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Embracer Group is going to take over Western business of Square Enix


Carnage
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Not sure if this is good news for franchises such as Deus Ex and Thief as there's not much known about their intent yet, but apart from those franchises I'm hoping for a remake or complete new game in the Legacy of Kain series.

https://www.reuters.com/technology/square-enix-sell-tomb-raider-swedens-embracer-2022-05-02/

Edit: oops, just saw jaxa's status update after posting this.

Edited by Carnage
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I'd be cautiously unoptimistic. Didn't Thief 4 devs disrespect the original games in interviews? I would expect even less love/understanding from newer devs over 2 decades on.

If a Thief 5 gets made, it should be a showcase for ray traced lighting and audio. Maybe they can get paid enough to make a good AA game and true sequel.

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5 minutes ago, jaxa said:

Thief 4 devs disrespect the original games in interviews

I remember seeing that and willfully ignoring it, telling myself it won't be that bad.

"Garret I'm slipping"

 

You are probably right that a Teef 5 with newer devs will end up being an insult rather than a contribution or true sequel.

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To be fair, the group that made Thief 4 (Eidos-Montréal) also somehow managed to make Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Mankind Divided, so there's clearly talent there; I guess it just depends on the project and leadership.

Anyway, based on what I've read people seem cautiously optimistic... if only because Square Enix completely mismanaged their western devs and IP. With regards to Deus Ex I doubt ESG can do any worse than Squeenix, at least compared to doing absolutely fucking nothing.

A word of warning, Agent Denton. This was a simulated experience; real LAMs will not be so forgiving.

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3 hours ago, Xolvix said:

ESG can do any worse than Squeenix

I agree with you that the IP of thief, deus ex and kain are better off with embracer.

ESG is an overarching agent with influence over squeenix.

Here is a decent explanation of ESG

https://odysee.com/@LibertyLockdown:8/ep-145-go-woke-or-go-broke-how-esg-took:c

ESG gets companies to make their products for special interest groups instead of customers.

ESG is the reason for the fast decline in quality of entertainment (especially AAA), publishers are focused on checking all the boxes of a list created by some Thinktank instead of trying to make a product that sells or is liked.

 

 

 

Edited by Frank Cotton
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19 hours ago, Carnage said:

Not sure if this is good news for franchises such as Deus Ex and Thief as there's not much known about their intent yet, but apart from those franchises I'm hoping for a remake or complete new game in the Legacy of Kain series.

https://www.reuters.com/technology/square-enix-sell-tomb-raider-swedens-embracer-2022-05-02/

Edit: oops, just saw jaxa's status update after posting this.

 

I had to check the wiki as I had no idea who or what is behind this venture. I'm surprised how many European developers they've bought over the years, and there's a total of over 10,000 people working there. That makes them bigger than EIDOS were in their best times twenty years ago.

I find even more surprising all the titles that have been bought up over the years. Don't know if that will bring any improvement for LoK, Thief or Deus EX - looks like they want to keep developing those titles in Canada as (no offense) Montreal stands for me with 2006's Assassin's Creed for the decline of the industry.

I therefore do not believe that this will be positive, especially since I have not noticed that one of the brands mentioned in the wiki has attracted attention with spectacular reboots or further developments in recent years - Darksiders 3 excluded.

 

5 hours ago, Frank Cotton said:

I agree with you that the IP of thief, deus ex and kain are better off with embracer.

ESG is an overarching agent with influence over squeenix.

Here is a decent explanation of ESG

https://odysee.com/@LibertyLockdown:8/ep-145-go-woke-or-go-broke-how-esg-took:c

ESG gets companies to make their products for special interest groups instead of customers.

ESG is the reason for the fast decline in quality of entertainment (especially AAA), publishers are focused on checking all the boxes of a list created by some Thinktank instead of trying to make a product that sells or is liked.

 

😄

 

 

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Nordic Games and THQ under Embracer are now very cool. They remastered and updated many old games like Red Faction Guerilla, Titan Quest and Darksiders for free.

Edited by Anderson

"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.

badge?user=andarson

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9 hours ago, Xolvix said:

To be fair, the group that made Thief 4 (Eidos-Montréal) also somehow managed to make Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Mankind Divided, so there's clearly talent there; I guess it just depends on the project and leadership.

No, they were different teams.

The Deus Ex team decided to take and 'old school' approach to developing their game.  I read an interview where designers would question designing maps with areas the player might never see and the team leads had to explain that this was how the older games did it and that it made the players feel like they discovered something on their own.  Paraphrasing but that's the general idea.  The designers were of the mindset that the map lead the player from point A to B.  

 

The team making Thief 2014 took the opposite approach  and repeated all the same mistakes of Thief Deadly Shadows, only worse in my opinion.

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11 hours ago, New Horizon said:

No, they were different teams.

