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Thick as Thieves (Concept)

Platform: Wii & DSs (simultaneously)

Studio: Curve Studios

MA Game Theory & Design dissertation project

Concepted: 2007

Thick as Thieves is an accessible action game for Wii and DS (played simultaneously), with an emphasis on social multiplayer mayhem. It is a game about forming collaborations as well as perfectly-timed back stabs.

Set in a range of classic heist scenarios, a gang of thieves (DSs) is pitted against a team of security guards armed with wacky booby-traps (controlled on the Wii). 

Designed to be primarily a local multiplayer experience, players on the DSs take on the roles of thieves engaging in an elaborate heist and plotting to raid as much loot from the defensive player on the Wii as possible. The defender plays through a basic RTS-style interface, and with a range of elaborate booby-traps and a team of security guards at their disposal they are by no means defenceless.

Sponsored by, and in collaboration with, Curve Studios, I concepted Thick as Thieves as part of my MA thesis, for which I was awarded an A grade. 

Concept Overview

Thick as Thieves Concept Document

This document is designed to get the concept across, and is a good summary of all the components I worked on. Heavy on the visualisation, I worked closely with Jaid Mindang (art director) and Graham Denney, who supported the concept with some amazingly twisted and stylised graphics.


Thick as Thieves is downloaded once on the main console, and then distributed wirelessly onto the handheld devices.

The game is designed in short rounds using pass-around play. The player who loots the most in one round is up to defend their loot (on the main console) in the next.

This flowchart outlines how Thick as Thieves would function between a main console and multiple handheld devices simultaneously.

Thick as Thieves game flow across multiple devices and platforms

Supporting Materials
Game Theory

I studied an MA in Game Theory and Design at Brunel University London in 2007-2008, while working at Curve Studios.

Accompanying the my Game Design Document and pitch for my MA thesis submission, I also wrote a Game Theory paper covering the following topics in in relation to Thick as Thieves:

- Convergence

- Information Management (secret screens vs public screen)

- Emergence

- Strategy

- Flow

- Framing

- Immersion (immersive fallacy)

- Social Play

- Conflict (is it a bad thing?)

The paper sheds some more light on how certain design decisions were informed, and how the game is intended/expected to play out.

Concept Art by Graham Denney

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