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Thread: Make Thief great again

  1. #26
    Classical Master 2008
    Registered: Jun 2002
    Location: Civitas Quinque Ecclesiae HU
    chk772: UW:A is not a Warren Spector game, and so far, his only role in it seems to be in an advisory capacity. Thankfully, most of it seems to be a Paul Neurath / Tim Stellmach design.

    In my opinion, UW:A will live or die by Otherside's commitment to deep environmental simulation: turning game physics into gameplay, and a living dungeon ecology. If they can deliver on these promises, that will be something that has never been done systematically in a non-indie computer RPG. It has been present as window dressing and in various scripted ways, but not in a thorough fashion allowing for emergent gameplay and interesting choices&consequences. Deep simulation and emergent gameplay are state of the art stuff, just not state of the art graphics. This is precisely the point: the game industry has neglected to develop outside graphical fidelity, and even regressed in comparison with early 1990s games. Ultima Underworld, for its relatively early 3d engine, holds up very well as a complex dungeon exploration experience, and is full of small features which are missing from modern CRPGs. The promise of building on that foundation and going forward is why I am a backer at the $100 tier - I would like to see that kind of innovation take off in CRPGs again.

    What does worry me is that while Otherside hyped these aspects of the game in their Kickstarter campaign, the recent campaign updates have been quiet about them, and instead focused on art direction, factions and (to a lesser extent) their love for the lizardmen language. Which was a fine piece of innovation - for 1991, in Underworld 1. It is possible the sim aspects are there, just not mentioned. Honestly, I am feeling they might have underestimated the budget they needed to realise their vision.

  2. #27
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Well, the next update should be about gameplay. Also, the vertical slice is close to finished, so we'll get to try the next iteration out ourselves.

  3. #28
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: Pennsylvania
    Anyone playing Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild? It trusts the player to be intelligent and figure things out, and it allows for a lot of creative problem-solving.

  4. #29
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    So what you're saying is... Nintendo should make the next Thief game?

    -It's-a me, Garrett!

    -Sorry Garrett, the loot is in another castle.


    (because I'd be completely fine with that.)

  5. #30
    Southquarter.com/fms
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Akkala Highlands
    It's dangerous to go alone, take this blackjack.

    Seriously though, Weasel, that seemed like kind of a random comment. Care to expand on that?

  6. #31
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: Pennsylvania
    Quote Originally Posted by Brethren View Post
    It's dangerous to go alone, take this blackjack.

    Seriously though, Weasel, that seemed like kind of a random comment. Care to expand on that?
    I guess it would have made sense to quote the things I was responding to. Earlier in the thread, people said:

    Quote Originally Posted by marbleman View Post
    To attract the "next generation of players," games have to be made simpler. Making a game like old-school Thief is not economically viable now.

    The only hope we have is modding. From the fans for the fans. Mad respect to all the FM authors who still create missions for a game that is more than 15 years old
    Quote Originally Posted by Maxrebo6 View Post
    I think that most publishers just seem to really underestimate the new generation of gamers.
    ...
    Not every one under 30 is a complete moron that can't handle a game that does have all the action take place via a 3-second cutscene or press button to win with no complexity,boring level design and dumbed down mechanics.
    ...
    There are plenty of people out there who have no problem with that kind of complexity in their single player experiences.Look you are never going to draw in or keep the gamers with the attention spans of a gerbil who only play games like COD,Madden,other annually released generic schlock,or MLG types who only maybe multiplayer or MOBA's you are never gonna bring those people in.
    I just noticed that Maxrebo6 did mention Zelda briefly.

    My point is, I think there is hope that Thief can someday return as a game / franchise for intelligent players, with scenarios that make (or at least let) players use their brains to figure out how to accomplish their objectives. I know plenty of other games have been doing so along the way, but maybe if people see that Nintendo can do it with a franchise as big as Zelda, anyone can do it. (I still enjoyed them, but most of the recent Zelda games had been holding the players' hands too much.)

  7. #32
    http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/20...-from-pc-games

    Edit: Oh, hey that was posted in the UW forum. I thought I saw it here somewhere.

  8. #33
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2009
    Location: Pawtucket,Rhode Island
    The New Zelda is proof that game that don't think the player is a moron can and do work.I think Nintendo hit the sweet spot with Zelda and it shows why until recent years which including some stumbling on their part,why Nintendo was able to revive console gaming after the collapse and that they still know how to make great games.I think Zelda was in the sweet spot in not holding the players hand but not being sadistic about.I having a nothing against Dark Souls and have been meaning to give those games a serious try which requires doing some research into character builds then learn the game.I might actually be able to get pretty good it since,slow and methodical is how I tend to play. But that is one end of the spectrum and super hand holdy games are one the other and I find the best games including a lot of classics from the golden age tend to fall right in the middle and strike a seemingly perfect balance.

