Posts Tagged ‘Jordan-Thomas’

The Magic Circle Hands-On: Visiting Development Hell

By Alec Meer on October 7th, 2014.

The Magic Circle is the first game from Question, LLC, the new studio from Jordan Thomas, he of Thief 3′s The Cradle, BioShock 2, BioShock: Infinite and many more. It’s a systems-driven first-person exploration adventure about a years-in-development game of uncommon ambition, and it’s about rewriting its rules from the inside while trying not to attract the attention of its developers. I’ve played a couple of hours of an early build.

“Attack them, my spider-army!” A horde of chittering polygonal arachnids skitters surges towards a pack of flamers at my command, while I hang back to let them do my dirty work for me. Every single one of them burns to death. Oh, right. Forgot to set the ‘Fireproof’ attribute. I summon their ‘leader’ – in fact an arbitrary member given the Groupthink attribute, which duly shares its traits with all similar entities – and edit its properties. Let’s try this again. “Attack them, my flame retardant spider-army!”
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Meta-Vapourware: The Magic Circle Announced

By Alice O'Connor on June 6th, 2014.

Clouds are vapour too, you know.

After his work on such delights as BioShock‘s Fort Frolic and Thief 3‘s Shalebridge Cradle, one might hope that Jordan Thomas’s first game since going indie would be more than, well, vapourware. But that’s just what The Magic Circle is: a half-finished remake of an ancient text adventure; a load of vapourware. It’s glitchy, you can clearly see the seams where development changed direction, and frankly I suspect it’ll never be completed.

Honestly, these big-shot developers make a few good levels and suddenly they think… oh. Oh! But The Magic Circle is meta-vapourware. Silly me. It’s a puzzle-o-explorer game set inside the wonky overlapping half-finished prototypes of a fictional remake of a fictional fantasy game, with tools to hack around and rewrite it.

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2K Marin’s Jordan ‘The Cradle’ Thomas Goes Indie

By Alec Meer on July 2nd, 2013.

He might not have quite the profile of a Levine or Smith, but as a lead designer on Thief 3, particularly of The Cradle level, not to mention the similarly nerve-torturing Fort Frolic map in BioShock, Jordan Thomas is a name just as worth knowing. While being granted more overreaching control of a project resulted in 2K Marin’s smart, improved but too safe sequel BioShock 2, followed by a disappearance into the black hole which eventually morphed into The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, Thomas also took on some creative duties late in BioShock Infinite’s development. Now he’s moving away from franchises into creator-controlled, independent territory, and I am not-entirely-quietly confident that this will mean great things.
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XCOM: Release Date Unknown: FPS Slips To ‘Fiscal 2014′

By John Walker on May 22nd, 2012.

You're so pretty, but we can't touch you.

I hope you’re all now familiar enough with the Walker Principle to have assumed that XCOM wouldn’t be released on its stated release date. As surely as the Sun rises in the morning and floats off into outer space, there was no chance the concerning FPS remake of the classic strategy game would appear on the 6th March 2012. And you’d have to be a fool to then believe it could come in the months after, last November’s slip pushing it into 2K’s “fiscal 2013″. Well, now only two months into that mad-money-date, it’s been announced as slipping again, this time all the way into fiscal year 2014. Which starts next April. Because of the reasons.

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America Is Not The World: XCOM Preview

By Dan Grill on July 1st, 2011.


We’ve seen XCOM. Want to know what it’s truly all about? Read on below for the best XCOM preview on this or any other internet. Really, it’s got Giant Doom Lasers Of Doom, a bit about that squad-management stuff, reports on alien super-powers, themes of 1960s political incorrectness, correct art-history references, and everything else it could possibly need.

Go have a read.
This way to the underground base»

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Illuminated Ones: Shadow & Light In Games

By Kieron Gillen on September 3rd, 2010.

ughhhhshhshshshshshshalkfhglkh!

