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Thief 3 Chat Log

01/01/24 19:17:15 <[GSI]Hellchick> In the meantime, I'd like to ask the members of the team to introduce themselves.
01/01/24 19:17:25 <[GSI]Hellchick> Take it way, ION Storm! We'll go ahead and start collecting questions
01/01/24 19:17:34 <[ISA]_Paul> I'm Paul Tozour, and I'm the "AI guy." I just moved to Austin from Seattle, where I spent the last year and a half or so doing the combat AI for Microsoft's MechWarrior 4: Vengeance. (done)
01/01/24 19:17:39 <[ISA]Terri> I'm Terri Brosius, writer for Thief 3, I was at Looking Glass when it folded. (done)
01/01/24 19:17:43 <[ISA]Emil> I'm Emil Pagliarulo, a designer on Thief 3. I was one of the designers of T2 back at Looking Glass. [d]
01/01/24 19:17:44 <[ISA]alexb> Hi there I'm Alexander Brandon, audio guy... I'm responsible for... you guessed it, the audio in T3.. started here at ISA last May and having a romping good time so far... previously did music for Deus Ex, Unreal and UT, among others.
01/01/24 19:17:47 <[ISA]_Randy> I'm Randy Smith, Thief 3 Project Director. Hi everybody! [d]
01/01/24 19:18:18 <[ISA]_Warren_Spector> Hey. This is Warren Spector. I run the Austin office and look over people's shoulders a lot. [d]
01/01/24 19:18:28 <[ISA]_Randy> (this is Lulu) i'm lulu lamer the AP.
01/01/24 19:18:38 <[ISA]_Chris> I'm Chris Carollo, lead programmer on Deus Ex 2 (I worked on the original Thief). Howdy. [d]
01/01/24 19:18:40 <[ISA]Nate> Hey, my name's Nate Blaisdell, I'm a designer on T3. I previously worked at Irrational Games and Looking Glass.
01/01/24 19:18:58 *[GSI]Warrior* How difficult was it to integrate the LGS team into you Ion Storm Austin team (and how many people did it finally involve)?
01/01/24 19:19:48 <[ISA]Emil> It was pretty easy, actually. Looking Glass and Ion Austin share a lot of the same design philosophies...
01/01/24 19:19:59 <[ISA]_Randy> Right now we've got a bunch of people who worked at the Looking Glass office in various capacities....
01/01/24 19:20:07 <[ISA]Emil> everyone tends to share the same mindset. [d]
01/01/24 19:20:29 *Fargo* About how many of the Thief 2 team has made the migration over to Ion Storm for Thief 3?
01/01/24 19:20:41 <[ISA]Terri> It was easy, I was eager to back in Thief universe, and Ion was happy to give me a job. 9d0
01/01/24 19:20:49 <[ISA]_Randy> ... including Warren, Terri, Emil, Lulu, Nate, and me. That's just on the Thief 3 team, too...
01/01/24 19:21:20 *Dr_Octogon* will there be any "spin off's" from thief? The action figure? the comic et al.
01/01/24 19:21:23 <[ISA]_Randy> ... some other LG'ers are on the Deus Ex 2 project. So like 6+. [d]
01/01/24 19:22:18 <[ISA]Nate> Well, we have the Garrett action figure, (the smiley face box), here in the office! [d]
01/01/24 19:23:01 *Harel* "Can you elaborate on the new equipment and tools we will see?"
01/01/24 19:23:48 <[ISA]_Randy> Garrett's equipment, you mean? Some of Garrett's traditional tools are very likely to make a reappearance...
01/01/24 19:24:28 <[ISA]_Randy> ... and we're thinking of new ideas to implement, too. Expect some cool new stuff, for sure. [d]
01/01/24 19:24:32 *Irata* in terms of gameplay, how is thief 3 going to be similar to its predecessors, and how is it going to be different?
01/01/24 19:25:40 <[ISA]Emil> You can be sure that whichever tools and equipment we include, they'll be very stealth/thief....
