Extra Punctuation: An Invisible Protagonist

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Many of the constraints of being invisible are in HG Wells' The Invisible Man.
Not to mention being invisibles biggest drawback, not being able to see.

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

Off topic but


This game NEEDS to be made. I'd love to see an indie developer take a stab at it because then there wouldn't be a huge 'big-budget' risk and they can really experiment with the concept =)

Sounds kind of boring. If you were invisible, why would you want to use stealth ? I got gear that gave me 100% chameleon in Oblivion and you know what I did ? Killed everything in sight with no repercussions, and even less resistance. Yeah the game could always be one of those, you can't kill anything and your near godlike powers are expected everywhere you go but then...well actually that'd be about par for the course for today's games so yeah it'd suck ass.

VERY welcome feature of Arkham Asylum was how good teh AI was for the stealth sections - none of the famous MGS bullshit of patrolling even with a shot off kneecap, theyactually grouped together and varied tactics, moving with some sense of realism that made it all the more palable to beak off their pairings to corner each one individually and take them out before they got off a single shot.


That game was great for that, they'd properly start to panic and just randomly turn around and get super sensitive to even the slightest sound or movement, which is EXACTLY what would happen in the case of knowing SOMETHING is on you, but not knowing what.

OT - I'm gonna go against the grain for once and say this could never make it as a AAA game.

Usually I'm all for Yatzhees fun little game ideas, but having an invisible protagonist knowone knows about... Frankly unless that guy then goes insane(Invisible Man stylee) you'd never be able to really connect with him as a character.

And as a game play mechanic, it'd get real old real fast and the ideas just wouldn't be numerous enough to carry an entire game.

My 0.02.


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.

Your eyelids will hide your pupils.

He's right, and H.G. Wells(at least I think it was him) brought up the idea in the first place that being invisible means your eyes are worth jack shit.

If your eyelids are see-through, how can something see-through hide something? That makes no sense. Its like saying you could cover your eyes with your hands.

Main problem - stealth games are about manipulting your environment. Being invisible simply means you're left to avoiding certain parts - water patches etc. - while all others you can walk freely though. In terms of sound there isn't any new dimension there not already present.

Nah, man. Being invisible means you manipulate people. MGS4 had a little bit of fun with this, where if you're cloaked and you mess with a guy, after a while he sometimes just bugs out and faints. It's still a gamebreaker in that game of course, since MGS4 is so shooty, but that's the sort of direction to take it.

I'm a huge kleptomaniac, so I always go for full stealth in Bethesda games so that I can break into people's houses and steal their shit. But they're all lifeless animatronics. They don't do anything when they're off the clock, and you can't scare them. Even tagging one with frenzy loses its novelty after a few hours.

What we're really talking about here is a game that's built around this mechanic, and around AI that models how people react to surprises and things they can't explain. It would be unspeakably awesome.

I'm surprised you didn't mention Hitman: Blood Money, which grades you based on things like how many people you knocked out, how many people saw you acting suspiciously, and even what equipment is left behind.

I would also love a completely invisible man game.

There are so many possibilities for it.... :)

I approve of any unique game idea, so this has my vote.

It'd be an interesting mechanic...but I don't see myself buying it. I have enough trouble with Hitman...which is KINDA similar, you're out in the open, but you use disguises, and you can get through entire levels with only assassinating the ONE person, and you can make it look like an accident. I always found it hard. You have to be REALLLLY patient...

There was a really old game called messiah, Its pretty much hijacking people with a cherub and sheathing about, I recommend it for like wise stealth lovers,

Yahtzee, you devil; that actually sounded like it'd be a lot of fun.

One game I know of that did the whole "make it look like an accident" thing really well was the Hitman series. The great thing about Hitman in general is that even though they give you a whole assortment of weapons you can still complete a mission with nothing but the basic equipment (fiber wire, a bomb and the syringes of poison and anesthetic), in fact, it's the best way to complete a mission because it means you have to think about things a little more carefully and plan out your actions, therefore making it more likely that you'll get the "stealth assassin" rating.

