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Welcome to Through the Looking Glass

Originally created to follow Looking Glass Studios and their games, these days we are many things to different people. Whether you wish to discuss the games themselves and fan content, enjoy games inspired by the legacy of the game studio or just enjoy chatting about games or life in general - Welcome!

Latest News

18th Feb 2015
Underworld Ascendant updates - Brethren - 16:15
There's been some big news as of late on the new Underworld game, currently in the midst of its Kickstarter campaign. The game is close to being 80% funded at the halfway point, so things are looking good. Hopefully a late push will not only get the game funded but also allow it to hit some of its stretch goals. Pledge if you haven't. If you have, consider upping your pledge.

It was announced a few days ago that Otherside Entertainment will be working with none other than Stephen Russell. Most know Stephen as the voice of the cynical Thief, Garrett, but he has lent his voice to many other characters in Looking Glass games over the years, in addition to working on major titles such as Skyrim and Fallout 3. It's great to have Stephen on board, especially after he was snubbed last year for the new Thief game.

It was also announced that Terri Brosius, ex-Looking Glass designer and voice actor for some very memorable Looking Glass characters will also be working with the Otherside team. At this point, it looks like Terri will be primarily providing voice talent, but you never know where else things may lead.

Otherside will be engaging in several twitch sessions over the next several weeks, playing through some classic Looking Glass games with the original developers and providing commentary and insight. The schedule is as follows, all times EST:

-Wednesday, February 18th - Thief - 3-6PM, w/special guest, Randy Smith
-Wednesday, February 25th - System Shock, time TBA
-Wednesday, March 4th - Ultima Underworld, time TBA

Check out the twitch stream here:
10th Feb 2015
The Dark Mod updates to version 2.03 - Brethren - 15:28
The guys over at Broken Glass Studios have released an update to The Dark Mod, which includes the following enhancements and additions:

AI changes: AI have a few new animations, including a new pickpocket reaction. Many AI, including the citywatch and builder models, should look more detailed, as most AI are now using LOD (Level of Detail) stages, allowing greater detail up close and less detail (and less of a performance hit) when further away. In terms of behaviour, AI will now coordinate their searches more intelligently when in groups, sending some AI to guard doors and choke-points rather than stepping all over each other. AI will now react when getting hit by an opening door. An issue that allowed AI to see behind them if their head was turned a certain way has been fixed.

Graphics: Particle effects have been greatly improved, so that they no longer create hard lines when intersecting geometry. Water no longer distorts things that are in front of it, and the skybox will no longer flash grey when the player is mantling. The spyglass will now appear round regardless of the screen dimensions used. A number of entities are now using LOD (Level of Detail) stages. You may wish to adjust this option in the Graphics Menu if you see noticeable 'popping' of models.

Assets: More than a hundred new high-quality textures and models have been added to the game, and should start appearing in new maps. A number of existing models have been improved by adding more polys and better textures. A new female townsfolk model and vocal set has also been added to the game and should start appearing in new maps soon.

Overall, you should notice a distinct improvement to the graphics and AI behaviour in maps. And we have some exciting renderer developments in the pipeline, though that will have to wait for the next update.

Thanks to the TDM team for all their hard work on the game - it's great to see that they're continually improving/fixing/enhancing things. To update your installation, run the file tdm_update.exe in your Dark Mod folder. Happy thieving...
9th Feb 2015
New Underworld game on Kickstarter - Brethren - 18:36
This could be the start of big things for Looking Glass fans. As many people know, a new game studio called OtherSide Entertainment was started up last year by Looking Glass founder Paul Neurath. Their focus, as stated on their web site, is to reboot classic games franchises. Well, they’ve done just that, in the form of a new Underworld game (minus the Ultima branding). The new game is called Underworld Ascendant.

A Kickstarter project was launched last Wednesday (February 4th, 2015) to fund the game, and they are already well over half way to their goal. It’s also been revealed that several ex-Looking Glass employees have joined the studio and are working on the game, including Tim Stellmach, Steve Pearsall, and Robb Waters. In addition to that, Warren Spector and Austin Grossman will be advising and acting as consultants on the project.

Check out the Kickstarter page and pledge if you haven’t already. There are some interesting stretch goals available that include adding new areas to explore, new races, and even a level editor. Strong support for this title will likely lead to more Looking Glass type games in the future. Very exciting stuff!
7th Mar 2014
My Thief Review - by henke - henke - 10:58
TTLG members review Thief

Thief has been played now and the opinions and reviews are coming in thick and fast. Over the next few weeks, as more and more people complete the new Thief, we hope to be able to showcase a range of reviews from our members.

