CES 2014: Thief’s Troubled Development May Have Been Beneficial – Eidos Montreal
There have been games with far more checkered development cycles but Eidos Montreal’s next-gen Thief reboot has certainly had a rocky development. The studio has had to backtrack on a number of feature and decisions which has caused many to worry about the state of the finished product. However, the team behind the game doesn’t see this as a problem nor is it unusual to them.
No development is without incident but I don’t quite see things the way Eidos Montreal does.
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During an interview at CES 2014, we chatted with Thief’s technical art director Jean-Normand Bucci, and he gave us his view of the game’s development. “I have been in many different companies and many different projects and I don’t see what happened with Thief as being all that different from other games. The advantage of an iterative process like this is that it brings new blood and fresh ideas and people to the project. I think that the team we have right now is the best team we could have to make the game we want to make.”
Bucci also went into detail about what the team has been able to add to the game over the last year of development. “We have been listening to the fans and everyone to make sure that we address and enhance the game. We’ve worked hard on the AI very recently. We’ve added some addition audio and visual cues to help aid players to know if they are hidden or know how they can interact with the world. Guards now have a different patrol logic if there are multiple guards or a single guard. They work together more or dispatch each other to check on different areas of the environment. Internally we know we’ve had a lot to do, but we’re happy with how the game has come along.”
It’s both a good and a bad thing really. The developers have listened to fan feedback throughout the development process and subsequently amended things in-game but this also raises the question of whether the developers really know what they’re doing.