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Thread: THIEF "Uprising" Gamescom Story Trailer +Launch date announce - All discussion thread

THIEF "Uprising" Gamescom Story Trailer +Launch date announce - All discussion thread

  1. #76
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    The City has changed. Instead of shadows, there's fog. I've changed. I no longer talk like a person, but in poetic analogies using dramatic words in rhythm with the editing of the video.

  2. #77
    Originally Posted by Platinumoxicity
    The City has changed. Instead of shadows, there's fog. I've changed. I no longer talk like a person, but in poetic analogies using dramatic words in rhythm with the editing of the video.
    "And they call me a complex character who doesn't speak in cringeworthy cliches?"

  3. #78
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    Originally Posted by Spades
    "And they call me a complex character who doesn't speak in cringeworthy cliches?"
    I can imagine Stephen Russell's voice saying that in a sarcastic tone with a sepia-toned background image of Garrett reading the trailer script. ...Ending with him having the McKayla "not impressed" face.

  4. #79
    I'm still wondering what religion preacher Orion is affiliated with. I'm allowed to ask that, right?

  5. #80
    Originally Posted by deadoptimist
    I think that it's an eternally relevant topic, until we've found how to build a Utopia, but too much is said and written already, and there're no real answers. And games are not the best medium to talk about it. Also it's a bit lazy to use it as the main conflict for popular fiction, especially fantasy.
    What I meant to convey is that articulating class conflict (particularly class conflict stemming from industrialization) in such stark ideological terms became pretty passé with the end of the Cold War. Of course the paradigm of oppressed workers remains ever applicable to other contexts such as third world economies and academic debate (and amongst certain subcultures), but here in the US it's not exactly the pop culture touchstone it once was. That's what I meant by loss of cultural resonance.

  6. #81
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    It's also hard to take seriously in a medieval context, knowing what the world has gained from each mechanical and industrial revolutions. I understand this is an alternate universe, akin to the polluted universe of steampunk, but it sounds a little silly altogether, when we know what came of progress both during and after similar periods. A scenario where a select few has reaped the benefits while the populace was left to starve is romantic, but goes against pretty much anything we have experienced in the past, especially in a period where we relied heavily on chance factors such as climate.

    Even Cyberpunk sounds somewhat reactionary today, even if many of its tropes are still highly relevant.

    I would prefer a more mitigated scenario, where progress and industry brings benefits to many, including the low and middle classes, while leaving others behind, and creating unforeseen problems. In a context of absolutely no social security net, it would be a theme worth detailing. I can easily imagine the church demonising industry, on the back of the worker's sufferance. Accidents, malfunctions, workforce exploitation, sabotage, all interesting ideas, which do not require to set the City aflame to remain legitimate concerns.

    Things hopefully aren't as black and white as the trailer hints. There is the case of the "mysterious" illness, which does not seem to be a simple plague. I'm more interested in this subplot than anything else, so far.
    To lose one parent, Mr Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness

  7. #82
    I must be missing your point. Are you saying industrialization fits poorly with class conflict where a few wealthy individuals control pretty much everything, and grow fat on the backs of the poor?

    Cause near as I know, that was a pretty big basis for Marxist revolutionary predictions.

    Sure, it helped the little people in the long run (though how much of that was a result of industrialization rather than foreign exploitation is highly debatable), but that didn't happen overnight.

  8. #83
    I don't think anyone would argue that industrialization is a poor fit thematically with class conflict, but knowing what we do now, the overwrought treatment in the trailer comes across as a little corny. Yes, industrialization widened the gap between the richest and poorest, and burdened laborers with onerous social costs, but class mobility became far more fluid in respect to the preceding centuries (e.g. rapid expansion of the middle class, nouveau riche, etc.), and both mean and median standard of living saw a substantial increase across the board. Now I'm certainly not trying to paint a rosy view of things, but the Braveheart-esque preachiness of the narration (from Garrett, no less!) seems a bit out of touch with the technological context of the setting.

    Also, the trailer's incongruent juxtaposition of collectivized Luddites engaged in resistance to a social Darwinist baron's industrialization programme --despite the fact that very industrialization they're trying to forestall is a necessary precondition for the class awareness and collectivization they already seem to possess-- is kinda silly.

  9. #84
    The problem for me right now is that I can't really sympathize with any of the two new fractions. Their motives are just so banal and uninspiring, that I'm not really interested to see who comes ahead in the end.

