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'Thief' & 'E3 2013' official information, articles & interviews

thief 2014 e3 information feedback videos articles interviews 2013

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#1 Kvorning

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 08:33 PM

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As we all have a lot of questions and impressions of what we've seen from 'Thief', I figured it would be beneficial for us all, to get some of the information straightened out.

(I'll make sure to edit and update key points, with everything being in reference to the links provided.)

Key points:
-Almost all of the HUD/UI can be disable individually by the player.
-There is going to be an 'Oldschool mode', which limits the players HUD/UI similar to the old Thief games.
-The 'shroud effect' in the videos, is a placeholder version, not the final result.
-The 'lightgem' is still in the game, in addition to the shroud effect.
-The 'hands' are an essential part of the design.
-There is an XP system and a loot system.
-XP is used to upgrade Garrett's skills.
-Loot is used to buy Garrett's equipment upgrades, extra arrows, tools, etc.
-The XP earned is heavily dependent on stealth, not aggression/combat.
-Rope arrows are limited to certain spots.
-The game-play demos are not scripted, they are rehearsed to showcase the game and features.
-Thief(2014) "..-Is not a sequel or prequel to the previous series, it is a re-invention of the Thief franchise, which means narratively, it's very different."
-Focus has it's introduction via a storyline placement, early in the game, relating to 'Garrett's Eye'.
-The 'Focus feature' can be disabled before starting a new game. It may be made possible to re-enable it, but at the expense of the achievement for completing the game without
-Health and Focus does not regenerate, the player has to find pick-ups and consumables.
-Focus is not intended as a 'win-button', but an ability to briefly highlight objectives or boost stealth, lock-picking, pick-pocketing or combat skills.
-It's primarily a first-person game, with the exception of small segments where the camera goes third-person.
-A lot of features for touch-pads and next-gen consoles are still in development.
-Lock-picking animation will change when getting closer to the 'sweet-spot'.
-Lock-picking can be done with the help of animation, sound, UI and focus assist.
-Burning building sequence not an escape from a manor, from another part of the game entirely. That sort of thing supposedly very rare.
-Simple blackjacking does not require a take-down button.
-Unconscious guards can be woken up.
-An action heavy approach would be very difficult.
-Demo players found the guards to be very observant, and mentioned that: "If they suspect something is there they actually will change how they patrol the environment to include the area they saw."
-Demo players weren't able to change actions "mid-animation".
-The game pauses when you read things.
-Garrett's eye can zoom, with a tint around the edges and a slight 'blur effect'.
-"..-there is a post mission stats screen. It had total loot items vs how much was in the level as well as things like kills, knockouts, alerts, times caught, mission time, and a few challenges like “Ghost-..”"
-"The shadows and light gem are not binary, but work on a gradient system. Likewise, the shadows were dynamic like in Deadly Shadows. You can hide in the shadow of guard, for example."
-Focus seems to burn about 1% every 3 seconds. Actions performed while in focus, takes about 20% for an aimed arrow, 10% for a blackjack on a weak spot.
-'Leaning' is contextual, and replaced by 'peaking'. The player can look up and around whatever object he's hiding behind, but not freely as in TDM.


Videos from E3 2013:
10 minute full-screen game-play with commentary, by Daniel Windfeld Schmidt, Thief Lead Level Designer
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0KS2Hm6_oM
Game-play with commentary, by Stéphane Roy, Thief Producer
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L67VurX81VI
33 minute video on stage with the gameplay demo, and commentary by Stéphane Roy, Thief Producer
www.youtube.com/watch?v=5--ZKsAi5E0 (Can't hotlink more media links)
Gamespot Newsroom review with Carolyn Petit and Jonathan Toyad:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXZKBa-2xJE (Can't hotlink more media links)
PCGamesHardware interview, with Daniel Windfeld Schmidt, Thief Lead Level Designer:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrGSV6-EKHQ (Can't hotlink more media links)
www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUEZaT_XAG8 (Can't hotlink more media links)

