Deus Ex's Warren Spector Working on Underworld Ascendant

As creative advisor, Spector is excited about the game's Improvisation Engine.

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Deus Ex and Epic Mickey designer Warren Spector is acting as a creative advisor on the recently announced Kickstarter project Underworld Ascendant, developer Otherside Entertainment has announced.

"Warren has never been timid to challenge conventional thinking about game design, and as a creative advisor to our team he keeps us on our toes," Otherside Entertainment's Paul Neurath wrote in an update to the Kickstarter page.

In a new video, Spector also sings the praises of Underworld Ascendant's Improvisation Engine, which Neurath says underlies one of the most distinctive gameplay aspects of Underworld Ascendant.

"Most other games, even to this day actually rely on designers crafting clever puzzles, even puzzles have multiple solutions at times, but what Looking Glass did is really pioneer the idea that of creating simulated environments where players are given a small set of tools that have logical uses and the world responds to that tool use in logical but not pre-planned ways," Spector said. "We now have the tools and the computing powers to create simulations that are much deeper."

Neurath, who co-founded original Underworld studio Looking Glass, launched the Kickstarter campaign for Underworld Ascendant last week. The game is spiritual successor to 1993's Ultima Underworld II, the first to create a real-time 3D texture-mapped world and player-driven sandbox gameplay that inspired games like Thief and Deus Ex.

At the time of writing, the project has raised $345,131 out of a goal of $600,000 from 6,159 backers with 25 days to go.

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