Posted on August 15, 2007, Shawn Sines Warren Spector and Disney Not So Strange Bedfellows
Admittedly some gamers were shocked when Warren “epic fantasy cyberpunk hardcore indie guy” Spector and Disney joined forces. In this two part Gametap Q&A Spector comes clean about his feelings for Disney and his plans for gaming future.
Contrary to what you might think, Spector came into the acquisition willingly, even enthusiastically.
Somewhere along the line, I got a reputation for making epic fantasy games or dark, edgy cyberpunk stuff. But what people don’t realize is how big a cartoon–and Disney–geek I’ve always been. I wrote my masters thesis on cartoons, taught animation history at the University of Texas, worked on tabletop games like Toon: The Cartoon Roleplaying Game for Steve Jackson Games and The Bullwinkle and Rocky Party Roleplaying Game for TSR….
Spector has wanted to work for Disney since he was a child. Also through Disney’s many assets he will have the opportunity to spread game ideas across a wide variety of media.
Expressing disappointment with the gaming industry and most recent games, Spector lambastes the industry for not taking risks with new concepts and titles instead of rehashing the same games ad infinitum. He continues to hold himself to those standards as well.
I think if you ask the Junction Point team they’ll all still tell you I’m crazy as a loon. “Fail gloriously” is still my motto. Not, just to be clear, because I want to fail, but because I think the only way to succeed is to take big risks.
Of the industry’s strengths and weaknesses, Spector says games do well representing alternate realities and are getting better all the time. The big Achilles’ heal for the industry is portraying Human Interactions through game A.I.
The best videogame actors are terrible. The best non-combat AI can barely maneuver through a static 3D space, let alone convince you a character is happy, sad, angry, or anything else. Better actors–or, more precisely, the will to create them–would do more to advance the state of the art in gaming than anything else I can think of.
You might imagine working with Disney might hamper a man responsible for games such as System Shock and Deus Ex. Creating games of T rating or younger is not a problem for Spector. He admits that as he gets older he’s progressively less inclined to play and create rated M games. When he’s not playing with his band “Two Headed Baby” or watch reality TV, he is currently playing more casual titles.
Loved Zelda. Just finished Paper Mario. I’m also totally into Puzzle Quest and Spectrobes on my DS. Flow on the PS3. Catan and Carcassonne on Xbox Live Arcade. Beyond that, frankly, I’m kind of desperate for something cool and new to play.