.

I still wonder how the White House mission would've been like. Some say it was almost completed before it was removed - the hint at that, is the fact that you can spawn the president using the developer console.

When are we getting an HD edition of this game?

The New Vision mod guys have just recently released their complete HD texture pack for the game.

http://www.moddb.com/mods/new-vision/downloads/new-vision-15

The Artificially Prolonged:
Why do I keep uninstalling Deus Ex again? Seems like I'm only wasting my own time.

One the view pc games that I still have the cd to mind :D

Doom972:
Must.. Resist... Installing...

I play it at least once a year, so I'll install again at some point anyway.

I still wonder how the White House mission would've been like. Some say it was almost completed before it was removed - the hint at that, is the fact that you can spawn the president using the developer console.

When are we getting an HD edition of this game?

The New Vision mod guys have just recently released their complete HD texture pack for the game.

http://www.moddb.com/mods/new-vision/downloads/new-vision-15

That looks awesome. I'll have to check that out. Thanks.

It's not the HD edition I had in mind though - I'd like to see better models and new effects that make use of recent technology.

Doom972:

The Artificially Prolonged:
Why do I keep uninstalling Deus Ex again? Seems like I'm only wasting my own time.

One the view pc games that I still have the cd to mind :D

Doom972:
Must.. Resist... Installing...

I play it at least once a year, so I'll install again at some point anyway.

I still wonder how the White House mission would've been like. Some say it was almost completed before it was removed - the hint at that, is the fact that you can spawn the president using the developer console.

When are we getting an HD edition of this game?

The New Vision mod guys have just recently released their complete HD texture pack for the game.

http://www.moddb.com/mods/new-vision/downloads/new-vision-15

That looks awesome. I'll have to check that out. Thanks.

It's not the HD edition I had in mind though - I'd like to see better models and new effects that make use of recent technology.

Probably the best we are going to have for awhile. Though never say never, I'm sure some enterprising modders are working tirelessly right now on that.

James Bond would've gotten some action with the ladies.

Underwater City? I can never look at the swimming skill the same again... now that I know it was not always intended to be completely useless and a joke skill. Everything I know is a lie!

Although I am glad that they went with the direction they did. Their original idea sounds like it would have gone down the route of Indigo Prophecy/Fahrenheit. Which is not a bad thing mind you, but then we would have never had Deus Ex and that ladies and gentlemen, would indeed, be a shame.

Sgt. Sykes:
*searching for the DX CD*

captcha: "you're not listening" - love it

gardian06:
maybe I should finally install it from Steam... maybe

Noooooooooooooooooooooo get the beautiful blue CD from ebay! That's true Deus Ex, not some steamed DRM crap. I say it for every game, but especially DX.

DRM-free on GOG.com

just saying :P

Zombie_Moogle:

Sgt. Sykes:
*searching for the DX CD*

captcha: "you're not listening" - love it

gardian06:
maybe I should finally install it from Steam... maybe

Noooooooooooooooooooooo get the beautiful blue CD from ebay! That's true Deus Ex, not some steamed DRM crap. I say it for every game, but especially DX.

DRM-free on GOG.com

just saying :P

Exactly :) I still have the original CD... dug it up along with Half-Life, Baldur's Gate 2 and FreeSpace 2 in the attic the other day.

But over the Christmas sale that was on GOG.com I got the pack that gave me Deus Ex 1 and 2, Thief 1 to 3 and Anachronox. Looking Glass Studios and Ion Storm Austin goodness! I think I paid 12 bucks for the pack or something like that.

dakkster:

Zombie_Moogle:

Sgt. Sykes:
*searching for the DX CD*

captcha: "you're not listening" - love it

Noooooooooooooooooooooo get the beautiful blue CD from ebay! That's true Deus Ex, not some steamed DRM crap. I say it for every game, but especially DX.

DRM-free on GOG.com

just saying :P

Exactly :) I still have the original CD... dug it up along with Half-Life, Baldur's Gate 2 and FreeSpace 2 in the attic the other day.

But over the Christmas sale that was on GOG.com I got the pack that gave me Deus Ex 1 and 2, Thief 1 to 3 and Anachronox. Looking Glass Studios and Ion Storm Austin goodness! I think I paid 12 bucks for the pack or something like that.

I actually bought all those games too? Those sales get me every time :P

I'm a younger guy, so I often use GOG to catch up on old classics I've heard of (e.g. all of those games) but didn't have the chance to play at the time

Zombie_Moogle:

dakkster:

Zombie_Moogle:

DRM-free on GOG.com

just saying :P

Exactly :) I still have the original CD... dug it up along with Half-Life, Baldur's Gate 2 and FreeSpace 2 in the attic the other day.

But over the Christmas sale that was on GOG.com I got the pack that gave me Deus Ex 1 and 2, Thief 1 to 3 and Anachronox. Looking Glass Studios and Ion Storm Austin goodness! I think I paid 12 bucks for the pack or something like that.

I actually bought all those games too? Those sales get me every time :P

I'm a younger guy, so I often use GOG to catch up on old classics I've heard of (e.g. all of those games) but didn't have the chance to play at the time

Oh, GOG.com is awesome! I went a bit nuts this holiday sale on both Steam and GOG.com, mainly feeding my nostalgia and getting some nice indies. From this particular pack I absolutely love Deus Ex 1, Thief 1 and Thief 2. They are essential games to play IMO. Never played Anachronox except for some demo when it came out, then I kind of forgot about it. Will be interesting to get into that again.

 

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