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Thread: Thief: The Dark Project Pre-Release Media Thread

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: Lexington, KY

    Thief: The Dark Project Pre-Release Media Thread

    A couple months ago I came across a demo disc from 1998 that had some promotional Thief material on it. Now, I know most or all of this was already out there on the internet, but I think the anniversary is a good time for us to revisit the early versions of the game and how it evolved over the final year of development. I especially love the early box art. Enjoy!

    Here is the material that was on the disc:

    The following screenshots were rendered in software mode and dated January 19th, 1998:












  2. #2
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: Lexington, KY
    The following screenshots were rendered in hardware mode and dated March 30th, 1998:











  3. #3
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: Lexington, KY
    The disc has also an application built with Macromedia Flash with an interface like this:



    These two images were named Thief.TIFF and thief_boxart.tif, respectively:





    It also included this rich text file with promotional info about the game:



    Finally, there was a trailer as well, which happens to be the same one posted by TaffersInn a few years ago so I'll link it here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHTEm5Nqptk

    P.S.: There are plenty of other sources of old Thief materials if you search around, here are some good examples:

    Old Dark Project screens at DarkFate: https://darkfate.org/view/simple/files/images/screenshots/thief1/old_dp#pp[1]/0/

    Pre-Release article with early game info written by Al Giovetti in 1996/97: http://www.thecomputershow.com/compu...arkproject.htm

    Feel free to use this thread to share any old images or materials. I did a search of the forums but unfortunately most of the images links are broken.

  4. #4
    They really loved the haunt model didn't they, put it everywhere.

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2017
    Location: Denmark
    Love this!
    My first encounter with thief was a playable demo on a disc thaat came with a danish game magazine I subscribed to for a while... It had, I think the tutorial (Keepers training), and a reduced version of Baffords Manor, which me and my friends played for hours on end...

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2011
    The Dark Project Diary is a characterful look of the game's development history, from January 1997 through to July 1998, with many unique postage-stamp-sized screenshots going along with it.

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2014
    Thanks for the interesting material! Love some of the pixellation in the software mode pics.

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2017
    "Infiltrate and explore over 20 mission areas" - how should I understand this?

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    Location: Southern,California
    wow the rat beast model is so much better then what we got in the screen shots above also sad we never got that 2 headed orge,and also love that last image of garrett with grappling hook

    but wtf is that text that spells thief? i never seen it before,its interesting,kinda a hammer themed style

  10. #10
    ZylonBane
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: ZylonBane
    Quote Originally Posted by Aemanyl View Post
    "Infiltrate and explore over 20 mission areas" - how should I understand this?
    In English, presumably.

  11. #11
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: Lexington, KY
    Quote Originally Posted by Aemanyl View Post
    "Infiltrate and explore over 20 mission areas" - how should I understand this?
    I would guess either they thought they would finish 20 complete missions for release, OR they are just counting multiple areas per mission such as the mines and the factory in Cragscleft.

    Quote Originally Posted by downwinder View Post
    but wtf is that text that spells thief? i never seen it before,its interesting,kinda a hammer themed style
    That was an early font they used before release. Personally I like it better than the final one because it looks like stained glass.

  12. #12
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2011
    Location: Wild and Wooly West of Ireland
    This is a preview feature on Thief:The Dark Project, originally published in PCZONE magazine July 98 (UK).


    (Click for larger images)

  13. #13
    New Member
    Registered: Nov 2018
    Here's another PCZone preview: https://imgur.com/a/SM61mQM
    and also their review, which isn't pre-release but whatever: https://imgur.com/a/8PcoOVw

  14. #14
    Member
    Registered: May 2001
    Location: Boston MA
    Quote Originally Posted by Aemanyl View Post
    "Infiltrate and explore over 20 mission areas" - how should I understand this?
    I believe the 3 new TG missions were supposed to be part of TDP. Also, remember Life of the Party was originally done for TDP. If I am remembering right, there was pressure to get TDP out so I assume that is why these missions never made the first cut.

  15. #15
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2016
    Location: The Warp
    There were a couple of unfinished areas that were released with that batch of T2 Gold files as well, IIRC. Couldn't tell you where to find them though.

  16. #16
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2007
    Location: Krull Island, in the pub
    This demo disc (the software rendered version) was a lifetime memory for me. It was August 11th, 1999, and there was a full solar eclipse in my country (among others). I was 12 years old. After seeing the solar eclipse by a lake as an ending scene of a holiday with distant relatives, I went home to my family to realize that I got my first ever PC from them with a couple of cds as well. Among them there was some game magazin CD with this Thief pre-release.

