Dev Box: Fracture’s Associate Producer Deke Waters

It usually takes a small army to create the video games that we play, and, most of the time, all of the focus gets put on the game itself, and not on the people that came together to make it. Our Dev Box feature takes a look at some of the unsung heroes that have committed their lives to entertaining all of us, and gives them a chance to answer some of our burning questions.

Name: Deke Waters
Title: Associate Producer
What you do: I was in charge of the single player campaign for Fracture. My main focus was on the design and creative side of the game.
Most recent game worked on: Fracture

1. What game has most influenced you, and why?

There have been a couple games that have influenced me over the years. “Interstate ‘76″ by Activision was the first game I remember playing that fully immersed me into the world. From the installer to the open world driving, down to the cup holders you could by to improve your steering, there wasn’t a moment in the game where you felt out of the world. Even the limitation of not being able to get out of your car was explained in the fiction as being too dangerous. More recent influences are “Gears of War” for action shooter, “Bioshock” (and “System Shock” before that) for its unique RPG elements and story telling, and the “GTA” series for sandbox gameplay and movie-style presentation.

2. What are you playing right now?

I just picked up “Dead Space” and “Fallout 3.” “Dead Space” is the just-before-bed gaming fix for me right now. “Fallout” is definitely more of a time investment. I’m also playing “Castle Crashers,” trying to finish “Devil May Cry 4″ and “GTA 4,” and whatever demos pop up on XBOX Live.

3. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about game development?

The single biggest lesson I’ve learned is that it’s better to plan for, and hit, short term goals than to plan for, and miss, long term ones. Seeing smaller, more frequent successes builds personal and team motivation much better than one singular end goal that may or may not be a success.

4. What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?

“Do what you love and success will follow” - My dad always told me this as a kid. I don’t think he explicitly meant that he wanted me to play games for a living, but I got the flavor of what he was saying, and so far, it’s worked out.

5. What do you think is the biggest problem that current games suffer from?

I think the biggest problem is that current games suffer from immersion and realism. We’re at a weird place with the current state of hardware and consoles where we’re just realistic enough to point out where we’re not. Animation, physics, sound, story, clarity of render are all getting to the point where its difficult to see the differences between in-game and real-life. However, games still struggle with pulling it all together. Its almost the norm for games with even the biggest budget to fall down on one of these axes of believability. I look forward to a future where pulling all the pieces together into a cohesive, immersive package is the norm rather than the rare gem.

Let us know what you think, and check back every week for more developer’s thoughts.

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