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Thief vs AAA Gaming (Game Design Video Essay by Dom Giuca)

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Leo K's picture
Leo K
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPqwDGXxLhU

A detailed video essay by YouTube user Dom Giuca focusing on old favourites Thief: The Dark Project and Thief II: The Metal Age, and how these old dogs hold up against the AAA gaming industry of today. Jermaine, Aurel and Phi would probably enjoy this video the most, but it's worth a watch for everyone on TheHiddenBlade, I believe.

CHAPTERS:
1. Introduction - 0:00
2. Removal of Elements - 1:48
3. Maps and Quest Markers - 3:13
4. "Gaminess" in Level Design - 7:26
5. Storytelling in Gameplay - 11:08
6. "Choice" in Gaming - 15:36
7. Vulnerability - 17:09
8. Conclusion - 23:39

161803398874989's picture
161803398874989
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Watched it like seven months ago. Tongue

Overall the points he makes are pretty valid, but he comes across as bitter towards modern AAA gaming more often than not. There's things that triple A titles do right, but the video creator doesn't appear to see that.

_________________

"Betraying the Assassins is never good for one's health."
"Well, neither is drinking liquor, but I'm drawn to its dangers all the same."

Leo K's picture
Leo K
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The way I took it was, it's not so much he doesn't SEE what AAA titles do right, it's simply not the focus of his video nor his viewpoint, so there's no reason to include that information in it for fear of diluting his final product. Towards the end, he does sprinkle in some of Modern Gaming's upsides, and despairs that, if they're so good at THESE things, why can't they be better at THIS thing.

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aurllcooljay
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Joined: 06/13/2010

The new Thief was available on Games for Gold, so I got to play some. I didn't mind it being linear; just wish there weren't different buttons used for opening a window, picking up objects, and other actions. Would make more sense if one button was used to interact with all objects instead.

The original Thief games look groundbreaking with all those great ideas put in there. Wooden ceilings, marble floors, useful gadgets. Look forward to playing them if I ever get the chance.

We've discussed here how minimaps take away from observing the environment, but I don't agree that quest markers outside the minimap are all that bad. Sure that's more handholding, but it doesn't take as much away from immersion. The hand drawn map with its jotted notes actually looks fun (and while we are on the subject of maps, Jermaine has some pretty innovative ideas in the "just a map" topic).

So I had this one idea for a minimap that doesn't take so much away from immersion. Generally there are two kinds. A 2D minimap usually in the shape of a circle, square or rectangle. Then there's one that's a straight line, like a one dimensional compass.

I was thinking of a minimap representing your line of sight, in the shape of a cone. This means you can only see things in front of you/the camera. Missions wouldn't appear on the minimap unless they were in the area covered by it. For markers, I'd go with a toggable arrow on the ground pointing in the general direction of the objective. Enemies behind walls will only appear on the minimap if they are moving, because otherwise you wouldn't sense them.

Not sure if that would work out well, just an idea I had.

161803398874989's picture
161803398874989
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Sooo... Skyrim? That leads to the exact same running-around-not-looking-anywhere problem a minimap does.

_________________

"Betraying the Assassins is never good for one's health."
"Well, neither is drinking liquor, but I'm drawn to its dangers all the same."

Leo K's picture
Leo K
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Joined: 12/30/2009

I think that idea may work better in a dedicated Stealth game, which Skyrim is assuredly not. The idea of only being able to "see" what your character can see is pretty cool, and at least grounds things in a neat way. I don't really have any input on execution or anything. I'd have to see it done in an actual game at least once first.

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brice7985 (not verified)