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Unread postby dinopoke » 27 Feb 2013 11:06








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Subversion is going to be set in a modern High Tech environment, with you taking "mission control" over a team of skilled operatives in a hostile High Security building. You will be using Sabotage, Social Engineering and Grifting, custom Electrical and Mechanical devices, Distractions, Hacking, Stealth, Acrobatics, Precision demolitions, Trickery, whatever gets the job done. In the best case scenarios your enemies will never know you were even there. When things go wrong, a well prepared escape plan and well timed precision violence will get you out of a tight spot - or maybe not.

Anyone who's a fan of Introversion will know we love our movies, and many of our games are inspired by some truly great ones. Subversion's key movie influences would be high tech Heist movies like Oceans 11, Mission Impossible (the TV series - another old favourite from childhood to sit alongside Wargames and Tron as massively influential on us), Entrapment, Sneakers. You may also see a lot of Uplink in this game - which is no accident, as we've always considered Subversion to be the "Spiritual Sequel" to our debut game.

The combination of your guys physically on site using their own special skills and equipment, mixed with you taking control of building systems via computer hacking, opening locked doors, disabling cameras, exploiting weaknesses in security systems, is something of a holy grail of game design for us.

The demo I showed on stage during BATFA showed how a team of two agents could infiltrate a high security office. They used a variety of gadgets like wall scanners and motion trackers to gradually unveil the office layout, which begins invisible and requires various Recon tactics until you have revealed the layout. One of the agents was caught and tazered by a security guard, but not before I'd hacked in and taken control of the cctv cameras dotted around the office. This massively expands your view of the location, and uncovered the primary target - a secure server room with some data we needed to destroy. ... php?t=2967

Around June last year, we pushed ourselves as hard as we could and made a playable slice of the game, and demonstrated it publicly at the World Of Love conference in London. The demo went well, but was heavily scripted. Internally we had come to realise that somewhere along the 6 years of part-time development, we had lost our way. We couldn’t even remember what sort of game it was supposed to be anymore. We’d ended up with a game that looked and sounded brilliant, classic Introversion with its blue wireframe and sinister faceless characters. But there was a massive gaping hole where you would normally see a “core game”. We’d tried and tried to fill that hole with ambitious tech and experimental systems, but you couldn’t escape it.

In the end, after all that development and years of work, you still completed the bank heist by walking up to the first door, cracking it with a pin cracker tool, then walking into the vault and stealing the money. There was no other way to complete that level. And this would be the essential method by which you would complete every level after that. Technology 1, Gameplay 0 - we’ve made the fatal mistake of having more fun making the game than gamers would ever have playing it.

Around August last year, I took a couple of weeks off and went on holiday in California. It was a great chance to think clearly about something that had become very difficult. Daily work on Subversion seemed to be going well, with lots of regular technological progress, but whenever I considered the project from the high level view I wondered where the core game was ultimately going to come from.

And that was when the next game idea arrived. This new idea was fully formed, just like DEFCON, just like Uplink. I could see most of the core game design straight away. I could see how much of the tech that we’d designed for Subversion was directly applicable, if properly turned on its head. And within an hour or two, I’d made up my mind. I went old-school and bought a blank notebook, the first time I’ve used one since Uplink, and spent most of the ten hour flight home writing it all down. Those first 10 pages written on that flight are the design bible that we still stick to today.

And like that, the decision that should have been incredibly difficult was made. We don’t have the manpower to do multiple projects, so it was one game or the other, and I had no trouble convincing Mark and Tom which way I wanted to go.

Subversion has not been cancelled, but I would certainly forget about it for now. We will be going back to that project eventually, but the first thing I plan to do is gut the thing from top to bottom of all the tech fluff that we forced in over the years. Without a core game it’s all a worthless distraction, and I will NEVER again spend so long making tech for a game without having a solid core game in place first. Subversion needs a total rethink from top to bottom, and some long standing sacred cows need slaughtering.

Procedural Cities Dec 2008 Video:

World of Love Demonstration:
Part 1
Part 2
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Joined: 09 Mar 2011 08:14
Location: Sydney, Australia

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