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          Monday, January 31, 2000

Vote early, vote often, for Thief II
- 7:18:50 PM - James
GameSpot has set up yet another poll - this time asking what game people anticipate most from a small set of recently released demos. Thief II is on the list - Go Vote!

A Demonstration of Rain by Gonchong
- 5:09:16 PM - Dan
We can't let this flood of fan missions be complete without a demo mission, now can we? Gonchong has a fancy little demonstration of how you can effectivly and efficently impliment rain into your fan mission.

(131 K)
Use Dromed

By James D. Roberts aka Gonchong:
Basically a stormy, rain atmosphere demo. This could be expanded into a complete mission.

Though it looks good, I daresay that the rain in Thief 2 will hopefully both look better and perform better. Of course, it's also not a particle effect.

The Circle's Off-Site Links List Renovated
- 4:59:11 PM - Dan
Yesterday the new Off-Site Links List went online. Not only is it about twice as complete as the former list, but the sites are divided into categories to aid your search for an elusive resource. Feel free to send related comments, suggestions, addition and/or change requests to me.

'The Immoral Immortal' - Fan Mission from Keith Kelly
- 4:31:37 PM - Dan
Keith Kelly has just released his first fan mission, called "The Immoral Immortal."

The Immoral Immortal
(1.3 Meg)
Released: 1-31-2K

No Walkthrough
By Keith Kelly:
A man in a black cloak walks into the tavern and starts asking about you. The bartender, after a close examination of the man, points to the dark corner that you are sitting at. As he walks over, you pull out a small, hidden dagger from your belt and hold it under the table. The man sits down and tells you his name is Marc. The mission he is offering you to do quickly unfolds.

A Warlock named Zail has, apparently, gotten hold of an Apple of Immortality. The Apple cannot be used to it full potential unless certain herbs and powders can be sought out. While Zail is collecting these ingredients, you are to go inside his unground keep and steal the Apple of Immortality.

You ask for background information on this Zail charactor. Marc tells you of several of Zail's explots, many of which are against the hammers. Only two of the tales are of any importance. The first one is a tale decribing a wild burrick that has the ability of turning ordinary rock into silver. Zail seeked out and partially tamed the beast. The burrick now resides in his keep. The second tale of importance is about how Zail trains his guards to have good vision. Gold and jewelry is hidden as part of everyday items in the keep. In order to get their pay, the guards have to find and bring Zail a certain amount of this treasure. This job sounds like taking candy from a baby.

Yes, another fan mission! Can you handle the load? I hear a few other missions are nearing completion as well. Lets hear it for the Dromed crowd for making sure we never get bored! :)

Totality's 'Rouge's Honor' - Official Release
- 3:45:56 PM - Dan
Totality's 'Rouge's Honor' - Official Release Are all the bugs fixed? We hope so! Rouge's Honor is the most innovative advanced fan mission to date, featuring an in-game store and cutscenes. If you haven't checked it out yet, now is the time.

Rouge's Honor
(5.4 Meg)
Released: 1-31-2K

No Walkthrough
By Triston Attridge (Totality):
Times are hard. The incident in Peteroski did not help. I should have known better than to trust Iron, but he paid for it. The unfortunate side effect is that I am here, in this village of Winterhelm, the laughing stock of the whole county and stuck here with not an iota of help, and out of cash. (more)

Circle of Strain 3 - Official Release
- 3:32:46 PM - Dan
After over a months worth of beta testing and tweaking, Circle of Strain 3 (CoS3) has made it to its official release. The third and final (yeah, he said that last one was going to be final too!) chapter of Mokkis's very popular series, CoS3 attained a very popular status when it was still in beta release. Here's the info:

Circle of Strain 3
(3.5 Meg)
Released: 1-31-2K

No Walkthrough
By Markus "Mokkis" Lappalainen:
Luke 22: 17-20

And he took the goblet, thanked everyone, and said: "Take this and share it among yourselves".

"I say this to you: Henceforth, I do not drink the bounty of the vineyard, before into Gods Kingdom I go.

