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Thief 2 / SS2 / Deep Cover Source


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#76 Noisycricket

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 03:38 PM

w...t...f



(not aimed at you 7upman)


#77 Springheel

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 03:52 PM

Now the starting premise has changed.


Not really. Unless I've missed something, Eidos has still not released the code, nor given permission for its use.

However, even if that is forthcoming, how much can you realistically do with a 12 year old engine? If you start increasing poly limits, for example, you'll then have to remake all the low-poly assets. Add support for high res textures and you have to remake all the textures.

I would expect that making it into anything resembling a modern game would take just as much work as making TDM in the first place.
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#78 New Horizon

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 04:09 PM

I would expect that making it into anything resembling a modern game would take just as much work as making TDM in the first place.


Yup, if not more...since the framework for all of that modern pizazz would have to be built in from the ground up.

The current plan for the source code...should permission be given to use it...is to clean it up, get it to compile, fix some long standing bugs, make it compatible with modern versions of windows, look at cross platform support.

People have a lot of 'dreams' for the code but the reality is just to get it running.

#79 Chi Haotian

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 04:12 PM

The heck with objects and textures. I'd like to see the world limits raised so I could build greater spaces and more detailed buildings without being hit with the "scene complexity too high" and similar errors.

Then, player mobility could be improved (climbing and whatnot). Not to mention, improving the AI capabilities, which is pretty much the core of the gaming experience.

Stealth genre doesn't really call for all those insane graphics capabilities of the latest engines.

#80 Aprilsister

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 04:21 PM

People have a lot of 'dreams' for the code but the reality is just to get it running


The reality is:

1. It is not open.
2. It is not complete.
3. It is old.
...
98. It is now 5 years on and you realize...
99. TDM & DR are already here and they kick ass.

#81 Springheel

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 04:21 PM

The heck with objects and textures


It will take pretty dedicated fans to overlook the 80-poly characters, regardless how good the climbing is.
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#82 Melan

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 04:28 PM

After ensuring the game works on modern configs, sensible improvements to the engine might indeed include support for higher scene complexity and relaxed brush limits. That's a possibility, although it will need more work than some people think now in their initial enthusiasm. But I have a doubt there is room in the community for a really massive, feature-rich overhaul. The more added, the higher chance to end up with it being rejected by the same group of fans who will have nothing to do with TDM.
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#83 Serpentine

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 04:42 PM

The more added, the higher chance to end up with it being rejected by the same group of fans who will have nothing to do with TDM.


The problem is that it's an 'all or nothing' type of deal. Since it's coming from source, any introduction of art assets would instantly be expected to be fully featured. Even simple things like bumpmaps take a very good amount of time if you want quality, and if they do any automagic conversion would look horrific. In the end the only really good remake projects are ones like Exult/Pentagram, where improvements are small and focus on the engine rather than content, even emulating bugs in parts where fans enjoyed it. The choices that seem to be getting made with this source, to try reuse a lot of bad or completely deprecated things is also a bit odd, while it might result in a quick release it'll be painfully annoying to retool later and risk losing devs etc.

I'd like to see a "Thief - Reloaded" asset project, but it'd have to be almost entirely separate before it'd be accepted.

Never-mind things like the arcane and antiquated DromEd etc.

As ol Karras once said, "Haters gonna hate."

#84 Chi Haotian

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 05:04 PM

the higher chance to end up with it being rejected by the same group of fans who will have nothing to do with TDM.


Not unless the modifications are frivolous and arbitrary, and don't proceed naturally from the design of the Dark Engine. The original fans aren't some hard-to-please fanatics, they just think that if thou wilt harken to the designs the Builder hath made, and keep his statutes, thou wilt share in his triumphs and make a good engine better.

#85 Springheel

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 05:21 PM

Not unless the modifications are frivolous and arbitrary, and don't proceed naturally from the design of the Dark Engine.


"frivolous", "arbitrary" and "naturally" are all extremely subjective concepts, as anyone trying to improve existing Thief assets will quickly discover. :)
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#86 Aprilsister

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 05:22 PM

Not unless the modifications are frivolous and arbitrary, and don't proceed naturally from the design of the Dark Engine. The original fans aren't some hard-to-please fanatics, they just think that if thou wilt harken to the designs the Builder hath made, and keep his statutes, thou wilt share in his triumphs and make a good engine better.


Quite possibly the funniest stuff I've read here.

Yes, the "original fans" (those fanatics who turn their nose up at TDM) are so ready to agree on what is an what is not "frivolous and arbitrary" and certainly they all agree on what "proceed[s] naturally from the design of the Dark Engine."

Yes, yes, yep.

...

They aren't some hard to-please-fanatics. No. No. Nope. Who said that? They, these "original fans" only want better mechanics (but not those better mechanics) and improved AI capabilities (but not those...)

...

The truth is they couldn't agree on any goddmaned thing in the positive.

The only thing they do agree on is purely in the negative.

These fucking people sit around for literally months... and complain and get snide and build a fucking culture out of doing do over a fucking logo... these "original fans"...

