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geekytom
11th May 2009, 14:36
Journey Into The Cradle

The Cradle is the penultimate level in 2004’s “Thief: Deadly Shadows”. “Journey Into the Cradle”, originally printed in Issue 146 of PC GAMER, is a ten-page dissection of the level. It is, as far as I’m aware, the longest article any major magazine has printed on a single level in a videogame. Lots of people seem to like it.

Unlike the other portfolio items, where I’ve provided my raw text, the following is a PDF. While it’s bad for the bandwidth of the world, it’s the one piece which really does rely on the layout to operate correctly. All the visual elements were painstakingly created by Gamer’s long suffering art editor Mark Wynne, who has my eternal gratitude for making me look good. While I’m in a Oscar-award mode, I should also thank Jordan “Null” Thomas for his assistance, particularly providing one of my favourite interviews.
http://gillen.cream.org/thecradle.pdf


http://gillen.cream.org/wordpress_html/?page_id=618

Bukary
11th May 2009, 14:39
I do not think Mr. Thomas wants to leave 2K right now. :)

UrUkUs
11th May 2009, 14:42
http://gillen.cream.org/wordpress_html/?page_id=618

hell yeah, this level was amazing, i wish T4 will have sort of "The Cradle 2";)

StalinsGhost
11th May 2009, 14:42
Considering he's the Project Lead on Bioshock 2, I think you'll have a hard job.


hell yeah, this level was amazing, i wish T4 will have sort of "The Cradle 2";)

Certainly. Remember the Cradle really was the spiritual successor to "Return to the Cathedral" (another level that received detailed treatment in PCG UK) in Thief 1, and by a different guy. So it's perfectly possible for them to recall both those level's souls :D

Lady_Of_The_Vine
11th May 2009, 14:52
Read the official press release in City Watch thread:
http://forums.eidosgames.com/showthread.php?p=987263&posted=1#post987263


Development is under way and the team is looking to recruit the very best talent as production ramps up. If you are a world-class developer looking to join the talented Thief 4 team, visit www.eidosmontreal.com to submit your résumé or www.thief4.com to join the community discussion.

UrUkUs
11th May 2009, 15:09
perhaps some one should email Jordan Thomas, to get his ass to T4 level design?

DarthEnder
11th May 2009, 21:39
I can certainly appreciate how epic the Cradle is from an artistic standpoint, but man, I hated that level.

I personally can't stand tolerate survival horror games because I hate feeling frightened and it's not the reason I play video games so obviously the Cradle was pure hell as the scariest goddamn thing I ever had to play through in a video game.

Pyryp
12th May 2009, 09:12
Please dont take him! I hated the cradle! I dont want to feel frightened while playing a game. It took me for ever to get throught that level 'cause i had to stop playing from time to time.

Terr
12th May 2009, 09:36
Please dont take him! I hated the cradle! I dont want to feel frightened while playing a game. It took me for ever to get throught that level 'cause i had to stop playing from time to time.

Ah, but you didn't have enemies leaping out from closets and trying to eat your face. That's why I can play The Cradle (with the lights on ;)) but not Dead Space.

It managed "scary" purely on a psychological level and not on a "horror movie" level, and I think that was what made it great. Sure, you could be caught unawares if you were incautious, but there a no stupid scripting "thing drops down and attacks" business. It just made you think it could happen.

Lady_Of_The_Vine
12th May 2009, 10:05
It managed "scary" purely on a psychological level and not on a "horror movie" level, and I think that was what made it great.

Absolutely. It played upon our own individual imagination and fears and it worked brilliantly. :thumb:

pants10
12th May 2009, 20:53
I'll be happy as long as they have solid non-linear levels. The cradle was amazing, I can't argue that. Possibly the scariest level I've ever played. However, I do not think it is needed for me to have a good time. My favorite game is still Thief 2 with the cradle being the only really memorable thing that comes to mind from the 3rd one.

UrUkUs
12th May 2009, 22:01
Please dont take him! I hated the cradle! I dont want to feel frightened while playing a game. It took me for ever to get throught that level 'cause i had to stop playing from time to time.

whats wrong with you? You hate this cus it's scary? Dude your luck you didn't play this at 3 am without lights and with headphones, i guess you would die! But thats why i love this level, cus of SCARE! I just didn't except it would be THAT scary, and it amazed me so much! There weren't any zombies/ghosts and others at begin, level was absolutely empy, but you still was waiting, that every moment some 1 jumps at you from the corner. Man i just don't understand you, srsly!

CurtX
12th May 2009, 23:00
The Cradle was fun, no doubt. But it was also a bit too much like Return to the Cathedral, another great mission. I'm not a big fan of repeating past missions or copying them. Basically, I don't want any missions where I am saying "been there, done that", which I did utter some while playing The Cradle. Although some things in it were unique enough to save it.