Even though I had unlocked all of the more ludicrous weaponry, I always find it a lot more fun to try to get that perfect kill. It's incredibly satisfying when a plan comes together, which was always my favourite part of the game. I would listen to the brief, then play a dummy run through the mission just to see where everything/one was and the best ways to get to them in the most efficient way possible, then I'd reset the level and try to figure it out.

I always saw Hitman as more of a puzzle game than an action game, as it rewarded forward planning and lateral thinking more than simply going headlong into everything guns blazing. The fun was never in the kill, it was in all the little moments that lead up to it.

Not to be a stick in the mud but I believe the game Geist for gamecube tried this to a certain degree trying to create and army of ghost agents to take over the world and failed because the main protagonist (meaning you) went rouge and you are pissy pissy that along with it they stole your body...
I never got to finish because I keep dying in a boss fight....

Regardless I still see the point is the main execution that I myself im worried about....

Aside from borrowing heavily from the movie Invisible man 1&2. How do we go about answering the remaining questions?....

1. Main Plot: Take over the world, eliminate an alien race, Be voyeuristic, throw an invisible party, anything that would give the player a purpose to continue....

2. What platform/style of game play?: First person shooter is the only one i can think of that would fit with the theme "look down and see nothing"...

3. How many elements can be added before it becomes "over burden/shadow"?: Meaning aside from enemies, traps, gimmicks, and the usual, what are some other things that can be added to help or impair the progress of the player before it becomes too much...

4- etc. Well to many things to list. But you get the picture. In all seriousness I bet WE talked about it we could create a good game of an invisible protagonist.... at least in paper.

Hey, maybe ask some friends in the AAA industry, I know a lot of people who would play that game, myself included :)

This is the first game idea I think you should pitch to somebody. it could have the Hitman blood money mechanic where the later levels are harder if you're lazy in earlier missions.

It is indeed very difficult to sneak up on someone and move around unnoticed, even if they aren't looking at you. I mean, I've done it several times myself by accident, with family members not realizing I was standing around behind them until they turned around and were startled by my presence.

I think a significant factor in this hypothetical game would be learning to mask all sensory clues to one's presence. The player wouldn't be allowed to run all the time, because heavy breathing is a dead givaway. As is what may very well be a distinctive scent resulting from the invisibling process, meaning the player would need to avoid (or make use of) guard dogs or cats.

Oh, and darkness would be your worst enemy, because when a guard is in the dark for a period of time, they start to rely on their other senses to navigate around. Also they get paranoid, even without the idea of an invisible man running around. So the player would counter-intuitively need to keep himself and the enemies in light as much as possible.

Unless of course it's a ploy to make the quarry question their sanity. In that case, lights flicker away! :D

Tin Man:


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.

Your eyelids will hide your pupils.

He's right, and H.G. Wells(at least I think it was him) brought up the idea in the first place that being invisible means your eyes are worth jack shit.

If your eyelids are see-through, how can something see-through hide something? That makes no sense. Its like saying you could cover your eyes with your hands.

Because I'm imagining a case where only the outer tissues have this magic property of invisbility and it doesn't work by letting light pass through the object but by conducting light around the object and projecting it on the opposite side as if had actually gone through the object. Pupils won't have this and light falling on them does come through and into the retina. When you close your eyelids they start doing their whole wave conducting effect and create a continous outer layer of invisibility with your cheeks and forehead and whatnot. The eyelids will then not be letting any light fall into the pupils and the person will see black, just like you regularly do.

Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective actually has missions like this and you are essentially invisible since you're a ghost. I'm guessing it's not what Yahtzee had in mind but it's close.

This could work in almost any way, and it's a wonderful idea.

Still, adapt a source mod or something to do it, but I always liked the idea of something like a Ninja simulator.

