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          Sunday, December 31, 2000

Two New Fan Missions - Happy New Year!
- 9:38:39 PM - Dan
Start off the new year right with two new Thief 2 fan missions, from Steven Hindley and Robin G. Enjoy, and thanks!

Thief 2 FM
Raid on Washout Central
  (5.9 Meg)
  Released: 12-31-2K

By Steven Hindley:
You play Ryalla, you start in Ryalla's house, so read Ryalla's diary to find out what is going on. : This is my effort for the competition that ran on the circle but was scrapped because no-one finished in time. Has not been beta tested. Dropping a key will make one of the objectives not completed so don't drop any of the keys. This Level drips, so you might need a fast computer just to play it. There is no store, all the items you need are in a hidden room in Ryalla's house.

Thief 2 FM
Saturio Returns Home
  (5.1 Meg)
  Released: 12-31-2K

By Robin G:
What that woman paid in bribes to find me had to be no small amount. She began to speak as she deposited two large and shining gems on the table. "I will give you half dozen more if you discover what has happened to my bridegroom" -she situated herself in a chair and continued- "His name is Saturio Machado. He returned barely one week ago after having fought for months in a war in the Hilldrim territories. We spent the night of his return together in my house. The following day he rose early, eager to go to his family's mansion because his mother was ill, and had been for a long time. That was the last time that I saw him. Concerned, I went to the authorities since I did not wish to face Lady Machado... she never accepted my relationship with Saturio. Much to my surprise, the cops told me that Sigfrido, the nephew of Lady Machado had informed them that according to the news received from the front, Saturio had died in combat weeks back. The authorities did not have reason to doubt his word and thus they let me know. Something has happened behind those walls Mr. Garrett. You have to help me."

          Sunday, December 24, 2000

Merry Christmas
- 10:41:22 PM - Dan
Merry tidings from the Circle of Stone and Shadow development team. The Christmas season meets us all well. While some of the CoSaS team is still hard at work, others of us are taking some time off to spend with friends and family. A scant few, however, are up to something quite interesting. One of those such people is Steve, one Finial's trustworthy assistants.

Here is Steve:

Digi: Hello, Steve, how are you this Christmas Eve?

Steve: Doin quite well, guvnah. Though tis a bit drafty up 'ere on this ledge. But somebody's gotta do it, that's right.

Digi: What exactly are you doing up here?

Steve: Why, watching for Stante Clause of course. I 'ere 'e'll be comin through 'ere 'round this time o' night. I'm gonna be ready for 'im. See, my boys are down there on the ground, and when I see 'im, Clause that is, I'll radio to one of the boys and the'll catch him on film.

Digi: I see. Can you tell us a bit about where you are standing right now?

Steve: 'ere? Well, it's really big, and really top secret. Finial's been working really 'ard on it, and were all really proud of et. Sorry, can't tell ya much more then - whoa! I think I see him! Hey Johnny! *picks up his radio transmitter* Johnny me lad, can yea get a shot at him from where yer at down there?

Johnny: *radio squalk* Yeah Steve! I'm not sure how well he'll show up though! Taking a snapshot now!

Steve: That's right! Got 'im! Now we can all go 'ome and drink egg nog around the fire. See ya mate.

Digi: Thank you, Steve. Well, there you have it, folks. Santa Claus caught in action somewhere north of NewMarket. And it looks like Rudolph is with him tonight!

Before I say goodnight, I'd like to take time to mention two new members of the CoSaS development team. Screech, whom many of you know from the TTLG & Eidos forums, as well as the #thief chatroom, is onboard as an all-purpose artist. Her gallery of quirky sketches may be perused right here. Our other new team member is none other then Purah, of Lampfire Hills and Calendra's Cistern. Purah will be designing one of CoSaS's many missions. In case you don't know who he is, Purah's display of many creative works may be glanced at right here.

          Saturday, December 23, 2000

Review Revision for Equilibrium
- 6:38:35 PM - Dan
In light of reanalysis, David Riegel has opted to revise his review of the recently released Thief 2 FM Equilibrium (by ScilentSleep). The new score finds the mission with one more hammer then it had, bringing the total to 9 Hammers (four silver). The FM's other two reviews rank this mission at 9 and 10 hammers. making this FM very highly celebrated. Congrats again, Conor, and thanks, David!

