Sir, You Are Being Hunted Alpha Opens 19th August

By Jim Rossignol on August 10th, 2013 at 1:45 pm.


EXCITING DISCLAIMER: Sir, You Are Being Hunted is a game made by Big Robot, a small studio which I help run. I am also a founder and editor of this website. Had to mention that. Just so you know.

Anyway! I was just thinking that I should probably mention the release date of the PC game I am working on, on the PC games website I work for. That just seems to link up somehow. So here we go: it’ll be available to download and play on Humble Store and Steam on the 19th of August. Holy crap that is soon! It’s an ‘alpha’ though, so it still has a few months to go before completion, as we’re only about half way through implementing all the robots that hunt you, and have two more biomes to set up. There may be minor glitches, too, but on the whole we’re really rather pleased with it.

You can be hunted, you can be horribly murdered by robots, you can drink tea, and you can escape from the islands. It works. And I think it’s beautiful.

Just in case you’ve not been following my witterings about the project, let me tell you a bit more about it, below.

The Game

Sir, You Are Being Hunted is a procedurally-generated stealth and survival game set in a British landscape. You are a human being, either Sir or Madam, and you are being hunted by the well-dressed robot inhabitants of the archipelago you find yourself in. The aim is to rebuild the strange device that brought you to this sinister dimension, and escape. But the robots have no intention of letting you do that. The whole thing is brought to you with a wry smile, but our playtesters all tell us it’s completely terrifying too, which was the idea.


The moment-to-moment game is about fleeing from robots, hiding in bushes and long grass, scavenging for tea and biscuits in the abandoned villages, watching out for patrols, dogs and sentry balloons. You can stealth it all, or you can fight back with stolen weapons. It’s a wide-open sandbox, and from the very first moments you can go wherever you pleased on the five island archipelago. Freedom is key.

The Handsome Developers

What’s most exciting about all this for us is that it is proof of concept of some ideas that really excite us as a development team. There are only two full-time members of the Big Robot team: James Carey and Tom Betts, and they both have extremely potent visions of what they want games to be. Both of those visions are realised in Sir.

James’ vision of games comes from an ardent simulationist background. It’s telling that he worked for Bohemia and The Creative Assembly, two distinctly PC game developers that like to do big, heavily simulated systems for their games. His vision of games has meant that Sir is a huge sandbox with lots of moving parts: there are dozens of systems in there which work with and against each other, particularly in the AI, and getting that stuff conceived and produced has been one of his main accomplishments on the project. He has an uncanny ability to map out design consequences in his head, and has worked hard to keep us faithful to our philosophy of freedom and simulation. We want the world to run by itself, unscripted, and for events to emerge organically from that. James’ design work has been crucial to that. Given the small size of the team, it’s helped that he seems to have almost supernatural amounts of energy to apply to any given problem. All indie dev teams should get themselves a James.


Tom meanwhile has handled the bulk of the programming work and is responsible for building ‘The British Countryside Generator’, which is the procedural system we’ve bolted into our development platform – Unity – to create large, randomised chunks of British landscape. Tom has talked in detail about this elsewhere, but essentially it’s thanks to his interest in letting the mathematics do the work that means that all of our level design is automated. He’s spent the past few years focused on procedural creation of levels (and even built himself a procedural Wipeout-style racing game in his spare time) and has consequently become quite the expert in applying these systems within a game framework. When you start a game of Sir it generates a densely detailed and meticulously balanced 5km archipelago in a couple of minutes. Once that process is complete, everything in the game is ready to go. That’s all down to Tom.

And where do I fit in? Well, I’ve been working all my spare hours to help to guide the whole thing to fruition. I’ve been providing James and Tom help with design and production, as well as doing things like writing this essay. With many, many years of writing about games behind me, and endless conversations with Tom and James logged in my headmeat, I’ve been able to make sure everything coheres, as well as providing the occasional neat design solution or art concept. Mostly importantly, I’ve been able to work quite precisely with Tom and James, because we’ve all shared this same vision of a living world in which you are lost, and have been able to follow the implications of that to a complete and engaging game.

What’s Happening On August 19th?

On August 19th the game will appear on Humble Store and Steam. Anyone who backed the Kickstarter or pre-ordered will instantly get the game at that point. Anyone who buys the game on Steam or Humble store will get immediate access from that date. They will also get all future updates of the game, of which there will be quite a few.


Right now the game is in an ‘alpha’ state, which means that it’s fully playable and stable, but missing a few intended features. You can play through the game, and right now you face the base level hunter AI, their dogs, their sentry balloons, and also The Squire, which is a large middle-class robot who guards villages. This set of NPCs provides a decent challenge on its own, and you can play through the game to completion against them and have a decent experience, even though we plan to add much more . You can use traps, distractions, and even guns and bombs, to get past them and get the pieces of the device you need to get off the island.

