Thief series catch-all

All gamers should see Shalebridge Cradle.

I've been playing through T1 most of the day, and wow, those levels are just enormous. I see why people were so upset with the "consolization" of Thief 3, splitting it up into all those separate areas so that it would work on a first-gen XBox, but I don't think any dev studio could do anything like the T1 and T2 levels anymore. The modeling requirements are vastly higher now; every virtual 'square foot' costs so goddamn much to do that they just can't have very many square feet. T1 is full of these huge areas that are, like, twelve polygons with a basic texture. I've done that kind of modeling myself a little bit, and if you're willing to rely on textures instead of polys, you can get huge builds with a really minimal time investment.

The problem, of course, is that doesn't look at all real. T1 gives you 'coded' rooms... a counter made from five or six large polygons, with a tile texture, and a few pots and pans, makes a room a kitchen. If there's a 'cook', it will be a single female (I haven't seen any male cooks) standing stock still in front of the counter, not doing anything. It's like visual shorthand..."this is a kitchen, this is a dining room, this is a sitting room", but everything is fairly spartan. You'd never confuse a Thief level for a real place.

T3 still does a lot of the same things, but the characters are much more animated, and the rooms are heavily decorated. Any individual room in T3 is probably about ten times as complex as its T1 equivalent. And with our eyes getting used to the lush production values in, say, Source engine games or, god forbid, Crysis.... making levels is getting really expensive. I just don't think you're going to see the marathon 2-hour slogs through the Bonehoard anymore. It just costs too damn much, for too little fun value.

When we want Bioshock-level graphics, but there's only a couple million of us (maybe) willing to pay for it, something's gotta give.

Malor wrote:

Thanks for the tip on DDFix; it's amazing how much better Thief looks when it's not running in what looks like 256 colors. I extensively updated my instructions above.

With actual dithering, it's really not that offensive anymore. Without DDFix, it looks rather like Doom. But I hadn't played in so, so long that I didn't realize it was broken.

I know Thief's graphics are a little dated, but I didn't think they were quite that bad! Happy to know it helped.

With DDFix, it's a bit simplistic, but it's not gross like it is out of the box.

Malor wrote:

With DDFix, it's a bit simplistic, but it's not gross like it is out of the box.

To be honest, I'm surprised you were able to notice any difference at all. A proper game of Thief should look like this:

IMAGE(http://images.eurogamer.net/assets/articles//a/5/6/8/4/0/3/ss_preview_eg_retro_thief02.jpg.jpg)

Just looking at that picture reminded me that the + and - keys adjust brightness, and then that [ and ] zoom the

Spoiler:

mechanical eye

(is that really a spoiler, and is 12 years long enough?).

Hah, that's interesting. On my HP LCD, standard range, that screen is black except for a tiny bit of the brightness gem. So I was gonna post a jibe about your screen being a perfect example; there couldn't be more than eight shades in that picture.

But I switched to my Mac laptop, which has a wide-gamut screen, and believe it or not, now I can see the image pretty clearly. It's very dark, but it's not pure black. You're in kind of the base of a T corridor, maybe with another corridor opening on the right side, and you're wielding a blackjack.

On the desktop LCD, it's like looking at black construction paper with a smudge at the bottom center.

Malor wrote:

The problem, of course, is that doesn't look at all real. T1 gives you 'coded' rooms... a counter made from five or six large polygons, with a tile texture, and a few pots and pans, makes a room a kitchen. If there's a 'cook', it will be a single female (I haven't seen any male cooks) standing stock still in front of the counter, not doing anything. It's like visual shorthand..."this is a kitchen, this is a dining room, this is a sitting room", but everything is fairly spartan. You'd never confuse a Thief level for a real place.

They get better with that in Thief 2, with a lot more unique furniture scattered around (separate models rather than sculpted from the editor).

Malor wrote:

All gamers should see Shalebridge Cradle.

It's a bit of a scripted "ghost train" type level but your right - it's pretty darned cool

However, If this is your first time through Thief 1 then you've got "Return to the Haunted Cathedral" ahead of you.

...Good luck

However, If this is your first time through Thief 1 then you've got "Return to the Haunted Cathedral" ahead of you.

That is an amazing level, Thief's equivalent to Thief 2's Life of the Party or Thief 3's Shalebridge Cradle.

I played through all 3 games back to back a few months ago, having owned but not finished any of them for so many years. Really, really great series.

Malor wrote:

I have, as yet, been unable to get 2560x1600 mode working; I dropped back to 1280x800 instead.

Malor, I just got a new computer yesterday and have Thief running at my desired 1920x1080, up from the previous 1280x800. I first tried changing the values myself in cam.cfg and ddfix.ini with Notepad, but that didn't work (only 640x480 ended up being available). So I changed cam.cfg manually, then ran the DarkWidescreen batch file again and added the new values there in order to update ddfix.ini, and that worked no problem.

Maybe I'll fool with it some more, but I'm stuck in the Escape! mission right now, because it keeps crashing. I think it has something to do with spiders; I saw a similar crash around spiders in that long underground quest to get the Fire symbol.