Thief 2 FM

Comments by David Riegel:

  • Pros: A unique map with the feeling of a multiplayer game that gives players a completely new thief experience, intense atmosphere, a great sense of consistency and overall design, great technical feats
  • Cons: The idea of the mission may not appeal to all Thief players out there, a lack of detail and story in some respects
  • Bottom Line: Equilibrium is a fantastic thieving experience for players looking for a new spin on the thief world. The use of imagery, lighting, and AI reactions are all excellent, and although the map is reasonably small, the mission can provide well over an hour of some of the most suspenseful thief action to date. While Equilibrium may not be of the size and ambition of The Order of the Vine, it once again proves that Silent Sleep is one of the most talented and most creative designers in the community.

    - Full Review

  • Fanfic: A Thief in Sheep's Clothing
    - 6:29:47 PM - Dan
    Keeper of Legends has sent us a short tale, entitled 'A Thief In Sheeps Clothing'. A taste:
    It was the end of the day. Night was slowly descending on The City. Now, only a lone servant, returning from Stone Market, walked down the empty cobbled street. He turned the corner and continued walking until he seemingly vanished into the shadows, as I have done so many countless times. I continued my errand to Farkus' shop. I needed some new lock picks. The other pair I had, wore out after looting a local noble. Every door in that blasted place had one of those new locks that the Mechanics keep making. As I started to enter the shop, I heard a noise coming from the other side of the wooden door.

    "Thou art in trouble now Farkus! Thy self has broken the law. Thy shall spendeth your days in Cragscleft!" boomed a Hammerite Watchman.

    Thank you, Keeper of Legends, for your donation.

    Christmas Fanart
    - 6:19:19 PM - Dan
    Chiefdreams was in Cragscleft Prison last night when he happened upon a scene up in the barracks. A band of fellows were gathered merrily for a game of poker.

    Also, Cody Bedingfield has sent in proof that Garrett has gotten into the Christmas Spirit. Or maybe the spirit of the Grinch?

    Thanks, guys. :)

    'The Prodigal Corpse' for Thief 1
    - 5:53:36 PM - Dan
    Pseudonymouse's "The Prodigal Corpse" was originally released as an unrated mission. Now it's back, reworked and finished, as a full fledged fan mission for Thief 1/Gold, ready for download and your enjoyment. Thanks, Pseudo!

    Thief 1 / Gold FM
    The Prodigal Corpse
      (2.1 Meg)
      Released: 12-23-2K

    By Pseudonymouse (Chris Howcroft):
    The only thing greater than the wealth of Lord Calibrus is his reclusiveness. An influential benefactor of the Hammerites, he is also known for his amateur zoology. His home is a converted castle on the outskirts of the city, which he leaves only to attend the Hammerite temple or to acquire new books for his library. A rare exception was his attendance tonight at the birthday party of the Baron's nephew, held in the upstairs room of a hostelry known as much for its high prices as for its discretion. At this party, a disagreement with the equally paranoid Lady Mellisa about whose home was most impregnable resulted in Calibrus's boasting that "even Garrett himself couldn't evade my guards for longer than a taffer's heartbeat", which to your ears sounds like an invitation. And when a friend of yours with a debt collection agency tells you that one of his "customers" is Calibrus's head servant, and that he has chosen to settle his debts by stabbing himself in the back five times and jumping into the river, you realise that you have the perfect calling card...

    The Rital Reviewed - 8.5 Hammers
    - 4:51:20 PM - Dan
    The venerable Frobber has sent in a review of the recently released The Ritual by Twisty. No one will be surprised at this fan mission's very generous score and review. Congrats, Twisty!

    Thief 2 FM

    Comments by Frobber:

  • Pros: A heavy-duty creepy sneaker with lots of potentially unique gameplay.
  • Cons: Tough getting going, and story loses a little punch in the middle.
  • Bottom Line: The Ritual is a unique, tough, long, complex, Escape/Rescue/Tomb Raider/Escape mission that many people will find awesome, but perhaps won't be everyone's cup of tea.

    - Full Review

  • New Thief Music Mix
    - 4:15:45 PM - Dan
    Picklocke presents an original Thief music mix, starring everyone's favorite spook, the Haunts. Download Thief Haunted (2.4 Meg) and enjoy!

    Crazy Review Mumbo Jumbo
    - 3:16:57 PM - Dan
    Marecki has updated his review of Rouges Honor (for Thief 1) (one false rumour removed, one detail added, a few changes in wording - nothing that would affect the score), sent in a very short review of the Thief 2 version of Lady Whitman's Disease, meant to be an addendum to the existing review of the Thief 1 version of that fan mission. Finally, he looked over Lord Burkhard (for Thief 2), desciding to put it into the unrated section.

