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          Friday, November 24, 2000

Reliance, Chapter 1
- 11:40:46 AM - Dan
One of our newest resident fanfics, Reliance, has been updated with another chapter.

"What!?" asked the bemused Medle in worried anticipation.

"What's your name? I'm Ribald," said the young man in a very inquisitive and innocent voice.

"I'm Medle - now stay quiet!" Medle's voice was irritated as he tried to both listen to and hid from the watch.

"Ah," said Ribald as if he was very wise old man. "Trouble with the watch. Don't worry. I'll distract them." He climbed up a ladder from the sea and got on to the dockside. Medle was worried. That kid was gonna get him got. However, Ribald had the reverse effect. He ran to the entrance of a side alley and flung himself into a fruit stall, sending apples everywhere. The watchmen turned around.

Thanks again, author Oliver Gregory, for the contribution to The Circle's library.




Kleptomaniac: The Not-So-Bright Project
- 11:13:44 AM - Dan
Miss Haid has called to my attention a very popular thread on the forum:

Kleptomaniac: The Not-So-Bright Project

This thread is a fanfic, which is being described as side-splitting. I've emailed the author to see about getting it a permanant home on The Circle.




New Fan Mission: The Assasin at Sir Ganrish House
- 11:06:14 AM - Dan
Our latest fan mission is from Erik Svensson (Esemor). This author's first release is a "A Lord Bafford type mission" for Thief 1 / Gold. Enjoy!

Thief 1 / Gold FM
The Assasin at Sir Ganrish House
  readme.txt
  (1.7 Meg)
  Released: 11-24-2K

By Erik Svensson (Esemor):
A Thief is captured that knows all about Garretts secret plans so you have to kill him before he gives them out to Loard Ganrish. The building is similar to lord baffords. A Lord Bafford type mission.








          Thursday, November 23, 2000

The Taffer's Post - Server / CoSaS / Updates
- 11:45:57 AM - Dan
The server move has been postponed until Friday. Hopefully we won't be going offline today. :)

First off - words of apology to everyone who's not gotten a reply to their emails or submissions yet. I'm backed up about three weeks in that department. I'm working at it, slowly, as you can see from the slow stream of updates on The Circle. Actually, from now on I am going to try to make small daily updates to The Circle rather then large bi-weekly ones like I had been doing. It makes it easier for me and more of a steady flow of content for you. I hope it works out.

In other news - the CoSaS site has been updated this month with more news, and a revised progress table. No new eye candy this time (maybe soon), just some words talking about how the team is doing and how the campaign is progressing, as well as some changes to the project. One word to describe the situation with CoSaS is "maturing". Read the news there if you care to know more.

Happy Thanksgiving!




New Artwork by Hanna
- 10:20:44 AM - Dan
A new piece of artwork has been sent in by Hanna, called A Rainy Day. I must add, I really like this bit of art. Much thanks, Hanna!





          Wednesday, November 22, 2000

'Death of the Party' - Thief Audio Mix
- 3:14:33 PM - Dan
Every once and a while someone sends in a really cool Thief audio mix. Today is one of those times! N.C. "Shadows" has done a truly spiffy mix of voice, sound effects, and music, in 'Death of the Party'. It tells a simple and silly narative, set to ambinet music. Check it out - you may like it!




Thief 2 Textures in Thief 1
- 2:43:37 PM - Dan
oRGy of Thievery UT fame has created a nice package for Thief 1 which updates the textures to Thief 2 quality. More info and the download are on this thread. I'm hoping that we can give this patch a permanent home here at The Circle. Look for more updates latter on.




Thief 1 Scanned Previews
- 2:38:02 PM - Dan
SCaraB's dealing an extra large helping of nostalgia in this collection of scanned Thief 1 previews. These are scans from really old looks at Thief 1 from Computer Gaming World and PC Gamer (I think.) The download's a hefty 3 megs for these five images. Grab them zipped right here. Thanks, SCaraB!