    In political science, we learned that there are two basic types of dictatorships in the world. The authoritarian dictatorship and the totalitarian dictatorship. In the first, lesser form, the dictator is only interested in wealth and power, he wants to remain the boss and only use his forces to hold on to this status quo. In a totalitarian dictatorship, the leader seeks to "educate" his people, implementing a new form if ideology. They aim for a somewhat higher goal, and need more repression power to do so.

    And that’s my problem with this fractions. They are only interested in such trivial things as wealth and power. I can't see any form of "cool" ideology, like karras had. There is no DARK PROJECT, like the trickster had.

    The baron just wants to get even richer through industrialization and the Kravens just want to be rich too. how rational. How lame.

  10. #85
    Garrett always cared about the conditions - he needed to make sure his whole deer legs weren't off and the sewer didn't kill him today!

  11. #86
    As far as I know the early industrialization was ugly. In Russian literature there are pre-revolution works which paint factories as demonic entitties feeding on people. They describe lack of concern for working conditions and workers' safety, child labor, lots of incidents. Also people turn practically into machine parts, which is new and scary for yesterday farmers.
    And when lives of big groups of people are organised around a factory, and then this factory is closed or needs them no more it is really a problem.
    So I can't say that it is not a realistic problem, but I don't argue that it doesn't look interesting in the Thief so far.

  12. #87
    I'm guessing that the Baron is not only brutally quarantining most of the City due to the plague but he also thinks that forced industrialization is the only way to save it.

  13. #88
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    The modern equivalent of instustrialization oppressing the people is the correlation of the progress of technology and unemployment.

    In an ideal society, unemployment is a good thing because it indicates that the society requires less workers to function. The problem is that although automatization and mass-production are removing large portions of the human element from work, instead of everyone therefore working shorter days, people get fired and the ones who are left still have to work full-time. So you have a portion of society working their asses off to benefit the companies, and a portion of society not having access to work and starving or straining the welfare system. The reason is that those companies don't want to have to pay wages to extra workers, who could be implemented as part of the work force and cut the individual strain on each worker. They just want to pay the few people they have working really hard, so that they wouldn't have to pay to a larger work force working less hard to achieve the same or higher efficiency. It's in the companies' best interests to use technological progress to create unemployment, rather than using it to lower the individual work load.

    The worst thing about it is that it makes sense. But only because money exists. Or because AI workers don't yet exist, but if that would be realized, there wouldn't be any reason to have money anymore anyway. Robots who have been programmed to want to work for you in order to provide you with everything you need, want to work for you in order to provide you with everything you need.

  14. #89
    For people not attending Gamescom will Thief be streamed?
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  15. #90
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    I'm not sure applying Marxist revolutionary predictions to the dawn of the first mechanical revolution makes a lot of sense, let alone applying it to the little technological booms of the 17th and 18th century.

    Have some people suffered? Certainly, as some still suffer today in ty factories. Were some, if not many workers exploited? Oh absolutely.

    But have countries as a whole, here illustrated as the City, suffered greatly and went on the edge of destruction because of it? That's a Marxist wet dream. Each new technological boom has strengthen industries and countries immediately, on the spot, each time creating more types of work and commerce, and opening the door to a diversification of the economy and sources of revenues for individuals. It allows mom and pop shops to grow, without necessarily becoming enormous. The growth issue comes years later, if it comes at all.

    Of course, each of those phases have brought their share of problems, but those were mostly long-term, which we are still discovering today. If anything, it illustrates we're still monkeys, and like most mammals, we were not really made to work 10 hours a day on a daily routine basis.

    The reason there are so many French-sounding names in the Eastern states, or anglicized French names, is because of the enormous amount of French canadian farmers, small shop workers and small-time inventors who could barely earn enough to survive up north, who made it to the US during each techno revolution. Some suffered from it, many prospered and became American industrialists. That economy very quickly made its way to the North, and we saw the birth of many small Canadian industrialists who dig their way out of their miserable farming lives. Coming from a farming family, who embraced the industrial revolution, I can assure you the Marxist views of the farming life is romanticized to levels reaching Pegasus levels. It was not peachy in the late 19th century, and the last two uncles still operating their small farms today would tell you it's not peachy today.

