Bank Heist gameplay video

It's all in your head

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Jordy...
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Postby Jordy... » Wed Dec 01, 2010 12:53 pm

Yea exactly, something like that, perhaps you can follow bank employees to there home, tap there phones, use phone jammers when you're performing an action on the street, etc.
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Postby Treefrog » Wed Dec 01, 2010 3:03 pm

From a viewpoint of fun, it makes no sense to have multiple in game hours dedicated to a planning phase, although the idea could be implemented rather simply.

Have missions have 3 phases. Phase 1 - Intelligence Gathering. Like Jordy suggested have your operates perform covert ops on key target members for that mission, gather passwords, keycodes, names etc. Phase 2 - Location Scouting. Go to the place the mission takes place, and act like any other normal person or tourist, any areas and key people and items you see are then remembered. Phase 3 - Mission 'Bank Heist/etc'. The actual mission with all the risk and rewards there for the taking. (Bert also has the same idea :D, should remember to look back a page!)
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Postby Snall » Thu Dec 02, 2010 10:02 am

Guys...this wasn't even, really, an alpha video. So calm down- I think it really did show that this game could be an all time classic. Of course it has a long way to go, but I think the random structure of the game will be the real saving grace- and again, this was a tiny little bank for the purposes of showing the game a bit to people who think about the dev. process. *shrug* Im more excited then I was before perhaps, and that is saying something...
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Postby xander » Thu Dec 02, 2010 3:12 pm

Treefrog wrote:Have missions have 3 phases. Phase 1 - Intelligence Gathering. Like Jordy suggested have your operates perform covert ops on key target members for that mission, gather passwords, keycodes, names etc. Phase 2 - Location Scouting. Go to the place the mission takes place, and act like any other normal person or tourist, any areas and key people and items you see are then remembered. Phase 3 - Mission 'Bank Heist/etc'. The actual mission with all the risk and rewards there for the taking. (Bert also has the same idea :D, should remember to look back a page!)

To be honest, it seems to me that such a structure is already kind of in place.

Phase 1: As a separate phase, I don't really see how this would be a fun aspect of the game. However, to a certain extent, some of this was done in the demo, just not as part of a separate phase of the game.

Phase 2: Location scouting was done in the demo.

Phase 3: The heist was also done in the demo.

In short, everything that you ask for was done in the demo, just not as discrete steps. The robbers showed up at the bank, and looked around to get an idea of what the bank was like. The bank was scouted both by people and by the wall scanner (that is your phase 2). Key codes and passwords were discovered on the fly (rather than requiring a separate game phase; though I do see a place for an Uplink-like server hacking subgame, if IV are so inclined---it might be useful for digging up blueprints, key codes, or other information; that being said, it probably isn't necessary for the game). I don't see the lack of a clear demarcation from one phase to another to be a problem.

I don't know if you ever watched Mission Impossible, but the show followed a pretty strict formula. First, the teams leader (Mr. Briggs in the first season, or Mr. Phelps in subsequent seasons) would receive a packet of information describing the mission. It would highlight the key bad guys for the episode, and give a general overview of what the team needed to do (discredit a baddy, steal some plans, &c.). Then the team leader would assemble a team, and they would go over the technology that they had at their disposal. Finally, the last 2/3s of the episode would detail the team actually carrying out the mission. They did most of their intelligence gathering on the fly.

The Subversion seems to fit into this mold pretty well.

xander
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Postby Jordy... » Thu Dec 02, 2010 6:12 pm

I think the problem here is, they give a mission impossible form and they try to make the game about the "planning" of the execution of this plan.

What's wrong with this is in my opinion, that you don't really create a unique gameplay. It's an abstract version of something that should be intense.
If you want the gameplay to be primarily about executing a plan, then something in the direction of first person view and action would be much more effective in order to create a thrill and involvement into the game. You don't just merely order a guy to point a gun at the hostages, but you actually do it yourself, and if you slip-up a hostage might run away, use a cell phone or whatever. And you could also switch between characters still ofcourse.
But my point being, you should go for direct control then.

If you want this game to be more about careful planning and stealthy execution, then make it like that, make a game that allows you to extensively plan the whole operation. And to be unique, and not too commando's like, I would personally like a hardcore feel to it, where you really got to dig into things, search databases or whatever, in short, where you have this breathing city, and your mind is the only limitation in where and how you can find the necessary information.

But right now planning seems nil, and there isn't much involvement either, it really seems to do nothing much original gameplay wise, and to be stuck in the middle of two options.
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Postby Treefrog » Thu Dec 02, 2010 9:31 pm

xander wrote:
Treefrog wrote:Have missions have 3 phases. Phase 1 - Intelligence Gathering. Like Jordy suggested have your operates perform covert ops on key target members for that mission, gather passwords, keycodes, names etc. Phase 2 - Location Scouting. Go to the place the mission takes place, and act like any other normal person or tourist, any areas and key people and items you see are then remembered. Phase 3 - Mission 'Bank Heist/etc'. The actual mission with all the risk and rewards there for the taking. (Bert also has the same idea :D, should remember to look back a page!)

