Thief: The Drunk Project

By Shamus Posted Friday Feb 28, 2014

Filed under: Rants 90 comments

Link (YouTube)

Chris uploaded a highlight reel of some of the bugs he found in the new Thief game. Yes, we all saw this coming. But it’s sad anyway. Like being told that Uncle Fred is dying of cancer, and then going to the funeral and seeing that yup… he sure did.

My experience has been really similar to hisChris, that is. Not Uncle Fred.. I’m basically having a good time with the game. (I’ve completed it, and I’m still playing.) But the lack of polish and awful design choices have horribly marred something that could have been great.


Bug: This guard is stuck in the T-pose, which is the default position for a 3D character. This is what figures look like when no animation is applied.


Bug: Do I have five focus points left, or none?

EDIT: Apparently this is working as designed. The 5 points is how many possible upgrades there are left in the game. Which is really… odd. I’ve never seen a game that showed that number before.

In any case, this is just bad interface, not a bug.


Bug: This guard is walking face-first into the wall. I am reminded of the early press buzz surrounding this game, where they told us that this next-gen horsepower would enable them to make more advanced AI than ever.


Bug: This stream of cultists (or whatever) is walking up this hill. But from this vantage pointThe entry point for the level, where it says PRESS THE LOOK BUTTON TO ZOOM IN. we can see new people popping in at the back of the line. Also, after watching for some time I saw one of them turn around and try to head upstream against the flow of traffic. I wish I had video of it.


Criticism: This is one of the fully in-game, motion-capped cutscenes, which necessitated them replacing beloved voice actor Stephen Russel. No contrast. No color. It’s a giant mush of grey where the characters don’t stand out from the scenery. It’s under-lit and visually tiring to watch.

If I touch it up manually I get:


That’s still not great. Proper cinematography would call for more finesse, stark shadows, use of contrasting colors, etc. But at least you can SEE in my version. Game Devs turning games into movies is bad enough. But it would be so much more tolerable if they weren’t so bloody awful at making movies.

Also, the framerate drops precipitously in cutscenes.

Bug: A couple of days ago I was walking around the open world section of the game in chapter 3. I walked through a gate and suddenly found myself back at the start of the game, with Garret reading his usual post-tutorial lines. The game uses a single save slot for a play-through, and both auto-saves and quick-saves go there. So after I went through the gate it auto-saved over my game.

It was an odd sort of reset. I technically still had my chapter 3 equipment and cash. Very odd.


Issue: This is what lightning looks like in the game. It just cranks up the brightness for a split second. In the real world, lightning comes from the sky and stuff like buildings cast stark shadows. This would be a minor problem in any other game, but Thief is all about using shadows to hide. I kept positioning myself in what I thought would be shadows, only to have the magical wall-penetrating light illuminate me in front of the guards.

Additional issue: At this moment in the game, some electronic music(?!) surges in, playing so loud it drowns out the guards that are talking nearby. The music if fast-paced and pumping, and there’s no reason for it. You’re just crawling through one of the many linear alleyways of the city.

Bug: The game doesn’t save all settings. I play with mouse inverted, and every time I launch the game it’s reverted to the default.



[1] Chris, that is. Not Uncle Fred.

[2] The entry point for the level, where it says PRESS THE LOOK BUTTON TO ZOOM IN.

From The Archives:

90 thoughts on “Thief: The Drunk Project

  1. Jacob Albano says:

    Remember that prerelease screenshot of the brothel level, with all those patrons and courtesans walking around to be avoided? Weird how in the actual game everybody is asleep for that mission…almost as though they couldn’t afford to have that much AI running at once.

    Oh well. At least there are lots of animations and graphics.

    Yes, I’m bitter.

    1. sofawall says:

      The bottleneck in AI typically isn’t clock cycles, it’s development team time and skill.

      1. Jacob Albano says:

        And yet somehow there are never more than three of them on-screen at once. During the early press demos, AI was disabled wholesale.

        1. Tychoxi says:

          Something like this happened in New Vegas I remember, where having more than X number of NPCs would destroy framerates. It may be a combination of engine limitations, AI optimization and sheer number of triangles on screen.

          But yes, I’m also tired of promotional material that’s a lie (as if prerendered trailers weren’t enough!). Sometimes I can find some justification when promotional gameplay doesn’t match the finished game (Bioshock Infinite), others not (Colonial Marines).

