Extra Punctuation: An Invisible Protagonist

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Excellent point about stealth mission objectives and the Thief games. I wanted to add that the community of hardcore Thief players actually encourage a style of gameplay known as "ghosting" which is exactly like that one mission, except for the entire game. The object is to complete the game on expert difficulty without any guards noticing you. I think non-human baddies are fair game; I can't recall offhand.

Reading this reminded me of playing Spy in Team Fortress 2. It's quite different experience than described here, but still some of stealth games elements mention above are present during playing Spy. Like: trying not to _touch_ any enemy (while disguised).

Didn't the Invisible man walk around wrapped in bandages and scarves? Your character could have a trench coat and other heavy garments to cover himself for certain parts of missions. I imagine there might be certain objective where being visible would help accomplish things easier. For instance, if at some point in the game the enemies have become suspicious of an invisible agent, you could just get dressed and walk through their checkpoints.

Would work really well trialled as a mod, say for the HL2 engine or maybe a small Unreal Engine game (no need to jump right in with a AAA title on such a novel idea!), and I would definitely play it, even pay indie prices for a well-reviewed game based on the premise. I like the idea :3

I've only one problem with this concept.
It's implied that the protagonist has to be naked at all times; I mean, what is he going to wear, invisible clothing? So what if a mission takes place in a winter setting? A naked man running around at -20 would surely freeze his ass off. If the premise is to be believable in the slightest, all of the missions would have to exclusively take place in warm locations or during summer time, and one of the staples of the stealth genre is the crazy variety in the levels, which is here sacrificed unnecessarily.
A better idea would be for the protagonist to wear some sort of camo suit for the outdoors portion of a mission, and abandon his outfit after he's successfully infiltrated the objective building - that way, anything goes in terms of weather and setting. This could even be emphasized from a gameplay perspective, by having the game be in third person while you're in the suit, then switch to first person after you've taken it off.

Other than that, I think this is a very interesting concept that promises some very unique gameplay, and I would sure like to see it realized.

Man I'd play this game and nothing else if it were done right. And by done right, I mean essentially Hitman but with more freedom to approach the missions.

How about a game where you just play from an omniscient perspective -- say, playing as HAL from 2001?

Yahtzee:
I can think of at least one reason why publishers wouldn't go for this, though: because the main character is invisible, you can't include a five-cent action figure of him with the "special edition" and charge an extra thirty bucks for it.
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On that note, it would be far too difficult for them to come up with a non stereotypical "(Near)Full-Body-Shot-Main-Character-With-Bright-Light/Explosion-In-Background" design

Problem comes in when they go to plan B to be different

"OK, we'll cut the lights and make a half body shot. Now it's unique"

If it were me, I'd have Yahtzee's game done with the box art style of Prototype. I guarantee everyone would want to know about the AAA game with no pic on the front.

True Stealth games are suffering the same fate as Horror games at the moment.I blame the proliferation of consoles among 13-year old dipshits

I don't think they should make a WHOLE GAME about that mechanic. I think they should make a game about a team of PMC/Corporate security agents, where one member is completely invisible. He/she has a few particular missions based around his/her unique ability which play out as Yahtzee describes. The other guys could have other skill-sets so the game has variety.

That does sound like a good gameplay mechanic. I think I'd certainly play a game like that.

When I play ACB, I tend to find it too easy and as there's no option to up the difficulty, I add restrictions of my own. I try and scale the fortress on the last mission without killing anyone or them seeing me. Or, if I do have to kill them, hide their body in hay or something. It makes it a lot more nerve-wracking to know that you COULD easily dispatch the guards blocking your path with a crossbow, or a poison dart, but you have to find a way round them. Or time your dash to safety JUST right.

Much more intense!

What an engaging concept presented here by Yahtzee.

As he began to explain the premise of the agent made invisible by the PMC, I immediately thought of the 1970s TV series, The Gemini Man, starring Ben Murphy. It wasn't quite the same thing however. Murphy played Special Agent, Sam Casey who worked for a government agency called Intersect. He was infected with radiation during a downed satellite retrieval that made him invisible. Intersect equipped him with a wristwatch-like device called a DNA Stabilizer that allowed him to switch from visible to invisible at will. However, if he stayed invisible too long, it would be permanent.

The show ran for two seasons with the final two episodes being mashed together in a dual-plot TV Movie called Riding With Death which appeared as a movie experiment on Mystery Science Theater 3000 in a later season.

Having watched some of The Gemini Man and now hearing Yahtzee's game idea, I see parallels in the action aspect concerning the Invisibility mechanic. I would certainly give such a game a try, for sure.

This sounds like a perfectly sound game concept. There are plenty of challenges you could make, plenty of different objectives, plenty of different fail conditions, and a wealth of potential for level design.