The first one on the block is a review by the venerable henke, "the spirit of GenGaming" and all around games-player extraordinaire. Enjoy.

My Thief Review

This is not the old Thief. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started playing it, but it soon became clear that this is not the old Thief. Aside from hearing the sound of the bell tower and a few other sound effects, I have not experienced any nostalgic feelings during my time in the shoes of new Garrett. The gameplay reminds me more of Mark Of The Ninja and the Batman games than they do classic Thief. Some people seem to go out of their way to play this like classic Thief, disabling Focus and not swooping, but that is a mistake. Framing this game in the context of what old Garrett would do, or what the old games played like, will only keep you from enjoying it for what it is. This is not the old Thief. What it is, is a very good stealth game, and the story of a man named Garrett.

The Story

Honestly though, it’s not much a story. It’s fairly unoriginal and the way it’s told is a bit of a mess, especially early on. After Chapter 5 I had a pretty good handle on what was going on and my motivations were (somewhat) clear. The story hangs together, I guess, is the most positive thing you could say about it. But there are no moments like the final cutscene of The Dark Project here. Remember that? When the Keeper and Garrett are walking through the snow, and those final lines? It sent a shiver down your spine and got you pumped for the sequel. New Thief, by comparison, just… kinda ends.

The Missions

The whole game took me 22,5 hours to beat according to the in-game clock (30 hours according to Steam) and there’s plenty of sidemissions and Basso jobs still left undone. The missions are big, well designed, and filled with more loot than you’ll be able to find. However, they are to a large extent retreads of missions from earlier Thief games (Angelwatch, creepy abandoned asylum, bank, etc.). It’s like a Greatest Hits compilation of Thief levels. Not sure how I feel about that, honestly. On the one hand some more originality would’ve been nice, on the other hand everything about this game is different enough that it doesn’t feel like I’m doing the same missions over again.

What all that triple-A money was spent on, and what they could’ve spent more on

This game delivers on a lot of what I was hoping for from a triple-A-version of a Thief game. The environments are detailed and gorgeous, and aside from a few glitches, the animations are very slick. The sound, however, disappoints. There are a few sections with annoying repeated dialogue, and in some cutscenes the music and environmental sounds are so loud they drown out the voices of the characters we’re supposed to be listening to. Most disappointingly, the sounds of guards are too faint, and you can only hear them if they're nearby. You can't rely on your ears as much in this one as in previous games.

The Gameplay

As a reboot it does take the opportunity to introduce new gameplay elements and moves. Freerunning feels awesome, it’s almost a shame you get to use it so rarely (really only when retreading familiar ground where you know no guards will be). I like all the new tools in Garrett’s arsenal and the way they’re animated, especially the way he pulls the lockpicks out of his sleeves. Lockpicking feels better than it ever has before (with a gamepad and visual cues turned off, at least). Combat is harder than it’s ever been. Later on you can upgrade your blackjack damage and learn Focus combat takedown moves, but don’t expect to be winning many fights for the first 10 hours or so. Focus itself is… neither here nor there. I used it mainly to look for traps and help with a few puzzles, but overall it doesn’t bring much to the game. Swoop on the other hand is a great addition. It just feels good.

I also must give a special mention to the Challenge Modes. They make excellent use of existing areas and bring a totally new kind of stealth gameplay, one that rewards a delicate mixture of speed and silence.

The Bottomline

Overall, despite audio issues and a somewhat damp story, I had a good time with Thief. It's a solid stealth game. It's definitely better than Deadly Shadows. I don't think it'll sell well enough to warrant a sequel, and it's not like the game sets one up anyway. Already now, most of what I'm seeing on this forum is acceptance of this game for what it is. I think that down the line it'll be viewed as that weird one-off. "It wasn't as good as T1/2, but it wasn't bad, y'know."

Play settings: Master difficulty, 360 gamepad, most of the assists turned off.
28th Feb 2014
Thief IV - Stealing Around the World Tonight - SubJeff - 22:52
Thief IV is out today.

Well it was out on the 25th in the USA but it's now out worldwide.

There is a lot of healthy discussion going on in the newly re-branded Thief IV forum, and some in General Gaming of course. Enter the forums and join in the discussion. Check your spoilers though (we have spoiler tags), we haven't all played it yet!
24th Feb 2014
Days before Thief arrives - The Dark Modding Competition - SubJeff - 14:07
Thief Modding Competition

With only a few days to go until everyone gets the new Thief (yeah, we know, it's out in the US tomorrow but hey we're international so...) this interesting development has sidled out of the shadows. Square Enix, publishers of the upcoming Thief reboot, have partnered with Amazon and errr, The Dark Mod for what they are calling the Square Enix Thief Modding Contest.