          1. Klay F. says:

            The issue with New Vegas is completely unrelated to AI though. It has to do with the godawful FaceGen middleware.

  2. Merzendi says:

    Shamus, that “Do I have 5 focus points, or none?” doesn’t look like a bug to me, so much as you misunderstanding. It looks like the one on the left is the number of upgrades available, and the right is the points you have for upgrades.

    1. Adeon says:

      You’re correct. The focus points you have left are indicated by the Zero in the upper left of the screenshot. Of course this moves it from “stupid bug” to “stupid UI design” which is arguably a worse problem to have.

  3. modus0 says:

    I’ve encountered T-posed characters several times myself. Along with a character spinning in place in the courtyard between the clocktower and the Crippled Burrick.

    Oh, and audio tracks for dialogue being played twice with about a half-second delay between them, creating an annoyingly loud echo effect.

    For the Focus upgrades thing, it’s showing the focus abilities you haven’t upgraded yet, but it doesn’t make that clear or really make sense the way they phrased it.

    As for the lightning, I can’t help but wonder if it was done in a sort of “hack” manner that doesn’t work as it should, somewhat like the rain and snow in Bethesda games ignores awnings, eaves, and other similar structures.

    1. guy says:

      Dynamic shadows are very computationally expensive, so doing that for lightning would slow the game to a crawl. But there’s a bunch of ways around that, and while they have tradeoffs, a Thief game needs to either make them or not have lightning.

      1. Instead of doing runtime lighting calculations, calculate the illumination resulting from lightning on compile-time and store it. Tradeoffs: Eats graphics memory and doesn’t account for movable objects. However, I doubt more than a handful of objects in the level will be movable and big enough to really matter.

      2. Use a lower-quality illumination model so calculations are cheaper. For instance, don’t account for reflected light from surfaces so you can cull every object not directly in view of the player. Tradeoffs: Either the game looks worse overall, or you have to run an extra shader for the lightning strike

      3. Just have less stuff in the level. Tradeoffs: level is smaller.

      Instead, it looks like they just cranked up the ambient illumination, making everything brighter.

      1. Decius says:

        They already do a ton of dynamic lighting. They do it poorly, with flaming torches casting very sharp shadows, but at least it’s done.

        Lightning would be much better if it just didn’t illuminate you; cloud-cloud lightning can light up an entire sky for seconds like bright moonlight, even during an overcast night.

        1. Tom says:

          I guess they couldn’t just resurrect something like the old BSP occlusion games for the static level geometry, at least? It may have limitations, but I’m fairly sure it would eat the lightning problem for breakfast.

          1. Naota says:

            Well, yes and no. Lightning would be trivial computationally for a BSP lightmap renderer, but consider that BSP-based lighting uses a texture to describe the lighting information for every surface in view. Just by adding a single binary light to the scene with the properties of lightning (this means it’s not there or at full intensity, maybe with a clever fade between the two if you’re being fancy) you would double the lightmap memory usage of the entire level.

            Whether or not this is worth the tradeoff is debatable – dynamic lighting is heavy on real-time processing while lightmaps put the burden on texture memory. I think the real solution would be to work out a system of non-dynamic lighting which doesn’t rely on textures to store its data. Lightning is only visible for a split second – the shadows and light don’t need to move and deform – they just need to project from the large objects in the scene for an instant. They can be calculated ahead of time so long they’re stored in an efficient manner.

  4. The Rocketeer says:

    Now I’m wondering about how to make a really cool, functional lightning effect. It seems like you’d just pop in a one or two frames of a lightning bolt striking or crawling across the sky, just above the surface of the skybox, and set it to emit extremely bright light for no longer than it exists, wavering with its progress.

    Maybe have a slight retina-burn, afterimage if the player was staring directly at it when it struck. Bonus points for timing thunder realistically after the bolt.

    1. ET says:

      The thing I’m actually wondering is…is Thief actually using the lighting values/pixels, which the player can see, to do its stealth?
      If so, that’s kind of cool;
      During one of the Spoiler Warning episodes of Skyrim, the crew was wonderign if it used actual lighting, or something more pre-calculated.
      So, Thief might be using cool new tech…broken and bastardized by having the light objects (i.e. lightning) use broken, garbage hacks. :|

      1. Mark says:

        Two words: shadow volumes. If you already have the real-time shadow geometry, you can intersect it with your player’s model to find out how hidden he is. That’s definitely what they used in Deadly Shadows.

