Designing Stealth #1: Safety Zones

One of the tricky things about designing Rogue Process has been trying to capture right mix of action and stealth. Rogue Process is a game about infiltration and thievery, but it can also be a game about showing off, about huge bursts of energy, about blowing the side off a building in order to escape. You go into every new building unseen, undetected, but you often leave with a trail of destruction, bullets and broken technology behind you. There’s many different ways to think about stealth in games – today I want to talk to you about safe zones, and how Rogue Process (and other stealth games) fit into this model.

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Greenlight, Cameras

Rogue Process is now on Steam Greenlight! You can see our page and let Valve know if you’d buy a copy, and help us get onto Steam – just click here. This is a long time coming, but I’ve been so busy preparing for GDC that I haven’t had a chance to go live before now. I have no idea what the future of Steam is like, but we reckon it’s a good idea to be a part of it.

Elsewhere, I’ve been tidying up Rogue Process in anticipation of watching real human beings play the game at the Indie Megabooth next week at GDC. It’s nervewracking and the kind of development that lurches back and forth between adjusting text boxes by single pixels, through to rewriting a major AI routine to stop breathing life into dead bodies. Even though this kind of game development feels very slow, it’s reassuring and healthy to do this from time to time. The game goes through bursts of progress where dozens of things are added to the game and it all starts to heave a bit at the seams, and it needs these periods of gardening and pruning to get things back under control. The game’s looking better than ever, and the new changes to how the game controls (which I’ll write about next week) are feeling good.

During GDC I’ll be trying to tweet (and hopefully more) about the game, the booth and what I’m up to. When I get back, I’ll be pushing ahead with a lot of new things – the basic corporate infrastructure is in place now, which means I’m free to add the dozens of scripts, enemies and hackable systems that make up the game’s more complex settings, like research and development labs, or giant hollow industrial warehouses. It’ll be full speed ahead, and I can break the game as much as I like (until the next event comes along). I’m also experimenting with recording some of this development process so you can see features get added to the game, and how bad I am at making things. Here’s a trial I did, where I added two new scripts to the game, below: