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          Friday, April 30, 2004

Thief 3 Screens at Worthplaying
- 8:49:16 PM - Dan
Mixed bag of old and new shots. None are particularly interesting or of reasonable quality. I don't even know why I am posting them. Uhm. Hi. :)





          Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Official Thief 3 System Requirements
- 6:08:52 PM - Elenkis
Eidos have revealed over on their forums the official system requirements to run Thief: Deadly Shadows:
TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:
WINDOWS 2000/XP (ADMIN RIGHTS REQUIRED)(95/98/ME/NT NOT SUPPORTED!)
INTEL PENTIUM® IV 1.5GHZ (AMD ATHLON XP™ EQUIVALENT)
256MB SYSTEM MEMORY
100% DIRECTX 9 COMPATIBLE SOUND CARD
3GB FREE HARD DISC SPACE
MOUSE AND KEYBOARD
CD-ROM DRIVE REQUIRED
EAX Advanced HD Supported - requires SoundBlaster Audigy range of soundcards.

****LAPTOPS ARE NOT SUPPORTED!****

SUPPORTED GRAPHICS CHIPSETS:
ATI RADEON 8500
ATI RADEON 9 SERIES
(9000,9200,9500,9600,9700,9800)
NVIDIA GEFORCE 3TI SERIES
NVIDIA GEFORCE 4TI SERIES
NVIDIA GEFORCE FX SERIES
NVIDIA GEFORCE 6 SERIES
GRAPHICS CARD MUST SUPPORT PIXEL
SHADER 1.1!

UNSUPPORTED GRAPHICS CHIPSETS:
NVIDIA GEFORCE 4MX (460, 440 & 420)
NVIDIA GEFORCE 4 GO
NVIDIA QUADRO FX GO
NVIDIA GEFORCE NFORCE2 & NFORCE3

Note that although it is not specifically stated for the specs, the game will not run on any current on-board video chips, such as 'Intel Extreme Graphics' and whatnot. Just so you know.

So there you have it folks, time to get upgrading if you don't meet the above specs!




Thief 3 Preview at Computer Gaming World
- 10:03:33 AM - Dan
Determined to not give us a moment's rest, we've got a new preview up at Computer Gaming World:
We checked out a demo mission set in a museum. As a game focused on light and shadows, Deadly Shadows has high-quality light effects with a very organic glow. The model texturing imbues the quality of a moving painting with the crosshatched feeling of canvas. From the dank alleyways lit only by whispering torchlights, Garrett must work his way past the doors of the castle.
Clearly not wishing to be a contender for the most indepth or informative publication, CGW's preview doesn't really say anything that couldn't be written by any of our readers here.




Thief 3 Preview at Gamespy
- 6:57:29 AM - Elenkis
This time it's Gamespy who have gotten their hands on a preview copy of Thief: DS and stopped playing long enough to put together some first impressions to make us jealous. Nothing new but the previewer claims to be a fan of the series and genuinely seems quite excited by what he has seen, that has to be a good thing eh? The preview is accompanied by a bunch of new screenshots, a couple of them even taken in first-person!

Snippet follows:

My second thought was, "How am I going to deal with the game's move to third-person?" Surprisingly well, as it turns out. The third- person view is actually much better for gauging guard patrol patterns, planning your next move and getting a good overview of Garrett's position in situation than first-person ever was. Fortunately, you can switch back to first- person on the fly, which is still much better for the precise movement and timing you'll need as you flit Garrett from shadow to shadow. As I played through the game's tutorial level and first missions, I found myself quickly shifting perspective back and forth at various points until it seemed like this was the way the game was always meant to be played.

My third thought --, and the one that dominated my brain through the rest of the experience -- was "Garrett's back!". I've played the first two Thief games more times than I care to acknowledge and I was amazed at how quickly I began slipping back into the paranoid, light-hating mindset that characterizes Thief fans. The death of Looking Glass, Thief's original creators, came as a blow to fans of the series. Fortunately, it seems that Ion Storm (which has a number of former Looking Glass team members working on the game) are quite serious about retaining the atmosphere and stealthy gameplay of the original.






