electronic old men
Posted by ceski on Sep 10th, 2011
A number of you have been asking how the Deus Ex Unreal Revolution mod came about, so I thought I'd post this message I wrote earlier in case I'm unable to respond to you in a timely manner.
I started the mod about two weeks before Deus Ex: Human Revolution came out, around the time that people were posting videos of themselves playing the leak. I was able to piece together what the first level looked like from these videos. It was also around this time that I came up with the jokes in my head.
I had no idea how to use UnrealEd or program in UnrealScript. The extent of my knowledge in modding was a few goofy Half-Life maps I made like 10 years ago. The only programming language I really know is MATLAB, which is really just a simple version of C++ for engineers. So I just started reading tutorials on the Unreal Wiki and from Tack's Deus Ex Lab to find out what I could and coudn't do with the engine and my experience.
I decided that I would just make a parody video and started editing dialog. Some crazy guy on GameFAQs transcribed every line of dialog from Deus Ex into a text file, so I used that to match words from extracted sound files. In some cases I had to do a bit of audio massaging (I think every instance of "DLC" is a combination of "deal" and "JC").
For the gameplay additions, I tried to use what Ion Storm had already programmed and tweaked things to my needs. Without getting too technical, here's an example: they already had cinematic code that they used in the game but they locked it down for use in just predefined "outros" of every mission. I adapted that code to have the camera follow a path that updates dynamically for each takedown, doing its best to avoid clipping through geometry. It's a lot of boring vector math.
By the time I sat down to make the video, I was compeletely sick of the jokes I had written and no longer had perspective on it. I tried my best to remember those first laughs I had a month earlier, and to trust that instinct. The response has been great to see. A lot of people are strongly opinionated on the topics of DLC and modern vs classic game mechanics.
I noticed that despite the differences in opinion, both sides found the video entertaining. The fact that nearly everyone got a laugh at something so polarizing is the best result I could have hoped for.