Jump to content
The Dark Mod Forums

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


Carnage
 Share

Recommended Posts

Also...
An interesting thing about the existence of TDM, and the contrast between it and the relative misfire of Thi4f, is that it should make a perfect road map for Embracer Group if they have any interest in properly reviving the Thief franchise:

The first lesson is to go small.

Spoiler

This is not a franchise that is greatly improved by ultra hi-res, hi-poly graphics or heavy handed cinematic direction. Better to embrace an indie development model: a very small, multi-role development team; low development budget, low price point; and a tight (max 10-15 gameplay-hour) main story. Provide accessible, effective modding tools and a community will form to provide unlimited future content in perpetuity and give the title a long sales tail at ZERO ongoing cost.

Second, understand that the star of the show is actually the levels’ navigation and lighting geometries.

Spoiler

Everything else flows out of the way the player avatar interacts with them. Besides informing the expertise required by the dev team, that means the most important thing after the level design itself is getting the movement and stealth detection systems right, since those are the tools that you use to interact with the maps. Free mantling, climbing, and swimming (if there is to be any deep water to be found) are core to the experience. Weapons and tools, story, and voice acting should only be added near the end of the process based on the emergent requirements of the built gameplay environment.

Third, we do not need to play as Garrett.

Spoiler

In fact the game can be better for not trying to recapture all the unique quirks of that iconic character. For one thing, his personal story arc definitively concluded at the end of Deadly Shadows. To continue his story the best approach is to provide an entirely new perspective on how his decisions and actions in the old games have reorganized the world of The City.
Maybe give us a player character aligned with the Hammers, Pagans, Mages, the City Watch, or the mundane under-classes who will be compelled to seek out Garrett and the legacy of the Keepers as part of their own journey. (Obviously with some of these one would need to be very creative to justify the "Thief"-ing...) Maybe have a character who never meets Garrett at all but is profoundly affected by new magics seeping into the world after the dissolution of the Keeper glyphs. You could even have multiple player characters...

And the fourth lesson: innovation is not bad, but it needs to be driven by the needs of the gameplay environment and story, not by market trends.

Spoiler

TDM has seen some amazing new concepts in its FMs. They work, where Thi4f's dalliances with RPG-dom did not, because they fit into and enhance their own gameplay ecosystem, rather than trying to transform it into another type of experience entirely.
A true Thief 4 should try to innovate in some way, (otherwise why not just continue replaying the originals) but it must be focused and disciplined in its scope. Obviously modernized lighting tech is a strong option. Maybe complement it with a more sophisticated elemental propagation/magic system like in Breath of the Wild? Maybe expanded inventory management and a tightened resource-collection play-loop would elevate the game? Maybe teleportation between worlds/dimensions or time periods? Set the entire game in one seamless open level? Metroidvania-like ability progression? There are many good options.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We could collectively produce a fantastic essay about what ought to be done in a new Thief installment. I doubt it will ever reach their eyes though. Unless someone from the community gets hired, which I think happened with Dishonored.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You know, I always hear "Garret this" and "Garret that", and while I don't hate the character at all, I actually think that a third person took away from the Thief series somewhat. I think the series should just state "YOU, player, whoever you are, are a thief in this world. You don't know shit - there's no opening cinematic explaining a plot - but you will find out as you explore this city and listening to guards, et cetera.". I think "zoomers" call this approach "Dark Souls"? ...but plenty of older gamers put YOU in the driver's seat, and I think it works quite well in a game where you are not given powerful guns, or put into the role of a champion or a soldier.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am pretty sure TTLGs open disgust at the idea of 3rd person made them drop it for teef4, sadly they didn't listen to much else.

 

having a pure 1st person protagonist or none is the most immersive way, although garret is a great character.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nothing wrong with third person i.m.o. it just should not interfere with first person (same story for multiplatform games).

Although I guess it's wasted time and it's better to focus on one person view to to get the best result out of it.

Edited by datiswous
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, madtaffer said:

What gameplay and level features should have next Thief ?