Garrett Skin for Heretic 2, by V. Equinox
- 1:43:34 PM - Dan
V. Equinox has done the unexpected! I'll let the taffer explain:
This is Garrett for Heretic II. I used some of the Thief 2 Garrett skin to make this, but it did take quite a while. To use this, players need the patch, and then unzip the skin into their Heretic II area in the base/players/male folder. The screenshots show Garrett in a closeup, from the front, and then the back with the silver armor. Sorry about the ears, I'm no modeller, heh.

Hope you like! :)

We do, V! We do! :)





          Monday, November 20, 2000

Review of 'The Varyx Obelisk'
- 11:33:07 AM - Dan
Z, who mentiones The Varyx Obelisk often in his atmosphere guide has a review of The Varyx Obelisk to boot!

Pros: Good story-line, good sound, overall atmosphere good.
Cons: Sometimes poor visuals, extremely long.
Bottom Line: A very good mission that really delivers in atmosphere and gameplay, but does not have incredible visuals. Good for a few hours of intensity. Good replayability, too.

The full review text is right here. Z awarded the mission with 8 hammers (i.e. three silver).




Atmosphere Guide & Demo Mission
- 10:35:30 AM - Dan
Z has created a demo mission, Serpent, which he uses to illustrate his Atmosphere Guide. This guide is not a tutorial, but rather a collection of suggestions and examples useful for making your mission 'scary' or have an otherwise tense atmosphere.

Thief 2 Only
Serpent
  readme.txt
  (316K)
  Use Dromed or DarkLoader

  Walkthrough
  Atmosphere Guide

By Z:
A demonstration of atmosphere.







          Saturday, November 18, 2000

GravShaft Tutorial
- 12:17:58 AM - Dan
Disenchanted has created a tutorial explaining how to make Grav Shafts similar to those used in Shock 2. The technique should also work in Thief 1 and 2. Let me know if it does not.

Also, HKPrince has made two lift demo maps (Lifts and SpecLift) for use with Shock 2 Dromed. These may also work with Dromed for Thief 2, but also may not.





          Friday, November 17, 2000

Thievery UT Screenshots & News
- 7:54:16 PM - Dan
Thievery UT has some progress to report, especially in the way of a set of screenshots!
Hiya, oRGy from the Thievery UT mod here. We've released 6 new screenshots (of maps in progress and some concept art) on our Screenshots page. We're also on the lookout for talented texture artists and weapon modelers/skinners. For more information, stop by our website. Thanks!
They also wanted me to mention This Thievery UT thread on the forum.




Update on the ION Storm Hiring
- 7:20:10 PM - Dan
Sorry to disappoint you, folks, but ION is currently NOT hiring anyone but senior programmers.

This means no artists, musicians, level designers, or junior programmers. Apparently they are having to turn a great many people away, and would rather everyone understand up front who they are and are not looking for, rather then having to send depressing emails.




Emil With Garrett for BG2
- 7:14:55 PM - Dan
Emil, (you all know Emil, right?) dumped a cool toy in my mailbox the other day. Chew on this:
Emil Pagliarulo here -- senior designer of Thief 3 over at Ion Storm Austin.

I've whipped up something I thought the Thief fans at TTLG would appreciate -- consider it an exclusive. :)

It's a Garrett character for Baldur's Gate 2. The zip file below contains a character file (with Garrett-esque attributes and equipment), large and small portraits, and sound files (all of which should be appropriate to the respective situations).

In order to use the character, you need to unzip the attached file into your Black Isle directory. That will put all the individual files in their proper places. Then, the Garrett character file can be imported into the game.

Enjoy!