To be honest, it seems to me that such a structure is already kind of in place.

Phase 1: As a separate phase, I don't really see how this would be a fun aspect of the game. However, to a certain extent, some of this was done in the demo, just not as part of a separate phase of the game.

Phase 2: Location scouting was done in the demo.

Phase 3: The heist was also done in the demo.

In short, everything that you ask for was done in the demo, just not as discrete steps. The robbers showed up at the bank, and looked around to get an idea of what the bank was like. The bank was scouted both by people and by the wall scanner (that is your phase 2). Key codes and passwords were discovered on the fly (rather than requiring a separate game phase; though I do see a place for an Uplink-like server hacking subgame, if IV are so inclined---it might be useful for digging up blueprints, key codes, or other information; that being said, it probably isn't necessary for the game). I don't see the lack of a clear demarcation from one phase to another to be a problem.

I don't know if you ever watched Mission Impossible, but the show followed a pretty strict formula. First, the teams leader (Mr. Briggs in the first season, or Mr. Phelps in subsequent seasons) would receive a packet of information describing the mission. It would highlight the key bad guys for the episode, and give a general overview of what the team needed to do (discredit a baddy, steal some plans, &c.). Then the team leader would assemble a team, and they would go over the technology that they had at their disposal. Finally, the last 2/3s of the episode would detail the team actually carrying out the mission. They did most of their intelligence gathering on the fly.

The Subversion seems to fit into this mold pretty well.

xander


Yeah, can't disagree with that. It makes the game a lot simpler to play having all the steps rolled into a single mission for sure. I have no issue with that. It allows for people to run their own unscripted missions to a degree. (ie not a mission with a cash reward ala uplink)

It be nice though to have the structure perhaps for a larger over arching mission, where you have to collect data over time, perhaps to infiltrate a multistory office block. Collecting little bits of intel here and there. I'd prefer that for a large mission then going in Neo and Trinity style in the lobby.

Either way though, im sure the missions will be well paced and thought out, so nothing to really worry about.

Oh, and yeah, I have seen a few episodes of MI. Some times show it on Bravo here in the UK.
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Postby Jordy... » Thu Dec 02, 2010 10:01 pm

I doubt that the missions will be well paced and thought out, simply cause they'll probably lack the manpower to do it that properly.
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Postby bert_the_turtle » Fri Dec 03, 2010 12:22 am

xander: I see your points, but consider this: a TV series is scripted, and the writers will give the team the tools they need to succeed. How often did it happen that they really could have used an x-ray telephone and didn't bring one? How often did it turn out the electrics specialist they brought along was bloody useless and a safecracker would have been the better choice? Not very often, I would assume. One of the design goals is to always make it possible to go in, do the job, get out, and people only noticing things went missing or the furniture got rearranged afterwards. Without a pre-event scouting phase, you need to be allowed to bring every tool. The bank vault can have a mechanical or electronic lock. A key may be required and/or a code. There may be alarm systems based on pressure plates, IR lasers (oh, all right, RED lasers so you can make them visible with hairspray and prance your way through them), heat detectors or ultrasonic motion sensors. There may be many poorly trained guards or a few well trained ones, armed to the teeth. Bringing along tools and people to deal with all eventualities just doesn't fit my personal image of a smooth operation, and it doesn't seem like the game is headed that way. Agents already have skillsets, and in the demo, it turned out there was no way to bypass one lock, so they had to resort to violence. (I suppose pickpocketing the key would also be possible in the final game in that situation, but what if the manager sits in his private office?)

I think some form of scouting is required if the only other option is to let the player stumble into unpleasant situations he has to shoot his way out of without his own fault. It doesn't have to be an explicit game phase, of course. It can just be information the mysterious agency you get your mission from gathered for you and presents you in the briefing. "The manager's son's birthday is the 14th December." Aha, possible keypad code. "They recently ordered 25 TR-17 photodiodes from RadioLoft." Subersionpedia tells you those are used as spare parts in laser based alarm systems, so you bring your hairspray and the Acrobat. "The video surveillance guy's favorite TV show is 'daily talk with idiots'." A look at the schedule tells you it airs at 2pm, so that's when you strike while he secretly watches that on his small pocket TV. "Guard Fat Freddy likes donuts. A lot." Bring one with nasty (non-lethal) poison. Naturally, the information you get this way should be incomplete, possibly outdated and misleading. There always should be room for unpleasant surprises.

