Extra Punctuation: An Invisible Protagonist

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I like stealth games as much as the next person I suppose, but a truly invisible person. That would be a bit much. Plus, a lot of modern cameras (especially for high-end government facilities) already have thermal cameras at least in some of the rooms. Thermal sensor arrays, motions sensors, and the like. The problem with stealth in games is that it requires an obscene amount of finesse (which might not all lie on the gamer to provide, but the developer) but more than that stealth is very passive. People tend not to like passive anything in general. Obviously, there are exceptions.

This is why I like Splinter Cell: Conviction. Everyone said, "That's not stealth! You can hardly sneak by anyone and them not know you're there!" Well, it's not sneaking stealth I grant you that. Here me out. It's dynamic stealth. This is something not a lot of people do. Conviction wasn't about getting by like a ghost. It was about being the specter of death. They're all going to die and they don't even know what hits them. They're two sides of the same school, and any good stealth game will incorporate levels of both.

Still, I see your game having this kind of dynamic potential. Sure, there's a lot room for the more traditional fly-on-the-wall kind, but what about having to move across traffic? You have to do it quickly (something the average stealth player doesn't like. You couldn't most likely use a cross walk for fear of alerting a pedestrian, so you have to go around the cars as they inch forward in gridlock traffic. You couldn't go behind them because the exhaust going around your body would be an obvious tell to anyone looking.

If it's not obvious I spend a lot of time thinking about immersion. I don't like that you can't see your feet in a lot of first person situations, so to speak. I call for more dynamics in games in general, because let's face it. Even your best stealth games reduce things down to some pretty standard formulas. I don't know if it's ever entirely avoidable, it's probably not. I think Dynamic Gameplay would go a long way though.

How about a game in which you were not invisible but your antagonists were, much like the creatures in the water in that one bit of Amnesia. Defeating your enemies would have to rely on detecting them through other means than seeing them directly - the splashing in water thing from Amnesia is a good one, as would be perhaps distortion in smoke like a wind tunnel, or movement of objects on the floor. Other than that it would be down to sound to try and work out where they were. Just an idea to break up the "see enemy, shoot enemy" formula of shooters in general.

This whole thing sounds very interesting. I've always like to be able to mess with enemies and in most games the only chance you get is when fighting other players. A game where it's part of the whole idea and you're not only supposed to stay out of sight, but also out of mind sounds like it's right up my alley.

And as for the action figures, it makes me think back to a LotR miniature game that came out not long after the films. One of the "figures" was Frodo with the Ring on, of course it was just an empty base with the stats on it, which is pretty funny. Of course they'd probably just get those "see-through" figurines instead. The empty stand would probably make me laugh and love the company even more (instead of getting angry at them for selling you an empty stand) but I don't know if that would cause me to buy the game.

Here's an idea for the tutorial mission Yahtzee.

Your objective is to scare the shit out of this particular official who works at the place you're trying to break into. The level features a lot of theatrics, which you set up yourself as an invisible man, by sneaking into his study before he gets home, which in itself contains a bit of alarm disarming and such. You can set up little, rigged UV lights around the room, complete with a tiny floor button for you to step on to activate them, whilst you're covered in a special UV ink which shows up as invisible as you are in regular light.
Anyway, when he gets home, your target goes to his den and relaxes behind a desk or whatnot, smoking a pipe (a tutorial in of itself about moving through the air slowly so as not to leave any tells in elements such as smoke, steam, etc.) and you creep behind him and start whispering to him. You may have to dodge the occasional backwards swipe, but as you get his creeped-out factor to a high enough level he will start moving around and freaking himself out, shouting and generally being paranoid as fuck.
Once it gets to this point, you sneak to the centre of the room and click on the button, showing yourself in full, creepy UV makeup to fill his pants and ensure he does whatever you want.
Once he goes screaming from the room, you turn of the lights, grab your things, and try to sneak out past him and accomplish your mission.
It'd obviously require a lot of fine tuning, but I love the idea of using theatrics to your advantage, almost like an invisible batman.

IndianaJonny:
Hooray for the Phantom Limb!
Anway OT, if you think stairs would be bad, lifts would be a no-go and imagine trying to squirm your way onto a bus. There would be immense satisfaction in pulling off missions in such a game.

The bus situation would actually be amazing. The more background noise/the more powerful the social situation, the less likely you are to be easily noticed. Of course, you'd have the freedom to be less cautious about things like noises and being in the open, but you'd have to work damned hard to keep from getting bumped.