We will... we will. :)





          Thursday, November 16, 2000

ION Austin Hiring for the Thief 3 Team
- 7:54:29 AM - Dan
Looks like ION Austin is hiring for Thief 3! They need programmers. Just between you and me, if you apply, you had better be GOOD. ;) We don't want the Thief 3 engine to be in the hands of slobs, now do we? *smirk*
Programmers Wanted to Work on Cutting Edge Projects on a Variety of Platforms

  • We're looking for programmers with demonstrable enthusiasm for gaming to work on PC and console titles in the Deus Ex and Thief universes.
  • Knowledge of, and enthusiasm for, games like Thief, Deus Ex, System Shock and Ultima Underworld are real pluses.
  • We want experienced professionals with shipped games under their belts and a strong understanding of game design and how it relates to game programming.
  • You must have a strong C/C++ background and an understanding of modern 3d-accelerated architecture. Experience with console game development is a must for certain positions (but not all). Java/Perl/Python/MFC familiarity is useful, but not necessary.
  • You will provide assistance in structuring your task list and will contribute to the creation of schedules and progress reports. You don't have to be experienced at scheduling, but if you aren't, you be ready to spend some time learning.
  • You will work closely with design and art teams as well as with other programmers. You must be able to communicate algorithms and code design decisions to other programmers but you must also be capable of communicating design and art implications of coding tasks to non-programmers.
  • You must be comfortable working in an environment where specifications change and evolve. You will rewrite or cut code even if it works perfectly, as game goals and/or features change. Much of the code you write will be for testing purposes and for investigating game-related functionality and won't end up in the shipping game.
  • This is a no-code-ownership environment. You will be expected to work with other people's code (both licensed code and code written by other team members). Be prepared for other team members to work with your code as well.
  • Your sense of progress and ego must be attached to the project and how cool the game is. It doesn't matter who wrote what -- it matters how the game plays. Some weeks you will end up doing tedious, invisible stuff because it has to get done; other weeks you will do cool, sexy, everyone-sees-it kind of stuff. That is how it is. Be ready for it.
  • You must be based in or willing to relocate to Austin, Texas.

If the qualities and qualifications above describe you, please contact HR_Austin@ionstorm.com or send a resume to:

Human Resources
1717 West Sixth Street, Suite 210
Austin, Texas 78703
Attn. Programmer Search







          Wednesday, November 15, 2000

Thieves - Chapter 6
- 8:11:25 PM - Alex
Cpt. Sqweky has released the 6th Chapter of his ongoing tale Thieves. Sneeky peek follows.
Six Months Later

Sqweky felt... excited. This Randolph guy, he knew what he was about. Surmas had been right, with the new things that he had taught him; Sqweky's skills had become unsurpassable. Even challenges now seemed fairly easy. Sqweky felt a great shock, at first, to learn that Surmas was so much more skilled than he. At first.

Tonight though... Tonight they were to take on a job that would be king of all thefts. They would go down in legend. Sqweky laughed to himself at that thought. For some reason, it amused him. However, the thought was not unrealistic. Apparently some client of Randolph's really, REALLY wanted a certain museum piece that would leave the city tomorrow. Usually, this would not be too difficult. But this was a different museum: The Museum of Supernatural Arts. Mostly known as the "Haunt House." Despite its name, magic was not practiced inside of it, for any reason. Many of the artifacts inside were either of magical value, or religious importance. AND... Nothing had ever been stolen from it. The guards inside were commonly known for being crueler than the Hammers when they catch thieves. Tonight though...






COT: Chapter 22
- 8:03:35 PM - Alex
The 22nd installment of COT is now ready to read. Today's segment may be frowned upon by those who dislike the sight (or description) of blood.
- Nightfall: - Day 10: 11:30pm

I'm not sure if it was just the exhaustion hitting me again, or if something truly bad happened, but suddenly I just felt horrible. This sickening feeling crept through my chest and into my throat. Yet I pressed on. It was not far until I made my way to a populated area. This section of the maw was in heavy use. There were creatures patrolling everywhere. Some were undeniably monsters, while others seemed to be human, but with signs of transformation already strongly evident. Some of the transformations looked painful, and all disturbing. I wondered what type of control she must have over these people in order for them to willingly allow themselves to become the beasts that they now are. It was horrifying.

Coughing down the sick feeling, I concentrated my powers on concealment, and went into stealth mode. Using my magic cloak to conceal myself, even the slightest shadow could be used to render me invisible. I kept to the outer wall as I walked slowly down the curved corridor. The inner wall had many gateways that lead to what seemed to be a very large central chamber. I concentrated my thoughts on Jyre's presence up ahead. She was still alive.






