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Broken Glass Studios’ Thief homage The Dark Mod is now a standalone experience

Saturday, 12 October 2013 16:15 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Broken Glass Studios has announced that its homage to Thief, The Dark Mod, is now a completely standalone stealth game, meaning you no longer need Doom 3 to play it.

TDM version 2.0 has had all the sounds, textures, particle effects, and models replaced; the AI has been improved; guards can hear better, AI are no longer “very easy to kill”; new gameplay has been added, along with some graphic improvements.

“Going standalone has been a mammoth undertaking,” said artistic lead Eric Pommer. “There were literally hundreds of assets that needed to be replaced, and around seventy maps that had to be checked to see whether any of those replacements broke anything.

“We’ve been testing for months, but it’s almost certain that we missed something, somewhere. If you see a black texture, a model buried in the floor, or something else unusual in a map, please let us know. If it was caused by 2.0 changes, we’ll make sure we fix it in the next update.”

Because of the removal and replacement of Doom 3 assets, some missions that used them are no longer compatible with TDM 2.0, which means if you are playing missions that you downloaded before 2.0, you may have trouble trying to run them. Most are fine, but a few missions will just crash while loading, and others will load but will have odd visual problems.

It is highly recommended that you delete all previously downloaded missions after updating to 2.0.

You can find out how to download The Dark Mod 2.0 and read up on more of the changes here.

If this is your first time hearing about it, have a look at the video below.

Thanks, Blue.

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13 Comments

  1. YoungZer0

    Ugh, that font.

    Gotta say, it looks pretty solid, even if the gameplay is extremely outdated, the art-direction bland and there’s no sense of being in an actual character.

    I guess those Fan-Fans that can never let go of old stuff will be pleased.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. DSB

    It’s not just about the specific mechanics though, those are old hat.

    I think it’s about wanting games that are firmly rooted in mechanics and allow you to really use them, so you get a sense of accomplishment, instead of having your hand held, playing as just another superhero, and being relied upon not to think too much, and just enjoy the pretty particle effects.

    In the vast majority of modern games, what you do isn’t your accomplishment at all, it’s the designers. All you’ve done at the end of it is exactly what he expected you to do. Everything’s a cue from “that guy”. In those old games, you could feel like you were the guy calling the shots.

    Of course some people are gonna be pissy if it isn’t a 1:1 remake, but fuck that noise. I think there’s a relevant point to be made about then and now, though.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. TheWulf

    After seeing that Thief has taken after Dishonored in going for the monochromatic, dead looking wastelands of of human filth and detritus, I was hoping that someone would pick up the Thief mantle of going for something more colourful, creative, and aesthetically pleasing.

    TheDarkMod seems to be picking up the slack quite well. It captures the weird steampunk of Thief quite nicely, not as nicely as Deadly Shadows does at times, perhaps, yet it does come close.

    @1

    Did you even play the tutorial mission? It’s beautiful. It’s a spit in the face of those who do this as a hobby to brush it off as bland, especially when it actually isn’t. And anyone who’s played the mod will tell you that. Yeah, the interface is a bit scrappy, but that’s the only negative thing I could say about the entire experience.

    I guess for those who obsess over monochromatic, dead looking wastelands of human filth and detritus as player environments, though, it might look bland. I have to sort of do mental acrobatics to comprehend that one, but I could see it, but it makes me sad that that sort of mindset would never be able to enjoy Trine 2 because Trine 2 would be bland.

    I find it quite lovely, though.

    @2

    [...] playing as just another superhero, and being relied upon not to think too much [...]

    It saddens me that #1 will never understand that.

    He wants to be told what to think by triple A games, this much is painfully obvious. He doesn’t want to ever have to be introspective. I think he’s a total extrovert, and that’s fine, but that kind of thinking is shallow. I think that triple A gaming experiences are meant purely for extroverts, these days. They’re meant to be shallow.

    You’re either a good guy, where the game keeps reinforcing this through your companions and other means, or you’re a bad guy, and the game keeps insisting that you’re a bad guy all of the time by trying to make you do bad things. And it doesn’t want you to examine it too much, it doesn’t want you to stop and ask yourself what kind of person you’re being or playing as.

    The lore dump we got of the new Thief game described Garrett as a goody-goody Robin Hood type. What that tells me is that it’s going to be another extroverted ‘turn your brain off’ adventure. It’s going to beg you to not think about it too much. But I do think about it!

    Whenever I was playing GTA IV and Nico was killing grannies while the game was begging me to see him as a good guy, I was thinking about it. When I was playing the two Prototype games and they were begging me to see the antagonist as a good guy, I was thinking about it. It made no sense!