    What would you all consider as the time frame of the Golden Age of Gaming both PC and Console

    For me I would say its starts in either 86 or 87 and ends sometime in the early to mid 2000's but it really hit its stride starting 90 and all they way to around 2007 which is kind of when things started to go in the wrong direction with some exceptions.

    I really want some classic game design concepts to make a comeback one example being Thief,Goldeneye and Perfect Dark's additional objectives has you increased the difficulty instead of most modern's games version which is enemy's become damage sponges and you have the endurance of wet paper,actual optional and out of the way objectives,secret areas that reward exploring your environments and soaking in the game world.Not to mention almost everything about the original Deus Ex and the work done by modders on many different games that made incredible changes that feel like they were always there.I also wouldn't mind a return of 3D platformers,which hopefully Yooka-Laylee will be start the trend of.What other classic game styles or design choices from the golden age do you wish would make a comeback.


    Speaking of Zelda,I have got to say that in my opinion its the best 3D game since both Ocarina and Majora's,I did of course like Wind Waker,Twilight Princess, and Skyward Sword but I think the release made some very much necassary improvements and It make me hope they give Skyward Sword the same treatment because in could really use it.The 2D/Portable Games have been really good except in my opinion Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks.Not bad games mind you but I have never had the desire to play them again unlike every other game in the series.

  9. #34
    New Member
    Registered: Jan 2018
    Hope I'm not too guilty of necromancy here....

    Playing through Thief 2014 just now and finding it a slog. Moments of brilliance but mostly a bad story, generic visual design and just a really boring experience unfortunately.

    So I think for thief 5 (or hopefull, a PROPER thief 4), the main thing that needs to happen is for the developer to drop the AAA mentality.

    Ditch the cutting edge graphics, aim for simplicity and style. I think a cel shaded, or oil painting styled look would work well, and would (if done right) save on processing power and provide us with larger levels again. Things don't need to be cutting edge to look good.

    Anyone play Gone Home? Classic walking simulator for better or worse, but that game somehow looked and felt more Thief than this reboot did.

    Next big thing, SIMPLIFY! Don't add mechanics to the original, if anything strip things back. Less tools, no fancy takedowns. Just you, a blackjack, (a jump button), and some basic arrows (broad head, water and rope would do it for me).

    Take a leaf from the recent Hitmans book. Dump us in a big level outside a structure and put the thing we need in the middle of the structure. Then just leave us to it, to get in and out wherever and however we choose.

    Last ones are obvious. Write a good story and bring back Stephen Russell.


    Be more Indie.
    Last edited by ewan; 11th Jan 2018 at 19:32. Reason: Crap spelling!

  10. #35
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2014
    One of the biggest downfalls of Thief 4 was trying to cater to as wide an audience as possible, rather than appeal to a niche, which can still be profitable when done right. Even those who like Thief 4 and/or used that as their jumping on point are part of a niche group of gamers, and I maintain that a good portion of Thief 4's sales were because there still weren't that many games on the new consoles. If it came out now, especially with games like Dishonored 2 already out for current gen comparison, it would not sell nearly as well. Plus, the game is largely forgotten now in the popular conscience of the gaming community.

    I understand a profit needs to be made, Square and EM are businesses in the end and they have to make money. But I feel like games like Thief should get the treatment that films under Fox's Searchlight branch gets, which caters to more niche crowds with films that cost less and can still turn a profit without needing to attract as much an audience as say, the latest Marvel movie. That's what they should do with properties like Thief. Be willing to spend less.

  11. #36
    New Member
    Registered: Jan 2018
    I 100% agree there. Thief isn't Dunkirk, it's more Blue Ruin. It feels like the more they added to thief 2014, the more the experience got diluted. The bank heist DLC has been my favourite (albeit short) mission so far, because the plot wasn't involved and there Was less
    linearity. Just a building, some guards and an expensive trinket to steal.
    The most throwaway level in the game for the developer has ended up being the closest they got to a good thief game.

  12. #37
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2014
    Quote Originally Posted by ewan View Post
    I 100% agree there. Thief isn't Dunkirk, it's more Blue Ruin. It feels like the more they added to thief 2014, the more the experience got diluted. The bank heist DLC has been my favourite (albeit short) mission so far, because the plot wasn't involved and there Was less
    linearity. Just a building, some guards and an expensive trinket to steal.
    The most throwaway level in the game for the developer has ended up being the closest they got to a good thief game.
    That and the Baron's mansion are the two high points of the game for me, as it's the closest it comes to really feeling like a Thief game. If the rest of the game was more like that and had less things like the rooftop chase sequence, it would be a really solid stealth game. The ingredients are all there but they just rarely ever use them right.

