Deus Ex: MD Writer: A Big Problem in Writing Games Is That We Have To Account for Those Who Don’t Care

Alessio Palumbo
Posted Jun 5, 2016
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Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is scheduled to hit retail and digital stores on August 23, after a six month delay from its previous February release date.

The game is virtually done, but the team is making sure that everything is properly polished – after all, it is not unusual to encounter bugs while testing a big roleplaying game like this one. At that point, It’ll be five years since Human Revolution; Adam Jensen will still be the lead character of the game, though he’ll find himself in a particularly nasty situation. After the so-called Aug Incident, when an organization called Illuminati hacked the implants of augmented humans and forced them to attack other people, a mechanical apartheid has been introduced where the augmented to live as outcasts.

The story of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided will certainly be one of its pivotal features, so this interview with Lead Writer Mary DeMarle published by RedBull is particularly interesting. DeMarle mentioned that game writers have to implement the story in a way that it won’t be a nuisance for those who don’t really care for it and prefer to just shoot their way through; however, she also pointed out that many Deus Ex: Mankind Divided testers actually try not to kill anyone and prefer to search for every story tidbit instead.

In my opinion… it is one of the big problems in writing games. We have to recognise that we’re playing a game, that we’re entertaining people. When we’re writing a story like Mankind Divided, one of the things I’m always reminding the writers, is that we’re people who want to get the story. We want to give every tidbit of information that we can. But, there are players out there who don’t care about any of that, and we have to build something that has multiple layers, so that those who want to get the story can, but those who don’t can still understand what’s going on. Sometimes that comes with expectation that there are certain things that probably won’t make sense.

It’s interesting. When you look at the playtesters who’re playing the game right now, there are the ones who use those augmentations not to mow people down, but to explore and gain access to more information. They spend hours just exploring the environments and pulling out all the environmental storytelling and all the secrets without ever trying to kill anybody. So I think it happens already.

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