The idea for Sir is that it is entirely replayable. You will generate another archipelago and have an entirely different experience. The landscape will be different, the distribution of items will be different, enemies will be in different places and patrolling different routes. As development continues we’ll be exposing more and more tools to you guys so that you can tweak and alter your experience. Plenty of options ship with the game on the 19th, but there are more to come.

What Happens After That?

It’s this continued ‘live’ development phase that we’re entering now. While we’re quite pleased with the state the game is in, it’s by no means finished. We’re aiming to add two completely new biomes, or environment sets, one based on the post-industrial north of Britain, and the other a huge procedurally generated castle which will dominate an entire island. We’re also introducing some of the NPCs promised in our Kickstarter: the riders (who pursue you relentlessly across the island), the poacher (who invisibly lies in wait with a blunderbuss), and the landowner (a horrendous giant thing which stalks you across the landscape). We’ve also started making another NPC: the scarecrow. He is pretty much my favourite. More details on him another time.


There are also some systemic updates in the pipeline. We want to introduce a couple of new weapons and toys, and introduce some better equipment handling and controls. We’re planning to do a lot more work on the audio – so regard what you hear in there as placeholder! – and there are a few tweaks and additions we’ll make to the biomes themselves. We’re planning to add a customisation system so that you can change your experience for a repeated playthroughs, and that will also tie in to the planned multiplayer aspect. Instead of a single player versus the islands, we’re looking at putting four of you on the same map. Only one person will be able to get off the island, so you’ll have to choose how much you want to co-operate with your fellow humans…

So Yeah

So yeah, theres a lot going on. I hope that you guys will come along for the ride, because this is a game we’ve made to almost entirely suit our own tastes and therefore, by extension, (I hope) the tastes of a majority of RPS readers.

I’ve personally learned a lot over these past couple of years, too. Like how much work making a game really is. Developers spent the past decade telling me that, and now I can say for certain that they weren’t kidding.

Sir, You Are Being Hunted is available to pre-order, and the alpha will go live on Monday 19th August 2013.

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155 Comments »

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  1. DiamondDog says:

    Can’t wait to start toasting some mofos! Wait, that’s not right.

    • KastaRules says:

      Does anybody know if the game supports multi monitor rendering like Eyefinity/Surround?
      …and if by pre-ordering it you will also get a Steam code?
      Thanks guys

      • Jim Rossignol says:

        > Does anybody know if the game supports multi monitor rendering like Eyefinity/Surround?

        Nope.

        > …and if by pre-ordering it you will also get a Steam code?

        Yep.

        • A Bunny says:

          Will this game be accessible to bunnies?

        • KastaRules says:

          Thanks Jim! I’ll pre-order it right now, I’d like to support the devs anyway (working on a multi mon or not). I hope it will work tho.

          @ Bunny: LOL

      • thegammaray says:

        I’m confused by this question. I thought the whole idea of Eyefinity was that the game never needs to know you’re running multiple monitors. Doesn’t the display driver handle the “multi monitor rendering”?

        • KastaRules says:

          Multi monitor rendering works pretty much every time, if it is not supported right away you just need to make a few changes in the config files of the game and you are set.

          Though sometimes titles that don’t support Eyefinity/Surround have a messed up FOV and/or the HUD and the GUI stretched, making the game in question unplayable. In these cases you need a third party fix or you are stuck on one monitor… which is, believe me or not, almost impossible to go back to once you are used to the pure awesomeness of a triple screen setup.

  2. PatrickSwayze says:

    I really really like the trees.

    You’ve done a really good job of capturing light and colour. The closest thing I can compare it to is how Halflife 2 captures that late autumn to early winter feel in its levels.

    It also feels quintessentially english-countryside-y. Good Job.

    When are the killstreaks going to be revealed?

  3. mouton says:

    This will be the hardest Wot I Think to write ever. Unless the game ends up as unequivocally brilliant. And even then. Heh.

  4. Ravenholme says:

    If it’s now Sir/Madam, you are being hunted, wouldn’t “To Whom It May Concern, You Are Being Hunted” be a bit more appropriate? :P

    I know, it’s inconceivable due to not having the snap of “Sir”, but there you go.

    Looks good, you are tempting me to purchase this despite my current financial situation, but I always get saddened by the lack of Scottish Highland-esque terrain in the biome generator. We’re the major remaining bastion of this landowner culture (Something that is a perpetual pain in my arse as an Ecologist) that the game parodies, and we have some fitting landscapes that would be quite distinct from those already implemented.

    Alas, tis not to be.