GmanPro
13th May 2009, 00:29
The cradle mission wasn't like the return to the cathedral mission dude. Just because there were zombies and ghosts doesn't mean they were the same. The only major similarity really was that you were trapped in some complex and couldn't get out unless you did some tasks for a ghost. But I mean, come on.

CurtX
13th May 2009, 01:06
Doing tasks for a ghost, trying to escape the building, undead - those alone seem to be quite a bit of similarities for a single level. You're denying that? You yourself even pointed out a "major similarity" (your words) or two. And lets not forget that flooded basement part. Both the cathedral and cradle had them. And the task was exactly the same, turn the power back on from the flooded basement.

I'm not saying this was horrible. I just am making the point that being more original is better than borrowing from something that was original. At best, The Cradle was a great tribute mission. At least when Garrett escaped the Cradle, he didn't lose his other eyeball.:nut:

GmanPro
13th May 2009, 01:21
I appreciate a good tribute level every now and again anyway. There's not much to work with in regards to making a scary level though. It usually involves undead in some way.

I think a great scary mission would be if you were trapped in some place with another stalker type character coming after you. That would freak me out because you can't see it and the hunter becomes the hunted so to speak.

Durinda D'Bry
13th May 2009, 13:04
I think they better hire all former Thief developers but then they will spend all money soon and Thief 4 never happens:)
Jordan & Randy did genius work with Cradle but reality (we see this with fan missions) is there are many very talented people who can make our hearts to beat. Hope they could hire somebody from old teams but even they can't it doesn't mean game design ruined.

simlan
16th May 2009, 00:02
the main thing id like to see is the non-linear ways of going about doing the missions and to the use of lots of secret areas to find and stumble upon that can make the mission worse or better for you depending on how you go about it.

Jilly The Taffer
16th May 2009, 17:04
I want to see BIG levels, with many places to explore, and outstanding architecture.

Think, for example, the Bonehoard :rolleyes:


Wow imagine the Bonehoard in Thief IV, realistic graphics, improved sound. Wow :eek:

DarthEnder
16th May 2009, 17:21
I appreciate a good tribute level every now and again anyway. There's not much to work with in regards to making a scary level though. It usually involves undead in some way.

I think a great scary mission would be if you were trapped in some place with another stalker type character coming after you. That would freak me out because you can't see it and the hunter becomes the hunted so to speak.This is exactly right. Equilibrium manages to be extremely tense and nerve racking and its a level who's enemies consist of only 5 humans.

TeoRocker
16th May 2009, 22:31
The Cradle was awesome. It had the player moving around all those dreadful dark rooms and corridors with no enemies around, expecting them to jump on you sooner or later. Then, you restore the power and all the lights are on, forcing you to miss that very darkness you were dreading.

That was one of my favorite gaming moments ever.

SudisBetter
17th May 2009, 16:32
do you think guys there should be a cradle level in thief 4 like Thief deadly shadows?

BrokenArts
17th May 2009, 16:36
Let them do what they are going to do. I surely wouldn't want it close to that, then whats the point of having a new game if they are going to make it cradle like. Something along those lines sure, but, in the end it will be different.

Cradle didn't freak me out, like it did others. Bring it on.

HellionKal
17th May 2009, 16:56
Every THIEF game had one or several missions that "spooked" the player one way or another. "Spook" mission, yes. "Cradle" mission, not necessarily, no.

Zahr Dalsk
17th May 2009, 17:01
Not a copy of the Cradle, certainly, but I'd be very happy if they managed to make another level that was just as scary, or more so.

(By the way, I've noticed listening to the soundtrack outside of the game, almost every Deadly Shadows song was somewhat unsettling.)

CurtX
17th May 2009, 17:10
Having a token scary mission or two is a Thief trademark. The Cradle was no doubt one of the best missions in TDS, but it would be a huge mistake to bring it back, or returning to any mission from TDS.

Smooogy
17th May 2009, 17:12
Remember the haunted cathedreal from Thief 1? I think it was in the same vein as the cradle. I would love another scary mission.

ToMegaTherion
17th May 2009, 17:18
If so, it'd be particularly good if things were wildly different in this mission than in the rest of the game. Return to the Cathedral and Cradle are cool missions, but eventually you realise that, past the creepiness, you're up against things basically just like you were in all the other missions. This makes them less emotionally powerful that they could be.

DanielOcean
17th May 2009, 17:36
If they just add a "mission like the cradle", the mission will be a failure.

This is exactly the reason, why sequels don't work today (Pirates of the Caribbean 2+3, Indiana Jones 4, etc.). Instead of making a mission that is like the cradle, they should analyse why the cradle worked so well for so many people... If they have the reason, so to speak the "core" of this mission, they will be able to design a level with the same effect, but takes place in ... uh... a... at the harbour or wherever!

