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December 5, 2021
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Warren Spector's Blog   Expert Blogs


Warren Spector has been making games for over 30 years.  Best known for his work on the Deus Ex and Disney Epic Mickey games, he also worked on several entries in the Ultima series. He began his career in 1983 in tabletop games, with Steve Jackson Games and TSR, before moving into electronic games in 1989 where he worked at Origin, Electronic Arts, Looking Glass, Ion Storm and Eidos before starting Junction Point Studios, acquired in 2007 by the Walt Disney Company. In addition to his game work, he is a published novelist (The Hollow Earth Affair, 1988) and comic book author (DuckTales: Rightful Owners, 2012). From 2013 to 2016 he was Director of the Denius-Sams Gaming Academy in the Moody College of Communication at The University of Texas at Austin. In 2016, he partnered with Paul Neurath in the creation of indie developer OtherSide Entertainment. He was awarded the Pulcinella lifetime achievement award at the Cartoons on the Bay conference in 2011, and in 2012 received a Lifetime Achievement award at the Game Developers Choice Awards as well as an Honorary Doctorate from Columbia College of Chicago.


Expert Blogs

Posted by Warren Spector on Mon, 04 May 2020 11:44:00 EDT
Deus Ex and prognostication.

Posted by Warren Spector on Mon, 31 Aug 2015 01:07:00 EDT in Design, Console/PC
A recent David Brooks column in The New York Times dealt with the unknowability of the consequences of choices. Clearly Brooks didn't know there's a medium out there (games, obviously) that let's you make choices and experience consequences for yourself.

Posted by Warren Spector on Mon, 24 Aug 2015 02:51:00 EDT in Design, Console/PC
Reflections on Junction Point's original mission. First, episodics. Second, collaboration with Hollywood. And some thoughts about one way (among many) games and movies differ.

Posted by Warren Spector on Wed, 12 Aug 2015 06:38:00 EDT in Design
Just about everyone agrees games and player choice go hand in hand. And it's become commonplace to allow players to make "good" or "evil" choices. But "choice" isn't enough and binary oppositions are too simple. Enter consequences and (non)judgment.

Posted by Warren Spector on Mon, 03 Aug 2015 04:08:00 EDT in Design
People think of narrative as a series of events involving setup, complication, resolution and denouement. That's fine, but leaves out "having something to say" and, for games, one thing more. This post is about two overlooked elements of game narrative.

Posted by Warren Spector on Fri, 24 Jul 2015 06:24:00 EDT in Design, Console/PC
There's been an ongoing discussion about whether or not Telltale Games makes, well, games. Recently I was thinking about that and figured I might as well step into the minefield and tell the world what I think. So, does Telltale make games? Flame on.

Warren Spector's Comments

Comment In: [Blog - 09/03/2015 - 01:12]

I respectfully disagree r n ...

I respectfully disagree r n r nAnd fwiw, I wasn 't rejecting the idea of the MVP outright - I was suggesting a wording change and a minor shift in the way we think about it. Instead of Minimum Viable Product, think about Maximum Possible Game. We want to give ...

Comment In: [Blog - 08/03/2015 - 04:08]

Thanks for joining in. I ...

Thanks for joining in. I hate monologues. r n r n1. I like your clarifications/additions to my have something to say statement. Can 't argue with you there. I think interesting goes without saying though what 's interesting is likely to vary from person to person - my wife loves ...

Comment In: [Blog - 07/24/2015 - 06:24]

Bob, I agree that a ...

Bob, I agree that a lot games offer choices that make the eyes glaze over. And the specific choice type you cite above is, in my mind, a real problem if games are going to grow into a respected, adult story-telling medium. Frankly, I commented on something like this on ...

Comment In: [Blog - 06/29/2015 - 01:49]

Interesting thoughts. Hard to argue ...

Interesting thoughts. Hard to argue with them. However, there are two related points that I think need to be made: r n r nFirst and most important when it comes to game narrative is Have something to say. You 'd think this would be self-evident, but I 'm not sure ...