One thing I would like to see implemented is a realistic look at what happens when you knock someone out. Irl, when you hit someone on the head to knock them out, they only stay out for a minute or so, and they most likely wake up with a concussion. The worse the concussion is, the longer they stay out, and if they are out for more than 5 minutes, they probably arent going to wake up. In most games, I assume the time sensitivity of guards waking and calling for help is too much of a pain for the player, but in this case we are looking for ways to make the game more challenging.

Oh, and I dont see any reason you cant just make your action figure out of clear plastic.

Spunking bullets, eh? Been playing Daikatana again recently Yahtzee? :)

That said, the only problem I have with this idea for a stealth game is that it seems to remove a lot of player options and depth from the game. It would largely turn into what amounts to a puzzle game, where you have to figure out what the developers intended for you to do, rather than giving you a whole heck of a lot of freedom. It would be a variation of the "on rails" stealth action of things like "Velvet Assasin" when you get down to it at the best.

Truthfully, while the characters weren't invisible, there was an adventure game years ago called "Bureau 13" which used the whole premise of remaining secret and undetected. It was ranked on points, like a lot of adventure games at the time, and to get the most points possible out of the game you needed to cover your tracks by doing things like closing doors you opened and so on.

It was also a game where you selected a pair of operatives from a selection of around eight (if I remember) and some of them were better suited to stealth than others. The game was set up where any combination of characters could beat the game, as puzzle solutions varied depending on who you played, but there were definatly more efficient combinations of characters than others.

I mention this, because really the game being described above WOULD be an adventure game or puzzler rather than an actual stealth game, relying on people puzzling out optimal paths intended by the developers.

Oh, and if you want to actually play "The Invisible Man", it won't be the stealth game you want, but try say Morrowwind or Oblivion. It's possible to put crazy levels of concealment on your character that are constantly active with the item enchantment systems. You can pretty much walk around the entire game world with nothing (or very little) being able to see you, if the idea really floats your boat.

Also, as was pointed out in the ZP review for Alpha Protocol, a max stealth Mike Thornton might as well be invisisble.

It's bad enough when people want to make me play games that aren't even out yet! You're making me want to play a game that doesn't exist! AAARRRGGHH!

Yahtzee Croshaw:
This is something a lot of stealth games tend to overlook - sure, if you silently knock out all the guards on your way to the classified documents then no one's setting off any alarms that night, but next morning when everyone's comparing head lumps and the safe door is hanging open it's going to be fairly obvious what's been going down. I would think one of the first things they teach you at intelligence warfare school is that a piece of enemy intelligence is only useful as long as the enemy doesn't realize that it's been compromised, because they'll just change their plans, go dark, deny everything.

This is why I had to stop watching Alias after one season. Sydney would infiltrate some party or office building in an outrageous disguise, find the critical data she was sent to find, completely blow her cover (usually just as she was removing the disc from the computer) and have to beat up 3 or 4 goons to escape, and somehow this never compromised the intel.

Cronox:
I see what you mean about the best writing in stealh games sometimes being heard by listening in on idiotic guards. Like in Arkham Asylum, I remember thinking up to one point "man this is a good game, it's just a shame teh dialogue is a little lifeless, especially when Batman's around". That stopped around the time I resisted th temptation to jump into the fray for 10 seconds to hear a very amusing little anecdote from some of the guardsmen about what it's like to work with the Joker - their amusing antics formed a far more palpable shield against the Bat than any gun could have. One of my favourites was listening into them talking about how teh joker wanted a dude to kill his sister - which i got a real chuckle out of.

I think that bit of dialogue with the "sister" was my favourite in the whole game. It revealed so much about the Joker's character and he wasn't anywhere near the place when it was spoken.

DoctorPhil:
.

You win this thread.

Feh, I laugh at the Oblivion players and their spell. I enchanted a set of gear so that I had permanent 100+ chameleon, never needed to cast a single spell.

Some quests in Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines required either not being noticed or making something look like something else. You gained experience not for killing people, but for doing the action.

Yahtzee Croshaw:
Extra Punctuation: An Invisible Protagonist

Yahtzee wonders what it'd be like to be invisible in a game all the time.

Read Full Article

I have two questions:

1) Where the fuck do you get the fantastic ideas from (Besides Common sense on the physics of a stealth game)

2) Why the fuck are developers NOT listening to you and using this? (with permission ofcourse)

It could work. It even leaves itself open to a unique multiplayer mode by having one player try to convince people that there really is an invisable person in the room.

This reminded me of a little game I saw once called "Haunt the House". You have to make your presence known without actually being seen (per se), and scare everyone out of your house. I bet something like this could be adapted into a very challenging stealth game.

robinkom:
As he began to explain the premise of the agent made invisible by the PMC, I immediately thought of the 1970s TV series, The Gemini Man, starring Ben Murphy. [ ... ]

The show ran for two seasons with the final two episodes being mashed together in a dual-plot TV Movie called Riding With Death which appeared as a movie experiment on Mystery Science Theater 3000 in a later season.

