This is a fascinating read. Well, it is to me. I love these little looks behind-the-scenes, and Deus Ex in particular appeals to me, as it is probably my single favourite game ever. My ultimate goal, as a game developer, is to make these kinds of games.
It’s also comforting for me personally. I’ve made many mistakes this year (I’ll write a whole postmortem about that once I’m out of the eye of the storm), but one of the bigger ones is how much time I’ve spent “thrashing”, wasting effort. I’ve gone one way, then changed direction, then changed again, discarding work I’d done along the way. It’s not something I’m happy about, but I hope to get better at avoiding that the more games I make.
So I try not to beat myself up too much, most days. Though I’m an experienced programmer, I am a noob in many areas of game development. And it’s nice to read these kinds of pieces and realize that even some of the greats, working on titles that we’d ultimately acclaim as masterpieces, deal with similar problems and setbacks. That they experience the same “thrashing”.
I’m not claiming that System Crash will possess the same greatness as Deus Ex, but it is comforting, in times of doubt and stress.