A stealth puzzle game that lets you rewire its levels to trick people.

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Tom Francis

Character/Level Art

John Roberts

Background Art

Fabian van Dommelen

Mission Music

Ryan Ike

Title Music

John Robert Matz

Menu Music

Francisco Cerda


By Tom Francis. Uses Adaptive Images by Matt Wilcox.

Why Are Stealth Games Cool?

While poaching some eggs, I tried to explain what’s particularly cool about stealth games.

This was for an intro video to the Global Stealth Jam, an event organised by the Sneaky Bastards last weekend, a blog entirely about stealth games. The full thing features lots of cool people, like Nels Ormensch, Andy Schatz, Harvey Smith and Patrick Redding (who looks like he could be in Ocean’s 11).


Fringe: You're not going to be very stealthy in that much sunlight now, are you? :o)

ghosttie: I think the real question is - why are you so cool?

The Cheshire Cat: For some reason I decided to replay MGS4 recently and it really reminded me of how much more interesting stealth games can be than pure action games. MGS is kind of a hybrid, especially later games in the series, but there's still a lot of really satisfying sneaking action to be found. There were times when I'd get spotted by a guy from a distance and he'd come over to investigate, and I'd crawl into a corner and let my camo blend in and just watch him kind of slowly approach to check the area and hope I was well hidden enough not to get spotted; those moments were way more tense than anything from recent action games I've played.

I think one of the things that makes stealth games more interesting is actually kind of the opposite of what you described in the video though - they're very high danger situations, but a lot of them allow you to fuck up and LIVE, if you're clever enough. In action games if you fuck up, you just die and quickload. In stealth games you get seen, but instead of just having to reload your game you run off and hide and hope they don't find you. It gives a much better sense of continuity to the gameplay because you never get pulled out of the game by a magic time warp back to your last checkpoint (unless you REALLY screw up). In games like Hitman, while perfect Silent Assassin clears are nice, it's a lot more fun to me to aim for perfect, but roll with the punches and keep going if I mess up, instead of just automatically quickloading to get that "perfect" score.

Rei Onryou: You look like you could be in Ocean's 11.

Nels Anderson: Heh, I've never considered anyone might think my last name is "Ormensch" but that's actually kind of amazing. Not amazing while talking about stealth games while cooking eggs, but still.

Tom Francis: Hah, oops. Since my real name is Octavius Pentadact, I assume everyone's Twitter handles are their real name.

Josh (preciousgollum): Oh the memories of splinter cell multiplayer from the pandora tomorrow years, a fantastic example of balancing the interplay between first-person shooting and stealth. Many games have not managed to marry the different asymmetric types of play into a cohesive set of game rules - Cops AND robbers; the unfulfilled multiplayer promises of the Xbox Live dream. What a shame.

I wonder if Blacklist will manage to recapture the magic formula although it does not look promising when the route advertised at E3 involves lots of attention and optimal shootings-to-the-face mechanics.

Jenn: I accidentally started watching this with YouTube's closed-captions still on, and for a full minute I was more confused than I have ever been in my life

Tom Francis: Oh wow. Well, that explains why no speech recognition feature has ever worked for me.

KrimzinZV: @Josh, I heard that they did that to grab new peoples' attention. I still think that Thief3 and SC3(Chaos Theory) are the two best stealth games I've played. And as much as I like a 100% I would rather play my first time learning the game and making a mistake and running away or going for a quick KO. But there's that feeling on the SC3 VS of strange terror, how you must plot out several escape routes before sneaking up behind the other player, knowing that a slight mistake can make a person jumpy and kill you, that they can do unpredictable and seemingly useless things, which will bite you later on.

Tom Francis: Yeah, Chaos Theory was a beautiful thing. Best single player of the series, and co-op was properly unlike anything else.

Nikolaj: PENTADACT! GIVE ME THAT DAMN DEMO! I've been following this game since the beginning. It looks like the best game of (maybe) 2012! :D

Ulminati: I think I found a bug. I've been throwing money at my screen for the better part of half an hour and nothing happened :(

Ash47: I also emailed this to you, but I'll post it here, even though it has absolutely no relevance to your post.

I think you should submit your game to Steam Greenlight ( http://steamcommunit... ...greenlight ), they take WiP and even concept games, it's all about community support, and I think your game has a ton of support. Check it out :P

Unit88: I'm new here and ican't wait for the game, but I want to know: is it going to be free?

Isaac: In your video you asked if the game should be free. I think it would be better if you set it up to were people could make donations and maybe unlock some hidden content.

Jay: Great points Tom! I agree about the 'intelligent' angle. I think a big part of our love for stealth games is that they require the smart approach versus run-and-gun, or 'mowing down' enemies, as you said. In some ways a stealth-action gameplay experience is the opposite of a standard action game; stealth games emphasize patience over speed, and planning over firepower.

Plus there's a certain kind of power that a stealth game evokes better than other games. Like that feeling you get as you peer down at a guard below you who's oblivious to your presence. You hold his life in your hands, and he doesn't even know you're there.