              Wednesday, December 20, 2000

    'Embracing the Enemy' is Here
    - 5:33:48 PM - Dan
    Garett (Kung Fu Gecko) Choy's latest fan mission is finally here. Embracing the Enemy, for Thief 2, from the author of Bloodstone Prison. Will it live up to Gecko's reputation? Only one way to see! :)

    Thief 2 FM
    Embracing the Enemy
      (7.0 Meg)
      Released: 12-20-2K

    By Garett (Kung Fu Gecko) Choy:
    I love stealing from that old goat Rumsford and generally being a major thorn in his side. But this time it wasn't easy getting this high priced trinket from his possession. I took a couple crossbow bolts in the process of fulfilling my fence's contract and have had to spend the last few days recovering from my wounds. But what pains me most is that the buyer can't pay the full amount. According to my fence, the buyer is Lord Montague and he won't be able to pay up until his next shipping convoy comes in at the end of the month. No other buyers are offering anything close to Montague's offer so it looks like I'm going to have to hold on to the thing for another few days. (more)

    Artwork from Air Gecko
    - 1:42:19 PM - Dan
    The fanworks keep on flowin.

    Now we have a bit of artwork from Air Gecko. Behold, Showdown. Thanks!

    Sypha Nadon's Fanfic
    - 1:27:51 PM - Dan
    Sypha Nadon has sent in a comical contribution to The Circle's library of short tales: 'Lord Garrett's Manor'
    It was a sunny day in the City, a very rare thing indeed. Five months ago the Mechanists had vanished from the City, and peace reigned.

    That morning Garrett sat in the living room of his tiny 3-room apartment, reading a book, wondering in the back of his mind what he'd do that night. Rob a lord? Pilfer some pockets? Raid a bank? Choices, choices, choices...

    A knock at his door broke his train of thought. The thief sighed and rose from his sofa, placing down his book. He trodded over to his front door and called out "Who is it?"

    "It's your landlord, Garrett, open up!" barked out a harsh voice.

    Lucky Me thought Garrett. He pulled open his door and came face to face with his landlord, a short, squat little man whose face was always cast with a thin sheen of grubby perspiration.

    Stronghold Review Revision
    - 1:04:26 PM - Dan
    In light of the recent update to version 3, David Riegel has updated his review of JohnEric's Stronghold. The new review raises the score to 4.5 Hammers. Stronghold's other two reviews rank the mission at 8 Hammers each.
    Thief 2 FM

    Version 3 Comments by David Riegel:
  • Pros: A beautiful snow setting, a suspenseful atmosphere, a very unusual fortress
  • Cons: An underdeveloped story which does not sufficiently justify either your motivation for the quest nor the enemies' motivations for working together, gameplay which is far beyond the bounds of the Thief universe (no sneaking), a slow frame rate in many areas
  • Bottom Line: Stronghold remains a strong visual mission that carries the player through a variety of interesting settings, but there have been only a handful of fixes to the updated version. The mission can be extremely fun for those looking for a different type of experience with the Dark Engine, but still does not seem to meet the requirements to classify it as a 'professional' mission.

    - Full Review

  •           Tuesday, December 19, 2000

    Equilibrium Reviewed: 8, 9 & 10 Hammers
    - 5:20:33 PM - Dan
    Equilibrium, by SilentSleep was released less then a month ago, and already it has inspired three glowing reviews. The fans are in a rave about this new FM, and the scores prove it. Equilibrium has been rewarded Eight, Nine, and Ten hammers (that's Three, Four, and Five Silvers). Congratulations, SilentSleep, for a blockbuster!

    Thief 2 FM
      (2.0 Meg)
      Released: 12-10-2K

    By Conor Armstrong (SilentSleep):
    "Some days you just feel lucky. A local fence told me some homeless guy stumbled on something very interesting. From the sound of it, the bum found an entrance to a Keeper facility. Standard practice for the Keepers would be to seal up the place after that, but I'm hoping I might find some way in. I'd love a couple of hours inside to catch up on old times, and maybe find put why the hell they're so interested in me these days. "

    Comments by Frobber:

  • Pros: A creepy sneaker with unique gameplay and a very good puzzle.
  • Cons: Maybe a little slow for some players, and not much of a story.
  • Bottom Line: Perhaps the best smaller mission to date. Great AI. High replay value.

