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Thief: To The Next Level----Part 2

Deeper In The Diary
Lord Todd: CoSaS (Circle of Stone and Shadow) Lead
Sir Avalon: T2X: Shadows of the Metal Age Lead

As I flip through the pages of the diary I suddenly come across a few pages that are marked with asterisks. I stop, look up at Eberon, and say, "Bingo!" Eberon replies with, "Was his name-oh." I said, "No Eberon, not the song. I mean 'Bingo' as in we've found some more information about the projects. Take a look for yourself." I then hand the book to Ol'Ebie, he does a double take between the book and myself, then he starts to read:

What do you feel is unique about your modification that will make it worth players' time? What features will your modification (TC, et al) include that were exempt or lacking in the retail game?

Lord Daniel Todd: First off, CoSaS is not a "modification". People make modifications to Unreal Tournament. CoSaS is a game. ;)

On that same token, I do not think that CoSaS can be classified as a Campaign no more then it can be called a Fan Mission. Technically it is a campaign because it is a string of missions which occur one after the other, but the similarities really end there. The idea of a Campaign carries with it a connotation of a very structured, planned out, progression of events, such as what we see in Thief 1 & 2. To me, CoSaS really does not feel like a campaign. I think the term "quest" fits CoSaS much more appropriately.

I know that this does not really answer your question at all, but please humor me while I go even further off on this tangent. I belive that many people have the wrong idea regarding what we are trying to create. CoSaS, at its core, is an experiment. We're striking out in our own direction, and trying to not only see what is technically possible, but also to see what 'we' are capable of doing as artist and storytellers. We're trying to make our idea of a great game by using a carefully crafted story and richly developed characters, and the Thief Universe is an excellent vehicle and template to make that happen.

Sir Avalon: I think just the sheer size and effort put into the project will make it worth the players' time. This is no dinky little made-in-the-garage-at-three-in-the-morning-while-totally-stoned FM. Thief 2 featured a distinct lack of the necessity to be stealthy. Many missions actually required you to betray your place in the shadows so you could blackjack a target or steal something. Our expansion is going back to the traditional Thief 1 trend, featuring the ability to fully "Ghost" a mission or play it "Lytha style", while still allowing for "Whack and Stack" players to find it enjoyable on regular difficulties. Like Thief 1, rarely (if ever) will any style be forced upon you, so that you can decide how you want to go about accomplishing your objectives.

Fan input: Good, useful, or useless?

Lord Daniel Todd: Fan input is never useless. Sometimes, though, it is not appropriate. When making a sequel, it's appropriate, because you want to try to make the next game better. When making a genre buster like Thief 1, fan input is not really appropriate because you're trying to carry out a very personal vision of a new type of game. There are no fans! When you are part of a community making a project for that community, the usefulness of fan input depends on the nature of the project.

Sir Avalon: The fan community from which we're based has been a fountain of inspiration and ideas for the entire team; there is no doubt about that. We have strived to pull the "coolest" ideas from the archives, to balance and rework them, until they can easily fit within the confines of this story that we're weaving. All in all, the fans can make or break a project of this type. Their input is as crucial to the design process as the guys who are actually designing it. We wouldn't have the right to call ourselves a community or "fan" project any other way.

Will there be any new identities in your modification? If so, could you please explain their purpose and their personality? (without spoilers, of course -- don't tell us that Borgleblath will betray the player.)

Lord Daniel Todd: There will be many NPCs present in CoSaS. An example of several would be Sheam and Master Nightfall from GatB & COT, as well as Brother Thurm (also from COT) and Wendle, mentioned in our screenshot captions on our official site. Of course, I must also mention Keith, our new player character and star of CoSaS.

There will be many protagonists, many antagonists, and many neutrals. As I hinted above, characters play a very important role in CoSaS. It deals strongly with the clash of individual's ideals rather then the ideals of factions, guilds, or faiths (though all mentioned will be present, and you can bet some will be clashing).

Sir Avalon: Of course! New NPCs, new factions, and a new main character are only at the tip of the New Identity iceberg.

Multilingual support: There, or not there? What languages if present? If not, why?

Lord Daniel Todd: Sorry, multilingual support is not planned. Making a complete second set of all voice files in another language is a very time consuming effort.

Sir Avalon: T2x does indeed have plans for multilingual support. We have the resources and capability of creating our expansion in the two other primary languages that Thief was shipped in, German and French. We really feel that any project which claims to be "By the people", "For the People," should be enjoyed in the native language of those people. We will have failed if a large percentage of the community cannot understand the artistic expression that we are trying to present to them due to something so trivial as language differences.

In your opinion, do you feel that an amazing mod should be released in the "late" life of the game, or do you think that it's more important to make a bigger impact early? In other words, release early and be praised, or release an amazing version later, and risk the lack of interest?

Lord Daniel Todd: I don't think that when the project is released is a factor to be considered when you're dealing with a team who is working out of love for the game, love for their work, and a community which is thriving and enthusiastic. I don't think it matters if CoSaS is released tomorrow, or a week after Thief 3 comes out. The people who CoSaS was made for will not receive it any differently. What is important, is that it is completed.

Sir Avalon: Amazing game mods should be released all the time, and they are, which is why Thief has prospered this long.

Note** An inside informant tells me Lord Dumfries' is keeping some information about these two projects under tight wraps. Usually he shares everything with me, but for some reason he's not sharing a word about these two projects. I bet he's storing the information in his office.

The Assessment
BackDoor: Whoa! Now that's some deep stuff. It seems my hunch about Lord Dumfrie was spot on. We've got to get to Lord Dumfries' fast.
Eberon: What do you make of all of this talk about 'multilingual support, NPC's, and fan input'?

BackDoor: Well, obviously, whatever their projects encompass, they're certainly putting a lot of thought into such said features.
Eberon: Hey, I should audition for their multilingual support team. I can do one hell of an Italian accent. Check it out. Asuh weuh standuh onuh thisuh ledgeuh, Iuh canuh seeuh very faruh off intouh theuh distance.

BackDoor: Yeah, well, don't go leaving the Thieves Guild anytime soon to take up voice acting. You might not make it very far in that field.
Eberon: What exactly are you trying to say?

BackDoor: Eberon, it's obvious, you are such a great voice acting talent that you'd put all those other Italian voice actors out of work, and they'd be on a mad witch hunt to find you and put you six feet under.
Eberon: Yeah, you're totally right. Maybe I won't practice my Italian accent for a while so that I'm not so good at it.

BackDoor: <Mumbles> Thank God!
Eberon: What was that?

BackDoor: I said, "Thank the Thieves Guild you're not leaving us, you're way to big of an asset."
Eberon: Oh, I'm glad you feel that way. Sometimes I feel as if you'd rather have me performing kitchen duties since you're always having to bail my butt out of trouble.

BackDoor: <Mumbles> Geez! That boy has no clue whatsoever.
Anyways, lets stick to the rooftops and get to Lord Dumfries' ASAP.
Eberon: O.k., I'm right behind you.

Rooftop Mountaineering

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