Posts Tagged ‘Harvey Smith’

How Jason Rohrer Won The Game Design Challenge

By John Walker on April 4th, 2013.

A real high-point of every GDC is the Game Design Challenge. Well, was. Sadly the tenth year of this annual treat was the last, with organiser Eric Zimmerman bringing proceedings to an end. And wow, did it go out in style. With the apposite topic, “Humanity’s Last Game”, some of the biggest names in the industry put forth their pitches for the last game we’d ever need. And one man entirely stole the show. For a second year, that man was Jason Rohrer.

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The Gaming Pulse: Dissecting Dishonored’s Heart

By Paul Walker on December 19th, 2012.

There’s no question that Dishonored’s Heart deserves celebration. Fortunately RPS contributor Paul Walker has done that in fine style, digging in to what makes the object so significant to the game, and speaking to co-creative directors Harvey Smith and Raphael Colantonio about how it came to exist, and their feelings about its part in the game.

Dishonored’s Heart is an object which lives up to its name in many ways. It breathes life into the game’s characters, imbues the city of Dunwall with soul, and helps the player to feel the melancholy tone which permeates all facets of its world. Characterised by the intersection of the mystical and the technological, it distills the very essence of the pseudo-Victorian steampunk landscape in which Dishonored’s tale unfolds. It is presented to the player as a navigation tool — a guide to lead players to the occult items littered throughout the fictional city of Dunwall. But, as co-creative directors Harvey Smith and Raphael Colantonio told me, “It also plays a part related to informing their decisions about when to apply violence or not, making it a really interesting, more subtle part of the power fantasy.” Here we start to get to grips with what it is the makes the Heart so compelling.

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Will We Ever Get To Play “One City Block”?

By Jim Rossignol on October 31st, 2012.


Following on from my article on the importance of keeping our eye on the future, I’ve started writing what will no doubt be an irregular column on the future of games. I wanted to start with looking at the future of some aspects of game design, and particularly – in the context of the previous column – looking at the kinds of things that have been hoped for or predicted in the past, and have not yet come to be.

Let’s start with Warren Spector’s “One City Block RPG” idea. What is it, and will we ever see it? Fullbright’s Steve Gaynor and a number of devs from Arkane contribute to the discussion that follows, and try to explain the persistent appeal of the One City Block idea as an ideal in game design.
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Interview: Unmasking Dishonored’s Harvey Smith

By Nathan Grayson on October 17th, 2012.

Dishonored is pretty great. Incredible, even – at least, in places. We’ve had many wordthinks about it, and odds are, the future will bring many more. Those, however, are for another time. Today, we’re giving the angular, Viktor-Antonov-designed spotlight over to one of the main minds behind the whale-powered wonder, Harvey Smith. From System Shock to the original Deus Ex to an ill-fated Area 51 reboot to a canceled RTS and even a brief stint in mobile gaming, he’s seen all corners of the gaming industry. But – dare I suggest it – there’s far more to life than videogames. So I sat down with Smith to discuss how and why he does what he does, and as it turns out, he may well be just as incredible as the game he played a crucial role in creating – if not more so.

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Harv And Raph: Gabbin’ ‘Bout Dishonored

By Craig Pearson on April 24th, 2012.


I went to Youtube and searched for “that immersive sim that’s being made by the Dark Messiah dude and the guy from Deus Ex“, which I’ll admit was a typo as I was really looking for “Loch Ness monster proof” videos. But to my pleasant surprise it turned up a double-header interview with the lead designers of Dishonored. Game Informer sat down in Arkane’s oddly coloured offices to talk to Harvey Smith and Raphael Colantonio, and while there’s nothing even remotely touching on ancient dinosaurs being trapped in bodies of water (for LochPaperShotgun), there’s a lot of chat about the immersive assassin ‘em up’s systems. They really are looking at the making the game a reflection of the player’s actions, from extreme of violence to the other. But even then Harvey Smith points out: “We do have an ideal player in mind, though. Somme body who listens and is more thorough, and is a little trickier, a little craftier and uses their powers in interesting combinations and exploits the AI.” Music to my ears. Videos have snuck into the post below.
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First Dishonored Footage: Shows Very Little, Still Exciting

By Craig Pearson on March 12th, 2012.

