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          Friday, March 27, 2009

Behind the Builder Interview 1: DrK
- 4:47:45 PM - pavlovscat

It is with great pleasure that I announce the latest project from our dedicated taffer, SneakyJack. He is conducting a new FM author interview series called Behind the Builder: A Deeper Look Inside the Minds of Fan Mission Creators. This will be an ongoing series with one or two FM authors interviewed every month. SneakyJack will be providing a window into the minds of some of the premier mission authors starting with DrK, well known for his A Night in Rockbourg Series. The interviews will be posted in discussion threads so that any TTLG forum member can post his own questions for that author. This is a great interactive opportunity to find out more about the fascinating minds behind the missions.

The first interviewee in the series is the French author DrK. You know him best for his series A Night in Rocksbourg: ANIR 1: A New Beginning/Un nouveau départ; ANIR 2: Discovery/Découverte; ANIR 3: Ink and Dust/Encre et poussière. DrK is also known as Kubiak. He co-authored two missions released back in 2005 under this name with French author TheHardyBoyz for the 15 Days series: Vol De Nuit (Night Flight) and Chasse A L'Homme (Manhunt). These missions were originally released in French language only, but both were translated into English and Italian recently after DrK made his solo continuation of the story with 15 Days 3: Greenbay, a small mission released to celebrate 10 years of Thief.

Now for a taste of the DrK interview:

Q & A Interview Session:
(Interviewer questions are in bold, answers from DrK are in italics)

Thank you very much DrK for taking the time to answer some questions about yourself and about your missions - it is appreciated. First, what can you tell us about yourself and what you do when you aren't building amazing creations in dromed?
My name is Eric Bigou, I'm 25, and I live in a town near Narbonne in the south of France. I'm an architect.

Your background in architecture certainly shows in the amazing layouts that you present to us in your missions! What are your hobbies, and how did you get into Thief?
I've played video games since my childhood, and I've loved the thief series since I discovered the first game in 1999. I liked Thief 1, but it's when I discovered Thief 2 that I became a real fan of the series. And believe it or not - I discovered fan-missions way later, near the end of 2002...

For someone who took a few years to discover the fan mission scene, you certainly broke into it with a bang. Your amazing work on the Rocksbourg series has produced some all time greats, that much is certain. If you had to choose a favorite project of yours - which would you choose and why?
"CoSaS Mission X" by Digital nightfall and his team. I took part in the project by working on the briefing video and that gave me a peek into its making, and it was awesome. The amount of effort and passion involved was just stunning and influenced me for "Ink and dust".

With everyone involved in the Mission X process being top notch fan mission talent from the community - there is no doubt that you were a great fit in that team. What do you think is the most important aspect of creating a fan mission that people will enjoy?
Atmosphere. This is what made me love the original game - the atmosphere was so strong compared to other games back then, so immersive. At moments I felt I wasn't playing a game anymore - I was inside the game. Even if it's far from being realistic, it was believable. The game made me feel that if the elements were put into real life, they could actually work (the city, the life of its citizens, its religions...).

Atmosphere is certainly what Thief is all about - one of the many pieces of the puzzle that fit together to make Thief a unique experience. You certainly showed us what atmosphere could do in "Ink And Dust" - it could scare the pants off us! I imagine all the Rocksbourg missions take a very long time to develop - does having spent so much time intimately with a mission cause you to avoid playing your own releases?
Yes. I know them by heart, so it's not really fun - and I can finish each of them in less than 20 minutes with no surprises while playing it. However - I often take a tour into them to remember things, to stay coherent with what I already built and to regain inspiration about the atmosphere.

Check out the rest of the interview in the Forum Discussion Thread and get ready to ask some questions. Enjoy!

          Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Fiction: I Married a Pagan, Day 3
- 7:00:11 PM - pavlovscat
It's time for the next day in greypatch3's delightful story, I Married A Pagan. You can get Day 3 here. Be sure to drop greypatch3 a line, and let him know what you think about the story.
'Welcome, young initiates, to the Builder’s Retreat!'

Pete wasn’t quite sure what to think. From his experiences with the Hammers, he’d always known them to be absolutely humorless zealots. To them, the simple joy of a rubber chicken became an opportunity to lecture shopkeeps about selling animals that could not be cooked and eaten. But this…this was something entirely new. A Hammer priest that actually smiled?

