Dishonored co-creator Harvey Smith has discussed the trials and tribulations of his career, from working on the original Deus Ex and System Shock to an ill-fated Area 51 reboot, in a tell-all interview. The developer also believes that even on the games industry’s worst days, it’s still being immensely creative.
Speaking with Rock, Paper, Shotgun, Smith explained his love of the stealth genre, “I still, to this day, love games where I’m in a dark, creepy, scary place, and I’m underpowered, and I’m facing monsters, and I master those monsters by defeating them with trickery, stealth or whatever.”
“I think there’s still a component of that, that is… The reason that’s soothing or titillating in some way is that it’s based on some pattern that a lot of people share. Anybody who’s gone through something like that when they’re very young, in a formative time.”
Smith also sheds light on his time spent working on the Deus Ex series and being fired from Midway during the studio’s meltdown, “I was disappointed with decisions that we made on Deus Ex: Invisible War. Things also went very badly at Midway [with Area 51]… Area 51 was just super-troubled development.”
“It was a very large organization. It was hard to get anything done. Nobody was really empowered, I think. After I was gone – after I got fired, frankly – all of their studios shut down. One thing was not the problem. It was not isolated.”
Smith also responded to a question regarding Dishonored’s position as a unique triple-a experience in an industry teeming with sequels,and tired ideals by saying, “That’s such a trivial negative. If I got discouraged by that, what would my father’s suicide have done to me? That’s hardly a blip.”
“I’m getting to do what I am excited about. Raph and I are thrilled about this game. It’s just that it’s hard to do good things, by definition. There’s always going to be a small subset that we consider ‘good’ or ‘interesting,’ and the bulk is going to be average.”
“But no, I don’t find any of that discouraging. I wish we were all freer to do the things that we want. I wish money fell out of the sky and funded everybody’s dream game. But no, it’s not discouraging to me.”
“Everywhere I look I see games I want to play. Monaco, Day Z, Red Dead Redemption, BioShock Infinite, Spelunky. In every direction there’s a good game. I don’t even have time to play all the good games around me right now.”
Check out the full, incredible interview over at RPS.
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