    - Full Review

  • Comments by Z:

  • Pros: Good atmosphere. Small – but not too small. Great gameplay.
  • Cons: Sometimes quite hard, but not impossible.
  • Bottom Line: Every Thief player should download this. Its well worth it.

    - Full Review

  • Comments by David Riegel:

  • Pros: A unique map with the feeling of a multiplayer game that gives players a completely new thief experience, intense atmosphere, a great sense of consistency and overall design, great technical feats
  • Cons: The idea of the mission may not appeal to all Thief players out there, a lack of detail and story in some respects
  • Bottom Line: Equilibrium is a fantastic thieving experience for players looking for a new spin on the thief world. The use of imagery, lighting, and AI reactions are all excellent, and although the map is reasonably small, the mission can provide well over an hour of some of the most suspenseful thief action to date. While Equilibrium may not be of the size and ambition of The Order of the Vine, it once again proves that Silent Sleep is one of the most talented and most creative designers in the community.

    - Full Review

  • Artwork: 'Chiefdreams, An Indian Thief '
    - 4:31:02 PM - Dan
    Unless I am very much mistaken, Chiefdreams has send in a self portrait. This piece of original artwork is called "Chiefdreams, An Indian Thief ".

    The image is in responce to the mission Masks.... caption: 'That's for making me come here twice!'

    Making Thief 1 Look like Thief 2
    - 1:03:11 PM - Dan
    oRGy's Guide to Making Thief 1 l33t is now up in its fully glory, sporting patches for textures as well as characters. Here's the low-down:

    Ever wished that your copy of Thief: The Dark Project or Thief Gold had the same graphical quality as its sequel, Thief II: The Metal Age? Well, barring coloured lighting and Unreal-esque sky effects, it now does - it's possible to have Thief II quality textures and models in Thief I with the minimum of effort.. What, you don't believe me? Check out these screenshots for proof:

    Street Scene (Before) Street Scene (After)
    Cragscleft Prison (Before) Cragscleft Prison (After)
    Asassains (Before) Asassains (After)
    The Lost City (Before) The Lost City (After)

    New Keeper model
    New guard model

    Like it? Want it? Then here we go..

    New Tools for AI & Object Tinkerers
    - 12:46:52 PM - Dan
    Randy Sybel has some bright shiney christmas gifts from an anonymous LGSer to all of us more groundbreaking FM authors. Randy does not know much about them himself, but he does know that they are used in the making of custom AIs and Objects.

    A Collection of Object Tools (object_tools.zip) - (578 K)

  • View.exe - allows you to view objects (not AI), rotate them, move joints, etc. Somewhat easier than loading a custom object into Dromed. View -help gives you a list of the commands.
  • Md2Txt.exe - opens a .bin file (objects, AI?) and dumps everything about it to a text file.
  • Anim2Mot.exe - The elusive program which supposedly converts some kind of animation file to motions! I have no idea how it works.
  • Mottwist.exe - Modifies motions somehow? (Try mottwist -help). As arguments, it takes a motion name, a cal file, a joint id, and an angle. I have no more info than that.

  •           Wednesday, December 13, 2000

    Thieves Chapter 7
    - 6:49:11 PM - Alex
    Cpt. Sqweky has released Chapter 7 of his tale Thieves. Below be there a peeky sneeky.
    The guard was about to jump down into the canal, when the Hammer noticed a ladder. "Wait but a moment, there doth be a ladder over there. T'would be much easier for getting up and down. I do apologize for not seeing it earlier."

    The museum guard just made some comment Sqweky couldn't quite make out. Sqweky was about to give up hope when he felt something pull on his leg. His good leg, thankfully. And he was pulled under the water's surface. He turned around and opened his eyes, but it was too dark to see, he could tell that someone was trying to get him to follow. And it disappeared into a hole. Sqweky, seeing no other options, followed. His broken leg didn't help any, though.

    We of The City, A Poem by Naartjie
    - 3:24:40 AM - Dan
    We of The City is a poem written by Naartjie. It has been added to the halls of The Circle's library. A taste...

    We of the City, the Keepers called
    Do stand in shadow and glyphs do forge
    Balance is our trust and secrets we do lock
    In tomes stored on shelves, locked in vaults beneath rock.