01/01/24 19:26:19 <[ISA]Emil> ...oriented. We'll take the Thief vibe forward. We won't turn Garrett into a supersoldier or anything. :) [d]
01/01/24 19:26:26 *Maniac536* what kind of new technologys and graphics can we expect for the game?
01/01/24 19:27:11 <[ISA]_Paul> As far as new technology is concerned, we're talking about a lot of cool volumetric lighting ideas and working on some cool prototypes ...
01/01/24 19:27:44 <[ISA]alexb> we're thinking about a lot of new audio features such as muffled sound through walls and creaking footsteps above you as a guard walks over... more fluid ambient sound and such.. nothing decided but its all in discussion allright [d]
01/01/24 19:27:49 *tcmJOE* Will the story line be on the level (or above) as set by the first two Thief games?
01/01/24 19:28:59 <[ISA]Terri> We think we have a story that focuses on Garrett and his stealth, and is exciting, and hopefully lives up to the high standards set at LG. [d]
01/01/24 19:29:05 *Ruiner* Are they considering putting any visual way of telling how much noise the player is creating? or any way better than guessing by ear?
01/01/24 19:30:43 <[ISA]Nate> It's funny you mention the noise thing. We talked about it in a meeting last week and are considering how effective it will be. [d]
01/01/24 19:30:50 *Dr_Octogon* What games does the team like to play in the office at the moment?
01/01/24 19:31:39 <[ISA]_Paul> We've been playing a bit of Citizen Kabuto and a few others. But mostly we're just working on Thief 3 and Deus Ex 2. [d]
01/01/24 19:32:01 <[ISA]Emil> I just finished Giants, Voyager: Elite Force, and BG2...
01/01/24 19:32:11 <[ISA]_Paul> Oh, and some cool card games and board games, too! :) [d]
01/01/24 19:32:21 <[ISA]alexb> I'm playing 'Alice' at the moment, with a hint of X-Com: UFO Defense [d]
01/01/24 19:32:25 <[ISA]Terri> I'm playing The Longest Journey and some Thief Fan Missions. [d]
01/01/24 19:32:29 <[ISA]_Randy> I've been playing Ultima 9 off and on, and I'm still working on Deus Ex. [d]
01/01/24 19:32:30 <[ISA]Emil> ...and am playing DS9: The Fallen, Carnivores: Ice Age, and MOH Underground [d]
01/01/24 19:32:34 <[ISA]Nate> Finally got back into Counter-Strike after a long delay. [d]
01/01/24 19:32:52 <[ISA]_Paul> Counter-Strike .... *salivates* [d]
01/01/24 19:33:17 *Forty-Two* Will Thief III have cheesy Garett comments? They really spiced up the atmosphere.
01/01/24 19:34:14 <[ISA]Terri> I call the witty retorts, but the answer is definitely yes. [d]
01/01/24 19:34:29 <[ISA]alexb> Absolutely! [d]
01/01/24 19:35:06 *vortex* could you please give a description of some of the environments we will be seeing?
01/01/24 19:35:12 <[ISA]Emil> We're really looking at making the City a more evocative gameplay atmosphere...
01/01/24 19:35:56 <[ISA]Emil> ...twisty streets, tight alleyways, different architectural styles.[d]
01/01/24 19:37:06 <[ISA]_Randy> RE: environments, we're definitely looking at a cool variety of spaces to sneak around in. Some old, some new. [d]
01/01/24 19:37:32 *Fargo* How do you determine the storylines for your games? By committee? Do you have a single author tying everything together?
01/01/24 19:38:04 <[ISA]Terri> We encourage the whole team to participate in the creation of the fiction, it gets everyone involved and psyched...
