These are questions and answers that have been asked by members of the Thief community and answered by Thief: DS developers on the official Ion Storm forums. They provide a wealth of pre-release information and have been compiled here in an interview style format for easier perusal with all the chat/debate edited out. Names of the person who asked each question are included in parenthesis.

1) Are the levels larger than those in Invisible War?
Yes; in general, Deadly Shadows has more gameplay space per map load than Invisible War did, due to improvements in the technology and specific content trade-offs.
2) Is water in the game?
Yes, but you cannot swim in it. It has stim properties and generates splashes, et cetera, but we aren't using it for gameplay space.
3) Is 1st person fully supported?
Yes, absolutely. The PC game will ship in 1st person by default, and you literally will never be forced to spend an (interactive) moment in 3rd person. Garrett's body is visible, of course, as per the body awareness topic.

The Xbox version will ship in 3rd person by default.
4) Rope arrows. Yes or no? (ZylonBane)
Sadly, rope arrows will not be appearing in the game. The climbing gloves have gotten more versatile than they were at E3 and continue to evolve even now. They are (along with mantling) the primary vertical movement tool in DS.
5) How much undead/lost city/bonehoard/crypt/woodsie type gameplay is there? If any? I'm sure you probably don't want to be too specific, but a comment like "less that Thief" or "more than Thief 2" would be nice. (Dogar)
I would say that we have roughly around the same amount of supernatural presence in DS as in the original title. The cast of characters have changed somewhat from what you may be expecting, however.

I think that within the mission spread, we have more levels that mix a dash of the extraordinary or supernatural along with their human counterparts than in the previous games.
6) Will there be options to disable the more consolesque interface touches, like the sparkly loot, oversized compass, and bright blue glow behind your current inventory item? (ZylonBane)
Can't comment on specifics, but we're working on making the HUD as unobtrusive as possible through a number of avenues. As with 1st vs. 3rd person, we may elect to toggle some defaults one way or the other for the PC version.
7) With the oil flasks used to trip guards- how exactly will this affect their animations? Will they fall, I guess? (Onager1286)
Can't discuss the details of specific player tools at this time, I'm afraid.
8) How are NPC's animations in general? In DX1 they were bad, in DXIW they're nonexistant. To me, good animations really add a lot to the believability to a game..... thanks again! (Onager1286)
As for animations -- different team, different animations. Personally, I think our animation set is of high quality and adds significantly to immersion (when coupled with appropriate barks.)
9) And is it possible to ghost the entire game without getting into a fight with anyone? (Grimoire)
I can't outright confirm that this is possible until I've done it myself, but I will say that this has always been a Thief design goal. We're attempting to support a variety of play styles better than in previous incarnations (as we've said many times), but the ghost-like undetectable thief was the one we started with, and we're keeping that well in mind throughout tuning.
10) Will the music/ambient sound still retain the more darker, industrial/grunge, terror, feedback type of feel that T1 and T2 had? (noah)
Two words: Eric Brosius.

I know this particular cat is long since out of the bag, so I'll let it yowl. I get a little spinal thrill every time I hear a new sound in the game from Master B. Does this make me a geek? Yes, it does.

Suffice it to say, he largely defined Thief's aural presence, and he's iterating on (and making improvements to) that now-classic style in T:DS.
11) How much are you editing the origonal story? (supersmell)
Not quite sure what you mean, there.

I assume you're asking about the few fictional details we've released? Those were broad strokes, and they're pretty much still in place. The DS plot is an entirely new story in the same setting (The City), starring Garrett, and written chiefly by Terri Brosius. Most of what you've read (very low on detail, from what I've seen) is true.

The plot won't require you to have played previous Thief titles, as par usual, but there are references here and there. It does indeed take place after the events of the Metal Age, as well.
12) SDK? Level editor? Please? (fuzzbox)
I'm afraid I don't know, on this one. This is a decision for EIDOS as a whole, and I don't think we'll have an answer on it before release. I'm certain that if it's important to enough of the fan base, they will band together and make their opinions known.
13) Will the cutscenes be similar in artistic aspects to the trailer or will they be more in the style of T1 and T2? (Scythe)
Rustmonkey is indeed producing our cinematics. They're in the "rustmonkey style" which varies a bit from piece to piece. That's about as much detail as I can give.

However, I will say that I play my favorites from time to time during moments of rest, and they haven't gotten old yet.
14) Will be seeing a Thief 3 demo?? If so, how soon we looking?? (The_Crested_Ones)
Can't comment at all on this one, I'm afraid.

Just making that clear, since it was asked by a few different forum ghosts.
15) I was wondering how responsive and active the AI will be. (i.e. A guard and his partner are patrolling, you knock out his partner. Does the other guard notice this? and if so, does he act more alert, looking more actively for anything suspicious?) (god_is_my_goldfish)
T:DS characters will notice more than they did in previous games, and have considerably more intelligent searching behavior. When they catch you now, it is very tense because they represent lost time, potential damage, lots of noise, et cetera.

A skilled player can hold his or her own against a single guard, but it is already challenging. Against a group, you have to use the environment to your advantage and burn a lot of your resources.

We've got escape tools as an alternative, of course.
15) Hi Null,glad to catch you while youre in here,will there be any new creepy monsters and how scary will they be,have you seen them in action yet. (slipknot)
I have a sort of unwholesome personal involvement in this topic. I can safely say that yes, there will be new AI types, I have seen them in action, and some of them are very creepy indeed. It's a bit of a personal crusade to ensure that certain permutations are particularly nightmarish.
16) Uh.. about the common guards: How varied will they be? Are there just a handful of different Faces or can we expect a whole bunch for the several enemy types? (Vicarocha)
Considerably more varied than in previous Thief games, but I can't quote an average number of variations at this time. They certainly have lots of personality, now. I'm confident that the collective effect will be convincing.
17) Besides Stephen Russell, are many of the voice actors from the previous Thief games involved in T3(guards, peasants, etc)? (BroRen)
We do have some other returning voice talent on T:DS. Call me a secretive jerk, but I think I'll leave you guessing about who, specifically, might be back. Heh.
18) Will objectives work similar to the first two games, with more to do on higher skill levels? Any hidden/secret objectives? (BroRen)
The objective structure in this title is based off, but not identical to the previous games. And of course, it is interleaved with the difficulty options. Our goal is to provide lots of direction and encourage exploration without holding the player's hand through the process.

