Welcome to the Take 5 community Q&A #3! Thief fans have submitted their questions about the game, and the development team has taken 5 minutes to answer them. This week, I sat down with Thief’s Game Director Nic Cantin and Narrative Director Steven Gallagher to have them answer the top fan-submitted questions. Here’s what they had to say:
NyteSama: Will the current story that has been revealed to us so far (the setup) be given to us in the form of gameplay, a cinematic, or text?
Steven: Specifically to answer your question about the story revealed so far – “the setup” – it’s presented primarily through gameplay at the beginning of the game. There are of course cinematics regularly throughout the game, readables and the other lore as we’ve talked about previously, but one thing from a design perspective that we wanted to avoid was having cinematics that kick in halfway through a mission and interrupt the gameplay.
Cryllia: Will we see Benny anywhere at any point in the game?
Steven: We definitely have a dark city and a mature storyline, but if the game was nothing but that it would be quite relentless and harrowing for everybody. If you look hard enough in the City, like I know you will, you’re definitely going to be able to find moments that will make you laugh, that will make you smile. I won’t spoil specific characters or storylines today, but I can say that fans of Benny won’t be disappointed.
Silshas: A fairly large element of previous Thief games, and many other stealth games, is the scarcity of your resources (for example, being dumped into a Haunted Cathedral with only a handful of equipment that wasn't sufficient to eliminate the undead opposition you ran into) and that in itself provides a motivation to proceed through a level as unnoticed as possible. How large an emphasis is being placed on equipment limitations as an element of the new Thief game?
Nic: Equipment limitation is completely a part of what it is to be a thief. It’s part of preparing yourself for each mission. It’s a big reason why the hub is there – you want to be able to prepare for each mission and choose how you’re going to manage that mission. Are you going to play as stealthy as possible, or more aggressive? The number of arrows you can carry is limited, so your play style is going to decide what kind of tools and equipment you’ll want bring and also how you’ll choose to upgrade your equipment. So yes, this is an important element in the game.
Keeper_Annals : You mentioned many times that the original fans will be pleased with the game, and that we will have the ability to do stealth. My question is, however, besides having the ability, would there be a difficulty level where it is strictly necessary to do it, such as a difficulty level where killing is not allowed?
Nic: For sure, players will be given the challenge of not killing anybody. We do this in different ways, like giving players the goal of not killing anybody as individual mission objectives, or by having achievements for completing the whole game without killing anybody, for example. It’s also worth mentioning that aggressive play also brings its own set of challenges and can be a very difficult play style as well – but Thief is a stealth game, so we really want to encourage players to play the game in stealth.
vowdy: Can you explain the (non-focus) lockpicking mechanism a bit more?
Nic: The standard lockpicking works just like it does in the previous Thief games – we didn’t want to reinvent that mechanic. We have introduced brand new lockpicking mechanics as well for players who choose to enable focus. When standard lockpicking isn’t going to be fast enough, it allows you to “see” into the lock mechanism to help you perform the pick faster.
A big thanks to Imprv for this question. There were so many great questions this week it was hard to narrow them all down, but I liked this one so much that I decided to include it as a bonus. I guess this technically makes this a “Take 6” Q&A?
lmprv: What aspects of the game are you most proud of?
Nic: For me, I’m most proud of the immersion of Garrett into the world. I think that it’s really there. When he enters a back alley, you can feel the scary mood of that environment. When you’ve managed to break into a house, you find yourself feeling like a master thief. I think that feeling, that vibe, is really important. Truly placing Garrett into his world I think is what I’m most proud of. It was a lot of work for us to achieve, but that immersion of Garrett being in his world really brings you into the game.
Steven: What I’m proudest of is that if you sat down and had a beer with me, I would be able to overwhelm you with the amount of detail we’ve put into structuring this world in a credible way. Everything leans on itself in a way that makes sense. If you continue to live in and explore the Thief universe, more and more you will understand about this incredible world. It has existed for many, many, many hundreds of years, and will continue to do so – The City will never die.
Thanks, guys! And of course, thanks to everybody who submitted their questions for today's Q&A. Stay tuned to the official Thief forums for more, and start thinking about your question for the next session!