Greypatch Recruiting for Campaign
- 9:20:29 AM - Alex
Greypatch has asked me to post this message about a campaign he is currently recruiting for:
I'm trying to assemble a team for a Thief 2 campaign. It is unconnected to anything hosted by the Circle or TTLG. If anyone with any DromED experience wishes to apply (especially skinners, artists, and level architects), they may contact me at greypatch-3@home.com.

About the campaign itself, although done in DromED 2, it effectively predates the Thief series by about a year or two. Garrett hears word of a great business opportunity, which requires him to stowaway onboard a vessel bound for a distant country. When he arrives in the jungle environment, however, and views the odd, supernatural things that plague the people who live there, Garrett realizes he was probably better off staying at home. This is only a small description of the storyline. At the moment, this campaign, right now in the developmental stage, consists of nine levels, seven of which take place outside the city, with lots of new surprises (hopefully!) in store.







          Monday, November 13, 2000

Enterprise Updated
- 8:42:54 PM - Alex
Frobber has upadted his FM The Enterprise. The updates purpose is to lighten some of the darker areas that were causing problems for some people. He has the following advice for those already playing The Enterprise.
All anyone needs to do is replace the file in their mission folder with the version 1.2 zip named as "enterprise.zip", load "Original Thief 1" to clear things out, then reload "enterprise" (This process forces Darkloader to install the new zip file). Previous game saves will work because Darkloader won't know the difference between the old "enterprise.zip" and the new "enterprise.zip" -- and because I only made minor lighting changes (wouldn't say this process would work otherwise).





Light as a Feather: Chapter 9
- 7:53:28 PM - Alex
Rich has released the ninth chapter of the ongoing tale Light as a Feather.
Ch. 9 - A Plot is Discovered

The morning dawned as it usually did lately. I was high above the city, watching the magnificence of the sun rising from the spot that Willow had shown me. As I watched, the sun peeked over the horizon, showing the first hint of itself with a sliver of orange that quickly grew into a half-circle of golden fire. The clouds, already illuminated from under the horizon, lit up in glorious reds and oranges. I noticed that at about halfway through the sunrise, the sun began glinting off roofs and windows of the city below. It was like watching a many-eyed creature open it's eyes in the glow of a freshly lit torch. The beauty of it never tired me.

After the sun had risen, I lingered there on the rooftops, basking in the warmth of the sun's rays. I enjoyed closing my eyes and still being able to see the glow of the sun through my eyelids, and still feeling the warmth on my face.







          Friday, November 10, 2000

TTLG on the City's Campaign Trail - Day 2
- 7:37:49 PM - Dan
As many of you can see from looking at the poll, Raoul is suddenly very far in the lead, after Master Nightfall and Benny seemed to be blocking all opposition. The City officials suspect that some type of foul play is in the works here, and are conducting an investigation. Meanwhile, TTLG is once again on the campaign trail discussing the matter with the seven candidates. Comments by the candidates have been posted to the forums.





          Thursday, November 09, 2000

COT: Chapter 21
- 6:56:31 PM - Alex
The tension's mounting as the end approaches in COT. Chapter 21 focuses on the activities of Ghost and Lytha as their plans start to come to fruition.
- Lytha: Thank You, Father Inquisitor - Day 10: 10:25pm

"If you want to go, go now."

The clear voice of Thalia (or my own, I was still not sure) interrupted my short nap.

I looked up. The place seemed to be empty now. I had no idea how long I had been sitting on the wall, but it was now well after dark. "Probably they are gone for dinner," I muttered, and decided that I should enter the building now. I knew it had a small torture chamber in the basement - probably for training purposes or for a quick torture between the dinners, or whatever. I slid down to the place between the buildings of the cloister, and headed to the living complex. Entering was easy, because there were no Hammerites around to see me. I took the stairs down to the basement, and reassured myself that the hood of the cloak hid my face.