None of them love Thief more than I do. And all the sentimentality and fetishistic bullshit in the world is not to the contrary.

#87 Chi Haotian

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 05:27 PM

simple things like bumpmaps

Who said you even need this feature? It's somewhat overrated and quite overused. Just because Half-Life 2 and Doom 3 had it, doesn't mean that now it's a must for Thief.

A lot of these resource-hungry features seem to add as much surrealism as realism, and end up being zero-sum. You can have the entire game glitter and reflect in a thousand hues and still miss it in terms of proper feel for the genre.

#88 Serpentine

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 06:40 PM

Who said you even need this feature? It's somewhat overrated and quite overused. Just because Half-Life 2 and Doom 3 had it, doesn't mean that now it's a must for Thief.

A lot of these resource-hungry features seem to add as much surrealism as realism, and end up being zero-sum. You can have the entire game glitter and reflect in a thousand hues and still miss it in terms of proper feel for the genre.


In case you didn't notice, I was actually mentioning how graphical improvements(excl. framework) should be completely separate to a re-implementation of Thief 2 etc etc, however I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you want to know why I'd like them to be in a redone art mod:

Because normal/bumpmapping is by faaar the most beneficial graphical improvement a game with detailed/"real-world-esque" textures given realistically limited manhours and computational resources. The marginal cost of normalmapping compared to increasing geometry detail is ridiculously low and in most cases both orders of magnitude easier and less time consuming, as well as allowing lower detail to look better thereby decreasing the amount of resources needed for a similarly nice scene. You might have also noticed that LGS thought the same thing, considering they a placeholder for implementing oldschool bumpmapping before running out of time; Clearly this was done as some kind of joke right? someone was high off his face again, writing code dirty? an elaborate troll to confuse future people browsing the source? :blush:

There's a reason pretty much every game in the last 7 years has used it, and it's not "because hl2 had it".

So now that we've got through that point, have you ever wondered to yourself "Hmmm, why don't people play games on the lowest graphical settings so that the movement is as fluid as can be?"? Feel free to answer it. Assume that FPS is always more than playable and be aware not to include either Quake3 or CS in your answer, the lower graphics were used to assure higher client tick rates could be maintained and abused for longer jumps and more possible movements per unit of time.

Why do I want tangible, achievable, beneficial improvements in something? because I'm human.

... But please continue living in that little bubble of "everything is against us", pretending to be some pseudo-intellectual cowboy with an answer for everything(one in each holster if you like!).

Edit : that was a bit harsh, hehhhh

#89 Chi Haotian

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 07:30 PM

You're peculiar.

But I had no idea that LGS was about to implement bumpmapping. That's interesting. I wonder how it would have turned out. See, that's what you should have started with - with stuff that matters.

Personally, I don't like bumpmapping. It always made surfaces look exaggeratedly uneven, almost cartoonish. (Although that may have been a design choice and not part of the feature itself.)

Edited by Chi Haotian, 21 December 2010 - 07:55 PM.


#90 Springheel

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 07:50 PM

I had no idea that LGS was about to implement bumpmapping. See, that's where you have to start - with things that matter.


You're not saying that your opinion of bumpmaps is changed purely by the knowledge that LGS was going to do it, are you?

I actually agree with your point that:

A lot of these resource-hungry features seem to add as much surrealism as realism, and end up being zero-sum.


People underestimate how many gaps in early games are filled in by your imagination. Making realistic versions of those same assets can be like seeing a movie version of your favourite book.
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#91 Chi Haotian

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 08:12 PM

You're not saying that your opinion of bumpmaps is changed purely by the knowledge that LGS was going to do it, are you?

My whole idea of bumpmaping was shaken. For a moment I thought that, if LGS was going to put bumpmaps into Thief, then, either what I saw and thought was bumpmapping wasn't, or that there's a way to put it into Thief and yet avoid those unnatural bulging-out bricks and overdone cavities, like those in TDS.

Making realistic versions of those same assets can be like seeing a movie version of your favourite book.

Indeed. Same applies to all sorts of enhanced objects packs: from them I only pick out objects that fix a defect in the original models, but the rest I delete, because they're over-detailed and they force themselves upon you, leaving no room for imagination.

See, it appears that the spirit of the original Thief is pinpointable and quantifiable after all.

#92 lost_soul

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 08:21 PM

I think we're still growing. With every new FM that comes out and every time the limits of TDM are expanded upon, we see more people from TTLG giving it a try. This is a good thing. I don't want to see TDM "stomp out" Thief, but I want TDM to grow and grow, and then grow some more. More missions released = more players, which = more potential mappers!

I never really saw the guards in T1/2 as being pathetic looking though. The animations were and still are beautiful (particularly the combat ones!).
I didn't spend so much time looking at the AIs, because I was busy avoiding them most of the time. As for bumpmapping, were there even video cards that could do it in 2000? I think the Dreamcast could do it. It seemed like people were more obsessed with environment mapping back then. It is a way to make walls look shiny and/or reflective.