      • Ravenholme says:

        It might be because studying these things (And hiking them) is what I do, but for some reason that I can’t quite lay a finger on, it doesn’t really quite capture the nature of the Cairngorms and other central-ish parts of the highlands. I’ll grant you though, it is similar to the areas north-west of Inverness and farther north.

        • Jim Rossignol says:

          Well part of that is down to scale. We can only render 1km across, and your experience in a landscape like that is of a much grander space.

          • Ravenholme says:

            Yep, I agree, but I think some of it could be possible. Definitely the heather/grass mosaic structure, as it is intensely patchy even at small scales because of the competing interests of Hill Sheep farming and Grouse shooting. Throw in some of the woodland structuring and a degree of verticality, and I think you’d have an interesting, and challenging landscape, even at relatively small scales.

          • Ravenholme says:

            But for being kind enough to indulge in discussion over this, I am pre-ordering as I type this.

            Cheers Jim, you’re a card!

          • Muzman says:

            For the verticality; some of the playthroughs do show mountain islands with really big hills on them. Somewhat more dramatic than the original demo video (and big Abbey ruins to boot). It doesn’t go to the vegetation point, but much can vary in the generation.
            I was expecting kilted robots with big beards in one video.

      • Ravenholme says:

        Ah, it might be the lack of heather (Calluna and Erica) and a lack of the burns and rivers (and mountain/glen kind of dynamic that gives rise to that abundance of watercourses) that gives me this feeling. The Cairngorms and Highlands tend to be a patch mosaic structure of grassy areas cleared for sheep farming, interspersed with patches of heather moorland, some of which will have been burned (and so blackened, with new, young shoots growing through the dead remains of the older shrubs) for grouse shooting. With the occasional Scot’s pine, spruce or birch (or occasional stand/copse of them) dotting the landscape.

        And now and then you’ll either have plantation style woodland of some kind of Evergreen, probably a Spruce, Caledonian Forest remnant of widely spread Scot’s Pine, and successional Birch Woodland where the heather has been left to progress.

        • Quinnbeast says:

          I done pre-ordered at long last. Really looking forward to it. Any game that pitches tea and biscuits as your main form of vital replenishment gets an automatic look-in from me.

          Also DLC request:

          Sir, You Are Being Hunted on The Ben. You’d have to replace biscuits with peanut butter and banana sandwiches though; the hill snack of choice.

          – Funnel

        • tomnullpointer says:

          Yeah, there are loads of things I’d love to add. Burns, becks whatnot, but basically rivers are really really hard to do. Not just in their routes but more how to actually construct them with geometry etc. Heather is missing and a bunch of other stuff you have mentioned, and id love to have put in some shooting hides and some of those weird beater stands. Im a yorkshireman born n bred, but my brother lives in inverness now. We were both avid climbers when younger (he still is), mostly in Skye though. Id love to be able to spend more time to make more regional differences, but it will always ends up being an approximation due to compromises of time, what the gameplay mechanics require, and what models i can make up/afford etc :)

          • Ravenholme says:

            Aye, I can imagine they would be fairly tough. Hope the game is a success enough that you guys can consider adding these kind of features down the line!

  5. Unclepauly says:

    Sir, You are Taking My Money.

    • SuicideKing says:

      Mine too

    • rawrty says:

      Sir, you already took my money. Quite happy about it, though I think I will skip the alpha and just wait for the full release.

    • DestructibleEnvironments says:

      And happily taking mine.

    • Branthog says:

      Until my hands are actually on the finished game, you can not convince me that Jim has not taken my kickstarter money and used it to buy $15 worth of premium honey which he has his waterbed with and rolled around in while squealing with glee.

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        jrodman says:

        Accidentally a whole word?

        I didn’t realize this was a possibility or I would have backed it as well.

  6. Premium User Badge

    golem09 says:

    I’m glad I pledged for this, it looks good. I do have to much to play over the summer though, so I’m going to wait for the full release.
    And sorry, after trying out HL2 on Oculus I just have to ask, any plans for it? The split of view and aiming in HL2 made it the most fun I ever had with a shooter.

    • SuicideKing says:

      Or even TrackIR…

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      No plans at the moment, because we just have too many other plans. TrackIR is more likely, because we actually have those.

      • aksyn says:

        Putting in my vote for Rift support also :) Or at least compatibility with Vireio / Tridef.

        Also don’t forget that idea of stealing a robots clothes and head, and trying to trick the others into thinking you’re one of them! I think that could get quite intense :)

        • goettel says:

          This is fast becoming a mantra, but, yeah: we need the Rift to see this properly ! :-)

          With or without though, this has been at the top of my list of most anticipated pledges, and it’s been an awesome ride even to follow the updates.

      • LennyLeonardo says:

        TrackIR support would be lovely. It completely transformed ArmA for me.

