Gameplay Ideas

It's all in your head

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Gameplay Ideas

Postby miga03 » Mon Jul 30, 2012 12:21 pm

Since Subversion has been placed on the shelf due to the lack of good gameplay. I had a few thoughts...

The whole idea behind the game: to "hack" the environment is plain and simply awesome. But with this comes a couple of problems. Introversion explained that levels can easily be solved in 'the wrong way' by simply drilling the door open, or killing a guard, turning of the power etc.

Since the whole game aims to be realistic in how you want to solve the problem. Taking away tools and forcing the player to solve problems in a predetermined way is a bad solution.

So I was thinking. What is it that I like about Heist movies, what is the thrill? For sure it would not be a simple "in and out job". The thrill lies in the uncertainty of the situation. People in the wrong places, items not it the right spot and so on. One of the most famous one is "This is not the right safe! I can't open this."

A game like Subversion should not be on a level by level basis. Introversion wrote an engine to generate an entire city. The players sandbox is this city and everything you do in it should have repercussions.

For example in the game "Homeworld". There is a limited amount of resources in the entire game. You need to survive on what it there and what you have. Doing each level in the most efficient way possible, because you will need those ships in the end.

Maybe one of the major parts of a game like Subversion is not the Heist itself, but also the work planing for it. In movies there is just as much screen time spent (if not even more) on the planning than the actual Heist.

The player should probably not have a godlike view of the level. Nor having total control over the team. Micromanagement should be limited to telling each individual to do certain thing. If something unexpected occurs it depends on that character what the outcome will be.

The player should be the person sitting in a car outside the building. Controlling what is going on. But in no way have a complete view of the "battlefield". The thrill lies in "what might happen".

In "Uplink" this thrill is at its peak when the time is running out. Will I be caught or not?
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Postby Extra-Titanian » Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:00 pm

I pretty much agree on most points. I seem to remember one of the original highlights and perhaps once of the original video concepts where the "fog of war" was essentially like what you described. Eg, you have a building, you can see everything outside the building, but nothing inside. Walking past a window opens up a cone FOV of what would be visible if you were looking through a window. Obviously, walking away would remove the ability to acquire new information, but you would still retain information of wall structure/items currently placed. Seemed like a good idea.

The biggest things I kept thinking when watching the presentation on why Subversion sucked, was "Who in their right mind would only have one guard, guarding a priceless artifact?", "What major company would only have 3 guards for their security detail?", and "How many buildings in the commercial district are there were you can fire off a rifle, in a building, killing a guard, and NOBODY knows?". I mean, the possibilities of a game like this are endless. Literally.

Take the jewel heist for example. Assume it's a museum or something. It'd obviously have more than 3 rooms. Maybe a few dozen, comprising two floors. First question, when do you break in? Do you go during the day when it's open and your team can just buy tickets in? Or do you wait until it's night an break in through a window that's been left unlocked by a janitor that you paid off? Same with everything else, How do you know where the security room is? How do you know where the target is? Do you steal a few other valuable artifacts while you're there to increase your coffers or do you just keep it a quick in and out? Hell, maybe it's better to hack into their security system, make one of your team appear on the employment roster, have them smuggle in a bunch of AK47's or something, go in during the day, arm up, and just do a smash and grab, fighting your way out. What about if the team member watching the hallway outside the guard room is a turncoat and doesn't report that a bunch of armed guards are on their way in? Or the fence that you're dealing with is actually an undercover cop?

Anyway, so many questions, hopefully we get a game that answers a few of them someday soon. :D
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Postby koshensky » Fri Aug 17, 2012 10:49 pm

I also agree with this, and really like the idea of the game fully integrating the planning stages of a heist into the gameplay itself, which to some extent reduces the problems involved in the game not having much gameplay.

Rather than having to remove functionality from the game in order to stop players being able to do the easy thing, shoot the guard in the head, and get away with it - I really like the idea of having to scout out the area first. Get a recon team to go in and work out where the artefact is in the first place, and where the cameras are. Maybe you bribe a janitor to give/draw you a map of the building so you know where the security rooms are, but then you have the added problem of having to worry if he's going to rat on your team, or even if he was an undercover cop.

After you do all of that and work out how many guards there are, how many cameras, which pieces of art etc., you could still go in and shoot someone in the head, but that would give you bad karma and you'll get a bad reputation with other criminals who maybe won't want to deal with you afterwards. It would also probably mean that you had less time to get out of the building, whereas if you were to divert the camera feed and do the old Indiana Jones bag of sand switcheroo, it would take them a while longer to notice you were even there.

I also really like the idea of having the world continue regardless of success or failure. Even if you get arrested, you could play your part within prison - bribing guards and smuggling messages out, getting a rock pick and slowly tunnelling your way out through the wall on a stormy night.

It would be almost like a second life kind of thing, where you play the part of Linus Caldwell (Matt Damon - Oceans Eleven), starting the game with you pickpocketing strangers on a train until you get noticed by a career criminal who teaches you the ropes until you can do it on your own, or get your own group together. It seems like all the functionality is already there, for the most part. It just needs a bit of structure to give it a bit of a storyline...
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Postby Lyx » Mon Sep 24, 2012 1:07 am

What all you faill to realize, is that you are just "patching" a broken premise.