  5. Jokerman says:

    Like most people, i was sad to see the actor replaced… But find my self reluctantly liking the new guy anyway, he does a good job.

  6. WILL says:

    “I play with mouse inverted and…”

    I know you covered this, but it hurt to read.

    1. Lalaland says:

      It is the true way, join us and reject the heresy of Push Forward To Look Up

      1. General Karthos says:

        Yes! Join us! Once you go inverted, you’ll never go back.

        1. Corpital says:

          I went inverted, several times in fact. Each try ended with me running back as fast as my stubby legs were able to after a somewhat short while. Exception: controllers, where invertion never bugged me.

          1. StashAugustine says:

            I can’t even bear to do flight sims inverted.

        2. Neko says:

          I started out with inverted mouselook, with Quake 1. However, I eventually got around to playing System Shock 2, and due to the way the inventory works in that game, I suddenly flipped to being a ‘non-inverted’ guy. Haven’t gone back since.

        3. Eruanno says:

          I’m strange, I only use inverted look on controllers, but not when using a mouse.

    2. Museli says:

      I’m pretty sure that this is a feature rather than a bug, designed to try and correct the Heathens of Inversion.

      1. ET says:

        You guys are all chumps!
        1. Flight/space/etc sims already train you to use the “inverted” method.
        2. If it’s too hard to remember, just grasp the top of your head with your mouse hand, instead of grasping your mouse. (With the same general fingertips-forward orientation.) Now practice moving your real-life 1st-person viewpoint, until you are trained in the proper way to use your mouse. ;)

        1. I use a thumb operated trackball, moving my thumb forward and up matches the head movement of moving a head up.

          There are also those with other input devices where the device emulates mouse input, in those cases being able to invert up/down may be very welcome for a more natural movement.

          Trackballs are one such devices, gamepads can emulate mouse input, pedals and joysticks too, then there are Touchpads/Trackpads. I got a Touchpad here that emulates a mouse for example.

          Personally I prefer a -x to +x and +y to -y orientiation, maybe it’s the programmer in me but the x and y “grid” is easily visualized for me. If I move my virtual pointer up on the grid and the software respond by interpreting that as up then that matches my expectations.

          As to space sims, I prever normal +x to -x and +y to -y orientation there as well. (i.e. I prefer space sims to be non-inverted in the y axis).

          Oh and I almost forgot that if you have a Touchscreen then inverted y axis would be very confusing for most.

          Oh and I almost forgot Lightguns too, which just like Touchscreens actually have the x and y axis matching the screen itself.

          There are other input devices but I can’t remember more right now. (like various disability input devices).

          Do not assume everybody uses a mouse.

          1. ET says:

            I think you mighta missed our tongue-in-cheek tone a bit. :P

            But for serious, yeah, you bring up some good points.
            Really, mouse/input inversion and key remapping should be standard on all computers, and honestly should be supported in other devices as well.
            Also, mouse settings should have separate widgets for X inversion, Y inversion, X speed, Y speed, X acceleration, Y acceleration, etc.
            For example, in a game where there’s a whole lot of action at or near ground level, but nothing much going on in the sky or at your feet, you can’t just force the player to use whatever arbitrary mouse speeds you deem appropriate for X and Y, and/or lock their scaling to each other.

            1. *nod nod* And don’t even get me started on enhanced precision/mouse acceleration. I need to turn that crap off in any game (sometimes by hacking .ini files but this is not always possible).
              I just need the mouse input to be linear (I know some don’t mind non-linear but…)

              “I think you mighta missed our tongue-in-cheek tone a bit. :P”
              Yes and no!

              No! In that I did not miss the tone.
              Yes! In that it does not matter.

              This conversation works either way!

        2. X2Eliah says:

          For flight sims, you’re supposed to use joysticks or at console gamepads, not mice.

          1. blue_painted says:

            Joysticks and pedals. Not game controllers. For FlightSims, joysticks and pedals.


