A Game And A Chat Thief Extravaganza, Take Two

By Nathan Grayson on March 7th, 2014 at 9:30 pm.

We tried to play Thief: The Dark Project and chat about it. Honest! But Twitch, the purple scab of a service, wouldn’t cooperate with one of the most storied series starters in gaming history. It’s almost like I shouldn’t have expected a 15-year-old game to be compatible with a crazy space-age cyberfuture streaming platform, but no, that’s just ridiculous. At any rate, today – for real this time – I will be joined by former Thief: The Dark Project director Greg LoPiccolo and longtime Thief series designer/Thief: Deadly Shadows director Randy Smith. Expect stories from the dank depths of the first three Thieves’ development chambers, inside info on what could’ve been, and opinions from series vets on Eidos Montreal’s reinvention of their storied stealther. 

This will be a pretty special episode, so make sure to tune in. We’re kicking off at 2 PM PT/10 PM GMT. A little late, I know, but come on: only amateur thieves skulk around during the (UK) day. 

Update: We’re done! It went quite well, all things considered. Watch the full thing below.


Watch live video from NathanGrayson on TwitchTV

Randy stuck around to chat a little bit more afterward, so here is that as well. I imagine a game-free interview-focused segment will become a regular thing on AGAAC, so expect more things like this in the future.


Watch live video from NathanGrayson on TwitchTV

And here are YouTube versions of each:

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41 Comments »

  1. db1331 says:

    At least your first attempt still had fewer technical issues than the latest Thief. You have that going for you.

  2. Serenegoose says:

    Would it be possible to post these announcements with a little more warning? I only check RPS’s main page a few times a day, and I like videos like this. If I’d checked an hour later I’d have been 30 minutes late.

  3. SominiTheCommenter says:

    10PM is 22h00, for us European types. 10 in the evening. After dinner.

  4. danijami23 says:

    I guess you could say you were robbed of your first go at this, perhaps this time you could steal the show?

  5. GamesInquirer says:

    Play Thief properly please, don’t use the knowledge and experience of 16 years to cheese it in order to make New Thief seem better to new fans by saying such and such wouldn’t happen in it! Also, use TFix and whatever the equivalent NewDark patch was for Thief II in order to make them a bit easier on the eyes for new users (and probably easier for you to stream with them in higher resolution, newer OS, etc). Configure your controls! And maybe show off some great fan missions like T2X and even The Dark Mod!

  6. Arathain says:

    I recently learned that my current HR person at work did HR for Looking Glass in the 90s. I was really excited to learn that.

  7. RPSRSVP says:

    Nathan please try to follow up with them after they play the new Thief

    • Nathan Grayson says:

      I really want to, but they’re hesitant because they don’t want to trash the game (if it comes to that). I think there’s a fine line between critiquing and trashing something, but it’s not my call to make in this particular case. Oh well :(

  8. Menelaus says:

    That was utterly amazing and informative, although it was very weird to watch two tiny video screens of the conversation in the corners of the huge Thief menu screen. But to all participants, well played!

  9. Shadowcat says:

    So… where’s the video? It just shows an advert, and then says “offline” :/

    And don’t say that if we weren’t there at the time you recorded it we’ve missed out, because that would be completely insane.

    It’ll turn up later, yeah?

  10. Shadowcat says:

    Just listened to part one, which was great! Thanks Nathan, Greg, Randy, and special guest.

    If you’re reading Greg, can I just say that you and Eric and Terri are definitely my favourite cross-over musicians/game developers :) (reading Thief’s credits for the first time was a strange moment), and Abort is still an all-time favourite. Thanks for everything!

    • timstellmach says:

      I’ve said this elsewhere, but thanks to Greg, Randy, and Nathan for their gracefulness when I crashed Greg’s livestream. That was either going to be fun, or a chance for me to make a total ass of myself, and I didn’t know which ahead of time.

  11. Shooop says:

    This was fascinating, worth the wait.

  12. Dave L. says:

    Nathan (or somebody from RPS) can you please start archiving these over to Youtube afterwards? I don’t know what it is, but for some reason your twitch.tv channel crashes flashplayer for me within the first second. Other twitch channels work fine, but every single time I try to watch one of yours it all comes crashing down. And even if it didn’t, twitch doesn’t archive indefinitely, and it would be a shame for these to be lost to the ether.

  13. ResonanceCascade says:

    This is an awesome feature. More like this please, Nathan/RPS.

    I’ll toss out a pointless request for Smith/Spector or even Ricardo Bare for Deus Ex or Seamus Blackley for Trespasser. If any of those people read this, please do this feature. Ferserious.

  14. Unclepauly says:

    This was really f’n good (even though I don’t think you got all the answers you were looking for). Glad to hear it’s something that might become a regular thing at RPS. It’s no easy task to keep my attention for an hour like that but the type of questions are exactly the thing I ponder while digging through a games systems. Love it. Too bad the sound design guy wasn’t there as that would have put this at legend status for me.

