In an interview with IGN UK, Junction Point founder and Epic Mickey and Deus Ex creator Warren Spector says that games are shaped more by what ideas developers cut out than they are by what is left in.
"I always say games are not about what you include in your game, they’re about what you cut; they always are," said Spector. "Ideas are easy. Everybody in the game business just has more ideas than they could possibly put into every game they ever work on in their lives."
"So what you do is you throw in everything you think is cool, everything you think is going to resonate with people, everything that people already care about, and then you start trimming things that don’t fit," he added.
He goes on to say that, while he is making the process of eliminating ideas sound like an easy task, it is not. He uses Deus Ex as an example of that, noting that removing features, subplots, and elements from that game was difficult at the time.
"I’m making it sounds like it’s easy, I mean, it’s not. It’s really, really hard to figure out what to cut, what not to include, but it’s just part of the process," he said. "Trust me, on Deus Ex there was a whole sub-plot involving the White House that I cut. There was a whole storyline about the Russo-Mexican Alliance storming across the border into Texas and taking over Texas. I mean, none of that ended up in the game, right? I knew what was happening in the asteroid belt while all of those events were happening in the world of Deus Ex on Earth."
Spector closes by saying that this kind of process happens with every kind of creative endeavor, whether it's a game, a film, or a novel.
Spector is currently hard at work on the follow-up to Epic Mickey.