        3. Ranneko says:

          With 2, then why is only the y-axis inverted, using that analogy both x and y should be inverted. Not seen a game offering that heresy.

    3. wererogue says:

      If I’m using a joystick or thumbstick in a flight sim, pulling back should make me pull up.

      Otherwise, the crosshair is a cursor, and I want to move it around and click on stuff.

  7. Hal says:

    Is it sad that I’m more interested in how you did the reference/comment on Uncle Fred than on anything else here?

    (Which is not to say I’m not entertained. I just fixate on odd things.)

    Also, how did you do that?

    1. Museli says:

      As a fan of Terry Pratchett, I do enjoy a good footnote, and this is one of the better implementations I’ve seen. I did have to click to see the footnote though, rather than simply hover over it, so it is still only ranks second to the marvellous footnotes Jamie Madigan provides at .

      1. Shamus says:

        Hmmm. That’s a good idea. I’ll look into it.

        I do wonder how convenient these are for people using small touchscreens.

        1. ET says:

          From what I can tell about small touchscreens (using my Android phone) the touch-to-activate method would be better, since on touch-screens you normally don’t have a sustained position for the “mouse pointer”.
          i.e. Your position value is only valid while clicking, swiping, etc.

          1. X2Eliah says:

            Why not both? I think a field can be specified as both on-hover and on-click in css.

        2. Mechaninja says:

          I can’t read what if on my android in chrome, because I can’t make the lil’ footnotes go away, so I can’t see much of the article.

    2. Shamus says:

      I actually swiped the thing from Randal at XKCD. He uses them a lot in what-if:

      There’s a tiny little bit of Javascript at the bottom of my page, lifted directly from his.

      Then just encase the reference in the right tags. The footnote number goes inside of a <span class=”refnum”> and the hidden text goes in the <span class=”refbody”>

      (There’s some additional CSS to the process, but this is the tricky part.)

      1. FYI: On the “Have You Seen Lydia” post, I’m seeing the footnotes over the post’s text by default, whether or not I click on the footnote number. Is that just me?

        1. Shamus says:

          Hm. I see it too. It wasn’t doing that last night, but now it is.

          1. Shamus says:

            Damn it.

            I HATE HATE how WordPress tries to “help” me. Apparently it’s fiddling with the CSS in the post, stripping out the style directives that hide the text.

            This is 100% a no-no. WordPress should NEVER touch my HTML. I could understand if I was a contributor-level user and it was trying to protect the site from shenanigans. But I’m the superuser here, and my HTML should be law.

            This is also why my youtube embeds use ancient embed code. WordPress feels the need to tamper with the newer HTML5 code, which breaks the embed.

            1. Unbeliever says:


              Have you tried the RAW HTML plugin?

              It’s not an ideal solution, but it may get you where you need to be…

            2. Shamus says:

              Aaaand now I’m down in the bowels of stupid WordPress, trying to get it to stop helping me by silently editing my HTML. The bitching about this in the forums goes back SIX YEARS, and every new version of WordPress seems to bring a fresh generation of messy hacks to disable it.

              I’ve tried the latest. (Dated two years ago) and they don’t help. WP is still silently stripping out inline CSS for any material on the front page.

              I want to slug someone.


            3. Shamus says:

              And now I’ve fiddled with it a bit and I have it working locally, but still not working on the live site. And the code is 100% the same.

              I hate this.

            4. Shamus says:

              Well, I’ve disabled the footnotes until I can figure this out.

              This should not be hard. This should be easy. So frustrating.

            5. Dev Null says:

              “But I'm the superuser here, and my HTML should be law.”

              I need that line on a t-shirt. Maybe with HTML changed to “code”, since I don’t write much HTML anymore, but I’d still be stealing your line.

              People whose interfaces “helpfully” change what I type to what they think I really meant deserve to use the resulting code to fly their aircraft.

            6. Andrew_C says:

              It won’t help with your existing footnotes, but there appear to be several WordPress plugins that provide footnotes.

              I can kinda understand them disabling in-line HTML and JavaScript by default seeing as WordPress sits on top of that gigantic security exploit called PHP, but from what you said they don’t do it consistently, don’t make it clear, don’t provide an easy method to disable it and don’t tell you why.