  15. Muzman says:

    Mid-listen commentary. This is great. Why do people always say the Bonehoard comes out of nowhere though? (and yes, I am kinda jumping on that one turn of phrase even though Nathan likes the level) The whole story of the game is about digging in to the City’s ancient and mystical underbelly, the backstory of which concerns a whole section of town that has been walled off thanks to some seemingly magical tinkering. You might think you weren’t expecting that from a game called Thief at first, but once you’ve played it it’s obvious they have to establish all of this stuff. The way the ancient catacombs are almost erupting from the ground in places, and all the other ‘lost’ stuff, really gave me a feel of The City sitting on its unstable past, unable to keep it out.

    Anyway. enough lit crit. I am one of those who really enjoyed the Bonehoard, particularly the Halls section. It’s just so adventurious. The original texturing is the best though, before they changed it for Gold. But I guess they thought people got lost more when it all looked the same.

    • Muzman says:

      When they’re talking about the shift in Thief 2 away from zombies and such, even though it’s thematically required, the reaction at the time was interesting. There was a certain amount of reacting to the reviews from the designers it seems and zombies etc had got a bit of a pasting (and you still hear now about about people’s memory that “Thief was great except for those monster killing levels” which don’t actually exist).
      What happened among fans though was that all the people who actually liked zombies and so forth and who had remained quietly satisfied then piped up about how they were missed, especially when the designers kind of disparaged those elements a bit in the marketing. (presumably to lure back people who weren’t crazy about those bits in the first game.) It became necessary to defend zombies and so on from the idea that they were a mistake.
      So there’s been this thing ever since among fans about whether zombies and supernatural stuff belongs in Thief or not. And the argument often splits along the line which game you played first; Thief 1 or 2, among dedicated fans anyway.

      • heretic says:

        I played Thief when I was a kid and I really bounced off the bonehoard (actually I bounced off at the zombies in the prison first). However when I revisited Thief years later I actually really enjoyed the bonehoard (wasn’t so scared anymore :P), especially how it doesn’t give any direction and the map is really vague – I drew my own! Doesn’t get any more immersive than that :D

        • Muzman says:

          I remember showing Thief 1 to someone I knew in an effort to get him into it. It was in the middle of the bonehoard somewhere. I thought I explained enough that you can hide and do all sorts of stuff. But his first reaction to a zombie was to freak out and whack it with a sword. Which I think was many people’s first response, and maybe they never got past that.
          I don’t know why I clicked with how to Thieve better than many, but when it comes to the monsters they were almost too good for the time. People felt they had to be destroyed.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      I love the Bonehoard. It gets a bad wrap for not being sneaky, but it’s still a blast to go off and Indiana Jones a giant crypt. I remembering being thrilled that Arkane stuck a similar level in the middle of Dark Messiah.

      • Geebs says:

        I think the Bonehoard gets a bad rap because it’s far too big, there’s no sense of direction for most of it, zombies suck in such a large area (might as well just put in traffic cones), and it’s far too big. Oh and falling deaths off ladders.

        • ResonanceCascade says:

          AKA it’s a good, old-timey, confusing dungeon.

          If people think that’s bad, they should go back and play Ultima Underworld. Every level is as big or bigger than the Bonehoard, and it’s a million times harder to navigate. And it’s still great.

        • GepardenK says:

          Fun fact: Bonehoard is one of the smaller levels in the game. First you go through the upper cryps which are very linear, until you get to the burriks tunnels it is impossible to get lost (even though you might feel lost). The burriks tunnels are maze-like but they all lead to dead ends and are easy to get through, you soon realize that the only area of interest is the lower crypts past the tunnels. Here the level gets a bit more open-ended but franky its nothing compared to Lord Baffords Manner or any other level.

          Point is that Bonehoard is a very simple level, but it sure makes you feel lost and confused thanks to insane atmosphere and the dungeon theme of the level.

          • Horg says:

            It’s the vertical nature of the level that really throws people. It’s a lot harder to make a mental map of a space when you have to factor in the connections between floors. Bonehoard is a smaller level than Haunted Cathedral (first visit) but feels comparatively complicated because Haunted Cathedral takes place almost entirely on one plane.

  16. GameCat says:

    Take Five.

  17. PopeRatzo says:

    There’s no going back to re-create an experience you had when the game was new.

    You can’t go home again.

    But it’s still interesting to watch you try.

    • fish99 says:

      I may be barking up the wrong tree here since I haven’t watched the above videos and I might be misunderstanding your comment, but I replayed Thief Gold and Thief 2 last year and had a blast with them. It’s never going to be the same experience as the first time, because I know the story and can remember most of the levels, but other than that the game didn’t suffer through age much.

  18. Sunjammer says:

    Anybody “trashing” the new Thief has no business critiquing anything. It’s a different game, and I’m having a blast with it for all its flaws.

  19. db1331 says:

    Not sure if this will even get seen, as it’s a bit late, but this is the most interesting thing I’ve ever watched in all my years of visiting RPS. This is the kind of thing that should be posted more often. A big thank you.

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