Reviews from E3 2013:
http://ca.ign.com/ar...g-from-a-master - Detailed and colorful review, that describes the E3 Thief demo play-through experience, by Richard George

Other articles:
http://metro.co.uk/2...d-down-3847108/ - "Thief hands-on preview – stealing hearts (and anything else not nailed down)"
http://www.gamesrada...ing-candy-baby/ - "Being a thief in Thief isnt easy stealing candy baby"
http://www.gameinfor...t-stealing.aspx - "What Playing Thief Taught Me About Stealing"
http://www.joystiq.c...creep-in-thief/ - "Be an old-school creep in Thief"
http://www.officialp...ays-of-playing/ - "Thief 4 completable “without killing anyone”, will support “awkward ways of playing”"
http://www.fmvmagazine.com/?p=16329 - "THIEF REBOOT IS “MORE NUANCED” THAN DISHONORED, SAYS EIDOS MONTREAL"
http://www.rockpaper...e3-playthrough/ - "Thief: Eidos’ Words Vs My E3 Playthrough"
http://sneakybastard...thief-hands-on/ - "Lay Thy Hammer Down: Thief Hands-On Preview"
Other external forum threads:
http://www.ttlg.com/...ad.php?t=141768 - A very detailed and extensive summery by "Chade".
http://www.ttlg.com/...ad.php?t=141236 - a VERY LARGE collection of Thief related material.
http://www.eidosforu...257#post1927257 - "We PLAYED THIEF at E3 – Ask us anything!" - A lot of good QA: ( http://www.eidosforu...38;postcount=19 )
http://www.eidosforu...8;postcount=117 - "Master Taffer" shares more insights from the E3 demo

Edited by Kvorning, 05 August 2013 - 02:02 PM.

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#2 GodIsWatchingYou

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 08:41 PM

Wow - very comprehensive - Genuinely impressed :)

#3 Springheel

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 10:17 PM

-About 95% of the HUD/UI can be disable individually by the player.


Where did you get this figure from? Last I heard they were still trying to decide what you could and couldn't toggle off.

XP is used to upgrade Garrett's skills.


This was mentioned on a questionable Polish website, but the developers said that XP is used as a rating system for how well you did, and said nothing about using it to upgrade skills.
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#4 Kvorning

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 10:42 PM

@Springheel
The XP info was from this link http://www.eidosforu...57&postcount=19

As for the loosely qouted "95% of the elements that can be disabled", I can't remember what vid it was in, but I'll make sure to find it tomorrow (Today) when I get up, right now I'm too tired :)

Edit: I can't find the video, but I wrote it down as the first thing so I wouldn't forget. Doesn't help much when i can't remember the source =P. But I know I heard that in one of the interviews, problem is, they literally all look alike. I'll just change it to "almost all" ;)

Edited by Kvorning, 16 June 2013 - 07:11 AM.


#5 Wizd3m

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 12:23 AM

Focus Mode has it's introduction via a storyline placement, early in the game, relating to 'Garrett's Eye', and yet can be disabled in the menus? isn't that a little weird?
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#6 Kvorning

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 05:35 AM

Yeah I've wondered about that, but I'm guessing you're still gonna have access to highlighted objects or something fundamentally simple, which isn't too intrusive.

#7 jtr7

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 05:44 AM

..............

Edited by jtr7, 19 February 2014 - 06:08 PM.

A skunk was badgered--the results were strong.
I hope that something better comes along.

#8 New Horizon

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 07:11 AM

-The game-play demos are not scripted, they are rehearsed to showcase the game and features.


The player might not be 'scripted', that's obvious but there is definitely some scripting going on with the AI. Apparently the GDC demonstration was even more heavily scripted, up to a point where a reviewer who saw it said there was no way to play the way they were shown at GDC in the current build. Considering it's pre-alpha, that's not surprising....they are going to have a long year ahead of them.

#9 Kvorning

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 07:13 AM

@jtr7
The focus mode isn't a huge marketing point, as far as I understand. They've made sure to underline that the levels are being designed around the focus not being there. The level designers are not allowed to balance their maps to the idea of having focus. It's going to be an addition to those who want to try a new feature.

