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March 22, 2015


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Just wanted to say Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory was one hell of a game - the gameplay, the humour, the soundtrack, the storyline, everything! It was brilliant - I'm sorry to read how much you sacrificed for it with the memory loss you suffered. For what it's worth, you did a great job!

Thanks for making chaos theory. I played the first 4 splinter cells but was never able to finish the last level on the first one (or the dlc level I told held off on until i beat the last level), and I played a ton of multiplayer badly on the 2nd and fourth one, but chaos theory is the only one I ever finished. If you implied that that the other stories were not as coherent because of cuts or multiple visions, you're dead on. In every other splinter cell half the time I would start the mission and be "where the hell am i?". I would have to reload the save from the last mission and maybe, maybe, a character would say in one line quickly where I was headed next mission. But chaos theory always had a better flow between levels and within levels too. It made it harder to put down than the rest.

Hi Clint, 80 hour weeks...sounds insane and brutal. I can't believe this was even possible. Gotta say though, Chaos Theory is still the best in the series and one of the finest stealth games ever, and the script is huge part of it. Those interrogations are timeless. And the mission design...simply fantastic. Also, whoever chose Amon Tobin for OST made brilliant decision there.
Now I kinda wish I could play another game from you, been so long since FC2.

The more you unfurl about your time spent on CT, the more I appreciate it -- both you talking about it and the time you sunk into production. This piece and the episode of Tone Control where you spoke a bit about CT and FC2 were fantastic. I think they should be part of the required reading for anyone interested in the Inside Baseball angle of CT. It truly was a fantastic game. Like most fantastic games of a considerable production cost, you really start to consider how many individuals sacrificed their time and how much. As more is expected from the audience and the fidelity of everything (AI, visuals, interactions/systems, etc.) increases, so too does the individual sacrifice, I believe.

Also, I wanted to share a small bit about Blacklist's development. For a long time, internally (obviously) we used parts of Amon Tobin's CT soundtrack as placeholder until we got our soundtrack proper. The Abandoned Mill in London used The Lighthouse, for example.

Hah, it was actually Displaced, my bad. It seems I've had lapses in memory too.

Cool story. Good quality takes good sacrifice, i guess. One guy lost some of his memory, while millions (probably) got something that they will never forget. Fair trade if you ask me :P

absolutely love this game and I'm glad you gave up your brain so I could have it - curiously intimate

nailed it.

Feeling your pain my friend. I've gone through two extended stretches like that - both shorter than yours though - and am still torn about them. During the most recent I kept joking that it was so intense that I wasn't making any new long-term memories, and it was actually noticeably true while I was in it.

Having gone through these periods I'm not sure I'd do anything different now - there is something interesting and wonderful about exploring what you're capable of when singularly focused on a task for an extended duration. I suppose the key is to make sure you're in a position where you can take maximum benefit of the sacrifice, and to minimize the negative impact it could have on others.

OMG that was awe... no fucking hell no.

Everyone knows CD's are useless appendages. Replace every creative director with a stinking moosehead on the wall. Put a post-it on it that reads "Work Harder / Crunch Time!" The stink of the moose head will permeate the office and have the same effect as having a live creative director.

Holy crap can CD's take later lunches? Where the fuck do they go for lunch? Holy shitballs you realize everyone else ate at their desks right?

Creative directors are the ultimate dilbert promotion. You can't code? You can't do actual work? Can you eat lunch for three hours? CoooL!!!

This "article" better not be a pathetic wind-up to a kickstarter... Gin is expensive isn't it?

So funny to hear this story because I was 13 when this game came out and still remember picking up my pre-order, taking it home and unwrapping it. I can remember my first knife kill... oooohhh.

Now I'm 23 and work my own 80 hour work weeks in the creative industry. Who knows, that game could even be the reason I'm now an animator. So keep in mind that despite the precious chunk of your life you put into that game, you've changed my life. And I'm sure many others.

It's funny.. you probably think I'm being esoteric. But there's a complete linear path from my obsession with Splinter Cell to where I am now. It's ironic. Thanks for the great work mate.

You might have lost some memory but you gave good memories to thousands of people, and those will be never forgotten by us, thank you for all of your efforts to this day there's no other Splinter Cell game like Chaos Theory!

Still one of the greatest multiplayer experiences ever. The 2 vs 2, Spy vs Merc design was brilliant and far ahead of its time. In an era ruled by SOCOM and Halo, it was definitely the "alternative" gaming experience, but in my opinion, the better of its time.

The original Splinter Cell and Pandora Tomorrow were some of my favorite games when they were released. When I first played Chaos Theory, I was floored. The visual fidelity the team was able to push out of that original Xbox was the most impressive feat I had seen in gaming to that point. The leap from Pandora Tomorrow to Chaos Theory could have been a generational one. The story always had me, the characters, the dialogue, I loved that universe and gladly lost myself within it.

In my book, the original Splinter Cell trilogy stands as one of the finest achievements in video game history. What you put out was nothing short of incredible. That you suffered this way is unconscionable, but for what its worth, the fruit of your effort is something I enjoyed immensely. Brutal crunch time hours didn't produce a masterpiece, talent did. To treat humans, and in this case an especially talented set of humans, as old cars to be run into the ground is one of the great under-reported and truly terrible practices of an industry with such pop culture cache.

No one should be treated this way.

Chaos Theory is one of my all time favourite games, I can't tell you how many times I've replayed it! Thanks so much for your efforts, sorry to hear the effect it's had on your health. I would love you to make another. None of the subsequent SC games can hold a candle to Chaos Theory!

I'm really sad to hear what happened to you.
I think I'm not going to look at that game in the same way.
You had a really tough time making it and history also.
A "Thank you" it's clearly not enough.

Wow, that must have been very hard at this time for you. I hope these are only small oversights.
We can't say if it was worth it but we can say that even 10 years after, a lot of people love this game and still consider it as one of the best stealth games ever made. And for this, you will always have our eternal gratitude.

Every time you write about Chaos Theory or Far Cry 2- two of my most memorable gaming experiences, I wonder how long until the next Hocking creation will surface.

When, if ever, will you have to make that kind of sacrifice again, or have that degree of creative freedom/control over a project?
Will we ever see another Hocking game. I really hope we do, on a purely selfish note.

Splinter Cell: #Chaos Theory. Ten years down.

Just got done playing it. Had an itch to experience the first level yet again. One of the best games ever made.

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