So it turns out that developing a game that gives people choice and lets them leave an impact on the game world isn't easy. What a turn up for the books. Speaking to GamesMaster (opens in new tab) magazine for its new cover feature on Deus Ex Mankind Divided (opens in new tab), creative director Jean-Francois Dugas shares a secret that almost broke Deus Ex Human Revolution (opens in new tab)'s first big decision.
"We were in beta stage at the end of 2010 and the game was shipping the next August. I was playing from home, in the Sarif HQ near the beginning of the game, before you go in the manufacturing plant," explains Dugas. As you might remember, if Jensen doesn't turn up quickly, you're told that its not going to end well for the hostages. Except, in this version of the game, time definitely wasn't of the essence. You could wait for as long as you wanted. Oops.
"There were hostages on the map, and at this point no matter how long you took - 10 minutes or an hour - you would have still gotten a chance to save them. And I’m like “It’s the first mission of the game, we say we’re a game of choices and consequences, and the first thing we do in the game is lie to our audience. We were telling them not to trust us," says Dugas. "So I wrote to my producer asking to talk ASAP, I talked to Mary, and I went to the office and asked them to support this. I said if we could not pull this off, we needed to remove that brief from HQ."
The development team updated the action accordingly but there was a serious problem. "So the level designers made the changes, but we needed to record again and we couldn't find the voice actor, and we’re getting close to December and the deadline. And then finally, his agent finds him in Morocco!" Dugas explains. "So he recorded his lines and a couple of days before the official deadline, it was all in. And you guys, in January were playing. Someone waited and was like “Oh, they're dead!” I was like: [collapses and laughs]."
So the next time you make a decision in a game, who knows how many voice actors you have stolen back from their holidays early to let you feel like you're making a difference.