The game still requires a considerable amount of thinking on one's feet. You'll have to improvise and experiment quite a bit to bypass any given challenge.

Some experiences are more linear in the name of a strong story thread, and others can be completed in any order, in which case you may find that your criminal "narrative" varies quite a bit from those of other players.
19) How is the third person perspective implimented? Is it fixed to a certain origin\angle for each area the player is in (ala Nocturne), or does the player have actual control of it like in most third person games? From the screenshots it looks fixed to me (which i personally think would be the way to go)... (Scarlett)
The camera is attached to Garrett. Fixed views wouldn't have allowed for as much freedom to explore as we'd have liked. You're always sliding behind something, clambering over something, vaulting over a railing, flattening against a wall, crouching in an irregularly shaped alcove, et cetera.

The camera needed to be able to react to those situations, which it does very well, in my opinion.

Both the first person camera and the third person camera are still being tweaked, however. We're trying to get the most fluid, natural feel out of them that we can.
20) Has the stealth system itself changed? For instance, in previous games, the player hid simply by standing on shadows (silhouettes and other factors were never included); has that finally evolved to some extent? (The Shroud)
Yes, it has evolved somewhat. Can't go into specifics. Simply standing on a shadow isn't enough, though.
21) Are there new player movement types (aside from climbing)? (The Shroud)
Minor enhancements to the old favorites, with a couple of exceptions, for which I'd refer you to the screenshots. Garrett is a pretty dynamic entity, but he is still human. Most of the revisions to his movement model are centered around stealth and vertical exploration.
22) How much (if at all) have the Thief fan base's past discussions about ideas for Thief III influenced your decisions, and in what general ways (for instance, have you picked up any ideas directly from such brainstorming sessions)? (The Shroud)
The fan base contributes in a kind of once-removed manner to our general suggestion pool. Several of us read the forums here and at TTLG, and all of that information is part of our design culture. Obviously, one of our goals is to provide a definitive stealth experience for as many gamers as possible, but we're also trying to do the previous games one-better. That means that we keep an eye on feedback from players of T1 and T2. It's just natural.
23) Any alarms in the levels? (paloalto)
We're not doing any mechanical alarm systems. No sirens going off, or anything like that. They tend to encourage a cascading blunder scenario, and we're trying to avoid that, this time around.

We'd rather let the AI handle the state of emergency, to be honest. Gives the player more opportunity to arrest and control the flow of information, and interact with AIs who only have a partial picture of what's going on.
In answer to a previous question that I temporarily side-stepped:

Yes, we have a persistent economy. You go seek out loot in missions and in the city, then you visit a fence and sell it. We intend to deliver the entire experience of stealing precious objects and cashing them in, then spending the ill-gotten gains.

The fences live out in the city sections, as do the nefarious types who sell your thieves' tools.
25) we already know that there will be no swimming in TDS. But is wading in the game? In other words, are there any "watery" enviroments at all: sewers, puddles, fountains etc? Is there any "wadable" water in the game? (Bukary)
There will be "watery" environments in the game, yes. You can expect to see water that you can wade in. I'd rather not go into too much detail in case of feature changes, however.
26) In an interview with TTLG a few months back, Randy Smith mentioned that in addition to the standard difficulty levels, you could customise the difficulty setting in order to support various play-styles. This was also mentioned in several earlier previews, however the new stuff makes no mention of it. Is this still in the game? (Z)
Yes, we still plan to support custom difficulty settings specifically so that more advanced players can tailor the parameters of their experience.
27) Are the climbing gloves something you have from the start, or will you have to 'earn' them? (John P.)
They're available for purchase out in the City. That's all I can say at this time.
28) Will Garrett have any dynamic moves? i.e. rolling, ledge hanging, pressing himself between pillars similar to how Splinter Cell's Sam Fisher did the wall split. (CaptainClone)
Suffice it to say: yes!

Garrett has his own dynamic moves. I'm afraid I can't give a final list of them, but who knows what will be shown off in advertising, et cetera.
29) Will you still be allowed many different ways to enter a building or get to a set point? (god_is_my_goldfish)
We always try to ensure that during any break-in experience, there's always a back door, or side window, or skylight entrance. Part of the thrill of being a thief is found (for many) in the unorthodox use of space to bypass boundaries.

Stepping up on a generator to climb over a fence as a kid gives you the same thrill, especially if you sort of vault over it as you do so. Know what I mean? One of the first things you learn in Thief is to find an alternate route.

The climb up to someone's window, or through a drainage grate constitutes the first few notes of any thief's experiential symphony. We'd never deny you that sweet sound.
30) One question I came up with, is on the website under the characters section there is this really messed up looking picture when you go to find information on the hammerites. I mean, has their appearance been totally revamped? do they now wear some robotic looking headress? (metal_dawn)
That's one of the pieces of concept art from some time ago. In general, the Hammerites are exactly how you remember them, but upgraded. Red-clad, industrious, patriarchal zealots.

And they carry, in most cases, (you guessed it) giant metal hammers with which they seek to batter interlopers unrecognizable.
31) Will we have exactly the same control system. As in walk by default, run by holding down a key; creep, run, walk, lean left, lean right, lean forward... basically I must have my exact keymaps! Please! (fuzzbox)
T:DS on the PC will have a completely configurable keyboard, with a couple of exceptions where a specific key is used for some function native to the tech.