              Monday, December 11, 2000

    Willow Island, 2nd Review - 9 Hammers
    - 5:53:55 PM - Dan
    Gonchong's latest, Willow Island has been given a second review by Frobber. Frobber has awarded the mission Nine Hammers (4 Silver), one rank above the previous review (by yours truly). Congrats on another great review, Gonchong, and thanks again, Frobber.

    Thief 2 FM

    Comments by Frobber:

  • Pros: Straight-ahead mission, multiple locations, lots to explore.
  • Cons: Possibly too easy for serious taffers, a little low on intrigue and intensity.
  • Bottom Line: Fun, straight-ahead exploration mission. A very good re-play value.

    - Full Review

  • Stronghold Gets an Update, and a Review to the Update!
    - 3:03:17 PM - Dan
    JohnEric's Stronghold has been updated to version 3! This new version features fixes to many things previously criticised. Frobber has done a new review of this mission in its updated form. While the fixes do not pull the sore higher then the first review, it definetly counteracts the much lower score given to it by the second review. Congrats, JohnEric, and thank you, Frobber!

    Thief 2 FM
    Stronghold (v3)
      (7.2 Meg)
      Released: 12-11-2K

     Mission News
    By JohnEric:
    You've just paid handsomely for the construction of a secluded hideaway adjacent to the Great Forest. The contractor was as discrete as a lot of money and threats can cause him to be. How the contractor kept the work under wraps was his problem. If it became your problem, you would have to start eliminating the leaks, and he knows it. Apart from the contractor, pagans made up the bulk of the work force. After what you went through alongside Victoria, you and the pagans have reason to trust each other. Time to inspect the place and relax a little. As always, you keep a keen eye out for any change of plans. Take things as they come, and always follow through with what you start ... Garrett's basic survival technique.

    Version 2 Comments by Andrew Dagilis and Alex Thomson:
  • Pros: Solid story, impressive map design, beautiful use of color, some gorgeous settings, immersive atmosphere and gameplay.
  • Cons: Dodgy light propagation; some technical slips (not all of them minor); areas of high polycounts (and thus choppy framerates on weaker machines).
  • Bottom line: Stronghold is one of the more immersive fan missions produced, its technical fumbles having little effect on its engaging gameplay.

    - Full Review

  • Version 2 Comments by David Riegel:
  • Pros: A vastly unique environment, some interesting settings, the first good use of snow, and a fortress that keeps you guessing at every turn.
  • Cons: A variety of things which break immersion, including contrasting and unexplained imagery, a plethora of bugs, and a premise which is entirely non-believable.
  • Bottom Line: If you are in the mood for a bizarre and unique mission that uses some unusual settings, download Stronghold right away. However, if you are very familiar with Thief universe and like to see little deviation, do not like forced item/combat situations, and can spot bugs easily, this is probably not the mission for you.

    - Full Review

  • Version 3 Comments by frobber:
  • Pros: Straight-ahead mission, lots of physical challenges.
  • Cons: No easier playing modes.
  • Bottom Line: Well-built, fun, and challenging mission

    - Full Review

  •           Sunday, December 10, 2000

    'Equilibrium' by SilentSleep and 'The Ritual' by Twisty
    - 1:27:39 AM - Dan
    Deserving equal jubilant reception are the fan-made missions Equilibrium by SilentSleep and The Ritual by Twisty.

    Thief 2 FM
      (2.0 Meg)
      Released: 12-10-2K

    By Conor Armstrong (SilentSleep):
    "Some days you just feel lucky. A local fence told me some homeless guy stumbled on something very interesting. From the sound of it, the bum found an entrance to a Keeper facility. Standard practice for the Keepers would be to seal up the place after that, but I'm hoping I might find some way in. I'd love a couple of hours inside to catch up on old times, and maybe find put why the hell they're so interested in me these days. "

    Thief 2 FM
    The Ritual
      (6.9 Meg)
      Released: 12-10-2K

    By Twisty:
    When - Several months before the first event of Thief 2. Garret is confronted one morning by a messenger boy who has a letter for him.

    "Dear Garrett,

    It has in truth been years since we last met, yet sometimes when I cast my mind back to those days, it seems only minutes have passed when as children we played on those dirty streets and lightened the pockets of passer-bys. Although we have seldom crossed paths since your joining the keepers, I have often thought and asked after you. Though it with much unexpected pain that I seek an audience with you now. (more)

    As always, thank you for your submissions!