01/01/24 19:38:06 <[ISA]alexb> Thief has always given me certain visions that relate to books I've read and I've put in my .02 on them... the rest of the team starting with Terri gobble them up and add them to the collective story consciousness... input from everyone helps flesh out a more interesting world. [d]
01/01/24 19:38:07 <[ISA]_Paul> The team has been very open as far as design is concerned, and all of us have had the opportunity to contribute a few ideas of our own and to make suggestions based on one another's ideas. So I think it's great that our design team is being so extremely careful to ensure that all reasonable design decisions are considered carefully. No stone goes unturned with this team. At the same time, it's not as if there's any lack of leadership or focus. [d]
01/01/24 19:38:15 <[ISA]Terri> good ideas can come from any person on the team, not just designers. [d]
01/01/24 19:38:46 <[ISA]Emil> Terri is our primary author of the game's fiction, but at the same time, is very open to input from the rest of the team....
01/01/24 19:39:25 <[ISA]Emil> evidenced by the big fiction meeting we had today. I'd tell you what we talked about, but Terri would hurt me. [d]
01/01/24 19:39:37 *[APR]agent2pac* if there will be multiplayer in T3 will it be DM and co-op?
01/01/24 19:39:52 <[ISA]_Randy> Multiplayer Thief is an idea we've spent a ton of time thinking about, both at LG and now here at ISA...
01/01/24 19:40:23 <[ISA]_Randy> ...we've talked about co-op missions, team competition (aka - Theftmatch :) )...
01/01/24 19:40:53 <[ISA]_Randy> ...a fort-vs-fort concept, everyone vs. everyone, etc., etc., ...
01/01/24 19:41:46 <[ISA]_Randy> ... and specifically about how to make it a cool action-packed, stealth-oriented experience. Deathmatch obviously isn't enough for a game like Thief. We're looking for cool new ideas. [d]
01/01/24 19:41:50 *Dr_Octogon* what didn't you like about thief?
01/01/24 19:42:21 <[ISA]Nate> In T2, the plot (and gameplay) evolved into a story less about a thief....
01/01/24 19:42:55 <[ISA]_Paul> I personally found the missions in Thief 1 to be a bit on the random side; some were much better than others. But I thought that with Thief 2, the design was excellent for every mission, and consistently so. [d]
01/01/24 19:42:56 <[ISA]_Randy> (this is lulu) i loved thief so much, but playing it as many times as i have, it's not as fun or surprising anymore. i don't like that i can't play it from a normal player's perspective.
01/01/24 19:43:17 <[ISA]Nate> ....In T3, I think we need to emphasize that Garrett is a Thief and not a detective-type character. [d]
01/01/24 19:43:25 <[ISA]Emil> I think as a player, I had gotten so used to the "system" that that it became less of a game and more of a game system...
01/01/24 19:44:04 <[ISA]Terri> I would have liked Garrett to interact with a few people in town that he's not stealing from or sneaking past. [d]
01/01/24 19:44:07 <[ISA]Emil> ...I wish there were more "specialized" things, like more (small) scripted sequences, etc. [d]
01/01/24 19:44:17 <[GSI]Hellchick> question: was it a daunting task for the team to take on a project from such a respected company like Looking Glass?
01/01/24 19:44:23 <[ISA]_Warren_Spector> LookingGlass was a terrific company, one that made some incredible contributions to gaming. We're all respectful of that...
01/01/24 19:44:45 <[ISA]_Warren_Spector> That's why it was so important to me to bring on as much of the original Thief team as I could...
01/01/24 19:45:05 <[ISA]_Warren_Spector> and why the input and support of the Thief fan community is so important...
01/01/24 19:46:05 <[ISA]_Warren_Spector> I wouldn't say we're daunted, exactly - we know as well as anyone how hard it is to make a Thief game and we're pretty well positioned to do the job, I think.
01/01/24 19:46:23 *Forty-Two* Will there be a musical score in Thief III? If so, who is making it?
01/01/24 19:46:25 <[ISA]alexb> There won't be so much of a 'score' in Thief 3 as an ambience... music will be tones that act much as the ambient sounds did in the first two. In some cases music might play a role like in a tavern where it needs to enhance the environment, but mostly the 'music' you hear will be morphing sounds overlapping seamlessly that don't interfere with your being able to hear your adversaries. And I'll be doing at least most of the production of it all. [d]
01/01/24 19:47:28 *Forty-Two* Will there be a musical score in Thief III? If so, who is making it?