And he took the bread, thanked everyone, broke the bread, and gave it to his disciples and said, "This is my body, that will be given in behalf of you. Please, do it for my memory."

In the same way he blessed the wine from WOODEN GOBLET. After the meal he said, "This goblet is a symbol of my blood, what will be sacrificed on your behalf."

After Jesus death, disciples retained the Holy Grail, for his memory. Later it becamed the holy symbol of a Christian church.

Now, after 1000 years, the legendary Holy Grail is kept in the St. Michael's Cathedral. Felix has located the Holy Grail and he has a customer who would pay so dearly for it that you could retire as a very wealthy man!

Thanks Mokkis, for another class act!

'Virtual Asylum' - New Fan Mission from Red Rouge
- 12:10:25 PM - Dan
Red Rouge's new fan mission, 'Cutty's Virtual Asylum' has been released. This is a small mission that consists of a series of rooms, each with a small puzzel to open the next door.

Cutty's Virtual Asylum
  (926 K)
  Open in Dromed

By Red Rogue:
Cutty left behind a bunch of virtual training simulations in his attic which I managed to find. The point of this one is a simply survival. This shouldn't be too hard. On the other hand, I also found a pile of notes related to this virtual sumulator, and from my own assessment, this thing could turn out to be pretty reallistic after all. I might have to watch my step..

Because of its simplicity and non-compatability with Thief Loader, this missions has been placed in the unrated section.

          Sunday, January 30, 2000

GameSpot posts more Thief II Screenshots
- 7:31:36 AM - null
Claiming to have played through nearly all of "a nearly complete version of Thief II", GameSpot posted up these screenshots. A lot of them seem very reminiscent of the "Thieve's Guild" mission in Thief Gold.

          Thursday, January 27, 2000

Steven Hindley's Demo Mission - 'Stupid'
- 5:45:23 PM - Dan
There's a new demo mission out, and it's called 'Stupid'. I should add that it's named that for a reason. Check it out, you'll be amused for seconds, at least!

Walkthrough: The Mages Area
- 5:32:49 PM - Dan
Mad God, author of 'The Makes Area' has sent in a walkthrough for his mission. It's a complete walkthrough, not a list of hints, so it should be enough to get anyone un-stuck. The walkthrough is for both the normal and easy versions of his mission. It's posted here.

          Sunday, January 23, 2000

Fan Mission Links Fixed - Updated
- 3:52:56 PM - Dan
A big thanks goes to everyone who emailed me with info on dead links in the new fan missions archive, especially Tels and Kai. With your help I think that the place is finally stable. If anyone else finds anything wrong, then please email me about it. Thanks!

I also finally figured out why The Mages Area links where broken. (1-25)

Thief Loader 2.0 - March Release
- 3:06:38 PM - Dan
This is a brief notice to mention that verion 2.0 of Thief Loader is slated for a pre-march release. The actual executable is planned to be completed during the fourth quarter of this month. Thief Loader 2.0 is being designed by a team lead by VKGalyeSaver.

'Inheritance' Reviewed - Two Silver Hammers
- 12:38:45 AM - Dan
Inheritance, a fan mission by Jonquil, has been reviewed. The review is very positive, just as this fine mission deserves:
  Pros: Basic thief gameplay, nice decorative style, clean and bug free.
  Cons: Cons: Surprise-factor doors, subdued in what the level accomplishes.
  Bottom Line: Inheritance, with back to basics gameplay at its core, is definitely a recommended play. It won't stand above the crowd as a ground breaking new level, but sometimes thieves want that straightforward stealth and pilfering.
The mission was awarded 2 silver hammers. Congratualtions, Jonquil! The full review can be read here.

'The Mages Area' - Easy Version
- 12:25:54 AM - Dan
In response to feedback, 'Mad God' has released a new version of his fan mission 'The Mages Area.' This version has been made easier, to satiate the desires of both the author and the fans. The original version will remain available.