So I can't promise your exact config will be possible, but the odds are good.
32) are the between mission text quotes still in the game? (Karkianman101)
33) Will there be any Mages in the game? (paloalto)
No mages, per se. Let's just say, however, that all our AI are not limited to a soldier's simple tools.
34) Is there area specific damage/do we have to bump the AI right on the noggin to knock them out? (fuzzbox)
There are elements of this in the combat system. I can't release specifics, though. Imagine that.
35) Ages ago you said that the game would be tracking dead vs unconcious AI, does that meen they can wake up? (by themselves or others can wake up?) (fuzzbox)
We determined long ago that AIs returning to consciousness during real-time play wasn't good for gameplay, in most cases. However, I will say that there are conditions where using the blackjack (instead of the dagger) allows downed characters to survive and return later in the game.
36) Can you tell us more ablout the 'free taff' option between missions? That's what really perked me up, it's exactly what I wanted, but that all depends on how it's implemented of course. (Grimoire)
The most detail I can give is that the city sections are freeform urban environments, where you get to break rules and deal with consequences (mostly) by choice instead of by your very presence.

There are lots of things to do out in the City, but none of them are shoved down your throat per se. There are certain things you've got to accomplish in order to advance the game, but the rest of it is a virgin crimescape.

Keep the faith. More exact details will become available through a number of channels which somehow I doubt that you'll miss.
37) How many hits will it take to knockout or kill an enemy when they are not paying attention to you, ie backstab? (FAT Thief)
One. If you set up a stealth takedown, you're rewarded with an efficiently neutralized AI.
38) This sounds more to me like AIs returning from unconsciousness is not in, except for probably a couple of important characters that, if you club them instead of kill them, will return later. (John P.)
Not quite. Just remember: in previous Thief titles, you didn't have a reason to return to interact with the same characters, even in passing.

This time, you do. And it matters, in some cases, whether you behaved yourself.
39) Is hiding bodies as important in T:DS as T1/T2? Does carrying bodies slow Garrett down? How fast does Garrett lift up bodies? (Kaleid)
Yes, it's very important.

Carrying bodies does indeed slow you down. How fast? Just a brief pause.
40) What's the word on moss arrows? will they be making a return? (yossbob)
Oh yes.
41) You say you've been targetting ghosting from day one. Which is cool. BUT: In my experience, most ghosting missions turn out to be very easy to sneak through using standard methods. How can you ensure this won't happen in thief 3? (Chade)
I said it's been a design goal to make it possible.

That doesn't mean another of our design goals isn't to encourage players to burn their resources left and right in order to achieve any kind of "ease", including but not limited to ghosting through a mission, neutralizing lots of AI, getting large percentages of the available loot, et cetera.

So it's possible, but not statistically probable.

In order to (theoretically) sneak through our entire game without entering combat, you'd have to be pretty good, and disciplined. To do so without being caught at all, you would have to be very, very good.

Each difficulty setting is a modifier on those declarations, but in general, the game isn't balanced toward a "traceless" passage through space.

We like it when the players use the tools and resources they've acquired. Because then you've got a reason to get rich.

As for encouraging players to use harder difficulty modes, I'd rather not comment at this time due to the potential for change.

I define ghosting, by the way, as not getting detected. As in, no AI ever sees you and tries to attack you. I know there are probably dozens of interpretations, so I thought I'd clarify my flippant use of the term.
42) This may have been asked, but when garret bumps into something,like a table or chair, will he exert the same amount of force as alex in IW? I mean will the object just kinda rock for a sec or will it go flying? (MR.Saturn)
Physics will be considerably more, well, subtle, in DS.

Especially as pertains to Garrett's personal impact on furniture, et cetera.

However, you will have other tools to create a more dramatic or deliberate impulse, but I can't go into the details because they're being worked out at the moment.
43) How are the maps Garret has to view handled? The same as in T1/2? (Dusk-Sailor)
You've got an overhead map for each mission and each major district of the city. Some of them are found, others are bought, and still others are just given to you based on game conditions.
44) I hope this hasn't been asked or answered, but will the "lean" feature be like T1 and T2, or will it be a simultaneous "lean and kneel" thing, a la Deus Ex? (Obviously, I'm pulling for the former, cuz you can do the hard core "bendy" around corners) (Eye)
Lean works in both 1st and 3rd; the difference is, you have to actually be concerned about leaning into the light. If you lean out around a corner and your arm and head are being struck by a flickering torchlight, it's going to affect your light gem.

Granted, a quick look is often safe. But you're dealing with real, per-pixel shadow and light, so you're going to be kept on your toes.
45) While it's generally been acknowleged by everyone that the graphics of T1 and T2 weren't exactly state-of-the-art (even for their time), I've always appreciated the visual depth that the Dark Engine brought to the experience. Other games, no matter how great the graphics, looked flat compared to the Thief games and were incapable of giving you that sense that you were actually in an environment, not just looking at it. Obviously, with a new engine you've got a whole new reality to work with, but was there any sense that this game had to look differently in this regard? (Eye)
As far as visual similarities to T1 / T2 ... those games are the stylistic progenitors of T:DS. Several years have passed, so you're going to have to be the judge of whether the art style in DS is as immersive (to you) as those games were. It's an extremely subjective call, obviously.

Thus far, while playing through our maps, I've felt very much immersed in a slightly "larger than life" way, as if I'm the star of a heavily art-directed film. I hope our players feel the same way, on either platform.
46) Null, did you use motion capture at all for the 3rd person movements? (GlasWolf)
A lot of the animation is heavily-tweaked motion capture data, yes.
47) if we buy an item for a mission but don't use it, will it stay with us? (nascent)
If you buy an item but don't use it, it will stay with you.
48) will we be able to buy as many, say, fire or gas arrows as we can afford, or are items limited to discrete quantities that reset themselves between missions? are some items only available for specific scenarios? (nascent)
You're limited only by the cap on a given item.
49) is there more than one place to buy equipment, and if so will all of them have the same inventory/prices? (nascent)
Not all the equipment stores have exactly the same equipment per se.
50) can we sell back equipment if we don't use it, or change our minds after buying it but before leaving the store/dialogue? (nascent)
We're not currently planning to allow you to sell gear back.
51) are there in-mission items we can pick up and use- more arrows, etc? (nascent)
There are in-mission items you can pick up and use.
52) will there be anything like a journal to record/store documents we grab? (nascent)
Important document info is converted into a format you carry with you, but it may not be what you're expecting. It's convenient, though.
53) are climbing gloves always on or will we need to equip them? if so, will it be like using rope arrows or lockpicks? can we fight/shoot/pick locks while wearing them or do they need to unequipped? (nascent)
Climbing gloves are always on, once you purchase them.
54) is the inventory ui a list like before or a graphic like we see in rpgs? are items grouped, i.e, a sequence/section of arrows followed by potions, and will items we pick up automatically be assigned to the appropriate one? (nascent)
Items are grouped into three categories based on how they're used. Not too far from the way it was in T1 / T2, but with the third category of permanent changes like the gloves.

