View Full Version : Don't make Thief3 too dark...I can't see..

10th Nov 2003, 14:46
I bought, enjoyed and played Thief1...

I bought, and played a little of Thief2..But I gave up in frustration because it was too dark and I couldn't see anything...I adjusted the brightness, contrast, hue, etc. of my monitor and the game, but it was still too dark for me to play....

If you want me to purchase Theif3, then you will have to demonstrate to me that I can see what I am doing in the game.

Thanks for reading..

10th Nov 2003, 16:36
I haven't run across anyone else who had that problem; so let's assume for the moment that the issue is not the game itself.

Did you play in a dark room? That is highly recommended. Lights on in the room create glare on the screen, and cause the player's pupils to close down.

If you've never tried that, load it up and give it a shot. Let us know what you think!

Mr. Perfect
10th Nov 2003, 20:35
In both games the - and + keys change the darkness of the game. I usually find it to dark to, but these keys fix it.

11th Nov 2003, 02:47
Actually for me, only the +\- keys worked in T2 for in-game adjustments but not for T1 (or in my case TG) for some reason...so I had to use monitor settings for in-game changes and only could change gamma so much in "options" before playing. However, using those other keys for T2 solved everything when in-game :) Good Luck and Good Hunting!

SK Denton
13th Nov 2003, 01:46
Originally posted by Bat-mite
I haven't run across anyone else who had that problem; so let's assume for the moment that the issue is not the game itself.

Did you play in a dark room? That is highly recommended. Lights on in the room create glare on the screen, and cause the player's pupils to close down.

If you've never tried that, load it up and give it a shot. Let us know what you think!

Yup, games like the thief or DX series should be played in a dark room or at night with the lights very dim. If I try to play during the day I can't see anything, but when I play at night it almost seems too bright.

Not to mention these games are supposed to be dark that is why they give you flares in the thief series and light augmentation in DX.

13th Nov 2003, 17:41
I don't have thief 2 anymore... So I cannot try it out.. Although tradifionally I play with the room dark, and an oil lamp and few candles beside my monitor.. Not in front of the monitor where it can reflect.

Thief 2 was unusualy dark as far as games go. Thief 1 was a lot brighter..

Just keep it in mind to make the game visibly playable..


14th Nov 2003, 06:37
It is true that Thief is too dark. Most people can cope with it, but not all.

There is a gamma control in Options Video that can be turned all the way up. Do it when there is no mission loaded, i.e., on game startup, and the setting will stick. Also, adjust your monitor brightness up a bit. In these circumstances you should be able to play in broad daylight if you have the right equipment.

The unplayable situation usually occurs only when you have a dark video card plus a dark monitor. I had an original TNT that was much too dark, but it played OK on a good monitor. With an older monitor, it was unplayable. The new Geforce card works with the old monitor, but only after extreme adjustment. The new monitor and the Geforce still requre gamma adjustment above default position, but there is a little headroom.

That said, these are just bandaid fixes. I agree that the Thief games are too dark because most people play with gamma turned up. The optimum position for a control should be the default middle positiion, not pegged to the right. That gives more freedom of adjustment and allows access to the game for those with dim equipment.

It is as if the developers said, "This game should be dark, and we are not going to give anyone the slack to make it too light." Big mistake, because they did not consider the variability of equipment.

So, listen up, Ion Storm. This is a valid complaint. And, while you are listening, how about ending that silly blackout of information. :)

14th Nov 2003, 17:09
Go get 'em , Peter!

SK Denton
15th Nov 2003, 02:36
Um, Thief is NOT too dark.

Get over it already. The game is supposed to be that way and it is fine. I nor have thousands of others had any problems with the darkness.

For goodness sake you are a thief that only goes out in the dead of night where most of the lighting is from torches ie they don't illuminate a whole lot.

I am glad that when I walk down an unlit hall in thief that is pitch black I can't see anything cause that is what it would really be like.

If you like cheating and jacking up the gamma so that every line of every suface is visible even in pitch black darkness that is your perogative, but don't complain about it being too dark. After all that is the whole point of the game...sheesh!

