Posted 11 April 2008 - 02:19 AM
The more I think about my gameplay style, the more I think I lean towards oDDity's views (if I am interpreting them correctly). The story leads me and lets me know what I need to do, but doesn't shape my experience as much as my own imagination.
For me it's all about immersion. The cutscenes are usually more about how they set the tone using graphics, music, and the character's voice, and less about what is being said. The textures and shadows in the level set the mood more than a readable. And the gameplay makes you feel like you are the character whether you are playing as Garrett or playing an FM as some other hero.
Like others have said, one of the main problems with Thief 3 was the gameplay in general. Thief 1 and 2 were smooth while running and jumping, mantling, turning while crossing a beam, and fighting. That really goes such a long way in keeping you enthralled by the world around you. Thief 3, on the other hand, is clunky. The control is terrible and breaks the immersion.
Part of the problem with Thief 3 is just the way the unreal engine was re-programmed. Even on a fairly decent system the gameplay had tiny speed issues. Like microscopic freezes while running or when attacking. Barely noticable, but enough to spoil the effect. I've loaded it on my new system, and while it still has control problems, it runs smoother and is more enjoyable because those tiny little annoyances are gone. I played through several FMs like "The Bridge" and "Cabot" and there was an amazing difference.
I'm getting off topic, but basically I think the level and gameplay make the mission. Even without a storyline, or a very small backstory, people develop their own perceptions as they play. Almost all of us have played thief and have that common background. If someone who has never played thief sits down at a computer running a fan mission or the dark mod, would they mold the story around something they knew, like Dragonlance or Lord of the Rings? The author can guide the reader with a story, but people will still surround that with the imagery they have in their minds.
For me that will probably mean that when I play missions in TDM, I will still be myself as a thief, and instead of people calling me by the nickname Garrett, they will call me by some other nickname (for some odd reason).