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Warren Spector joins OtherSide Entertainment full-time to lead System Shock 3 development

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Warren Spector joins OtherSide Entertainment full-time to lead System Shock 3 development

People News - posted by Infinitron on Wed 17 February 2016, 21:23:56

Tags: OtherSide Entertainment; System Shock 3; Underworld Ascendant; Warren Spector

Industry veteran and immersive simulation evangelist Warren Spector has been involved with OtherSide Entertainment from the very beginning as a "Creative Advisor", but only on a part-time basis. Today we learn that Warren has followed in the footsteps of David Gaider, leaving his comfortable academic post to join OtherSide as a full-time employee. His role - leading the development of the recently announced System Shock 3, starting "later this year". The press release posted on OtherSide's website has the details:

CONCORD, MASS — February 17, 2016 — OtherSide Entertainment is thrilled to announce that Warren Spector, one of the leading creative minds in the game industry, will soon be joining the company.

Warren has been a producer, designer, and director behind some of the industry's most beloved games, including System Shock, Deus Ex, and the Ultima series. He led Junction Point Studios in creating the best-selling Disney Epic Mickey and recently oversaw the Denuis-Sam Gaming Academy post-baccalaureate program at UT Austin.

Warren has acted as a Creative Advisor to OtherSide since the studio's inception. Following the end of this semester's classes at UT Austin, he will transition into a full-time position as one of OtherSide's Studio Directors. Warren will continue to help in a creative capacity on Underworld Ascendant and, later this year, ramp up and lead the team developing System Shock 3.

Warren has a long history working with members of the OtherSide team, having collaborated with founder Paul Neurath on the original Ultima Underworld games, Thief: The Dark Project, and System Shock.

"I'm delighted to have Warren stepping up into a director role at OtherSide and helping lead the charge with our innovative approach to gaming," says Paul. "I can think of no one better suited to take on this creative challenge. Warren has changed the industry before and will do so again."

"I've loved working with students as Director of the Denius-Sams Gaming Academy in the University of Texas' Moody College of Communication," says Warren. "But when the opportunity to have a bigger role in bringing Underworld Ascendant to life, as well as playing in the System Shock universe once again, helping to bring these games to a 21st century audience, I just couldn't say no. Working on System Shock was one of the most fulfilling things I've done in my career and it's hard to describe how much I'm looking forward to sharing with players what SHODAN has been up to since the last game was released."

Efforts on System Shock 3 will accelerate this year under Warren's direction, while OtherSide continues working on Underworld Ascendant, the successor to the Ultima Underworld series.

Everyone at OtherSide is excited to add Warren to the team and System Shock 3 as the second title in the company's growing stable of games.
So, everybody knows Warren's most recent games weren't exactly sterling examples of hardcore game design. And now he's joining a studio that has in the past explicitly declared itself as non-casual. It'll be interesting to see what he has to say for himself in the interviews that will surely follow.

On his Facebook page, Warren Spector reveals that System Shock 3 will be developed at a new studio he'll be founding in Austin in June. OtherSide Austin, if you will.

Update 2: Apparently, Warren was at the DICE Summit in Las Vegas today, where had more to say about what kind of game System Shock 3 is going to be. From VentureBeat:

Spector said during a conversation at the DICE Summit game event in Las Vegas that he plans to finish up his game design teaching work at the University of Texas at Austin and start a new studio in Austin with OtherSide Entertainment, which is headed by Paul Neurath, the founder of Looking Glass, the now-defunct company that made the original System Shock.

[...] Spector also was a key creator of the Deus Ex and the Ultima series. Spector has been advising OtherSide on Underworld Ascendant since its start. Spector is looking for funding for the new studio, which will need to hire a considerable number of people to make System Shock 3 as a PC game. The title could be made for other platforms too.

“Paul was the devil sitting me on my shoulder tempting me to come back and make games,” Spector said.

Spector said that the studio will be a reasonably big effort for an indie game company, with a relatively large budget. But he said it won’t be on the order of $40 million to $50 million, as he has done in past games.

“I’ve been there, done that,” he said.​

"Relatively large", eh? It does sound like this could be a bigger kind of thing than Underworld.

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