There is no RPG-like inventory management, per se. When you buy something, it is immediately accessible through the proper channel, or acts as a passive upgrade to something you can already do.
55) are things like keys and papers assembled, ala a keychain that adds each key, where it acts like the dx1 nanokey, sorta, and a file system for papers? (Karkianman101)
Keys aren't assembled into an abstract 'keyring', but you do automatically use the right key when you frob the door, if you've picked it up somewhere.

So functionally, it's the same thing.
56) I can't think of anything more dumb that continuous lockpicking. It's simply repeating the same action over and over again. Realistic, yes. Fun, no. (Grimoire)
I can't go into much detail (surprise surprise), but suffice it to say that our entire lockpicking redesign was about changing the act into something that takes skill, and has a legitimate difficulty ramp. Hopefully it'll be tense and entertaining, as well.

The T1/T2 model definitely felt repetitive to me. DS doesn't, but I'll let you guys be the final judge.
57) Haunts? Burricks? Zombies? (fuzzbox)
Haunts and Zombies made it. Burricks, sadly, are no longer present.
58) How are floor surfaces handled, when it comes to movement noise. Is it still a matter of Hard Surfaces verses Soft Surfaces? Or is it now based on stable verses unsable surfaces? (CrashT)
Can't go into insane detail, but it's similar to the previous surface types, with minor adjustments, and the more significant presence of the sound propagation system which you've likely read about.
59) How does frobbing look now? (I heard that the psychedelic frob art I saw at E3 was temporary.) (noah)
It's quite a bit better now than at E3. It's sort of a soft blue pulse that highlights the normal maps on the texture. Should show up in the occasional screenshot, soonish.
60) I remeber reading the desciption of water arrows being able to "wash away incriminating blood stains". Will this be implemented in the same way as the previous games? (such as the carpet sucking up the blood until it was *poof* gone)Or will blood actually stain the carpet, adding to an incentive not to kill that guard with a broadhead, b/c he happens to be standing on a rug? (Leviticus)
No plans for unwashable stains; if you burn a water arrow (sort of paradoxical jargon, isn't it), we want you to see a result.
61) do the game missions have loot objectives, i.e., collect at least x gold? (nascent)
Yes, there are difficulty-based loot requirements in missions.
62) are there some quarters where garrett is automatically suspect- ''it is precisely that sort of element we don't want around- *humph*. ''- requiring him to sneak his way through or risk attack? conversely, if he goes into a bad [worse] neighborhood, will some wannabe try to blackjack him? (nascent)
Garrett is never utterly safe, except in the shadows. You can expect to have to watch your back, out in the City, especially if you go on a bloodthirsty rampage.
63) will he have to worry about the wardens, or incurring the wrath of the downwind thieves guild if he ventures into their territory? will there be AI thieves to worry about, like in 'life of the party', but this time they are actually competing for the same loot? (nascent)
There are criminal AI elements out in the City. Can't get more specific than that.
64) can he rob the merchants he buys his gear from? (nascent)
Criminal merchants know you by name and face; you don't steal directly from them. They're where you sell your "inheritance" and pick up new tools. There are plenty of other small businesses to prey on.
65) Will there be multiple types of mission objectives? (GhostInTheMachine)
Heh, yes.
66) Please Null can you canfirm that we can save whenever we want ? (bartouze)
67) According to the post about the mag article there are no Zombies?Null can you answer as to the discrepency here. (paloalto)
Zombies are back. They're not as common as in previous titles, but watching a Hammerite battle a pair of zombies is just too much fun to pass up.
68) The PC Zone article mentions thief stores. Having been a party to implementing the first one in Calendra I have to say YAY!! But, I have one teensy tiny concern... Please tell me that lock picks, gloves, etc. are not consumed with use... Please? (Thumper)
They are not consumed with use. Plenty of items are, but the system is pretty intuitive about which.
69) Null, Faceless, Endless, did any of T:DS developers find some time to play Calendra's Legacy FM by Anthony Huso (Purah)? (Bukary)
Some of us have, yes. It's a pretty well known fan mission.
70) will i be able to push guards off a ledge or something by running behind them/ slammming a big object into them? (p7eter)
Suffice it to say that engineering some spectacular falls is well within your capabilities in T:DS.
71) So my question is, if an AI becomes alert from a zombie or something similar, will they return to an unalert status once the threat has been neutralized? It's annoying to watch a guard run into a zombie, have the guard kill it, and then start scouring the shadows for thieves for no obvious reason. (Little Raven Girl)
The AI in no way magically know that there's a thief in their midst. They'll react to a threat and calm down appropriately. In general, DS characters are better equipped to deal with each other than in the previous titles.

This game's crimescape is considerably broader; our pawns have to be able to do more than simply search for the player.

Hope you enjoy the results...
72) In the City Sections can Garrett "talk" with random persons? That is, do people recognize him as a Thief when he's just trotting around the streets? Do they wave greetings at him? (Psi Yamaneko)
City sections are culturally promiscuous.