Nate
18th May 2009, 01:41
No repeat of the Cradle, but a scary level or 2 would be great!

xDarknessFallsx
18th May 2009, 02:36
The Cradle did very little for me- wasnt very scary, and little girls used as a scare factor was passe by then. i would have to play it again to remember all the reasons i didnt like it, but i dont remember being overly impressed. i dont know that i want Jodan Thomas back designing levels, or anyone from TDS. That game was lacking in so many ways. They were cool people, but if i have to look at the product... linear levels, small levels. no secret corridors, no secret switches, loot glint, load zones, poor stealth AI, no rope arrows, blue palette everywhere, poor animations, firework arrows, arrow trails, etc, ... then I dont think it's in my best interest as a Thief fan to run the risk of having the same or similar poor decisions being made in Thief 4. TDS levels were not very good compared to the old ones. why risk more of the same?

Smooogy
18th May 2009, 15:32
The Cradle did very little for me- wasnt very scary, and little girls used as a scare factor was passe by then. i would have to play it again to remember all the reasons i didnt like it, but i dont remember being overly impressed. i dont know that i want Jodan Thomas back designing levels, or anyone from TDS. That game was lacking in so many ways. They were cool people, but if i have to look at the product... linear levels, small levels. no secret corridors, no secret switches, loot glint, load zones, poor stealth AI, no rope arrows, blue palette everywhere, poor animations, firework arrows, arrow trails, etc, ... then I dont think it's in my best interest as a Thief fan to run the risk of having the same or similar poor decisions being made in Thief 4. TDS levels were not very good compared to the old ones. why risk more of the same?

Yeah I don't get frightened by little children making oogly noises like most horror movies and even a video game used in Thief Deadly Shadows, but at least they made the effort. What's scarier to me is what Christopher Nolan said of the joker in the Dark Knight.

He was an evil with no motive that couldn't be understood, only fought. That's what I want out of a spooky thief mission. Don't reveal everything all at once and try to minimize the "little girl - the Ring Movie" rip offs lol

Malau
22nd May 2009, 12:00
Eidos Montreal, have you seen the THIEF 2 screenshots for 'The First Project' by SLIPTIP ?
http://darkfate.ru/?thumbs=files/fan-missions/Thief2/First_Project/screenshots

Aren't they THE most beautiful screenshots you have ever seen for 10 year old Thief 2 ?

You might consider hiring him as a Level Designer for Thief 4, he is an absolute Mozart at level design - plus he lives in Toronto.

Aceyalone7777
22nd May 2009, 13:20
:eek::eek::eek:

If you dont hire him, I will!!!
If you dont mail him, I will!!

These are some of the most amazing screenshots ever!!!!

Actually I don't know but are these screenshots part of some mission? Cause I will download it in the blink of an eye, if they are...

TheJoker
22nd May 2009, 13:32
Amazingly beautiful screenshots indeed.

Yandros
22nd May 2009, 13:34
Yes, they are for his upcoming FM "The First Project". I've walked around in that place as an early tester, and I can tell you that as amazing as the screenshots are, they don't do justice to the experience of walking around in that place. The atmosphere is one of utter isolation and desolation, and it inspires a real feeling of dread in the pit of your stomach.

clearing
22nd May 2009, 14:22
Awesome screenshots!!!

Maethius
22nd May 2009, 14:42
There must be "Cradle Moments" in T4.... sneaking and thieving are all about tension reward, but Cradle gave us something deeper and darker. It gave a sense that Garrett was really committed to seeing this through, because he was willing to go through that scenario rather than return to his life of silent plunder in hopes of the big score that would spell his retirement.

How about we visit a true to life catacombs? Not like Bonehoard (although I must admit that sucker had its moments, too!), but an almost endless series of tunnels and rooms threaded together with good and meaningful objectives. I would also like to see some creepy critters, or sinister agents, not just undead and spirits. There is so much potential for that kind of level, but it would have to be huge, like the T1 and T2 levels, to make it feel believable.

Apart from Cradle and tomb crawling, I really loved taking on Angelwatch. I loved the fact that the city felt so huge, so real, that you almost forgot about the cathedral at the end because you spent two hours crawling to every rooftop and window in town! How many of you tried to mantle all the way around Angelwatch? Personally, I think a great scenario would be to have a monstrous structure like that where you had to enter the top floor, stealth all the way to its basement, then back out... surrounded by an expansive city. :D

kin
22nd May 2009, 15:37
Eidos Montreal, have you seen the THIEF 2 screenshots for 'The First Project' by SLIPTIP ?
http://darkfate.ru/?thumbs=files/fan-missions/Thief2/First_Project/screenshots

Aren't they THE most beautiful screenshots you have ever seen for 10 year old Thief 2 ?

