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Deus Ex: Human Revolution’s Level Design is Multi-Path, Multi-Solution

Steven Ciciola's Avatar + Posted by Steven Ciciola on Jan 07, 2011 // Level Designer, Eidos Montreal

Hey everyone! You’d be surprised at how many of us actually do read your comments on a variety of articles and forums concerning Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Whether it’s a thread about health regen (again…) or a comment about the faint floral pattern on Adam’s trench coat, chances are we’ve seen it! Your voices are being heard! We really do appreciate your comments, and hope they never stop.

That said, I’m nearing the end of my role on the project and putting on the final touches to the game. I wanted to reflect on the past development and give you a peek at some of the challenges the level design team had to face when developing Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution PS3

The biggest rule for us level designers, by far, was to always keep in mind the idea of “Multi-Path, Multi-Solution” for practically every challenge we wanted to lay down for the player. Basically what that entails is for every obstacle we set, there is always a variety of ways to progress past it; with some methods being more obvious than others. This is very reminiscent of the design philosophy found in the original Deus Ex … a design which promotes emergent game play.

One of the reveals from gamescom was showing the Police Station level and how there were four different ways (Combat, Hacking, Stealth, and Social) to play through it. The truth of the matter is that there are far more than just four different ways to progress through that level. There are so many different ways to progress through that I couldn’t possibly list them all; and chances are there are even methods to progress through that we haven’t even thought of! While at first glance that seems like a nightmare for a level designer, what ends up happening is our level designs promote multiple playthroughs in order to try out many different styles of play. All we have to ensure is that we’ve provided the tools and the environment for the player to just explore, imagine, and act-out their creative solutions.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution PS3Deus Ex: Human Revolution PS3

The downside to this open and emergent style game play is that there are a lot paths and features that we designed that most players will never see! We hope you all try playing through the game multiple times, using different styles of approach, and exploring every nook and cranny and possible option that we’ve made available to you. Until next time… Ciao!

//Add Your Own

40 Comments

1

+ Arcadian_Rebel on January 7th, 2011 at 1:57 pm said:

First! Looking fun and good so far!


2

+ Jimmy_Cosmos on January 7th, 2011 at 1:57 pm said:

Really looking forward to this! Hope it’s good!!


3

+ that-acmilan-guy on January 7th, 2011 at 1:58 pm said:

Screens from PS3 version?


4

+ Enforcer_X on January 7th, 2011 at 1:59 pm said:

Sounds great! Keep up the awesome work!
I love Deus Ex 1 and 2, playing them again before the release of Human Revolution.
So far Deus Ex looks like it’s going to ROCK!


5

+ sam_i_jam on January 7th, 2011 at 2:00 pm said:

One of the top 3 titles on my must-have list in 2011.


6

+ sam_i_jam on January 7th, 2011 at 2:01 pm said:

I’m torn between getting on PS3 or PC, but either way, I’m sure it will be brilliant.


7

+ xrexx1995 on January 7th, 2011 at 2:02 pm said:

this game looks very promising,i didnt played the first one.The first one its related to this one?can we get a little story about the first one in this game?i dont want to get lost in the story.realease date?


8

+ truefrost on January 7th, 2011 at 2:05 pm said:

say wut!! looks amazing.


9

+ Barnolde on January 7th, 2011 at 2:11 pm said:

Please, please allow keyboard/mouse support. The PS2 version of the original supported it! Maybe that can make an appearance on PSN too in HD =)


10

+ blackmoses11 on January 7th, 2011 at 2:14 pm said:

You know, I’ll admit it… I never played the other games within this series, but… I’m starting to think now is the time. I’ve downloaded the game play and announce trailers from off of PSN and I have to say this game looks and feels incredible. Almost reminds me of MGS4 in a way… in respects to the presentation and voice acting. When is this releasing by the way? Between this and Killzone 3 (Feb. 22nd…my BIRTHDAY!!!), I’m gonna be in heaven.


11

+ JKar275 on January 7th, 2011 at 2:18 pm said:

@9: I also would like to see USB keyboard & mouse support for this game.

I’m hoping that we’ll be able to save our progress at any point in this game because I hate games where you cannot do this.

When is this game releasing in the USA?


12

+ xKOROSHIYAx on January 7th, 2011 at 2:19 pm said:

This is in my top 3 anticipated games for 2011. I hope it is possible to go through the entire game using stealth, just as you could in the original. I prefer stealth gameplay, something that has been severely lacking this generation. From what I’ve seen so far, it looks like my wish will come true. I’m a big fan of the original Deus Ex, I really hope this game can come close to that feeling the first one had.


13

+ JCNX100 on January 7th, 2011 at 2:29 pm said:

question>>> Is there gonaa be a beta u can buy for this game?


14

+ gold5225 on January 7th, 2011 at 2:32 pm said:

It seems like you guys decided to go with a full 1920 by 1080 resolution with this game. At least that’s what I can gather from looking at the screen shots. It looks good, but their looks to be a LOT of Aliasing.


15

+ KazeEternal on January 7th, 2011 at 2:45 pm said:

@Steven Ciciola of Eidos
I can’t wait to play this game. I already have the Augmented Edition reserved for PS3.

I don’t suppose you can do me a favor and talk to Crystal Dynamics about that online patch for Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light? My sis moved out to California (I’m in florida) some time ago to work for Pendulum and so we were hoping to play this together online.