TTLG on the City's Campaign Trail!
- 3:53:59 PM - Dan
Through the Looking Glass is on the campaign trail with the latest comments by The City's seven candidates. We have asked each candidate what they intend to do should they be elected Baron of The City. And the responses:

Lord Bafford: WHEN I am elected Baron, you may rest assured that all the people of the city will eat cake! We will have daily parties in all districts, where the wine will flow freely and all shall rejoice. Under my reign, no one shall need to work or have jobs, for we will have other people do to that. Rather we shall all make merry and fill our tummies with good food and drink, and song shall fill the air! Oh, it shall be glorious!

Lord Ramirez: I intend to issue forth a series of taxes intended too... uhmm... to improvement of the streets and beautification projects, yes, yes. Furthermore, I shall spearhead the construction of several new mints, as well as mines in the upper mountain regions. These mints and mines will ensure that thousands of city residents will be happily employed by myself. That is right, citizens, Ramirez intends to employ you all. None shall go hungry under my ownership.

Lord Gervasius: (could not be reached for a comment)

Captain Benny: Uhm, well. I s'pose that the ferst thing I'd do, is make sure that all th' bars have ta have a happy hour. You know, when the drinks are like, free or somethin. And after that, well, I guess I'd have to make sure that we get rid of all the bad guys, eh? Huuh huh. Yeah, Hey, Bad Guys! Watch out fer Baron Benny! I'll send my troops after you, and they'll cut you up into little pieces, until, uh, well, until yer in so many little pieces, you can't say ouch no more. Huuh huh. Vote fer me!

Raoul: Oh if I was the king of the world, I'd tell you what I'd do! (two three four) I'd throw away all the guards and the bars and the wars, and make sweet love to you! Yes make sweet love to you! Heh heh heh. So Jooooy to the World! Yeah yeah! All the boys and girls now! Yeahha! Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea. Joy to you and me! Ahhh... I always liked that song.

Lieutenant Mosley: Ladies and gentlemen, if I am elected, then you can be assured that all people of the city, no matter who you are, shall receive the rights we all deserve as human beings: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Furthermore, I shall endeavor to make this city a pinnacle of truth, justice, and prosperity. Thank you all.

Master Nightfall: This city should only be managed by one who truly understands it. As a man with many good friends in all major industries and factions of The City, I feel that I would have the influence, the knowledge, and the experience to govern this state with a keen eye for the details, as well as the heart and soul of the city itself. If there is a consensus that I should be made Baron, then I shall try to uphold the position with the dignity such a post requires. This city has a vibrant spirit, and it deserves a leader who understands this spirit.





          Sunday, November 05, 2000

Oliver Gregory's 'Reliance' - Novel in Development
- 6:11:32 PM - Dan
Oliver Gregory's 'Reliance' has been prologued in The Circle's Library of Short Tales. When the work grows in size, it shall take its place with the rest of the novels. Here's a snip:
It was on a small farm, about 35 miles from The City, where his life began. The farm was right up by the mountains, not on the heighest peaks, but neither in the foot hills. The was a small community of farms, clustered in villages or isolated, and everyone knew everyone else.
There you have it. Enjoy!




Fan Art by The GAMOPHYTE
- 4:35:30 PM - Dan
We have some artwork from the GAMOPHYTE this sunday. Both of his images can be found in the ever growing art gallery here in The Circle. The images are, as follows:

  • "Blue shade Garrett"
  • "Blue Shade sketch"





  •           Friday, November 03, 2000

    Black's Fanfic - ' AKeeper's Apprenticeship'
    - 4:32:25 PM - Dan
    Black's 'A Keeper's Apprenticeship' is the prequil to Aaron Graham's 'A Thief's Apprenticeship'.
    The sharp clicking of lockpicks in the lock was deafeningly loud to Garrett, and he pressed himself further into the scant cover that the shadows next to the doorway offered. Once again, he wished for the security provided by his sword, or even the bow and its attendant arrows, whose use he had now become proficient in. However, the laws of the Keeper Order specified that no Acolyte should be armed while on a mission. The aim, according to Keeper Tyball, was to encourage the youths to use tools other than weapons to work around problems. However, Garrett privately thought that if those problems proved insurmountable, then a weapon would be more desirable than the ability to move silently through shadows.
    Enjoy! Thanks, Black!




