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Thief Production Issues?

A post on Polygon calls the state of the Eidos Montreal's upcoming Thief reboot into question, saying they've learned from "anonymous sources familiar with the studio" that the project is suffering from inflated production costs and staff departures attributed to "corporate politics, creative confusion and a lack of publisher oversight." They say that the team has had to spend a lot of effort on creating press demos, and that "many programming tricks" are required to run their demo, going so far as to say "the vertical slice doesn't load inside Thief's current heavily modified version of Unreal Engine 3," which is hard to understand (it makes it sound like the demo doesn't actually run). They say that Square Enix is growing concerned with this situation, noting that a portion of the recent GDC demo video was to be released to the public, but a source tells them this plan was scrapped because Square Enix was unhappy with the quality of the footage. They conclude noting the game is still slated to be shown off at E3 this June.

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38. Re: Thief Production Issues? Apr 29, 2013, 03:53 Flatline
 
This reboot had me worried when they didn't bring back Stephen Russell.

The excuse "the voice actor had to provide his own stunts, and putting Garrett's voice on this mocap would be 'unnatural'" reeks of absolute bullshit.

In fact, pretty much everything that I'm seeing from this game sucks. I'll pass, sadly.
 
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37. Re: Thief Production Issues? Apr 28, 2013, 12:07 Umbragen
 
Whether Warren Spector had anything to do with Thief: The Dark Project as it was eventually released is a matter of some debate. At this point however, I prefer to believe he had 'fuck all' to do with it.  
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36. Re: Thief Production Issues? Apr 27, 2013, 22:47 Jerykk
 
Again, if these rumors are true, it reminds me very much of Bioshock Infinite. Infinite was in development for about five years as well and the first gameplay demo it released was created just for the sake of marketing. It wasn't playable and wasn't part of the final game. However, many of its elements did end up making it into the final game and the final game ended up being good.

If the game was going to be canceled, I don't think Square would have bothered with announcing the game again and accepting pre-orders for it.
 
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35. Re: Thief Production Issues? Apr 27, 2013, 21:03 Squirmer
 
Creston wrote on Apr 27, 2013, 13:10:
I'll believe the sun will set in the North tomorrow before I believe a report from Polygon quoting "Anonymous Sources."

Creston
This Bioware Montreal designer says he's heard the same rumours: https://twitter.com/manveerheir/status/327856310790012928
 
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34. Re: Thief Production Issues? Apr 27, 2013, 18:53 Flatline
 
Jedi Master wrote on Apr 27, 2013, 14:21:
Yet LG collapsed. Why? Because they could program good games but didn't have a clue how to run a business. Many simmers remember Flight Unlimited with fondness, too.
There's more to running a developer than making great games. If you make a great game but need to see "100 million copies" to turn a profit, it's still a failure. So LG did.

LG collapsed at the end of the day because of a couple badly developed games on LG's part and Eidos had to decide if they were going to prop up Ion Storm and Daikatana at the cost of LG and other studios or if LG was going to get the benefit of the doubt.

John Romero still had a reputation back then, and we got Daikatana instead of any more LG games.
 
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33. Re: Thief Production Issues? Apr 27, 2013, 14:43 netnerd85
 
Jedi Master wrote on Apr 27, 2013, 14:21:
Yet LG collapsed. Why? Because they could program good games but didn't have a clue how to run a business. Many simmers remember Flight Unlimited with fondness, too.
There's more to running a developer than making great games. If you make a great game but need to see "100 million copies" to turn a profit, it's still a failure. So LG did.
Not really... as long as you aren't stupid it's not that difficult to run a business.

So if you use 1 million to make a game (cheap game ) you need to make 3 million. 1 million to cover your costs (lets pretend there is no interest) and 2 million for the next project. Then you need to make 6 million. Gamers are "kunty", they won't settle for the same 1 million dollar game the second time round.

It's just that people don't think that way. It's easy to lose focus of that extra money you will need later on.

What happens if your budget of 1 million goes over? You need another half a million. But the game can't go up in price to cover that. You just need more sales, but your projections don't cover that. You're losing money already by going over the development budget. You freak out, you ship the game before it's done, it's half ass, no one buys it, OMG! you have no money... it's all gone, no future projects.

And that is... kinda... not really... how it works lol

If you listen to rich people you'd realise it doesn't pay to be smart, it pays to be a "kunt".
 
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32. Re: Thief Production Issues? Apr 27, 2013, 14:21 Jedi Master
 
Yet LG collapsed. Why? Because they could program good games but didn't have a clue how to run a business. Many simmers remember Flight Unlimited with fondness, too.
There's more to running a developer than making great games. If you make a great game but need to see "100 million copies" to turn a profit, it's still a failure. So LG did.
 
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31. Re: Thief Production Issues? Apr 27, 2013, 14:11 Creston
 
wtf_man wrote on Apr 27, 2013, 12:05:
Overon wrote on Apr 27, 2013, 08:45:
Reform looking glass studios and give it to them to do it. Problem solved

Warren Spector - (Currently Available)
Tim Stellmach - (Vicarious Visions - Credited as Lead Designer of Thief I and II)
Doug Church - Valve
Randy Smith - Edge Magazine
Ken Levine - Irrational Games


Holy shit, it is unbelievable just how much talent worked at Looking Glass...

Creston
 
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30. Re: Thief Production Issues? Apr 27, 2013, 14:05 netnerd85
 
They keep "selling" products before they are done. That's not how you do things.

That's why KickStarter doesn't sit well with me. "We'll make what you want", have some balls and show us what we want. Plus, people don't know what they want half the time
 
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29. Re: Thief Production Issues? Apr 27, 2013, 13:48 Fantaz
 
Creston wrote on Apr 27, 2013, 13:10:
I'll believe the sun will set in the North tomorrow before I believe a report from Polygon quoting "Anonymous Sources."

