Thief dev on avoiding the steampunk look

By Alice O'Connor, Mar 26, 2013 4:45pm PDT

They're everywhere nowadays, the punks. In shopping malls, parks or railway museums, they're loitering, jeering, smoking pipes and sneering at our society as they express "individuality" through top hats and goggles. Fear not, steampunks can't ruin everything we hold dear. The Thief series has always dabbled in steampunk-ish things, and rest assured the new Thief won't ape the gleaming brass and wood those hooligans and louts so adore, going grubby and scrappy as it creates a large city.

"The first goal was to avoid feeling [like you're] in a village, a small town," game director Nicholas Cantin told Game Informer. "My goal was to do a metropolis. Something really modern even though it fits in an old time."

But shh, don't say 'the S word.' Those people will hear it, through the ear trumpets they carry.

"The art style of steampunk is golden and wood--see Wild Wild West with Will Smith," Cantin said. "It's something we really want to get rid of. We're really more about rusty stuff where you see the welding."

Screenshots and concept art over at GI show the city's certainly stylized and Victorian London-ish, but in a dirty, foggy way. The sort of city where alleyways are more likely to conceal mutilating murderers than fops on steamcycles, I'd say.

The fog's for more than looking pretty though, as Cantin explains it lets players pick out silhouettes from the darkness. Fog: no longer simply for concealing draw distances.

Thief is coming in 2014 to PC, PlayStation 4, and any other next-gen consoles which might just happen to come our way.

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