You get to observe most of our AI types interacting with each other in a public space, and intervene when there's profit in it, or on a whim. Some of the characters there are out for your blood, and others would rather fight amongst themselves, or stay out of trouble entirely.
73) For climbing, will the game simply differentiate between easily recognizeable 'climbable' and 'unclimbable' surfaces, or are there going to be degrees in between, that simply require more or less skill by the player? (Moorkh)
We're still tuning the climbing convention. We want it to be easily recognizable without marring the player's sense of immersion.
74) Will the missions take place within the same parts of the city as the freeform thieving in between (so that you could leave your mission at any time to shop for some more water arrows and return later) or are they played out in closed-off sections that you can only leave once the mission is over? (Moorkh)
The missions are completely enclosed, highly focused experiences, like the previous titles showcased. You decide when you want to enter, and then you're on the job 'til it's done.
75) How will the game handle mission failure? (Moorkh)
Mission failure conditions are based on the difficulty settings. If something you do breaks a restriction, you fail and can load a previous savegame. It's a lot like T1 / T2 in that way, although the settings per difficulty level may have changed.
76) Similarily, has Garrett access to all tools (provided he has the money to buy them) required to get to all non-mission critical places from the beginning or will he only attain them after certain key missions? (Moorkh)
I will only say that some tools are acquired later in the game. Best I can do, for now.
77) Is there any RPG element in the game, say to chart the development of Garrett's thieving skills? (Moorkh)
Few RPG elements, overall. Garrett is already a master thief. We spend a lot of time working to help the player control said scoundrel to the best of his or her own ability. Some RPG-like elements include the global economy and the faction system, however. (Can't go into a lot of detail there, either.)
78) Will there be anything like a day/night cycle or NPC schedules that would create an impression of time progressing, or will the game take place in an everlasting 'dead of night'? (Moorkh)
T:DS takes place at night. Garrett sleeps during the day. Our game is about sneaking. Daylight, while a potentially interesting challenge, isn't particularly conducive, so we elected not to include it.
79) We already know there will be no equipment slots. However, Warren has recently mentioned the lack of a point & click/drag inventory in DX:IW as one of its greates failings - does that mean we will likely see one in TDS? (Moorkh)
T:DS does not use the same inventory system as DX:IW.
80) Will there be secret passageways (i.e., behind walls of mansions and the such)? (Yegg)
Of course.
81) We have a game with a character which is able to scale walls (previously he could climb rope arrows) but are guards and other AI constructs able to deal with opponents which aren't on the same x-y plane as they are? Can they correctly ascertain that I have climbed the wall and am just hanging above their heads while they run around like chickens with their heads cut off? Will they be able to _see_ me, even if I am in plain sight but above them? Are they able to shoot at me? (GhostInTheMachine)
The AI is totally capable of spotting and then dealing with you, should you be in plain sight on a wall. They can also potentially run off and grab another AI with ranged capabilities if they themselves aren't able to shoot at you. But will you still be there, when they get back?

It's all up to you
82) There are some excellent fan made Thief missions from very talented people whereby you could extinguish candles just from frobbing them, like you can in real life. Surely if a few amateurs could pull it off in that very unuser friendly [but lovable] Dromed 2.0, the real devs of T3 could do it? (SDK_wanter)
As of now, you can frob single candle sticks out. No need to expend a water arrow on such a small source of light.

So yeah, blow it out... pinch it out, however you want to 'imagine' it... when you frob, it goes out.
83) Will Garret still retain the use of his mechanical eye? (audityou2death)
Yes, Garrett still has his mechanical eye. Yes, you can use it to zoom in and out.
84) In all the gameplay footage I've seen from E3, etc., the one thing that bugged me is that people crumple to the ground WAAAAAY too fast when blackjacked/killed. It's like they hit the dirt at warpspeed, almost too fast for the human eye. Has this been fixed, or will it be fixed before the game ships? (Jomero)
Back when that footage was shot, we didn't yet have animation blending enabled. animation blending I mean the ability to transition from a set of custom death animations into a ragdoll state rather than just throwing them into a ragdoll state as soon as they die (like you see in the footage).

This allows for much more dramatic, more realistic looking death sequences. Also, the impulse and mass values are MUCH improved since the footage was taken. It's tight.
85) I've noticed from the screenshots so far that none of the windows seem to be transparent (perhaps due to separate interior/exterior loading zones, but I won't breach that subject); is this standard throughout the game? (The Shroud)
We do have windows you can see through in the game. However, when it comes to the city streets - we use opaque windows in most cases. This is so that we can maintain good object/lighting density on both the insides and outsides of any given location (aka - occlusion).

But, we have plenty of windows you can open and see through for alternate entry points/escaping/sniping etc.. It's a balancing act that falls somewhere between performance, aesthetics and gameplay. We try to hit all 3 of those categories in everything we do.
86) It was mentioned before that Garrett's outfit has changed since some of the earlier screenshots, but I'm not certain which of those shots are older and which are more recent. In short, which of those outfits is the most current? (The Shroud)
The 'Newest Garrett' is the one with the attached quiver and bare-arms. Even then, since he's our ROCKSTAR, he will probably be undergoing more polish and adjustment until ship. So don't be shocked if he continues to evolve. It's a good thing . That said...
87) Am I just seeing things or is Garrett dramatically smaller than other people? (The Shroud)
Garrett is actually 6'1 or something around there. It's just that he's usually constantly hunched over in some sort of sneaksie' stance (I can't believe I just said that), so it makes him appear to be shorter than he actually is.
88) If 3rd person view is included in T:DS will you be able to see what's down the corridor while Garrett stays well hidden. Will there be ability to rotate viewing angles too? Will players be able to switch between 1st and 3rd person view at any time? (PJ Maybe)
Yes, one of the side effects of playing in third person is the ability to see around corners. I think it'll be a somewhat different, more cinematic experience for players who prefer that point of view. Tension and immersion, for me, are inherently augmented by the 1st person camera.

At present, we are planning to allow you to rotate the 3rd person camera while standing still, like a glance of sorts.

Players will indeed be able to switch between them at any time. Some of us (at Ion) play in 3rd, and some in 1st. It's up to the player how rigidly they wish to adhere to one perspective or the other.

I tend to prefer 1st person in missions, and 3rd out in the City, personally.

89) Will we be able to set up "silent" diversions for guards such as leaving food, wine, gold, or whatever out where they can see them? By silent, I mean something that won't alert the guard or nearby guards to suspicious activity (like a noise arrow might). (Thumper)
There are definitely ways to distract AI without using a noisemaker. Usually they involve manipulating the environment in some way. That's all I can say for the time being.

