Posted on July 11 2015 by Alexis Anderson
At E3, Nintendo Life sat down for an interview with game producer and college professor Warren Spector. Best known for his work on the recent Epic Mickey titles and the original Deus Ex, Spector is now the director of the Denius-Sams Gaming Academy at the University of Texas. One of the courses he teaches focuses on management and leadership of a development team, and Spector admitted that he evokes Shigeru Miyamoto as a prime example of how to influence a team and get one’s creative image across accurately. He also praises A Link to the Past for its ability to execute a feeling of exploration in a game that has been planned out step-by-step.
For Spector’s quotes concerning Miyamoto and A Link to the Past, or to hear more about his program at the University of Texas, hit the jump!
Spector explained that his classes teach how leadership and management are distinct from one another as well as how to conceptualize a game and lead a team to create the final product you’re hoping for. A maximum of twenty students may take the class, and there are three instructors so a good amount of mentoring is available. Spector also puts an emphasis on individuality. He brings in guest lecturers, thirty three during last year’s program, all with differing ideals to give students a varied feel of the industry. “Because one of the big parts of the program is showing people that there is always more than one way to solve a problem. It’s just like the games I make.”
Spector feels that the idea of “choices with consequences” in games is very important. He believes video games shouldn’t be cut-and-dry, that there should be a number of ways to solve problems and a larger set of possible results. He wants players to have unique experiences and warns students, “…if your game is designed to show off how clever and creative you are as a designer, you have failed. I have no interest in you. Games are about how clever and creative players are.”
And this is where Miyamoto comes in. When asked whether he ever uses Nintendo legacy games as examples for the way his students should develop or direct their games, Spector replied:
“Well, there are a couple of answers to that. We certainly talk about Mr. Miyamoto, and how even when he is not the director of a game, he still exerts his influence. And we talk about how you can do that, when you’re not the person in the trenches, with the team, guiding the creative vision on a single game, how do you still exert your influence? So we talk about that.”
“We certainly talk about…I’m a Link to the Past guy. It’s maybe my favorite game. And so we talk about, in the Zelda games, how do you get that feeling of exploration in the context of a game that’s really about solving puzzles. Everything is kind of pre-planned. So how do you actually get that feeling of exploration and the magic of feeling like you’re exploring the real world?”
This, Spector shared in the first of his two-part interview with Nintendo Life. Stay tuned to Nintendo Life for part two, where Spector will talk more about Epic Mickey, his views on Nintendo, and some of the game designer’s aims for the future. How do you feel about Shigeru Miyamoto and the Legend of Zelda series being used as examples for enterprising game designers? What do you think about Spector’s gaming program? Do you share his same views concerning choices and consequences in gaming? Let us know in the comments!
Source: Nintendo Life