I heard they stripped Thief 4 of the material noise mechanic. Huge mistake. At least have that, FFS. There's a whole video I watched lately that listed all that T4 did wrong, but let's focus on how to improve the older series instead:

Like I said: Silhouette detection: Game-mechanically have guards cast vision rays that compare the player to the light level of the background, and if the background is lit, then it shouldn't matter how covered in shadow the player is - the guard will still see him.

Also, have a wanted system throughout the story: If the player kills, then make him a wanted man, and make the guards more equipped and cautious in the later levels.

...but at the end of the day, just bring more love, dev-guys. The more you genuinely put your love into your work, the more worth it will have. It doesn't have to feature fancy new mechanics - it just needs years of love and care, and that's what eventually solidifies into quality, which not just "customers" will buy, but which you will feel proud of, whether they buy it or not. Don't just make a "product" - craft art!

Edited by Nort
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, Nort said:

I heard they stripped Thief 4 of the material noise mechanic. Huge mistake. At least have that, FFS.

That's an important point. Apart from the classic Thief games and of course TDM, are there ANY other stealth games in which the material you walk on and the sound it makes has gameplay value apart from simply playing a different audio effect?

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 minutes ago, Xolvix said:

That's an important point. Apart from the classic Thief games and of course TDM, are there ANY other stealth games in which the material you walk on and the sound it makes has gameplay value apart from simply playing a different audio effect?

System Shock 2 which is made on the same engine as Thief 1 and 2.

"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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, Nort said:

I heard they stripped Thief 4 of the material noise mechanic. Huge mistake. At least have that, FFS.

I sometimes wonder how much hearing/vision-impairment accessibility considerations factor into some of these choices.... Of course we all understand the main reasons developers (or rather their pay masters) cut corners like this or try to shoehorn in trendy features in their place. (E.g. using detective vision and awareness flags instead of audio cues as the primary way to track enemies' locations and awareness states.) Greed and ignorance are certainly the major driving forces here, not magnanimity and egalitarianism.

But if you follow any current discussions about disability friendly game design, you will notice a trend that calls for the homogenizing of UX designs and removing any sensory skill checks imposed upon the player. It's hard not to see the move away from analog material noise and alarm barks in modern stealth games as an extension of this mentality.

Personally I am in two minds about this. One the one hand, it is not nice to arbitrarily exclude people from experiences they would otherwise enjoy just because they can't see, or hear, or perform quick/dexterous control inputs, or orient themselves in simulated environments as well as other audience members. Indeed, I myself have advocated for improving accessibility options for players with motion sensitivity in TDM. But on the other hand it is equally unjust to keep people from accessing unique experiences or discovering stories that they would enjoy, just because other people exist who are not so fortunate.

Thief and its progeny are fundamentally niche products. The demands they place on the player's skills of sight, hearing, and spatial orientation are the core of what make them appealing. They defy the idealistic motto that games should be for everyone, and that is just one more reason they have been pushed out of the mainstream market. 

  • Like 3
  • Sad 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, ChronA said:

I sometimes wonder how much hearing/vision-impairment accessibility considerations factor into some of these choices.... Of course we all understand the main reasons developers (or rather their pay masters) cut corners like this or try to shoehorn in trendy features in their place. (E.g. using detective vision and awareness flags instead of audio cues as the primary way to track enemies' locations and awareness states.) Greed and ignorance are certainly the major driving forces here, not magnanimity and egalitarianism.

But if you follow any current discussions about disability friendly game design, you will notice a trend that calls for the homogenizing of UX designs and removing any sensory skill checks imposed upon the player. It's hard not to see the move away from analog material noise and alarm barks in modern stealth games as an extension of this mentality.

Personally I am in two minds about this. One the one hand, it is not nice to arbitrarily exclude people from experiences they would otherwise enjoy just because they can't see, or hear, or perform quick/dexterous control inputs, or orient themselves in simulated environments as well as other audience members. Indeed, I myself have advocated for improving accessibility options for players with motion sensitivity in TDM. But on the other hand it is equally unjust to keep people from accessing unique experiences or discovering stories that they would enjoy, just because other people exist who are not so fortunate.

Thief and its progeny are fundamentally niche products. The demands they place on the player's skills of sight, hearing, and spatial orientation are the core of what make them appealing. They defy the idealistic motto that games should be for everyone, and that is just one more reason they have been pushed out of the mainstream market. 