In short, AI in T:DS are simply more aware of the world they inhabit than in previous Thief games. It's a balancing act (pun very much intended) deciding what they should really react to, and what they should simply shrug about.

90) Will reading of scroll, books, etc occur in real time ala DX:IW or will the game pause to allow you to read something, ala Thief 1 and 2? (CrashT)
We're kickin' it Thief style, on this one. It's one of those conventions that Just Worked .

You won't have to deal with that infuriating resolution-switch effect from the old days, however.

91) It has been mentioned that Thief: Deadly Shadows will feature a tutorial level again, to bring new players up to speed on how to play Thief. My question is, is the new tutorial written into the context of the story? Similar to TDP's tutorial being a kind of back-story as if you were playing Garrett's actual training by the Keepers? (rtoast)
It's a pretty solid blend of abstract training-related UI elements and the story of an actual mission, which leads directly into the greater fiction arc.
92) Do specific locations and environments in the game accurately mirror whatever counterparts they may have in the cutscenes (if applicable)? (The Shroud)
As much as possible. Environment artists use the cutscenes as reference material. We definitely didn't want them to feel utterly decoupled from in-game locations, which can be irksome, as you pointed out.
93) One thing I'd like to know is, since supposedly 1st person view is still "fully supported" in that you can do anything from 3rd person view in 1st person as well, meaning there are no moves that are exclusive to a certain view. (rtoast)
Can't talk about 1st-to-3rd specifics, here, due to the potential for change. However, I can say that there are inherent stealth bonuses associated with crouching, being near a wall, and flattening against one.

We're working on tuning this sort of thing right now, in fact.

94) Why has Garrett got a dagger permenently welded into his hand? Do you have to carry a base set of weapons and tools like in previous games, or can you drop everything, and complete the level the way nature intended? (Grimoire)
You can put away your weapons at any time. However, there is a basic set you can't get rid of deliberately, but there's nothing stopping you from playing without using them, just like the old days, when Garrett was an orphan stealing bread, cheese, apples, and carrots, over and over again.
95) And question on the FLASHBOMB outta totally mild curiosity. . . In 1st person when you toss one of those things down at your feet you're as helplessly blinded as the guards before you. Everything is white for a few moments. Does the screen still blank out when you do that in third person or what? (Psi Yamaneko)
We actually bailed on this, for DS. Any competent infiltration op knows not to look at a flashbang after he throws it. We reasoned that Garrett is the same; he knows enough to "blink" during the flashbomb's blast.

It just didn't feel right to be blinded by your own toolset.

96) In T1 and T2, it was pretty obvious whenever the guards would lose patience with looking for you and go back to their normal routine. For example, sometimes their sayings would cut off mid-sentence, and sometimes their crouched over hunting sway would just *snap* back to an upright position and they'd casually walk back to their guard post. Will things be a little smoother/better/less predictable in T3 with respect to this so that we're not so aware when they're done looking for us? (Yegg)
I can honestly say I have never seen this, playing DS. They always seem to finish what they're yapping about, then put away their weapons, shrug or yawn, and say something about having lost the culprit.
97) any thoughts on how garrett's movement "feels" compared to the earlier games? (Eye)
I'd say it's very similar to the previous titles in first person. I still find myself crouching all the time because of the tension involved in the higher-profile upright pose. Makes me feel less visible (because I am.)

In third person, it's more like playing the Gray Mouser or something; very nimble and springy. I flit from shadow to shadow instead of moving with obsessive caution.

In both modes, the ability to scale a wall is a welcome addition. I'll be interested to see how you folks end up using it.

98) null, will the ai be more stable? in t1 and 2, there were several problems, like in some cases i would back deep into a corner, and the guard would come right to me, and try to walk through me in search mode for about 5 minutes, rubbing against me, and they wouldnt detect me. (Karkianman101)
They know when they bump into a person, in DS. If you've caused enough trouble to get actually chased down in a dark corner, you'd better be ready to move, this time around.
99) Given that there are different difficulty levels will we see more story or perhaps a slightly different story? than if we were going to play thorough on "normal" or lesser difficulty? (brodieman)
No, the amount of available story is largely identical between the various difficulty modes, although your individual stories of gameplay may vary considerably:


"I was climbing up a wall, and there was this guard with his back to me, so I blackjacked him, and he toppled off into the courtyard!"

Becomes this:

"I was climbing up a wall, and there was a guard with his back to me, but as I ran up behind him, he heard me, so I had to scramble across some battlements, and then he yelled for an archer to help him out. I ended up getting in a bow-duel across a roof-line, and then climbed through a window and got away."

100) Do we have the credits for this game available yet, or will we only be able to find out who is doing what after the game is released? (god_is_my_goldfish)
Credits can change right up until release. I'm afraid we can't put those out for public viewing through any other medium than the game itself.
101) How are guard patrol routes looking in terms of length or predictability in comparison to the first two games? Like, can we expect to see guards on fairly long patrol routes that take them through most of the level? Or do the mainly stay within a room/couple rooms range? (rtoast)
This really depends on the level, and the difficulty settings. Comparing any given DS experience (in regards to this particular question) to the previous games is something I'm not going to do to avoid inaccuracy.

Are there lots of smaller, easily-parsed patrols in T:DS?

Are there several longer, less predictable patrols in T:DS?

The answer to both questions is yes. Individual designers may address the needs of a given space with either of the above tools. Some rooms are inherently difficult without the presence of a surprise addition to the party. Others need that additional tension.

102) As AI is improved and cleaning blood up seems like its going to be much more important in T:DS, will blood pools clean themselves up after a few seconds as they did in T1 and T2? (PJ Maybe)
Actually no, puddles last for quite a while. There's obviously a cap on how many of them the system will support, but you'll have to play as quite the walking slaughterhouse to notice.
103) Do you know how the lockpicking is going to work on the PC without the force feedback of the XBox controller? Audio cues? (GlasWolf)
Audio cues, visual cues, animation states, et cetera.

We're still testing and responding to feedback on this, but for what it's worth: I play on the PC at the moment, for the majority of my time, and I enjoy the lockpicking experience quite a bit.

