Steven Ciciola, level designer for Deus Ex: Human Revolution, has described some of the challenges the design team faced when developing the action-RPG.
Over on the US PS Blog, Ciciola said one of the things the team always had to keep in mind while working on challenges in the game, was the idea of a “multi-path, multi-solution”.
“Basically what that entails is for every obstacle we set, there is always a variety of ways to progress past it; with some methods being more obvious than others,” he said. “This is very reminiscent of the design philosophy found in the original Deus Ex, a design which promotes emergent game play.
“One of the reveals from gamescom was showing the Police Station level and how there were four different ways (Combat, Hacking, Stealth, and Social) to play through it. The truth of the matter is that there are far more than just four different ways to progress through that level. There are so many different ways to progress through that I couldn’t possibly list them all; and chances are, there are even methods to progress through that we haven’t even thought of.
“While at first glance that seems like a nightmare for a level designer, what ends up happening is our level designs promote multiple playthroughs in order to try out many different styles of play. All we have to ensure is that we’ve provided the tools and the environment for the player to just explore, imagine, and act-out their creative solutions.”
Ciciola said the only downside to such “open and emergent style game play” is that a lot of paths and features designed by the team will not bee seen by most players.
“We hope you all try playing through the game multiple times, using different styles of approach, and exploring every nook and cranny and possible option that we’ve made available to you,” he said.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution is out later this year for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.