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Hypevosa
13th Jun 2009, 03:23
We all love thief, and that's why we're here... but when a story is dragged out unnecessarily long there's a problem. What do you think is a good number of levels for thief to have? (assuming the large level size of the old games)

I'd say the 14-16 level mark is perfect for me. Anything approaching 20 would probably have me going "GET ON WITH IT".

Does your answer depend on if there's a city hub inbetween? for me it doesn't, though I'd probably expend quite a few hours there.

Discuss :D

jtr7
13th Jun 2009, 03:37
Fifteen is a nice number. Three Acts, five missions each.

The trilogy had 13/16, 15, and 14, respectively.

Nothke
13th Jun 2009, 04:04
15, I agree. The already proven number is perfect.

Thieffanman
13th Jun 2009, 04:58
Fifteen or more missions here-- but the higher the number, the more spectacular the ending needs to be. If a player puts that much effort into a game, the ending needs to match the effort.

. . . and if there are city hubs in between, I hope there are little side missions to work on.

--Thieffanman

jtr7
13th Jun 2009, 05:10
Although I'd rather have more Thief than less Thief, if a mission feels like padding, it needs to be cut, or absorbed into another.

There have always been side missions, I just don't like it when it's an obvious fork in the road, but I like it when it mostly feels like something to do along the way. Get the Serpentyle Torc, find that valuable item you just overheard two guards talking about, etc.

Zahr Dalsk
13th Jun 2009, 05:13
10-20 very large missions.

And please, no hubs or free-town-roam like DS, they make it harder to get a nice neat set of start-of-mission saves together.

jtr7
13th Jun 2009, 05:24
TDS was all "Heart of The City" missions built around the Final Glyph concept. So now, we should be free to go to the furthest reaches of The City and beyond again! The hubs should be no different than the layout of businesses and alleyways of most real cities, and we should rarely feel like it is a hub. It should feel like home. Everything should just make sense where we find it, with some surprises.

But yeah, a three-act story, and however many missions it takes to tell it. A thriller, a mystery, noir, steampunk, strange fantasy, comedy, and no melodrama, no romance.

kabatta
13th Jun 2009, 06:14
The logical part of me agrees that 15 is a decent number, but the greedy one wants 26.

jtr7
13th Jun 2009, 07:32
Heheheh. :D

Shadow Blade
13th Jun 2009, 08:42
15 or 16 Large levels of heart stopping stealth action.

Hypevosa
13th Jun 2009, 08:53
I take that as the sealing vote for 15 levels.... now the question is, what to do with the rest of development?

Platinumoxicity
13th Jun 2009, 09:01
15 and a secret Blooper Reel :D

citywolfdreams
13th Jun 2009, 09:06
No City hubs please! They're fun at first, and then after the first couple of hours just become the boring place you have to pass through to get to your next mission. It would be more fun to simply spend that effort on simply expanding the beginning of each mission to take you through parts of the city en route to your target, similar to Life of the Party from Thief 2.

Flashart
13th Jun 2009, 09:31
Yes 15-20 sounds fine. In "Hidden + Dangerous 2" there was a couple of missions that had 2-3 "parts" meaning you got a couple of missions but with completely different objectives within vaguely the same area. So you might have a large "rooftop" journey", a building mission, and an escape through tunnels etc. I like this as it makes more of a story.

Hypevosa
13th Jun 2009, 09:36
No City hubs please! They're fun at first, and then after the first couple of hours just become the boring place you have to pass through to get to your next mission. It would be more fun to simply spend that effort on simply expanding the beginning of each mission to take you through parts of the city en route to your target, similar to Life of the Party from Thief 2.

The city venture was half the level for life of the party... it would be like having TDS sized missions tacked onto a city hub again, without the reliability of the city hub. I'd rather have a well designed, plenty of flare and flavor city hub... if it says I'm in a mission I'd rather be IN the mission, i.e. where I'm supposed to be. If they make a city hub WELL, then I'd like to have it alot, but if they just make small loading sectors like in TDS, I'd rather not have it. To me, the city hub should just be the size of 2 levels combined in one... Have the thieve's highway, and make it really easy to get from one place to the other via the rooftops for those who want to just get mission to mission, and then let the people who ENJOY the city hub (like me) to travel the streets, pickpocketing random folk, and overhearing conversations and whatnot. Obviously there would need to be roof access for the fences and stores, but still, it could be done, and rather well.