          Saturday, January 22, 2000

Thief Pulls in an Endgame Award
- 8:46:33 AM - James
GameSpot has posted up a Reader's Choice of Best Game Endings. And Thief has a spot - which it certainly deserves.

          Friday, January 21, 2000

The Death of the Necromancer
- 11:36:41 AM - Dan
This is an interesting email I receaved. I thought that some of you bookworms may find interest in it.
Are you aware of the vast similarities of Thief:TDP and a book by Martha Wells entitled The Death of the Necromancer?

Nicholas Valiarde is a passionate, embittered nobleman with an enigmatic past. Consumed by thoughts of vengeance, he is consoled only by thoughts of the beautiful, dangerous Madeline. He is also the greatest thief in all of Ile-Rien...

Under cover of darkness on the streets of the gaslit city, he assumes the guise of a master criminal, stealing jewels from wealthy nobles to finance his quest for vengeance: the murder of Count Montesq. Montesq orchestrated the wrongful execution of Nicholas's beloved godfather Edouard on false charges of necromancy, the art of divination through communion with spirits of the dead, a practice long outlawed in the kingdom of Ile-Rien.

But now Nicholas's murderous mission is being interrupted by a series of eerie, unexplainable, even fatal events. Someone with tremendous magical powers is opposing him. Children vanish, corpses assume the visage of real people, mortal spells are cast, and traces of a necromantic power that hasn't been used for centuries are found. And when a spiritualist unwittingly leads Nicholas to a decrepit old house, the truly monstrous nature of his peril finally emerges in harrowing detail.

Nicholas and his band of criminals and disgraced officers must confront and destroy an ancient and awesome evil rising from its hideous darkness to conquer all. Even the help of Ile-Rien's greatest sorcerer may not be sufficient, for Nicholas faces a woefully mismatched battle with unthinkable horrors in store for the loser.

Check it out, she's a great writer to boot!

Thanks for the word, Daryl! Oh yes, and welcome back, James!

          Thursday, January 20, 2000

Interview with Steve Pearsall
- 9:57:25 PM - James
dha_thief noted on the TTLG forums that Gamesmania has up an Interview with Steve Pearsall. Steve is the Project Lead for Thief II. The interview contains spoilers - and while you can skip most of them, you cannot skip them all.

Vote for Thief!
- 9:15:24 AM - James
Computer Gaming World is holding a Top 40 Vote; Thief (and Shock and FU3) is on the list.... go vote!

          Tuesday, January 18, 2000

'Cutty's Virtual Asylum' and Other Madness
- 8:22:11 PM - Dan
Sometime soon, Red Rogue and his brother shall be releasing a set of mission. (It's unclear on how many missions are in the set. I'm concluding that there are two at this point.) These missions are medium sized, and the first is named "Cutty's Virtual Asylum." Cool name, eh? As the author said, it was inspired by an old NES game. The name of the other mission was not given to me, but this cool preview screen was. I like it! The release will be as soon as the mission(s) works properly. :)

'Hammerhead' - New Fan Mission from the Author of Shunned
- 4:51:55 PM - Dan
Hammerhead: Return to the Docks is the spiritual descendent of the canceled Return of the Trickster campaign (in fact, it was going to be mission #3). It's already been accessible via the forums for a few days now, and people seem pretty excited about it!

Hammerhead: Return To The Docks
(2.5 Meg)
Released: 1-18-2K

No Walkthrough
By Gonchong aka James D Roberts:
"I'm in deep now. I retrieved the Horn Of Chaos from the Hammer compound just four days ago. It seems like an age now. The job went well: guards, traps, gates - nothing I can't handle. After getting the horn home and preparing to fence it I hear word on the street is that the Hammers are furious - and scared. That horn must be more than a mere trinket to them and it will be impossible to fence it off now in the City.

Time to leave. I've got a trustworthy Southdock contact, Fleur, who can arrange passage for me to a place called Willow Island - home to some wealthy -and discreet- art collectors. I'm leaving tonight... I can't stay any longer as the Hammers are breaking down the door of anyone they suspect of this crime - and heads are rolling. Fleur's house isn't too far away but I'll have to watch out for Hammer patrols - I'm a known thief and sure to be next on their list."