It's something about (mentally) cueing the typical, physical click sound from a mouse button to the act of defeating each tumbler that is satisfying, to me. You can become very adept at it, and even begin to learn lock-type characteristics as mentioned in the previous thread.

104) "Visible locks"? What does that mean? In previous Thief games there were no visible locks on doors at all, just handles. And do you enter the lockpicking pose even if you have the keys for the door (ZylonBane)
In T:DS, there are visible locks on doors that begin locked. You've seen them in many screenshots. If you have a key, you just blow right through them. If you don't, you enter the lockpicking pose when you frob them, which you can break out of at any time.

A door that begins unlocked simply doesn't have a visible lock on it, for clarity purposes. They have handles, but you don't interact with them. Frob to open.

If you close a locked door behind you, you may confuse yourself, but it doesn't really matter, because the door will just open when frobbed.

As for the wisdom of these design choices, as I've stated a few times now, debating said judgment calls is not the topic of this thread or its siblings. Hope that answers your questions.

105) I got a magazine with a T3 preview and it mentions slitting peoples throats. Is T3 gonna be bloody and gorey like a Rambo movie? (Neo)
Blood puddles are part of the game.

Gory like a rambo movie? No.

At present, throat-slitting is not among Garrett's moves, nor am I aware of any plans to include it before release. He's a backstabber.

106) (no specific question)
Quick reply about all those ambient AI and beasts, et cetera:

We focused mostly on bipeds, in T:DS. There are some pretty exotic creatures, but only a couple of ambient AI types.

Spiders went the way of the Burricks, I'm afraid. We were more interested in recognizably sentient and semi-sentient AI this time around.

107) Will overlapping shadows multiply over each other (creating denser, darker areas where two shadows are combined) or will they retain their same densities throughout intersecting shadows? Soft shadow edges? (noah)
Yes, as they overlap, they darken further. Stencil shadows aren't inherently soft-edged, so cats like Faceless spend their time artfully combining them with the softer-edged shadows generated by the actual light texture, and with projected textures, as well.
108) Will it be possible to manually use keys on doors to unlock/relock them? Will the AI be set up to handle locked doors? Will all NPCs be able to open any door? (noah)
We're not doing the re-locked door thing, this time, also for clarity and player-direction reasons. AI either have the key to a door, or they do not, and you (as Garrett) can rob them of that ability, just like in the previous titles, and use it for yourself. It seems to play out well. Once you've played, remember to post constructive feedback. It gets read.
109) Do you have a rough idea of the delay between US version and european? (bartouze)
No clue at all, I'm afraid. Not my department. This sort of thing is determined by forces beyond my simple developer's ken.

I'll just less-than-helpfully hope that it reaches you quickly. Sorry I couldn't offer more information.

110) Okay.. so we can't relock doors, but what about the AI? If an AI with a key opens a locked door to go through it does it stay open or does the AI relock it once he closes the door? (Surreal Imposter)
They re-lock 'em. It'd be no fun otherwise.
111) DOES climbing walls create any noise whatsoever? (Surreal Imposter)
Climbing walls doesn't inherently create a lot of noise. It often makes you pretty visible, though. Choose your swath of wall wisely, or you're archer-bait.
112) Are there still holy water arrows, or is the presence of the undead really that minimal? (Surreal Imposter)
Holy water arrows no longer exist. Holy water, however, is in the game. Can't get more specific than that, however.
113) From what's been hinted at, the presence of undead is anything but minimal. In the previous Q/A thread someone mentioned one of the devs as saying that there would be a minimal amount of undead in the game, and no undead only levels. About that time Null popped up and said "we never said that" and put one of those little winkies up. That kinda clued me in...and excited me in many dirty ways cuz I love teh woo. Here's hoping for a return to the cathedral style map! (Renzatic)
Undead. Alright. Here's the scoop. There is less monstrous (undead included) presence in the game overall than in previous Thief titles. However, there are still undead-only maps in the game, much in the spirit of said predecessors.

We wanted to use them as a unique and hopefully interesting (to most players) stealth challenge, but keep the main focus of the game on interacting with human opponents.

114) What about system requirements null? Can you tell us in what machine can Thief:DS can run at least in 1024x768 with full detail? (thf)
System requirements aren't my department, and I don't believe we'd be allowed to release any data we've got. The game box itself is the final word.

Guys, if you see any more questions like this, please let the individual know that we're not answering hardware questions. They're simply subject to too much flux before release.

115) Also, what are each of you dev's roles in the game production, are you a project manager, modeler, texture designer or what? (god_is_my_goldfish)
Alright, this has been asked a few times. Hope it's revealing.

I'm a designer.

EndlessDespair is an AI programmer.

Faceless is an environment artist.

116) Do water arrows stick into torches? (The Shroud)
No. They douse them.
117) Can Garrett cling onto fixtures like pipes and scaffolding? (The Shroud)
He doesn't dangle from them, but he can mantle onto them, which is one of the ways you navigate the upper-tier City geometry.
118) Are there any other uses for the dagger besides attacks? (The Shroud)
No, it is a weapon, through and through. Backstabbing and desperate guard defense. A sub-point -- once you've whittled a guard down, he drops his weapon and attempts to flee. You don't have to kill him.

Although, if you're going berserk with swings, he might not get the chance. I remember trying to do this in Thief and mostly killing them by accident. Just a little bit of interest chucked in with your answers.

119) In T1 and T2 if you were picking a complex lock and a guard was coming, you could essentially pause in the middle of the process, hide a bit, and then resume on the same tumbler where you left off. Will this be possible in T:DS as well or will you have to restart from scratch? (Thumper)
It saves your progress. A lot of times, getting through a really difficult lock involves timed bursts of work in between patroller appearances.
120) A long time ago, we were told that the difficulty levels would be more customizable, in that you could decide whether you wanted to set 'kill nobody' as an objective, or 'blackjack nobody,' or what have you. Meaning that you could play it on expert and still kill people(when the mission doesn't inherently require such discretion). Since then, I've gotten the impression that this particular line of development was abandoned, but it's hard to say.