16

+ jimfear on January 7th, 2011 at 2:49 pm said:

I playtested the game at eidos montreal a couple of time ago and what i saw was amazing, i cant wait any longer for that game.


17

+ DarkRecoil on January 7th, 2011 at 3:03 pm said:

One of my most wanted games of the year!

I have one request though Steven: Please make Human Evolution available as a full digital purchase from the PlayStation Store.

…some of us wish to embrace the future when it comes to buying videogame software ;)


18

+ BigRon3400 on January 7th, 2011 at 3:09 pm said:

Looks really good. Please release a demo before launch.


19

+ El_Hoardo on January 7th, 2011 at 3:10 pm said:

Can not wait! I’m thrilled with how good this game looks.

But please, re-release the two originals in HD on PSN!


20

+ KloudStryfe on January 7th, 2011 at 3:37 pm said:

@13 Why would there be a beta for a single player game dude?

@15 I thought they already added online co-op like a month ago.


21

+ Kirkpad on January 7th, 2011 at 3:38 pm said:

This game does sound pretty intriguing. I might get it since nothing else next year looks very exciting… other than Portal 2. This game definitely looks like it’s worth putting time into.

I’ll have to see how much I like the original; going to try it out tonight.


22

+ Globox_82 on January 7th, 2011 at 3:40 pm said:

this game blew me away. can’t wait


23

+ kcarl2879 on January 7th, 2011 at 3:44 pm said:

please bring legend of dragoon to psn!
not as a remake though. that”ll ruin it. redoing and touching up the graphics makes it a clone not the real thing. and clones always suck.
plus i can only have a psp go, and i love ps one classic rpg’s…
please once again I’m begging on my knees. Japan has it so why shouldn’t North America

PLEASE BRING IT TO PSN. IT SOLD A LITTLE OVER 960,000 COPIES(this was from when it came out all they way up to 2007)
Please, this RPG means a lot to me and many other people..


24

+ Nithorias on January 7th, 2011 at 3:52 pm said:

@23 I’m with you on this one… anyways, Deus Ex: Human Revolution looks extremely awesome, I really hope the story is enjoyable and since its only single player the replay value should be good. Any chance we might get a Demo before release???


25

+ Maelkav on January 7th, 2011 at 3:52 pm said:

Thanks for the update, Mr. Ciciola. I have been a massive fan of the original Deus Ex game and this one is sure to be great.

Oh, and don’t pay attention to the “health regen” complaints. In another interview I read that players will still die in a few hits, so it isn’t that big of a deal to me. Keep up all the good work!


26

+ bg93- on January 7th, 2011 at 3:57 pm said:

Man I really hope this game of yours is good. There was that trailer, the CG one that you released at E3 that I… I can’t stop watching. The only trailer I can think of that was as good as that was the MGS4 theatrical one.
I guess the point of typing that was it seems like there is an interesting story within the game worth exploring and that I’m officially interested. CANNOT WAIT!!!


27

+ SpiritThief on January 7th, 2011 at 5:31 pm said:

Deus Ex mmmmm HD collection those please.

The name is instant buy for me until shown otherwise.


28

+ W-8oRd3rPaTr0l-J on January 7th, 2011 at 5:58 pm said:

Oh great, multiple paths to explore which means stupid replay trophies and stupid item hunts. I just want to play through the story and enjoy it, go back through and enjoy it again. Not have to play it four different ways. This game looks awesome, but I’ll just wait for it to go on sale, beat it and sell it.

Where is the split-screen coop these days? Call of Duty sales anyone


29

+ Grinchy on January 7th, 2011 at 5:59 pm said:

Wow how does this look so gooood? As a Deus Ex noob, this write-up has gotten me very excited.


30

+ Thrasher20 on January 7th, 2011 at 6:07 pm said:

I want this game


31

+ Thrasher20 on January 7th, 2011 at 6:08 pm said:

I’m down for a Deus Ex HD Remix


32

+ KazeEternal on January 7th, 2011 at 6:25 pm said:

@20 they added it for Xbox360 version. The PC and PS3 versions don’t currently provide online play.


33

+ KazeEternal on January 7th, 2011 at 6:30 pm said:

@20
Scratch that I just checked, I’m guessing I missed the fact that it updated… weird…. I have PS+ and do remember booting this game when it first released to insure it would auto update.

Well good news to me I suppose. Thanks.


34

+ sindiewen on January 7th, 2011 at 6:32 pm said:

Once this game is avalable to be preorded on Steam, im preordering it then and there. Same goes with portal 2.

Even though I own Deus Ex and Deus Ex Invisable War on PC through Steam, I would like a HD colection of both Deus Ex’s on PS3.


35

+ Kchow23 on January 7th, 2011 at 10:54 pm said:

sold on the CG trailers + story but skeptical about actual gameplay


36

+ NTH74 on January 8th, 2011 at 4:50 am said:

I wonder if the original Deus Ex gets a HD makeover?
I would certainly buy that one too.

Anyone?


37

+ spaace2 on January 8th, 2011 at 10:05 am said:

omg when does this game come out >.< it looks so cool


38

+ Aj4shO on January 8th, 2011 at 2:49 pm said:

I hope i will have the money to get this game while this year is so packed with amazing games


39

+ Sum-Mischief on January 8th, 2011 at 11:19 pm said:

Just waiting on the day to pick this joint up … !


40

+ TooTall19 on January 9th, 2011 at 12:43 am said:

D Ex on both PS3 and OnLive FTW! I love open-ended level design. It kind of reminds me of Perfect Dark.


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