Deus Ex: Human Revolution art director talks influences, changes

Deus Ex: Human Revolution's art director talks about his influences and decisions in updating the futuristic world of Deus Ex.


A lengthy walkthrough and accompanying interview has shed some new light on the visual style of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and provided a nice gameplay demonstration to boot.

Art director Jonathan Jacques-Belletete says he had to consider the art influences of previous games, but felt that ultimately, a fully-realized world trumped being beholden to tradition. "We thought, let's do our homework about where things are going to be in 30 years and base our stuff on that," he said. "At that point, whether it matches or doesn't match 100% with the first game, we didn't care about that much. Not in a disrespectful way, but because a lot of the tech in the first Deus Ex is outdated now; a lot of the televisions are still 4:3 ratio and already our world looks more futuristic than the first Deus Ex."

The decision was also cleared by the series' original mastermind. "I remember talking with Warren Spector about this (he hasn't worked on the game at all, not even as a consultant, I've just bumped into him), and even he said, 'hey, maybe we just visited the really gritty places of the world in the first one and all the stuff you've done was already extant, it's just not where the player went.'"

Jacques-Belletete says he took design influence from contemporary architecture in locations like Japan and Scandinavia, and tried to mix baroque and renaissance design elements with the general cyberpunk aesthetic. He also suggests that it's more interesting to insert surprising design elements, like original abstract sculpture, rather than reproducing an environment exactly as it would appear in real life.

Check out the full video below for a nice look at the design elements as they've turned out in Human Revolution. Plus you get to see more of the game in action, and that's never a bad thing.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    July 6, 2011 8:45 AM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Deus Ex: Human Revolution art director talks influences, changes.

    Deus Ex: Human Revolution's art director talks about his influences and decisions in updating the futuristic world of Deus Ex.

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      July 6, 2011 8:57 AM

      Universal Ammo?

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      July 6, 2011 9:32 AM

      Can't wait to play it! I'm loven the worlds in this game and hope the game play is good. Is there going to be dark corners where you can hide in the shadows or will it always be ducking behind walls and other objects?

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        July 6, 2011 9:44 AM

        There was an interview where they stated that they reworked stealth to be more sound based than shadow or LOS based.

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          July 6, 2011 9:49 AM


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            July 6, 2011 11:16 AM

            It doesn't have the same "if you're in the shadows you're invisible" like DX1 and Thief.

            Granted, I think the enemy npc cone of vision is smaller. Also, there's an aug for being able to see on your radar where the enemy cone of vision covers.

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      July 6, 2011 9:42 AM


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        July 6, 2011 5:28 PM

        no mate, the art direction was definitely relevant

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          July 6, 2011 5:58 PM


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            July 6, 2011 6:14 PM

            I still have a hard time feeling sorry for him. He talks about listening to game designer friends and not the players. The players were talking. People crapped on universal ammo and the elimination of skills and such from the moment they became known, and crescendoed with the release of the demo. I was right there in the forums making my mind known, but it was futile. Nothing changed as a result of any of that, and it built a lot of ill will, even if it was partially undeserved. Such is my memory and understanding of it anyway

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              July 6, 2011 6:19 PM

              I was one of the posters at ionstorm and, and I remember eventually giving up, feeling like our concerns were heard, responded to, and summarily disregarded in favor of wacky, ill-advised gameplay changes that they passed off as innovation. Warren Spector was losing his marbles at the time, and couldn't have been the savior, either. He went from being one of my favorite developers to a guy so vehement about pioneering new avenues of game design that he abandoned the core ideals that culminated in DX1's success.

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            July 6, 2011 6:26 PM

            He's honest and will talk to fans, but he's not a very good designer. Blacksite was.... an okay game I guess, but his whole lololol Bush thing, and the CoDish gameplay make him look unsophisticated as a designer and author.

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      July 6, 2011 9:52 AM

      hey look, an old franchise from the 90s that didn't feel the need to 'modernize' the amount of weapons you can carry just because other ones did it. They use the weapon wheel, bravo for them.

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        July 6, 2011 11:17 AM

        Also, that is the PS3 version. Nixxes' PC port is slightly different. There is no weapon wheel.

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        July 6, 2011 5:30 PM

        It's an RPG, and you can carry more than 2 weapons at a time!

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        July 6, 2011 6:02 PM

        You still have maximum inventory space, so you may only be carrying 3 for a while anyway.

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      July 6, 2011 10:01 AM

      Even if I weren't really interested in playing the game, (which i am), I'd be tempted to buy it just to support the dev's approach and open communications.

      I realize most of it is driven by the PR department, but for whatever reason, everything I've read from the devs just seems to show their desire to make an awesome Deus Ex game.

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      July 6, 2011 11:20 AM

      looking gooooood

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      July 6, 2011 6:13 PM

      A few observations:

      1. at 10:05, the developer says, "Oh, we failed, and now the guards are alerted" ...except they weren't. He rolled through the laser-eye and nothing happened. Then he steps out from behind the box and exposes himself to them, looking at the alarm system that should have been tripped, until it finally goes off. If he was confused and figured the system really was going off, it exposes a bug in the game. If he WASN'T confused and was just trying to cover up the bug by purposefully tripping the alarm after it should have already been activated, then that's doubly lame.

      2. Take-downs suck. 10:50 proves it. Good lord, what a shitty, anti-PC approach that was to getting close enough for a takedown. This isn't a unique situation for DX3, either. Numerous other gameplay videos show Jensen walking up to the AI at a leisurely pace, with them either not being aware of him or not doing a thing as he closes the distance.

      3. Persistent blood, please. If I'm going to stab a guy with arm blades right through the chest, causing spurting ribbons of blood to fountain out of him, at least paint the floor with a decal.

      4. Gibs, please.

      5. LESS CONSOLEITIS, PLEASE, AND FUCK EVERYONE WHO WILL REPLY SAYING CONSOLEITIS DOESN'T EXIST. It does, and you shuttlecocks are responsible for necessitating crap like stick-on cover-systems if a shooter wants to sell well.

      DX3, you look like an incredible game. Like a Maserati with a scratch on it, however, your blemishes are all the more glaring because you've almost gotten it right, but the few problems you do have are so very ugly.

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        July 6, 2011 6:15 PM

        before this gets pounced on: I too cannot stand the cover system. The takedowns are also incredibly lame, since you can only do a limited amount (as they sap all your energy). Gimme a baton and let me go to town

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        July 6, 2011 10:46 PM

        1. haha I noticed that too
        2. melee take downs using energy is crap, but i dont get what youre saying about closing the distance - he was just sneaking up?
        3. Just be thankful you at least get persistent bodies in this age

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        July 6, 2011 11:38 PM

        Look at it this way.. it can't be worse than Invisible War right?

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