              Saturday, December 09, 2000

    New Menus & Conversion Tutorial by Gonchong
    - 11:59:40 AM - Dan
    Gonchong has graced us today with a custom Dromed 2 menu, which I've tested out and seems really nice. To install, place the file menus.cfg (it is a good idea to name your existing menus.cfg file something else so you do not overwrite it) into your Thief 2 folder.

    He's also sent us a tutorial on converting a Thief 1 mission to Thief 2. Maybe some of you FM authors will be inspired to convert your Thief 1 missions into Thief 2 missions, eh? Thanks, Gonchong!

              Wednesday, December 06, 2000

    Four New CoSaS Screenshots
    - 1:49:17 PM - Dan
    Crawling forth from our dark cave, the Circle of Stone and Shadow Campaign team is pleased to dash out four new sneak peeks at our project's development.

    The CoSaS site has been updated with four new screenshots showing off some of our favorite areas. We hope you'll like them too. :)

    Don't know what CoSaS is? Our Questions & Answers page will help you with that.

    COT Finale
    - 10:18:32 AM - Alex
    Well, it's been three weeks since I posted a chapter of COT, which means I'm owing you 3 new chapters, all of which are now up. Below is a snippet from the first of the new chapters. I hope you enjoy the end of our tale!

    - Jyre: Incomplete Sacrifice - Day 10: 11:38pm

    Agony ripped through me. I might have screamed. I might not. I was hurting too much to care! I stared into the beasts grinning eyes through a blanket of tears. Sobbed, I think. It took me a moment to realize I wasn't dead. Why wasn't I dead!?!

    I looked down. Blood. My blood. On its hand. Running down its arm. Not dead. I half-stumbled, half-fell, pulling myself from its claw. It had missed. The stupid thing had gone and missed! I stared at the hole just above my hip in disbelief. I stared at the beast. I swung my head around to stare at her. I should have been dead!

              Tuesday, December 05, 2000

    Benny's Dead Reviewed - 10 Hammers
    - 12:02:00 PM - Dan
    Benny's Dead for Thief 2, by Gingerbread Man, has finally been reviewed! And what a review it is... here's the lowdown:

    Comments by Frobber:

  • Pros: Best story-telling experience in a fan mission to date. Lot's of visual variety. realistic gameplay. No bugs.
  • Cons: Not much to report. Perhaps some self-imposed playing styles may not work. EAX mods would have been nice, but does not detract noticeably.
  • Bottom Line: Balanced, fun, straight-ahead story-based mission. A good re-play value.

    - Full Review

  • You counted right... that's ten hammers you see there. Way to go Gingerbread Man! By the way, GMB is one of the project leads on the T2X project. :)

    New Artwork - Saturnine's 'A Keeper'
    - 11:12:10 AM - Dan
    One of the best pieces of artwork to grace our shadowy halls is being put up today. I like Saturnine's "A Keeper" so much, that a simple text link will not do. No, this one gets a thumbnail!

    Thanks, Saturnine!

    Kleptomaniac: The Not-So-Bright Project
    - 10:59:59 AM - Dan
    G'day folks!

    KLEPTOMANIAC: THE NOT-SO-BRIGHT PROJECT has come to ThE CIrcLE! Lone Coyote's hillarious parody of Thief has been added to the fanworks section. Here's a taste:

    The most dysfunctional acolyte left us (good riddance),
    Not for the lesser folly of indecision,
    But the greater folly of megalomania.
    His mind was foggy.
    His intentions were good,
    But his incompetence was unmatched.
    Even then, we knew to watch him most carefully
    (lest by his bungling he bring ruin to us all).

    - Keeper Anal Retentives

    And, of course, the Kleptomanic thread is still alive and well in the forum. Join in!

              Monday, December 04, 2000

    Hammerite SunCatcher For Sale
    - 11:59:53 PM - Dan
    Do you need a christmas gift for your favorite taffer?

    How about a real Hammerite Stained Glass SunCatcher?

    I'd say it's well worth the price of $60. Oh yes, and there is only one, so if you want it, don't delay.

    News on Thief 3 From Randy "Return to Cathedral" Smith!
    - 8:22:29 PM - Dan
    Huge Annoucement by Randy Smith! This is a must read if you care one bit about Thief 3:
    Hey there TTLG,

    This is Randy over at Ion Storm Austin. When Looking Glass closed I signed up as the Thief 3 project director. But you probably heard all about that. I finally found the time to post here to give you folks an update on how things are going. And since Thief 3 has been in pre-production for a few months now, I actually have some stuff to say.