    The reason I have so much love for Saints Row IV is that you actually play a bizarre character who’s neither purely good nor purely evil. He is what he is, and it makes you really question what sort of character you have on your hands. It makes you consider the nature of the person you’re playing, and it gets you into what motivates them, what pushes them forward, and why they are the way they are.

    With the original Garrett, he was a similar beast. Extroverts would have hated him because they don’t want to think about what they’re seeing or playing too much, they just want to have fun. But Garrett was as morally ambiguous as they come. He’d do what could be perceived as a good thing one moment, and a bad thing the next. All of this would be driven by his believable, human motivations.

    What characters have been boiled down to are these one-dimensional archetypes, and I see them as more like five year old children rather than human beings because they have such a black & white sense of morality. Maybe that’s how it is for extroverts and people who work that way, maybe they see the world as a completely black & white place. I don’t.

    I understand that morality, ethics, and motivations are the most complicated things that any writer could deal with. And we used to have some damned good writers. It’s funny — the voice actors have gotten better, but the writing’s gotten worse.

    A good example of what I’m talking about?

    The Wolf Among Us.

    Now, what kind of person is he? Can you define him in black & white terms? No, no you can’t. He’s a believable construct, he has his own motivations and rules, and he lives according to them. To understand him, you have to understand what drives him. And that makes him a more interesting character, and he’s definitely more interesting in the Telltale game thus far than he was in the comic books.

    So that’s going to make you think.

    The original Garrett also made you think.

    The new Garrett carries a neon sign on his back that says “Stop thinking! Stop thinking! Thinking itself is ungoodthinkful! I am a good guy! I am a good guy! I am a good guy!

    That’s not what I want from games.

    It may just be me, but that’s not what I want. And I’m getting tired of games being written in such a way that never invites us to stop and think about what our character is doing, or why.

    But maybe all I’m seeing is a shift from seeking an introverted audience that does like to stop and think about things, to an extroverted audience that likes to be told what to think. Perhaps that’s where the money is, so that’s what they make. At the same time, that’s why I tend to buy indies and play mods, more.

    That’s why I think a mod is better than the new commercially made Thief.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. TheWulf

    I’ve got another example too, come to think about it.

    The old Garrett was Marvel’s Black Cat character. She’d be stealing expensive things one moment, and helping Spidey save a life the next. She was a complicated character whom I was always happy to see turning up in the comics. I could actually dig into her character, but it’s more fun if you do so yourself.

    That’s very much like the old Garrett, right there.

    The new Garrett is about as far from Felicia Hardy as anyone could be. He’s essentially a one-dimensional Robin Hood character. He robs from the rich to give to the poor! And he trains apprentices to do the same, and the plot of this new Thief game is that one of his apprentices went rogue and he has to track her down and deal with her. Because he’s a paragon of virtue, he is.

    So the new game doesn’t really want you to think about it, it just wants you to accept that Garrett has a soul as kind of that of Captain America and to move on with the story.

    I’m not okay with that, personally.

    I like my characters being layered and driven by human motivations, rather than just being robots driven by a beGood() function on loop.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. KineticCalvaria

    Commenting just to say tl;dr.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. YoungZer0

    “I think it’s about wanting games that are firmly rooted in mechanics and allow you to really use them, so you get a sense of accomplishment, instead of having your hand held, playing as just another superhero, and being relied upon not to think too much, and just enjoy the pretty particle effects.”

    Ah, so that’s why so many people complain that you’re not playing the MASTERTHIEF anymore. Sorry, but I’m not buying it. This game doesn’t even have a lockpicking mini game, all you do is click and finish. Is it too much to ask of them to add a little bit of new elements? A little bit of their own ideas? The old Thief games were far from perfect gameplay and otherwise.

    I think you guys really need to replay them, because they weren’t as clever or hard as you think they were. Far from it.

    @3: “dead looking wastelands of human filth and detritus”

    Such a great sentence, you had to use it twice in the same comment. Bravo. The rest of the comment isn’t even worth the effort, you tend to avoid replying so I won’t bother with your baseless assumptions and misinterpretations of what I said. Keep being a dick.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. DSB

    @7 I’m not against any of that, and I don’t recall ever praising the original Thiefs as somehow being timeless masterpieces today. The difference isn’t in what they did, but rather fundamentally in what they put on the player.

    It was more common to expect the player to improvise back then, and while that was often incredibly annoying and laborious, I don’t know that it isn’t worth doing if you have mechanics that are rewarding enough.