The Deus Ex team decided to take and 'old school' approach to developing their game.  I read an interview where designers would question designing maps with areas the player might never see and the team leads had to explain that this was how the older games did it and that it made the players feel like they discovered something on their own.  Paraphrasing but that's the general idea.  The designers were of the mindset that the map lead the player from point A to B.  

 

The team making Thief 2014 took the opposite approach  and repeated all the same mistakes of Thief Deadly Shadows, only worse in my opinion.

😬 I'm silly. I keep forgetting about how a sufficiently-large developer can have multiple teams working on different things. Although I do remember reading that work on Mankind Divided only began proper once Thief had been shipped, so I just assumed it was the same people.

Regarding the old school approach, there's commentary in the updated version of Human Revolution that mentions that once you've dealt with Sanders (the terrorist leader holding a woman hostage in the first major mission after the prologue), SWAT is finally allowed to enter the facility after being held back by Sarif's influence. Once this happens, most people (including me) normally finish the level by boarding the VTOL, but if you go and backtrack through the level you'll see SWAT units have now populated various areas of the facility and you can talk to them. The idea was to mirror the first mission of the original Deus Ex and how once you've dealt with the terrorist leader there, UNATCO troops populate the area in the same way. Except there you have to encounter them on your way back to HQ so they can't be missed, but there's no logical reason for a player to backtrack in Human Revolution for this mission at least so you'd never see them. Still, interesting detail and at least showed respect for its predecessor.

As for Thief 4, I can't remember where I saw this (think it was a video), but in interviews before its release one of the devs talked about how a player can think that a game they enjoyed 10-15 years ago was one of the best things ever, but can come back to it later and discover it was all in your mind essentially. Then another dev reinforced it by saying it's all nostalgia and how games have come so far in such a short amount of time. In other words, it's a blatant attempt to try to steer people away from making comparisons to the original Thief games by calling them old and shit, since they know their product won't compare favorably. It didn't work. :)

Edited by Xolvix
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A word of warning, Agent Denton. This was a simulated experience; real LAMs will not be so forgiving.

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I hope they bring back, in the classic spirit of the original games, without this nu-Theif or Nu-Tomb Raider type nonsense, Gex, Tomb Raider, Akuji, Soul Reaver, and Thief. Straight up just embrace the retro with better graphics, none of this "everything has to be an epic action movie with super cereal stakes and emotional drama".

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17 hours ago, Kurshok said:

I hope they bring back, in the classic spirit of the original games, without this nu-Theif or Nu-Tomb Raider type nonsense, Gex, Tomb Raider, Akuji, Soul Reaver, and Thief. Straight up just embrace the retro with better graphics, none of this "everything has to be an epic action movie with super cereal stakes and emotional drama".

Just out of curiosity, what is it that a modern thief can give you that thief 2 fan missions cant?

Is there some wrong with "epic action movie with super cereal stakes and emotional drama"? Or is that a personal preference?

I really want to know, because these are things i found missing in thief 1 and 2. Thief 3 was the only game that actually ticked all boxes for me, even with the flaws.

Can we have more scary Zombie Horror maps?

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It's not hard to make Thief fans happy, add path tracing to Thief 1 and 2... either ala Quake 2 RTX, or with a pseudo-remake of the games. Allowing for fan missions with a path tracing engine, is a must.

Edited by kano
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I think dropping ray-tracing into Thief 1 and 2's levels would ruin their designed shadows and make sneaking around impossible, but a new game built from the ground up with raytracing in mind could be interesting.

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9 hours ago, Filizitas said:

Just out of curiosity, what is it that a modern thief can give you that thief 2 fan missions cant?

Is there some wrong with "epic action movie with super cereal stakes and emotional drama"? Or is that a personal preference?

I really want to know, because these are things i found missing in thief 1 and 2. Thief 3 was the only game that actually ticked all boxes for me, even with the flaws.

It could make it more mainstream without having to dumb it down. And attempts at making modern action movies in all but name out of classic games has lead to series losing their original theme at times.

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I would argue that a Thief game built entirely around ray tracing, would perhaps be the perfect example of ray tracing tech used for gameplay as opposed to just for looks. Assuming it's done right, it would mean zero confusion between what looks like a dark area of the map as opposed to what the engine considers a dark area of the map. Despite the Doom 3 unified lighting engine, there's still too many situations where the lighting of a region betrays its actual visibility to the AI, so you'll go there to hide but it actually registers brighter than some benign other area of the room due to.. whatever. A ray traced lighting engine should eliminate that discrepancy completely.

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A word of warning, Agent Denton. This was a simulated experience; real LAMs will not be so forgiving.

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1 hour ago, Xolvix said:

A ray traced lighting engine should eliminate that discrepancy completely.

How does that black magic actually work. I do understand how it works with octane or cycles that kind of simulated light ray path would give you very accurate lights and shadows. What does a real time ray tracing system actually do to get that fast? Does it do a lot of guessing, post processing and interpretation? Couldn't this end up being even worse?

