Spector “actively trying to shame” Carmack, Sweeney into dropping violent focus

By Brenna Hillier
15 August 2012 23:59 GMT

Deus Ex and Epic Mickey creator Warren Spector name-dropped id Software’s John Carmack and Epic Games’ Tim Sweeney in a call for developers to focus on something more than violence.

“I’ve been actively trying to shame some of my fellow developers, specifically John Carmack and Tim Sweeney,” he told Eurogamer at gamescom 2012.

“Can you imagine what games would look like if those two guys spent as much time working on non-combat AI as they do on rendering? Can you imagine what games we would have if John Carmack decided he wanted to create a believable character as opposed to a believable gun?

“I mean, oh my god. Those guys are way smarter than I am. I don’t know how to solve the problem, but they could figure it out. Stop rendering! Start creating humans or mice. I don’t care which.”

The problem Spector is referring to seems to be that games in general are bad at “basic human interactions”. He said it’s easy to design violent interactive experiences, but that conversation or other human interactions are trickier.

“It doesn’t map very well to pushing buttons. It’s not what we’re doing right now. I find it annoying where people don’t try to solve that problem,” he said.

“But I understand why. It’s a very hard problem to solve.

“We focus a little bit too much on violence, but we all know how to do it. It’s easy. And a lot of players seem to like it. It isn’t all we can do and it certainly isn’t all we should do,” he added.

According to Spector, his next game, Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two, explores the concept of what it means to have a brother, how families are formed, and the possibility of redemption – themes he believes no developer but Disney is willing to tackle right now. It’s due on Mac, PC, PlayStation 3, Wii and Xbox 360 in November.

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