And then there's the possibility of silencing someone. I just had the thought of, at some point, sitting down on somebody and discreetly pinning them/muffling them, so that when you have the chance after several seconds, you can let go and make a run for it and everybody will be distracted by the terrified thrashing of the newly-released person.

There's been one logical fallacy about invisible people that's always bothered me. How do they see? I mean, the light is literally passing through their eyes, after all.

The Rogue Wolf:
There's been one logical fallacy about invisible people that's always bothered me. How do they see? I mean, the light is literally passing through their eyes, after all.

Perhaps not. It's only the superficial light being distorted (there is research going into "invisible" materials that do this). Maybe only your skin and hair are invisible. If someone slices you up you bleed red. That'd be kind of creepy in and of itself, innards just materializing out of thin air. As such, light coming in through your pupil would be processsed just fine. The only thing a very observant person would see would be two tiny black dots floating around in mid-air. In fear of discovery, close your eyes. Your eyelids will hide your pupils.

A twist in the game mechanic could be that at some point you encounter another invisible individual. Trick is, you don't know they are there until they start pulling off your same antics. Then it could turn into a game of who makes the other one get noticed first. For later levels you would then be alert not only to the visible guys but try to figure out if someone else is there too. It would ramp up the tension to the sky.

LOL @ the Venture Brothers reference, the dude was/is called Phantom Limb as a result of an experiment gone wrong of course! (Do they go any other way?)

That sounds awesome, I would so totally buy that game. Why is this man not in charge of a dev team, damnit! It sounds a hell of a lot more fun than all the samey dull shooters on the market.

I can only see 2 problems with this:

1. The graphics would have to be really good so you can see any possible evidence you're leaving/making

2. You just know there'd be a ton of moronic "thisgamesucksyoucantkillanybody"-type comments.

you would need an amazing dev team to pull something like this off, one with a sense of humour whilst still allowing a serious tone to the game. maybe valve? i dont know.

anyway, i like stealth games, but they do tend to get a tad boring rather quickly, a strong sense of accomplishment would be needed to make me play a game like this.

TemplateResponse:
One thing I always wanted Hitman to include was more freedom to make it look like an accident or even a suicide or something.
Like the first mission in Blood Money, The target sits upstairs playing his Cello, on him he has a revolver, could you not sneak in, press the gun to his head and kill him then leave it in his hand? then before his guards rush in get out the window.
the idea of being completely undetectable is something I would really like to see in a stealth game.

imagine how much more tense Kane and Lynch 2 would have been if it was about escaping undetected from Shanghai rather than gunning down half its population in increasingly stupid scenarios. ESPECIALLY if you had to babysit Lynch!

I so agree! I've done stuff like that before too, make it seem like someone else did it. Maybe the next Hitman game will actually do it.

i love stealth but normally i don't have enough patience for stealth games
if they would make it real stylish like mirror's edge i'm all in

This sounds like an excuse to streak naked in public...

I'd buy the game. God knows how much I try to do that in most games with stealth. (except fallout: NV, I sould make a character based on that)

DJDarque:
If someone made a game with these exact mechanics, I would play it.

I'm not thrilled by the make-people-seem-loony idea - sounds like it'd make the game too easy, really, much the way the blackjack makes 90% of Thief levels easy to whomp your way through even at top difficulty - but the idea of precision close-quarters surveillance as a game has appeal.

Sure you could have an action figure, or rather a model anyway. Just make it a floating set of cloths or do the Hollow Man thing with the plastic suit. I like floating cloths idea better.

Jonathan Fifer:
Ghost Trick is a variation on this. You don't get to do things regular humans can do, but you do ALOT of sneaking/eavesdropping.It's a very unique game and I suggest it for everyone.

But Ghost Trick isn't available on decent platforms. I'd play that if it got released on Android.

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?

$10 says... a half-naked chick in no way related to the game play? :p

Sounds like fun, I'd play it.

I quite liked Yahtzee's own TRILBY: The Art Of Theft. The missions were structured with multiple solutions and most could be beaten without leaving a trace. Good game actually.

I love this idea. I'm not a huge stealth fan, but this would be fun. So, Source modders, go find a way to do this. Then make it. Now.

Games I like that you can be invisible in:

Geist - Game Cube

In Geist you're a scientist who's been turned into a ghost in a crazy experiment (if I remember correctly, it's been a while since I played). You can fly through doors, possess items, and scare people witless. Very good play.

...

