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Game News Colony Ship Update #47: The Stealth System

Discussion in 'News & Content Feedback' started by Infinitron, Sep 18, 2020.

  1. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Tags: Colony Ship: A Post-Earth Role Playing Game; Iron Tower Studio; Vince D. Weller

    This month's Colony Ship development update gives us our first look at the workings of the game's stealth system. Most of you probably don't remember the scenario Vault Dweller described in a previous update over two years ago, involving the quest to win the loyalty of Lord's Mercy and her gang in the struggle for the control of The Pit between local business owner Jonas Redford and outsider militia leader Jeremiah Braxton. Of course, persuading Mercy to switch sides is just one way of handling this quest. Another way is to sneak into her compound and assassinate her. Colony Ship's stealth system appears to be full-featured but intuitive. Tiles are colored green, yellow or red based on the difference between the player character's stealth skill and the guards' current detection values. As the character moves around and does things, he generates noise which can cause the guards to become suspicious and eventually begin looking for him. A character armed with a knife or dagger can attempt to inflict a one-hit kill while in stealth. The screenshots included in the update demonstrate these new features, as well as the previous diplomatic approach.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
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    An overview of the mechanics:

    1) Tiles - when you enter the stealth mode, all tiles around guards are automatically assigned detection values. If your sneaking ability (the skill and modifiers) is greater than the detection value, you remain undetected. Thus, green tiles are safe to walk on, red tiles means instant detection and combat, yellow means higher chance of detection (if you end your turn there, you'll be instantly detected at the beginning of the guard's turn).

    The detection values are determined by the distance from the guards, which way they're facing, their Perception, and thermal vision gear, if any. High sneaking ability turns more tiles green and opens up more options.

    2) Noise - each step and action (lockpicking, climbing, using computers, killing guards in stealth mode, etc) generates noise. Not a whole lot of noise to instantly alert the guards the moment you do something but enough to add up over time and raise the guards' suspicions. The higher the guards' Perception, the faster the alert bar is filled:

    0-24: Unaware
    25-49: Suspicious (a warning to the player)
    50-74: Alerted
    75-100: Searching

    When a guard is alerted, he turns around towards the last noise generated, so if you are close he'll see you (meaning a lot of green tiles will instantly turn red). When a guard decides that it's time to investigate, he moves towards the last noise generated on his turn. If the meter reaches 100, he "interrupts" your turn and turns around immediately.

    Each state past Unaware raises the difficulty of killing in stealth mode.

    3) The higher your sneaking ability (skill, feats, gear) the longer you can stay undetected and the more you can do. To put it simply, if your quest goal is to steal an item from a chest nearby but there's another chest in a room down the hall, it will be relatively easy to get to the 'quest chest' but much harder to get to the optional chest (without starting a fight you may or may not be able to win). So specialization will definitely pay off.

    You can reduce the noise you generate (Sneaking and feats like Ghost: -1 noise per tile, actions generate half the noise). Heavy boots and armor will increase the noise, so dress light and not get caught in your underwear.

    4) Takedown aka instant killing – if your takedown value is equal to or higher than the guard's defensive rating (Con, Evasion, Alert level), you kill the guard. If it's lower, you do X points of damage (modified by different factors) as a consolation prize.

    You can only use knifes and daggers for takedowns. If your favor clubs and axes, you can start a combat with the element of surprise on your side (think Sneak Attack).

    That's about it for now. Thoughts?
    Very cool stuff. According to Vault Dweller, we might be able to get our hands on this ourselves as soon as December, with the official Early Access release currently planned for February.
     
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  2. Tyranicon A Memory of Eternity Developer

    Tyranicon
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    I very rarely buy EA games, despite having launched EA games myself. I'll make an exception for Colony Ship though, as the premise is one of my dream game premises. A colony ship thousands of years from its destination has so much potential for worldbuilding and unique mechanics.

    Godspeed.
     
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  3. MurkyShadow Glittering gem of hatred Patron

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    Very much looking forward to this. While others talk incline, Iron Tower and Stygian are actually doing it.:salute:
     
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  4. Sacibengala Savant

    Sacibengala
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    Will there be a GOG EA as well?
     
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  5. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

    Vault Dweller
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    No idea as we haven't discussed it with GOG yet. I know they have their Games in Development program but I don't know how easy it is to get in.
     
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  6. Jaedar Arcane Patron

    Jaedar
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    Iirc for AoD there was a constant 1 week delay for the patches to get out on gog. Seems like a bad deal for early access. Assuming they haven't gotten faster.

    Stealth looks like it could be neat.
     
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  7. Iluvcheezcake Liturgist

    Iluvcheezcake
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    They have gotten much faster
     
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  8. CappenVarra phase-based phantasmist Patron

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    oh brother Garret, where art thou? :salute:
     
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  9. Iluvcheezcake Liturgist

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    Very cool :)
     
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  10. thesheeep Arcane Patron

    thesheeep
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    [​IMG]
     
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  11. Dr Schultz Savant

    Dr Schultz
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    Really look forward to toy with this new system.

    Vault Dweller: I gotta ask, though... Are you planning to introcude distraction devices, traps and stuff like that? I have an hard time imagining a fun stealth gameplay without them.
     
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  12. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

    Vault Dweller
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    Not planned at the moment. Keep in mind it's not a stealth game where sneaking is the entire gameplay and thus calls for more depth and complexity but an RPG where stealth is one of the ways to handle quests. We don't have time and manpower to do more.
     
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  13. Dr Schultz Savant

    Dr Schultz
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    Thank you for the straight answer, Vince.
    One dreams of a fully developed stealth system (or at least a system developed as much as the combat system) in a RPG that can be beaten without killing anybody, but I'm well aware that few studios have the manpower and the know-how to achieve something that hard.
    If you already haven't, I strongly suggest you to take Invisible Inc. as a case study. It's the only turn based stealth game that I know of and these guys at Klei are great in doing A LOT with limited resources.
     
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  14. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

    Vault Dweller
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    If it's well-received, maybe we can develop it further in the next game but at the moment we can't do more.

    I did play it and they did a lot of interesting things there but it's a stealth game so they had the luxury of focusing on nothing but stealth.
     
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  15. Daedalos Arcane The Real Fanboy

    Daedalos
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    As always with any system in any RPG, make it compelling, interesting and fun, otherwise don't bother spending ressources on it if it isn't even fleshed out.

    this stealth system seems quite decent, and I can't wait to play around with it in game
     
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  16. Dr Schultz Savant

    Dr Schultz
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    I perfectly understand. Vince.

    In a perfect world RPGs that support different playstyles would have fully developed systems for each one of them.
    In the real world this is almost impossible.

    I really hope that the stealth mechanics of CS will be appreciated as they deserve and further expanded in you next CRPG.
     
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  17. Diggfinger Cipher

    Diggfinger
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    Wish combat was real-time
     
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