Yes, I agree. Games are being dumbed down to sheer ego boosting power trips, to a degree where I am feeling marginalized and left out. Trying to find games which demands and rewards intelligence, is almost impossible nowadays. You could make the case that I should be intelligent enough to abandon any form of entertainment, but still: If you're a dev, then don't try to sucker me with a brand which is known for demanding and rewarding intelligence, and then do bait-and-switches on me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 hours ago, madtaffer said:

What gameplay and level features should have next Thief ?

As there won't be another Thief, I think asking that question is a bit redundant. No one sane will touch that franchise ever again.

On 5/14/2022 at 9:42 AM, Nort said:

You know, I always hear "Garret this" and "Garret that", and while I don't hate the character at all, I actually think that a third person took away from the Thief series somewhat. I think the series should just state "YOU, player, whoever you are, are a thief in this world. You don't know shit - there's no opening cinematic explaining a plot - but you will find out as you explore this city and listening to guards, et cetera.". 

I love the character. Everything about it. Such anti-heroes make a game very interesting. Also in the Chronicles of Riddick games. It just wouldn't be the same if the anti-hero would be a nameless... nobody. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

28 minutes ago, chakkman said:

As there won't be another Thief, I think asking that question is a bit redundant. No one sane will touch that franchise ever again.

I love the character. Everything about it. Such anti-heroes make a game very interesting. Also in the Chronicles of Riddick games. It just wouldn't be the same if the anti-hero would be a nameless... nobody. 

I've actually always thought of Garret as a nobody, at least at the start of Thief 1 - certainly not at the level of reknowned badassery as Riddick.

I guess we want very different things out of the game protagonist. That's okay.

Edited by Nort
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/15/2022 at 6:50 PM, chakkman said:

As there won't be another Thief, I think asking that question is a bit redundant. No one sane will touch that franchise ever again.

Cool.

I will give them a ring and ask them to hand me the IP rights for a symbolic 1 Euro...and then I will start a new Thief that really deserves the name with a few of my modding friends from here. :)

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, JackFarmer said:

Cool.

I will give them a ring and ask them to hand me the IP rights for a symbolic 1 Euro...and then I will start a new Thief that really deserves the name with a few of my modding friends from here. :)

At first I thought that surely we could never amount to anything better than the original TTLG studio, but didn't that dev team just abandon the development of SS3, and hand the franchise over to China, saying "It's just a game, guys."? System Shock "just a game"? I think you guys are more invested into this franchise.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Big text moment

Embracer CEO Sees Great Potential for Legacy of Kain, Thief, Deus Ex Remakes/Remasters/Spin-Offs

https://wccftech.com/embracer-ceo-sees-great-potential-for-legacy-of-kain-thief-deus-ex-remakes-remasters-spin-offs/

Quote

 

We recently announced the acquisition of Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montréal, and Square Enix Montréal, including Tomb Raider, Deus Ex, Thief, Legacy of Kain, and other IPs.

The announcement got an overwhelming and positive response. We see great potential, not only in sequels but also in remakes, remasters, spin-offs as well as transmedia projects across the group.

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think what's actually important here, is not whether they see "potential" or not, but if they're just some kind of IP broker firm full of copyright lawyers, or if they've published anything, and if that "anything" is actually anything good.

...and the answer is that yes, they've published plenty of games. Here's a list:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_THQ_Nordic_games

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm a bit uncertain about the idea of a remake/remaster of the original Deus Ex. Part of it is due to how it's not uncommon for companies seem to screw them up either due to bad texturing, bad re-implementation of gameplay/controls or whatever, but I think Deus Ex is a special case because it's very much a product of its time. You didn't have fear of doing things that you can't get away with now.

A simple example - there are children in Deus Ex 1, and they can be blown up and gibbed to pieces with LAMs or GEP rockets if you really want to. There's no benefit to doing so of course, but the game lets you just like it lets you do so with any other NPC. There's a reason you don't see kids much in games anymore, and if they are present, a game will either prevent you from targeting them or will simply have zero reaction to damage. Again, there's no need to do so, but I can't just help feeling that a remake/remaster would give them all god mode or something to update it to our more... politically sensitive culture. It would be a reminder that nope - you can't do this naughty thing anymore because it would make the game hard to sell, a concern that wasn't present in 2000.

