Hot on the heels of last week’s in-engine community teaser video, today the Eidos-Montréal Thief team is incredibly excited to bring you the first official trailer for Thief!
Eidos-Montreal’s Thief allows players to experience the fantasy of being Garrett, THE master thief on PC, PS4 and other next generation consoles. To learn more about the trailer, I spoke with Narrative Director Steven Gallagher and Audio Director Jean-Christophe Verbert to answer a question that we know has been on the minds of our fans.
So, I’ll cut right to the chase here... On behalf of the community, I have to ask: was Stephen Russell ever considered for the role of Garrett?
Steven: Yes, absolutely, Stephen was considered quite heavily. We actually had him in for some preliminary vocal recordings in fact.
Jean-Christophe: Yes, it was actually very early during development at that time that we had him involved, before we made the decision to record our actor’s voices and their movement at the same time using a full performance capture technique.
What’s full performance capture?
Jean-Christophe: Fans at home might have seen a little bit about this during our earlier Game Informer coverage, actually. It’s when we capture the full performance of an actor all at once – the voice, movements and facial animations, all in one take. The actors all wear a full mocap suit, including a microphone, a helmet and a face-tracking camera, and we record the entire scene with every character, all at once.
What are the benefits of a full performance capture?
Jean-Christophe: Immersion. Being able to capture the voice at the same time as the actors' movements and facial expressions, all while the actors play off each other, delivers a much more convincing experience than traditional techniques of recording each characters' dialogue separately and then animating everything by hand afterwards.
Steven: Yes, exactly that. Immersion. We want Thief to be a really rich, story-driven experience. Being able to deliver the narrative in the most convincing and believable way is a really important part of providing that experience.
So, back to Stephen Russell then. Why did using a full performance capture technique effect your decision?
Steven: With the new visual of Garrett we'd created, we found that there was a disconnect that we couldn't ignore between the concepted character and Stephen’s voice today.
Jean-Christophe: Yes. And to answer your question directly, the actor playing Garrett needed to be able to perform his own stunts. Garrett’s a really athletic guy. We could have pasted Stephen’s voice on top of the actions and stunts of someone else, but this wouldn’t appear natural. It really wouldn’t make any sense to capture the full performance for our other characters, but not for our star.
Steven: We’re absolutely huge fans of Stephen’s work on the classic Thief games. But when it came down to it, we ultimately realized that holding onto Steven as the voice of Garrett just for the sake of our nostalgia would be like wanting to cast Sean Connery again in the new 007 movies... It’s a nice thought, but honestly, it wouldn’t make sense for anything else other than nostalgia.
We’ll be bringing you more from the guys on the first official trailer soon. Plus, hot on its heels, we’ll also be introducing you to the voice of Garrett himself. To top that, we’ll also be bringing you the very FIRST, exclusive, in-game footage of Thief in just a few days. Looking forward to sharing more with you all!