And that wasn’t all. The priest wasn’t wearing the traditional hooded red and white body stocking so emblematic of the Hammer orders…instead, he wore a red tunic, held loosely by a belt with a hammer-shaped buckle. Behind him, other Hammer acolytes wandered by, wearing similar garments, smiling and laughing. It was so…friendly. And fun.

Something was definitely wrong here.

          Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Fiction: I Married A Pagan, Day 2
- 2:53:26 AM - Dan
Last week greypatch3 treated us to the first part of his humerous story, I Married A Pagan. Day 2 is now online. But don't just read it - the author wants to know what you think, too. Go ahead and email him.
“Oh, hello, Henry. What are you in for this time?”
Jack, as always, had some food in his hand as he sat behind his desk at the Watchhouse. Today his mum had packed him a sandwich that would most likely have made several world’s records, not the least of which was ‘Greatest Potential Source of a Heart Attack.’ The rest of the room just sort of milled about in general guard-related activities, not the least of which involved games of dice and a lot of money changing hands.
Not that it surprised him. In his excited mood to tell Jack all his plans the night before, Henry had arrived at the Watchhouse to find it closed. Crime never sleeps, but apparently the Watch occasionally had to nip home for a bit of shut-eye. It was now about 9:30 in the morning, or as Jack referred to it, “Early Lunch.” “I’m not in for anything…well, not quite true, I’m here to talk to you. Jack, my boy, I need you back. And I’m serious this time.”
“You’re serious every time.” Jack bit into his sandwich, and despite the small toothpick stuck in its middle a good majority of its contents slid off onto the floor. “And so am I. I’m not going back to that, Henry.”

          Sunday, March 08, 2009

FM News Update March 2009
- 4:19:14 PM - The Phantom
The latest Circle's FM News, based on the latest update from the upcoming missions list.

One author makes a reappearance in the list: Splashcups.
His mission info was removed in the last update because of a 12 month news silence. But he contacted me and said that his mission, Cold Silence, is still in the works. Therefore it is once again mentioned as upcoming project.

Krush the Second finished and released his new mission, called "Amoral Dilemma". Because of this, the author was removed from the list. The official thread, with download links and screenshots, can be found here.
Another mission released last month is "Vandal" by Balboa. It's the first part of his Tales from the Cleft series, which he silently worked on for many years. The thread can be found here. There is still a lot of work to be done so don't expect it anytime soon.

Short news:
- DrK revealed in a recent interview that Rocksbourg Part 4 could become a two mission pack
- EZ-52's upcoming mission Aria Part 1 didn't made it's January 2009 release. He now expects to release it in Mid june of this year, possibly together with Aria Part 2
- Ladytaker, the 2nd part of Balboa's Tales from the Cleft, has an ETA of Late spring 2009
- Wicked Webs We Weave, in development by darthsLair, has reached beta and is expected to be released in March 2009
- Melan revealed some new city street images of his upcoming project Disorientation
- HipBreaker is still working on his latest mission, which name is changed from Eclipsed Resonance into Eclipsed

The full change list can be read here.

Until next update,

The Phantom

          Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Fiction: I Married A Pagan
- 1:11:32 AM - Dan
A new Thief Fiction promises weekly releases, as long as the author, the editor, and I can keep up with it. This funny story is in five chapters, or days, and according to the author...
The plot revolves around Henry Cresswell, noted incompetent thief, who reads a newspaper, finds out about Garrett's recent theft of the Hammer and Pagan artifacts, and decides to steal that idea and one-up him. Unfortunately, his two buddies, Jack Roberts and Pete Williams, have since given up on the thieving game and gotten 'real' jobs. He manages to sucker them back in, so that he can finally fulfill his dream of being a master thief, but will his schemes all be worth it in the end?

The novel is a very satirical, broad comedy with plenty of violence, moderate swearing, and some sexual dialogue (though I'm guessing it's not much worse than your average primetime sitcom). Though a stand-alone story, I make a lot of references to things in the earlier two stories as well as Deadly Shadows (the story occurs at the same time as Garrett's journey, but they don't really intersect except at a few interesting points), so if you haven't read them or played Deadly Shadows...well, you probably won't be lost, but a few jokes may be missed and some minor spoilers revealed.

Sound like your cup of tea? Click here and enjoy Day 1!

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