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Thief: Deadly Shadows Tweak Guide

[Page 6] Advanced Tweaking

Thief: Deadly Shadows does not provide a great deal of customization or performance tweaking in its in-game settings, so we have to look at more detail in the various .ini files which come with the game and control a range of behind-the-scenes settings.

The main .ini files covered in this guide are Options.ini (found in \Documents and Settings\[username]\Documents\Thief - Deadly Shadows\SaveGames\User Options\), and the following .ini files all found under \Thief - Deadly Shadows\System\: Default.ini, T3UI.ini, T3UILights.ini and T3UISoup.ini. While there are many more .ini files for the game, some of them are beyond the scope of this guide and require too much detail, or could be perceived as 'cheating' if altered. See the Conclusion section for links to guide which cover those types of tweaks in more detail.

To edit an .ini file you can use any text editing tool such as Windows Notepad, however before you make changes to any .ini file, back it up first. That means create a copy of it and keep it somewhere safe. This is very important since should you change a setting which causes problems you can instantly restore the original version and not end up pulling your hair out wondering which setting it was. Also note that you should close all .ini files before running Thief: Deadly Shadows, since the game may need to write to them and cannot while they are open.

Click to enlarge


This file contains details of all the options you have selected in the in-game settings for your character. It is recommended that you use the in-game settings to change most of the settings in this file, however we can make one very useful change here:

W=MoveForwardBackward 0.500000

S=MoveForwardBackward -0.500000

A=StrafeRightLeft -0.500000

D=StrafeRightLeft 0.500000

By default Garrett runs when you use the movement keys (W, A, S, D are the default movement keys), and walks only while you hold down the SHIFT key. This can't be changed in-game, however if you want the more traditional default walk/SHIFT to run configuration, change the key assignments for movement to the values shown above, and this will halve the default movement speed, effectively making it the same as walking.

Now to make the SHIFT key a run key, you need to go into the Default.ini file (See Default.ini section below), and under the [T3Settings] section of the file, change the following line:


By changing the value from 0.5 to 1.0, the SHIFT key now works as a run key.


If you have a gamepad connected to your system and it continually vibrates or takes over controls during lockpicking, set this value as shown above. If that fails, disconnect the device from your machine.


This file contains the majority of Thief: Deadly Shadows' important settings. Note that since T:DS is based on the Unreal Engine, this file has similarities to the UT2004.ini file (See my UT2004 Tweak Guide), however many of the settings are related to the XBox, or relate to portions of the Unreal Engine not implemented (or heavily altered) in T:DS, and hence have no impact on the game.

The following sections should have some impact on the game, however once again settings which can be changed from within the game are not covered here - it is strongly recommended you change them using the in-game menus:



This setting determines how slow Garrett moves when you use Creep mode (CTRL key by default). Lowering this setting results in even slower movement while creeping.


This setting determines how fast Garrett moves when you use the Walk mode (SHIFT key by default). Lowering this value will reduce Garrett's walking speed, raising it will increase it (See the Options.ini section above for more details).



This value represents the amount of System RAM set aside for caching game information. Try a Cache size of 16 for most systems with 512MB of RAM or more. I don't suggest increasing this value beyond 64. Assigning a large amount of memory to the cache won't help performance - it may actually reduce it since the cache is not where the entire game is meant to reside. Changing this setting will not impact on FPS significantly, it is mainly designed to reduce loading times and loading pauses in-game.


None of the options under this section appear to have any impact on the performance or visual quality of the game, as they normally would with an Unreal engine game. If you want to experiment with these, see this section of my UT2004 Tweak Guide for more details on what they are supposed to do. Since T:DS is a heavily modified version of the Unreal engine, it is fairly clear many of the options in the Default.ini file simply aren't used to determine the game's settings.



Setting this to False skips all the introductory movies shown when you load up Thief: Deadly Shadows. Setting this to False can also help resolve issues where you may be crashing to the desktop while loading.


