Your first look at Dan Marshall’s procedurally-generated stealth action game
Hello! My name’s Dan Marshall (@danthat) – and I’m here to tell you about the latest thing I’ve been working on, called The Swindle, because excitingly, it’s going to be coming out in 2015 on PS3, PS4 and PS Vita in all regions, thanks to the lovely chaps at Curve Digital. I’ve been an indie dev for a long time, but have never had a game on console, so this is a real treat.
The Swindle is a Steampunk cybercrime game. It’s a little bit Steampunk, a little bit cyberpunk – and every level is unique. You break into procedurally-generated buildings , try to hack all their computers and empty their bank accounts, and then leg it back to your airship. If you do, you can spend that cash on trendy steampunk gadgetry and bio-mods such as bombs, quad-jumping, teleportation, bionic eyes and all sorts, which will help you take on bigger and more elaborate heists.
The game’s kind of my answer to all the stuff I find frustrating in stealth titles. There’s no following people from a distance, or listening in on guards’ conversations. Here, when things go awry, the alarm bells start ringing and the police are on their way, all that happens is that the game switches from sneaky-sneaky stealthy fun to an against-the-clock action race. Cash starts draining from computers, so you’ll need to nip around quickly and hack what’s left, all the while aware that the dreaded police ‘copter could turn up at any moment.
It’s a little bit “best of both worlds”; you’re a stealthy burglar, and when things (inevitably) go wrong, you’re a full-on action hero.
Importantly, how you play is kind of up to you. You can either hack doors or blast your way through, your choice. But the game never punishes you for choosing one path over another – if you want to complete the final swindle, you’ll eventually need pretty much every gadget in your toolkit.
I once described it as being a bit like “Spelunky meets Deus Ex“, which was a mistake because now everyone just thinks it’s exactly the same as Spelunky, which it’s not. But it has that procedurally-generated feel , and the ‘whipping around a building however you like, quietly hacking computers’ of Deus Ex. And the bit from Sonic where if you die you lose all your coins. SOME OF THE IDEAS IN THE GAME ARE MY OWN, I promise.
I’ve been slaving away on the game, and it’s coming together really well. I’m really excited to see it on PS Vita, it’ll look lush on that screen!
If you want to know more about the game, I’ll be Tweeting all sorts of updates from @danthat, hope to see you there!
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