Thief 3 Preview at GameInformer
- 12:20:21 AM - Elenkis
GameInformer are the latest site to get their hands on a preview build of Thief: Deadly Shadows and have written up some impressions that while saying nothing new, do sound pretty positive. So here as always is a snippet:
Today I got a chance to sit down with a preview build of Eidos’ latest in the series, Thief: Deadly Shadows, and thankfully, the core gameplay that made the series so enjoyable is still here. Plus, with the addition of some new features, it should end up being the best installment in the Thief series to date.

Thief: Deadly Shadows starts off much like other games of its vein; with a tutorial level. The tutorial, however, goes quite deep into introducing you into the world of the thief. Instead of just learning how to execute moves, you’ll also need to be able to show off the fact that you know how to use them. True, while you’ll learn how to climb on objects and access your inventory, you’ll also be introduced to things like being able to use noise distractions successfully, as well as incapacitating guards and then hiding their bodies in a swift and timely manner. The real use of the tutorial levels lies in the fact that once you’re let loose into the regular game, you’ll need to carefully utilize everything that you’ve learned to succeed. You see, regular levels are open-ended, allowing you to tackle objectives in a number of different ways. And, with that open-endedness in mind, you’ll also be on your own when it comes to dealing with enemies.







          Monday, April 26, 2004

Going to see Thief 3
- 4:40:58 PM - Dan
I, along with my TTLG partner Saam, have been invited to come visit ION Storm to play Thief 3 and meet the whole team. I've got more details posted on the forum thread, here, which I've opened up so that folks can make suggestions on what we should try to find out while we're there. :)

And on a personal note, this will be the first time Saam and I will be meeting in person. We started working together on a System Shock 1 website back in 1998, which eventually evolved into TTLG. Whoa.




Gamestar Preview inc New Monster Screenshot
- 4:24:35 PM - Dave
German webstar Gamestar.de have a new Thief: Deadly Shadows preview which includes a screenshot really weird new monster!
Outrider has provided a translation of the caption:
The only choice we have here is to flee, as the guardian monsters of the Woodsie Lord are dumb, but strong






          Sunday, April 25, 2004

Searchable News Archive.
- 4:10:02 PM - Dave
I've just finished scripting the first "beta" of TheCircle's news search engine.
It is a little "rough and ready" at the moment, but it gets the job done. Please feel free to try it out!
If you find any bugs, or would like to make a suggestion or two you can either email me or drop me a Private Message in our forums!




Thief 3 Videos Section Expanded
- 1:47:25 PM - Dan
Our Thief 3 videos section should be nearly complete at this point, with the recent Gamespot and IGN videos now added.

There's an awful lot of links in there, and I didn't have time to check them all, so if anyone runs into problems, email us and we'll get it sorted.




Brian Sharp on Thief III's Sound.
- 4:16:43 AM - Dave
Gamespy have a column by Ion Storm programmer Brian Sharp on the sound we can expect from Thief: Deadly Shadows.
Many games have used reverb, but the technology keeps moving, and so EAX 4.0 support in Thief: Deadly Shadows is a first for the Thief series (substantially, because it wasn't available to the earlier titles). Older reverb models only allowed a single environment at a time, so whatever room Garrett was standing in, all sounds seemed to be in the same room. EAX 4.0 allows us to use multiple simultaneous reverb environments, so sounds in caverns can sound cavernous while sounds playing in a bathroom nearby at the same time can sound deader, smaller. The effect is really quite nice.
So there we have it, Thief III will support EAX, and EAX 4.0 no less. Support for this was something a lot of fans had been wondering about since DX:IW was released late last year.





