We are really excited about the new Thief game, however – and according to Polygon – things are not looking good for it. Polygon’s anonymous sources claimed that ‘corporate politics, creative confusion and a lack of publisher oversight have inflated production costs, impeded the game’s creation and led to the departures of numerous senior and junior team members.’
Sounds bad, right? Well, things get even worse than that. According to those sources, ‘the vertical slice doesn’t load inside Thief’s current heavily modified version of Unreal Engine 3.’ Not only that, but those sources claimed that EIDOS Montreal used a lot of programming tricks to run the GDC demo of Thief, like turning off non-playable character AI, and that the engine has trouble when too many characters are on screen. Ouch.
But what is a vertical slice you may ask. As Polygon described:
“”Vertical slice” is industry terminology for a condensed demonstration of a game’s potential art, design, gameplay and tone. A vertical slice is made by small team and helps the publisher decide whether a project should enter full production.”
What this means, is that the team has a lot of trouble implementing its vision with this heavily modified version of Unreal Engine 3.
Back in GDC 2013, Square Enix showcased Thief behind closed doors. The footage that was shown was originally intended to be released, however one of Polygon’s source claims that those plans were recently scrapped ‘due to internal unhappiness with the quality of the captured footage.’
Thief is planned for a 2014 release on the PC and next-gen consoles. It will be interesting to see whether EIDOS Montreal will be able to pull it off and create a polish product. It will also be interesting to see whether the final product will be identical to its original vision.