    The biggest plot issue though, and this of course is based on this trailer alone, is that the City is especially the kind of place who would benefit from Industry. It has obviously been a wealthy city, if it gave birth to a Master Thief. Judging by its size alone, there was tremendous wealth, at least at some point in the past. Judging by the Baron's discourse, it has been on a slow downward slope for quite some time now (is that why Garrett left?). Surely the class issues were ALREADY predominant in a wealthy medieval City.This context is where technological booms have the most impact, both for the City and for the individuals. It means your City has strong foundations, but lost its edge. It now opens new doors, to a whole new class of people. A little like how computers have heavily boosted the economy in the mid 90's, after two decades of downward spirals.
    To lose one parent, Mr Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness

  16. #91
    I really really liked this trailer!
    And I'm very excited about the story, maybe there is a cool twist, like in the Dark Project

  17. #92
    I usually don’t take part in such type of debate, because I think that I know too little. But I must note that the City benefitting as a whole and working classes suffering is not mutually exclusive. And when people suffer they tend to not like it, whatever happens in big picture. So I don’t think that a revolt in an already plague-ridden city where also some big industrial changes happen is so unrealistic.

    Also the fear of people being thrown out to be replaced by machines is an actual cultural phenomenon so it can be a powerful motive in a work of fiction. But, of course, the question is how it is implemented. It would’ve worked great in the old Thief setting, by the way, if all the workers had been replaced by Karras’ robots, for example.

    But this whole conversation shows exactly that it is not the best setting for a game, let alone Thief game. It is too controversial. As we’ve seen in Bioshock Infinite to simply bring up a controversial topic in a game is not enough, if you are not going to offer a solution or to try to show every side and opinion. I dunno why - maybe it’s too close to the uncanny walley, but I find this sort of settings tiring and suffocating.

    Also it has been interesting for me to see how positive can be an understanding of history after reading some of the posts here.

  18. #93
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    Not a historian by trade, and so of course my knowledge of it all is limited. And, once again, we are only going with the tone of the trailer. It's entirely possible the game itself has more shades of gray to it.

    But I must note that the City benefitting as a whole and working classes suffering is not mutually exclusive.
    Entirely agree. In fact there are accounts of this as far back as we can dig. What makes these old bones shudder is the uprising portion, and the enormous levels of sufferance the entire working class seems to suffer. The reason those types of revolutions never truly occurred, unless they were imposed by force, is specifically because many working men and women benefited from industrial booms. The more radical members of the french-canadian independent movement have often called their own fellow citizens "beggars in Cadillacs", whom they accused of being content with their newlyfound wealth, instead of aspiring to an independent nation.

    My father's side of the family were farmers, in a time where the English minority and the Americans controlled the banks. There was no way in Hell a French-Canadian would have access to a substantial loan to start a reasonably-sized business. With the birth of the second Industrial revolution came an opportunity for those hard-working farmers. Some of the family members pooled what little money they had, built a factory on a part of their farmland, and purchased the technology newly-available to all. It generated work for other family members, and eventually a good chunk of the farming community.

    They later built refrigerators, stoves, and all kind of products who easily rivaled American industries. Early on they built their own car, as some family photos and journal attest, and drove it proudly in the streets of Montreal. It was such a rare occurring, it made the news. In short, technology allowed them to seize control of the means of productions, something every Marxist no doubt aspires to. And their small farming community, despite hosting less than 150 000 inhabitants today, still boasts a large tradition of industry to this day, and also gave birth to the first important French-Canadian banking coop. Not because of my ancestors, of course, but because many other farmers did the same thing my family did, around the same time.

    Sorry for the impromptu history boasting, but this is often why storytelling in games is seen as immature. Once again, however, I'm strictly going by the trailer, and am not projecting on the game as a whole.
    To lose one parent, Mr Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness

  19. #94
    That’s why I tell about interestingly different perspectives. As you can guess, Russian history and culture makes me accept the revolution plot much more. I mean that it seems more realistic to me as an idea, I am not talking about right.

    Also I think that the Thief universe, even the new take on it, has more of the Old World vibe, so, maybe, the examples of how the industrialization process happened in USA and Canada are not the best to compare it with. As far as I know Europe had its own share of problems with early industrialization.

    Still I agree that so far this conflict looks a bit cheesy in the new game. Accents are wrong. I agree that the logic “they made machines, so we are revolting” doesn’t make much sense without lots of additional factors and explanations. Maybe it’d be better if it wasn’t rationalized at all. There’re many occasions, when the exact logic of what’s happening is unknown to everybody. I’d understood if this phrase was said by one of revolters, not Garrett, who should know better.

    Actually this conflict of nature, the old ways (Pagans) and the new, rising, mechanical, man-made reality (Hammerites)was used in the classic Thief as well, but it was much more subtle.

  20. #95
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    That’s why I tell about interestingly different perspectives. As you can guess, Russian history and culture makes me accept the revolution plot much more. I mean that it seems more realistic to me as an idea, I am not talking about right.
    Very valid point.

