The Deleted Scenes of Dark Camelot

In 2013 I spent several weeks researching the origins of the first Thief game, Thief: The Dark Project, for an article for RockPaperShotgun. This turned out to be the first in a series of investigative pieces I wrote for RPS and Eurogamer, focusing mainly on cancelled games in the Thief and Deus Ex series’.

This first article, Stealing History: Dark Camelot and Thief, investigates the two cancelled projects that preceded Thief: The Dark Project and which heavily shaped its final form. These are Better Red Than Undead, a cancelled Ken Levine game about Russians and zombies, and Dark Camelot, a steampunk reinterpretation of the Arthurian myth.

With help from Thief developer Randy Smith I exclusively uncovered unused levels, early trailers, concept art and plot information.

“The world was more modern than the traditional Arthurian elements. Steampunkish, but with no gunpowder,” says Marc. “I remember seeing sketches of Merlin with a top hat, and there was talk of Knights covered in corporate logos like NASCAR drivers… We didn’t want to be straight up orcs and elves; we wanted to build something unique and memorable. Something we could own.”

I spoke to a whole bunch of the original Looking Glass Studios team for this article and owe a lot of thanks to Randy Smith and Marc LeBlanc for their help.

You can read the full article on RockPaperShotgun for more information, or contact me to get access to the original research.

 

Limited Hyperbole…

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Last year, I had an idea. Like most of my ideas it was borne out of frustration and dissatisfaction; it was arrogant and melodramatic and took itself too seriously. Eventually it became Unlimited Hyperbole, a podcast which is still best described in those three terms.

Now, after four seasons and twenty episodes, Unlimited Hyperbole is finished. I set myself the goal of being nominated for Best Podcast in the Games Media Awards and I said I’d stop if I didn’t make it. I didn’t, so the show’s over.

A few people have asked why I set that goal and why I’m stopping the show so suddenly. I figure I owe those people an explanation.

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The Next Best…

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Last year I collected a list of the good things I had read. I made a folder and bookmarked everything I thought was moving, important, brave or insightful. These are the things that, had I written them, I’d have been proud of writing. I posted the list as ‘The Angry Best‘.

I’m not really sure why I started doing it, but a handful of friends bookmarked the post and returned to it for weeks to come as a list of interesting things to read over lunch. So, I decided to do the same this year too. I read a lot, so the list is naturally quite long, but I’ve emboldened the ones that are really essential and separated ones about games for convenience.

I’m always interested in reading more good things, regardless of whether it gets on this list or not – if you spot something good then please send it to me.

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Unlimited Hyperbole #16

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Update: Unlimited Hyperbole is no longer available. There are two episodes preserved by the Thief community on Youtube which are linked in the episode index, however other episodes have since been lost to time.

One constant in the games industry is that any one success necessitates a sequel. It was true for Zork in the 1980s and it’s true for Dishonored now too; the law of the franchise.

Professor Brian Moriarty has bucked this law throughout his entire career however, leaving titles such as Loom, Wishbringer and Trinity as standalone hits rather than sprawling series. He’s also worked on a staggering number of unreleased or cancelled games, including unseen Indiana Jones and Star Wars games. In this episode, Brian discusses why he left those titles and the industry behind.

Unlimited Hyperbole is a short podcast about videogames and the stories we tell about them. The show is divided into seasons of five episodes, each with a precise topic. This time we’re talking about ‘The One That Got Away’ – but to find out more, read after the jump.

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January Jollies…

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January was not a busy month; I accepted a new job early on, meaning most of my time was then spent running out remaining assignments prior to the new start. I also collected outstanding interviews for Unlimited Hyperbole‘s next season. Squeezing production in on weekends will cause delays, but Harriet and I are keen to keep the show alive – particularly since this season features several heroes of mine who are too cool to ignore.

Even though I’m not taking on anymore commissions or journalistic work at the moment, it’s likely some of my work will continue to trickle out for the next month or two. I have unpublished pieces still waiting with Custom PC and Gamasutra, for example. I’ll try to cover those as they come out, but in the mean time here’s what I did in January…

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