This setting shows the full list of movies which will play at startup (if ShowIntroMovies=True). If for some reason you want to play particular movies at startup, find the movie in your \Thief - Deadly Shadows\CONTENT\T3\VideoTextures\ directory, and enter it as follows after the '=' sign above:


Note that as shown in the above example, the "_engl_none_30" needs to be dropped from the filename. If you want multiple movies shown in a row, insert a ';' character in between each full path and movie name.







To select a different language for the game, remove the ';' in front of that language and make sure a ';' appears in front of all the other languages. Note, Spanish is not supported at present.

Changing the language using this setting has several effects: If you select another language, since the spoken dialogue is still in English, subtitles will automatically become enabled and show the dialogue in the new language. All menu and loading screen texts will also change to the chosen language. Your game will also start using a new Option.ini file (losing all existing Option.ini tweaks) which is created in a new directory under your \Documents and Settings\[username]\Documents\Thief - Deadly Shadows\SaveGames\ directory - the directory name will be 'User Options' in the new language you've selected.



This setting can be used to determine your mouse sensitivity in the game, since the option does not exist in the in-game menus to change it. Increasing the value makes your mouse more reactive, decreasing it dampens the sensitivity.










To understand the lines in this section, here is a basic description. For example:


Means that wherever the font type 'Papyrus14' is used in the game (_tp is for PC, _tx is for XBox), it will be equal to the original Papyrus_21 font, scaled down by 61% of its original size (0.61 - the bolded section) and used. The 0.80 at the end of the line is just a necessary feature of all the font files and must stay unchanged.

To change the fonts used in the game so that they are not so large, find the bolded value shown above in each line and reduce it. Ideally you should make it equivalent to the value below it, or the one below that, to maintain the appropriate relativities between fonts. For example:




Do this for all the fonts in each particular group, and they should all be relatively smaller when you next start the game. You can even switch font types by changing the font name after the '=' sign to another one of the three font types used in T:DS - 'Papyrus_21', 'VTCGoblinHand_18', and 'Fixed'. These font files can be found in your \Thief - Deadly Shadows\CONTENT\T3\PCTextures\Fonts\ directory. They can be edited using a program like Photoshop or 3dsmax and plugins from this page.

Note that by decreasing the font sizes, in many text windows you will have a lot more blank space underneath the text. The way to fix this is increase the NumVisibleRows values under the T3UI.ini file. Open T3UI.ini, and search for all instances of NumVisibleRows, then change their values to something safe like 10. This will make the text come down further in each text space, and not leave glaringly large gaps.



There are several Vendor sections here, each relating to ATI, Nvidia, Matrox and SiS. Find the relevant section for your graphics card's manufacturer. Under the relevant Vendor section, find your graphics card's specific Device ID line (e.g. 4e48=). To get your particular Device ID, go to Control Panel>Display>Settings>Advanced>Adapter and on the line 'Chip Type' your Device ID should be in brackets after the graphics card type, e.g. 'Chip Type: RADEON 9800 AGP (0x4E48)' which corresponds with the 4e48 device ID line in this section.

Once you've found the right device ID, changing the value after '=' to 0, 1 or 2 determines the type of Pixel Shader support used. 0=Pixel Shader 1.1, 1=Pixel Shader 1.4, and 2=Pixel Shader 2.0. By lowering this value (if above 0), you may gain some FPS at the cost of minimal image quality loss. If you can't find your specific device id, change the value for the 'Other' line under the relevant vendor.






These particular entries determine the volume, and brightness/contrast/gamma of the in-game movies. The possible values for these entries range from 0.0 to 1.0 (only the entries ending in _p apply to the PC - those ending in _x apply to the XBox). For example, if you want to reduce the volume of the in-game movies, change MaxVolume_p=1.0 to a lower value.

The next page continues the Advanced Tweaking section with the T3UI.ini file.