Warren Spector, the man best known for Deus Ex, Ultima, and Thief, has shared some details about his video game college course at the University of Texas. Speaking to Nintendo Life, Spector touched upon Shigeru Miyamoto’s roles in games, as well as his personal love of A Link to the Past.
Before taking on a teaching role at the University of Texas, Spector had established Junction Point Studios. Under the studio’s name, the Wii exclusive Epic Mickey and its sequel Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two were released. Following The Power of Two’s weak sales (moving far less than the projected two million units despite a multi-console release) Disney Interactive announced the closure of Junction Point Studios.
Spector left Disney Interactive after his studio’s closure, but picked up his work in game development with the Denius-Sams Gaming Academy, a post-baccalaureate game development program that has a focus on leadership and management within the video game industry. Within that focus, Miyamoto is an example that is spoken of.
“We certainly talk about Mr. Miyamoto, and how even when he is not the director of a game, he still exerts his influence,” Spector said. Miyamoto’s influence, both directly and indirectly, has been behind the development of many Nintendo games, including A Link to the Past, one of Spector’s favorites.
Within the class, the question of how a sense of exploration can come through so strongly in a puzzle-focused game like A Link to the Past is put forth. Spector, who helped pioneer choice and consequence driven games, encourages his students to think on how the pre-planned outline of the game is well-hidden behind its feeling that the player is exploring a real world at whim.
That sense of choice is an appealing feeling to Spector, who pushes for such in video games. “My ultimate goal is when two people talk about their experience playing […] they describe different experiences,” he said. “That’s the magic of games. That’s what we can do that no other medium can do.”