Or another example - aiming. Deus Ex 1 is the only game in the series in which your weapons are part of weapon classes that have individual skills attached to them, and if you're not suitably skilled in a class, your ability to hit anything is quite limited. It was a bit of a shock when I first played the game and discovered this, but once I learnt how it basically linked the RPG elements into a FPS perspective, I appreciated it more and was able to play more tactically. I can almost guaranteed they'd tweak that such that even an Untrained skill would have something more akin to Advanced now, and that further upgrades would just tighten it up even more than the original.

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/19/2022 at 8:16 PM, JackFarmer said:

Cool.

I will give them a ring and ask them to hand me the IP rights for a symbolic 1 Euro...and then I will start a new Thief that really deserves the name with a few of my modding friends from here. :)

Unfortunately, that's not how it works. Even if they never use the IP again, the sheer consideration that it could be used once again, to sell games, will be enough not to hand out the IP.

Apart from that, I wondered if you were talking about The Dark Mod there. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, chakkman said:

the sheer consideration that it could be used once again, to sell games

If you can convince them that you're using it, but for a game that you don't sell (free), maybe it's ok.. Then you can make for example a TDM mod in the Thief universe and call it.. Thief Deadlier Shadows (for example)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, datiswous said:

If you can convince them that you're using it, but for a game that you don't sell (free), maybe it's ok.. Then you can make for example a TDM mod in the Thief universe and call it.. Thief Deadlier Shadows (for example)

Interesting thought.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share


  • Recent Status Updates

    • Nort

      Spent most of the day learning and writing about AI navigation. It's stuff I already know, but the magic about writing something down as clearly formulated as possible, is that you then see things that much more clearly. You also find what's unclear to you, and then you figure out exactly how things work. I was hoping to get through it all within just a day, but it looks like this will take tomorrow as well, at this rate. There's also plenty of other nonsense I have to get through as well. Everything's a chore.
      · 0 replies
    • Nort

      I want to be a fish, but I'm not a fish. My mom wants to be a fish too, and so she's killing herself eating plankton and sh***ng blood, and tells me to stop nagging her about taking her medication. I spent several hours today, just lying in bed, having anxiety over just existing, and not being a fish. You fish, you don't know how lucky you are. You can eat all the plankton you want. I tried eating plankton again yesterday, and I just got sick. I hate being a shark.
      · 0 replies
    • Nort

      I just gave myself vertigo. A pleasant kind of vertigo, like the world has been lifted off my shoulders. I'll explain:
      Yesterday I saw to my dismay, that I had made my entire map two - two - units too short on every level - that every set01 piece was sticking 2 units into the ceiling. That's basically 402 brushes that needs to be realigned (minus the ground floor brushes).
      I knew enough about selections to do all of that in a very tense five minutes, and it compiled without leaks. (Thank you so much, Dark Radiant devs, for making an editor with such care for precision that you can align hundreds of brushes perfectly at once (which is not something I can say for Valve's Hammer editor, which has some serious issues on that front, which actually made me just quit it in disgust).) However, the result is that the entire level has now been stretched a barely noticable 2 units, and it will take some getting used to psychologically.
      · 0 replies
    • Nort

      My workflow is basically running from a chain of disasters, eventually trying to seek shelter in former disasters. It's not ideal - it's just my life.
      When I abandoned my first map, it was out of a typical mental breakdown, and so I returned to find a skybox void where the kitchen door should have been (due to a misplaced visportal) and two overlapping brushes Z-fighting on the kitchen floor.
      I've now cleaned up the last bit of mess, by cleanly separating every floor into its own layer. Now I can finally work on each floor in peace.
      ...not that I really needed to. Once you get skilled enough, the orthographic messes, well, I'll let this video speak for itself:
       
      · 1 reply
    • Nort

      Beams, beams, beams...
      Support beams, and cross beams, and then beams to fixate the support beams to the cross beams. The more beams you have in a map, the better. There's walls, floors and ceilings, but the rest of the map is pretty much just beams. Beams makes a thief happy.
      · 0 replies
×
×
  • Create New...