First environment assets

July 17th, 2011 - 5:48 pm

I’ve been working on assets for one of the environments encountered in the game’s first mission: the parking lot outside the building where your target is.

Click to enlarge

There isn’t much stuff yet, but it’s a start! If you look closely, you’ll notice a small red dot in the lower corner of the gray car’s windshield. This red dot blinks to indicate that the car has an alarm. Car alarms can be triggered and act as diversions to lure guards away from their post or drown out gunfire. That’s just one of the ways you’ll be using the environment to stealthily kill your target.

Design ideas

July 12th, 2011 - 10:30 am

I wanted to write a blog post about some of the design ideas I have for Hostile Takeover. A lot of the stuff I’ve been adding to the engine so far has focused on shooting, which has probably given off the impression that Hostile Takeover will be a very action oriented game. It won’t.

While shooting and melee combat will certainly play a part (you are, after all, an assassin), the game will equally be about avoiding direct confrontations through sneaking, diversions and puzzle solving. And I don’t mean puzzle solving in the sense of sliding around tiles to open a door (watch that end up in the finished game now!), but more in the sense of figuring out how to use your environment to gain access to locked off areas or tricking guards into leaving their post.

Hitman: Contracts

Hitman: Contracts by IO Interactive

For each assassination job, there’s a maximum payout that you can earn for completing it. But the less stealthy you are and the more suspicion you raise in NPCs, the less you’ll get paid. Specifically, there will be a meter that tracks your level of Suspicion. Shooting characters that aren’t your target will raise your Suspicion, as will being spotted in restricted areas. Saying the wrong things to characters may also raise it (you might try telling a receptionist that you have an appointment with your target, but she checks the schedule and figures out that you’re lying).

Furthermore, all weapons will have two Suspicion ratings. One for when the weapon is concealed in your inventory, and one for when you’ve armed yourself with it and is carrying it openly (I imagine the latter will just be double the former). This means that while you could just take along your entire arsenal for a job and shoot everybody, your Suspicion rating will be sky-high and your payout will suffer – giving you less cash for buying more and new equipment for future jobs. Figuring out the least amount of equipment required to successfully complete a job will be key. I also hope that this will provide the game’s missions with some form of replayability in that even though you’ve managed to finish a job, there’s always the possibility that there might be a way to finish it with a smaller amount of Suspicion being generated.

Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis

Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis by LucasArts

The Hitman series is obviously an inspiration, but I always felt those games (at least the earlier ones – I haven’t played through the later ones) were too cut up into completely separate missions. Sure, there was some semblance of an overarching plot, but that didn’t really come into play in the specific missions all that much. What I want to do is give the game somewhat of an old adventure game feel in that items or information you get from one location or job, or characters you meet earlier in the game, will come into play in later jobs. There might also be multiple jobs for you to chose from at some points, but finishing one before the other may give you certain benefits. It’ll still be somewhat linear, though. I’m not making an RPG with a branching storyline. As cool as that might be, I’ll still want the game finished at some point!

Hopefully this will have given you a better understanding of what the finished game will play like. But, of course, the game is in early development, so everything is still subject to change.

Development Video #13

July 5th, 2011 - 9:38 am

I wanted to post this three days ago, but my webhost’s servers got knocked out following massive downpour here in Copenhagen (two months’ worth of rain in two hours!), so the website’s been down for three days. Now it’s back up, however, so here’s a new development video for Hostile Takeover

Watch it in HD!

New stuff in this video:

  • Left-clicking on an NPC will make the player follow him/her
  • When doing an aimed shot, the more the target is in shadow, the harder he/she will be to see and the more the crosshairs will shake
  • Added button that toggles Combat Mode on/off
  • When in Combat Mode, right-clicking will do an attack (fire a weapon if the target is far away or do a melee attack if the target is on an adjacent tile)
  • When Combat Mode is off, right-clicking does the default action for whatever you clicked on (talk to a character, open/close a door, search through a drawer, and so on…)
  • Started adding scripting support, which means that dialogues are now working
  • Added the interface for character dialogue

I think I’ll start working a bit more on environments now. I’ll probably start by adding functionality for doors, windows and line-of-sight. I may also do some of the environment art/objects that I know I’ll need for the game’s first mission — I’m getting a bit tired of looking at the crappy temp stuff.

In the video, you’ll probably notice that the sprite for the character I’m talking to (your contact for the first mission) doesn’t really match his portrait. So I’ll either make full unique sprites for him at some point, or just add his clothing sprites to the default pool of character sprites. I do plan to have unique character sprites for some main characters anyway, though, so they don’t all have the same age and body type as the default sprites.