01/01/24 19:48:14 <[GSI]Hellchick> woops, duplicate :)
01/01/24 19:48:16 <[ISA]_Randy> Certainly, the player's music score will rate on a scale from 0 to 100 and the metric will be how skillfully Garrett uses the various music instruments in the game world. :) [d]
01/01/24 19:48:24 *Jack* Will AI be improved? I felt that fewer guards with greater AI would present a more realistic atmosphere.
01/01/24 19:48:29 <[ISA]_Paul> We're considering a ton of AI improvements including: a larger variety of different possible behaviors for different units (in addition to the standard 'alarm states' that everyone knows and loves); a wider variety of different things that units can notice and respond to (including visual, auditory, and tactile); things like sound occlusion ...
01/01/24 19:49:07 <[ISA]_Paul> so that if you walk past a super-noisy machine, guards won't instantly pick out the sound of your footsteps ... too many things to mention here. [d]
01/01/24 19:49:31 <[ISA]_Warren_Spector> Man, I'm not sure I want to relive a lot of ISA's history...
01/01/24 19:50:39 *Despot* If one was looking for History on ISA, where would you go?
01/01/24 19:50:45 <[ISA]_Warren_Spector> but since you asked, you can check out the ION Storm website or and read some of my design diaries...
01/01/24 19:51:29 <[ISA]_Warren_Spector> the short version is that we started out as LOOKING GLASS Austin and, when that office shut down in June of 1997, I found us a new home with Ion. Presto! ISA.
01/01/24 19:51:42 *xK-[Blade]-Xk* will he have a partner/lover
01/01/24 19:52:00 <[ISA]Terri> I think Garrett is married to his job. Anyway, as a professional loner, he doesn't play well with others. [d]
01/01/24 19:52:18 <[ISA]_Randy> Warren's already married... oh I see, nevermind. [d]
01/01/24 19:52:36 *BackDoorBandit* I know you all can't tell us too much about T3, but how are you looking at expanding the Thief world in terms of Garrets personality?
01/01/24 19:52:59 <[ISA]Terri> Garrett is still the cynical, sharp-tongued loner, still the master thief, but he's begun to realize that his actions have consequences - maybe even dire ones. [d]
01/01/24 19:53:59 <[GSI]Hellchick> From what "real-life" elements are you taking inspiration from for the next Thief game? Historical periods, architecture, art styles, anything along those lines.
01/01/24 19:54:01 <[ISA]Emil> Personally, I love the vibe of Victorian London. Jack the Ripper's stomping grounds...
01/01/24 19:54:27 <[ISA]Nate> Most obviously, the movie "City of Lost Children" is a great source of many different types of resources. [d]
01/01/24 19:54:29 <[ISA]Emil> ...I'm also really into the works of Jules Verne and Charles Dickens. [d]
01/01/24 19:54:33 *[ISA]_Alex* @@@RQI 1
01/01/24 19:54:33 <[ISA]alexb> I'll be taking some monk plainchant, pitching it down 12 tones, and playing it backwards to freak players out...
01/01/24 19:54:43 <[ISA]_Randy> (lulu) i like to think of the Thief game world as a really gritty scary place. I think about the stylized grime of the City of Lost children too, nate you jerk who took my answer.
01/01/24 19:55:01 <[ISA]Nate> oops [d]
01/01/24 19:55:39 <[ISA]_Paul> This is going to sound a little kooky, but my biggest "real-life" inspiration as far as AI is concerned has been the Discovery channel. I like to watch the animals and pretend I'm watching the AI in a competitor's game ... you get some really interesting insights about evolution and intelligence. [d]
01/01/24 19:56:34 <[ISA]_Randy> I actually used to break into some abandoned places and stuff, so I've got some real-life experiences...
01/01/24 19:56:52 <[ISA]_Randy> ... jumping fences, hiding in shadows, etc., which have been somewhat handy (for designing, of course!) from time to time...