    Garrett Character for Baldur's Gate 2
    - 4:09:40 PM - Dan
    Christopher Howard has created a Garrett character for Baldur's Gate 2, and is sharing it with us. :)

    It can be downloaded right here. This character can either be used as your protagonist in the single player game, or as anyone in a multiplayer game. Enjoy!




    'Wrath of the Bulder' - by Blackraven
    - 3:26:28 PM - Dan
    Joining our Library of Short Tales is 'Wrath of the Builder', by Blackraven. This short story shall soon become much larger... stay tuned. A teaser:
    Light streamed in through the ancient stained glass window, creating beautiful colured patterns on the marble tiles below. The vaulted ceiling, at least a hundred feet above, was cloaked in darkness. Two lines of gigantic alabaster pillars ran the length of the room, disappearing into the darkness after a few hundred feet. Just under the stained glass window hung a huge silk banner, depicting a red hammer against a yellow background.
    Thanks for the submission, Blackraven.




    Porting Models from Thief 2 into Thief 1
    - 3:15:23 PM - Dan
    Sailor Thief has sent in a tutorial detailing how to port models from Thief 2 into Thief 1. The tutorial is in downloadable zip form (it comes with some stuff). Obviously, you need both Thief 1 and 2 for this to work. I imagine that this would also apply to porting something from Thief 1 to 2 as well, and even from Shock 2 to either Thief game.... but I may be wrong.




    'Life in the Old Quarter' Goes to Act 4
    - 3:04:47 PM - Dan
    I have a message from an author of "Life in the Old Quarter"...
    Hello there, taffers. At the time of the second update to Life in the Old Quarter, an ongoing forum-based fanfic open to all, I would very much like to welcome Marecki to the writing squad for LITOQ, as an 'official' writer. I would also like to announce that from here on in, LITOQ will be taken to new and dizzying heights and levels of excitement never before known to man or burrick. There might even be a guest appearance of some of the more well-known taffers from the Thief games, so keep your blackjacks at the ready for the next installments of "Life in the Old Quarter"!

    -Naartjie

    Act four is online here.




    Thief Win AMP skin Number 5
    - 1:53:07 PM - Dan
    Romanpoet has sent in a modified version of an older Thief winamp Skin. This new version of the skin is avaliable for sperate download. Here's what it looks like. Here's where you get it. Thanks, Romanpoet!




    Assassin!
    - 12:54:31 PM - Dan
    Silent, possibly poking fun at his own name, has put together a mp3 of wave files from Thief in the form of a little story about assassination. You have footsteps, screams, shouts of murder, and the like. Download it here if your curiosity gets the better of you, and enjoy.




    The T2X Website Goes Live
    - 11:54:51 AM - Dan
    The T2X project's website has gone operational. The website features team information, plot notes, interviews with the project leads, and lots of other goodies like artwork. Feast your eyes and enjoy, there's plenty there to see.





              Thursday, November 02, 2000

    COT: Chapter 20
    - 6:47:17 PM - Alex
    Rescue is this weeks edition of Correspondance of Thieves. The 20th chapter of the tale focuses on Nightfall, James and Jyre as they continue their battle.

    - Jyre: The Strength to Push Forward - Day 10: 9:50pm

    They reminded me of birds on the hunt, diving in towards the sinking manticore, firing off several shots then pulling away sharply, pivoting round and diving down again. I watched them for several seconds, frozen by shock as they continued to prey on the dying beast. Then I remembered why I had come here and instantly began searching for him. He was standing on the dead manticore's back, staring across at us. For a second our eyes met but if he meant to tell me something it was lost to me. Then he spun around on his heels, glanced over his shoulder once and disappeared inside.

    "Daneel!!"

    I ran forward, the elementals forgotten in my desperation. I had to get to him!








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