Hope this isn't old:
UI/PC Game Design Q&A: DEUS EX: HUMAN REVOLUTION (PC)
As answered by:
Julien Bouvrais (JB)‐ Director of Technology, Eidos‐Montreal
Jean‐Francois Dugas (JFD)‐ Game Director, Deus Ex: Human Revolution
Jurjen Katsman (JK)‐ Founder and President, Nixxes
‐ What was your biggest challenge about developing Deus Ex: Human Revolution for
JB: Certainly the biggest challenge in developing Deus Ex: Human Revolution for PC
has been ensuring that the franchise lives up to the expectations of the gamers who have
been following the franchise since it started in 2000. The PC version of the game needed to
be a game in itself and not just of port of the console version.
JFD: The original Deus Ex was a PC game at its core and we wanted to make sure
Deus Ex: Human Revolution felt that way as well, even though it's a cross‐platform
game. Therefore, we took the time to go back to the original game, look at the
interface, the inventory mechanic, etc. Though Deus Ex: Human Revolution is a
different game, we wanted to recapture some of the look and feel of the original in
regards to these aspects. Our challenge was to make sure that we would get the time
and the resources needed to develop these distinctive features adapted for the PC
version, which we ultimately did.
‐ How close has the partnership been between the Eidos‐Montreal development
team and Nixxes in developing the PC version?
JB: While it is true that Nixxes is not working geographically in the same location as
the rest of the team, they are truly a part of the Eidos‐Montreal development team.
They are working in the same development branch as we are and we talk to each
other on a daily basis. Nixxes works hand‐in‐hand with the same design team that
takes care of the other versions. Eidos Interactive and Nixxes had a long history of
collaboration even before the Eidos‐Montreal studio existed. We needed an expert in
the PC field to partner with and we knew Nixxes was that developer.
JFD: We’ve been developing Deus Ex: Human Revolution on PC, Xbox 360 and PS3
simultaneously since the beginning, with the same level of importance. Nixxes
stepped in pretty far along in the project to give us a hand on the PC version because
by its very nature it’s the version that requires the most platform specific work and
we simply didn’t have the resources to assign dev team members to work on one
platform. Nixxes really has been a terrific partner and I feel very lucky to have been
able to enlist their talent and expertise.
‐ What do you want fans to know about the PC version?
JK: We really want them to know that Deus Ex: Human Revolution is a true PC game.
Yes, you will have a lot of options, no “press start” screen, full mouse support‐‐
everything we feel a PC game should have. Further, with the graphics, there are
multiple options for anti‐aliasing, shadow quality levels, and the ability to enable or
disable various post processing effects. All controls can be fully remapped as
expected from a PC game as well.
JFD: I want the fans to know that when they play the PC version that it won’t feel like
a console game with a keyboard and mouse... they’ll be playing a true PC game in
terms of the feel of the controls and gameplay.
‐ What is your favourite feature of the PC version?
JK: It is difficult to pick a favourite feature. There is a lot of cool stuff in the game. But
one thing specific to the PC version that we think is quite cool are some features we
have been working on with AMD. I can’t talk about these right now, but a video and
details will be released on Thursday. Let’s just say that they fully immerse players in
the Deus Ex: Human Revolution experience visually.
‐ Is there anything exclusive to the PC version? If so, please explain.
JK: Well, the main game is the same on all platforms‐‐ the same story, the same
endings. But, we do have additional graphics features and a different weapon
selection bar to tailor to the keyboard and mouse. There is a simple drag and drop
interface to bind things in your inventory to specific keys on your keyboard, making
them quickly accessible, and you can then also cycle through these with your mouse
scroll wheel while in‐game. For graphics, there are some unique features, like
smoother shadows, more realistic ambient occlusion effects, stereoscopic 3D‐‐
various things that the extra hardware allows us to do. Our focus has been making
sure that the game is built for the PC platform as well as possible.
‐ Can you explain a bit about the control scheme of the PC version?
JB: The game can be played either with a controller or with a mouse and keyboard.
The control scheme can be customized to the player’s liking. A lot of rework has been
done for the mouse and keyboard control. Every piece of the game UI has been
adapted for this. When you are playing a game on PC, you expect the pieces of UI
(button, controls, etc) to react with the mouse as opposed to tapping up and down
on a controller and then selecting your choice with the accept button. This was a real
challenge in the case of Deus Ex: Human Revolution because we use a lot of in‐game
UI. The hacking interface is a prime example of this. The team basically had to rethink
the control scheme of the hacking mini‐game, so that it made sense on PC.
JFD: We support controllers, of course, but we tried to stay as close as possible to the
control scheme of the original Deus Ex in terms of the mouse and keyboard. Of
course, it can't be totally the same since we have features like the cover system that
require their own scheme. So, the numeral keys are allocated to the items/weapons
and the F keys are allocated to the active augmentations, for example. One very cool
thing in regards to the control scheme that fans will enjoy is that they can use the
keypad on the keyboard to enter numbers like in the original Deus Ex.