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5 hours ago, Frank Cotton said:

How does that black magic actually work. I do understand how it works with octane or cycles that kind of simulated light ray path would give you very accurate lights and shadows. What does a real time ray tracing system actually do to get that fast? Does it do a lot of guessing, post processing and interpretation? Couldn't this end up being even worse?

To my knowledge, all of today's real-time ray tracing is some variation on this:

In practice, machine learning algorithms may be used (the paper in that video doesn't), and most of today's games with ray tracing continue to use rasterization for most graphics.

The field is advancing quickly:

 

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The magic is in the denoiser. In Quake 2 RTX, you can even switch the denoiser off and see all the noise in it's glory if you want to.

Basically, real-time implementations rely on very few samples, and aggressive denoising, not to mention fewer light bounces, Q2RTX being limited to only 3 diffuse bounces, as they are generally the slowest to calculate, at least in Blender they are.

Additionally, most games that do real-time ray tracing only use it for one or two aspects of the scene like reflections, not for literally everything, like Q2RTX does. You can even have real-time emissive textured surfaces in Q2RTX, like the screen of a monitor in a dark room, where whatever is on the screen causes accurate shadows and colored lighting in the environment.

It's amazing.

Of course they can't just bolt this onto Thief's game engine and call it a day, the lighting and materials would also need to be reworked to properly take advantage of it.

 

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On 5/4/2022 at 8:36 AM, New Horizon said:

I read an interview where designers would question designing maps with areas the player might never see and the team leads had to explain that this was how the older games did it and that it made the players feel like they discovered something on their own.

Arkane Studios is very good in this IMO. I'm playing Prey at the moment and it feels so satisfying to discover every nook and cranny of the space station and finding ways to get into locked off areas, even though most sections you don't really have to go to for the story. Dishonored another great example, although I think they did a better job in the first one than the second one.

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On 5/4/2022 at 2:36 PM, New Horizon said:

No, they were different teams.

The Deus Ex team decided to take and 'old school' approach to developing their game.  I read an interview where designers would question designing maps with areas the player might never see and the team leads had to explain that this was how the older games did it and that it made the players feel like they discovered something on their own.  Paraphrasing but that's the general idea.  The designers were of the mindset that the map lead the player from point A to B.  

As much as I like the modern Deus Ex', they're very different to the original.

I'd actually say they kind of made a fluke with the games, while Thief 4 simply didn't work. At least as a true sequel, I still think it's a decent stealth game, if you view it as a reboot (actually that's what it is anyway).

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15 hours ago, chakkman said:

As much as I like the modern Deus Ex', they're very different to the original.

I'd actually say they kind of made a fluke with the games, 

Oh yes, very different but they did pay a great deal of attention to the originals.  I have to give them a lot more credit than just being a fluke.  I think the production leads were in the right headspace and they did a good job guiding their team away from the 'on rails' point A to point B mindset .  There are interviews where they discuss teaching the level designers to create things that might never be seen by most players.  I think the Deus Ex team were a good crew.  The interviews with the Thief team were constantly heartbreaking...it was clear they didn't get Thief as a concept and really the proof is in the final product.

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Well, I'll happily admit that they did a good job with new Deus Ex games. All I wanted to say is that they took ideas, but ported them into a modern game, with all the good and the bad which comes with it (e.g. those penetrant never ending political messages, and stupid characters, especially in Mankind Divided).

Thief surely differs quite a bit more to the original games. Not so much gameplay wise though. I'd say they're pretty much par with Deus Ex in that regard.

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On 5/6/2022 at 8:41 AM, Xolvix said:

I would argue that a Thief game built entirely around ray tracing, would perhaps be the perfect example of ray tracing tech used for gameplay as opposed to just for looks. Assuming it's done right, it would mean zero confusion between what looks like a dark area of the map as opposed to what the engine considers a dark area of the map. Despite the Doom 3 unified lighting engine, there's still too many situations where the lighting of a region betrays its actual visibility to the AI, so you'll go there to hide but it actually registers brighter than some benign other area of the room due to.. whatever. A ray traced lighting engine should eliminate that discrepancy completely.

I thought about this as well and on one hand I'm excited about the idea but on the other it would bring so many changes I'm not even sure if it could work. You'd have to redesign many of the stealth tropes at least.

For example, being in a room with dark walls while a guard holding a torch passes through might be fine, but being in a room with white walls might not because the amount of reflected light would be high enough to make you visible. Awesome.

Being careful of other people seeing you casted shadow. This would raise the difficulty so much (if it's implemented in any way realistically) that it might be less awesome.

Being seen through reflections in windows, mirrors or water. Possibly leading to frustrating situations where you have no idea how you were seen, unless the game specifically tells you.

I'm sure there are many other things you could think of.

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I don't think that they will do another Thief game. I'd even question if they do another Deus Ex game. 

It's sad, but, those franchise are simply very unpopular.

I rather see the future of similar games in the Indie realm.

Edited by chakkman
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