Posts Tagged ‘looking-glass’

Sharper Shadows: Thief Gold HD Mod Released

By Adam Smith on December 11th, 2013.

Here at the RPS retirement home for weary writers, our memories are often akin to a swirling sea of confusion. Just yesterday, I was watching the trailer for Peggle 2 and thought it looked terrible. I realised that Peggle the first has come to resemble a Jackson Pollock gallery retrospective in my mind’s eye. How strange then that our collective memories of Thief were lucid and strong. Looking Glass’ masterpiece is more than a memory though. Astonishingly, fifteen years after its release, the fan community has continued to work on the game and a modder going by the handle Bentraxx has released a Thief Gold HD Mod. It looks gorgeous and there’s a full changelist and video below.

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Inside At Last: Thief Is Fifteen Today

By RPS on November 30th, 2013.

Fifteen years ago to the day, with some variance depending on where in the world you lived at the time, Thief: The Dark Project, went on sale. It is one of the games that continues to define the possibilities of first-person architecture and also an example of interactive storytelling that has endured over a decade and a half without being fully tapped. Some of the lessons that the team at Looking Glass laid out in their masterpiece has influenced a great deal of gaming. Other parts, like the Thief himself, appear to have gone unnoticed. Here, we remember and celebrate the brilliance of The Dark Project.

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Interview: Spector On Fears, Legacies and Returning To PC

By Adam Smith on November 18th, 2013.

There are a lot of words being written about the new consoles this week but when I spoke to Warren Spector a few days ago, he was clear about where his future lies: “I think all the interesting stuff is happening on PC now… Assuming I make more games, which I intend to do, PC and Mac are going to be my targets.”

It’s good to hear. We spoke at the Bradford Animation Festival and covered a wide range of topics, from his theories of design and pioneering role in PC gaming to thoughts on the current state of the industry. In this first part of our conversation, there’s insight into how Spector see his own legacy and the work of his former colleagues, and how frustrations with Thief’s difficulty inspired the player empowerment of Deus Ex.

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Stealing History: Dark Camelot And Thief

By RPS on August 5th, 2013.


With Thief 4 bearing down on us like a robber with a toothy smile, we thought it might be interesting to go back to where stealth began: the creation of Thief. Joe Martin stole away with this report.

There’s a line I had wanted start this article with. It is a line from the ironic finale of The Neverending Story and it would have been an obscure reference to the fact that before it was The Dark Project, Thief was originally called Dark Camelot. It was: “Beginnings are always dark”.

I can’t use that line, however, because if you go far back enough you eventually uncover Thief’s beginning wasn’t dark at all. It was red.
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Through The Looking Glass: Paul Neurath Interviewed

By Cara Ellison on March 11th, 2013.

System Shock 2 AAAAH my CDs

“When the history of my glory is written, your species shall only be a footnote to my magnificence,” said a terrifying lady, yesterday, to me. Or SHODAN did or whatever. But her legacy lives on thanks to the kind of innovation Looking Glass studios was interested in. Paul Neurath, the co-founder and creative director of Looking Glass from ‘the day it opened to the day it closed’ has been interviewed on this super fascinating podcast looking back on his time with the studio. The company was responsible for some of our dearest memories, such as Ultima Underworld, System Shock, and Thief, before it closed its doors (sob!) in 2000.

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Buying Old Games: Where Your Money Goes

By Alec Meer on February 6th, 2012.

Raaaaaaaage indeed, Mr Horny

Edit: cos there are various theories flying around below about my perceived intent in posting this, I shall clarify my own feelings. I would really like to see contracts between publishers and developers more commonly include an arrangement whereby key (and ideally, but rather less plausibly, all) creatives on game projects continue to see some post-release royalties, as is the case in some other entertainment and publishing industries. That so many old games are being (apparently profitably) rereleased lately highlights this disparity. That is all.

There’s obviously a very good chance you already know this, but just in case: when a developer is bought out by a publisher, it’s usually the case that they then don’t see any ongoing royalties from the games they make for them, or indeed for any existing intellectual property that was swallowed up as part of the studio acquisition. It’s standard practice, knowingly agreed by both parties during the dark deal some studios made to ensure immediate financial viability and larger project budgets. But what it does mean is that a great many of the PC games we regularly celebrate around these parts are no longer bringing in any money for their creators, despite still being on sale. Whenever we excitedly see an old classic appear on Steam or GoG (such as Thief last week), chances are very high that whatever we pay for it goes purely to the publisher and the download service. And while it may well be right that these bodies profit from projects they funded and distribute, it’s sad that the men and women who toiled over that game’s creation won’t see another penny from it.
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Shattering: The End Of Looking Glass

By Kieron Gillen on June 22nd, 2010.

A pilgrimage there, one day.

This is turning into an oddly sad day here at RPS. Pete Closs forwards this footage of the last day at Looking Glass: May 25th 2000. About 40 minutes of the last seconds of one of the greatest developers of all time. Impromptu silly interviews with everyone you care to mention. Discover who will play everyone in the inevitable Looking Glass movie and see Lulu Lamer brag about her Unreal Tournament skills. Hurrah! But mainly sniff.
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Future Shock

By Kieron Gillen on August 15th, 2007.

Okay, in a vague warm-up for Bioshock – and I figure that anything’s a better use of my time than sitting on every single Bioshock thread on the internet and pressing “refresh” all day – I download System Shock from Underdogs and get it working on DOSBox, with full sound (P-P-PATHETIC CREATURE OF MEAT AND BONE!) and everything. It’ll be easier if I still had XP installed, as I’d be able to turn to System Shock Portable, which will even run from a USB drive.

Other good things in 1994: Elastica, Amiga Power. That's about it.

Now, System Shock is a game I’ve played, but not played, as it were. Before my time by a good four years in terms of PC ownership and by the time I had one, I only went back for historic reasons. They’re always memorable. This means that every time I start playing it, I quickly get a sense of archaeological excitement, as if I’m excavating a Roman Ruin and I’ve just found a diesel engine or something. They did this back then?

This time, it’s a simple one. I’m nosing around at some high shelves, and notice that there’s a handful of boxes around. So, in proper modeled-physics, I start to kick them around to form a ladder and… waitasecond.

1994. Some people are still trying to pass this kind of object manipulation off as something to be excited about even now.

I’m chatting with Rossignol earlier in the kitchen. He’s talking about how, for him, System Shock was The Game, with sexy capitals. Back then, it felt so astoundingly new and complete that he kept on expecting something even more unprecedented around the corner, like an NPC who’ll talk to him with full voice-interface or something. It was a black obliesk landing into the summer of that year, and transformed any dumb apes lucky enough to touch it.

While it’s still worth battling with the slightly old-fashioned control system, what strikes me is that it’s just within some hacking to actually turn into something that’ll still be playable today. Just an introduction of a mouselook, streamling all the body positioning stuff (It has Leaning, crouching, crawling ala later games) without sending all the game’s other systems crazy would make it something you could actively recommend for anyone to play. Hell, the graphic fidelity has even been dealt with already by other archivists. System Shock Portable allows you to install extra textures to play in a passably meaty 1024×768.

We can just hope that there’s some p-p-pathetic creature of meat and bone who wants to prove to auntie SHODAN they’re not so p-p-pathetic out there. Immortality awaits.

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