  8. Nimas says:

    As someone who *just* went through the asylum level (gods why is it always a damn asylum?) I’m curious about 2 things. 1. How Chris handled it. and

    2. I’d love to see the loot %’s across the game for people on steam. I was trying to get everything before that because I’m roleplaying Garrett as a kleptomaniac because its the only goddamn thing that makes sense (the opening “It’s not how much you steal, it’s what you steal” line from him sounded a touch hypocritical) and that level it tanked to about 35% from 80-95%.

    1. rofltehcat says:

      I don’t know how to actually get everything either. Some things (especially in birds nests) seem to be unreachable whereas others I didn’t even see.

      For example I somehow managed to miss some things (one a collectible) in the tailor side mission even though this. Even when activating the vision I couldn’t find any more. I also pickpocket from everyone, just for the challenge.

      1. Nimas says:

        I missed something in the tailor side mission, but that was because I didn’t realise the shopkeep had multiple tabs and that was how you bought razor for cutting paintings.

        1. X2Eliah says:

          The first merchant I got (and the only one before the Tailor sidequest started) only had the bolt unscrewer thingy, he didn’t stock the razor nor the wire cutter.
          Thus, I lost out on thew painting…

          Of course, only afterwards I discovered that there are way more districts to the city, and more shops >.>

  9. Dev Null says:

    I honestly don’t know why anyone (yeah all right – excepting reviewers, who want to get in while its still relevant) would play a AAA game within 6 months of its release anymore. You _know_ its going to be full of bugs.

    It’s pathetic that that’s true, of course, but that doesn’t make it less true.

    1. Thomas says:

      I wouldn’t say it’s always true, only for certain games. (Obviously it’s a lot more likely to buggy in a PC game than a console though). I’ve had plenty of bug free experiences in a AAA game.

      At least it gets patched these days, the bug-ridden RPGs from the bad days of QA like Vampires: The Masquerade, Planescape, KotoR 2, Ultima IX, Daggerfall, Temple of Elemental Evil etc are almost as buggy now (fan patches aside) as the day they were released. I remember how it used to take me an hour of fiddling minimum with disabling opening intros, opening the .exe from different places to even get the game to run. It’s one of the things that put me off coming back to PCs for a long time

      Apparently Pool of Radiance had a bug that would reformat your harddrive. Now that is a game I wouldn’t have liked to buy on release

      EDIT: And Myth II! Another game that used to blank your harddrive if you dared to do something as ludicrous as uninstall it. Say what you want about PC games now, at least their bugs don’t actually brick your computer

      1. Thomas says:

        Wow the demo disc for Viewtiful Joy (2004) would blank your memory card too. And Soul Calibre III. It shouldn’t be this hard to not entirely screw someone over for playing your game

        1. Memory cards I can’t speak of, but accidentally nuking a user folder is something I managed to do once, the program created a sub folder where it saved files to, but one user changed the folder path (a OS path requester was used) and when the program was deleting it’s temporary subfolder it was not a subfolder any more.

          Obviously I fixed it ASAP, but a user lost a few files in the parent folder due to that.

          Lessons learned are to use full paths where possible, and never create temporary folders in user space unless the user specifically asks for it, use a system provided temporary location instead (and test for that full path in you filepath etc.)

          Now, the program in question was just a quick little tool originally for internal use (to help creating custom MAPs/GUI skins for older versions of Anarchy Online) and not a larger commercial software project.

          A large company should be able to afford testers and have a check list covering stuff like try to break the savegame system etc.

          What I mean is that if a game is buggy player may forgive it if their saves remain safe. No matter how bug free a game is, if the savegames are lost/corrupted you’ll get a lot of really pissed players.

          The issue Shamus encountered could easily have been prevented by simply asking the user if they want to replace their current save/slot or make a new.

          But back to my original point, making a mistake that can nuke a file or data is oh so easy to make.

          1. Andrew_C says:

            I remember having to do tech support for my brother after an update to Eve Online nuked his boot.ini , which is a rather important Windows file. And if you have Windows installed to anywhere other that C:/Windows it’s required to boot your system (hence the name).

            That was only in 2007 or thereabout’s so I wouldn’t say QA has improved that much.

        2. Adam says:

          ARGH I had that Viewtiful Joe disk and my memory card with the 100-hour Super Smash Bros save wiped itself and NOW I KNOW WHY.