Picture it, you've been given a task, kill a local daimyo, but how? He's well guarded, but through talking to the local townsfolk after gaining their trust you learn he's not popular with some of them, there's even been talk of mutiny among his guards... So you forge documents that make it seem like he is planning to off many of his guardsmen he considers disloyal, then they kill him out of defence? they flee, leaving him guardless and easy to kill? Or you poison his drink and make it seem like the guards doing?

Or any other assassin simulator, I always remember playing M2TW and wanting so badly to be the assassin or spy in the cutscenes, instead of a manager of incompetant troops.

EDIT: And before anyone says it, i'm not some kind of weaboo, It's just that ninja assassination is the first thing that came to mind.

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 am glad I am not the only one who saw the connection between Yahtzee's ideal of how a stealth game should work and the stealth game that Yhatzee made.

Sounds fun. I'm guessing you'd also have to navigate through mazes of normal objects and phenomena that only exist to you because of said invisibility, right? Like, say, avoid going outside when it rains, avoid walking in puddles, carefully navigate through a nursery room without tripping over some kid's block fort, avoid haphazardly dripping paint from some of the worst wall painters in history, and even dodge flying plates thrown by an angry spouse during a domestic dispute?

Surely though, the game wouldn't be JUST limited to stealing intel though, right? One of my favorite parts of Hitman: Bloodmoney was not only getting through every level with a Silent Assassin rating, but making each target's death look like a complete accident. I'd go out of my way with exploring new paths and testing every mechanic the game threw at me to make it seem like Mr. X just happened to get drunk and fall off a balcony the exact same time Mrs. X was standing under a suspended piano held aloft by a rotting rope. Coincidentally, Mr. Y just HAPPENED to trip over his fat feet down a flight of stairs while his friend Mr. Z was trying to see how far back he could lean back over the rail outside his 8th story hotel room on a whim and was suddenly startled by an inconvenient fire alarm. Perhaps in this hypothetical invisibility game, there'd be stealth missions where you are tasked with eliminating a target and making it look like an accident. Then you could go around messing with items around the target's flat (i.e. loosening the screws on his priceless antique chandelier or placing a bottle of sedated wine in just the right lighting of a recovering alcoholic's room), scattering evidence with gloved hands around the victim implying said accident to the investigators.

That would be pretty cool and I know that I'd spend time, just following one NPC throughout a level. Hell, maybe if I had my headset on, I could whisper in his ear and tell him to burn things.

That would be hilarious! But I feel like it would be "Lifeline" all over again.
Bark like a dog. :D

I'm surprised that, while Yahtzee mentioned Thief II as an example of a stealth game where you have to leave no traces of your presence, he forgot the Hitman games where for optimal results you need to make the target's death look like an accident. I always though Yahtzee was a reasonably big fan of Hitman for exactly these reasons.

On a tangetially related topic, has anyone ever heard of the Half-Life/Half-Life 2 mod called The Hidden? While it's not really a stealth game or anything like the hypothetical game Yahtzee described, it does feature an almost completely invisible character (the titular Hidden aka. subject 617 who is only revealed by an almost unnoticable blurring when he moves, which he does like a Hunter from Left 4 Dead) being hunted by a team of heavily armed solders. While the soldiers have pistols, assault rifles, shotguns, motion detectors and other equipment, the Hidden is armed with only a knife and a few home-made pipe bombs, but his insane strength and agility combined with his near total invisibility and the ability to track his enemy through walls mean it's quite possible for the Hidden player to take out the entire I.R.I.S team single-handedly. The Hidden can also do things like drag the corpses of his slain foes around and pin them to walls or drop them out of air vents onto surviving players in order to freak them out and has an array of special taunts for just this purpose ("I can seeeee youuuuu..."). The mod is sadly old enough now that almost no-one plays it any more, but it's still a fascinating experience. I also think there was a version of it made for the original Modern Warfare (I saw my stepbrother playing it once) which is still being used, so you might want to look that up.