So, could you once and for all describe the difficulty level system for us? Is it the same as the old games, or have you added to the concept a little? (Little Raven Girl)

I can only say that line of development was definitely not abandoned. I can't go into specifics, unfortunately.
121) Will we be able to see characters like Caduca, Gamall, and Orland in-game or are they cinematic only? (ShadowTemplar)
You will see some heavily fiction-specific characters in game, yes.
122) When buying items, will a buy interface pop up similar to Thief 1 and 2? (ShadowTemplar)
When buying items in T:DS, you're actually looking across at the shopkeeper or fence, who are actual NPCs and know you better than most people do. There are interface elements as well, but they're fairly unobtrusive.
123) In the previous two Thief titles, you were able to purchase "tips" on scrolls that gave you some cool insight into the mission. Will tips still be available for purchase in T:DS? Will you purchase them from the same location(s) in which you buy your equipment? Or will you have the option of hunting around the city for contacts to gain some useful information on the upcoming mission? (Cyrano)
These are sort of rolled into the UI, these days, when it comes to game mechanic information. As far as potential jobs and secret caches of valuables, you'd find that kind of information out in the City. Since T1 and T2 really didn't have much of a City to go hunt for information in, they had to emulate it by making said data available for purchase between missions.
124) does the storyline try to be open ended like dx or dxiw, like with different endings? or is it a pure, focused story with one ending? (Karkianman101)
This comes back to the Swiss-army-knife vs. scalpel bit.

There are a lot of optional elements of play that could cause your stories of gameplay to vary by an order of magnitude.

However, the overall shape of the fiction is a single, hopefully pretty engaging length of yarn that you pick your way along in the darkness, like the title's predecessor

125) Free roaming city, though, I'm not entirely sure yet cause I'm not sure how its all laid out. Like, if we can return to say, the same section of city that we visited between the 1st and 2nd mission, when we're on like the 7th mission, or if its a different 'section' of the city that we can 'freely roam'? (rtoast)
126) Null...what is your ball-park figure about game length? (StormHammer)
I'm afraid I'm declining to even make the attempt, on this question.

Only during the last few hours of playtest will I have even a remote idea. Also, almost everyone here is the type of player who will explore every nook and cranny. That skews the results immensely toward a larger number of hours.

You're just going to have to play it your way.

And by that I mean with a stopwatch and a catheter.

127) Hey null a question for ya. You have mentioned how that while in the city Garrett may be able to roam about freely without fear of detection or recognition from the populous. You also mentioned that there will be some areas of the city that will require stealth but my question is "Will Garrett have any TRUE allies in the game?" (jtfoxhunter)
Actually, yes. And it has real gameplay bite, as well. Beyond that, my lips are sealed.
128) Will you be able to save whenever you want, or will the game restrict saving so that it can't be done in air, or near enemies, or in water et cetera? (luminosity)
I believe there are a couple of game states under which saving is disabled, but they're in place to prevent you from writing a savegame in an unwinnable state.
129) Are there still lots of readable items in the game or is important information mostly available from interaction/overheard conversations?

If the latter, are you able to refer back to them? ie do you have an "important information file" a la DX 1? (steelman)

There are plenty of readable objects in this game. There are those you must see due to objectives, and then there's flavor text you can peruse at will, or ignore outright.

The important stuff gets congealed and logged, although you can usually return to the place you read something, as well.

130) Null, will we be able to collect spent arrows from guards? In Thief 1 and 2, if you shot an arrow at a wooden object, it stuck in and we could re-use them. But if you hit an enemy, the arrows disappeared. (Little Raven Girl)
I think this is unlikely, for two reasons. One, it doesn't play too well with ragdoll behavior. One way or another, you'd see something that looked dumb when the guard collapsed.

Two, we sort of want you to expend that resource on the guard. If you miss and hit a wooden surface, hey, bonus. If you damaged a guard, there's certainly a benefit of some kind, and we'd like you to pay for it.

Got to give you an excuse to go rob a City Watch post.

131) Were any of you Devs (or any of the other Devs) Thief 1/2 fans? (PJ Maybe)
Of course.
132) Will Garrett just be able to use the gloves on any wall or can they only be used on certain surfaces? Like the rope arrows could anly be used on timber or soft surfaces. Will garrett be able to climb walls at any time? I mean will he just be able to run into a wall and go up it or will he have to select to 'use' the gloves? (PJ Maybe)
Put it this way:

Wall-climbing, while powerful, is not the ultimate escape tool. It has limitations. Archers can easily peg you while you're on a wall if they know where you are, up there.

That's as specific as I can get.

133) Are you still considering the adding new levels or does your job consist now mainly in fine tuning what's already in place? (bartouze)
Tuning, definitely.
134) is it planned to adjust the level of resource to keep sure you don't end up with far too much? (bartouze)
Can't really talk much about this, but global economy tuning has always been something we've planned for.

Thief is unique in that gold is sort of your universal lifeblood. It's a blessing and a curse, in terms of fine-tuning.

135) In DX:IW, when you snipe a guy from a distance, the other NPCs will move to the exact same spot as the guy stood, and stand there, then look around, then move slowly around the spot to "investigate". This means you have all the time in the world to snipe the rest of the NPCs in the level(pretty much), since they tend to move over there one at a time.

How is this handled in Thief: DS(when you kill someone with the crossbow)? (John P.)

Can't get into feature specifics, as usual, but:

Given that sniping (and all neutralization through stealth) is pretty core to Thief, you can rest assured that we're spending a lot of time to ensure that other AIs' reactions seem plausible without wreaking havoc on balance.

136) Devs, can you comment on the SDK that you have? Would you say that it is totally unfit for packaging and shipping or making available for download? Are there too many inter-dependant components? Things like that? (fuzzbox)
Add the SDK to the list of issues which I won't comment on, not because I don't care, but because it's out of my hands. Also, I won't be able to expound on the specifics of our (presently) semi-proprietary tech.

Sorry I can't be more informative about this; I'm afraid, though, that most of this is a chuck-it-over-the-fence to-EIDOS-and-wait sort of situation. And you've already done it.

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