Spector: Deus Ex born out of frustration with Thief

Wednesday, 26th January 2011 23:04 GMT By Brenna Hillier


Legendary designer Warren Spector has revealed his motivations for the acclaimed and beloved Deus Ex: irritation with another game, and the chance to shame his fellow developers.

Speaking to Xbox World 360, Spector said that he wanted to create a game where sneaking and fighting were equally viable, explaining that he was “so frustrated by Thief” and its reliance on combat.

“Deus Ex exists today because I said, ‘I’m going to show these guys that I can make a game where you can sneak and fight and make it work,’” he said.

“One of my goals for Deus Ex was – and I used to think about it this way – ‘I want to shame developers; I want to shame my peers and force them to make different kinds of games’”.

History is yet to cast its judgement on whether Spector’s masterpiece changed the industry, but he certainly succeeded in producing one of the most critically acclaimed PC games of recent times.

Thanks, CVG.




  1. Psychotext

    The exec told Xbox World 360 that he was “so frustrated by Thief” and the way it forced players into combat, that it motivated him to create a game where sneaking and fighting were both viable ways to deal with a situation.

    Odd… I don’t recall being forced into combat in a Thief game. It was perfectly possible to avoid combat in the game. I always assumed that was sort of the point.

    #1 4 years ago
  2. Tiger Walts

    Yup, I’m pretty sure you can complete the Thief games without killing any humans. I believe it’s also possible to do them without killing anything at all* if you play on the easiest difficulty.

    You are forced to kill supernatural entities on harder difficulties. It’s a shame that Return to the Cathedral has kill objectives, it’s quite a brick wall to players since you have to re-dead a lot of un-dead when playing in real-man mode and these objectives are revealed to you part way through the mission. It’s easy to find yourself with a defecit of monster killing items. Save from sniping a few spiders that’s the only combat you have to engage in on the first game.

    *Except for final mission targets.

    #2 4 years ago
  3. TheWulf

    You’re both entirely right. Spector is blowing hot air, here! In fact, playing Thief as a never-seen sort, in a very pacifistic way was something that appealed to me.

    And what’s worse is that Deus Ex punished you more for going the non-lethal & sneaky route than Thief did! The hell, Spector?

    #3 4 years ago

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