    In Thiefs day, stuff like being able to put out the lights and use different arrows was “amazing”. Today you’d have to bring something a lot more interesting, and I don’t see any sign that the new Thief will.

    Of course I haven’t played the new Thief, but based on the previews, my gamer sense tells me that it won’t do anything you haven’t already done in Hitman, Assassins Creed or Dishonored.

    My problem is that most of their “ideas” seem to be from somewhere else. Generic AAA nonsense. Monkey see, monkey do.

    I mean if another game ripping off “Detective Mode” doesn’t scream creative bankruptcy, then I don’t know what does these days. How many times can you rehash that shit?

    This post is going a bit long now.. But isn’t there a fundamental problem there? Stuff like detective mode, obvious level design, visual cues – Look at Dishonored. Every ability in that game feels like it might have been included as a cheat code in a different game. I feel like I shouldn’t be able to do any of those things. It’s cheap, it’s easy, and I find myself exploiting the fuck out of the environment, instead of actually “beating” it.

    Instead of actually engineering a mechanic that makes it feel like you’re doing something extraordinary, game designers today are giving you powers like you’re Neo from the Matrix. It’s just extremely cheap and uninspiring to me. I’m really tired of always being “The One”. Can’t I just be an awesome flesh and blood thief?

    #7 2 years ago
  8. wildBoar

    I think the latest trailer speaks for itself

    +Garrets constant blabbing is going to be extremely annoying. Never played a Thief game and even I can see what DSB and Tldr is getting at. It looks bog standard conventional AAA, “we spent half the budget on this collapsable building and these twinkling particle effects” Etc.

    No one’s saying it’s going to be bad because of these things. 8/10 probly, patronizing game design tends to fare well with game critics.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Howie Phelterbottom

    @#7 YoungZer0

    “This game doesn’t even have a lockpicking mini game, all you do is click and finish. Is it too much to ask of them to add a little bit of new elements? A little bit of their own ideas? The old Thief games were far from perfect gameplay and otherwise.”

    Have you honestly played this game, because it sure does have a lock picking mini-game. It’s just not the ‘out of world’ gamey experience you’re expecting, with a HUD displaying the internals of the lock. In my opinion they did something better by making the player watch the position of the door latch and listen to the clicks of the lock mechanism to determine when to click in order to proceed to the next sequence. What you don’t seem to appreciate, either due to ignorance or personal opinion, is that they have taken the basics from the original games and updated them in very logical ways.

    Given the thin argument you’ve presented, I would be hard pressed to believe you even tried this game. If you have, then fine, but your opinion is just that an opinion. You’re not some gaming god genius, young zero.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. YoungZer0

    “Of course I haven’t played the new Thief, but based on the previews, my gamer sense tells me that it won’t do anything you haven’t already done in Hitman, Assassins Creed or Dishonored.”

    I’m actually okay with that, as long as the gameplay is a lot smoother and faster than in the previous Thief games. It doesn’t need to reinvent the wheel. If the mixture of all the gameplay elements is solid enough, I have no reason to dislike it.

    “I mean if another game ripping off “Detective Mode” doesn’t scream creative bankruptcy, then I don’t know what does these days. How many times can you rehash that shit?”

    That I can agree with, but I think it’s actually a nice tool if used right. Remember the “Detective Mode” in Undying? They used it for more than just hidden infos. We really have to see. But you’re right, it’s annoying that so many games these days use it. At least it makes sense that he has something like this, considering he has the eye.

    btw. is the eye magical, or technological?

    “Can’t I just be an awesome flesh and blood thief?”

    Again, if you’re THE Master Thief you have to be better than that. I understand what you’re getting at, but if you’re going to throw around that title, you better deliver. Don’t expect AAA games to fill that hole, because they are all about making the player feel powerful, even if they have to cheat to achieve that. Neither are AAA games known for innovation. So really you shouldn’t waste your time expecting them to deliver anything new.

    That’s why I like Indie games so much, they usually always try something new and fresh. But even they have their fair share of shallow platformer and minecraft gameplay ripoffs.

    While on the subject; THE LONG DARK has reached its goal. Celebration times.

    @10: You sure? I saw some gameplay footage of the character just standing in front of a treasure chest, and it clicked here and there and then it opened. I don’t think that’s a proper lockpicking mechanic. Cheap, really.

    Others judge the gameplay of the new Thief without ever touching it or seeing a real walkthrough and most of you seem to be fine with it, so why do I have to play the Dark Mod to judge it? :)

    “If you have, then fine, but your opinion is just that an opinion. You’re not some gaming god genius, young zero.”

