Warren Spector Interviews Every-Bloody-One

Warren Spector is lower resolution than you may think.

EDIT: Site is 403ed. Comments thread is now a list of who got what and what to do with ’em.

Wow. This appears to be the motherlode. If you read our Warren Spector interview last month, you’ll have probably been excited by the section where he describes interviewing twelve gaming luminaries as part of his University of Texas Master Class in Video Games and Digital Media. Talking to everyone from Richard Garriott to Blizzard’s Mike Morhaime to Id’s Tim Willits, in sessions you’d want to be a fly on the wall for. And now you can, as in a bandwidth-destroying move, the University of Texas has posted all thirteen lectures.

Get them now before the internet collapses.

(I’m not even joking. I was tempted to not blog it until I’d downloaded them all, as a quick technorati search reveals only Primotech and Spector’s blog has actually publicised them so far. But I do this thing for you, yes, you. JUST YOU.)

This is what he said about these lectures in our interview

“I’m teaching a course at the university of Texas, where I’ve been inviting – well – gaming luminaries to talk to me for three hours, from the perspective of, “Hey – I’ve known you for 20 years, don’t try to con me and let’s talk about the stuff that typically doesn’t get talked about.” It’s part of an oral history project – because we are all still alive. Well, not all of us – Dani Bunten’s gone and a couple of others. But we’re getting to the point where the pioneers are not going to be here forever. We need to get it recorded for future generations before it’s lost, in the same way that lots of early film history is lost. Gone. Never known. I don’t want that to happen to us, as I really believe that videogames are the medium of the 21st century, in the same way that movies and TV were the medium of the 20th century. We have to preserve our history before it’s gone.”

I couldn’t agree more, really. Spector also provides a watching order, if you’re interested in doing it chronologically…

  • 1. September 10, 2007: Warren Spector (Intro Lecture)
  • 2. September 17, 2007: Patricia York (HR Director, Disney Interactive Studios)
  • 3. September 24, 2007: Harvey Smith (then Creative Director, Midway Austin)
  • 4. October 1, 2007: Hal Barwood (Game Designer, Screenwriter par excellence)
  • 5. October 8, 2007: Matthew Bellows (GM, Floodgate Entertainment)
  • 6. October 15, 2007: Marc LeBlanc (Designer/Programmer, Mind Control Software)
  • 7. October 22, 2007: Mike Morhaime (President, Blizzard)
  • 8. October 29, 2007: Tim Willits (Lead Designer, id Software)
  • 9. November 5, 2007: Seamus Blackley (Talent Agent, Creative Artists Agency – also, “Father of the Xbox”)
  • 10. November 12, 2007: Paul Weaver (Director of Development, Junction Point Studios)
  • 11. November 19, 2007: Gordon Walton (Co-Studio Director, Bioware Austin)
  • 12. November 26, 2007: Richard Garriott (Creative Guy whose title I don’t actually know, NC Soft)
  • 13. December 3, 2007: Richard Hilleman (Guy With No Title – and proud of it – at Electronic Arts)

Only downloaded Spector’s intro so far and watched a fragment. I sense I’ll return. This actually feels kinda important.

Get them all here.


  1. ImperialCreed says:

    Sweet manatee of Galilee! Thanks for these Kieron, my mornings trawling RPS have not been in vain.

  2. Alec Meer says:

    Don’t you mean Dan Button?

  3. Kieron Gillen says:

    Yes, Alex.


  4. nabeel says:

    This is going to take forever to download. Thanks for the heads up KG. Planning to post a summary or discussion or something of them?

  5. drunkymonkey says:

    I think I’ll just wait until they’re up on Youtube, as Quicktime appears to be crashing Firefox. Damn you!

    Looking forward to see Garriott’s and Morhaine’s ones.

  6. wiper says:

    Dear lord. I’ve got to run off to a lecture now (and not, sadly, with Warren Spector. To be fair, I’m not sure that his knowledge of Attic Greek is all that hot), so I’m hoping I can trust my download manager with the grave task of downloading each video.