01/01/24 19:56:53 <[ISA]Terri> Living in the Boston area supplies some fabulous real life architectural inspiration. [d]
01/01/24 19:57:14 <[ISA]_Randy> ... but I was a troubled lad and I only support full lawfullness in real life, now that I am a wise adult. [d]
01/01/24 19:57:22 <[ISA]_Randy> [D]
01/01/24 19:57:26 *BigDave{1}* Will editing facilities be available "out of the box"
01/01/24 19:57:29 <[ISA]Nate> Didn't I see you on an episode of "COPS" one time, Randy? [d]
01/01/24 19:57:37 <[ISA]_Warren_Spector> It's too early to make any solid promises about SDK's and all but there's no denying the importance of the fan community and fan missions...
01/01/24 19:57:56 <[ISA]_Randy> Shut up, Nate! :)
01/01/24 19:58:15 <[ISA]_Warren_Spector> it's certainly my hope that we can provide editor tools from day one. We'll just have to wait and see.
01/01/24 19:58:22 *kadargo* For us arachnophobes (the spiders in Thief scare me to death!) are we going to see our eight legged friends in Thief 3, and will they be more realistic (yikes!), by walking on walls, ect.
01/01/24 19:58:43 <[ISA]_Paul> Oddly enough, we discussed that specific idea (spiders walking on walls) in a meeting just last week. But I can't specifically address the question of whether or not they'll appear in the game. [d]
01/01/24 19:59:07 <[ISA]_Paul> I'm a bit of an arachnophobe myself :) [d]
01/01/24 19:59:25 <[ISA]Terri> In know Lulu hates spiders. :) [d]
01/01/24 19:59:42 <[ISA]_Warren_Spector> Does anyone actually LIKE spiders?
01/01/24 20:01:11 *_56k-Deth* what's the goal in the game t3?
01/01/24 20:01:15 <[ISA]_Randy> (lulu) to be a sneaky bastard, of course!
01/01/24 20:01:46 <[ISA]Terri> The goal is the be the best darn thief you can be, the sneakier the better, leave no object of value untouched, and avoid your opponents using your superior mind and skills. [d]
01/01/24 20:02:08 <[ISA]Emil> Personally, I don't Thief 3 to just be the ultimate stealth game, I want it to be the ultimate thieving sim. I want the player to be able to fully realize his/her larcenous dreams. [d]
01/01/24 20:02:39 <[ISA]Nate> And to make a game that you, the players, will thoroughly enjoy. [d]
01/01/24 20:02:57 <[ISA]Emil> Oops, "I don't want Thief 3" [d]
01/01/24 20:03:06 *BigDave{1}* will T3 be more customisable than the first two games?
01/01/24 20:03:26 <[ISA]_Randy> It depends on what you mean by customizable. Within a given mission, Thief / Thief 2 were very open-ended...
01/01/24 20:03:49 <[ISA]Emil> Doh! What I REALLY meant was "I don't want Thief 3 to just be the ultimate stealth sim." Eeks! [d]
01/01/24 20:04:06 <[ISA]_Randy> ... so each player's experience was customized in some ways, even though the story was the same in between missions for every player...
01/01/24 20:04:46 <[ISA]Terri> Emil, now I don't feel so bad about my typing errors. :) [d]
01/01/24 20:04:50 <[ISA]_Randy> ... for Thief 3, we're considering a bunch of cool ideas to make the "between missions" experiences different from player to player...
01/01/24 20:05:36 <[ISA]_Randy> ... including ways to play missions in various orders, optional missions, more "in the city" experiences ...
01/01/24 20:06:14 <[ISA]_Randy> ... but the emphasis is still on making Thief an action game, not an RPG where every player has a totally different party of characters, etc. [d]
01/01/24 20:06:37 *Gargle* Will Thief 3 include selectable player characters, or will it be Garrett only?
01/01/24 20:07:33 <[ISA]Terri> Garrett's the guy. It's all about him. My hero. [d]
01/01/24 20:07:50 <[GSI]Hellchick> The Thief series in general seems to be a rare breed in first person action games, which tend to focus on shooting over stealth. Do you find it more demanding to develop for this kind of game in terms of immersing the player in the universe (as opposed to having a level and handing them weapons and letting it end there)?
