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Thread: 3 reasons for picking the Dark Engine

  1. #1
    Clearinghouse
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Siberia, Russia

    3 reasons for picking the Dark Engine

    Creating a Level for Thief 2. 2010.01.25

    1. Released in 1998, Thief is old enough that the assets are simple low-fidelity geometry and bitmaps. These are easy enough for me to create and edit, plus if I intersperse existing game assets with my own shoddy creations, there won’t be a tremendously jarring disparity in apparent quality.
    2. Even though Thief is ten years old and the company that created it long gone, there’s still a thriving community of amateur afficionados, churning out new missions at the rate of several per month, many of which are of exceedingly high quality – in some cases exceeding that of the original game. I’ll be in good company, will have some meaningful feedback, and will have forums to turn to when I get into difficulties.
    3. Last but not least, Thief is one of my favourite games of all time. The emphasis on sneaking around and avoiding confrontation suits my sensibilities. Your protagonist, Garrett, is a marvellous, mercenary character. Best of all, in Thief 1, it reveals unexpected depth halfway through – the player’s expectations of a succession of simple heists takes a strange twist when the powerful storyline reveals itself.

  2. #2
    Master Builder 2018
    Registered: Jul 2008
    Very interesting. Thanks, clearing!

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2007
    Location: Germany
    Thief is old enough that the assets are simple low-fidelity geometry and bitmaps. These are easy enough for me to create and edit
    That's one of the main reasons why I am still building levels with DromEd. I have no skills / talent for working with complex modeling tools or editors; and I hate programs with thousands of buttons, checkboxes and other control elements.

    I like the simple and plain layout of DromEd and once you know what's possible with DromEd and what not, it is fun to work with it (for the greater part at least).
    I'm still having so many ideas what to build with DromEd, so I doubt I will switch to any other editor in the near future...

  4. #4
    Archivist
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: Museum of the Ancients
    Nice read! Thanks clearing.

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2008
    I still think T1 has the best ambient sounds of any game.

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2010
    Location: Montreal, Canada
    The possibility of epically huge and complex levels without any loading breaks is still what I love about the Dark Engine, especially in Metal Age. Also the reason why Deadly Shadows was such a fail in my eyes, despite all the nice art and ambiance. The game was just so freaking tiny most of the time! Deus Ex 2 also. So Thief 4 level design better be bloody epic in comparison to Metal Age or I'll be going back to Dark Engine.

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2006
    Location: On the tip of your tongue.
    Thiaf's using the latest Tomb Raider engine isn't it? Or was that unsubstantiated gossip?

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered: May 2006
    Location: Russia
    once you know what's possible with DromEd and what not
    If you're thinking something is impossible in DromEd, just ask Nameless Voice how to make it posssible.

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2010
    Location: Montreal, Canada
    Quote Originally Posted by nicked View Post
    Thiaf's using the latest Tomb Raider engine isn't it? Or was that unsubstantiated gossip?
    What!? It better be gossip. Or its not going to be First Person view? Wait I bet they will emulate Deadly Shadows seeing how it was the best Thief game? Cause we all know that the Dark Engine games were just crap compared to it. So are we ready for third-person tomb raiding Garrett?
    Last edited by ZergMasterBaiter; 28th Jan 2010 at 09:36.

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2007
    Location: Germany
    @Zontik:

    Some things are impossible
    For example long views + water, because water starts to be visible through solid walls at a certain distance. Same with objetcs: they start to be visible through walls at a certain distance too...

    Those were 2 of the reasons why I had to skip one mission of my Keeper Investigations campaign; it just looked very odd if you could see water and objects that were behind a submarine suddenly in front of it.

  11. #11
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2008
    Location: on a mission to civilize
    And now there is a link back to this discussion. Sweet!

    Hey, if anyone is going to take up Dromed, then the Editor's Guild is a treasure trove.

    Personally, I enjoy Dromed...

    But then again, I like being tied up and having the bejesus beat of me with soggy linguini.

  12. #12
    Member
    Registered: May 2009
    Location: Hurr Durr
    Quote Originally Posted by nicked View Post
    Thiaf's using the latest Tomb Raider engine isn't it? Or was that unsubstantiated gossip?
    Nothing has been confirmed, it seems likely though as DX3 is using a highly modified version of this engine and they're working next door to each other in the same studio.
    But, a week or so ago Pyronox, over at Eidos, reported an interesting discussion re the Thief 4 engine he had one morning while walking his dog.

  13. #13
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2006
    Location: On the tip of your tongue.
    Interesting!

    Tomb Raider engine or not, why would the choice of engine have any bearing on whether it was first or third person?

  14. #14
    Clearinghouse
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Siberia, Russia
    Very interesting. Thanks for the link, Namdrol!