15th Nov 2003, 10:15
You are dead wrong, SK. You neglected to make an important distinction. It is not too dark for YOU. A great many people have complained about it. So let's just say that thousands are happy but hundreds are not. As I said, the game can become unplayable. It can be so dark that you can't see well even in a well-lit room. It depends on your monitor and video card. There is no need for you to act superior just because you don't have a problem. :( And, different people like different visual effects. Maybe you like to grope around in pitch blackness, but others may not like it, or they may experience eye strain as a result. I adjust my gamma so it suits me. Just right. It is not your place to tell me what I am seeing and what I am not. The implication that I am cheating is outrageous. :mad:

15th Nov 2003, 10:54
I would like to make one more comment, and then I'll shut up, unless someone else comes along and riles me. :)

Some may like to play Thief at night with the lights out. I agree that makes a big difference. Others may not want to be restricted to time of day or to throw a blanket over their head, or whatever. I personally like to play Thief during the day, and at night I share my office with another person who likes the lights on. So, those are my criteria. Again, this is the way I like or need to play the game. I feel that there ought to be enough range in the adjustments to make it enjoyable for me and everyone else with different viewing criteria. If those who like to play in the dark need to turn the gamma or monitor down, that would be fine with me.

This is similar to the situation with TV. I am sure that many find it difficult to watch their TV in a sunlit room. I would rather buy a TV that has enough brightness so I can watch it when I want to. Some say you should watch TV in a darkened theater environment. I say, all the more power to you if you can do that. That is not how I operate.

SK Denton
15th Nov 2003, 18:33
Turning the gamma all the way up IS cheating. What you are essentially doing is giving garrett night vision when he isn't supposed to have it.

Why do you think that the programmers put some loot in dark areas? The first map in Thief 2 requires you to switch off a light to see some loot on a ledge, but with the gamma jacked up you cheat and easily see the loot without solving the puzzle.

In the haunted catacombs in thief there were certain hallways that were dark on purpose so that you wouldn't easily find your way, but if you have nightvision (gamma jacked up), you cheat and will quickly find your way to where you are going.

The purpose of thief being dark is so that you CAN'T SEE EASILY so complainging that it is difficult to see is foolish cause that is exactly what it is supposed to be like.

The darkness in the thief games is essential to the gameplay and if you give garrett nightvision by jacking up the gamma you cirrcumvent an essential part of the gameplay and thus cheat. It is akin to using a cheat code to fly in a platformer where a lot of jumping over pits is required.

15th Nov 2003, 19:43

You don't have a clue what we are talking about. We are talking about turning up the gamma so we can play the game. We are not talking about turning it up to make dark places light and loot easier easier to find. Obviously you have never seen a dark setup where this adjustment was required. I have.

And, again, it is the pregrogative of any player to adjust it how he wants to or needs to for his particular equipment of lighting conditions or to avoid eye strain. My setup is quite dark in all the dark places, and it has perfect Thief atmosphere, in my opinion, yet my gamma is at about 90% of full. I had another computer where it was totally unplayable, like Neutrino. Unless you are in my room looking at my screen, you are not in a position to criticise my gamma settings. Even if you were in my room, on the first comment you made like that I would just usher you out of the house. :(

You should consider that not all people have your computer, your room, your lighting conditions, and your taste in darkness (whatever that is). And that each setup requires a different gamma setting -- that is why the adjustment is there. And you would be well advised not to accuse others of cheating, especially when you can have no basis to make that claim, since you cannot see our screens.

Any further rude remarks by you will be deleted.

Old Man
16th Nov 2003, 02:36
It was Myst that I seem to recall had a gamma adjustment thingy in the set up with a dark grey square on a black background that the user was supposed to adjust the gamma until the grey square was just barely visible. A simple enough tool that pretty much guaranteed that the player was looking at the game the way the developers intended. Gamma-wise anyway. And you could change this set up if you switched from a bright room to a dim room too. That would eliminate all the PC/video card variations too, wouldn't it? Of course they'd have to allow enough adjustment range for all the hardware at the extreme ends too. Guess that's just one more reason the developers and publishers really go for the console route -- eliminates all this. Shoot, I can get a different gamma just by switching the resolution. My card displays 640x480 much darker than 1024x768.

16th Nov 2003, 03:54

I deleted your posts. You are trying to spoil a perfectly good thread. Move on, please.

17th Nov 2003, 21:01
TRI's Nocturne has a set of mountains on a horizon that are varying shades of grey. Their suggestion is to turn down your brightness until the top range of mountains blends into the night sky. This is probably similar to what Old Man is talking about with Myst.

With a set-up like that, you can at least figure out if your machine can achieve the desired brightness, and then adjust accordingly; i.e., if you can't make the mountains disappear or appear, you know you are not operating at the recommended level.

