Stealth Games Don't Have to Be About Killing People

Yahtzee Croshaw

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Stealth Games Don't Have to Be About Killing People

Yahtzee outlines a proposal for a class-based stealth game with non-violent solutions.

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Thaluikhain

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Personal I hate stealth, or at least enforced stealth. I liked VTM:B version, where stealth was an option, and it gave you an advantage, but generally if things went wrong, you could try something else. I really hated the parts where you absolutely had to be stealthy.

Now, sneaking along trying to get as far as you can until things inevitable go wrong, that I can get behind.

(Oh, and I expected a mention of a game about a guy in a hat there)
 

FallenMessiah88

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Jan 8, 2010
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I've never been a huge stealth fan, but I did very much enjoy Assassin's Creed and Arkham Asylum, so this all sounds pretty interesting.
 
Jan 12, 2012
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It's a neat idea, but I think that class-based is the wrong way to go. If you rolled them into one RPG-style leveling system, it would give the players a lot more variety and tools to get the job done; they might be able to bluff their way into a bank with just a determined walk, but to do the same at a military base they'd have to gather intel on the officers in charge, learn codes for doors, and other prep work first.

Unless there is a party/NPC system, like a less-shit version of the Assassin's Creed recruits that you can use to deal with the stuff you're not capable of.
 

themilo504

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My big problem with most stealth games is that despite one of the main focuses being using a variety or tools and skills to create your own path to the goal they always reward you with money and exp if you knock out guards and explore the level.
 

flying_whimsy

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I really like this idea a lot. I could see it taking a lot of work to make into a viable solution, but the payoff could be amazing.

It would be a great mechanic for a Burn Notice game.
 

SlightlyEvil

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I would love to play this game. I'm generally a fan of stealth in games, but not always of stealth-focused games. I think the main reason is that I like being able to recover from screwups, as I am given to bouts of homicidal rage when forced to play the same segment for the twelfth time because of a single screwup. So I couldn't get into Hitman, but I loved the Arkham games, and often go for stealthy attacks in games like Far Cry 3 or Skyrim, where stealth is optional but useful. For me, the ideal stealth game is something like Deus Ex:

1) Sneak around a base.
2) Pick locks, steal gear, silently eliminate enemies
3) ???
4) Oh, SHIT!
5) EXPLOSIONS!
6) Game of the Year.
 

The Artificially Prolonged

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Jul 15, 2008
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I'd play this game. The "conman" style would certainly be interesting, I can't think of any game that has really done that type of stealth gameplay.
 

itsthesheppy

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Mar 28, 2012
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I would play the hell out of this game. Sometimes I hate it when Yahtzee posts his game concepts because it makes me sad that those games don't exist.
 

Norix596

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It's been a while since one of Yahtzee's hypothetical game pitches and as always, intriguing gameplay ideas and as always, a shame we'll never get to play them.
 

beleester

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Feb 22, 2011
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One more option: Run like hell past all the guards and accomplish your mission before they chase you down. Assassin's Creed had elements of this, usually after you'd performed an assassination.
 

Micah Jones

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Apr 19, 2010
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themilo504 said:
My big problem with most stealth games is that despite one of the main focuses being using a variety or tools and skills to create your own path to the goal they always reward you with money and exp if you knock out guards and explore the level.
I think the lather Sly Copper games did a good thing to confront this. If you stealthed behind them, you could slowly obtain all of their cash, including gems or whatever that you could sell for a pretty penny. Afterwards, you could still kill them, but they gave you nothing. You were rewarded more by taking risks and getting in close, rather than just going on swinging.
 

IronMit

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Jul 24, 2012
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This would be fantastic but it is far too ambitious, the reason why the current 3 type approach is popular is because it fits with the 12 year old 3 tier AI model. It's easy, relatively speaking.

For what Yahtzee is suggesting you will have to balance so many unique mechanics in one game, some of which are kind of broken and limited in games dedicated to that playstyle today (Hitman absolution #*cough*)

The amount of resources and money it would take to make a game like that and make it well will never be recouped from sales.
I love dialogue conman option and I love stealth (probably why deus ex:HR is one of my fav game) but without a 'panther' option the action junkies won't buy it.

I can't see it happening...unless this mini stealth renaissance we are in now explodes and grows exponentially

Hopefully I'm being overly pesimistic and this does come to pass
 

Howling Din

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Mar 10, 2011
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All Mr. Yahtzee seems to have mentioned is ways to neutralize or avoid guards in order to access specific areas.
My input: You don't verbally outwit guards just to get past them. You could also trick them into giving you keys or security codes you need. Or, here's a fun thing to roll in your head: false evidence. You could plant irrefutable proof on the scene that Guard A stole the sensitive documents that you have stashed under the floorboard in your office. Then watch as guard A is arrested for your crimes, lowering your heat in the process. Or maybe you could frame guard B instead, because Guard B is smart, and therefore difficult to make see things from your point of view. Not all stealth missions have to be 'get in and get out' style raids. You could plant yourself there for a long time, socializing and gaining their trust. Building up a stash of keys, passwords, floor maps and codes. Then pick your date on the calendar to loot the place and scram. There are tons of things you could do to prepare for a mission like that if you're patient. or you could just get in, and get out if you're not patient. This could be a way for the player to control their level of difficulty. If they're really good, they can just walk in and ghost the place in less than an hour before anybody knows whats going on. Or, if, like most people, they're idiots and they suck, they can take their time, read lots of flavor text, and build up a huge amount of intel and connections that inevitably fall into their lap. Finishing up whenever their stagnant brains decide it's time. I see a grand opportunity for role playing facilitation here.