  15. #15
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2010
    Location: Montreal, Canada
    I thought latest Tomb Raider engine was just better suited for 3rd person. But I'm not sure . Were there any games lately that used it in FP view? I personally prefer the look of Unreal Engine 3, the way it was implemented in Mirror's Edge.

  16. #16
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2008
    Quote Originally Posted by ZergMasterBaiter View Post
    The possibility of epically huge and complex levels without any loading breaks is still what I love about the Dark Engine, especially in Metal Age. Also the reason why Deadly Shadows was such a fail in my eyes, despite all the nice art and ambiance. The game was just so freaking tiny most of the time! Deus Ex 2 also. So Thief 4 level design better be bloody epic in comparison to Metal Age or I'll be going back to Dark Engine.
    Thief DS levels weren't exactly huge, but when compared to Invisible War, they were massive!

  17. #17
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2010
    Location: Montreal, Canada
    Quote Originally Posted by lost_soul View Post
    Thief DS levels weren't exactly huge, but when compared to Invisible War, they were massive!
    Yes, big open-ended levels that you just had to play through multiple times (heck I'm still discovering new things!) was what made original Deus Ex so great. Compared to it, Invisible War was basically the Bioshock of its day.

  18. #18
    ZylonBane
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: ZylonBane
    Quote Originally Posted by ZergMasterBaiter View Post
    I thought latest Tomb Raider engine was just better suited for 3rd person.
    What does this even mean?

  19. #19
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    Location: Poland
    Quote Originally Posted by ZylonBane View Post
    What does this even mean?
    Oh, he just incorrectly assumed that Tomb Raider is third person = the whole engine is tpp friendly, and fpp unfriendly. I thought that was pretty obvious.

  20. #20
    ZylonBane
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: ZylonBane
    Quote Originally Posted by Pemptus View Post
    Oh, he just incorrectly assumed that Tomb Raider is third person = the whole engine is tpp friendly, and fpp unfriendly. I thought that was pretty obvious.

    There's no such thing as a third-person or first-person renderer. Polygons are polygons. The only difference is where the game sticks its camera. First-person games have been modded into third-person games, and vice-versa. Compared to all the other work that goes into creating an all-new game based on an existing engine, it's not that big a deal to make the switch.
    Last edited by Nightwalker; 29th Jan 2010 at 13:22. Reason: Quite being so rude and insulting!

  21. #21
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2010
    Location: Montreal, Canada
    Quote Originally Posted by ZylonBane View Post
    There's no such thing as a third-person or first-person renderer. Polygons are polygons. The only difference is where the game sticks its camera. First-person games have been modded into third-person games, and vice-versa. Compared to all the other work that goes into creating an all-new game based on an existing engine, it's not that big a deal to make the switch.
    Good explanation for us technically ignorant, ZylonBane. I stand corrected. Tomb Raider: Underworld was an excellent looking game so I hope it will look and play just as good through Garrett's eyes.
    Last edited by Nightwalker; 29th Jan 2010 at 13:22. Reason: edited quote

  22. #22
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    Location: Poland
    Oh noes, I have been misunderstood on the internets and called a non-bright person, I must hurry to explain!

    My "I thought that was pretty obvious" wasn't supposed to mean "gee, it's obvious that engines of third person games don't match first person games much, hurr durr, engine of Tomb Raider = tpp Thief, oh noes etc". It was merely supposed mean something like "why ask, ZylonBane, when you already know the answer?" in a semi-humorous internet-specific tone.

    tl;dr:
    I'm not totally technologically impaired and have been misunderstood. My feelings have been hurt and my e-peen got flaccid with the misdirected comment about my status as a bright person. I demand compensation.

    edit: The omnipotent chastity defending mod censored Zylon's post, so this one now makes even less sense than before.
    Last edited by Pemptus; 29th Jan 2010 at 13:38. Reason: deleted quote

  23. #23
    I have no idea why, but my comment just got deleted from his blog. Nevertheless, it's always nice to see new people using DromEd.

  24. #24
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2010
    Location: Montreal, Canada
    Quote Originally Posted by Pemptus View Post
    I'm not totally technologically impaired and have been misunderstood. My feelings have been hurt and my e-peen got flaccid with the misdirected comment about my status as a bright person. I demand compensation.

    edit: The omnipotent chastity defending mod censored Zylon's post, so this one now makes even less sense than before.
    If I really cared my "e-peen" would get crushed almost everywhere on these forums. I don't know if that is what I signed up for when I registered but then it seems like most of the really snarky comments here are pretty tongue-in-cheek, all in good fun, and not to be taken too seriously. I hope ... you can't really tell that kind of thing over the Internet.

  25. #25
    Keeper of FMs
    Registered: Oct 2004
    Location: Meraux, LA
    I am declaring myself winner of this online p***ing contest. Why? Because I said so. The title of this thread is "3 reasons for picking the Dark Engine" in case you have forgotten. Let's get it back on topic and leave all the penis references in CommChat.

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