    I used too many words to explain my reasoning, I think. To rephrase, the issue here is that this revolution, even from an Old-World perspective is a fantasy. It was on the mind of many people, I'm sure, but it would not have occurred, even if it could have. The Luddites were never a big revolutionary movement, for instance, and did not bring England on the verge of collapse.

    Fantasy is not a problem, especially in fiction! But your last phrase sums it up nicely. This type of conflict benefits from subtlety, and should be anchored in a more fantastic world. The problem with many game story-telling, especially in the past 5-10 years, is they anchor improbable scenarios in "realistic, mature" settings. This highlights the over-simplification of their heroic fantasies. In the end, though, it lessens the overall story experience, while providing a thin veil of realism.
    To lose one parent, Mr Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness

  21. #96
    I was assuming that the ludditian reasoning may be not the only one behind the protests in the new Thief game. I hope that it isn’t. But the plague doesn’t seem too interesting as well in light of recent Dishonored. We’ll see, of course.

    Maybe bringing the real world controversies in the fantasy, without even making them fit properly, is the next step after making everything grimdark, which has been so popular recently. But I don’t like this tendency. It doesn’t serve any reason, it seems, besides making reviewers write “look, what a subject they’ve touched”. You can talk about serious matters in a fantasy, but it should be done right and when necessary.

    Also thanks for sharing your family history. I really mean it - it is always interesting to read such stories.

  22. #97
    @FrankCSIS

    I really like the idea that - in this game - industrialization could be seen as the key to save the city. Because this would mean that - like mentioned before some posts above - the baron is not the super evil stereotype villain, but a rather grey and complex character, who just happens to abandon short term lower class income for the greater good of the city. And there you have it: A plausible, cool technocratic-capitalistic villain, which I can relate to.

    That would be an interesting plot. That would get my attention.

    And you are correct, historically this revolution makes no sense. As I recall correctly, there where no major revolutionary actions in the west during the mid to late 19th century core industrialization period. And the late russian revolution was heavily forced by the german high command, because they desperately needed peace on the eastern front.

    Maybe this revolution in thief is somewhat like the russian revolution: Forced from outside forces, who just need a pretense to attack the baron and his power. The spiritual approach of the Kravens in the trailer indicates that they are more than just ordinary working class leaders, they hopefully have their own interests in this conflict.

    I hope that this is the case, as it would make the plot less black&white - and more thiefy and grey.

  23. #98
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    Gotta agree with you both again.

    In a context such as this, what I hope to see are merchants, shop owners and some low-income workers who agree with the Baron. I hope to hear men in inns and bars who talk of revolution, but do nothing about it. I hope to hear people who are genuinely against this industrialisation, whatever their motives. I hope to hear about other factions, with an altogether different take on life and industry. And I hope to see people who do not care about it one way or the other, but see it as opportunity to seize control. And I certainly hope that our Baron gives this kind of passionate speech in the context of his mansion while hosting other prominent figures, and is more subtle when addressing the people.

    Most important of all, I hope to see a Garrett who doesn't take as drastic a position as the trailer suggests. Since this is a linear game (and I'm ok with that), his positioning in all of this is extremely important and delicate for the player.

    If we are going to anchor everything into reality, we can't afford to have black and white conflicts. William Gibson's "The Difference Engine" addresses a lot of this so very well, all confined within a semi-fantastic setting. That's a universe I would like to explore in a Thief game! Hopefully there is a lot of that subtlety in the upcoming Thief!
    To lose one parent, Mr Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness

  24. #99
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    I liked the trailer, had a nice vibe to it.

    However, judging a game by the trailer is like judging a book by its cover. A game trailer is in no way indicative of how awesome a game will be.

    I harken back to the buzzword "pre-alpha" that was used right after E3 in June. So many people saying, "The game was only in pre-alpha, so there's much still much left to be decided." Hmmmmmmmmm is all I have to say to that. From pre-alpha to the store shelves in 8 months should make most people "in the know" say hmmmmmmmmmmmm.

    Generally, a "pre-alpha" game is about a year to 1.5 years from release.

    Seeing that we know EM are slow movers when it comes to developing a game, I must say again, Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, with a capital H.

    Anyway, the trailer was nice.

  25. #100
    Honestly, I'd prefer to not have the new game that rooted in reality. And more than anything I don't want the Baron to become another "atlas". After 3 Bioshocks and DE:HR I am so fed up with this kind of character. That's a matter of taste, probably, but I won't be able to play the game without cringing each time I see him.

    I don't think that making everything a different shade of grade makes a plot realistic. In many cases it just makes it a grey mess. Most of recent dystopian fiction shows that even if you can construct a plausible dystopia, usually you can't give an answer how to change.

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