One of the most beloved and influential games on PC in the last decade has been Eidos and Ion Storm's ambitious Deus Ex
; a new postmortem tells the story of its mammoth seven-year conversion into The Nameless Mod
, an entirely new community-driven game.
Says Jonas Waever, who worked on the total conversion:
"The Nameless Mod for
Deus Ex, released nine years after Ion Storm's magnum opus, strives to reproduce the multilinear design and unique aesthetics that made Deus Ex such a widely beloved classic.
While expanding on
Deus Ex's core gameplay, the Nameless Mod also introduces players to an outrageous new world which is at once an homage to, and a satire of
Deus Ex, its community, and the internet at large."
Of course, things didn't go as smoothly as the enthusiastic amateurs -- now hoping to use the expertise gained during the project to create commercially viable indie games -- had hoped:
"It's unfortunate that we wasted so much time messing up and making bad design decisions. Part of this was because we didn't manage feature creep as well as we could have.
Part of it was because we got carried away with perfectionism, constantly recreating old assets to match our new standards. If we'd known what we were doing right from the start, TNM could probably have been released in 2006,"
To find out the pitfalls that caused the seven-plus year development cycle of The Nameless Mod, and to learn the successes that the team -- with surprising headers like "turning a joke into a setting" being in the win column -- check out the full feature
, available now on Gamasutra sister educational website GameCareerGuide.