for those of you interested in Deus Ex, our dark future conspiracy RPG, i have good news. things are going extremely well. we are, in part, beginning to switch from raw map construction to the implementation of more game-play features. the programmers, led by chris norden, have been writing code like mad and it is beginning to show up in the form of features coming on line. scott martin and al yarusso recently gave us all a demo of some of our inventory management and conversation recording features. it is really sweet and if you play computer RPG’s you will appreciate the depth of control we give you.
also, the new issue of PC Games features a Deus Ex screenshot. for those of you who have asked, the shot is from one of designer steve powers’ Hong Kong subplots. it involves some triads and other secret groups. in the shot, two characters are standing joss temple (neutral ground) discussing the rivalry of their organizations and their mutual competition for the player’s alliance and aid. (btw–steve did the city of mages in serpent isle. so if you liked that, you’ll love the Hong Kong sections of Deus Ex.)
i really have to say–the austin ION office is a completely cool place to work. i’m loving it and having a blast. i also feel like it’s a great place to learn, which is always one of my priorities. we have an awesome mix of people here–people who have worked on RPG’s, ultimas, flight sims, sub sims, strategy games, multiplayer-only games and pov sims. it’s an ecclectic and vibrant place to be. (and, hey, austin is just cool.)
*completely kickass board game alert* over the weekend, i sat down with some friends at warren’s house and played an awesome new board game. (the group consisted of me, warren, a guy named bud, doug church (looking glass/underworld/system shock/thief) and art min (multitude/system shock/terra nova/fireteam). we played EL GRANDE. the game has some fantastic strategic elements and feels really subtle. if you play board games (and if you like games like settlers of cattan), go get EL GRANDE. (and perhaps you too can become EL GRANDE.) doug won, art was second, but i got bronze (and i’m not even a programmer, imagine that). most important of all, i passed up warren in the final round. beating your boss is perhaps not the best career move, but it *is* fun.
you should play baldur’s gate but don’t forget to eat. some of us have been playing for a couple of hours after work here. (ok, more like 8pm-ish to midnight.) it’s totally ad&dictive.