Progress on Remastering, The Guild of Thieves

I thought I'd post a quick update on progress with the remastering of The Guild of Thieves.

Although things have seemed a bit quiet around here, in reality, a lot of activity is going on back here remastering The Guild.

For a start, we've made a new map layout that we think is an improvement over existing published maps. This version has been arranged to improve spatial correctness and to make the best compromise of up/down connections, as well as show dark areas as slightly shaded. Nevertheless, it's still not final. I'm hoping to add markers to show up and down exists.

The map of The Guild is much larger than The Pawn, here's just an excerpt;

Many of the puzzles are being enhanced for modern mode. For example an improved implementation of "swim" has been added, transplanted from a later codebase. The game is playable in both modern or classic modes, the latter being as close to the original as possible.

Bugs in the original game have been discovered and fixed!

Additional system features planned:

  • word suggestion for text input.
  • command echo tidy up.
  • add up/down to map and screen compass.
  • animated pictures!

We're rebuilding the game code itself from the original Magnetic Scrolls source code (the collection edition), which has been an enormous step forward. There's just no way we could be making these improvements, fixes etc. without it.

It's why we couldn't fix some of the problems with The Pawn, but with the source code, a lot of cool stuff can now be done.

In addition, we're making new digital versions of the original "feelies". Stefan has scanned a new high-resolution version of "What Burglar" magazine. We're also remaking a new, graphic version Guild "credit card" that we hope to add to the game.

So there's a lot going on!

Although i can't name a date yet, I'm really hoping we can have a beta of The Guild out in the near future for you guys to try out.

As always, feedback and suggestion are always most welcome.


  • Great, I'd like to test also this game for ios if possible.. :)

  • @hugh said:
    The game is playable in both modern or classic modes, the latter being as close to the original as possible.


    As always, feedback and suggestion are always most welcome.

    I actually never quite understood what the difference between moden and classic mode was in The Pawn. (Can you tell I haven't had the time to play it much yet?) So if it can be done without spoiling, it would be nice if it was documented a bit better.

    It would also be nice to have the original manual, i.e. the part that describes what kind of commands the game expects. At least for people like me, who prefer to type out every command. Of course, not all of the original manual would still apply to the remastered version but as long as that's made clear...

  • I noted that modern mode gives you suggestions in what you have to do, i.e. "maybe you should knock the door".. so I play classic..

  • That's correct, "modern" mode activates what we're calling the "puzzle assistants". During the game, things like "maybe untie the rope" appear to save you typing these. They also suggest things that act as hints.

    So "modern" mode does two things:

    • adds hints to the game
    • provides a way to do things by clicking rather than typing.

    In "classic" mode, you will definitely have to type some commands to finish the game.

    In The Guild, "modern" mode also makes a few changes to the game itself;

    The design style of puzzles back in the 80s was such that you could inadvertently do something that would result in a failure to complete the game. Back then, this was just considered a hard puzzle, but today, it's a bad game.

    For example, in The Guild, at one point there is a Rat Race, whereby you can bet money on a particular rat to win a race. It's a nice bit of the game. But it turns out that you can completely miss the rat race because it will happen whether or not you are present. This remains true in "classic" mode.

    In "modern" mode we have changed the logic so that the race event is triggered when you are ready. Of course, you can still choose not to participate, but it's there.

    Also, to pick up on @eriktorbjorn point about the manuals;

    Yes we would like to have a "player guide" or something similar that covers both an introduction to IF itself and the specifics of Magnetic Scrolls games, the latter probably a reproduction of the original game guides.

  • Also, I agree with @eriktorbjorn about the manuals :smile:

  • Hello! Any news on guild? B)

  • Hi, Yes indeed!

    A lot of progress has been made. important new features are:

    • improved map
    • game-specific, predictive text input.
    • animated graphics!

    We're still aiming to go into beta, end of this week. But initially, it won't be for all machines. Probably Windows & OSX, then others to follow.

    What's happened is there has been also a lot of adjustments to the game itself, but we have decided to put these on hold and go into beta anyway, so that you guys can have input on these changes, during the beta.

    The sort of game problems we have are, alterations to avoid what we're calling "dead-ends". For example;

    In the Guild, there is a miller from whom you have to acquire a magical lute. To do this, you have to win enough money. But supposing you do not win? How can you finish the game without going right back?

    The problem here, is that you hit a "dead-end", but the player is not fully aware of this fact until later when the lute is required.

    How to fix this?

    I won't give it away here, but we have added another way that you can acquire the lute from the miller. This second route allows the dead-end to be avoided. The original method still works fine (except for a bug in the original game whereby you could buy the lute with any amount of money!!!)

    Another (related) dead-end;

    In the original game, the magical lute could only be used once. After that, it disintegrates and falls apart. Chances are you're going to want to try it out before you know what you really have to do. This is bad because it creates a "dead-end", so we have extended the game to allow the lute magic to be used more than once. Thus avoiding the dead end.

    Ok, so those are two examples where we've already provided a second solution or alternative, but there are still quite a few others and some are not that easy.

    So, we've decided to release into beta and listen for suggestions. Because there are always good ideas for these kind of things.

    And for those people, who really want to play the original "classic" game, all these changes are conditional. If you switch it back to classic, you get the original behaviour (except for bug fixes), dead-ends and all! - so be sure to make plenty of saves.

    Another Problem

    End of last week, we've been battling a problem with the animation. It works, but it's unstable. Turns out this is not our fault, but a BUG in Qt (the UI system we're using). I've raised this bug with the Qt people, and hopefully there might be a fix at some point.

    In the meantime, I'm at a loss for a workaround. If nothing comes up by Friday, we'll release what we have with animation disabled, which will be shame. But it will work once this is fixed.

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