    The team is coming together really nicely. You probably heard that we’ve got Emil Pagliarulo, Thief 2 designer, and Lulu Lamer, Thief and Thief 2 person (QA, Associate Producer, etc.). Emil is a designer on Thief 3, and Lulu is our Associate Producer.

    In addition, we’ve got a couple of very talented artists who worked on Deus Ex – Rob Kovach and Terry Manderfeld. We also hired Kevin Daugherty, an industry pro who once worked at Digital Anvil. Our lead programmer is Ian Dunlop, formerly from Acclaim, and a veteran of both PC and console programming. Also on board is Paul Tozour, an expert at game AI, who comes to us from Microsoft Games.

    On the design side, we also have Nate Blaisdell, who worked for Looking Glass in the past and went on to Irrational Games for a while. And, as you may have surmised, we are fortunate to have Terri Brosius as our writer. Yes, Terri was the voice of Shodan and Viktoria. She was also central to creating the cutscenes and fiction of both Thief games (along with lots of other people who deserve credit, but I don’t have the space to name them all here).

    Alex Brandon is the lead audio guy for Ion Austin and was a primary music guy for Deus Ex. He’ll be leading the Thief 3 audio effort.

    Chris Carollo and Alex Duran, former LG programmers, are also here in-house to keep us honest (they’re working on Deus Ex 2). And a bunch of former LG people have expressed interest in consulting, in a playtest/feedback capacity and in some cases even more.

    And, of course, we have the great fortune to be working under Warren Spector in the Executive Producer role. If it weren’t for Warren, Thief 3 would be in production at some other company, and quite possibly none of us would be working on it.

    We have a few more positions to fill before our team is complete. Interest in working on Thief 3 has been very high, so we are psyched and confident that our team will just keep getting better. In particular, we’re looking for designers, and you can check out a post in Developer Announcements if you are interested in hearing about the job opening.

    It’s great that Thief 3 is at Ion Austin. Working in the same culture with the guys making Deus Ex 2 is really fun, and I’m sure that each team is going to benefit from the insights of the other. Get ready for some awesome games. Of course, neither game is coming out right away, so you might want to find some other stuff to play in the meantime.

    As I mentioned, Thief 3 is still in pre-production, which is going well. The designers and artists are currently cranking out top-notch material for an internal art demo we’re working on. No, you can’t see it, sorry. We’ll probably release some screen shots when we’re comfortable with what we have, but don’t hold your breath. It’s looking very good so far, and we’re also doing some R&D to figure out new ways to make it even better.

    The story is also coming along. We basically picked up where we left off at Looking Glass and are developing the continuation of the Thief and Thief 2 fiction as was sketched out back at LG. It’ll be a while before we release any details, but I can tell you that the story is going to be really cool and answer a lot of questions you may have had about Garrett and the world of Thief.

    Similarly, the game design is a development on the work that was started at Looking Glass. Terri and I were the lead designers when Thief 3 started at LG, so that just figures. We’re thinking about mission ideas, enemies, powers, features, framing elements... all that good design stuff. We’re writing a lot of documentation.

    The work on the programming side is the usual pre-production thing of creating development plans and analyzing technology, along with supporting the art demo efforts. There’s going to be plenty of programming work for this project!

    Thief 3 may have experienced some changes to place, personnel, and technology, but our team is dedicated to bringing you an authentic Thief game. Thief 3 is going to have all the immersive stealth gameplay, the deep story, the rich atmosphere, the realistic simulation, etc., etc., etc., that you knew and loved from Thief and Thief 2. It’s also going to have great developments and innovations. Heck, we wouldn’t know how to make a Thief game any other way. That’s why Warren hired us. So rest easy. That’s about all I have to say for now. I’ll try to give you guys updates now and then and maybe occasional special treats. Thank you for your continued interest and support, which as always means a lot to us!

    See you later! - Randy

    'The Varyx Obelisk' Gets an Update
    - 1:45:52 PM - Dan
    Xarax's 'The Varyx Obelisk' has been updated yet again. The mission had eight hammers before, so now it can only be better, right? :)

    Thanks, Xarax!

    Thief Gold FM
    The Varyx Obelisk
      (3.29 Meg)
      Re-released: 12-04-2K

    By xarax:
    I received some interesting information from my fence. The town of Eldevir has a strange stone obelisk called the "Varyx Obelisk". It's quite old and is rumored to have some connection to the keepers, but nobody knows for sure.