          Saturday, April 24, 2004

FM: Borrington's Castle
- 6:26:41 PM - Jenesis
Greetings! I, Jenesis - student, TTLG poster, eater of crumpets - have signed on to help maintain the FM database and lighten the load a little. Without further ado, therefore, I present a new FM:

Thief 2 Fan Mission
Borrington's Castle

 Filesize: 0.47 MB
 Released: 4/24/2004
 readme.txt





By: Bronze Griffin

Plot Description: Lord Borrington lives near the coast to the west of the City. He recently aquired a mask, a precursor mask. Nothing special you thought until a local in the tavern you where staying in mentioned how much it was worth. Not prepared to leave with nothing you set off up to Lord Borrington's Castle.

Additional Comments: I totaly messed up all two objectives, so I thought to myself, "Taff it, I'll leave it as it is". So really this mission is just a bit of fun. Enjoy! Inspired by 'Stowaway' by Finial

Thanks for the FM, Bronze Griffin!





          Friday, April 23, 2004

T3 Screenshots at Worthplaying
- 3:44:09 PM - Dan
Worthplaying has again come out with a set of PC screenshots. They're all in third person, and some of them show some non-city settings, which is always nice to see. Variety!

On one of these shots (the third thumbnail above, actually) I was praying to see a glowing mushroom, and was rather sad to see yea olde glowing crystal. Sigh. Why, oh why, haven't we seen any glowing 'shrooms?!




Thief 3 Interview at ToTheGame
- 11:56:06 AM - Elenkis
Another day, another new interview. The Thief 3 press continues rolling in and this time ToTheGame.com talk to Ion Storm's Kristine Coco about bug squashing and the usual questions we've all seen before. Here's a snippet:
Q: As of now what are the final touches being put on Deadly Shadows? What have you been able to capture in this game that you could not have before?

A: The most exciting thing happening right now for the team is being able to play this game. We no longer have to say things like "remember in the shipping game this will happen" about things we couldn't see onscreen yet. Now, it just happens. Being able to see the big picture has allowed us to fix the little things in the last couple of months of development that make the game better and more polished. For examples, it used to be too easy to accidentally end up flattened against a wall. Now you press a keyboard or PC button. This small change improved playing the game immensely. Six months ago we couldn't see the need for that change.

Q: Finally, how does Deadly Shadows stack up against other “stealth games”? Why do you think it will have the heart pounding, palm sweating experience everyone craves for?

A: The first Thief defined the stealth genre, so as far as I am concerned Thief Deadly Shadows is on top of the stealth games stack. Playing this game reminds me of sneaking out of my house as a teenager. You need to be quick, silent, hidden, and crafty all at once not to get caught. Getting nabbed by a parent meant real trouble. I get the same feeling playing thief. Keeping on the move, putting out lights, picking up loot, and knocking out that guard at just the right time so his nearby friend doesn't see me is tense, careful work. There is the constant danger of getting caught that makes my hands sweat. But the fun doesn't stop when you get caught. Then it’s quick thinking of where to go and what tools you can use to beat your enemy, all the while scoping for more loot, that makes getting away equally as fun and rewarding as not getting caught.

Certainly sounds like the game is getting close to release!




FM: The Mystic Lady
- 3:36:09 AM - Elenkis
The Mystic Lady is the latest Thief 2 fan mission from Christine Schneider. Interestingly enough the mission was originally created as a wedding gift for community regular Dinksmallwood and her husband - how's that for today's cool piece of trivia? :)

Thief 2 Fan Mission
The Mystic Lady

 Filesize: 9.1 MB
 Released: 4/23/2004
 readme.txt





By: Christine Schneider

Plot Description: Lady Heike and Lord Claus were married yesterday on their estate. The guests have gone home already but surely there will still be some confusion? The perfect time to visit Lady Heike... perhaps I can also snatch a piece of the tasty wedding cake... I've heard some wild rumours about Lady Heike. She is a member of one of the grandest families in the city and to all appearances she lives the easygoing life of a typical noble. But it's rumoured that she attends to completely different activities at night. The word circulating through the city is that she's the head of a notorious gang of thieves. Furthermore I've heard Lady Heike is keeping the stolen goods in a secret hideout on her estate...(more)

Additional Comments: English and German






FM: The Trickster's Castle
- 3:28:51 AM - Elenkis
The Trickster's Castle is a new fan mission for Thief 2 that was created by Dark Ghost Lord.

