Centaurs have two ribcages

19 Apr 2024

Deus Ex - Where Are They Now?

Where Are They now? A new article series

Introduction, and why I am starting this series

Deus Ex Cover Art


The purpose of this series is to look at developers, writers, designers, etc. of popular games to see where they are now and what they have made in the decades since their “prime.” I am starting off with the Deus Ex development team because Deus Ex is one of my all-time favorite video games due to its philosophical narrative, immersive gameplay(especially for the time), and funny moments. It remains, to this day, to be the most interactive experience that I have ever had in a game.

Its a masterclass in game design, and the people who worked on it have gone on to work on other projects. I feel like it would be great to highlight these projects, so that people can see where “the people have gone” and showcase their lesser known “new works.”

updates it was pointed out to me that Alexander Brandon did not compose Human Revolution, and I corrected my mistake. He is credited in the game because he worked on a single track in the “bob Page ending” and I mistakenly thought he did more than thatsource.

I also reworded Robin Todd’s piece of the article to better reflect how they were involved with different projects, as the way I had previously written it implied that they were a producer for Redfall, when they were a writer.


Warren Spector

Warren Spector


The director of Deus Ex was Warren Spector. He is a legend in the video game industry. The titles/series most famous with his name attached are:

  • Wing Commander

  • System Shock

  • Thief: Deadly Shadows(he left this title before completion, but he had considerable influence over the direction of the project)

  • Ultima Series

  • Epic Mickey

  • And of course, Deus Ex

In October 2023, he wrote an article detailing his story for his 40th anniversary of game design. He is working on a new project called Argos: Riders on the Storm, but has kept his lips tight as to what kind of game this is. Hopefully he will knock it out of the park, and really amaze us. Only time will tell. From his most recent statement as of this article, it seems as though it will be a multiplayer immersive sim. I am not big on multiplayer, but considering how games such as Helldivers, Left 4 Dead, Deep Rock Galactic, etc. have taken the world by storm it might work. I always thought of the immersive sim as a single-player only genre, but if he can pull this off it might truly be something worth playing.

He has two blogs, currently. One is Junction Point which was put to rest. You can read his old articles there, but he has since migrated to his new site, Gaming the System.


Deus Ex had three main writers. Sheldon Pacotti, Chris/Robin Todd, and Austin Grossman.

Sheldon Pacotti

Sheldon Pacotti was the head writer of Deus Ex, and according to his website he wrote most of the main script. Some of his works include Gamma which is a book with an eerily similar sounding plotline to Deus Ex, Demiurge which is a book in which all material reality has been transferred to the digital world, and Experiments in Belief. Of these three, Experiments in Belief is the only one that is readable for free.

  • books

Experiments in Belief is a collection of short stories written by Sheldon from 1990 to 2000, and they touch on cyberpunk themes such as dependence on pharmecuiticals, immortality, and similar. Its not all cyberpunk, but I can see why he was hired to write the project. It is free, and I think most of the stories are worth reading.

Demiurge is a novel written in 1996, but there was a new edition written in 2000 and another in 2014. I have not read it, but I am going to purchase it and write a review in a few weeks as time allows. From the description, it seems to ask the question “what would life look like if you could copy anything, even physical objects and people, for free? What would that do to society?” It looks like a real brain-scratcher and I can’t wait to pick it up and read it for myself. He offers it on Kindle and Nook, but also a copyright-free pdf for about six dollars.

Gamma is a book written in 2016, and takes place in a world where a new race of humans, the “transgenic race” are designed by biotech companies. Again, I have not yet read the book but I will be getting it and reviewing it along with Demiurge. From the Summary on his website alone, the book sounds a LOT like Deus Ex. Designer babies with enhanced abilities? Nanotechnology pushing humanity into an advanced but dangerous future? Sounds extremely familiar. I will definitely be picking this one up.