    P.S – is that the actual American box-art for Deus Ex on the right hand side of the website? Because boy is it ugly.

  7. Acosta says:

    Awesome, thanks a lot for it (now I need free time, has anyone some to spare?).

    And it’s really a sad thing to think, we don´t have many deaths in this industry, is hard to accept that people that has done some of the masterpieces won´t be along forever. Sometime ago, Warren Spector said something about that he could foresee three projects more before he would retire. Of course, other people will come, life cycle and all that. But is a thought that disturbs me in some way.

  8. Kieron Gillen says:

    Acosta: Yeah, he said that in the EG part of my interview. It’s an interesting one, innit.


  9. Matt says:

    The internet has collapsed.

  10. Meat Circus says:


    You’re gonna die soon, you’re gonna die soon.
    It’s not cold in here, you’re just dying.
    You’re gonna die, you’re gonna die, you’re dying.


  11. O.G.N says:

    And the site is now 404 Not Found. Sigh, I only managed to download one video before it disappeared

  12. Jae Armstrong says:

    12. November 26, 2007: Richard Garriott (Creative Guy whose title I don’t actually know, NC Soft)

    Odds on “Lord British”, anyone?

  13. Sal says:


  14. Kieron Gillen says:

    Okay: I have…

    Harvey Smith
    Seamus Blackley

    Who else got what?


  15. Michael says:

    Looks like the videos are down from the official site. Some enterprising people on Spector’s blog have posted the directory listing (link to podcast.communication.utexas.edu)

    Warren S. commented on his blog the following:

    “Well… Just got word from UT that they’ve taken the class videos down! Apparently, there were some i’s not dotted and t’s not crossed. I expect they’ll go back up sometime soon… Sorry! I’ll keep everyone posted when they’re available again.”

  16. Joel says:

    Okay, grabbing “Oct1,” Gordan Wallace, and Hal Barwood from the open dir.

  17. Kieron Gillen says:

    Grabbing Marc LeBlanc.

    EDIT: And Alec got Morheim.


  18. Joel says:

    Got Gordon Wallace and Hal Barwood. Moving on to Patricia York and Paul Weaver.

    EDIT: It’s looking increasingly likely that I can get all of these. I’ll see about making a torrent if I do.

  19. James T says:

    Hah, I read that as Matt LeBlanc. Like, totally TMI Kieron!

    Oh well, I guess I wasn’t doing anything else with my d/l limit this month. *downloads*

    *well, downloads ‘Garriott’ and ‘Spector’, anyway, I’ll Youtube-wait the rest…*

  20. Kieron Gillen says:

    Alec is getting Tim Willits.


  21. Man Raised By Puffins says:

    I have the same as Kieron, plus Mike Morhaime, Gordon Walton, Garriot and Tim Willits still downloading. Cheers for the heads-up RPS.

  22. wiper says:

    Okay, I managed to get everything bar LeBlanc, York, Willits and Weaver. Unfortunately my webspace is nowhere near good enough to fit any of the videos on, so I’m not sure what to do with the files I do have. Perhaps a torrent would be sensible, though I’m not sure if it’d be a waste of time uploading an incomplete set (not to mention that with my connection – 20kb/s upstream at the very most – it’d take an awfully long time for the set to seed at first).

  23. Zuffox says:

    This is turning into an hockey card collecting game for gamers.

  24. essell says:

    Downloaded and uploaded using the magic speeds of the work connection, out of curiousity as to whether anyone will grab it – the Warren Spector video:

    link to essell.org

  25. Scotti says:

    I can never get enough of Warren Spector. The man has the best attitude of any dev, and has the best personality. He’s my hero *sniff sniff* (ahem)

  26. Larington says:

    Hmm, my download died part way in, looking like its gone down…

    Some very interesting stuff here though by the looks of it, will have to make it onto the student server where I’m studying (Swansea Metropolitan University, formerly the much cooler sounding Swansea Institute of Higher Education).

  27. MarvintheParanoidAndroid says:

    @essell: Thanks, I’m grabbing it! I tried to get the lot, but it went down after I’d got 6 of them. I’ll have to scavenge around for the others.