jtr7
13th Jun 2009, 09:39
I don't want A city hub to have to go back to. I want mini-hubs spread way apart and not have to walk between city section after city section. Just end the mission, give me a cutscene/briefing, and drop me into another city section with its own little places to go aside from the mission itself.

fayfuya
13th Jun 2009, 09:46
15 missions, with few side missions or missions that aren't contacted with prophecies or so, it's just for Garrett's profit, but following to 1 or 2 of those missions Garrett find out something that is critical for the storyline.
And few diffirent endings for the game can be nice...

jtr7
13th Jun 2009, 09:54
It's not Deus Ex. We get a mission, we complete the mission, and get something extra for ourselves on the side. We complete a string of 15 missions that are all tied to one plot and the story ends. No different endings because that would require different stories. Thief is linear, but the player is allowed to complete the missions with a lot of personalization. Different endings make sequels harder to develop.



Of course, if someone wants to demonstrate the possibility... please do.

Hypevosa
13th Jun 2009, 10:24
Ok, here's the possibilities as I see it. I think that Garrett's being the one true keeper does put possibilities on multiple endings, either of erring to do what the keepers did, and have history repeat itself, going on and doing what he wants and not perpetuating the errors of the keepers, and then there's going out of his way to destroy the city by creating a tremendous imbalance. But personally I think Garrett would still do just what he wanted, but how much do we let the player control Garrett vs Garrett controlling the player?

Nothke
13th Jun 2009, 11:15
As you all say, hubs in the city of TDS were fun at first, but then became boring and repeatative. Ok, but the city can be made interesting... many people, many alleys, rooftops, sewers... you could make 50 different paths... assassins creed (I must mention this pagan game again) was never boring, even going 100 times through city. of course don't get me wrong thief is not a cimbing-jumping game...

jtr7
13th Jun 2009, 11:55
Of course the story can go in multiple directions from the beginning, but this is asking for three full games in one. I think one story is perfect, and I still believe the whole new Thief team has to prove themselves worthy successors of the legacy.

Nate
13th Jun 2009, 13:18
Well, if they DON'T have the city hub, they should have 15-20 big solid levels.

If they do include a city hub, they should have 15 levels.

Personally, I would rather they had more missions than a city hub.

Hamadriyad
13th Jun 2009, 15:56
15-20 huge missions are perfect.
And no different endings please.

ToMegaTherion
13th Jun 2009, 16:16
20 huge missions might be a bit much, depending on plot.

The original two games are a good length. Deadly Shadows is a couple of missions short, or, it has the right number of missions but a few of them need to be longer.

xDarknessFallsx
13th Jun 2009, 18:39
15-20 large levels. Probably 15, 16 of 17 is good because I think T1/T2 had that many and seems reasonable. 20 levels would be harder to make high quality throughout these days, unless they have a ton of resources to not let the quality slip. I don't want levels slapped together. 9 or 10 levels wouldn't be enough, imo; I'd feel like I got swindled.

If they opt for a small number of large levels, or a large number of small levels, I will be upset. I'm annoyed by the gaming industry pattern of making games that you can beat in 8 or 9 hours -- and even 4 or 5 hours in some cases. STOP already!!! I pay $60 for the game; I don't want to be able to beat it in a weekend.

No fluff or padding in Th4f. High quality, large, well thought-out and layed-out levels with hard-to-find secrets and secret areas that make sense to the level/setting and aren't just cubby-holes thrown in for no reason.

EDIT: Okay, I just read someone else's post in a different thread saying a mixture of some levels being large, some being smaller... I'd be okay with this. It makes sense. For variety and to mix up the pacing every so often, every level doesn't need to be huge.

Pyronox
13th Jun 2009, 18:50
Infinity.

DarthEnder
13th Jun 2009, 19:18
However many Thief 2 Gold was supposed to have.

13LACK13ISHOP
13th Jun 2009, 19:45
As many as possible. Bring on the maps I say

citywolfdreams
16th Jun 2009, 05:57
The city venture was half the level for life of the party... it would be like having TDS sized missions tacked onto a city hub again, without the reliability of the city hub. I'd rather have a well designed, plenty of flare and flavor city hub... if it says I'm in a mission I'd rather be IN the mission, i.e. where I'm supposed to be. If they make a city hub WELL, then I'd like to have it alot, but if they just make small loading sectors like in TDS, I'd rather not have it. To me, the city hub should just be the size of 2 levels combined in one... Have the thieve's highway, and make it really easy to get from one place to the other via the rooftops for those who want to just get mission to mission, and then let the people who ENJOY the city hub (like me) to travel the streets, pickpocketing random folk, and overhearing conversations and whatnot. Obviously there would need to be roof access for the fences and stores, but still, it could be done, and rather well.

