Footage, Info On Spielberg’s Cancelled Game

1up has the scoop on Spielberg’s cancelled project with EA, the game best known as Project LMNO, as well as an early “visual target” video which I’ve embedded after the jump. It’s all pretty fascinating stuff, but I’ll summarise.

Project LMNO was to be a contemporary game where your character first breaks an alien-looking girl called Eve out of a military base, and then you spend the the game fleeing the FBI, with the girl fighting alongside you and evolving depending on how you treat her. She wouldn’t have been able to speak, but in times of need would be able to project images into your mind. The team use the example that “storm clouds would appear when she was in trouble.”

The article goes on to describe the kind of hot/cold response training we saw in Black & White. The player would have had to reward or discourage Eve for her actions with gestures. There’s also stuff like this:

Eve also had an extra joint in each leg, allowing her to move around more nimbly than people like Lincoln, and the idea was players would only spot this briefly early on in the game, when she jumped five meters into the air or crawled through a duct. The spoiler was, as the game went on, players would discover that Eve wasn’t actually an alien but an evolved human from thousands of years in the future who had traveled back through time. “Part of the commentary there is that humans from 10,000 years from now would be like aliens to us, and we might be like aliens to people in the past,” says a former team member. “And what does that mean for the future of the species?”

“I know some of the possible endings they talked about were like her betraying you and turning you in to the government, saving herself, or you actually at a critical juncture deciding to give her back to the government,” says someone close to the game. “So there were some bad endings that would have been interesting to try out.”

As for why the game was cancelled, it’s all immensely depressing. First of all, a planned feature of LMNO was to have highly tactile running, jumping and climbing, with the player very aware of their own body. Meaning, the same thing DICE was doing with Mirror’s Edge, which was being developed at the same time under EA.

Come October 2008, EA laid off most of the LMNO team. On the subject of the layoffs, the article says this:

Everyone we spoke to has a different list of reasons why, but they all include some form of “the game tried to do too much.” It wanted to define a new type of combat, a new type of movement, new types of character interactions, emotionally-charged characters, an experimental length, new replayablity options, and various other ideas, all within a grand story. Some involved estimate it would have taken another two years to finish what the team started (which would put it in stores right about now). Others say it would never have gotten there without streamlining the ambition.

Gurgh. I am suffused with pale, 9 a.m. rage. Anyway, here’s that “visual target” footage.


  1. HidesHisEyes says:

    Looks so good! :(

  2. Atic Atac says:

    Looks like this would have been an awesome game. ICO/Prince of Persia (reboot) style with Mirror’s Edge elements? Count me in.

    • Diziet says:

      My first thought was ico/mirror’s edge. Looked very promising from that all to brief clip.

  3. Giant, fussy whingebag says:

    Ah good old publishers: “Curbing ambition since 7000BC”.

    • BobsLawnService says:

      Sounds like EA gave them ample opportunity to create a game on the creative types terms. Unfortunately as is often the case they bit off more than they could chew. Over two years should have been enough time to get this game in reasonably good shape – instead they were still busy prototyping neat ideas. EA had every right to pull the plug when they determined that the title was on track to become either vapourware or a very expensive mistake.

      Remember folks, unbounded creativity is fun and all, but ultimately the decision makers had a responsibility to ship a product and make a profit.

      Hats off to EA for giving them a decent shot at proving that there was a product somewhere in there. Unfortunately they couldn’t.

    • Dreamhacker says:

      Now, what they COULD have done was to salvage their investments by downsizing the game and relasing something that didn’t include 100% of the original vision but parts of it. That way, we would have gotten a game with more innovation than usual and EA’s money wouldn’t be wasted.

    • Boris says:

      And in doing so getting the “WTF? Only eight hours? That’s not a full gaem!” that Mirrors Edge got.

    • Anonymousity says:

      Oh it’s obvious that the designers were incapable of setting themselves reasonable limits and games with boundless ambition never go off like they should, bloodlines with it’s many bugs and mediocre second half is one example. Keeping that in mind it would be nice if they hadn’t pulled the plug and seen them pull through and have the game out now.

  4. lemming77 says:

    Sounds like it would have been interesting to see how it turned out. It’s a shame we’ll never know.

  5. Theory says:

    EA: “We aren’t cool enough to publish this.”

  6. Nickless_One says:

    What a shame.