Um, there was one of the Marvel games, but I can't remember the title of 'em (because I know they made more than one), but the Invisible Woman is a playable character. A friend and I were playing, and were stuck at this one part where a bunch of baddies were guarding a very essential piece of equipment that needed to be shut off. A friend and I had our butts handed to us once or twice, so I said, "Screw it!" and switched over to Sue Storm. When we reached the objective I simply cloaked, snuck past them, and simply flipped the power switch. I felt rather empowered and clever, but my friend seemed to have mixed feelings about it.

Team Fortress 2

Everyone's favorite class is Spy, hands down.

Othr games I know of are Tenchu, Wrath of Heaven, and The Hobbit.

But in none of these games are you permanently invisible :*(.

ITs ideas like this that and the Reverse-leveling that make me wish I could erase Bob Kotick and put Yahtzee in charge for a few years.

I wonder, if any of us Escapist readers do eventually create such a game, and manage to turn a profit, if Yahtzee would be within his legal rights to sue? It occupied a short segment of an Extra Credits episode, and if that's the case, it seems as though the only way to guarantee a game's security from legal action is to think it up yourself.

I don't think Yahtzee would pursue it, as he'd rather see these experimental mechanics implemented successfully. But if he did, it effectively denies any of us reading about the mechanic from ever incorporating it into a game.
Granted, not many of us will break into the industry, but for those that do, legal action could be a niggling little doubt in our minds, even if we really wanted to try some of his stuff out.

Some games have actually made it so that stealth and invisibility don't only make the game better, it's technically part of the core gameplay.

Thief, Assassins Creed to an extent, Metal Gear Solid going as far to literally being invisible; Heck, as much as I want to tear it apart, Halo's Cloak. It just makes the game more fun.

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?

You could have a "Solid Snake optical camo effect" due to heavy rainfall... or you could collectively attempt to transcend your obsession with faces on box art ;). I think the latter will benefit you more in the end.

I for one would play the shit out of this.

I don't get the snobs that put honest, non-cheating gamers into the same row with the regular cheaters because of a broken game mechanics. Dudes, it's in the game: I play the game by its own rules, what's wrong with that? I always use all of the tools the game gives me. Why shouldn't I?

As for the cloak using the same energy as other augmentations (yo there, Deus Ex), right, make the game even easier than it already is. I played Crysis 2 on the hardest difficulty and I managed to breeze through it still. The funny thing is that fighting humans was a lot tougher on that difficulty than fighting aliens, because humans come in much larger numbers. But you can't really perma-cloak your way out till you get faster energy regen and reduced cloak energy consumption, whatever those upgrades are actually called. I would only perma-cloak my way at the very end, because I didn't feel like murdering dozens of aliens, *spoiler alert* as they would all get evaporated anyways.

As for the game idea, that might actually work. I always welcome a breath of fresh air into my games. That's why I loved Mirror's Edge so much, even though the story was shyte.

If I knew how to make games, I would totally make that, provided yahtzee doesn't mind of course.

again only limited to the thieving genre? an action oriented game were you travel back in time to kill certain key persons with traps and heavy objects would work as well.

TemplateResponse:
One thing I always wanted Hitman to include was more freedom to make it look like an accident or even a suicide or something.
Like the first mission in Blood Money, The target sits upstairs playing his Cello, on him he has a revolver, could you not sneak in, press the gun to his head and kill him then leave it in his hand? then before his guards rush in get out the window.
the idea of being completely undetectable is something I would really like to see in a stealth game.

imagine how much more tense Kane and Lynch 2 would have been if it was about escaping undetected from Shanghai rather than gunning down half its population in increasingly stupid scenarios. ESPECIALLY if you had to babysit Lynch!

EVERY SINGLE TARGET in Blood Money has at least one way of making it look like a suicide or an accident. You just didn't find them:-). Trying to work out how to do it for each target is the best part of the game imho/

Yeah, Blood Money was the best Hitman game, period.

Evidencebased:

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?

$10 says... a half-naked chick in no way related to the game play? :p

"There's a bimbo on the cover of my book
"There's a bimbo on the cover of my book
"She is blonde and she is sexy, she
"Is nowhere in the text, she
"Is the bimbo on the cover of my book"
- Maya Bohnhoff

Seriously, I'd go for something like an empty street, illuminated by WORKING streetlights, and you just see a bunch of footprints going into the distance... and suddenly just stoping in the middle of the street. And above it all's the title: Unseen.

Just my 500 cents :P

I want this. Oh wow, I want this SO MUCH!

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