Yeah, it COULD be done, and done well... but it would much more likely be screwed up beyond all recognition. The fact that you're using Life of the Party as the example just supports my case. The reason they were able to build a level that flavorful and awesome is because they didn't have to worry about building an entire city: they just focused on areas that you might see. For example, when you were 500 feet up in the air and couldn't get to street level without falling (and thus dying), they didn't need to put too much detail into the streets below - just graphics and a few wandering NPCs down below to give you the illusion of vastness. Can you imagine how hard it would be to create something that much fun if they had to worry about all the stuff IN those buildings as well? There's only so much game world that developers can build while still making it fun. Otherwise it just becomes like Oblivion, where you have a huge game world, but the inside of almost every house is one room (simply because the designers never had time to flesh out more).

What you're envisioning would be cool if it were done right, but it would take an impossible amount of resources to do well. Honestly, if anyone can pull off something like this, it would most likely be the fans, since only Thief modders have the dedication to put that amount of painstaking detail into what they do.

Hypevosa
16th Jun 2009, 06:17
Why does everyone think it's impossible to expect a quality product?

jtr7
16th Jun 2009, 06:23
I don't, but we have nothing to go by but promises. Real vs. ideal. No amount of positive thinking by us is going to magically make a better game, make the devs more skilled, make the software more powerful and easy to work with, increase the artists' skills, etc. We can only wish and hope, but real life always has its way, and it's a gamble.

I haven't seen what we are hoping for in a new Thief game ever done, so the odds are against it. Not "impossible" at all, and nearly every one of us is giving them a chance, giving them our hopes and well-wishes, and excited to see what they will have to show us.

DarthEnder
16th Jun 2009, 09:03
Why does everyone think it's impossible to expect a quality product?Experience?

AbysmalGale
16th Jun 2009, 09:07
I'd say 15-20 missions would be great. Absolutely not less than 15, and not more than 20. And I want them HUGE (most of them).

EMCEE
16th Jun 2009, 10:30
however many thief 2 gold was supposed to have.

+1!)

esme
16th Jun 2009, 11:29
as many as are needed to tell the story with maybe a few, perhaps optional, extra levels

Yaphy
16th Jun 2009, 13:43
14-16 missions. And some side missions. About 10 of them.

DoomyDoomyDoomDoom
16th Jun 2009, 23:31
How many levels should there be?

....100?

At the least, enough to keep me from beating the game in one day. Also, I'd like little 'side missions'. Throw a bunch of those in. They would be relatively small missions with like a small manor or something. I'd like that. And they could have their own little stories, maybe even connected to each other or something.

Sierra Oscar
16th Jun 2009, 23:37
15 or 16 missions would make me happy. Large levels at that.

lefty
17th Jun 2009, 16:46
The number of levels should depend on the size of the levels. As for a city hub... The missions should be divided as they were in the first two, and if a mission requires there to be a section of the city in it, then it would have that.

citywolfdreams
18th Jun 2009, 04:50
Why does everyone think it's impossible to expect a quality product?

Well, speaking as a former programmer, it's because of something called "the development cycle." Unlike fan-made missions, commercial programmers can't work on a level until "it FEELS right" - they are given a certain time limit to accomplish Task X, and if it isn't done by that point they sort have to half-ass it as best as they can.

Looking Glass Studios was the exception to the rule - that company was more focused on quality rather than speed, and that is why they churned out such great games like Thief and System Shock - because they would spend as much time as it took to make the game great. That was also the flaw in their business model - because they fell behind, they grew increasingly reliant on their next game to be a success - essentially borrowing from their future expectations - and from a business perspective, it was only inevitable that they would fail.

ToMegaTherion
18th Jun 2009, 09:17
15 huge levels and an enormous well-developed city would probably be a little too much for what is essentially a very simple game with few elements.

jtr7
18th Jun 2009, 09:39
15 missions in a huge city, with only a small portion that is mission-centric.

I'd still prefer richer T1/T2-sized missions with extra explorability and city life within the same dimensions, and most of the missions in separate areas of The City and beyond, with a couple back-to-back.