Mary DeMarle Talks Deus Ex (DICE Europe 2017)

Mary DeMarle DICE Europe 2017

Here’s a chat I had with the absolutely delightful Mary DeMarle, narrative director of Eidos Montreal. She’ll be speaking at DICE Europe 2017 about maintaining motivation and innovation during long game development cycles. We talked about the challenges of reviving the Deus Ex franchise — bringing one of the most lauded IPs in PC gaming to a new audience more than a decade after the original release. Aside from talking to Mary DeMarle about Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, I had an excellent time enjoying her company. She was charming and fun. Yeah, yeah, I know you want to hear more about the game stuff, so here’s an excerpt from my interview with Mary DeMarle.

We didn’t know how to fail because we didn’t know how to do it. Everything we tried was an experiment to push us forward. There was a lot of excitement in that and there was a lot we learned from that. At the same time, we knew there was a lot of pressure. We were told by many — not just from the fans of the original games, but from the developers of the original games — “Don’t f*ck this up guys! Don’t f*ck this up.” That left us with a feeling of, “Oh no. We can’t f*ck this up.”

Some gamers had issues with a few of the endings in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. They felt that they were too vague and/or too open-ended. Personally, I loved having plot lines that left you wondering and imagining about the possibilities. There are too many stories in television and movies that are delivered in a ham-fisted way. The nuance in the Deus Ex games was refreshing. Mary DeMarle was kind enough to address this point.

It’s interesting that you ask that. My talk won’t be specifically about that, but will touch on it. It’s part of working on a project for so long and how you keep pushing to make it better. My talk will touch on those unresolved plot lines and how they came about due to the way we were working. I know that some of the fans were disappointed that some of the plot lines were left unanswered. If we had more time then perhaps we would have dealt with some of them differently, but that’s part of the issue with developing a creative game and trying to go farther.

I like making people think about things and I like having unresolved questions. Hopefully we can have a payoff for some of those questions in the future in some way. It’s fun stimulating the imagination of the player and having them figure things out. I enjoy having the player put the pieces together. I do wish we could have wrapped up a few plot lines a little bit better, but that’s what it is.

When you have a chance, kindly hit the link below to read the full interview with Mary DeMarle. I had a blast chatting with her and I hope you enjoy the article.