One of my favorite games hit its 20th birthday. Two decades ago Deus Ex was an amazing achievement in open narrative, emergent game design.
In this piece, Rock Paper Shotgun gathered up a bunch of the original team from John Romero’s Ion Storm studio to look back on the process of creating the game:
Harvey Smith (lead designer): We were very influenced by three games: Thief, System Shock 2 and Half-Life. There was a lot of discussion around whether it was more elegant to get through a level without being spotted and killing everybody. But there was also political discussion about whether there was inherent bias in a game that gives you a mission to kill a bunch of enemies without questioning it. And of course, there is.
See also for the anniversary: Alex Brandon’s remake of the original soundtrack.