      2. ET says:

        Back when I tried out the original Counterstrike mod for HL1, it had a bad bug when you uninstalled it.
        Like, if you accidentally uninstalled the base game first (which deletes the whole base HL folder), the CS uninstaller wasn’t smart enough to detect this.
        This wouldn’t be so bad, if it was smart about finding/trying/deleting files, and aborting or skipping if those files weren’t found.
        However, its method was basically delete ./*, but it started in the wrong directory, since its folder was already gone.
        Good thing it only deleted my C:\games\ folder, and not C:\ …

        1. I mentioned this in another comment above (stuck in moderation at the moment).

          But yeah installer/uninstaller bloopers like that are creepy, and are frighteningly easy to make.

          I’ve begun using UUID folder names due to this for some of my software projects, that way a uninstall can safely delete the folder and subfolder. I’m using UUID Version 1 which means the UUID is MAC based rather than hash (MD5/SHA) semi-random. I have a few dedicated MAC addresses that I use just for stuff like this.

          (PS! Users can still choose their own folder name, but it has to be through a commandline override instead.)

      3. Scourge says:

        Well, that is not that correct. They still, sometimes, brick your PC even nowadays.

  10. T-pose! It has a name!

    Thank you! I bought an old FPS on sale recently (Postal 2, it was a buck or two). I was seeing that happen to NPCs all OVER the place, but I didn’t have a name for it so I could properly complain.

    1. Josh says:

      Alternative name: Jesus Pose.

      1. Jesus tries to shoot me a lot. Not that I’m surprised, mind you…

    2. Friend of Dragons says:

      A minor nitpick: I think the pose in that screenshot, with the arms about halfway lowered, is called an A-pose. T-Pose is when the arms are straight out.

      1. Possibly, but in any case they are all the Default pose.
        The default pose may vary between developer companies but are usually consistent within each company.
        The “T” and “A” pose as you call it are probably more common.

        Although I would probably call them all the Vetruvian Man pose instead.

        Which is most likely where modelers/animators “got the idea” from in the first place.

        1. ET says:

          It also, coincidentally or intentionally, is a pose, where the 3D model would be about part-way through any particular set of angles/motions for each joint.
          So, if you use that pose when you’re making your textures, you’ll suffer less stretching when the model moves into other positions.

          1. *nod* I do recall seeing some charactes (especiall in older lower res textured games), shoulders, elbows etc.

            Oh gawd, I just had a flashback of horrible squished polygons in shoulder and elbow areas. Now there’s one thing “Moar grafix” actually improved, those extra polygons got us “normal” shoulders and elbows.

  11. Dragomok says:

    All I know about new Thief‘s plot comes from recent Chris’ comments, but am I the only one who thinks that openings of this game and Dishonored seem awfully similar?

    In both cases:
    1) your character’s significant other dies right in the opening…
    2) …which leads almost right into a timeskip…
    3) …that puts you into a city changed by an ongoing plague…
    4) …(even though you had no chance to see how it looked like before the epidemy)…
    5) …full of fanatical guards trying to contain it.

    (I’m not sure about point 5, though.)

    1. Scourge says:

      Unlike Dishonored I didn’t care about Erin though.

      “Oh no! I lost something! Let me climb onto this frail glass thing, while the ground is already shaking, to get it.”

      Seriously, I was watching it and just went ‘Yeah, she kind of deserves to die because of stupidity.’

      Hell, they could’ve made it better by guards surrounding them and them having to escape over the glass, it then breaks under her. Bam! Problem fixed. No more stupid deaths.

    2. Chris says:

      The coincidences go a bit deeper than that:

      A) Levels involving crossing a bridge and sneaking around a brothel.
      B) Where Dishonored had a “rat” theme going on, this game has a “Pidgeons/Crows/City Birds” thing going on.
      C) Corvo can “blink” to teleport a few feet, Garrett can “swoop” to quickly run a few feet
      D) Dishonored has a friend row you about town while you just sit there, Thief has Basso row Garrett a few places while he sits unmoving too.
      E) Dishonored has an old lady with mystical powers who hints at a backstory. Thief has an old lady with mystical powers who hints at a backstory.

      I don’t think most of it is intentional, but there’s definitely a lot of thematic/visual/mechanical overlap there. More than you’d think, even with Dishonored being a bit of a spiritual successor to Thief.