    Holy shit, really? And here I thought my opinion would be law. Damn it. Thanks for the reality check. That’s a real twist.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Howie Phelterbottom

    You sure? I saw some gameplay footage of the character just standing in front of a treasure chest, and it clicked here and there and then it opened. I don’t think that’s a proper lockpicking mechanic. Cheap, really.

    Ok, so your comment was based in ignorance then.

    Yes, I’m sure there is a mini-game because I’ve played it

    Like I said, the new system exists within the game world and not as a separate HUD layer. The original Thief system only required you to hold down your mouse and wait for the lock to automatically pick itself. The TDM system cleverly disguises itself with the appearance of the original system but in fact you have to watch the door handle or lock latch and listen to the clicks for the sweet spot…like cracking a safe in a way. It’s certainly more realistic than a floating cut away of the inside of a lock. The interface has already been there for years in the original games, the TDM crew realized it and used it. I get the impression you feel it’s cheap because there is no 3D rendered internal view of the locks. That’s not cheap, it’s simply a minimalist design philosophy that is well in line with the original games.

    Others judge the gameplay of the new Thief without ever touching it or seeing a real walkthrough and most of you seem to be fine with it, so why do I have to play the Dark Mod to judge it? :)

    If you had been making an informed judgement about he lockpicking system in TDM that would have been completely different, but that wasn’t the case. You instead stated that there was ‘no’ lockpicking mini-game when in fact there is. That’s a different thing entirely.

    It’s also not true that others, including myself, have been blindly judging the new Thief gameplay based on videos. There has been no real gameplay yet, it’s all ‘demo’ videos. We also haven’t played it yet, so it’s not possible to judge what you call ‘gameplay’. What people are doing though is making informed criticisms based on what we know to be true and officially confirmed by the developers.

    Many systems being brought into the game are mechanics from other games that anyone with any gaming history would have had experience with. So we know how they work. Many of these systems are completely opposite to the original Looking Glass design aesthetic. Contextual leaning and jumping controls for example, quick time events, rope arrows that can only be shot into specific hot spots, RPG elements, etc. The original games were immerse stealth sims, but EM’s Thief has tossed that philosophy out the window, either by choice or ignorance, and have instead turned Thief into a standard AAA stealth game.

    Here is a snippet from the Looking Glass Thief post mortem.

    “Early on, the Thief plan was chock full of features and metagame elements: lots of player tools and a modal inventory user interface to manage them; multiplayer cooperative, death-match and “Theft-match” modes; a form of player extra-sensory perception; player capacity to combine world objects to create new tools; and branching mission structures. These and other “cool ideas” were correctly discarded.”


    Holy shit, really? And here I thought my opinion would be law. Damn it. Thanks for the reality check. That’s a real twist.

    Well, when you state false information as fact and word your opinion in such a way that it sounds like law, don’t be surprised if it’s interpreted that way.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. DSB

    @11 Thing is, AAA is in a unique position to provide those interesting mechanics. That’s why it’s so sad to give the player super powers, instead of the developers putting their minds to inventing an interesting system of movement, or stealth, or gadgetry.

    By giving the player superpowers, there’s no balance to worry about, because the player is fundamentally not balanced. Fewer limitations for the designers to worry about. It seems kinda lazy to me.

    It would be MUCH more interesting to use shadows, or audio cues, or even augmented hearing to give you an idea of where the enemies were. You don’t have to make people demigods, you can give the audience an experience through design.

    It also doesn’t have to be “ye olde traditional Thief remake” – Look at Splinter Cell. Some of those games are heavily inspired by Thief, and they do an amazing job of it, even though it features a crazy ass special forces guy with all kinds of modern gadgets. When Splinter Cell was good, it was every bit as good as Thief.

    Fair enough if people are happy enough with reruns, but it makes me despise AAA games. It’s like the 80′s where the market was flooded with completely idiotic action movies that had no reason to exist. I’m done with that crap.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. AluminumHaste

    Wow had to register just to respond to this moronic statement:

    @YoungZero
    “This game doesn’t even have a lockpicking mini game, all you do is click and finish. Is it too much to ask of them to add a little bit of new elements? A little bit of their own ideas? The old Thief games were far from perfect gameplay and otherwise.”

    Yes there is a minigame of sorts and it can be scaled in difficulty as well. To as simple as holding the use button on the lockpick and after 3 fails it will pick itself, to having to time each tumbler within a fraction of a second.
    Try it before even typing anything next time, you just sound like a moron.

    #13 1 year ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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