Welcome to the Thievery feature archive!
This is a store of all the small features ran on the main news page in case you missed them. Enjoy!
So who says a thief of my caliber can't enjoy a quiet evening's entertainment? The ritzy theatre at the edge of the City is playing a favorite of mine, and I wouldn't mind a sitting in on an Act or two.
Of course, as luck would have it, 'business' kept me busy until well after the show was finished and the house was empty.
But, as mom would say, 'when life gives you lemons, steal the oranges, too.'
There's bound to be plenty of loose cash between the seats. Those stuffy nobles always lose a bit at the shows. I'll just sneak in, and pick up enough to pay for my next ticket in tomorrow night. Odds are, the money will all be in the auditorium, which is no doubt guarded, so I'll need to find some alternate way inside.
I've heard rumors that this particular theatre has a history and a rather... unsettling... reputation. It seems that it is built on an old burial ground. It seems like everything worth going for IS in this city. But that's not the end of it:
The back alleys have always had bedtime stories of the cults that have grown and fallen over the years. This theatre, I hear, is no different. One of my 'business partners' tells me that underneath this seemingly innocent stretch of town is a network of undergound rooms, the home of one of these cults, and a particularly violent and curious one at that. Still, I was told that there would probably be some kind of ancient 'magical' relics lying around just calling out for me to pocket, and I was promised a good price if I could bring back a few. Shouldn't be too hard.
I don't believe in magic, but I've always wondered why Theatres had to be built at the edge of the City...
All comments and suggestions on Theatre are welcome here!
"Grange" is my primary level contribution to the Thievery mod. It's very much a traditional Thiefy kind of level in which you are to infiltrate a mansion in pursuit of your ill-gotten gains (whilst avoiding the guards), and then high-tailing it out of there. However, we have the advantage of being able to use the power of the Unreal Engine in order to create pilfering environments in far more detail than has been seen before in the single player Thief games.
For all of us building the maps for Thievery, it has been a bit more complex than stringing rooms full of loot together - a lot of careful thought is required. I'll explain about Grange in a bit more to help illustrate what I mean.
In order to help the players (who can be thieves or guards) find their way around, and keep tabs on the situation, Grange is set on multiple levels, so players can look out across the grounds of the house and see other parts of the level from different vantage points. It's not just a mansion, though........should you sneak in through the bath house, skulk through the vaults via the garden, or perhaps you should tiptoe through the kitchen and up into the house? Or should you just run up to the front door and knock? (Hint: No) Some ways may be quicker than others, but can you succesfully sneak past that guard house, and which shadows can you successfully hide in?
Should you wish to play against AI, it's also worth mentioning the brilliant AI system we have which has been written by our resident AI guru, Joel. This lets me assign all kinds of patrol routes to the guards, give them orders, specify how they should act towards the players, and control how alert they are with a whole range of parameters. The guards will even run and get help, set off configurable alarms and hunt the player with a variety of weaponry, again, all able to be configured by the level designer.
With all these aspects of gameplay to consider, it's quite a challenge to merge them all together with feedback from beta testers as something that looks good, plays well on the majority of PCs and provides a fun, balanced game for both teams.
I'm hoping we'll see some more great levels contributed by the community once the first external beta of the mod is released!
All comments and suggestions on Grange are welcome here!
- Broadhead arrow
- Water arrow
- Vine arrow
- Smoke arrow
- Footstep arrow
- Crack arrow
- Health potion
- Catfall potion
- Invisibility potion
- Breathing potion
- Speed potion
- Standard bolt
- Fire bolt
- Tag bolt
- Paralyse bolt
- Watcher trap
- Health potion
- Speed potion
If you have any comments, or any clever ideas for more equipment, post your thoughts in our weapons thread now!
Here's a photo of a real pumpkin, carved by our 3D artist Jered, showing off his modelling skills in the real world:
Wallpaper by Cythe.
640x480 | 800x600 | 1024x768
In Thievery you can join either the Thieves or the Guards, each one having a different feel to control, different equipment and different goals. Our character modeller, Praimen, has constructed new player models for Thievery, modelled, skinned and animated. With over 60 motions, this is no mean feat.
With one of our artists, Cythe, joining him in the skinning department, there will be a variety of appearances to choose for your thief or guard.
One of the first things we tackled with Thievery code was the way the player moved. We wanted to ensure the game felt like the cunning, sneaky experience that it is, while avoiding the fast, gliding, floaty sensation you tend to get with UT.
New movement speeds have been added, players will be able to run, walk and sneak their way around the maps, moving quickest when running forwards and slower when backing up (unlike UT's instant acceleration, run madly in all directions).
Players can mantle up onto ledges and lean round corners to see what's up ahead. The thief will feel swift and sharp, while the guard is a heavy powerhouse, a force to be reckoned with. We have proper footstep sounds as you walk over different surfaces (different footsteps for the lighter thief compared to the heavy guard).
With this feel to the player and a familiar, intuitive, 'right-click to interact' interface, you will find yourself immersed in Thievery...
Here's an article on Thievery from Issue 102 of PC Gamer UK:
Give it a read!
ThieveryUT's AI is a far cry from Unreal Tournament's "jump around like a headless chicken" style bots, which has been one of the primary goals from the start of development. Thankfully, UT's broad range of AI functions and smart object hierarchy mean this goal has been accomplished.
Another goal was to simply make the AI's behaviour and actions as close to Thief's AI as possible, and then to take it even further. As a result, Thief players will instantly recognise the AI's various states of awareness, from idle to fully alert and hunting down an enemy.
Mappers have a wide range of control over the level through the bots using UT's Trigger system and the AI's list of Triggers, which get raised at various stages of alertness and upon certain events. The AI players can also be controlled by triggers, for example, a bot can be told to 'Move to point X' when someone walks into a room.
Human players will be able to do a wide range of actions, from taking speed potions to throwing flares to activating the alarm. A key goal with the ThieveryUT AI is to implement all features of the Human-controlled players into the computer-controlled players. This means hiding in the shadows might not be the best idea if the guard you are evading is carrying flares.
The basic weapon of offense is the sword. It is favoured by guards for its appeal in quick execution, and by the wary thief as a helpful tool in case things get nasty.
The basic moves people use when equipped with a sword are the block - to deflect attacks; the slash, which does a small amount of damage to the enemy, but is quick to execute, and an overhead swing attack which takes longer to prepare.
As guards are more heavily armoured, thieves are at a disadvantage when using this weapon..
This sock shaped apparel, developed over centuries of trial and error, has evolved to become what many consider the essential weapon for any hardworking thief. Filled with pieces of heavy rock, and used to deliver a sharp blow to the rear of an unsuspecting head.
In-game, you can deliver a short, fast and weaker blow to the head, which has a large chance of sucessfully knocking your oppponent out, or you can hold out for a longer, more powerful swipe that'll be sure to put your opponent to sleep.
Also, here's a Thievery wallpaper by one of our artists/designers, Rev. Edward Byrne:
Check it! (you can find Rev's website here,)
All content (c) Thievery UT team, 2001