You might consider hiring him as a Level Designer for Thief 4, he is an absolute Mozart at level design - plus he lives in Toronto.

:eek::eek:
All this with dromed? A ten yar old editor-game:eek::eek:
Thief 2 rocks!! And Sliptip too!

Fiddlesticks
22nd May 2009, 15:40
A "scary" "spooky" level where you can feel the danger is a must in a thief game.

Also i would suggest to make the levels bigger and cut the loading screens as much as possible. Sounds difficult, but the loading screens in T3 were a bit awkward and destroyed the immersion a little bit for me.

The city hub idea of T3 was a nice try, but it didn't work very good. I know the problem from Vampires 2 bloodlines too, they also used this concept of a city hub and the endresult was, that this usually big city, felt SO SMALL. City hub will only work if you present a big and believable city, which you can explore to the last corner, but that means much work.

Also there should be many things you can interact with, may it be lightswitches, or cupboards you can open to search for loot. Or other things which do not affect gameplay, like the hammerit blacksmith in T1 which you could use, just because it's there.

Every level should have a handful of secret places, which are worth to search for and challenging to get to.

huzi73
22nd May 2009, 16:47
I loved missions like:
The bonehoard
Cathederal
Return to the cathederal
Trail of blood pt 2
The maw of Chaos
The cradle
The sunken citadel
Cragscleft Prison
These missions gave me the feeling of isolation,it made me feel alone and uncomfortable,it made me dread being there,away from civilisation as a whole,the feeling of when the hell can i get out of here!
Oh yes,hire this guy to design exteriors in the city,and outsides of mansions etc

http://paulmader.blogspot.com/2009/04/first-screenshots.html

pavlovscat
22nd May 2009, 17:35
:eek::eek::eek:

If you dont hire him, I will!!!
If you dont mail him, I will!!

These are some of the most amazing screenshots ever!!!!

Actually I don't know but are these screenshots part of some mission? Cause I will download it in the blink of an eye, if they are...

If you haven't seen Sliptip's previously released Fan Missions, you might like to try them. He is very talented whether making traditional or non-traditional FMs.
Ashen Age, Pt 1 (http://downloads.ttlg.com/download.aspx?id=720) beautiful traditional mission (No part 2 yet, but we're all hoping!)
Kill Factory 1 (http://downloads.ttlg.com/download.aspx?id=1230) a very original Contest Entry for the Total Crap FM Contest (http://www.ttlg.com/forums/showthread.php?t=110560)
Kill Factory 2: Escape from the Planet of Robots (http://downloads.ttlg.com/download.aspx?id=1014) futuristic mission

Gillie
23rd May 2009, 22:56
Psychologically I found the cradle unnerving more than anything else but still creepy.
Kind of played on my mind.
As was return the cathedral,that was an excellent mission too.
Still loved it though. There was a report in PC Gamer I think a few years ago on the cradle,said was one on the frightening levels in any game.

I certainly would like to have another mission that has the same feel,if not the same within the game.
The keeper enforcers were to me really creepy. :eek:
Slptips Ashen age is just wonderful, those screen shots look so amazing. So talented.
There have been so many fantastic fan mission authors,Drk's last mission was just one.

Corvin25
23rd May 2009, 23:35
Psychologically I found the cradle unnerving more than anything else but still creepy.
Kind of played on my mind.
As was return the cathedral,that was an excellent mission too.
Still loved it though. There was a report in PC Gamer I think a few years ago on the cradle,said was one on the frightening levels in any game.

I certainly would like to have another mission that has the same feel,if not the same within the game.
The keeper enforcers were to me really creepy. :eek:
Slptips Ashen age is just wonderful, those screen shots look so amazing. So talented.
There have been so many fantastic fan mission authors,Drk's last mission was just one.

If anybody here has played Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines... You may remember the haunted hotel mission.

THAT mission was really scary to me, and it didn't abuse the "boo" method. (as in, making a loud noise every other minute to wrack your nerves) Also, it was interesting and disturbing how the story was slowly revealed by what you found lying around in the building. That child's drawing was especially unsettling.

Gillie
24th May 2009, 01:10
If anybody here has played Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines... You may remember the haunted hotel mission.

THAT mission was really scary to me, and it didn't abuse the "boo" method. (as in, making a loud noise every other minute to wrack your nerves) Also, it was interesting and disturbing how the story was slowly revealed by what you found lying around in the building. That child's drawing was especially unsettling.

That is the word "disturbing", often as you said not always the boo factor.
I have not played Vampire. Sounds kind of unsettling and not good for the nerves though.
Someone has already mentioned the cradle article, sorry I missed it. :thumb: