A Smooth Shot Of Jazzpionage: Gunpoint

By Adam Smith on January 10th, 2012 at 4:31 pm.

take that, hepcat

Gunpoint looks very good indeed, good enough to be nominated in the best design category at the IGF in fact. Its clever infiltration and security rewiring combine wonderfully with slapstick violence and trouser-propelled window-diving. Yes, it looks good, but how will it sound? Designer/wordsmith Tom Francis sent out a call for musical submissions and two new videos are here to pleasure your ears with the choices that have been made. Best listened to while in a dark bar with a haze of smoke around the ceiling and a shot of bourbon in your hand. If I were you, I’d probably think about the one that got away the whole while as well.

Don’t mind me. I’m just clicking my fingers over here in appreciation.

Last time I wrote about Gunpoint I mentioned that Tom was wondering whether people would be willing to pay for the game. Plenty of you started throwing money at your screens, which has been taken as an affirmative, so when the release occurs, which should be sometime in March, there will be a price attached, although there will also be a ‘substantial’ free version.

Excellent.

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68 Comments »

  1. westyfield says:

    I never usually get excited about indie games, perhaps because they’re less-hyped than mainstream games, but this one has me practically giddy with desire. Keep up the good work, Mr Francis!

  2. Milky1985 says:

    I would say music from the second one is better and fits the style better, But oddly i think i would prefer in game the music from the first one, the quieter tones seem to fit the game better.

    No idea why tho, maybe cause the 1st music reminds me faintly of frozen synapse.

    • ShrikeMalakim says:

      From the Gunpoint site, Ryan Ike’s proposal will be the main in-game music, and Francisco Cerda’s music will be during the shop/upgrade interface and between-levels section.

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    LieutLaww says:

    I am throwing money at the screen and nothing is happening, what am i doing wrong !!!!

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      Bluerps says:

      Whatever you do, do not try to throw it with more force, that just makes it worse.

      On an unrelated note – does anyone know if a monitor can be repaired if there is a coin stuck in the screen? Just curious.

    • MadTinkerer says:

      Tom Francis, SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY.jpeg!!!!!1!

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    cairbre says:

    looks kinda cool. I vote number two for the music

    • Bhazor says:

      I agree. The first one just seems too cool for the actual game in all it’s slapstick violence and death by wiring.

    • Brumisator says:

      Second one was great…until the synth sax ruined everything.

      I hope that if Jazz is the direction, the game gets a real orchestration and not midi sounds.

  5. Nighthood says:

    Oh look, it’s that game that people are only talking about because Tom Francis is making it.

    • Emperor_Jimmu says:

      I think it has more to do with the faceplant animation.

    • Squirrelfanatic says:

      Nighthood, I think you are wrong with that assumption.

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      bear912 says:

      To be honest, I had never heard of the man until you mentioned him, since I read PC Gamer fairly infrequently. Apparently he writes for them?

    • jonfitt says:

      That’s why it got attention initially, but it is a good game nonetheless. I enjoy smacking the crap out of a particularly annoying guard.
      Look at it this way, most indie games makers have no idea how to cultivate public and media interest, but Tom has used his industry experience and contacts to get this game noticed. He has also tendered for help publicly, and used his writing skills to make several well worth reading development posts. That goes a long way towards making a game worth watching.

    • sinister agent says:

      I’ve been talking about it because the first video I saw of it featured a man being quick-slapped into submission in a highly amusing manner. From then on it’s only got prettier and more interesting. And it’s only since then that I’ve started reading Tom Francis’ site, so, y’know. Maybe not.

    • Ultra-Humanite says:

      Actually I think it’s because the game looks great. Honestly never heard of Tom Francis before this game.

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      piratmonkey says:

      I think people are interested because you can jump out of windows from 2 stories up, carrying an unsuspecting guard to the ground and punching him in the face.

    • jonfitt says:

      It’s really all about the slapping. When you finally nail the guy who’s shot you 10 times you can continue to slap the now unconscious guard for no other gain other than venting frustration; it’s not just one slap animation then the guy gets up, you slap until you feel like stopping.
      That’s a key point I think. Puzzlers need more of that.

    • Unaco says:

      I vaguely know who Tom Francis is, but didn’t know he was involved with this until I read that comment by Nighthood just now. I watched the video (and listened to the 2 sets of music) last night, and have to say I’m looking forward to this now. Nothing to do with the defenestration and the slapping… It was the fun that could be had with the Crosswiring. That looked great.

      So… Anyway… You’re wrong Nighthood. This gets my attention because it looks like a game I’d enjoy playing.

    • anonymousity says:

      I’ve got no idea who that guy is but the first time I saw a video about this game I was instantly excited what a silly thing to say Nighthood.

  6. Heliocentric says:

    I can’t drink bourbon and game, it makes me sleepy.