@New Horizon
All AIs in games obviously have internal scripts yeah, but aside from way-points and 'talk behavior' or when they conduct a search, like we also see in TDM, I can't really see any scripted events.

They deliberately take a couple of select routes through that part of the level, to show the mechanics the player might encounter. They even show when one of the players mess up on pick-pocketing, tries to compensate with focus, fails miserably and dies, as he is "not a soldier", but a thief :)

As for a long year, I agree. With proper time management they'll be fine, but I doubt they gonna sit back from now on and say "Well I guess we just have to wait for the deadline." :D

Edited by Kvorning, 16 June 2013 - 07:20 AM.


#10 fllood

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 08:04 AM

Goof idea bringing together all small scattered info pieces about what has been communicated and seen for Thief 4 so far.

Thanks Kvorning!

Is there yet any video available about the "Brdige Escape" sequence?
"To rush is without doubt the most important enemy of joy" ~ Thieves Saying

#11 Kvorning

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 08:19 AM

Thanks=), I haven't seen anything about that sequence, they didn't like in the Gamespot Newsroom segment, but got a feeling they were only allowed to show the footage from the 'Manor Courtyard'.

#12 Springheel

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 09:14 AM

There have been conflicting messages about this, apparently.

I asked Adam, and it appears I was mistaken before. XP is for upgrades to Garrett (I speculate it's for things like things like Focus, personally)


I seriously hope the OTHER dev, that said during the demonstration that it was essentially a stealth score mechanism, is correct. Spending XP to upgrade skills has no place in a Thief game.

This bit was interesting:

I don't know if guards can wake up on their own, but I do know that if you don't hide an unconcious guard properly and another person finds him they can wake him up.


I wonder how they plan on implementing that?

As for the loosely qouted "95% of the elements that can be disabled", I can't remember what vid it was in,


I've heard them say you can turn off the floating red eyes and "suspicious" markers that float over the AI's heads, but nothing about the shroud, the glowy blue indicators telling you, "you can use this!" the blue arc markers that show you how to throw things, loot glint, the bright flash on guard's swords that tell you when they're going to swing, the text that tells you where you are, the radar map, etc.
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#13 Springheel

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 10:33 AM

Lots of interesting things in the eidos forum fan impression Q&A, and I've only read the first page:

These are some of the points that lept out at me. Again, this is just the first page (I need to get some sleep!).

Good:

  • Burning building sequence not an escape from a manor, from another part of the game entirely. That sort of thing supposedly very rare.
  • Simple blackjacking does not require a takedown button (not sure if this was actually confirmed before?)
  • unconscious guards can be woken up
  • xp rewards heavily favour stealth
  • their paths through the E3 level we have seen were very different to the dev playthrough shown several times at E3. In other words, the E3 demonstration we saw was not scripted, but heavily rehearsed.
  • they thought Garrett's one liners were well written (e.g. "So, the Baron does have a heart after all..." in reference to the heart of the lion), and in their opinion his personality was "very much the same"
  • sounds is still very important
  • in their opinion, the atmosphere was fantastic
  • an action heavy approach would be very difficult
  • they found the guards to be very observant, and mentioned that "if they suspect something is there they actually will change how they patrol the environment to include the area they saw something"
Bad:
  • seems like devs are pretty keen on the hands staying, even when they are not doing anything
  • as noted above, rope arrows are indeed limited to hot spots. I wonder if they've been shoe-horned in after popular outcry ...
  • they weren't able to change actions "mid-animation"


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#14 Kvorning

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 11:40 AM

Awesome, adding most of it to the top :)

Some were already there, but this really is forming a firmer impression of the game so far.

Edited by Kvorning, 16 June 2013 - 11:54 AM.


#15 stumpy

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 01:52 PM

i heard somewhere else in an interview about a month ago (not at E3) with the games producer and lead level designer that its possible to stealth the whole game, which made it sound like all the maps were complete, maybe it was a rough build, because they were talking about several runs through of the maps. Plus in one of those e3 interviews the producer says that the part at the manor courtyard is 2 hours into the game. So if it was a stand alone demo they wouldn't be saying its 2 hours into the game.