[This was originally printed in a slightly different form at the Escapist in 2007. Post-Bioshock 1 and 2, it struck me as a good time to return to what was on Jordan Thomas' mind back then - especially the sections which foreshadow Fort Frolic. And with the darkness obsessed Amnesia due within a week, turning our mind on what lurks in the gaming's dark also struck me as worthwhile]

Light is, as far as fundamental issues in game design goes, an opaque topic for most gamers. In modern 3D engines, it’s something you simply can’t have a level without – or, at least, one which doesn’t involve a lot of bumping into walls. It’s something that effects mood and functionality, so acting as a supporting pillar for both the artistic and mechanistic elements of game design. But when implementing it, what is a designer really thinking about? To shed a little light on the matter, I talked to Jordan Thomas, best known as co-designer of the Cradle in Thief: Deadly Shadows and has been recently been working on a little game called Bioshock.
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Dark Futures Part 3: Jordan Thomas

By Kieron Gillen on July 5th, 2010.

Jordan Thomas first came to our attention with Thief: Deadly Shadows where he co-designed the Cradle with Randy Smith. Next he was on Bioshock, with his fingerprints over all Fort Frolic. Then, he stepped up to Creative Director at 2k Marin with Bioshock 2. He’s highly verbal, scarily optimistic and wants to talk to you about the Immersive Sim as an Anti-genre, the death of seriousness and the growth of snark, Thomas Moore Utopian fiction and what Ion Storm Austin were considering doing with Deus Ex 3…
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Spare Words: Bioshock 2

By Alec Meer on January 4th, 2010.

Happy change of two calendar digits, younglings! While I attempt to warm up my brain farm, let me distract you by throwing my aforementioned leftovers from my recent interview with Bioshock 2′s Jordan Thomas and Melissa Miller at you. They’ll only go to waste otherwise, which would prolong my inevitable torment in Writer Hell. Read on for their thoughts on heading up a new studio and why they don’t think the game’s divisive multiplayer is throwaway…
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Cross-Examining Jordan: Bioshock 2

By Alec Meer on December 21st, 2009.

Over on Eurogamer are the fruits of my recent sit-down with Jordan Thomas, the Lead Human on the upcoming Bioshock 2. I’ve got some leftover material from that I may lob up here later, but in the meantime pray enjoy the great man’s high-speed thoughts on Bioshock 1′s backlash, the thinking behind the multiplayer mode, and whether dark metal corridors are more blessing than curse after all. Also, ‘riding seals to freedom.’

(Oh, please steer clear of the vicious war raging in the interview’s comments thread: yes, it’s exactly the same war as breaks out upon any mention of Bioshock anywhere on the internet.)

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BioShock 2: Nine Minutes of Footage’n'Chat

By Alec Meer on May 14th, 2009.

When a bunch of us scruffy journos wrote our Bioshock 2 previews a few weeks back, this is the bulk of what we based it upon: a nine-minute scripted walkthrough, accompanied by an enlightening commentary from Creative Director Jordan Thomas. Included: Big Sister action, the Little Sister adoption mechanic, and horribly messing up splicers’ faces with your drill-arm. Make your own judgements and crazy theories about who or what’s really pulling Rapture’s strings below. And for the love of Roy Orbison don’t drag this thread into yet more tedious mouthing off about how Bioshock 1 disappointed you. Look not to the past but to the future, friends!
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The Making Of Thief: Deadly Shadows

By Kieron Gillen on September 21st, 2007.

[This time we turn our attention to the development of the third Thief game. It's worth noting this is the first making of where the person I interviewed wasn't the effective Project Lead. This leads to a very different interview. I'm speaking to Jordan Thomas, who's got a way with a quote. I've interviewed Jordan a few times before: here's him on the Cradle and here's him on lighting in Bioshock. EDIT: When I was putting the article online, I somehow snipped a whole paragraph and a half when formatting it. It was the bit after the word "Academic", and actually one of the key sections of the whole interview. Excuse? Er... I was deeply hungover. Will that do?]

When Looking Glass shattered, your correspondent, along with the vast majority of Thief’s sizable, fanatic fanbase, got more than a little despondent. Was there any hope for a continuation of the greatest stealth game the world had ever seen? Well, yes, there was, as otherwise we wouldn’t be doing a post-mortem of Thief III and instead continuing to weep hot tears into our foaming mead. The game arrived in the hands of Ion Storm Austin, fresh from their success in making the original Deus Ex. With a new team, mixing veterans of Looking Glass and new staff, they faced the challenge of matching their forefathers.

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