  7. battles_atlas says:

    On the plus side for its cancellation, Spielberg would have made a great game and then ruined it all with 10 minutes of gag-on-your-own-vomit schmaltz at the end. If only Kubrick had got to make a game.

    • AndrewC says:

      The end of AI was Kubrick’s, and is not happy!

    • Rich says:

      Are you talking about Speilberg written films, or directed ones?
      If directed or produced, I suggest you clench your cheeks, as your arse appears to be talking.

    • Nick says:

      “The end of AI was Kubrick’s, and is not happy!”

      It works best if you turn it off after he goes underwater.

    • AndrewC says:

      The underwater ending is sad but still romantic. The far future ending is far colder and pessimistic. The underwater ending is the Speilberg ending, the far future the Kubrickian ending.

      I am right about this, because I spoke to Stan about it just last week. He’s not dead, you see, just really embarrassed about Eyes Wide Shut.

    • battles_atlas says:

      @ AndrewC

      You seem to be agreeing with me, in the format of disagreeing with me. Confused.

      @ Rich

      The Terminal.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Spielburg’s name is a warning sign anyway.

      The lol-evolution is pretty goddamn trite, too. And apparently at some point we’ll lose our vocal cords! Helpful.

    • stahlwerk says:

      The Dig (to some degree), Medal of Honour, Boom Blox… Spielberg’s game track record is more consistent than i.e. John Romero’s.

    • Xercies says:


      Thats weird because they seem like they re the other way around. The Alien ending is very schmalzy really. I still love the movie though.

      And any Steven Spielburg movie…sure lately his endings have been a bit shite(oh god war of the worlds made no sense and really made a powerful moment in the film not that powerful) but he is definitly one of the better film auteurs around.

    • AndrewC says:

      @Xercies: That’s not his real mum. or even his real-fake mum. Humanity is dead. All those human emotions we seem to think the world revolves around are now solely represented by a toy machine that was programmed to simulate ‘love’. It looks like a super happy Spielbergian ending on the surface, but the context – of post-human AIs dispassionately observing this strange, and now irrelevant, behaviour – is everything.

    • KillahMate says:

      Why do people assume those are aliens? The ending is massively cold and totally Kubrickian. It’s almost as if people intentionally misread it just so they can dump on the ‘Spielberg schmaltz’.

    • Mad Hamish says:

      Also the ending to Paranormal Activity was Spielbergs idea after the original ending tested badly. These days he’s almost doing enough to undo all the great things he has done in the past. But on topic this game sounded really interesting. I would have given it a shot anyway.

    • Vandelay says:

      On Paranormal Activity, I actually didn’t realise he had a hand in it.

      I only recently saw the first film. When I watched the “alternate ending” (what I assume is the original ending) on the DVD, I thought the replacement smacked of someone realising they had a money opportunity and wanted a sequel from it. The original ending was vastly more consistent with the rest of the film and much more powerful then the ending they went with. If they had of combined the guy getting flung at the camera with the woman killing herself, it would have been a great ending.

      Of course, it is unsurprising it tested badly. Good things always test badly.

    • Lukasz says:


      What’s wrong with Terminal’s ending. It was very good in my opinion.

    • Angry Internet Man says:

      AI was brilliant. Also there were no aliens at the end of AI. You will not appreciate the movie until you wrap your head around that.

    • Starky says:

      Indeed, the whole reason the “aliens” cared for the boy is they wanted to know more about their creators – they were super advanced robots created by man.

      Also the “future” ending WAS NOT Spielberg’s ending – Kubrick was NOT going to end it underwater on a downer – that ending was part of the original script/treatment, the way Kubrick would have done it had he lived.

      Spielberg may not be perfect, and all his movies may not be masterpieces – but a good sodding chunk of them are – he’s easily in the top 5 of film makers/directors of all time.
      Probably top 3 – with Scorsese and Hitchcock – and is by far the most successful of them all.

      Fans of film and cinema love Scorsese and Hitchcock films – everyone loves Spielberg films.

  8. Wyrm says:

    ARISE FROM THE GRAVE! (and rescue my daughter)

  9. Fetthesten says:

    LMNO, four capital letters printed in gold.

    Yeah, this sounds promising. Hopefully someone will pick up those ideas and implement them in an interesting way.