The Dark Mod has thus far not had permission to use any official Thief IP but for this competition it seems things are about to change.

Competition entries can take two forms:

- A video of a mod you've created.
- A video of a mod idea you have.

You can use any "Thief" modding platform that exists - the Thief 1 or 2 editors, the Thief 3 editor or The Dark Mod.

That last one is the surprise since mod in this respect is classed as "a modification of the Thief program code in order to make it operate in a manner different to its original version" (their words, not ours) and The Dark Mod isn't based on any Thief program code. However, that doesn't seem to matter; The Dark Mod is an acceptable, nay encouraged, platform for this competition and Square Enix and Eidos are allowing Thief IP to be used in it, but so far just for this.

The top prize is:

- A high-end gaming rig from AMD which includes an AMD Radeon R9 290X graphics card
- An all-expenses paid trip to E3 2014 with Square Enix
- Steam code for all Square Enix Games with the matching Prima Guide
- An Amazon Kindle DX
- A bundle of game development books on Kindle

Unfortunately this competition is open to US citizens only, but for us at TTLG it's the idea of Thief IP in The Dark Mod that's exciting. And let's not forget that Eidos is giving away Thief Gold as part of this competition.

Go get it here.
10th Feb 2014
Changes Afoot in the Thief World - SubJeff - 00:00
We've been a little behind in recent times and it’s time to remedy that.

The Dark Mod

The first, and most important, news to report is that The Dark Mod is standalone now meaning you no longer need Doom 3 to run it! We can’t express how amazing this is in truth and the finalising of this long wished for event marks a significant technical feat for the Dark Mod team. More than that it shows how dedicated the Thief community continues to be by supporting oldskool stealth gameplay and it removes one of the barriers to entry for potential new players.

The second piece of overdue news is that The Dark Mod has won PC Gamer’s Mod of the Year award. Some of us really can’t believe that this didn't happen sooner but it seems people get what they deserve in the end and The Dark Mod deserves this.

Head on over to The Dark Mod now and see what you’re missing. Free, stand alone Mod of the Year oldskool stealth is what.

Well done to everyone at The Dark Mod from TTLG.

Thief IV - incoming

The other little thing you may or may not have heard of is that this month another Thief related (sort of related you might say) event is happening - the release of Thief. No, not that one, the new one. It’s not “technically” Thief 4 but it’s the 4th Thief game (if you don’t count T2X :p) so here at TTLG we’re calling it Thief 4 (or IV) in the forums to distinguish it from the original Thief.

Actually some of our long term members started calling it ReThief, because it’s a reboot, but that was soon dropped for the altogether more amusing NuThief because of (Nu)Garrett’s perceived overuse of eyeliner and general Brandon-Lee-in-The-Crow emo-ness.

If you can’t dress in black and skulk on the streets looking moody and tortured on the streets of The City where can you?

25th of Feb is the date, and you can get hold of Thief for PC, PS3, PS4, XBox360 and Xbox One at all the usual places. And by that I mean you can get it on Steam for your PC because you are going to play with mouse and keyboard, aren't you? :p
10th Dec 2013
New thief gold texture patch by Gecko - Gecko - 09:33
Gecko has released his long anticipated Thief Gold enhancement mod. See below for information or visit the original thread for more discussion.

At long last the Thief Gold HD Mod v0.8.5 is available for download!

- added HD textures for all original missions
- added new vegetation
- added new water and lava textures
- added new torch and fire flames
- added Fog FX (Applies only to following missions: Escape!, Strange Bedfellows, Into The Maw of Chaos)
- added new Bugbeast HD skin
- added new Burrick HD skin
- added new Zombie HD skin (A big Zombie skin-pack update with a setup tool coming soon!!!)
Read More »
29th Oct 2013
Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Director's Cut - fett - 19:38
DEUS EX: HUMAN REVOLUTION - DIRECTOR'S CUT from Eidos Montreal released in North America October 22nd and October 25th in Europe. Though the Mac version won't see release until later this year, it is currently available on XBox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii U, and Windows PC.

The Director's cut features all DX:HR DLC, infologs, quick inventory capabilities, beefed-up graphics and combat mechanics, new augs, and probably the most anticipated improvement to the original game: re-worked boss fights.

18th Oct 2013
Interview with Josh Randall (LGS alumni) - fett - 23:49
Looks like TTLGer Valet2 caught up with Thief/SS2 Producer Josh Randall

...and the Russian version:

Discuss the video in our System Shock forum thread.