Eventually I'm gonna try dropping back to stereo mode... I have a hunch it's related to sound somehow. Might be a bug in the Xonar D3D support.

New Dark Mod mission is up.

Patently Dangerous

http://www.mindplaces.com/darkmod/fm...

Fripper wrote:

New Dark Mod mission is up.

Patently Dangerous

http://www.mindplaces.com/darkmod/fm...

Pounce!

Slightly off topic, but if anyone's interested in a quick and painless way to get System Shock 2 working -fully patched and widescreen ready- try SS2Tool_v2.7.exe which you can find here.

There's something about a cold night that makes me want to mug and steal, maybe its viking ancestry, so I downloaded Thief 1 from gamersgate.com ($9.99) to try to finally get the game up and running. It freaking works! I must have had a damaged cd before or something. Its been a decade since I've been able to play this game, so I'm pretty stoked.

Here's a 7 minute clip from the Irrational games podcast where Ken Levine and co talk about Thief, for folks who didn't listen to the whole thing.

I didn't know GG sold Thief 1, that's pretty nice.

Ah yeah I guess it just arrived this week, so good timing there. Here's the link. The graphics look like a dried-up turd on a bad stretch of road, but as always the hi-res mod helps.

Not directly related to Thief but this demo of Blackwell's Asylum on steam is pretty awesome. It's got sneaking and hiding, it's got a little bit of the atmosphere of the Cradle mission, a bit of keeping your character's tension under control, and a cool art style owing to your character being doped.

Stone cold fear washes over you on this nerve-racking escape from the Blackwell’s Island Women’s asylum. Your heart pounds feverishly from the sedatives forced upon you, your sight fails from exhaustion. As a young woman under narcotic effects, there's no other options but hiding and sneaking past the wardens patrolling this daunting place. Have you got the nerve to live through this humane horror?

Why I put this in the Thief thread is that it's got a good little bit of guard AI manipulation with the doors you leave open so you can distract them elsewhere but need to hide your true route.

This apparent leak seems to be going in the right direction:

Seems like the new intro, but without the usual metal.

Very nice! If it's not an official leak, someone has some skills. I guess we'll find out when it gets pulled down.

So are they re-using Garrett for the new one? I love his voice, but I dunno, it seems like that story's kind of done.

Malor wrote:

it seems like that story's kind of done.

If anything, the 'reset' at the end of T3 is good for a following sequel like this as it means they're free to do whatever they like with it rather than having to fit into an established ongoing story.

Malor wrote:

So are they re-using Garrett for the new one? I love his voice, but I dunno, it seems like that story's kind of done.

Personally I'd like to see them go down the T2X path and have a female protagonist. If the end of Thief 3 wasn't a set up for that, I don't know what is.

Scratched wrote:

Seems like the new intro, but without the usual metal.

With Eric Brosius at Harmonix, I wonder what T4's music will be like.

Brosius consulted on Bioshock if I remember, and Eidos Montreal had Spector had a look at DE:HR before it came out, so I doubt it's 100% out of the question. It's hardly as though the music from DE:HR was bad.

That said, you could always try and argue that if you don't get 100% of the team back from Looking Glass/Ion Storm then 'something' is missing. You could go the other way and say that Eidos Montreal have to make whatever game they want to make, and I hope they do, they seem to have their heads screwed on the right way to make this kind of game.

It sure looked like Garrett, but what's with the ninja mask? The compound bow looked anachronistic too.

Running Man wrote:

It sure looked like Garrett, but what's with the ninja mask? The compound bow looked anachronistic too.

2013 is the year of games with badass bows.

Not fond of the bow, and if this is a mid-game cutscene they're doing Thief wrong. But given that it's a leak from someone's demo reel, it's really hard to tell if it represent the current state of the game, let alone the final product.

Also, the trailers for Deus Ex:HR are drastically different from what actually happened in the game (plotwise, at least). So late-developments shifts have happened there before.

I think it was Kieron Gillen who pointed out that--in contrast with its descendant, Deus Ex--Thief is about more than just Garrett. You can have a story about the Thief world without Garrett being involved at all. While Garrett's snark personality is essential to the feel of the Thief games and the moral grey zone they explore, Garrett is hardly the only character who could fit there. Yes, it's a different story without him, but this is a new game; a new story with a new character has the potential to be just as interesting.

(Edit:I think this is the article I was thinking of)

Gremlin wrote:

I think it was Kieron Gillen who pointed out that--in contrast with its descendant, Deus Ex--Thief is about more than just Garrett. You can have a story about the Thief world without Garrett being involved at all. While Garrett's snark personality is essential to the feel of the Thief games and the moral grey zone they explore, Garrett is hardly the only character who could fit there. Yes, it's a different story without him, but this is a new game; a new story with a new character has the potential to be just as interesting.

Yeah. Come to think about it, something I've previously said is a potential strength, that Thief3 ended with a big reset, could also be a bit of a weakness in that they don't have many ongoing characters or themes to weave their story with, but as the master builder says, reliance upon others is weakness for the strong, but strength for the weak.

Compound bows are a no, but bionic eyes get a pass?

It's mechanical! Mechanical!

I'd have thought that the new thief would be the girl he took into training after the end of Thief 3.