21st Nov 2003, 23:06
I know what you mean, I have the same problem. Only when there isn't any light in the room can I clearly see what I am doing when playing the game. After all, Garrett "works" only when night falls so it's more realistic. :)

21st Dec 2003, 12:20
I tend to play any game with the curtain drawn if possible, and both Thief 1 & 2 are almost unplayable without (even then I turn the gamma up just a tad). It has never occurred to me this would be an issue for other people.

One thing I do recommend though, is playing Return to the Cathedral from Thief 1 late at night, with volume at a reasonable level, and definitely no lights on!

I am not ashamed to admit that it took me several months to complete Thief 1, because I was unable to complete RTTC. I don't know if it's the very low-pitched sounds or just the fact that it is, in my opinion, one of the best levels of any game ever made, but I nearly crapped myself every time I tried to play it! ( I have beaten it now though!)

11th Jan 2004, 14:26
I also play games in a pitch black room (more or less).

One thing that hasn't been mentioned here. Garret is a Professional Thief, he works at night. Think about it, he would infact develop a sort of night vision. Being able to make out silloetts in almost pitch black and decipher what they are. Ofcourse, this is only a game. So, turning up the Gamma to where you can make out things in a dark room is perfectly normal. And needing to use a light switch in a pitch black room does add for immersion.

Just know, practicly every single game out has Gamma correction in the settings. And Yes, it does need to be adjusted on almost every game, to some extent.

UT2003 for instance, some fan maps are so dark that they are pretty much unplayable (unenjoyable). I hate running into walls and feeling my way to a friggin dark corridor with a light at the end of the tunnel. It's lame. So I adjust the gamma all the time in that game. But I don't turn night into day either.

12th Jan 2004, 15:18
Dark Or Bright? That is the Question, hmmmm.........

Well my answer is I dont care with a game this great. If it wouldn't have been so darker then you wont get into the character of Garret, and hence it would not have been so interesting and all of us wouldnt have played it and I would not be replying to this thread and.. uh.. somebody...... uh... please give me some words....

The point is this game is great and we would accept anything that makes it better....

17th Jan 2004, 18:17
What an interesting thread
obviously in this instance, its a case of each to his/her own
and to say that someone is cheating by using the gamma correction provided by the game makers ( at either end of the scale) is of course ridiculous.
on a personal note , i play with the lights out in the room im in, but with a light from another room coming in , so i can see the keyboard!
I have played during the day, and i have to close the curtains and adjust the gamma somewhat to be able to do so
personally, i hope they leave it just the way it is.

11th Jan 2010, 14:12
I always thought the game was meant to be dark myself even without mucking about with the gamma and lighting and all the rest. The point is for Garrett to stay in the shadows and to constantly be swathed in blackness so he's not seen. He has the eye to see where others cannot - it's just a pity the eye doesn't work when he moves, but it just means you have to be clever, pay attention to direction and keep checking with the eye. I thought it was all meant to be the way gameplay was intended?

11th Jan 2010, 15:14
Nice piece of thread necromancy. This thread is 6 years old.

Of course Thief is meant to be dark. But read the details of the discussion. Some hardware configurations are, or have been in the past, too dark to be playable. Of course, with the advent of LCD monitors, which are universally much too bright, and which generally have poor blacks, this complaint of too dark will go away. Thief was developed when people used CRTs. I still use a CRT - a new one. The midpoint of the gamma scale has always been unplayable for me. Each configuration is different.

11th Jan 2010, 15:19
I knew the thread was old, I haven't been back here for quite a few years myself. However, all the same, the thread is there and open.

I'm playing with the darkest setting possible which really gets me in that stealthy sneaky slinking mood for thievery ;)

12th Jan 2010, 08:26
I knew the thread was old, I haven't been back here for quite a few years myself. However, all the same, the thread is there and open.

I'm playing with the darkest setting possible which really gets me in that stealthy sneaky slinking mood for thievery ;)

Considering the point has been well and made for why the gamma is an issue under different tech, physiological, and environmental circumstances than yours, completely separate from personal preferences, and you dug up an old thread to show how good you are at ignoring the facts for the purposes of being smug, I question your real intentions.:rolleyes:

12th Jan 2010, 09:54
Thread necromancy is generally frowned upon. If it's 6 years old, start a new thread.

Sorry, it's just that every other bloody forum I go to starts yelling at me for opening new threads when there are year old threads at the back of the lot. Here I'm getting yelled at for doing what I thought was right. Can't win..