For example, regarding the easy "blunt" solutions, you propose to "patch" this by plain uncertainity. Now, uncertainity may certainly make usage of such "brute-force" methods less reliable, but they do not really fix anything about what is broken about them. You're "softening" and compensating the issues.... not fixing them.

My proposal?

Well, i voiced my opinion here: ... 951#105951

To summarize: Reality is a bad game. In reality:

- Things either aren't broken, because no one dares to..... or.....
- Things get broken in a highly social engineering way (an entirely seperate game basically)
- Things indeed get broken as bluntly (and non-challenging) as chris displayed. The challenge is more in getting all the data in the first place, and after the break, staying under the radar. So, the "heist" itself, is actually the easiest part.

By chris first and foremost, having created a simulation of reality, before having thought up a "game", he ended up with a really bad "game".

To have any chance of "fixing" subversion at all, they would either:
- Have to switch roles.... just as in PA, the player building all those things, instead of breaking them. This could work, simply because an attacking AI could be made stupid and predictable.

- Actually forget all the fancy counter-measures and ingame-tech - alltogether, and hypothetically (in their heads) restart from scratch, by FIRST coming up with gamemechanics, and THEN using the existing engine to simulate them. NOT the other way around.

In short: Subversion is broken, because currently it is a simulation that tries to be a game - instead of a game, pretending to be a simulation.

Look at defcon for example - it first and foremost is a game..... no way in hell is it an accurate simulation of all the involved tech in a nuclear exchange. It merely is "dressed" as a simulation of thermonuclear exchange.

The same goes for uplink: If uplink first were developed as a simulation, it would have sucked as a game. But instead, first the gamemechanics were created, and then all this was dressed as a simulation.
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Postby The vault hacker » Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:00 pm

@Lyx Well, I still have hope for the game, the engine is mostly done now and at this point the COMMUNITY is creating the mechanics.

And thats what I'm about to do here, starting up from scratch and explaining my vision, basicly I'm going to tell how the game would play.

-A big randomly generated city
-Randomly generated buildings
-Randomly generated roads
-Quiet realistic AI
- ...

But no mechanics

What would my vision need more then the already existing features ...

-A big randomly generated Province/country/continent with [b]multiple[/b] citys.
-Randomly generated buildings which actually look as good as handcrafted but still random.
-Roads are alright
-Better AI, I want people who hide and try calling the police if you start shouting with an AK in your hands.

The base sentences I have in my head are :




You have a big city and unavoidably there will be highly secured safe parts and more dangerous parts of the city.
Will locate your HQ in a safe part of the city but with lots of cops and having to pay rent each month but having the big valuable targets nearby, or are you gonna stay in a squatted building somewhere in the slums, where gangs fight with each other but cops are less hot and you may be protected by the community, maybe buy a hangar at the docks and have lots of space, and a way of smuggling things just at the door.
Anyway, it would be a good idea to be near a harbor, train station or airport to sell your stolen goods, airport would off cours be the most difficult one to smuggle things.
Then the real thing starts, you have a team of 5 or 4 Computer-nerds which want to get a little more action and money in their life, you have some basic computers and some VERY BASIC gadgets, no high-tech wall scanners or code-hacking devices...
Lets buy some things, the position of your HQ will determine what sort of goods will be easier to buy, in the slums you will easely find a gun-dealer, where in the more safer areas of the city you will be able to find more computer and high-tech related stuff.
Now, what job would you like to do, an assasination with a contract is a bit to ambitious for now, lets try a small robbery.
Anyway, your to excited to first buy something and want to start planning out a what you think is a 'MASTER PLAN', you see an article on the internet ... 'ONLY THIS MONTH, WIN FREE TICKETS FOR 'MUSEUM [i]ARTE[/i]', there's a little lottery going on, shouldn't be to difficult to difficult to hack.
After you hacked the lottery and have the tickets you check out the main page of the Museum, you look at what sort of paintings there are and you find an interesting one, a portrait of King Arthur, should be worth quiet some money.
ANYWAY, 3 days later you can visit the museum, its in the center of the city so its a 10 min. driving.
You are the guy sitting in the back of the van, all guys in the museum have a little camera on there clothing so you can only see what they see, from there you give orders.
You order two guys to act normal and look for the target painting, they also may ask some irritating questions creating a distraction for the other guys.
One of your guys has some small sticky cameras, you look if nobody is near and you place it on the wall, and somewhere else you place another camera.
Off cours, knowing the basic lay out of the public area and knowing where the cameras are is usefull, but you want to know more than that.
You follow a guard, he goes to a door and types in a code, you can see the first 3 numbers he pressed 367..., 9 combinations possible.
It would be to risky to just stand at that door and try all 9 combinations, without being seen.
Meanwhile, a guy just looking around notices lazer-devices on the walls, off cours their off at the moment.

Tour is over, you return to your HQ and look at what data you could collect, we know the layout of the public areas, we know where the cameras are, we know that they have a lazer-system and you have placed cameras around the place, so you can see the routines of the guards at night.

The next day, you decide to buy 2 night-goggles, and lockpick-thingy, you drive around looking for short-cuts, and find the perfect escape rout if things go wrong.

Thats is for now, this post is getting a bit long, and I'm getting a bit tired of all the typing so, next time I will presume this post!

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