  10. Anonymous Internet Angryman says:

    That would have been such an amazing game. :(

    The only thing comforting me is the use of the word “suffuse” in the article.

    • Eclipse says:

      It’s a mellifluous word isn’t it? Let’s make it our daily word, would you? Tomorrow we’ll go with mellifluous.

  11. Alex Bakke says:

    That’s… That’s actually a really, really original concept. Not just for a game, but for a story.

  12. stahlwerk says:

    This is not how evolution works.

    But anyway, more games should at least try to acknowledge your avatars body. The floating gunhand is becoming more and more silly.

    • futage says:

      It is, surely (or could be), when we mess with it ourselves? Which is presumably what we’ll do.

    • stahlwerk says:

      Hm, I can see “bigger eyes” and “slender, better limbs”* as a reasonable target for artificial speciation, but “big pointy head”?
      “Congratulations Mrs Futurewoman, your embryo has a freakishly large head, just as you ordered. Have a nice giving-birth!”

      *) Although I highly doubt that adding another joint to our legs – I guess what they mean is to reintroduce the quadruped-style of walking on the toes instead of the sole – would be desirable or even practical, since well, we did fine without for some millions of years.

    • CMaster says:

      Indeed, I think “evolution” couldn’t really have much to do with it. 40 generations isn’t going to produce any big changes, especially when changes to Homo Sapiens Sapiens over the past million or so years have been fairly small and that’s often been under environmental pressure that’s at least equal to what we could conceivably face in the future.

      As for the game – nice ideas and all. I’m inclined to suspect that the ones who shut it down thinking it wasn’t going to be realisable are right however.

    • CMaster says:

      Oops, 10,000 years. That’s getting on for 400-500 generations. Still not very long, evolutionary wise.
      Also, thinking back to my second point there, I guess if we want to see exciting, blockbuster, genre-defining games, people need to take the risk on ambitious games that might never be realised – because some of them will make it to the end, will acheive at least a noticable proportion of what they want. And those will be the games we’re still talking about 10 years later.

    • Ravenholme says:

      @ Stahlwerk

      Welll, actually, I’m a zoologist, so.. it’s entirely reasonable to suggest that pointy heads are a mutatory and unrelated side-effect that arose with some massively advantageous selective feature (Telepathy for these guys?) and was thus selected for simply by dint of being attached, if unrelated, to the better feature.

      Survival of the Best Adapted, not Survival of the fittest.

    • Starky says:

      I prefer “survival of the decent enough”.

    • Ninja says:

      Also, another thing to note is, if you consider the human element, mutating to something completely different within 10,000 years isn’t hard to believe at all. Look at what we did with dogs, essentially morphing them to our every whim and desire. It’s not improbable to think that we would eventually be capable of doing a similar thing with ourselves in the future.

      As for the game, it was an ambitious project, but that doesn’t mean it would have been a good game. I remember hearing about spore, and thinking about how awesome of an idea it was. Then years and years later I pick it up, play it for a few hours and never pick it up again. Sometimes I wish it would have been canceled just so I could think about how awesome it COULD have been, rather than how disappointing it was.

    • jsdn says:

      @Ninja but why would we want/need to? Why would we want an extra joint in our legs to supposedly jump higher? If we have the medical science to mutate our genes so thoroughly in 10,000 years, I’d think we could amplify our abilities far more effectively through outside means with equal advances in quantum physics and engineering.

      Basically, something really crazy needs to happen in 10,000 years for us to want to jump higher and make localized storm clouds. The only way I could think to explain it is that medical science is still not perfect in 10,000 years and there’s a massive radiation/virus epidemic that forces certain mutations on us. Maybe the storm cloud thing is just a future pop culture invention, like mood rings or something.

      Meh, I KNOW that they didn’t think that much into it, especially with a name like “Eve”.

    • DrazharLn says:

      If we assume human directed “evolution”, then any of the changes are reasonable.

      If this were hard sci-fi, I would expect the “telepathy” to be explained by some mechanism, probably involving inducing currents in the brains of others (why not, given sufficient knowledge of the brain?). Perhaps this device requires some space? Hence the larger head.

      More plausible would be that the head, eyes and legs are adaptations with little to no practical benefit. They were chosen for style, or perhaps on a whim.

      If you also make the assumption that the human race is not homogeneous in 100,000 years time these assumptions seem perfectly plausible to me.