01/01/24 20:08:04 <[ISA]Emil> Making a stealth game tends to get pretty difficult, as I'm sure the Thief mod community can attest to. EVERYTHING can affect the gameplay, from the lighting to the architecture to the object placement...
01/01/24 20:08:05 <[ISA]_Warren_Spector> Let me put it this way: At least once during the development of Underworld, Underworld 2, System Shock, Thief (the brief time I was on that title) and Deus Ex I literally banged my head on my desk and chanted " don't we just make a shooter!" Yes, it's harder to make open-ended, immersive sims than it is to make straight shooters. Okay, all you other developers out there can start ranting now.
01/01/24 20:08:40 <[ISA]Emil> have to keep all of this stuff in mind as you design. [d]
01/01/24 20:09:40 <[GSI]Hellchick> We're almost ready to wind things down now -- I think the team will be answering a couple more questions, and then we'll thank them. :)
01/01/24 20:10:05 *Irata* are there any design ideas you've had to discard as not do-able yet due to technology? either visual/aural effects or gameplay/ai issues, or anything else?
01/01/24 20:11:06 <[ISA]_Warren_Spector> There are always more ideas than you can possibly implement, for tech reasons, creative reasons, all sorts of reasons. I sometimes think successful game development hinges as much on knowing what to cut as on what to do.
01/01/24 20:11:08 <[ISA]_Randy> It's more often the case that you have to discard ideas for design reasons. For example, we were thinking about piranhas or something dangerous in the water like that...
01/01/24 20:11:35 <[ISA]_Randy> ... but its no fun to fight things in the water, since the swimming interface is clumsy...
01/01/24 20:12:15 <[ISA]_Randy> ... and anyway, the emphasis should be on sneaking. Sneaking away from piranhas doesn't seem quite right, so we try to approach the video from another direction. [D]
01/01/24 20:12:21 *Saturn2K* Will there be a Bow-Upgrade in Thief 3?
01/01/24 20:12:21 <[ISA]_Randy> video?
01/01/24 20:12:29 <[ISA]Emil> Yeah, we're definitely including the bow upgrade, but it will have 4 levels of power, as opposed to the 5 levels of power it had in Thief 2. :)
01/01/24 20:12:46 <[ISA]Emil> [D]
01/01/24 20:12:48 <[ISA]_Randy> what was I thinking? idea, obviously. I think my vocabulary unit is busted again. Er... not that I'm a cyborg or anything. *whew*
01/01/24 20:12:57 <[GSI]Hellchick> Okay, I think that just about wraps it up...
01/01/24 20:13:08 <[GSI]Hellchick> Unless there's anything else the ISA team would like to add in?
01/01/24 20:13:27 <[ISA]_Warren_Spector> Thanks for coming!
01/01/24 20:13:33 <[ISA]Emil> Thanks everyone!
01/01/24 20:13:40 <[ISA]_Randy> Hey, thanks a bunch for having us. This was a lot of fun. Keep tabs on Thief 3 in the future, and eventually we'll be able to answer more questions more directly. :) !!!
01/01/24 20:13:41 <[GSI]Hellchick> We'd like to thank ION Storm Austin for coming today...
01/01/24 20:13:44 <[ISA]Terri> Thank you!
01/01/24 20:13:46 <[ISA]Nate> Thank y'all!
01/01/24 20:13:46 <[ISA]alexb> bye to all, much obliged
01/01/24 20:13:47 <[ISA]_Paul> C'ya!
01/01/24 20:13:51 Thanks!
01/01/24 20:13:59 <[GSI]Hellchick> We'll all definitely be ready for Thief 3. :) Cobby, you can go ahead and unmoderate now. Thanks again, ISA!
01/01/24 20:14:07 <[ISA]_Randy> Bye!

Mad Shout outs go to Despot and Ringwraith for following up promptly and sending me a copy of the log.

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