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#93 Springheel

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 08:45 PM

See, it appears that the spirit of the original Thief is pinpointable and quantifiable after all.


Well, if you want to identify the "spirit of the original Thief" as "make everything lack detail" :)
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#94 demagogue

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 11:23 PM

After the compatibility fixes, I also think more polys for the AI and some objects would be the one improvement it could really use, whereas the textures and architecture I thought have always been very good already, with its own style. Maybe make the mantling a little more robust. Re-integrate the multiplayer we already have in. But not much more than that I think. (I don't mind being purist when it comes to the original... TDM is our vehicle for pushing envelopes, and even then within boundaries.)

The thing is, even "technical" changes always change more than just the technical stuff. If you add polys to AI, it means you have to design new AI, which means somebody has to impose a new art direction that changes the look and feel of the game. It's only because AI are *such* low poly that it's worth taking that chance.
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#95 7upMan

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 04:17 AM

I read a lot about fixing the poly limit in the first two Thief games, now that the source is available. This is what I'd like to see too, but it dawned me that there may be a good reason for the engine's programmer to set this limit. I mean, he didn't do this because he was such a fuckup, right? On the other hand, I can't come up with a reason to do so, but I'm not a programmer either.

Is one of you guys knowledgeable enough on this matter or can point me to a post that explains it?


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#96 Melan

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 04:27 AM

I think we're still growing. With every new FM that comes out and every time the limits of TDM are expanded upon, we see more people from TTLG giving it a try. This is a good thing. I don't want to see TDM "stomp out" Thief, but I want TDM to grow and grow, and then grow some more. More missions released = more players, which = more potential mappers!

I never really saw the guards in T1/2 as being pathetic looking though. The animations were and still are beautiful (particularly the combat ones!).

This. I am at a peculiar point here in that I like my Thief entirely classic and TDM as an alternative. In a perfect world, I would be playing Thief 1 missions with the original textures and ambience, and highly-polished TDM missions taking advantage of the game's beautifully updated textures. One as the timeless classic, the other as the first worthy successor.

That some of TTLG or here don't see it that way is unfortunate.
Come the time of peril, did the ground gape, and did the dead rest unquiet 'gainst us. Our bands of iron and hammers of stone prevailed not, and some did doubt the Builder's plan. But the seals held strong, and the few did triumph, and the doubters were lain into the foundations of the new sanctum. -- Collected letters of the Smith-in-Exile, Civitas Approved

#97 Melan

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 04:34 AM

I read a lot about fixing the poly limit in the first two Thief games, now that the source is available. This is what I'd like to see too, but it dawned me that there may be a good reason for the engine's programmer to set this limit. I mean, he didn't do this because he was such a fuckup, right? On the other hand, I can't come up with a reason to do so, but I'm not a programmer either.

I don't know the precise reason, but LGS was designing for period hardware. The internal design documents for Thief 1 recommend that scene complexity shouldn't go over 3-400 polygons most of the time; if I recall correctly, this was bumped to 5-700 for Thief 2. The limit may have been a non-issue since they were shooting significantly below that.

That may or may not mean the limit will be easy to modify. It still opens a Pandora's box -- 1024 polys and 7000 brushes were the hard limit that kept builders disciplined; without them, we may see greater works -- but also more projects going nowhere. (Remember CoSaS)
Come the time of peril, did the ground gape, and did the dead rest unquiet 'gainst us. Our bands of iron and hammers of stone prevailed not, and some did doubt the Builder's plan. But the seals held strong, and the few did triumph, and the doubters were lain into the foundations of the new sanctum. -- Collected letters of the Smith-in-Exile, Civitas Approved

#98 MoroseTroll

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 04:38 AM

As for bumpmapping, were there even video cards that could do it in 2000?

There are several types of bumpmapping exist: emboss (EBM), environment mapping (EMBM) etc. The first one is the simplest and supported absolutely on every hardware. The second one was introduced by Matrox in its G400 (1999) and then supported by ATI Radeon 7200+ (2000).

#99 Chi Haotian

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 12:49 PM

Also,

There's a reason pretty much every game in the last 7 years has used it, and it's not "because hl2 had it".

is no different than saying, because other games had it (which was essentially my original comment)... You ought to be thinking whether this will be good for original Thief or not, not just whether other games have implemented this or not. Mindless immitation and groupthink are deadly to creativity.

The introduction of shadowcasting dynamic lighting would seriously reveal the "wallpaper" nature of simple textures, so it would definitely need some bumpmapping to go along with it. You mentioned oldschool bumpmapping LGS was planning to implement. What sort of bumpmapping was it? Is it what MoroseTroll is talking about? Maybe that's what Dark Engine will need (and all it will need) in this department?

Edited by Chi Haotian, 23 December 2010 - 01:05 PM.


#100 Chi Haotian

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 12:58 PM

we may see greater works -- but also more projects going nowhere. (Remember CoSaS)


Could you develop on this thought?




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