"Sam, my patent papers are at a slight angle; what's going on?"

"So, the gun stays perfectly still while he hits him with a six-foot arm."

"Aaaaand, crash."

"I am become death, the destroyer of portable radios."

Yahtzee. You come up with some of the most wonderful ideas. It's really quite infuriating; someone with the serious know how ought to look through some of these ideas and see what they could make of them.

Yahtzee Croshaw:
I can think of at least one reason why publishers wouldn't go for this, though: because the main character is invisible, you can't include a five-cent action figure of him with the "special edition" and charge an extra thirty bucks for it.

HankMan:
There IS one flaw in this idea Yahtzee: If the main character is invisible, then who will we have to clutter-up our American box art?

Easy: Just give the game an iconic, memorable NPC. It worked for Bioshock.

Damn, that's a great idea. I don't know if it would have any replay value, since it would hinge on trial and error, mostly, but that first playthrough would be amazing. Portal-level amazing, maybe, if it was done right.

theres plenty of ways to illustrate compromised complete invisibility: dirtiness, thermo/normal vision hybrid, volumetric hole in dust clowd that is being lit from behind or being splashed with water. But you'd need to innovate the graphical technology a lot to use anything other than the first.

As a prominent member of the irony crowd, I say bravo.

Another example of not being allowed to leave any traces (such as dead people) behind is in sly 3, where you, again, have to break in to frame someone for a crime you're about to commit. Because of this, you can't just break the window to get in, but you have to use an alternate entrance. It doesn't really affect the gameplay, but still, it's there.

That proposed game idea sounds much more frustrating than fun. It's already a pain to take guesses at what NPCs will see or hear in stealth missions, and now you propose that the player watch a meter based on the abstract psychology of said characters? How would one program that? How would the player know what the NPC considers suspicious and what other NPCs would consider insane behavior on one NPCs actions that are based on the player's actions? Do you really want to worry about whether or not the enemy will conclude that an action is caused by an invisible agent, on top of the existing, vaguely established terms of whether or not he can see you or hear you when you perform certain actions?

The Admiral:
Rainbow Six had a mission like this. You had to sneek in and copy a file from a computer and get out. Killing a guard, knocking a guard out, or being seen was an instant failure.

I loved that game me and my friend spent so long getting the timing right on it. This was also on the 64, assuming they didn't just use the same mission in a latter game, and we were used to playing golden eye and perfect dark where you could just barrel through most of your problems. The idea that a first person shooter would have a level where you weren't allowed to shoot anything was mind-blowing.

This actually sounds like a game I'd play.
Maybe, The Phantom Chronicals, would be the next Portal in terms of originality.

This would be a nice change to gameplay from the current "kill everyone" mindset and one that I would like to get my hands on.

Dhatz:
theres plenty of ways to illustrate compromised complete invisibility: dirtiness, thermo/normal vision hybrid, volumetric hole in dust clowd that is being lit from behind or being splashed with water. But you'd need to innovate the graphical technology a lot to use anything other than the first.

All these reasons is why Yahtzee said you can NEVER get caught or its game over. Any place worth sneaking into would be able to beef up security and thwart further attacks.

Perhaps after the mechanics revealing tutorial level you get compromised and your bosses reprimand you and you can never invade to the Cambodian Ministry of Secret Stuff again cause there on to you, this enforces the exposure = gameover gameplay only costing you access to some 3rd world nowhere that was your training mission and unimportant to the plot.

You can still use dust water whatnot. Say you have to cross a dusty storeroom, find a way to open a window and disturb the dust clouds to pass. Maybe by turning up a thermostate so the guard opens a window themselves for some breeze.

Also imagine navigating a crowded walkway while a painter paints a wall, the clearest path is next to the wall but touch it and you've got red on you. That might be awesome or frustrating depending on the mechanics. But the possibilities! Grab a chicks ass so she slaps the guy behind her/her boyfriend starts a fight. Put it all in an airport where you need to sneak into the cargo hold for a flight out of Germany.

I'd love to play a game like that. I always go for the stealthy character in games maybe becuase I know I couldn't fight my way out of a paper bag in real life. Stealth always leaves me with a smug satisfaction. I always envisage enemies sitting there going 'but how did that happen! We had guards!'

A completely non violent game wouldn't bother me and that glee that comes with Not Being Found Out would be awesome.

You wouldn't even have to have 'male soldier type A' as the main character becuase anyone can be sneaky. Upping the enemy humiliation factor by having a little girl as the protagonist would be very amusing to me.

I'm surprised nobody mentioned Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective: you play an invisible protagonist and even though it is not a stealth game where you whack people or steal stuff it still has the ''talk between NPCs when you are unnoticed''and nor you can see yourself. Infact during the whole game you are in the process of uncovering the mystery of who you are.

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