Warren Spector thinks biggest next-gen challenges are creative, not technical

Developer Warren Spector thinks that the biggest hurdles for gaming to overcome are creative ones, and won't simply be solved by the technical boost that next-gen gaming consoles will provide.

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Industry luminary Warren Spector--developer of Deus Ex and, more recently, the upcoming Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two--has weighed in on all of the next-gen console hype and speculation that's been floating around. It appears that Spector views video game technology much like any artist would view his paint, canvass, and brush. Simply having better tools doesn't necessarily make what's produced with those tools better by proxy. That's more of a creative problem.

"If it comes, it comes; when it comes, it comes," Spector told Edge magazine about his feelings on next-generation console technology. "I'm not a tech guy, particularly. I'm a design, story, character guy. I think most of the problems we have to solve are creative ones, not technical ones."

Spector, who is currently working on the sequel Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two for PC, Mac, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii, realizes that the creative and technical aspects of game making are inexorably linked, however.

"Obviously we make software, so there's always a technical element to what we do," he said, "but I will make games that do whatever I want them to do at the end of the day, and I will use whatever technology [is] available."

The next round of consoles from Microsoft and Sony haven't been officially announced, though rumors of next-gen tech for the next Xbox and PlayStation 4 (thought to be called Orbis), as well as known facts about Nintendo's upcoming Wii U console, are already making the rounds. Spector's position about creative challenges trumping technical ones can certainly be appreciated from an artist's point of view. Ironically, technical improvements--like an overhauled camera system, HD graphics (for most ports), and fully-voiced dialogue--have been some of the most touted features for Epic Mickey 2, so far.

If you haven't already, be sure to check out our preview of Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two for more information about the game provided by Spector, himself.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    April 2, 2012 1:45 PM

    Jeff Mattas posted a new article, Warren Spector thinks biggest next-gen challenges are creative, not technical.

    Developer Warren Spector thinks that the biggest hurdles for gaming to overcome are creative ones, and won't simply be solved by the technical boost that next-gen gaming consoles will provide.

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      April 2, 2012 1:59 PM

      Yep. Look how poorly modern warfare 3 would have sold if it wasn't a groundbreaking technical masterpiece combining cutting edge technology and avante-garde artistic direction.

      Or you know, none of this shit matters.

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        April 2, 2012 2:07 PM

        I dunno, I think their multiplayer broke some new ground a few releases back.

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          April 2, 2012 2:15 PM

          When they dropped dedicated servers?

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        April 2, 2012 2:24 PM

        [deleted]

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          April 2, 2012 2:42 PM

          Spector has worked on 3 video games since Call of Duty came out. 1 of them was just a fucking travesty, 1 of them was good and 1 of them could go either way depending on who you ask.

          There have been 9 call of duties since deus ex :iw was released.

          This is a guy who has made some of the best games of their time, but for some reason in the last 10 years, hasn't been able to accomplish a whole lot. He doesn't seem to have had a good track record in anticipating "the future". Certainly I don't think the innovation he's talking about is at the forefront of the industry's mind. It may set some gems apart from the crowd, but these are statistical aberrations, not the law. Whatever these "hurdles" he's referring to are, they are at best a false dichotomy.

          The video game industry has posted higher revenues, year after year after year, so it's not hurting. Doesn't seem to matter that it appears at times to be a horribly toxic sector that devalues it's employees and lies to its customers and manipulates the media with forms of payola. I don't think Spector is in touch with what the industry has become, at all.

          Or at least, he doesn't understand what the average consumer is looking for these days.

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      April 2, 2012 3:17 PM

      This is just silly. It will be both, as it always has been, and always will be.

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      April 2, 2012 3:47 PM

      What would be awesome if he could get on board with some problems already solved by this generation such as camera controls.

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        April 2, 2012 3:51 PM

        Camera controls are so much harder than most people realize. They're essentially special case after special case and are completely different for each game. You really can't make a general camera work for every game.

        That being said, some game studios don't really spend much time on the camera and it suuuuuuuucks.

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      April 2, 2012 5:45 PM

      He's been saying that for years.

      And if people actually listened to him rather than trying to snuff out call of duty, then games would actually be an art form.

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