    • cjlr says:

      Missing out on one of the true pleasures of life, you are.

      But you can’t really miss what you don’t know, right? So, no real loss!

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      Saul says:

      Bourbon is a travesty. Scotch is the only way to game!

  7. Tyrone Slothrop. says:

    I love the concept, the appearance of the gameplay, the aesthetics, the music submissions and can’t fucking wait for the release. Being a fan of the lonesome modal trumpet of Miles Davis endears me to the subtlety of the first and I feel the second is too cheesy and overt. However a far superior jazz track to both was highlighted in the first round of submissions, that sounds like it would make stunning menu or death music.

    As I said, can’t wait for the release. I hope this man goes far and or is hired by Eidos-Montreal as a gameplay designer for large amounts of money.

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    The Sombrero Kid says:

    This does look good.

  9. Lojix says:

    This game looks amazing, I’m getting on release, free or not, preferably not free so I don’t feel like I’m stealing from the guy.

    AKA: SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!

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    bear912 says:

    I think I like the menu music from the first one, but the rest of the music from the second one. Apparently there’s a newer version of the second one, too, which I cannot pass judgement on because I have not listened to it yet.

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      shoptroll says:

      The music in the first one sounds more like something out of Syndicate for the most part. Paradox should get in touch with that artist for Cartel if they’re retaining the cyberpunk theme.

      I agree the music in the second one is better for the puzzling. It feels more like the music you hear in films when espionage and big plans are afoot. Very Ocean’s 11.

      If possible, I’d like to see Mr. Francis keep both upgrade menu themes and randomly choose one each time you hit that screen. A little variety is good and both hit the right mood I think.

  11. oyun says:

    I really love it.Congratulations! Great one Oyun

  12. deadly.by.design says:

    Number two is more satisfying.

    And I’ll say the second video’s music is more appropriate, while I’m at it.

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    Hodge says:

    This one’s still ticking all the right boxes.

  14. jill says:

    the only reason this, spelunky, bastion, etc get hype is because they are made by guys VERY closely tied into games press IE editors of game mags or game sites.

    Alot of the hype is a joke people wake up and smell the scam

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      yhancik says:

      Minecraft was an inside job

    • jill says:

      not an inside job, but maybe the 5000x hype it got is a clue

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      yhancik says:

      That would explain the strange disappearance of Kieron and Quintin. They knew too much!

    • MondSemmel says:

      Having played Spelunky until completion (EDIT: I mean, having “won” a few times), I suggest that it got hyped because it is awesome.
      I haven’t finished Bastion yet, so I’ll reserve judgement on that one until I’m finished with it.

      And do you really think the kind of hype that comes from known people making great indie games is worse than the kind of hype that results from marketing and advertisements for “AAA” games?

    • sinister agent says:

      Of course people already well known in an industry are going to have an advantage in promoting something because, y’know, other people will already know who they are. You can’t write about a game if you’ve never heard of it, but if someone you’ve already dealt with mentions a game and it’s decent, of course you’re more likely to write about it. That’s just natural. We talk/write about what we know. To call it a “scam” is childish and absurd.

      It also doesn’t really matter, because if such a game isn’t good, then no amount of hype will matter (especially for free games like Spelunky and to some extent Minecraft). Sure, the RPS guys, for example, might be more interested in a game by someone they know, but the rest of us wouldn’t give a toss.

    • jill says:

      thats the truth ruth( i mean sinister).

    • John P says:

      I don’t think that’s true for Bastion or this. Bastion just wowed people with a soundtrack and a narrator’s voice (i.e. nothing to do with actual gameplay), while this game looks genuinely interesting.

      But your basic point about the incestuousness of the game journalism industry is fair enough.

    • jill says:

      @john bastion is from the chief editor at gamespot. this is from a writer at pcgamer. its a lil unsavory

    • MellowKrogoth says:

      Oh you’re so right, I’m henceforth starting to boycott every good game mentioned in a game magazine. Those reviewers promoting games from their hundreds of “friends”… disgusting. Thanks for showing me the light.

      Now that I’ve given up on evil, can I get a list of approved, non-evilly-hyped games I should be playing?

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      Ninja Dodo says:

      These games continue to get attention because they are interesting games. If well-known *whoever* was making something and it wasn’t very good, the reaction would be more like “that’s nice” and then everyone would move on.

  15. Muzman says:

    Can’t he use them both? I kinda like the way they both mix caper with Blade Runner-ish tech in different quantities. Variety is the spice, as they say.

    • ShrikeMalakim says:

      He’s going to. Ike’s theme will be the main music, while Cerda’s theme will be the shop/upgrade music. A third composer’s submission, John Robert Matz’s, will be used for some of the game’s “more sombre moments”.

  16. Armante says:

    music the 1st, please. Echo-ey music always appealed to me. The synthsax in the 2nd one would really do my head in after a while

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      bsplines says:

      I would agree on that. I think the first one fits it better.

  17. Sic says:

    I completely agree with the choices he made, the Ike submission was a lot more “secret agent”, while the Cerda submission was more “suave detective”. I could totally see someone drinking whisky and making ridiculous upgrades to the “suave detective” theme, but the tempo of Ike was a lot better for the missions (where you jump around and behave silly in a very sixties secret agent kind of way).

    I was a bit disappointed with the sound of the VSTs (or samples) Ike used, though, they were a bit too “gamey” (that goes for both of them), and not of the best quality. There also is the issue of how it interacts with the game sound. It’s all a bit much, really. I think the perfect solution would be using Cerda for everything, just make him “agent it up” a bit in the game sections (and remove most of his synth experiments). Or make Ike take it down a notch and change a bit of the sound.

  18. jill says:

    bastion is from the former chief editor of gamespot dont fool yourselves . this is from a writer at pcgamer. RPS guys are from pcgamer. PC gamer is the single shitiest game mag on earth. Spelunky is from the editor at tigsource. Its a big fucking circle jerk that sadly leaves the very talented indie devs who are not in the GANG either shit on or ignored. The good thing is like sinister says. Even with all the circlejerking these guys do… NOBODY gives a fuck!

    • Sleepymatt says:

      What a shame.

    • Matt says:

      NOBODY gives a fuck!

      …about your mad ramblings

    • jill says:

      ya calling the truth mad ramblings doesnt work in 2012. we have real info these days.. you should join the mormon church and tell everyone who laughs at you they are mad

    • Nick says:

      Thanks, that was just the pick me up I needed, keep up the good work jill.

    • Matt says:

      I don’t join kooky cults, but thanks for the suggestion.

    • BenLeng says:

      Then please enlighten us: What are the brilliant underdog indie-developers we don’t hear about because of the “journalist mafia”?

      Disclaimer: I played and highly enjoyed Bastion and Spelunky.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      When most of the comments consist of ‘please let us give you our money’ then maybe it’s just an appealing game? Or are all the commenters in on the conspiracy as well?

  19. Zyrxil says:

    I still just don’t like the inexplicably superhuman leaping and invulnerability to sidewalk splatting. Yeah, it’s a fictional world, but it’s totally out of sync with the visual design and atmosphere. There’s not even the slightest ingame handwaving as far as I can see. I would refer to one of the designer commentaries for Portal 1- in which people complained about Chell not taking fall damage, which caused Valve to add the powerstilts to her model. Something as insignificant as that is still extremely important to overall game feel.

    • Viper50BMG says:

      Actually, the superhuman jumping and lack of fall damage *is* handwaved away, insofar as both are upgradeable bits of gear the player is equipped with; a self-inflating “airbag”-style trenchcoat to save the user from impact with terra firma, (hence the reason he has to fall flat on the ground; he has to land on the coat), and the immensely fun “Bullfrog” projectile trousers that get improved upon throughout the game. (Also, “gecko” sticky-gloves for wall-climbing.)

    • Zyrxil says:

      Then he should change the art style of the player character, because the trenchcoat simply doesn’t fit in with gadgets. Trenchcoats suggest noir, low tech, and stub-nose revolvers, not near future with gadgets that let you mimic Spider-man.

    • Unaco says:

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      Harlander says:

      Trenchcoats are absolutely a good fit with your cyberpunk body-enhancement malarkey. Witness Syndicate, CP2020, Shadowrun et al.

    • Sic says:

      [...] because the trenchcoat simply doesn’t fit in with gadgets

      *Snicker*

  20. Carcassone says:

    The game itself looks like a lot of fun, sort of like a more action-y Trilby, but I am seriously disappointed to hear about the music choice. The Cerda tracks were just perfect: understated, cool, set the mood perfectly and really allowed the environmental sounds to shine. Ike on the other hand came across to me as hyperactive and cartoony, and accentuated the ridiculous aspect of the more “extreme” game mechanics.

    …and that synth sax… please if Ike or anybody else involved in the development of this game is listening, that thing sounds awful. It’s not retro-cheesy and cool, it just sounds cheap and bad.

    (edit) @sic:
    totally: I could see that working. Just not TOO 60s secret agent-y. Puzzle mechanics like the re-wiring ability combined with the necessity of using the environment and the security guards’ AI to the player’s advantage mean, to my mind, that the game is too cerebral to be quite so flippant when it comes to the music.

  21. zxc says:

    Definitely the first

    • Chris D says:

      Took a moment to realise this wasn’t actually an ironic reference to this comment’s position in the thread.

  22. cheeseman says:

    I’m instantly reminded of Calvin and Hobbes whenever I read information about this game.

    http://images.wikia.com/candh/images/d/d9/Bullet.jpg