FiringSquad: Invisible War is the first game you were project director on, giving you full control of its development. What decisions did you make during development that you think Warren Spector might have done differently? How was control over design shared?
Harvey:: Actually, my first role as project director was on Technosaur, an RTS that got cancelled after a year of production.
Warren and I share a lot of beliefs, from a game design standpoint. I think he leans toward story while I lean toward abstract gameplay. But, overall, we're both in line with the Ion Storm game design vision shared by many people at the company. On each Ion Storm project, there is a core of people--a cabal--who understand and LOVE the gameplay philosophy. Everyone influences game design decisions, but these people are key to the process here.
Deus Ex 2 ship party
Audio coder Brian Sharp
When you sat down to work on the Invisible War design document, what were the biggest fixes from Deus Ex you wanted to make?
: Wow, good question, because we did spend a lot of time analyzing and deconstructing the first Deus Ex game. We came to some strong conclusions: We knew that being a hybrid shooter/adventure game/RPG was key. We knew that a deep story with themes related to power and control was core to the Deus Ex experience. Perhaps most importantly, we wanted to continue with our high level vision related to 'multiple solutions to problems' and emergent gameplay. We did a lot of this behind the scenes during the game design preproduction phase (with a subset of what would eventually be the full team), and it informed the entire project.
Additionally, after Deus Ex, we wanted to improve the AI and pathfinding, we wanted to streamline the interface (preserving the features and power, but making it more elegant) and we wanted to avoid 'forced failures' in the story (as when we offerered the player the illusion/false choice of siding with the bad guys).