Obviously this outline is missing a ton of detail. Miami is the most developed location in the game, and even that one needs more characters, more points of interest, and more potential routes and interactions. The other missions are positively threadbare, and a couple are missing entirely. A lot of the ending missions boil down to “the player goes to an industrial location and kills someone important”, which feels more like Hitman than Deus Ex. Again, you’d fix this by adding more stuff to do and giving the player interesting reasons to spare various conspirators.
Alex needs more development. She’s a composite of three different characters from the first game: Alex your tech guy, Jock your pilot, and Paul your brother. She’s your guide, your transport, and your conscience. Which means she really ought to have a strong personality, a backstory, and even a bit of a character arc that points her towards ending #5.
I think the idea of “The Illuminati are the reason people are mean to each other on social media” is cute and just the right kind of stupid. Having said that, the entire idea needs a lot more meat on its bones.
So that’s my 16k word pitch for a new Deus Ex game. I hope you enjoyed reading it, or found some of its ideas amusing. I had fun writing this, although I’d feel better if I knew there was another immersive sim on the horizon.
Thanks for reading.
I think that there are probably a ton of gains that could be made in the area of reducing load times. The problem is that reviewers and consumers rarely make a big deal about bad load times. And even on the rare occasions when they do, the fanboys usually respond with “lol get an SSD”. It doesn’t impact sales in a way that’s easy to measure, so publishers have very little incentive to allocate dev time to make loading times shorter.
I’m hoping that we’ve just settled into a nice long console generation. Or perhaps, the console generation that’s about to start once you can actually buy a PS5. And maybe if technology holds still for a few years then people will start thinking about load times.
I don’t know about modern engines, but I know a decade ago many games would just purge everything from memory and start over when loading a new level. But of course, the previous level and the next level are going to share a ton of data. Both levels are going to need the protagonist model, his weapons, the standard mooks, the cameras, and all of the animations and sound effects for that stuff. Not to mention the texture maps that appear in both levels. You end up purging hundreds of megabytes of data, only to turn around and load some of those same assets back into memory again. From magnetic media. Savage!
The advantage is that this “clean slate” approach to loading is very clean, simple, and easy to debug. But doing things the Right Waytm means holding onto assets across level transitions and managing an ever-shifting library of active models and textures. It’s a lot more work, and it’s easy to muck it up and have slow-burn problems like memory leaks that slow the game down over a long play session. I can understand why the ease and predictability of clean slate loading is the go-to strategy for game development.
Note how quickly Bethesda games can transition in and out of buildings, because they don’t use clean slate loading. Note also how those same area transitions are a madhouse of weird bugs, glitches, and crashes. This is mostly due to Bethesda having terrible QA, but the point is that area transitions are the most buggy part of the game. Smart loading is hard.
So what happens when a SOFTWARE engineer tries to review hardware? This. This happens.
Bethesda NEVER Understood Fallout
Let's count up the ways in which Bethesda has misunderstood and misused the Fallout property.
The Disappointment Engine
No Man's Sky is a game seemingly engineered to create a cycle of anticipation and disappointment.
Bethesda felt the need to jam a morality system into Fallout 3, and they blew it. Good and evil make no sense and the moral compass points sideways.
Silver Sable Sucks
This version of Silver Sable is poorly designed, horribly written, and placed in the game for all the wrong reasons.