  28. Paul says:

    Damn! I found these last week, but had only downloaded two at the time. :(
    I’ve only watched the Warren Spector one, but it’s fantastic.

    ::Ed – Oh and Warren now seems to be posting regularly, woo!

  29. essell says:

    The Harvey Smith one too:

    link to essell.org

  30. Wozza says:

    Thanks Essell for sharing, put more up if you got any.

  31. CrashT says:

    Seconded, cheers Essell.

    Am watching the Marc LeBlanc one now, amusing to hear how much nepotism was involved in the birth of Looking Glass. :)

  32. Tikey says:

    I’m also here to thanks Essell. So thanks Essell.
    I’m watching the first one and I’m finding it incredibly interesting.

  33. Scandalon says:

    Essell, you are my new (temporary) best friend, using the magic of my work connection, currently pulling them down at just over 2Megs/sec….moarplzkthx.

    Okay, I just used lolcats speak…must kill myself now.

  34. Scandalon says:

    Wiper – that doesn’t look like any boxart I’ve ever seen…my copy is a cool blue theme w/ just JC and a city skyline, IIRC…

    P.S. Said copy is the mac version – anyone know where to get just the PC executable/.dll’s? (.UTX and such files are cross platform.) Yea, it’s super cheap on steam, but I’m super cheap, and I already paid full retail price back in the day and would rather use the money for Audiosurf or WorldOfGoo or food or something. >:P

  35. Dustin says:

    Torrent anyone?

    Btw, thanks massive to essell.

  36. mr.saturn says:

    Thanks indeed, was hoping someone grabbed some before they were removed.

  37. Soren Johnson says:

    man, now I’m seriously bummed out…

  38. mr.saturn says:

    Wiper, if your isp supplies Usenet access you could upload them to a game related group. That way everyone would be able to download them without waiting for a bunch of seeders.

  39. Ninja Dodo says:

    link to ninjadodo.net

    I managed to grab a couple. Patricia York is up. Still uploading Hal Barwood and Gordon Walton. I’ve also got Smith and Spector, so I guess I’ll do a mirror for those as well…

  40. wiper says:

    Sadly I lack Usenet access, and much as I love you all, I’m not about to shell out for access just so that I can spend the next few days clogging up my (shared) bandwidth with uploading. I’ll try and think of something.

  41. Nach says:

    Thank you Essel and Ninja Dodo. Thanks to you, and before the files disappeared, I managed to get:
    Gordon Wallace
    Hal Barwood
    Harvey Smith
    Marc LeBlanc
    Matthew Bellows
    Mike Morhaime
    Patricia York
    Warren Spector

    Unfortunately I don’t have the web hosting to put them up for everyone, but if someone is compiling a collection to share… :)

    The one’s I’m missing are:
    Paul Weaver
    Richard Hilleman
    Seamus Blackley
    Tim Willits
    Richard Garriot

  42. Ninja Dodo says:

    How about Bittorrent though? That should be feasible.

  43. nabeel says:

    I can up the Paul Weaver one … on rapidshare or something? o__O; I got a couple others but it seems you guys got that covered already.

    Torrent’s a great idea for the whole lot, if anyone can sort that out.

  44. Richard says:

    The Gordon Walton one is fantastic, at least from a game history point of view.

  45. Ninja Dodo says:

    The Paul Weaver torrent is only 25 mins… Is that the whole thing? All the others are like 2 hours.

  46. nabeel says:

    :X I dunno actually, it was only 40 MB when I was getting it, so I dunno if the file was incomplete on their end or what.

    Now that I’ve started watching these, I’m getting that tingling feeling about seeing something important. I find stuff like this absolutely and utterly fascinating, and I love how candid it is. I’d give anything to attend things like this.


  47. Ninja Dodo says:

    If you’re ever in the North of the UK around February the Animex festival has a similar vibe (or at least has done the couple times I attended it).

    I agree this is great stuff. Just finished uploading all the ones I have to my temp space so hopefully someone else can fill in the gaps.