Thief 2 Fan Mission
The Trickster's Castle

 Filesize: 11.3 MB
 Released: 4/21/2004
 readme.txt





By: Dark Ghost Lord

Plot Description: A week ago some Keepers paid a visit to me and told me a story about an old castle in the forbidden forest that was once run by the Hammers as catacombs. The Trickster put a spell on all the dead in the castle, changing them to undead who then rose up from their caskets and attacked the Hammerites. The Hammers that were not killed were chased away, knowing that they could never return to the castle because there was just too much evil in it...(more)






Artwork from Ileana Arce
- 2:46:10 AM - Elenkis
This unnamed sketch of Garrett was drawn and submitted to the gallery by Ileana Arce:

Thanks Ileana!




Artwork from Psi Yamaneko
- 2:13:23 AM - Elenkis
Psi Yamaneko has sent us this great piece of new artwork for the fan gallery, the piece is named Raven Wing:

Thanks Psi!




Gamespot Preview with Cutscene Videos
- 1:44:28 AM - Dave
Gamespot have their preview of Thief: Deadly Shadows. Along with the preview I am told there are videos of a cutscene or mission briefing, though I have not seen them myself.

Thief III news is puring in thick and fast now. We're going to be busy bees for the next few weeks!

A snippet:
The game's adjustable difficulty settings let you determine exactly how much loot you must recover to successfully complete a mission. Additionally, you can also pick up environmental objects, like boxes, to clear your own path in the game. If you're not careful, however, you can end up interacting with your environment in unfavorable ways, like accidentally knocking a sword off of an armory shelf, which causes the weapon to fall to the ground with an alarming clatter.






          Thursday, April 22, 2004

Gaming Illustrated Preview
- 10:10:17 PM - Dan
Gaming Illustrated is a site that I've never seen before, but they get instant respect from us after the props we've been given. Good show, guys. :)

Anyway, they've posted up an interview with T3 developer Jordan Thomas. It's an interesting read (no offense, IGN, :) but the main draw are the five new screenshots on the article, which are frankly some of the best I've seen.






Thief 3 Hands-On Preview at IGN with Media
- 1:16:20 PM - Dan
IGN has apparently been sent a beta version of the game, and are playing through it. They've posted a preview of the game based on their experiences, along with a bunch of new screenshots and some new video. The text of the preview is largely ignorable (it will spoil the early parts of the game for you) and the one movie I downloaded was so dark I couldn't see a thing. The screenshots are interesting; especially the ones that show the player at the game's many "stores".

But again, most were too dark. So I took this time to open up a Screenshots section here at The Circle, with each shot gammad up 150%, which makes many of them much easier to see.

More screenshots will be added to this section if I or someone on the staff can find time to do so. :)




Thief III: Hi Res PC Screenshots
- 2:42:06 AM - Dave
RedLegg, an Eidos Forum admin released 5 exclusive screenshots to the Eidos forums and here they are!





They look great! I especially like the first one, it looks really atmospheric.
Cheers RedLegg!

TTLG Forum Discussion Link





          Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Thief Interview at HomeLanFed
- 12:35:46 PM - Dave
HomeLanFed has a new interview with Ion Storm's Warren Spector and Nathan Regener. As always, a snippet:
Warren Spector - I guess the one thing I’d say is that project director Randy Smith and the team really delivered on the goals of the project – Deadly Shadows is a little more action-player-friendly than earlier entries in the series but, man, it sure feels like Thief. And that means it doesn’t feel like any other game out there. It’ll make you jump out of your skin at times… it’s got that creepy Eric Brosius audio (with an able assist from Ion’s internal audio guys, of course)… it will have you holding your breath as the tension builds to the point where it’s almost unbearable… you WILL find yourself hoping that Hammerite guard doesn’t turn around… and you WILL be afraid of the light. Is it Splinter Cell or Tenchu or Metal Gear Solid? Nope. Doesn’t even want to be. It’s Thief, plain and simple, and I can’t wait to see how people respond to it.






          Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Concerning Emails
- 7:55:25 PM - Dan
For some time there the @ttlg.com email addresses were touch and go. They seem to be fixed now... I am back up to 100 spams a day, where before I was getting maybe one or two. That's sad.

Anyway, if you sent in anything and just didn't get any reply to it, that means it was lost to the email demons. Please send it again to thiefnews@ttlg.com

I wish I could promise to you that we'll get them dealt with straight away, but the reality is that it has to fit in somewhere between work, school, and collapsing with exhaustion. But at least this time we'll actually get the emails.

Thanks.




Thief 3 Videos Page Added
- 6:55:21 PM - Dan
I just finished putting together the Thief: Deadly Shadows Videos Page. A good place to grab the vids in case you have not already, and check out how the game looks.

Of course, what we really want to see is someone actually playing the game and not running around like a goon with cheatcodes on, playing with flashbombs and the dagger. If that's not your thing, don't even bother with that 256 meg file. It will be 256 megs of frustration.

Thanks, Dennis, for uploading all those huge files for us!





          Sunday, April 18, 2004

Spanish Warren Spector Interview
- 3:06:59 PM - Dave
Victor sent in a link to an interview that Spanish gaming site Meristation conducted with Ion Storm director, Warren Spector.
You can read it here although you may want to grab a translator for this.
If nothing else it does have some pictures of Warren who looks suspiciously like a guy who lives near me...
Cheers Victor!




Fan Art - Hammer by Ghandaiah
- 2:10:47 PM - Dave
Ghandaiah has sent in a great piece of artwork that he calls 'Hammer'. You can grab it from our Fanworks section or by clicking on the preview image below.
Great work Ghandaiah!







          Saturday, April 17, 2004

Thief 1/Gold Nvidia Driver Fixes
- 1:23:28 PM - Dave
Bobruck has sent in his own patches for Thief: The Dark Project and Thief: Gold that solve the recent troubles with Nvidia drivers that are v5x.xx and above.
The specific error fixed is Direct 3D Device does not accurately report texture memory usage. which is shown when starting a level. You may not see the message, but hear the Windows Error sound and see a black screen. Unzip the file inside the ZIP file and overwrite the installed Thief EXE. The files are available in our Patches & Mods section. They are also linked to below.
Cheers Bobruck!

  • Thief: The Dark Project v1.14 Nvidia 5x.xx Driver Fix.
  • Thief: The Dark Project v1.33 Nvidia 5x.xx Driver Fix.
  • Thief: Gold Nvidia 5x.xx Driver Fix.

    (Be sure to BACKUP your Thief EXE! These are 3rd party patches and Thief-TheCircle.com cannot in any way support these files. Use at your own risk! - Dan)

    Update II:
    I'm afraid we will not be providing the Thief2 fixed EXE.
    Unfortunatley the Thief 2 fixed EXE also acts as a No-CD crack. This is a grey area and we have commited ourselves to discouraging the use of fixed EXEs. We do not currently have a problem with the Thief 1 and Thief Gold exes as the CD check on the vast majority of released versions can be bypassed by altering the install.cfg file.
    We recommend that Thief 2 users experiencing this problem use pre-5x.xx drivers or place the line safe_texture_manager into their user.cfg file, which works reliably. Please accept my apologies for any inconvenience caused. ~David




  • Deadly Shadows Gameplay Footage!
    - 3:38:21 AM - Dave
    Xbox.IGN.com has a load of new gameplay videos from the Xbox version of Thief: Deadly Shadows.
    They are available in Windows Media format for free and, if you are lucky enough to be an IGN Insider subscriber, high-res Quicktime format too!
    The largest video, titled Dark, really, is all the smaller videos stitched together in one neat package so you might want to grab that!
    I've got to say that the person behind the joypad gets no points for stealth ;)
    Want to chat about this new footage? Head over to this thread in our forums!