  • Games and software

Sheldon wrote a few pieces of software as well. A game called Cell Emergence that uses voxels, Game Blocks which is a game engine for 2d games, and Story Language which is a programming language for writing stories.

Cell Emergence has a free demo to check out. The full version is six dollars. Just like some of his previous work, it deals with themes of nanotechnology.

Game Blocks is free, but it is built for Scratch which I am not a fan of, personally.

Story Language doesn’t seem to be accessible. All links, including the ones on his official page, seem to be completely dead. I suppose Sheldon decided against making it public? Or perhaps it was accidentally deleted? This is a shame. I don’t see how a programming language would work for storytelling, but it would be interesting to see the attempt.

As for his professional works, his moby games page doesn’t have him listed on much. He recieved thanks on a few immersive sim games, but it seems that in the AAA game development sphere, he has only worked on Deus Ex 2 as a lead writer, and Little Strategy as a proffreader.

Despite not doing much in the AAA game market since Deus Ex, he has been a busy guy. I hope when I am his age, I will have made half as many creative personal projects as he.

Chris/Robin Todd

Chris Todd, now Robin Todd, was the writer that put together all of the data cubes. While their role in the writing of Deus Ex was not quite as important as Sheldon Pacotti’s, datacubes usually reinforced the themes of Deus Ex, and included both fictional and real-life novels. They wrote flavor text to give the world a lot more color, and also included excerpts from G.K. Chesterson’s book “The Man Who Was Thursday” which includes several themes included in Deus Ex.

It is also important to note that they wrote the dialogue for the intro and outro cutscenes for the game(spoilers for the outro cutscenes, naturally). Originally they worked on Wing Commander 3source as a programmer.

They did have a personal website titled 7crows.com, but that site seems to be down at the moment. The latest snapshot on the wayback machine is on June 16, 2014. And really, you have to go back as far as 2012 to see anything besides a Twitter link. Not really sure why the site got taken down, but it seems a shame to me. With blogs, you can express yourself much more freely than on a social media website, for better or worse.

Since Deus Ex, Robin has since worked on games such as Redfall as a writer, and Destiny 2 as a producer. Also worked on the MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic. Moby Games lists their role as Production Team though I am not sure what that means. Additionally, they worked on Freelancer as a designer. source

As for their other creative works, I could only find sources on their old site, 7Crows. The main creative works they seem to have worked on solo are the comic Seraphim and Cyberpunk: The Seraphim Files. It seems they tried publishing a book called I Buy My Time Secondhand but I cannot find anything about it outside of the announcement on 7crows, so I assume it just never got published since their article said it was “under consideration.” There is an author on Goodreads called Chris Todd, but that author has published under that name even after Robin’s transition, and there seems to be no correlation with Robins work, so I assume that it is a different person altogether.

Austin Grossman

Austin Grossman worked on some of the dialigue of Deus Ex, and when looking at his personal website, him and Warren Spector seem to work on a lot of the same games and series. He wrote for games such as Dishonored, Dishonored 2, Neverwinter Knights 2, and Ultima Underworld 2. He was also a designer for System Shock.source

As for his creative endeavors, he has been super busy. He wrote a superhero novel titled Soon I will be Invincible, and is following it up with a sequel titled Fight Me on May 23rd, 2024. His other works include Crooked which looks like a lovecraftian horror book with Richard Nixon as the bad guy, and You: A Novel. You: A Novel seems to be a comedy sci-fi book about gaming, but the description doesn’t really tell me much about what the book is actually about.

Overall, it looks like Austin has been getting busy with his novels. The book about Richard Nixon sounds interesting, so I might pick that one up at some point.

level designers

Harvey Smith

Harvey Smith was the lead designer of Deus Ex, and has since worked with Ricardo Bare on games such as Weird West, Redfall, and Prey. He has a personal site but the last article he posted was in 2016. He did release a book titled Big Jack is Dead which is a book about a programmer with abusive parents. The concept sounds interesting and I may one day give it a shot. I had to go to his Twitter to find out anything about this book, which is surprising. I would think he would post about it on his blog as well.