Just like me after a nap
I was this close to falling asleep there, but then Dishonored footage landed and my heart-rate spiked. Just a couple of minutes of non-action footage interspersed with Harvey Smith and Raphael Colantino talking about their amazing sounding immersive sim. It’s kind of not saying anything new: you’re a supernatural assassin, a sandbox game that enables the player to explore how they want to play with the magnificent tools, the possession, teleporting, stopping time. But this is the first I’ve heard about the eavesdropping component, where you listen for clues and the game changes your goals. It’s starting to look and sound like a combo of the best bits of BioShock and Hitman. Watch, watch now you fools!
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Arkane’s Harvey & Raf Unravel Dishonored

By Alec Meer on August 22nd, 2011.

This is exactly how in the interview looked. Just replaced the knife with a dictaphone

Following a demo showing of Arkane’s remarkable retro-future, supernatural stealth/action immersive sim Dishonored (as described here), I roped co-creative directors Harvey Smith (one of the minds behind Deus Ex and System Shock) and Raphael Colantonio (co-creator of Arx Fatalis and Dark Messiah) into a chat.

A chat about what? About choice, about avoiding compromise, about making rats believable, about possessing fish, about how they’re “hell bent” on creating first-person games with depth, about building a developer supergroup to make this, about arguing with art directors about chairs, about why publishers are getting behind immersive sims again, about how to make sure mainstream audiences play them, about Deus Ex, and why this is the most liberating project Harvey’s worked on since that game…
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Harvey Wordsmith: The Argument

By Kieron Gillen on September 9th, 2010.

After the big immersive sim interview we did, Ex-Deus-Ex-er Harvey Smith’s latest game is somewhat smaller than we were perhaps expecting. As small part of his MFA homework, he’s just wrote a short Interactive Fiction and lobbed it online. Really slight but emotionally true, I link mainly because much like Rod Humble’s art-projects, it’s interesting to see what mainstream devs do in their downtime. Play here.

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Dark Futures Part 4: Raphael & Harvey Arkane

By Kieron Gillen on July 9th, 2010.

Raphael Colantonio and Harvey Smith are game designers who are currently co-directing an unannounced project at Arkane Studios, working across offices in Lyon and Austin. They’ve been making games professionally since 1993, with a keen interest in first-person games with detailed environments and RPG features. Colantonio is the founder, CEO and Creative Director at Arkane. Under his direction, Arkane created Arx Fatalis and the PC version of Dark Messiah of Might and Magic. Over the years, he has worked with Electronic Arts, Valve, Ubisoft and 2K. In 2005, Colantonio expanded Arkane, opening a new office in Austin. At Ion Storm, Smith was lead designer of the award winning game Deus Ex, which received a BAFTA ward in 2000, and project director of Deus Ex: Invisible War. He was lead designer of FireTeam at Multitude and studio creative director at Midway Games (Austin). In the early 90′s, Smith worked at legendary RPG studio Origin Systems. Both Colantonio and Smith have spoken at numerous game conferences, and are passionate about immersive, highly interactive games with simulation elements.
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Deus Sex: DX10 Denton’s Three-Way Adventure

By Alec Meer on April 29th, 2010.

Via the great Harvey Smith’s twittersome feedington, I bring news of an excellent graphical upgrade to the electric videogame for personal computer systems known as Deus Ex. It has made me want to purchase three monitors. Please stop me from doing this. Please.

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Counting For Taste

By Jim Rossignol on February 28th, 2010.


Watching Jesse Schell’s DICE2010 presentation about recent trends in game development – which took as its subject matter the unexpected popularity of Facebook’s “social” games and the external reward boom (unlocks, achievements, increased focus on the “score” for gaming generally) – I started to have a think about our Gaming Made Me series. I don’t think there were many mentions in there of “I just got hooked on the points system,” and I wondered if that would be different if we did it again in ten years time, or just with a wider net of people. Moreover, it got me thinking about some of the reasons why some gamers were horrified by the picture Schell painted.

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