Rebooting Thief: it’s not just about more polygons, says Eidos Montreal

Eidos Montreal’s long-rumoured Thief title is finally out in the open, confirmed for PC, PS4 and, presumably, the next Xbox.

We caught up with the game’s producer Stephane Roy recently to get an idea of how his team is approaching the project. You can find the most recent Thief images in our gallery here.

Your Garrett seems to have more of an edge and a hardness to him. Was that deliberate decision?
I think it’s a question of perception. On my side, I really think the Garrett you like is back. We worked very hard to respect his personality – dark humour, cynical, talking to himself. Maybe you have this feeling because of the visual aspect. Keep in mind that at that time the look of the character was dictated by the limitations of the technology. Today, we can give him exactly the look we have in mind.

Was there much crossover between the Deus Ex and Thief teams?
Not a lot; honestly, they’re different teams. But you’re right, when you think about what they did. The pressure was very high on their side to prove, ‘Yes, we can reinvent a Deus Ex game.’ It’s exactly the same story on our side now. They had a lot of success, it’s really a good game, so thanks to them, because it’s very useful for us – people are willing to give us a chance, since it’s Eidos Montreal that worked on Deus Ex, and the studio proved that we can do it.

Eidos Montreal has taken two IPs from Looking Glass/Ion Storm, a creative group with a well-articulated development philosophy. Is this something you’re conscious of? Do you discuss it internally?
I would tell you that we approached this project with a lot of respect, because you’re right, the development team before us did an amazing job. If people come back and try our game, it’s because of that. One thing that is crystal clear in our minds is that we don’t want to copy. It’s going to be our own flavour – respecting the past, but now we have to adapt it with today’s expectations.

When was the decision taken to make Thief a next-gen game?
At the beginning, the goal was just to understand our game. Why people are still in love with this franchise? And what kind of experience do we want to make? Once we were sure we knew how to make a very good Thief game, then we decided what platform we should be on. And we said we should aim immediately for next generation – part of the future. For this type of game, though, it’s really not about, ‘Yay, we have more polygons,’ or, ‘Excellent, we have more pixels,’ or things along those lines. It’s more about the immersion, the gameplay experience, [and] about the main character, Garrett. That’s not a question of whether the machine’s powerful or not.