How Thief Inspired Warren Spector to Create Deus Ex


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Sticking strictly to stealth.

Thief was instrumental in the creation of Deus Ex, and Warren Spector has come forward to reveal how Looking Glass Studios’ first-person stealth title inspired the creation of his beloved action role-playing game.

“That [Thief] team was adamant about focusing on stealth to the exclusion of everything else,” Spector said on the latest episode of our monthly interview show IGN Unfiltered, noting that “a lot of the reason Deus Ex exists is because of the stubbornness, the appropriate stubbornness, of the Thief team.”

According to Spector, it was the team’s dedication to making Thief strictly a stealth game that inspired him to make Deus Ex. “There’s a lot to the story of Deus Ex, but one of the things that really drove me was a moment when I was playing Thief in the early build, and I just was not good enough as a sneak thief to get past some guards,” he said.

So Spector went to the team and asked them to make the player character stronger so that he could fight his way through, rather than sneaking, but the team resisted. “They said, ‘No, if we let you fight, that’s what everyone will do. No one will sneak anymore,'” he said of the team’s response. “I was convinced that they were wrong about that, and that it was possible to make a game where you could fight or sneak.”

As such, Spector set out to prove them wrong by making Deus Ex. “I made a silent vow right then that I was going to show those guys that it was possible,” he added. “I was going to build another team to do that, and that’s one of the reasons Deus Ex exists—out of my frustration with this genius team off people I love who made Thief.”

The original Thief, titled Thief: The Dark Project, was released in December of 1998. The game was followed by Deus Ex in 2000. That same year, a sequel, titled Thief II: The Metal Age, was released, and currently ranks among IGN’s top 100 games of all time.

Be sure not to miss our full IGN Unfiltered interview with Spector for more on his thoughts about Deus Ex, as well as Epic Mickey, the future of AAA games, and more.

Alex Osborn is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter and subscribe to his YouTube channel.


Source: IGN Video Games

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