      Far more plausible than any natural selection theory or a contrived justification of their practical worth.

  13. Headwoünd says:

    It’s very true, though: the project’s scope must have been massive, as well as the number of unknown variables concerning how it would do on the market.

    Games have to be developed within time, quality and budget. It’s a fragile balance and from the sound of it, the risk simply was to high in LMNO’s case.

    Don’t hate on the guys canning it or similar projects for now – there was a high probability of it turning out to be a hugely expensive loss. Just take Mirror’s Edge, which focussed on one of LMNO’s core features, wasn’t able to really deliver it on time and didn’t do well financially.

    • stahlwerk says:

      I don’t disagree with you, but Mirror’s Edge® did not do that bad in terms of sales, quoth wikipedia:

      The developers initially projected a total of three million copies of Mirror’s Edge to be sold,[66] but in February 2009, Electronic Arts reported sales of over one million.[67] Updated sales data indicate that the game has sold over two million copies worldwide, with over 750,000 of those copies sold in North America alone. The iPhone version has sold more than 37,000 copies and a Mac version is currently in development slated for release in late 2010.

    • Anonymous Internet Angryman says:

      I know I may be being a bit pessimistic here, but that kind of thinking would never have lead to something like Planescape: Torment being released.

      Modern Combat Warfare X: More Guns, priced at $99 ?

    • Headwoünd says:

      I’ll go with the “those were simpler times” card if I may. =)

    • Anonymous Internet Angryman says:

      Fair game. :)

  14. fearian says:

    Over reaching game cancelled in place of my now favourite game of all time?

    I’m cool with that.

  15. Hamish Todd says:

    Jason Rohrer was brought in as a consultant for this game, and Doug Church was as closely involved with it as Spielburg. Rest In Peace.

  16. Bornemannen says:

    It has slowly started to dawn on me that the games industry of today is becoming more and more Hollywood-like, gone are the days of innovation and instead we end up with the same crap in different dresses…. Everything new that comes out is just another bad imitation of something that’s already on the market, heck even old games that were innovative and fresh in their time get the old FPS or “streamline” treatment and end up being bland and meaningless…
    Maybe I’m getting too old to be a gamer or maybe it’s just that it is impossible for someone with really good ideas to stay in control of their product when dealing with the big publishers.
    I am kinda hoping that what Notch has done will make people realize that innovation is what it is all about, if a guy can make millions on an alpha version that only shows how big the demand is for something that does things just a little bit differently.

    • MKharris says:

      The games industry has followed the same path as the movie industry, only much more rapidly.
      I guess the brutal fact is that for the mainstream publishers it is now truly an “industry” and as such inextricably focused on return on investment, and subsequently risk-aversion and preference for easy sequels and paint-by-number productions.

      The redeeming hope for PC gaming is that independants and small developers can seek funding directly from the target audience, get publicity, and self-publish far more easily that an indie film maker could.

      It is truly inspiring how the PC gaming community (largely dismissed by the big publishers as pirates and financially untendable market) has been prepared to volunteer huge amounts of money into projects like Dwarf Fortress and Minecraft.

      If publishers and developers show real enthusiasm and imagination the community will support them heavily. I for intend to buy Rock of Ages even if it turns out to be shite, simply because I want ACE to be able to carry on trying new things.

  17. Bill says:

    Ah, that looks great. Definitely a shame that one’ll never see the light of day.

  18. Kast says:

    Damn… that would have been nice. Real nice.

    *A single tear roles down one cheek – the one illuminated by the set lights. Oscar please.*

  19. SnallTrippin says:

    This article en-saddens my soul.

  20. Tei says:

    In before peolpe say that humans will not evolve that much in only 10.000 years. You can take into account a dictator doing programed dna engineering to create a super army, or a super country. You can’t expect nature to do this in 10.000 years, but humans are capable of the worst.

    Also, since the DNA is spaguetty code, any change will probably have some horrible side effects. About all the first metahumans will be really sad and poor people with terrible pains :-/ not a nice thing (hence… the need for a dictator or other horrible person to do it).

    • Shadow Aspect says:

      My vote for Tei as Overlord.

    • BooleanBob says:

      Swap genetics for nanorobotics and, happily, we’ve summarised the setting of Deus Ex. It does not surprise me that Tei’s brain works in the same way as Warren Spector’s (they’re probably both at a higher state of evolution, right?).

