I can’t leave well enough alone. No sooner did I leave games journalism and cancel my podcast than I return to games writing by penning a piece for Rock Paper Shotgun.
The article in question, Stealing History: Dark Camelot and Thief, investigates Thief: The Dark Project and the two cancelled projects that preceded it – Better Red Than Undead and Dark Camelot. With help from the lovely Randy Smith I came up with unused art, early trailers, concept details and the stories from a whole bunch of the original team.
I really like writing these sorts of articles and I think it’s a shame there aren’t more of them. Preserving the stories and relics of an industry is an important role for most sector journalists – but the only writer I know who’s explored it lately is the awesome Rick Lane. Rick, who recently took over from me as Games Editor of Custom PC Magazine and Bit-tech, wrote a Eurogamer piece about Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines that’s well worth reading.
I’ve been meaning to replay Thief: The Dark Project for literally years, but on the few occasions when I had time to play it, I never felt I could. One of the side affects of games journalism was that I was reluctant to spend time replaying old games – it always seemed better to spend time playing new things, keeping up to date.
So, when I quit games journalism to take my new job, the first thing I did was reinstall Thief as a way to reclaim my hobby. Now, after spending five weeks of weekends finishing the game, I’ve come to a weird conclusion.
That conclusion is that, while I still very much enjoyed playing it again, Thief is a slightly broken game. There are a lot of great things about it, but there are things that are broken about it too – and on a very basic level.
When discussing fear in games, it’s almost impossible to ignore the shadow cast by The Shalebridge Cradle, the infamously chilling mission from 2004’s Thief: Deadly Shadows. So, what better way to start Season Two than by talking to RPS co-founder and comics writer Kieron Gillen to tackle that topic directly?
Discussing Shalebridge with Unlimited Hyperbole, Kieron talks about how Deadly Shadows evolved throughout development, the inspiration behind the level’s approach to fear and the best thing he’s ever accomplished as a games journalist.
Unlimited Hyperbole is a weekly podcast about videogames and the stories we tell about them. The show is divided into seasons of five episodes, each with a topic that’s used as a prompt when interviewing special guests. This season we’re talking about “Fear Itself” – but for more information about the podcast itself, read after the jump.
This week Unlimited Hyperbole talks to Brendon Chung, the designer of Atom Zombie Smasher and Gravity Bone, about his favourite game and the very definite effect it had on him as both a fan and an independent game developer.
Released in 1998 by Looking Glass Studios, Thief: The Dark Project has been repeatedly hailed as not just one of the first true stealth games, but also one of the best games ever made. Looking back, Brendon discusses both what makes Thief such a triumph of world design and how it shaped his own games more than a decade later.
Unlimited Hyperbole is a weekly podcast about videogames and the stories we tell about them. The show is divided into seasons of five episodes, each with a topic that’s used as a prompt when interviewing special guests. This season we’re talking about “My Favourite Game” – but for more information about the podcast itself, read after the jump.