Creston

Oh, actually this game was on the verge of being cancelled if what my post from a while ago was correct:
http://www.bluesnews.com/cgi-bin/board.pl?action=viewthread&boardid=1&threa...
 
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28. Re: Thief Production Issues? Apr 27, 2013, 13:34 saluk
 
Ratty wrote on Apr 27, 2013, 12:39:
For the record DX:HR was a pretty good game but it wasn't Deus Ex.

Pretty damn close. And I say that as someone for whom the original is still my number 1 game of all time.

Anyway, this doesn't sound at all like "the game is not consoley enough" or "the game is too different from what fans want". It sounds more like "the game is utter crap and doesn't even work right and they are woefully behind schedule". 5 years is a looong time to be working on a game. It sounds like much of the work keeps getting redone, because their have been too many cooks in the kitchen. So what is left now has bits and pieces of a bunch people's vision. That's a terrible way to design a game.

10 months to create the press demo. That's 10 months working on something that may or may not even be part of the game. Creatively being a broken mess is one thing, but technically being a broken mess is even worse. Having to turn off features to make the demo even work?

Bad for square. Their mismanagement has turned great and relatively successful titles like sleeping dogs and tomb raider into failures. This might be the nail in the coffin.
 
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27. Re: Thief Production Issues? Apr 27, 2013, 13:10 Creston
 
I'll believe the sun will set in the North tomorrow before I believe a report from Polygon quoting "Anonymous Sources."

Creston
 
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26. Re: Thief Production Issues? Apr 27, 2013, 12:39 Ratty
 
I always said the game would be worthless console crap and now I think so even more (though for a little while with the last round of interviews I allowed myself to get my hopes up just a little - shame on me). Seeing as how they've already spent so much money on this it has to now appeal to the widest possible audience to hope to recoup their investment, even more than before. Call of Taffers indeed!

For the record DX:HR was a pretty good game but it wasn't Deus Ex. Predicting a similar treatment for Thief 4 doesn't fill me with hope and joy. And no Stephen Russell is just a slap in the face.
 
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25. Re: Thief Production Issues? Apr 27, 2013, 12:05 wtf_man
 
Overon wrote on Apr 27, 2013, 08:45:
Reform looking glass studios and give it to them to do it. Problem solved

Warren Spector - (Currently Available)
Tim Stellmach - (Vicarious Visions - Credited as Lead Designer of Thief I and II)
Doug Church - Valve
Randy Smith - Edge Magazine
Ken Levine - Irrational Games

And that's just the primary designers, or infulencing folks, if you will. There's still more designers and way more technical / artist personnel.
Uh... good luck with that. It would be easier for a GOOD fan group to reboot the IP, like what Interceptor Entertainment was going to do for Duke Nuke 'Em 3D and the incredible job they are currently doing for Rise of The Triad. (Go to the site and watch the dev diary videos... just awesome)

This comment was edited on Apr 27, 2013, 12:33.
 
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24. Re: Thief Production Issues? Apr 27, 2013, 11:55 NewMaxx
 
netnerd85 wrote on Apr 27, 2013, 11:04:
They probably wanted Call of Taffers :o

Bazinga!
 
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23. Re: Thief Production Issues? Apr 27, 2013, 11:04 netnerd85
 
KS wrote on Apr 27, 2013, 10:09:
nin wrote on Apr 26, 2013, 23:40:
Hyatus wrote on Apr 26, 2013, 22:42:
lack of publisher oversight

What's the problem with this one?

They apparently made a game the publisher didn't like...


That either means they're way behind with just smoke and mirrors, or the design isn't actiony enough.

I'll go out on a limb and hypothesize the problem is not that it's not Thiefy enough.

They probably wanted Call of Taffers
 
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22. Re: Thief Production Issues? Apr 27, 2013, 10:58 Blackhawk
 
If you read the article and take the quote in context, it would suggest that 'lack of publisher' oversight includes both proper financial management, and ensuring that the team was working according to a viable plan.

Without that oversight they ended up going way over budget, and ended up presenting demos that only worked because they were specifically scripted to work, as opposed to working through natural gameplay. The current state of the game seems to be something very different from what they had agreed to make when they started.

There's no way to say for sure whether that is good for the final game (made it more 'old school' than planned) or bad for it (ignored plans to stick to its roots.)
 
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21. Re: Thief Production Issues? Apr 27, 2013, 10:51 Quboid
 
Lack of publisher oversight could be anything. I certainly wouldn't assume that it means it's not action oriented enough or good enough on consoles. It could be the opposite and they're concerned that it's going away from the sort of gameplay that people have proven they want. It could be any number of creative things, or it might not be a creative issue at all.

Or the publishers could be trying to do what would (in my opinion and the opinion of virtually everybody here) ruin the game. I certainly wouldn't rule this out.
 
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- Quboid
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20. Re: Thief Production Issues? Apr 27, 2013, 10:09 KS
 
nin wrote on Apr 26, 2013, 23:40:
Hyatus wrote on Apr 26, 2013, 22:42:
lack of publisher oversight

What's the problem with this one?

They apparently made a game the publisher didn't like...


That either means they're way behind with just smoke and mirrors, or the design isn't actiony enough.

I'll go out on a limb and hypothesize the problem is not that it's not Thiefy enough.

 
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19. Re: Thief Production Issues? Apr 27, 2013, 09:58 dumpy
 
I always thought Garret was a cool character, and the new look is definitely Desmondised.

You can only be cool if you're not trying to be cool, but people think you're cool anyway. So stop trying Eidos! Didn't you learn this at school?
 
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