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Thief’s Shalebridge Cradle mission taught me to fear asylum/orphanage combo platters

This still scares the pants off me

A new Polygon article that brings back some old memories, and yes it's true, that was one scary ass mission! I remember it very well.

I am considering playing this again now while we have slow new mod releases lately.

 

https://www.polygon.com/2020/10/11/21509328/thief-deadly-shadows-halloween-scary-level-shalebridge-cradle

 

 

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Indeed, and I admire how the ambient soundtrack contains references to Silent Hill through some stock sound effects.

Arguably the lack of enemies is somewhat dated because today there are mods to combine T:DS levels that were split up. So, now it's possible to have the undead insane asylum inmate puppets hunt you right down to the first level of the building.

"I really perceive that vanity about which most men merely prate — the vanity of the human or temporal life. I live continually in a reverie of the future. I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active — not more happy — nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago. The result will never vary — and to suppose that it will, is to suppose that the foregone man has lived in vain — that the foregone time is but the rudiment of the future — that the myriads who have perished have not been upon equal footing with ourselves — nor are we with our posterity. I cannot agree to lose sight of man the individual, in man the mass."...

- 2 July 1844 letter to James Russell Lowell from Edgar Allan Poe.

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i believe that we can recreate it. And i have seen missions like it. 

the cradle is, is to me, for a new player, a combination of a unknown mission, the building, assests and a great looping background "music". 

To me, T3 has other missions like it. The second mission of thief 1 has the same things. 

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11 hours ago, Anderson said:

Arguably the lack of enemies is somewhat dated because today there are mods to combine T:DS levels that were split up. So, now it's possible to have the undead insane asylum inmate puppets hunt you right down to the first level of the building.

It never bothered me, TBH. If anything, then I think that many "modern" gameplay elements, like the never ending flood of enemies is rather something I don't enjoy compared to older games. There's something really satisfying about clearing an area, and being able to explore it, without having to fear enemies on every corner again (after all that's why we carry weapons, right?).

The biggest problem with TDS for me is the castrated level design, due to the hardware limitations of the consoles back then. With similar level design to the first two Thief's, the game could have been really good, because, basically, it's all there, atmosphere is nice, gameplay is nice. I really think it's a great game, but, suffers big time from those claustrophobic level design. 

To play the devils advocate: Thief 2014 is the better successor in that regard. Even though it's more of a reboot, and feels like a different game. The game world is fantastic though. 

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"I really perceive that vanity about which most men merely prate — the vanity of the human or temporal life. I live continually in a reverie of the future. I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active — not more happy — nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago. The result will never vary — and to suppose that it will, is to suppose that the foregone man has lived in vain — that the foregone time is but the rudiment of the future — that the myriads who have perished have not been upon equal footing with ourselves — nor are we with our posterity. I cannot agree to lose sight of man the individual, in man the mass."...

- 2 July 1844 letter to James Russell Lowell from Edgar Allan Poe.

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I think what you would need to set the tone for a mission like this is to have new scary/irregular enemies that are creatively introduced. The biggest working component of what makes the Cradle work as good as it does is uncertainty. If you can get a new enemy that is brooding with unpredictable animations/pathing, you could do a lot right there. One way I always thought this fear factor could be done, would be through the means of making the enemy combatant more illusive and mobile than the player. In Thief games you normally have a vastly superior ability to outwit the dumb NPCs in the game. If that could be changed up or even leveled, I think it would be winner.

In a separate project we talked about the possibility of seeing an NPC that could use a code/script, that would actually teleport it around the map. The attempt would be to paint an enemy that understands the area better than you. Trying to convey the undertones that you're in his domain. It would likely have to be some kind of behavioral controller (separate from the specified NPC) that would kick into gear in a alert state. We'd command the NPC to run to different targets (a trigger teleport door/vent).

I don't think it would be easy but what you'd have is an NPC that can run through a panel behind you and emerge from another panel on the opposite side of the room.

The theory would go that the controller would create a path target to the nearest tele region. The controller would then change that region's teleport target to the one closest to the player. The caveat would be that you'd have to find a way of reliably enabling/disabling the controller so that the NPC can go back to searching for the player as soon as the tele is done. That and you'd have to find a good distance value to the player that would toggle the control state again if the NPC gets alerted but is too far.

Lotta mumbo-jumbo to some but man if that could be implemented, to me would be a crazy scary enemy. In my head I imagine something that looks kinda like the puppets, but would be able to navigate in the walls and play a deadly game of peekaboo.

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