      1. Perhaps it is not a coincidence at all.
        Is it possible that new Thief and Dishonered both drew inspiration from the same source (which I have no clue what it is).
        The old woman reminds me of the Oracle in Matrix (is that too using the same source as inspiration? is there a old book or story out there? with thematic similarities?)

        1. Old Lady Oracle *check*
        2. Common urban animal possibly carrying decease *check*
        3. Some form of plague *check*
        4. Being ferried around as if you where sailing on the river styx *check*
        5. Human bodies being treated badly (mostly when dead but not always) *check*
        6. A chosen one that can save us all *check*
        7. I give up, there is probably more…

        I’m sure Errant Signal could probably to a episode that list 10 common similarities among popular movies and games.
        A game or movie “ripping off” another may not always be ripping off another game or movie, this type of thematic stuff dates way back, thousands of years in many religions and cultures.

        1. Tom says:

          I don’t know if it’s always ripping-off, so much as a kind of gentlepersons’ duel between dev houses, in the same manner as sometimes appears to happen with the big CGI animation houses. It can’t be coincidence that at least two of those guys (though not always the same two!) occasionally seem to develop and release movies fairly close to each other that are basically two different riffs on the same theme. Robots/Wall-E, Shark Tale/Finding Nemo, Despicable Me/Megamind, Bug’s Life/Antz, etc, and yet I’ve never heard of them suing each other over it.

          I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they all just get together at a weekend retreat once in a while and, over drinks, somebody says “OK, guys, let’s all do a movie about X this season, and may the best studio win!”

      2. Daemian Lucifer says:

        “Dishonored has an old lady with mystical powers who hints at a backstory. Thief has an old lady with mystical powers who hints at a backstory.”

        Wait,hold on a second.Mystical powers as in supernatural?Didnt they remove all that?

        1. X2Eliah says:

          Well, the tutorial ends with a cutscene showing Erin dying in a supernatural kerfluffle. The focusmode is kinda supernatural. The gloom doesn’t seem particularly ‘normal’ either.

        2. Naota says:

          Nah, that would be too sensible and deliberately directed. Instead they just removed all of the supernatural elements common to the existing Thief mythos. Then added their own.

      3. Sleeping Dragon says:

        A bit late but I only now got to experience a bit of the game and the swoop move really did feel like a poor man’s version of Dishonored’s teleport. I’d go as far as say that the new Thief would have a better feel if focus abilities were stronger and more fun to use.

    3. “comes from recent Chris' comments”
      as opposed to former Chris ?

      Sorry, sometimes grammar amuse me, I believe recent and Chris’ should be swapped.
      I suddenly got the thought of Recent Chris, Former Chris, Future Chris, which is hilarious and sounds like a Errant Signal episode all on it’s own :P

    4. Helios Apollo says:

      There’s also a part where the combination of the safe is tied to a letter listing cosmic events (Dishonored – names of months, Thief – names of constellations).

  12. rofltehcat says:

    I’m also having my fun with it up to now.
    Of course it isn’t a 80+/100 title but at least up to now I don’t think it deserves some of the bad scores it has received (and I doubt most reviewers actually played it much further than I did up to now, let alone finished it).

  13. Helios Apollo says:

    I’m not exactly a prude, but there’s a particular point in the game that just turned me off.

    I suppose in an effort to attract more of the dude-bro demographic and teen boys, they saw fit to include a Brothel level with all the relevant, erm, activities that you would find within. In fact, you can’t even advance in the level without peering through peepholes into, uh, “occupied” rooms to see hidden runes carved in the wall that you need to unlock another door. It’s just smut, pure and simple, and it was so horrendously out of place in a franchise which had prided itself on atmosphere and stealth.

    And to top it all off, due to a bug or something, one patron’s, err, cries of ecstasy wouldn’t stop repeating itself while I tried to figure out the puzzle.

    1. I thought that part made sense, it showed the darker aspect of the people in the world. What I don’t get it where the hell their door is, how do they get in/out of these rooms? There are no stairs in any of them. Thief is not a open world. (if it was you could sneak into those rooms like you can in Dishonored)

      BTW! I walked past those peepholed, sure I peeped and though, Haha that’s cute, seen worse on the net but OK it’s really mature/dark/adult which is ok I wish more games was more daring and adult only.