On his way to Fleur's Garrett has been ambushed by a pair of Hammerites. He hears gates slam shut as they surround him. He struggles free and runs. A Hammerite notches up a fire crystal and takes aim...

Check out what people are saying about Hammerhead at this thread and this thread. Note that this mission has been updated with a bug fix today. The version I am hosting is this updated version.

How to: Custom Textures and Moving Brushes
- 4:24:13 PM - Totality
There recently has been quite a lot of interest into custom textures, so here is a how to on the matter. This thread explains the basics as well as adding custom sounds.

Also, people keep on asking about moving brushes. You cannot move brushes directly, but you can move objects (and perhaps disguise them as walls). Wrichards has recently posted these thoughts on the topic of terrain movement.

          Sunday, January 16, 2000

'Gauntlet' - Puzzle Mission From Apache
- 3:49:24 PM - Dan
Here's a very cool diversion for you, from Apache. 'Gauntlet' is exactly what its name describes. Becuase of it's nature, it's being put into the Demos / Fun Stuff category.

(836 K)
Re-released: 1-04-00

By Silent: The Gauntlet..A maze of traps, rooms, and beasts. Only one way out. Find the 4 levers and escape through the gates. You only have 500 in loot. There are 5 keys, each costing 500. Your starting equipment depends on which key you buy. Good Luck

Comments by Master Nightfall:
The starting equipment deal is pretty clever indeed - just like the entire 'mission'.

'The Mages Area' - New Fan Mission from Mad God
- 2:09:01 PM - Dan
The Mages Area is a new FM from Pershin Sergey V. "Mad God". From my brief play of it, I know that it is at least partially an undead based mission. Here's the info:

The Mages Area
(3.3 Meg)
Released: 1-16-2K

No Walkthrough
By Pershin Sergey V. "mad god":
Switcher, the friend of mine came to me with the strange request. He lost the contact with his son Mike, who is a memeber of the Mage's Guild. And he is afraid that there something happened, since before that Mike regulary visited him. He will pay for this and also has provided me with some information. First, he gave me a map (oh, at least that's how he calls that worthless piece of paper), second he told me about 'Ancient Crown' - a valuable item which buried somewhere in that forest where mage's guild in. He said that some fellows before me tried to find it,.. but nobody returned back. So, I guess I must be carefull there. Also he said something about magical Sceptre and that he knows some people very interested in it. In this case I should try to locate and extract it (of course only if mages are gone). And of course I'll take all the loot that might be there. I think It will be interesting jorney.

          Saturday, January 15, 2000

Media Archive Renovation Completed
- 7:15:55 PM - Dan
The wing of the circle dedicated to the media archive has been renovated. The area has been standardized with a side bar navigation menu which shall appear on every page in The Circle, allowing you to go from page to page without ever having backtrack. I hope this works well for everyone. While there is no real new content in the galleries, everything has been polished as new, and much better organized. Remote download links have been added for the Thief Gold and Thief 2 demos, as well as links to the Thief Gold intro movies, and Thief Gold screenshot galleries. Even if you're not interested in downloading anything, please browse the multimedia archive and take a look at all my handiwork.

Dromed Roundup
- 5:53:21 PM - Totality
Well, some bad news. It appears that 'The Coming of the Trickster' campaign group has been disbanded. All is not lost, a dockside mission dubbed 'Hammerhead' is soon to be released.

Tels has releaed a new version of genVBR, which this time deals with objects! In case you haven't heard of it before, this is what it's about in his on words,

This is a project to generate levels for Thief (and very probably SystemShock2) via Perl scripts. It will hopefully make it easier to create and re-use complex structures like spiral staircases, hallways with columns aso. It is intended to give you some other useful routines for debugging/maintaining/checking/fixing your levels.
He is currently working on decoding object properties so soon we will have an alternative method that won't crash on us all the time when we leave the act/react box too early! Here's the link to the thread.

