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    Warren Spector

    Person » credited in 34 games

    Warren Spector is a famous game designer whose work includes Deus Ex, Thief, Ultima Underworld I & II, and System Shock.

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    Early Life

    Warren Evan Spector was born in 1955 and earned a Masters of Art degree in Radio-TV-Film from the University of Texas and a Bachelors Degree in Communications from Northwestern University.


    Steve Jackson & Origin Era

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    Spector began working for Steve Jackson Games creating tradition role-playing games. While there, Spector, alongside Greg Costikyan, an old friend from high school, developed the game Toon. His next job was working for the R&D Department of TSR Inc, the creators of the Dungeons & Dragons games, where he worked on games such as Spelljammer and Top Secret/S.I.. He worked at Origin Systems and Looking Glass Studios on classic games like Ultima Underworld I and II , Thief: The Dark Project , and System Shock .

    Ion Storm Era

    Hall, Romero and Spector at Ion Storm
    Hall, Romero and Spector at Ion Storm

    After Origin and Looking Glass studios went defunct, he joined Ion Storm with John Romero , Tom Hall , Jerry O'Flaherty , and Todd Porter in November 15, 1996. He established Ion Storm Austin and developed the Deus Ex games and Thief: Deadly Shadows. Spector left Ion Storm in 2004, before the studio was closed by Eidos in 2005, stating that he wanted to pursue other interests outside the company.

    Disney Era

    He went on to create a new studio called Junction Point Studios , where he worked on a title being built on Valve 's Source engine. Junction Point was bought by Disney Interactive on July 13, 2007. He was the Game Director/Designer on Epic Mickey 1 & 2 and in January 2013, he left Disney Interactive following the closure of Junction Point Studios.


    In addition to making games Warren Spector teached classes on game development at the University of Texas. In a series of lectures and interviews he talked with various former colleagues and others about their careers in game development discussing such subjects as the history of Looking Glass, Origin and Deus Ex. The list of interviewees includes Harvey Smith, Marc LeBlanc, Mike Morhaime and Richard Garriott among others. Videos were briefly published online but were taken down due to a combination of bandwidth issues and rights not fully acquired, but as one might expect they were quickly collected and saved and are still available here among other places.

    OtherSide Entertainment

    Spector has also worked as Creative Advisor for OtherSide Entertainment since it's inception. In February 2016, OtherSide Entertainment announced Warren Spector would be joining the studio full-time as Studio Director.


    • Warren Spector was a huge fan of Disney prior to working for the company.
    • Despite working for them, Warren Spector has never been inside Disney's mysterious Club 33
    • Warren Spector owns two homes, one is filled with Disney memoribilia
    • Collects Disney pins, but considers his collection modest compared to some of the more avid collectors
    • Married to fantasy writer Caroline L. Spector
    • He credited Suikoden, particularly the first game, as a big influence on his work, even as early as the first Deus Ex (see here and here). He stated that the limited moral choices in the game, some of which turn out to be false choices, are what inspired him to explore the concept much further and attempt to offer meaningful choices that actually matter.
    • Modern choice-based role-playing shooters like Mass Effect and Fallout 3 are considered "descendants" of Deus Ex.

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