      What did not work so well was making it mandatory, I had to backtrack and it took me a while to figure out there was symbols I had to look for in each room, the puzzle was itself really stupid, the symbols cold just have been on the wall over the peephole itself.

      If folks want to peep they’ll peep, make it optional, and if you must make the player see it then cutscene the darn thing, that is what cutscenes are for.

      So I have no issues with the rooms/peeping, it’s the puzzle I find stupid.

      as to the repeating cries, I think that is tied to the animation trigger script(s) The number of bugs in modern games scripts is mind boggling. I think there was less bugs back when they hardcoded almost everything. I got nothing against LUA and similar scripting languages (I’ve got a love’n’hate thing with PHP myself) bit there are really weird triggering (or failure to trigger) bugs in games like Thief and Skyrim and so on even the GTA games.

      I don’t know, maybe with the increased production times they Forgot to increase the testing time, nowdays you need almost a year of testing for a game like Skyrim or Thief.

      1. Tom says:

        Ironic how most games that get the “adult” label are actually some of the most puerile.

  14. X2Eliah says:

    @Shamus: About that techno music playing, by the way:

    – It happens when some NPC either discovers you, *or* if an npc discovers a knocked-out / dead npc that you deadified or knockedoutified. They then go into a “looking for Garret” state, which for some reason *always* starts the “exciting action jingle”, no matter your actual location.
    It is weird, and stupid, aye. But it’s not random, at least.

    – sidenote: I thought you liked this sort of music?

    Anyway. I’m so far having fun with the game, but, aye, it is a wee bit janky. It averages out as an okay/mediocre game, but only because (imo) it has pretty good highs, and some rather deep lows.

    The similarity to Dishonoured is eerie, though. (Is it me, or is The City thematically even darker than Dunwall?)

    1. Shamus says:

      Actually, having played through the section three times, I can confirm this musical cue is scripted and nothing at all to do with NPC activity. It’s also just after a loading screen.

      And yeah, I liked the music. But that doesn’t mean I want it drowning out the dialog for no reason.

      1. X2Eliah says:

        Aye, fair point. The *balancing* of audio seems to be quite buggered-up.

        1. It’s not unique to this game either, not sure if it’s always been like this, but it’s usually the rule rather than the exception that the music in a game drowns out dialog.
          I sometimes have to go and adjust the music volume from 100% to 50% or even 25%.
          And sometimes dialog is set to 75% by default etc.

          It’s possible that QA do not get to test using different enough setups (that people might have).

          For example take monitors, a monitor with factory settings tends to be in a store demo mode with bright colors and dynamic whatever active.
          Now I hope developers turn that off and calibrate it to SRGB and movie black and white and gamma levels.

          But the screens many devs use is far better than the cheap screens most people have.
          The side angle on my monitor isn’t bad but the vertical/up-down is horrible, the color changes, if I sit too high everything darkens, if I sit too low everything brightens, and even if I sit perfectly in front there is still a light to dark gradation from bottom to top of the screen. Combine that with bad black levels on cheap monitors and it will look very dark and desaturated.

          I really wish monitors came pre-calibrated to SRGB with the proper gamma and no dynamic crap on them and tuned to movie brightness and colors.

          I also wish audio did not have to be adjusted, call me a dreamer or idealist. *sigh*

          1. Rosseloh says:

            I also wish audio did not have to be adjusted, call me a dreamer or idealist. *sigh*

            Story of my gaming life. I ALWAYS have to turn every game volume slider (because there’s rarely a “Master Volume” option) down to about 3% to get it to work with my setup. My setup is such that I have everything balanced with regards to Ventrilo, with my main Windows volume maxed out, and if I need to turn it down I will do so using the master volume control in Windows (or the hardware knob on my speakers if I happen to not be using my headset).

            EVERY GAME I install starts out with sound maxed. 100%. And most of them don’t apply your volume settings to the intro movies, so I still have to mute everything when I start a game up lest I blow something. Some games even ignore your volume choices during certain things such as cutscenes.

  15. Dragmire says:

    You know, that T pose is kind of odd. It’s normally too much of a pain to model a character’s arms and hands at a 45 degree angle so they would normally be spread out to the sides with palms facing forward.

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