    • Wandered In says:

      Hey, remember: Evolution is non-directional. No “Higher evolution,” just “later” and different. It all depends on teh environment (or, in this case, probably bio-engineering).
      Also, I doubt telepathy would be the result of evolution anyway, or anything else, for that matter.

  21. The Sombrero Kid says:

    i feel bad for the key people involved, i see the post looking glass era where former luminaries of the games industry are forced to work on iphone games, crippled to inventiveness by their low price points as the dark ages of the games industry.

  22. AndrewC says:

    Also: would.

  23. goatmonkey says:

    I am sad looks awesome I want more mirrors edge style stuff and this added more on top of that

  24. indirectx says:

    I’m confused. Was this supposed to be Splice the game?

  25. Jabberwocky says:

    Wow, a 28 second clip of non-game footage, a paragraph of story, and a few feature buzzwords, and everyone is convinced this would have been the best game of all time. How quickly you sell your allegiance!

    There’s a huge difference between a cool idea, and a good game. EA canned it because it wasn’t turning into a good game (at least, not within any reasonable budget). Probably a smart move.

    • Okay says:

      Totally agree. Half the people here seem to be toking on a crack pipe.

    • stahlwerk says:

      Why won’t you let us have our phantasies about what could have been? *cries a little*

    • LionsPhil says:

      And it’s not even good fake game footage. It’s a cutscene with no more than a QTE’s worth of interactivity (PRESS X TO PUSH ROSE), followed by a leadup to generic FPS brawling. How “cinematic”. Yawn.

      And call it shallow, but for a target render it’s pretty hideously animated. That humvee, yikes.

    • Lilliput King says:

      Are we supposed to judge pre-game concepts based on how good the final games are?

      Seems difficult.

    • The Hammer says:

      Excellent point, ‘King.

      It’s a shame because you often see really, really neat ideas in games -like tactile body movement – not taken up by other developers because of how badly the first game deploying them was received. I want to play more games like Mirror’s Edge, where you’re in control of your body, but 7/10 scores and poor sales has meant noooooo.

      It’s alright to applaud great ideas in games, because we want to see more of them, even if the first bunch of games that feature them fall short.

    • Urael says:

      Jabberwocky: “There’s a huge difference between a cool idea, and a good game. EA canned it because it wasn’t turning into a good game (at least, not within any reasonable budget). Probably a smart move.”

      Wait, let me try and understand what you’re saying here. You want to put your faith (no pun intended, Mirrors Edge fans) in a quality decision made by…Electronic Arts? They of the iterative production-line sports games, ultra-conservatism, and a shed-full of ruined franchises/development houses? One of the *least* ambitious companies in game development?

      My vote goes to Spielberg.

    • Zogtee says:

      Jabberwocky wrote:
      “EA canned it because it wasn’t turning into a good game (at least, not within any reasonable budget).”

      Yes, because EA knows good games.

      Oh, Jabberwocky, how mercilessly you jest.

    • Starky says:

      Billions of dollars revenue and decades of quality games suggest that they might.

    • MacD says:

      I have to say though: EA have been very good post EASpouse; Mirror’s Edge, Spore, a couple of others I can’t recall.

      EA has been using it’s franchise money to bet on innovative new games. It really is a shame that that didn’t pan out to a financial blockbuster. Mirror’s Edge could have been that, had they just focussed on the freerunning, done that in a more open-world environment and nixed the irritating forced-combat bits.

  26. stahlwerk says:

    Oh, I guess we all forgot to acknowledge the large pachyderm in the room, that the premise sounds a lot like Bioshock Infinite’s, doesn’t it?
    Any shared ancestry, personel wise?

    • The Sombrero Kid says:

      Ken Levine is an ex looking glass employee, his old company irrational worked pretty closely with looking glass.

      Doug Church & Randy Smith were basically two of the main components of looking glass’ success (or lack of if you prefer) & they were the leads on this.

  27. Flimgoblin says:

    is it just me that reads LMNO as “Laughing my nose off”?

  28. bill says:

    THat sounds rather awesome. Better than most of the stuff that does get released.
    Note to EA: mistake.

  29. Shazbut says:

    Forgive my ignorance, but instead of cancelling the entire project, couldn’t they have “streamlined the ambition” like it says and not tried to reinvent the wheel in every area of development? Surely there must have been some warning before the plug was pulled.