    I also always say the story would be so much better if it was just about Garrett and Basso's shinangians. Their moments were the best parts of the story. Well, except when Garrett was all "It's who I am". Even I skip those parts, and this game is a big guilty pleasure of mine.

  13. #38
    New Member
    Registered: Jan 2018
    Just finished the baron mission. Great first half! And then the fire stuff kicked in. The musicmade it sound like I should be having an epic escape, but I just kept running into walls! So it was kind of tragic.
    Bumming about doing side missions to put off the final mission now. I like the side missions well enough! They'd be nicer as parts of the main missions though. I feel like they could have ditched the city hub and just rolled all the side missions as optional quests into the main missions.
    Also, good shout on the story. I usually get really into my game stories, but I really don't care about these characters.

  14. #39
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2014
    Quote Originally Posted by ewan View Post
    Just finished the baron mission. Great first half! And then the fire stuff kicked in. The musicmade it sound like I should be having an epic escape, but I just kept running into walls! So it was kind of tragic.
    Bumming about doing side missions to put off the final mission now. I like the side missions well enough! They'd be nicer as parts of the main missions though. I feel like they could have ditched the city hub and just rolled all the side missions as optional quests into the main missions.
    Also, good shout on the story. I usually get really into my game stories, but I really don't care about these characters.
    The Baron's mansion really does sum up Thief 4 as a whole. Every time it starts to really get good, it undercuts itself. The architect's mansion, while small, was a lot of fun to sneak around and steal stuff from, but then it forces you into that shitty rooftop sequence is another example.

  15. #40
    New Member
    Registered: Dec 2003
    Apologies if this has already been posted else where but I think this guy sums it up pretty well:
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=jPqwDGXxLhU

  16. #41
    New Member
    Registered: Oct 2017
    I don't belive the "we have to make easy games that hold your hand all the time to be commercially successfull" statement... Take Dark souls or bloodborne as examples... While niche games the have managed to be commercially sucessfull even with their very punishing approach to gameplay.
    Someone mentioned "The hitman model" in another thread... Cheap/free base game with missions and areas dynamically being made available by an update team for the hooked players to purchase, lots of social features for coupeting with friends on missions etc. I think that could be an interesting model for a thief game (which is already very very mission based).

  17. #42
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Quote Originally Posted by ewan View Post
    Bumming about doing side missions to put off the final mission now.
    Yeah, after the mansion you've seen the best the main story has to offer. The last 2 story missions are real clunkers.

  18. #43
    New Member
    Registered: Jan 2018
    I think the thing that made the original Thief games great was that you were vulnerable. You weren't some superhuman with divine powers, you're just a normal person with normal abilities. (aside from the mechanical eye, which really wasn't that useful anyways. And even that had a perfectly logical explanation in the setting.) That is why I couldn't get into Dishonored, I felt like some god that could run around and do anything, and Thi4f is guilty of that as well with the whole "focus" mechanic. When I recently played through Dishonored again, I did a ghost run with no powers except blink, and only because the levels were designed with blink in mind. It did feel a lot more like Thief. If a Thief 5 was going to be made, I think that stripping Garrett back to his bow and his blackjack would be a good start to making it better.

  19. #44
    New Member
    Registered: Jan 2018
    Quote Originally Posted by Tommyph1208 View Post
    Someone mentioned "The hitman model" in another thread... Cheap/free base game with missions and areas dynamically being made available by an update team for the hooked players to purchase, lots of social features for coupeting with friends on missions etc. I think that could be an interesting model for a thief game (which is already very very mission based).
    I was thinking this too! I reckon that'd be a great way of re-introducing the game to a wary fan base,
    Giving us a low cost of entry and also giving the game many release points to help advertise.

    Also, xStevienx, totally agree with that last point. I'd even strip away some of the tools from the original games. I'd have blackjack, broadhead, water and rope arrows and lockipicks. Thief 4 had linear levels with over complicated mechanics. I want simple mechanics in a complicated level.