Catalyst has set up a chatroom soley for Dromed editors to go to. It is currently 'unofficial' and exists on the starchat network. If your stuck on something then that's the place where the dromed heads hang about. Details are here.

Finally we have the impending arrivals. GayleSaver has started on Thiefloader v2.0, which should feature some bonus options. Mokkis has just got a new computer (and unfortunately some technical problems to go with it), but the Circle Of Strain 3 should be imminent. There's also my own mission, which is currently going through the last stages of Beta Testing, Rogue's Honour.

Keep DromEd'ing!

          Thursday, January 13, 2000

A Thief 2 Short Tale by Christopher Hogarty
- 3:38:51 PM - Dan
Project: Cetus Amicus is a purly fictional (that is, it's based a little on the Thief 2 info from the demo, but the author made up a whole lot to fill in the blanks) fan story based on the possible events in or surrounding The Metal Age. I was able to read a small bit of it, and it's certanly worthy of the attention of someone with a little more free time then I. Enjoy, and thanks, Christoff!

Screenshots from Keeper of Equilibrium
- 12:23:38 PM - Dan
Keeper of Equilibrium has posted up a trio of sweet screenies on this thread in the forum. That's a really nice looking waterfall, KoE!

Datoyminaytah's Reskinnable Humans & Paintings Packs
- 12:18:13 PM - Dan
This may be old news to some of you, but Datoyminaytah has released a set of packs that lets you add new skins without overwriting existing ones. I have not tested them myself, so I can't report on anything, but they have been very well received in the forums. Both packs can be downloaded from the TEG Media page. Thanks, Datoyminaytah!

Free Texture Packs From Graphtallica
- 11:52:43 AM - Dan
Graphtallica is a website that, among other things, is offering packs of free textures to map developers like our friends the Dromedites. There is supposed to be a wide range of pretty good stuff in there. Hop on over there and see if there's anything you can use. Thanks for the lead, Datoyminaytah.

A List of AI Motions for Fan Mission Authors
- 11:46:43 AM - Dan
This should certainly be useful: It's a list of motions for AIs. It's been placed at this location in the forum. I sense that a tutorial is in order. Truly these all need to be cataloged with descriptions. Anyone up for it? Please send it to me so I can post it up if you make it. :)

Go Vote on the Thief, Thief Gold, and Fan-made Missions!
- 11:38:33 AM - Dan
Just a reminder: Tel's Thief missions voting system is going strong, don't forget to add your opinions to the collective! As soon as I figure out the best strategy and placement, I'll set up an officially endorsed link to the voting page from T-dp.com. Bloodstone Prison currently leads for the fan missions scene with 7.75 points (equivalent to about 3 silver hammers) , ahead of The Death of Garrett by .2 points. Assassins tops the list as Thief's #1 rated mission with a score of 9.35 (about 4.5 silver hammers), and is .3 points above Songs of the Caverns.

Go Vote!

Best Fan Missions of 1999 Awards
- 11:22:16 AM - Dan
The Falleen Database is hosting a "1999 Thief Fan Missions Awards" poll on our forum. The categories for vote are Best Fan Mission (FM); Best Undead FM; Best Hammerite FM; Best Neutral FM; Most Talented Author. Jump on over to this thread to vote. Eventually Cratus will compile the data and post the awards on his site.

Apache Releases Trailer for Mission Pack
- 11:14:05 AM - Dan
Apache, author of Ramirez's Revenge, has released the trailer for his upcoming double mission pack: "The Hunt for Montrose". The file is ten megs, and can be gotten via this post on the forum. I checked it out, and it's pretty spiffy. Good luck with your mission, Apache!

          Tuesday, January 11, 2000

Construction Zone - Please Bear With Us - Test Post
- 8:55:39 PM - Dan
Yes, here it is, and here we are. This is more of a test news post then anything else. I hope everyone is happy with the new look/layout!

Testing. 1. 2. 3. 4.