Or, even better, the 'there are X possible obstacles, each requiring a specific tool/skill to overcome, or force' thing isn't part of the game at all. Alarm systems would just use 'generic people sensors' and you can either trick or circumvent the sensor or cut off the alarm mechanism, and each way would require different skills and access to different map spots. With a small set of possible individual obstacles, it's no longer silly to bring everything you need. But we saw four doors in the demo and three different door lock mechanisms, so I don't think that's where IV want to take the game.
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Postby xander » Fri Dec 03, 2010 4:00 am

bert: I'm note sure that you intended to come across this way, but I kind of feel like your post was meant to be an argument against what I said, yet everything you wrote is in agreement with what I said. Did you not read what I wrote, or was I just not explicit enough?

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Postby quickdan » Fri Dec 03, 2010 7:26 am

If you look at Uplink, you didn't have to plan your course of attack, you just went in and did it. The only things helping you out are newer tools and the experience you got from doing the easier hacks until you were able to confidently approach a mission, yet it would still be a challenge. Of course this game is quite a bit more complicated than Uplink. I think it involves more problem solving and on your feet thinking to have to go in and deal with the problems that might arise.
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Postby zach » Fri Dec 03, 2010 10:16 am

Infinite pause ability will help that, though.
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Postby bert_the_turtle » Fri Dec 03, 2010 10:22 am

xander: I was under the impression you said that the demo video shows an adequate amount of scouting and preparation. That would be the point I disagree with, because with adequate preparation, you shouldn't need to cripple a guard. Of course, it's just a five month old video probably executed with the explicit goal of showing a wide range of your possible actions and not an ideal, clean mission, so I'm probably worrying a bit too much.
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Postby xander » Fri Dec 03, 2010 4:30 pm

bert_the_turtle wrote:xander: I was under the impression you said that the demo video shows an adequate amount of scouting and preparation. That would be the point I disagree with, because with adequate preparation, you shouldn't need to cripple a guard. Of course, it's just a five month old video probably executed with the explicit goal of showing a wide range of your possible actions and not an ideal, clean mission, so I'm probably worrying a bit too much.

No. Sorry I wasn't clear. The video shows, I think, that it is possible to adequately prepare, and that most of the "preparation phase" of the game is rolled into the execution. As you say, it was also meant to show a wide range of possible approaches, from stealth to hold-up. And Chris might not be that good at his own game. ;)

The example of crippling the guard is, I think, a perfect example of how else the game could have been handled. There are at least two other alternatives that I think are offered in the video.

Basically, shooting the guard was the result of a poorly executed plan to get a key from the bank manager. So if we can get the key some other way, then we don't need to hold-up the bank, which means we don't have to shoot the guard. It seems to me that there are other ways to get the key. First, when the guard in the high security area got suspicious, he started following the character around. What if the character were to stop whistling in the mid-security area in sight of the bank manager? Would the bank manager investigate? If so, doesn't that imply that the bank manager could be lured into a location where there will be no witnesses if he is tranqed or held-up for the key? Even if he doesn't grow suspicious, wasn't the bank manager wandering around at some point? Why not just follow him into a secure area?

Long story short, it seems like it should be possible to lure the manager into an area with no witnesses, and take the key.

Alternatively, what if we don't need the key at all? Chris showed us the external junction box, as well as a server room. He also mentioned that no one on his team had any real hacking skills, as this was an "early days" mission. Supposing that you had someone on your team with the required skills, it probably wouldn't be too hard to hack the system and open the door.

I then have two questions about how the game works: (1) how do you select who you take with you? and (2) if you show up at the bank and find out that you need a hacker, can you get back in your van, return to home-base, and come back with someone else? (Based on my experience with Uplink, I am going to guess that the answer to the second question is "yes.")

xander

EDIT: Another thought occurred to me, and this may address part of Jordy...'s argument. Uplink is basically a puzzle game, not an action shooter or anything like that. Each server is a puzzle that must be solved. Much of the tension comes from the requirement that puzzles be solved quickly and stealthily. In Uplink, there are often multiple ways to solve a problem: the surgical strike of deleting a single file, or destroying an entire server just to remove one item. In many ways, I see Subversion falling into the same pattern: it is less a first person action kind of game, and more a puzzle game with a Mission Impossible theme. Again, that sounds like fun to me. Maybe it doesn't sound like fun to Jordy... ;)
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Postby Jordy... » Fri Dec 03, 2010 5:05 pm

It does, sounds like fun to me. But, let me put it this way, I was underwhelmed with the puzzle aspect of the demo mission.

I never played Uplink, but I do think that this engine provides for a lot of possibilities, and I think they should be incorporated into the puzzle gameplay if that's what they're aiming for.
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Postby matty406 » Fri Dec 03, 2010 5:53 pm

Methinks harder to access or heavily guarded targets be more puzzling. Said missions would require more recon, without being spotted, making distractions, all that jazz, because guards protecting targets of very high value might kill on sight.
Another factor is the possibility of the AI being improved in some way. In the video the guards didn't have a care in the world that your guys were waltzing around with large backpacks and radios on their chests, now, however, guards and other authority positions might be keeping an eye on you from the start.
Anyway, I'm rambling...

Makes me wonder if there will be some sort of VIP assassination missions with tonnes of armed security.

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