  20. #45
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2005
    Location: Not Kansas
    Quote Originally Posted by xStevieNx View Post
    I think the thing that made the original Thief games great was that you were vulnerable. You weren't some superhuman with divine powers, you're just a normal person with normal abilities. (aside from the mechanical eye, which really wasn't that useful anyways. And even that had a perfectly logical explanation in the setting.) That is why I couldn't get into Dishonored, I felt like some god that could run around and do anything
    But you didn't have to use your 'powers' in either Dishonored game; in fact, there was an achievement (can't remember which game) for not using those powers. Besides, Dishonored 1 & 2 were more like the original Thief games (and here I'm referring to only TDP and TMA because imo TDS and Thi4f were travesties) in regards to stealth and immersion factors. TDS was a farce that almost literally led you by the hand from point A to point B (boring) and Thi4f was, well, just not Thief (I pretty much hate reboots). I still say the Dishonored games were what TDS & Thi4f should have been. EM/SE tried to pander to such a broad audience that they totally ruined the last two games. I can only hope they're done trying to revive the Thief series and will leave it to Arkane to continue to create games that I consider to be true successors to Thief.

  21. #46
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2015
    Location: Wisconsin
    Both Dishonored games had an achievement for this. In Dishonored 1, "Mostly Flesh and Steel" requires you to not purchase any powers or abilities, but stick with the default Blink for the entire game (outside of the tutorial, the water lock in "Return to the Tower" is the only point in Dishonored 1 where Blink is necessary). In Dishonored 2, "Flesh and Steel" requires you to refuse the Outsider's Mark, which locks you out of having supernatural powers for the entire game.

    Generally, I only ever acquire the powers that improve my stealth capabilities and ignore everything related to killing and assassinating. That way, the Dishonored games feel a lot like modern Thief games.

    I also agree that the Dishonored series is a better successor to the Thief games than T14, especially because they were all designed as "immersive sims." You're dropped into a nonlinear environment with at least one primary goal to achieve, and you're pretty much free to go wherever and do whatever you like in order to accomplish that goal. Rather than rely on scripted events, enemies and objects reacted based on the actions you performed (think of the "sources and receptrons" system in DromEd), thus allowing for emergent gameplay. To put it another way, while other games tell you, "Find the solution we intended," immersive sims tell you, "Make your own solution."

    TDP, TMA, TDS, D1, and D2 all followed this design formula; T14 abandoned it in favor of scripted action sequences that it thought would make the game more appealing. Even when T14 was brave enough to give you a nonlinear environment (e.g. the side missions), you were still limited in terms of how you could move through and interact with that environment, which prevented it from ever reaching the level of an immersive sim.

  22. #47
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: the Sheeple Pen
    T14?

    edit: oh, I can't believe it took me this long to realise where the "14" came from! I also can't believe that it's already been four years since the release.
    Last edited by Tomi; 18th Jan 2018 at 22:06.

  23. #48
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: the Sheeple Pen
    Quote Originally Posted by xStevieNx View Post
    I think the thing that made the original Thief games great was that you were vulnerable.
    I don't think that vulnerable is the best word to use in this case. I'm hardly an expert Thief player like a lot of people here, but even I find it a bit too easy to take advantage of the enemy AI in the original Thief games. Beating most enemies in a fight is fairly easy (especially if you choose to use all the gadgets and special arrows that you find), and running away or escaping a dangerous situation can sometimes be as simple as jumping on the kitchen table. Getting spotted often just felt a bit annoying rather than dangerous in the original Thief games, whereas the saving-your-ass-gameplay was implemented in a much better way in Dishonored and New-Thief in my opinion.

    As for Dishonored (I've only played the first one + the DLC), I really liked it, but I had much more fun when I tried playing it in assassin-style - there was something about the stealth gameplay that just didn't work for me. I also think that I would have enjoyed it more without Blink and the other powers. They might have been cool if they had been used sparingly, but it felt like the whole game was built around them.

  24. #49
    New Member
    Registered: Jan 2018
    That's me just completed the last two levels. You guys weren't lying! It was a total slog.

    That ship was almost a neat idea, some decent sneaking happened there.

    The boss fights though! Why did those happen?! I found myself going lethal in the end just to get it over with.

    Really dissapointed overall. Loads of potential with the mechanics, the engine and even the look of a lot of the game.
    But the story was bad, and badly told. The characters were weak and annoying (garret included). The menus were too fussy, the inventory was too busy. Upgrade trees were unnecessary and the levels just felt so railroaded.

    I should comment that I got a new HDR TV and the graphics really are terrific even four years on. For the 20th anniversary they could remake the dark project on this engine and it would be magnificent.
    They won't though. I think we won't see thief or deus ex for some time.

    Maybe Nightdive Studios can wrestle the IP off of square!
    Last edited by ewan; 22nd Jan 2018 at 10:50.

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