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Steal This Game: The Dark Mod Alpha Demo

Remember the proverb: Beware bald men carrying torches.

Upset that I didn’t notice this immediately, but news reaches me from Broken Glass Studios’ Subjective Effect that they’ve released an alpha demo of their long-in-progress Doom III mod The Dark Mod. For those who haven’t been following it, it’s basically… well, creating Thief, but in the Doom III Engine. It’ll consist of a set of tools to allow you to make Thief-inspired levels and also a campaign made using those tools. It’s a ludicrously hubristic aim, and while I admired that, I also thought that like most of these enormous projects, it’ll all amount to nothing.

I love being wrong.
Instructions and download links are there – you just need a fully patched version of Doom III. The level’s small, many features are missing (Combat’s barely there and the distance-for-strike is too short, lots of interface quirks, an occasional bug, no lock picking yet, etc – best to read the game guide before you get started ) but – as a proof of concept, it’s proof.

I have my reservations – not the least that I couldn’t finish the demo due to it not letting me use the key to open a chest, despite the fact I was following the instructions, and that having a bit of a wall you can mantle be identical to the bits you can’t is a bit nob – but it’s certainly enough to make me follow it a little closer. Thief fans will probably want to have a crack if they’ve a copy of Doom III lying around, though it’s not enough to make it worthwhile going to actually buy one yet. If anything more comes of it, it probably will be.

And the truly mad may even get into the actual mapping, since even though the actual AI and gameplay part of it isn’t working properly yet, you can get cracking on everything else. And, of course, abstractly you know what the game’s going to play like.

Abstractly. Good luck, gentlefolk.

And, to end, some screens of me creeping and dying.

Creeping.
Creeping.
Dying.

EDIT: Actually, I have finished it now – my problem wasn’t with the method, but that it was the wrong key. Since there’s no “Wrong key in lock” noise and hadn’t seen the second key – or, in fact, the second chest – I presumed it was just bust. Which shows how even small bits of sound feedback absolutely shape your experience with a game. In fact, playing again, I should stress that despite there being some stuff not there, they have a lot of stuff working – water arrows, gas arrows, rope arrows, moss arrows, plain-old-broadhead arrows, for example, which are one of the most fun toolkits available to gamers. It’s a neat little demo of what they’re up to. And the second you see the lighting, you know that Doom really was the only choice to develop it on…

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Kieron Gillen

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Kieron Gillen is robo-crazy.

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