  30. RagingLion says:

    This sounds really good :( I would have been all over this in a big way.

  31. Ricc says:

    Ignorance is bliss… now I’m sad. :( But the potential for future AAA goodness of this kind makes me happy again. :)

  32. Spliter says:

    Damnit, this looks like it would have been a really interesting game. I can’t stand it when a project is cancelled because it was too ambitious, It’s Steven Spielberg we’re goddamn talking about!

  33. Noterist says:

    It sounds to me like this game was trying to be too ambitious. I still wish something came out of it though. Perhaps if they’d dropped the parkour element and stuck to what sounds like the strengths of the project (AI interaction, emotion and replayability) and continued in preproduction (for like another 3 years, who’d approve that) it could have become something brilliant.

    It’s one of those games where the initial idea is so strong that you just need to get something out of the door that you can then iterate on. The first release is somewhat of a failure, but the sequels can then make strides towards the original vision.

    I’m going to use Mirror’s Edge as an example here, so many people were hyped for this and while the final game wasn’t the be all and end all of video games it’s sequel already has a foot in the door and so much potential beyond that. Will the commercial failure of the first game kill it off though?

  34. DrGonzo says:

    I actually thought it looked a bit shit. That was their target video yet it didn’t look good. I’m not sure how they would ever have reached their goals without just having it all scripted. I imagine the cancellation came because the development wasn’t getting anywhere.

  35. Kardrion says:

    This game concept reminds me of the universe created in Darwin’s Radio by Greg Bear. Some seriously awesome hard science fiction there.

    On the subject of the game being canceled, what we’re seeing is the tension that exists between profitability and innovation (which is interesting because capitalist systems are specifically lauded for their ability to produce innovation — because the assumption is made that the market is controlled to prevent resource monopolies and high entry costs, when in reality it tends towards the consolidation of power). Sometimes games that may end up being failures in any capitalistic metric are actually successes in the way in which they advance the art form, and I would like to think that it’s still possible for this kind of innovation to occur within the games industry (as distinguished from the much broader gaming community), rather than being relegated to indie developers. Whether this game would have actually succeeded at doing this is an open question obviously, since we won’t ever see the final product, but it does raise some interesting issues.

  36. Dave says:

    ET: Spielberg, and guys trying to capture an alien while holding guns walkie talkies.

    LMNO: Spielberg, and guys trying to capture an alien while holding a cell phone.

  37. Gabbo says:

    Concept sounds amazing, but we’ll never know now.

  38. Davie says:

    So they just came out and said it then. “We could have made a game with complex characters, an engaging story, a groundbreaking combat system, and generally a bunch of things that were completely new and innovative, but it was too much work so we gave up.” Well, at least they’re honest. If still a bunch of oversized Generic Engines designed to pump out bog-standard FPSs until the end of time. Innovation pays. Bastards.

  39. gigantichorseschlong says:

    do want…. but will never have :(

  40. Pantsman says:

    God dammit. Reading the article, it’s apparent that this game was a collection of brilliant ideas that was killed because it didn’t lend itself to a rigid, narrow evaluation process.

    God dammit, EA.

  41. Kristian says:

    Seen this before.. someone has had a vision which could never be turned into a game but sounds really exciting on paper..

    it just prolly got canceled after burning twice the amount of it’s preproduction money and still turning out not ready for production…

  42. MadMatty says:

    Spielberg is the Stephen King of Movies.

    He´s not even near my top 20 directors, but tends to produce material of uneven popularist quality, and tends to bring a lot of Hollywood buck$.
    His best film was no doubt Schindlers list, but i did like most of AI….
    xpcet for the “Schmaltz” ? new word for me here, but it sums it up pretty nicely- dammit, he´s nearlo got more Schmaltz in his stuff than modern Disney movies.

    Someone bring me a car sickness bag.

    Yo Spielburg- Drop the Smaltchz-
    Sincerly your buddy from Europe 31556

  43. Kieron Gillen says:

    As Sombero said – the thing which excited me about this is that Randy Smith and Doug Church were involved. That’s really an enormous thing.

    EDIT: As in “The guy who most people credit with the core Looking Glass philosophies and designer of System Shock” with “the guy who did some of the best Thief stuff ever”.