Thief - The Dark Project
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Thief: The Dark Project is a 1998 first-person stealth video game developed by Looking Glass Studios and published by Eidos Interactive. Set in a fantasy metropolis called the City, players take on the role of Garrett, a master thief trained by a secret society who, while carrying out a series of robberies, becomes embroiled in a complex plot that ultimately sees him attempting to prevent a great power from unleashing chaos on the world.
As the game's emphasis is on stealth, players are encouraged to focus on concealment, evasion, distraction, misdirection, and subtle takedowns, rather than on outright confrontation; the player's character can engage in sword-based combat when the need arises, and can perform three different attacks as well as parrying, but has limited proficiency and damage resistance in such circumstances. To do so, players must remain aware of their surroundings. To assist them in remaining hidden, a special meter on the heads-up display (HUD), in the form of a gem, helps to indicates the player's visibility to NPCs; the brighter it is, the more easily they can be visually detected, thus sticking to dark, shady spots where the gem dims ensures the player is hidden, though NPCs can still find them if they get too close in front of them. To remain quiet, players must be careful of how much noise they produce, as well as what surfaces they are moving over; walking on soft surfaces like carpets and grass is preferable as footsteps remain quiet, compared to walking over metal floors and ceramic tiles, which produce a lot of noise. NPCs also produce noise, from whistling or walking about, for example, which can help players determine how far they are to their own position. Noise can be used by the player to mislead or distract NPCs, such as throwing an object to lure them elsewhere.
Thief takes place in a metropolis called \"the City\", which has been noted to contain elements of the Middle Ages-like dark fantasy and the Industrial Revolution. Project director Greg LoPiccolo said in an early preview: \"In essence [... it's] this undefined medieval age, sort of medieval [Europe] meets Brazil meets City of Lost Children. There's some electricity, some magic, and some 19th century machinery kind of stuff.\" The setting has been described as steampunk, a fantastical setting where steam engine technology is prominently used. It has also been argued that Thief is one of the earliest examples of the New Weird genre. During levels, the player may learn about the setting by finding notes and overhearing conversations; it has been noted that the player participates in the revelation of Thief's setting.
Thief began development in April 1996. For the game's original designer and writer Ken Levine, credited by The Telegraph as \"a key figure in the creation\" of Thief, inspirations came from two of his favourite games, Castle Wolfenstein and Diablo. The initial concept was to make an action role-playing game and Levine was given the job of designing the game's world and story. Levine said the initial ideas and projects that have later morphed into Dark Camelot, before eventually evolving into The Dark Project, included School of Wizards, Dark Elves Must Die and Better Red Than Undead, the latter of which was \"a campy story\" about communist zombies. The game was supposed to be a first-person sword fighting simulator, but \"the marketing [department] killed the idea,\" to his disappointment. According to programmer Marc LeBlanc, \"The first proposal was Better Red Than Undead, a '50s Cold War game where the Soviet Union is overrun with zombies and you have to go hack them to pieces as the loner from the CIA because bullets don't work on the undead.\" Doug Church said the game's design was built around the idea \"of having factions who you could ally with or oppose yourself with or do things for or not.\"
However, Looking Glass Studios experienced serious financial trouble as development progressed into mid-1997. The company's Austin branch closed, costing Spector and several game engine programmers; this team relocated to Ion Storm, and released Deus Ex in 2000. Spector later called his impact on Thief, \"at best, minimal\". Levine too had left The Dark Project project before the Keeper faction was added to the game. By April 18, Looking Glass Studios laid off half of its entire staff in six months, which damaged morale of The Dark Project team, which at this point was vastly different from the one with which the development began. \"Few emotions can compare to the stress of heading to work not knowing who might be laid off, including yourself, or whether the doors would be locked when you got there,\" lead programmer Tom Leonard later said. This stress caused several team members to voluntarily quit, including the lead programmer, Briscoe Rogers, who had designed the game's AI system, which suffered from software bugs and problems with complexity.
Three months before the game's scheduled ship date, most problems had been resolved. The team began to believe, as Leonard described, that Thief \"did not stink, [and] might actually be fun.\" Further, the release of games like Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines, Half-Life and Metal Gear Solid eased worries that experimental gameplay styles were unmarketable. According to Leonard, \"A new energy revitalized the team. Long hours driven by passion and measured confidence marked the closing months of the project.\" The game went gold in November 1998, following an estimated 2.5 year development cycle and a $3 million budget.
Thief's graphics received a mixed reaction, with several negative comparisons to Half-Life and Unreal. However, Andrew Sanchez of Maximum PC praised the game's graphics and noted that the Dark Engine went \"feature-for-feature with the LithTech, Quake, and Unreal engines\". He also praised the game's AI, sound and plot. Larka disliked the game's extremely dark areas, which required him to \"max out the gamma correction and set [his] monitor to its brightest setting just to see the barest details\" but called the graphics \"seamless\". Some reviews complained about collision detection issues.
Thief: The Dark Project, also known as Thief 1 or T1 or simply Thief, is a first-person stealth game developed for Windows by Looking Glass Studios and published by Eidos Interactive. It is the first game in the Thief series, it is set in a Middle Age steampunk-fantasy setting, in a metropolis called The City. Thief casts the player as a professional thief named Garrett, who was trained by a secret society. He intertwines himself into a sinister plot while merely attempting to live off of his chosen profession. Based upon the Dark Engine, the game brought many new ideas and technological achievements to the software industry when it was released.
Thief takes place from a first-person perspective in a 3D environment, with a centered crosshair for camera control. The game's heads-up display (HUD) includes a health bar and a visibility gem; the gem brightens or darkens depending on the visibility of the player character. The game features two separate inventories for weapons and items, displayed in the bottom corners of the screen; the player cycles through the inventories to select objects. Certain parts of the HUD become invisible when not in use. The game takes place in 12 large, lightly scripted levels; this allows for emergent gameplay. In each level, the player must complete one or more objectives; these objectives are altered by the player's selected difficulty level. The selected difficulty also changes the level, with harder settings increasing the amount of enemies and making certain paths inaccessible.
However, Thief's graphics received a mixed reaction. The game used 8-bit colour textures at a time when PC games were moving up to 16-bit colour. It is also dark and low contrast, making it difficult to play in lighted rooms. Raising monitor brightness harms the visuals and arguably damages the experience of the game. Its character models and environments were lower in polygon count than other first person shooters of the period. Few reviewers found this an outright negative, many not mentioning it at all. For those that did notice, it did not harm the game; rather it was simply not up to the standard set by its other aspects.
Garrett, discovered on the streets as a beggar, is taken in and trained by the secretive organization known as the Keepers. However, Garrett's plans for his training is different than that of his masters and so Garrett soon parts company. Surfacing as a master thief, Garrett must enter forbidden places and appropriate the treasures of the rich and the powerful. Of course this line of work is offensive to many people including the rich nobles, the town guard and the religious order of the Hammerites. If Garrett can keep his head while he relieves these forces of their valuable trinkets, he should be able to do quite well....
According to an interview made by the now defunct PC accelerator to project designer Steve Pearsall the word \"Taffer\", which many fans went to great lengths to define as some sort of long-lost \"olden\" word, was actually created by level designer Laura Baldwin. It was originally meant to be some sort of slang for common criminal but it evolved from that point on.
As with so much else about Thief: The Dark Project, its legacy is wreathed in shadow. Thief's footprint is barely visible today, a world away from the fame of Grand Theft Auto or Metal Gear Solid or even Deus Ex. That's not to say it doesn't have its fair share of fans lurking in dark corners of the Internet. But even if you found them, they'd probably say you're better off playing Thief 2. 59ce067264