    Looking back, it was love at first sight. The whole thief atmosphere, the ambients quickly made a special place in my heart for themselves - and nearly 20 years later, when someone asks me about the definition of peace, I describe something like "everythings's all right, family is healthy, there's cold out there and I'm playing some good Thief fan mission with quality audio and EAX". I think it's something for a lifetime for true fans!

  17. #17
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    Location: Southern,California
    nexus letum made a video about the i think 3 unfinished mission one was some kind of a school but still not sure there would have been 20 even with all we know combined


    i also noticed from some of the screen shots at the top post ,i don't recognize some of those maps,wonder if any of them were part of the unreleased missions
    Last edited by downwinder; 27th Nov 2018 at 19:03.

  18. #18
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2011
    Location: Wild and Wooly West of Ireland
    Double page advert, PCZONE Dec 1998.



    A german documentary on Looking Glass Studios, with sneak previews of TDP.

    Last edited by Purgator; 27th Nov 2018 at 20:33.

  19. #19
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    That two-headed monster is interesting. I always that empty room seemed a little odd, but I guess it was originally intended to be his lair. Although the dead ends and empty rooms you sometimes find in Thief are part of what gives it its sense of mystery.

  20. #20
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    Location: Southern,California
    ty so much purgator i got a amazing early shot of viktoria

  21. #21
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2011
    Location: Wild and Wooly West of Ireland

  22. #22
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2011
    Location: Wild and Wooly West of Ireland
    Quote Originally Posted by Aja View Post
    That two-headed monster is interesting. I always that empty room seemed a little odd, but I guess it was originally intended to be his lair. Although the dead ends and empty rooms you sometimes find in Thief are part of what gives it its sense of mystery.
    I've always thought that the ogre pictured was being held captive in Cragscleft Prison. Perhaps Cragscleft was his home before the Hammers fashioned it into their infamous Hoosegow.
    Thief is peppered with references to a more natural, mythical, magical past. The encroachment of new technology in the old city streets is evident, and unsettling. The very first conversation in TDP is a lament about how technology ruined the Bear Pits. The orge may have been an intended reference to a time when the Trickster held dominion.The ogre could also be a very, very obscure reference to Tolkien.
    In The Lord of the Rings, the magic slowly passes from Middle Earth as in TDP. When the hobbits return to their quiet Shire in ROTK, it has been uprooted and corrupted by Sharkey. This harkens back to Tolkien's real life experience. He once lived in the pastoral hamlet of Sarehole, Birmingham, England. As a child, he and his brother would playfully annoy the local Bone Miller in the town. The Miller would emerge from his labours periodically, covered in fine white bone powder. The boys dubbed him the 'White Ogre', much to the miller's chagrin.
    Tolkien had to move from his beloved Sarehole, when he started grammar school. Upon his return later in life, his childhood home had succumbed to the march of progress, and had vanished in a haze of smoke and noise.
    Last edited by Purgator; 14th Jan 2019 at 16:49. Reason: Posting on a phone sucks..predictive text indeed.

  23. #23
    The opening art I haven't seen before - Especially the shot of the city with the hammer symbols superimposed. It looks a lot more like a clear idea of how the city is laid out than what you get in the game (mostly just shots of endless buildings).

    In particular, you can see the main river that is only barely referenced in the early games. In fact, I think in the early Mapping the City thread the devs had to tell people it was there! (Back when the devs posted here)


    I really wish Constantine and Viktoria's human forms were represented in game, or even just as more than just shadows sometimes. Really detailed work in the outfit that then is never seen. The silhouettes of the two of them from the cutscene do match though, especially constantine's arms.


    Funny that the one model they showed the documentary maker ended up being scrapped for a different one.

    And that's not even mentioning all the creatures that were cut. Thankfully Firemage remade almost all of them now, so maybe we'll get them in FMs.

  24. #24
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2011
    Quote Originally Posted by TriangleTooth View Post
    The opening art I haven't seen before - Especially the shot of the city with the hammer symbols superimposed. It looks a lot more like a clear idea of how the city is laid out than what you get in the game (mostly just shots of endless buildings).

    In particular, you can see the main river that is only barely referenced in the early games. In fact, I think in the early Mapping the City thread the devs had to tell people it was there! (Back when the devs posted here)
    That's not The City, that's Gorinchem in The Netherlands, from the 1572 book Civitates Orbis Terrarum. The only art from the the game that I know of that shows the river through the city is at the start of the briefing for The Lost City.

  25. #25
    Oh huh, yeah I guess on reflection that's obvious. I guess I was thrown by the Hammer stuff.

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