Warren Spector’s most famous and best-loved games marry role-playing game elements and immersive 3D combat, with a special focus on player choices and the in-game consequences that follow from those choices.
From the cyberpunk action of System Shock (1994) to the broad, dynamic conspiracy-theorist paranoia of Deus Ex (2000), Spector’s games have always prized freedom, establishing a few concrete rules and tools and allowing the player to employ their own ingenuity in overcoming the game’s challenges.
After graduating from Northwestern University in Illinois, Spector gained a Masters degree from the University of Texas with a thesis on the history of Warner Bros. cartoons. He was intent on becoming a film critic but instead landed a job as an Associate Game Editor at Steve Jackson Games, where he also served as editor of the company’s magazine Space Gamer. Spector was soon developing board games and role-playing games for the company, supervising development and typesetting. He left Steve Jackson Games to develop titles for TSR, including Top Secret/S.I. (1987). In 1989, Spector joined the computer games industry at Origin Systems, where he worked on games including Ultima VI: The False Prophet (1990), Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss (1992), Ultima VII: Serpent Isle (1992), and System Shock (1994).
In 1996 Spector left Origin to create an Austin studio for Looking Glass Technologies, then in 1997, after the closure of that studio, he founded Ion Storm Austin. There he worked on the seminal and immersive Deus Ex (2000), widely considered one of the finest PC games ever created. In 2004, Spector left Ion Storm and, a year later, announced the creation of a new studio, Junction Point, which would be working on a platform game dubbed Disney Epic Mickey (2010), based on the classic animated films of Disney’s mascot.