          Sunday, January 09, 2000

The Circle of Stone and Shadow
- 12:40:45 AM - Nightfall
At the start of February, this structure will be one year old.

It's been over a year since I, and those who were with me at the start, entered the world of The City. Since then, my museum and community center, The Circle of Stone and Shadow, has grown, thrived, and gained strength due to all of your patronage. To commemorate these events, I shall be doing a renovation of The Circle. The place that you have known for the past year shall be dismantled, and a new one shall rise in its place.

This new Circle shall be much like the old one, but grander, and better organized. Gears shall be shifted to focus mainly on new missions offered by your peers, with the other offerings polished and streamlined as well. The changes shall be implemented gradually over the next month, until not one stone of the original circle rests unchanged. Do not fear this change, I implore you. Traditions shall be honored, and that which has worked very well in the past shall remain true to its nature. Expect a fresh, new, enhanced Circle of Stone and Shadow, but also a very familiar one.

For more information, a sneak peek at the new design, and discussion, please visit this thread in the guildhouse.

          Saturday, January 08, 2000

Some Preview Shots of 'Rafiel's Manor'
- 9:49:21 PM - Dan
Lane Fox asked me if I could please show off some screens from the level he's (she's?) making, so here I am doing just that. I am not to be held responsible for the silly nature of those captions! The mission these are from, Rafiel's Manor, is about 35% done. The author is new to mission design, and would like to thank everyone in the TEG forum for all of their help!

          Thursday, January 06, 2000

Some useful Reference Lists
- 1:51:56 PM - Totality
Over the past few months we have managed to refine our knowledge of how the different sripts work and what all the different motions are. Of course, none of these are definite, so feel free to add to them.

We have my recent analysis into the motion database resulting in a list of motions. Then there's the script list.

Also, Datoyminaytah has come up with another pack this time for custom paintings.

One other discovery you might want to check is that Tels has looked into improving shadow quality, which I didn't know about.

          Tuesday, January 04, 2000

Ambient Sound - A New Tutorial by LiquidEgg
- 6:33:14 PM - Dan
LiquidEgg has written and released a tutorial on a key aspect of mission atmosphere - ambient sounds. The tutorial is medium length, and posted along with the others in TEG. Thanks, LiquidEgg!

And again, a warm welcome to Totality, T-dp.com's Dromed reporter - because I don't know enough about the thing to do a good enough job at it... ;)

Introducing the Dromed Reporter
- 6:08:04 PM - Totality
Hello. If you frequent the Thief Editors' Guild forum, you will undoubtedly recognise me. My mission is to relate any news on developments in the world of dromed. Like nifty tricks, tips on using the editor, etc. As you may guess, there is quite a backlog of tips and news to deal with, but I'll try my best. Speaking from experience news items either fit into one of three categories.

First there is the simple tip which can be used by newbie and experienced user alike, like this one about preventing room brush renaming.

Second there is the new resource, in this case Datoyminaytah has come up with a reskinnable human pack for creating custom skins with minimal ease.

Third, we have the interestingly volatile, like Tels' post on Improving quality of textures in Thief.

Hmm, well I hope that is enough to get you started.

A Late Merry Christmas From 'Silent'
- 5:49:42 PM - Dan
Alright, so Christmas is done and over with, but this mission wasn't finished until now, so we can pretend to get back into the holiday spirit just for the sake pf it... :)

The 'mission' is actually our newest "Demo and Fun Stuff" map, called Merry Christmas. Silent has made a nice little christmas eve living room for Garrott. Here's the descript:

A small mission...very small. One room with a view of the outside, including snow. Garrett is enjoying the season, and over the year has manged to acquire an excess amount of loot for decorating. Also, some people in the area were kind enough to "give" him presents. Curl up in front of the fire, admirer his equipment, or use the picture of Constantine for target practice. Kick back and relax, because you've earned it!

Merry Christmas, Everybody! And a Happy New Year!

Thanks, Silent! The readme file is here. The download is 91K.

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