I very much like this idea and i would love to see this game made. It all hinges on the AI though. The AI has to be believable and air-tight at that. If the AI does something that no human should be able to, ever, then it could destroy immersion and suddenly driving people insane is a whole lot less fun because you're trying to beat the game mechanics instead of have fun. The more i played Hitman 2 the more i noticed this. Once a guard followed me at 2 paces for 5 blocks down empty streets and i led him straight to my informant because i didn't want to have to kill him and i thought that going inside a building would shake him off. He ended up shooting my informant during the following cut-scene during which i talked to a very dead and paranoid man lying face down at his desk. However this quirky situation saved me from the following escort section (at least i think i was supposed to escort him), with him dead but the game not realizing it i just had to follow the map to the exit. The secret passage he was supposed to show me wasn't too hard to find once it was marked on my map.

I want to play it - it'd be second Portal phenomen ;)

Great game idea. I'd play it.

I also have that slightly creepy love of sneaking up on people, hiding under beds to grab legs, startling the unaware.

Yeah a suspicion metre could work well. Yahtzee talks about how hard it can be to sneak up on someone, but I think it is more about their level of caution or focus on awareness. People playing a game, reading a book, walking around worrying about bills--they aren't paying much attention. A bored guard desperately looking for something interesting would have a different level of listening to his senses. Fixation and directing said fixation would be the key.

And the blatant dropping of porno mags to distract, should get a hail of bullets.

It might be best set a little bit in the future, deus ex style. Where if some start to think someone is there, talk begins between the guards about light-reflecting suits, and to fill the corridor with shaving cream. That and the added possibility of evading freakish sentry-hawks and other genetically-tailored guard creatures (Resi hunters).

Lassie is not your friend.


Cursed Frogurt:
A very interesting game concept but it's more or less been done before: it was called Geist and it kind of sucked.

This. Although I didn't think it sucked so bad.

In Geist you are a ghost. Yeah, you die and your ghost serves in the military as an agent on covert operations. People can't see you, and you can only interact with the world through small actions such as tipping a can or frying a TV. Your mission is to frighten somebody until they are scared shitless, and then you possess them. You then can use that body and the game switches to a usual FPS presentation until your body gets killed, and then it's back again to search for another host. I think there were really cool ideas at play in there, and some of them were pretty well executed.

There was also a game called messiah for the PC which predates Geist, although the character was rather visible (a small, chubby angel who possessed people so he could destroy the world as part of God's plan to punish humanity). Still, I think the ghost approach would be a nice way to go when executing Yahtzee's idea. It uses misdirection, stealth and takes vantage of the fact that you are not expected in any way. Geist introduces you to an enemy ghost later in the game, which pits you to someone as frighteningly dangerous as you. All in all, I think it was a neat game.

two things you normally will not get from the games industry, a good stealth game or a good horror game.

It could be a suit, which would give you two options. One, that you can have a $30 figure to sell, and two, that you can have a mission where the suit malfunctions, and you have to remain out of sight the old fashioned style. That actually sounds like a decent game, Croshaw. Not bad. Well, hop to it!

I'd certainly play such a game.

Yahtzee's ideas are actually pretty cool. I would definitely buy a game that relied completely on stealth and subterfuge rather than falling back on a combat system or using AI thicker than the Berlin Wall.

I'm sure this has been mentioned, but I'd rather not search every page for it: A lot of the gameplay mechanics Yahtzee described are actually implemented [on harder modes] in the Metal Gear Solid series. Wet/Dirty footprints, knocked out guards causing suspicion, trying to create background noise... It's all been done (my personal favorite is accidentally giving yourself the sniffles and losing due to a sneeze) I can understand that Yahtzee wants a game where the whole point is the stealth aspect of MGS, but it's still just "Stealth Aspect of MGS: The Game"

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