#16 ERH+

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 02:10 PM

I guess they are forced to tell something because E3. If it is indeed pre-alfa, they can call himself lucky that everything have textures (or shrouds :P ).
How they manage to play stealth on burning, collapsing bridge??

S2wtMNl.gif


#17 lost_soul

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 06:44 PM

HUD customization is a good sign...


I also like that they have guards who can wake up from a KO. Better hide them carefully now. :)

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#18 Kvorning

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 07:21 PM

I hope we never get to see a suspicious amount of garbage containers, and laundry bins, conveniently placed every 10 feet ;)

#19 New Horizon

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 08:14 PM

HUD customization is a good sign...


I also like that they have guards who can wake up from a KO. Better hide them carefully now. :)


Not on their own though, but rather revived by another guard if found...so yeah, hide them carefully. Not sure how that will work in terms of game balancing though. Although if the player does hide them well, it won't be an issue.

#20 jtr7

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 08:19 PM

..............

Edited by jtr7, 19 February 2014 - 06:08 PM.

A skunk was badgered--the results were strong.
I hope that something better comes along.

#21 Springheel

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 08:50 PM

Yes, it's rather puzzling to me that they keep saying things like, "you can totally turn focus off," and, "levels aren't designed with focus in mind" . Yet focus is PART OF THE STORY. If it was really some hand-holding thing for non stealth gamers, why not just make it that? Why build it right into the fabric of the narrative?
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#22 stumpy

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 12:24 AM

maybe focus can be tailored to see in the dark, or show paths between guard routes, or hide you in shadows better, stealth type elements added to focus instead of the violent bits of focus that they've shown.

#23 Kvorning

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 07:05 AM

@jtr7
Focus is a feature in the game, not a major marketing point. A major marketing point for a game developer is something like "Will be available in 2014 on next-gen consoles and high end PCs", which specifically targets 2 consumer groups. An optional in-game gimmick can hardly qualify for a backbone in an upcoming product.

The video where Stéphane Roy was commentating, the player burned through about 80% of his focus, on 2 guards, and died to the 3rd. Granted, it didn't look like the performance of a 'professional gamer', but in the intend of showing what a casual player, who knows how to counter attacks, it shows that focus doesn't turn Garrett into 'Altaïr von Ezio del Desmond', if it takes 80% focus and still die.

Considering you can so far only regain focus from rare flowers around the map, an optional feature really doesn't look like an effective fallback.

@Springheel
I'd guess it's relating to Garrett's mechanical eye getting a 'tweak' by whoever made it, or some external influence on it's functionality. Although it's all fantasy and speculation at this point for us, I'm actually very curious about that 'teaser' they've given us about the early story. I hope it'll be good.

@stumpy
Yeah, using focus for enhanced night vision is something I could imagine them implementing. As Garret makes his living at night, he does have a constant natural high level of night vision, though currently I think it's a bit 'too high'. I'm guessing gamma, contrast and brightness can be fixed to give the same level of visibility as the guards have.

We also saw the player use focus on listening for footsteps, pick-pocketing, lock-picking, locating items, points of interest.

Edited by Kvorning, 17 June 2013 - 07:06 AM.


#24 jtr7

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 08:32 AM

.............

Edited by jtr7, 19 February 2014 - 06:07 PM.

A skunk was badgered--the results were strong.
I hope that something better comes along.

#25 Springheel

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 08:57 AM

Btw, it's worth noting that these impressions in the OP were posted by EM-forum devs, at least some of whom have been known as T4 cheerleaders for years. The fact that some of these observations are completely different from some non-EM reactions should be concerning.

Non-EM reactions:

Thief "not good", gameplay "disingenous"
http://www.twitch.tv...885320?t=21m08s


"It may have just been the demo, but it seemed the guards were intent on not seeing Garrett as he moved about the courtyard."
Read more at http://www.escapistm...6cgbXcM2b5ew.99


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