    Update: Null, a developer at Ion Storm, has addressed some peoples' comments on the video. Unfortunatley the thread at the Ion Storm forums was deleted, but one of our members, van HellSing, managed to copy the post and quote it on our forums. You can see the post here!

    Here is a snippet:

    Way too much weaponry, including massive amounts of flashbombs, fire arrows and mines.
    Demo driver was using debug cheats. You won't be able to afford all that at once.






              Wednesday, April 14, 2004

    New Deadly Shadows Screenshots
    - 4:05:08 PM - Dave
    Shacknews has a handful of new screenhots from Thief: Deadly Shadows and they look sweet!
    A note from the devs points out that the blue arrow in the final image is from the training level and will not be in regular missions.
    Fancy chatting about these screens? Do it here, in our forums!





              Monday, April 12, 2004

    New FM - By Order of an Unknown
    - 8:40:15 PM - Biohazard
    Today we have version 1.5 of By Order of an Unknown which now supports English and German. Thank to BlackThief for adding to our FM community!

    Thief 2 Fan Mission
    By Order of an Unknown (v1.5)

    Filesize: 10.3 MB
    Released: 4/12/2004
    readme.txt



    Other: BlackThief's Website

    By: BlackThief

    Plot Description: Slowly but surely it's getting wintry again. Normally I would enjoy it because I like the long dark nights in winter...more time for me to 'work'. But annoyingly there are fewer jobs each week and a lot of amateurs 'visit' the nobles and 'steal' my work. Yesterday night though, a messenger appeared in front of my humble abode. This fellow was really nervous, looking left and right the whole time as if he were being pursued. Anyway he offered an interesting job - the most interesting part was the 5000 in advance! For his master (the fellow wasn't about to tell me his name) I'm supposed to break into the estate of the Hammerite, Lord Cantwell. (More)

    Additional Comments: Version 1.5 is now in German and English.







              Thursday, April 08, 2004

    New Version of Ominous Bequest
    - 3:41:53 PM - Biohazard
    Today we have v3 of the great FM, Ominous Bequest!

    Thief 2 Fan Mission
    Ominous Bequest (v3)

    Filesize: 15.7 MB
    Released: 8/11/2003
    Re-released: 4/8/2004
    ominousbequest.txt


    Walkthrough
    Loot List



    By: Eshaktaar

    Plot Description: I was contacted by a man named Grimworth, a dealer in antiques, who offered me an interesting proposal:

    Lord Robert Farrington, eccentric collector and well-known sympathizer of the Hammerites, passed away some days ago. His two sons are currently arguing over the inheritance, because the late lord's testament has not been found yet. The place used to be heavily guarded, which is one of the reasons why I haven't paid it a visit before. But Farrington's sons have refused to continue paying the considerably large crew of guards...(more)

    Additional Comments: This mission takes place shortly after the events of Thief: The Dark Project







              Sunday, April 04, 2004

    Randy Smith Leaves ION Storm
    - 11:07:32 AM - Dan
    By now most of you have seen this which gives more information about this post's title. While many sites and sources I see seem content to spread speculation rumors and gossip, I don't see any point to any of that. We're just going to say, Randy, best wishes for wherever you go after this! And be sure to let us know where that is, so we can root for you!





              Thursday, April 01, 2004

    Beautiful Thief 3 Shots!
    - 7:53:08 PM - Dan
    ION Storm lovingly sent us three 1600x1200 PC screenshots of Thief 3. One of them shows something I know most of us have been very anxious to see. I know I have.

    At the risk of babbling, I would like to share my humble opinion; These are amongst the best Thief 3 screenshots I've seen so far. Thank you for sending them to us. :)

    Discuss it in the Thief 3 Forums!




    T3 SDK - Send a Letter to Eidos
    - 5:41:47 PM - Dan
    Head on over to the petition site for details. This, I think, will have more of an effect in general than the petition. Don't make me have to say that it all failed because of you. Send eidos a letter to let them know you want a development kit for Thief 3. :)






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