    The Varyx Obelisk may be the connection I need to learn more about my former teachers, and maybe some profit. My conversation with Ybynwan in the town of Viowen convinced me that there is something worthwhile here in Eldevir. After several days traveling to Eldevir from Viowen, I learned that there is a curfew from dusk to dawn, and the patrol guards are very unforgiving. I must be cautious on the streets.

    Comments by Z:

  • 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.

    - Full Review

  • New Garrett Voice Set for BG2
    - 10:40:41 AM - Dan
    More Thief meets Baludr's Gate goodness today. Alan "Itsatrap" Au has sent in a voice set for your BG2 protagonist, using Garrett voice clips.

    Thanks Alan!

              Saturday, December 02, 2000

    Hard Luck: 6 ... Thieves Quarter: 6.5 ... Night at the Theatre: 1.5
    - 8:29:05 PM - Dan
    David Riegel has been busy - he's reviewed three of our newer missions. Thanks, Dave!

    The Thieves' Quarter: 6.5 Hammers (1.5 Silver)

  • Pros: Strong design with intelligent texture choices and extremely reasonable poly counts, great atmosphere, a few unique surprises, and an interesting premise.
  • Cons: A lack of hints and story development in places, a few unfair gotcha traps, gameplay which forces violence due to its AI placement and constant teleportation of new enemies, a bug which may cause the Thief to crash while loading saved games.
  • Bottom Line: A solid first effort from Rugball, this mission delivers in terms of atmosphere and intrigue. As it stands, The Thieves Quarter is a good mission that, with some tweaks to gameplay and tech, could be a very strong one.

    Hard Luck: 6 Hammers (1 Silver)

  • Pros: Nicely done gameplay which is well suited for different styles, reasonably solid visuals throughout the interior of the mansion, well written texts.
  • Cons: A few minor AI reactions could be improved, the exterior could be spiced-up a bit, the objectives can seem a bit unfocused, the mansion theme is nothing new.
  • Bottom Line: For a first effort, Hard Luck prooves to be a nicely designed mission that is very well balanced for its size and ambition. Gameplay is interesting and non-frustrating, the overall layout is well contrived. This mission is highly recommended for taffers looking for a short, not overly-complicated break-in mission where sneaking is highly valued.

    Night at the Theater: 1.5 Hammer (1.5 Bronze)

  • Pros: A small mission that can be played quickly, interesting and humorous texts.
  • Cons: Choppy framerate, gameplay restricted to knockout style and running from guards, lights without a radius, inappropriate use of loud/soft surfaces.
  • Bottom Line: Night at the Theatre can provide a nice, short run-through, but is not as polished and replayable as the other missions of its size and ambition.

  • Owen's Archer Tutorial
    - 6:25:07 PM - Dan
    Owen McLaughlin has sent in an Archer Tutorial, which does not tutor you in archery, but rather explains how to make any NPC or enemy in Thief into an archer.

    More Keeper Theses, by Aaron Graham
    - 6:03:03 PM - Dan
    Aaron Graham has another one of his Keeper Theses for us. It's called Crime in The City It's about crime in the city. Below is the first paragraph.
    There are many professions that claim to be the oldest. Thieves say that they are the oldest profession, prostitutes that they are, cutpurses that they are, and smugglers that they are. There is no evidence to support any of these claims. However, all of the claimants belong to what the City Watch prefers to call 'the criminal underworld'. It is perhaps this 'underworld' as a whole that is the oldest profession - whenever the City is spoken of, a mention of crime is sure to follow. It is irrevocably entwined with the history of the City.
    Mr. Graham has also written a FAQ about his Theses, which you may find right here. This FAQ answers frequently asked questions.

    I Am Way Behind in my ToDo List.
    - 3:02:06 PM - Dan
    Currently I am up to November 15th in my to-do list. If you emailed me with content AFTER that date, then I have not gotten to it yet, but I do have it and I will get to it. If you emailed me BEFORE that date, and I have not gotten to it yet, then it means your email got lost in the works, so please try again.

    Things will pick up as soon as this sever move debacle is done with.

    Guide to Doors & Secret Doors
    - 2:46:32 PM - Dan
    We have a great (I just love it when people send me things already in HTML!) new tutorial added to our archive of Dromed Guides. Tips & Tricks from St Patrick is a guide to the finer points of door making, with lots of useful info on secret doors. Thanks, St. Patrick!

    Travel to: Go Back / T-tc.com (home)