Still, it looks like a good drama. I like that it takes place in Texas, and I am always down to read a story about programmers, even if it is fictional.

Marshall Andrews

Marshall worked on a few games since Deus Ex, but has mostly stayed to himself from the looks of it. According to Mobygames he worked as a playtester for System Shock: Enhanced Edition, which is a version of System Shock with quality of life improvements.

Ricardo Bare

This guy is very active in the game design world. He worked on Redfall(along with Robin and Harvey) and also was a designer for the game Prey.

Interstingly, he has produced two novels. Jack of Hearts, and Fool of Fate. He also wrote several short stories such as Worship Hymn, “The Rat Burner” and “Of Salmon’s Tails and Green-Eyed Girls.” The former two were both released in magazines and I do not know of any legal place to read them outside of those magazines, but if they are any good let me know.

You can view his personal website here but it doesn’t look like he keeps it updated.

Monte Martinez

He worked on several games that Ricardo and Robin have worked on. Redfall, Dishonored, etc. He doesn’t have a personal site that I could find, nor could I find any personal projects that he has put out.

Steve Powers

Same story. Worked in the same studios as Ricardo and Monte, so a lot of the same credits. Redfall, Prey, etc. He had a website in 2004 that contained some artwork and a picture of what is presumably his kid, but not much else.


Alexander Brandon

This man is a legend in the world of video game music. Not only did he make the music for Deus Ex, but he did music for Unreal Tournament, Jazz Jackrabbit, Wasteland 2, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, and much more. He has a Bandcamp where he releases his personal music for sale. Interestingly, he remastered the Deus Ex soundtrack as its own album Conspiravision alongside Michiel Van Den Bos. And I gotta say, it ROCKS. The full thing is available on Spotify but I recommend buying the album proper, to support him and Michiel.

Michiel Van Den Bos

Michiel only worked on the original Deus Ex game, but he is still working in the game music industry. Alongside Alexander he did the music for Unreal and Unreal Tournament. The most recent game that he composed music for is Sonic Dream Team, and Age of Wonders 4.

His Twitter lists a personal website(www.michielvandenbos.com/) but it returns a 404. Using the wayback machine we can see what it looked like but it immediately tries loading flash, and the latest post was in 2012 so there isn’t much to look at.

Daniel Gardopee

Daniel, alongside the previous two, worked on Unreal, Unreal Tournament, and Deus Ex. In the 24 years since Deus Ex, has mostly worked on the 2k sports games as an audio engineer.

He did, however, work on three albums with Mr. Brandon. AtmosphereS: Cultures, AtmosphereS: Moods and AtmosphereS: Pulses. However, for the life of me I cannot find these albums. Based on the cover art they seem right up my alley! If someone knows of a place I can purchase/listen to these albums, let me know!


There are many more people that worked on this game, but I think I got all the highlights. I cut out some “sections” such as programmers and artists because there just wasn’t anything interesting to talk about for those people in those sections, but they were just as vital to the game turning out as revolutionary as it did.

I was surprised to see how many people who worked at Ion Storm ended up working for Arkane! I suppose it makes sense, as Arkane is mostly known for Prey and Dishonored which are spiritual successors to games like Thief and Deus Ex. It is a shame that their latest game, Redfall, turned out to be a real stinker. However, considering their track record and how many people worked on amazing projects in the past, I hope that whatever they come out with next will be amazing.

As for the others, a lot of people ended up writing their own books and pursuing other creative personal projects. In the future, I want to purchase some of these novels, pieces of software and music, and talk about them here. Thats a little ways off, though.

image credits

  1. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/4/42/Dxcover.jpg

  2. By Official GDC - https://www.flickr.com/photos/officialgdc/52766574707/, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=130006812

"Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. ~1 Thessalonians 5:23"