  7. Michael Fogg says:

    >>>When you start a game of Sir it generates a densely detailed and meticulously balanced 5km archipelago in a couple of minutes.<<<

    [awkward silence]

    Are you telling me that between hitting 'New Game' and getting into the action the player will have to wait 'a couple of minutes'? Wouldn't that be a bit of a problem in 2013?

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Yes, that’s right. I’ve yet to see any of the 900 alpha testers complain about the wait. Perhaps they’re not living in 2013.

      But put it like this: you’re waiting a couple of minutes for *unique* maps about 2/3 the size of Call Of Pripyat to be generated.

      Hell, we could have shipped a pre-generated map, but where’s the fun in that?

      • Quinnbeast says:

        That’s clearly prime brew-making time built in to the fabric of the game. All games should have it as a feature.

        • gunny1993 says:

          In this day and age of fast loading times our levels of tea are dropping dangerously low.

          Shogun 2 led the charge into modern tea making times, allowing hundreds of players to get a well needed and most honorable cuppa in between battles.

        • Diving Duck says:

          I completely agree. If I make the missus a brew prior to sitting down to lose myself in something like this, she is more sure to hold off issuing demands for caffeinated beverages for a while. Plus, I get a cuppa too! Win Win really. Thanks Big Robot for attempting to keep my household harmony in one piece :o)

      • Penguin_Factory says:

        “But put it like this: you’re waiting a couple of minutes for *unique* maps about 2/3 the size of Call Of Pripyat to be generated.”

        Wow, really? I didn’t realize the maps would be that big. I’m excited.

        • Jim Rossignol says:

          CoP maps are about 1.5km2 we’re 1km2.

        • Juan Carlo says:

          Color me skeptical. Procedurally generated maps that big are usually tedious as hell. Sure they’re huge, but there’s usually no point of exploring as there’s nothing to see. Just a bunch of the same assets arranged in a different order.

          I hate to critique the game before I’ve played it, but if the maps are that big there’s going to have to be some really awesome randomized events or landmarks and such for them to be interesting. There’s nothing more boring than massive procedurally generated maps with nothing interesting or unique to see or do in them.

          But hopefully this game will avoid those pitfalls.

          • Hematite says:

            Setting up procedural generation is an art form. A young art.

            Procedurally generating short stories from random sentences would be rubbish, but generating short stories from random personalities interacting in random plot frameworks would be awesome. So it is with level design. Best of luck to tomnullpointer and the team!

          • Jim Rossignol says:

            “but if the maps are that big there’s going to have to be some really awesome randomized events or landmarks and such for them to be interesting”

            :)

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            Continuity says:

            Big? sounds tiny to me.. maybe i’m just spoiled by chernarus :-/

          • Jim Rossignol says:

            It’s no Chernarus, but then what is?

            (Note: our next game will kick Chernarus’ ass.)

      • rndmplyr says:

        Would buy it just because of the STALKER comparison.

        Regarding the uniqueness of each playthrough, would it be possible to have the NPC types procedurally generated?

      • ZIGS says:

        Is that 2/3 the size of all 3 CoP maps put together or just one?

      • Michael Fogg says:

        The game has rougue-like elements, which means you can die a lot from random screw-ups. I can’t see how having a waiting time in minutes to get going again wouldn’t be a problem. I’m sure the future reviewers will agree.

        Imagine if Spelunky would take a few minutes to generate you a new dungeon. Maybe there will be an option to re-use the current map?

        • Muzman says:

          It only generates the terrain once, unless you ask it. You can play the same “map” over and over again. Or roll a new one if you like.
          You can store several different terrains at once. to play at your leisure.

          (oh, and yes it looks like plenty of claret gets spilled too)

          • Chris D says:

            Also, unlike Spelunky, Sir has save points. It has procedural generation but not permadeath.

        • tomnullpointer says:

          Yeah it takes 2,3 mins to make all 5 islands, after this they are loaded in and out like any other game (a few secs when moving island or reloading etc) A current play-through to finishing is around 3hrs (if you are good!), but that doesnt include any time you might have died during that session (if you die and reload the save file goes back to your previous time). So id say it might be 4,5 hrs in total for a full clear if you are dying a bit etc. Generally you’d do this over 4,5 sessions (say 1 session per island). But we are still tweaking this in respect to player feedback etc and it might change since we are still adding npcs and biomes etc.

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            jrodman says:

            This has to be quite low down on the list of things worth doing, but is there a reason all 5 maps need to be generated at once? If not it seems like you could amortize the maps after #1 pretty easily and cut the prep time by 4/5th.

      • lukibus says:

        Not sure that response is very positive – if none of your beta testers have mentioned it then perhaps they are taking it as a hit of doing the testing of actually playing the gameplay.

        It is interesting that you consider your beta testers more important than non-beta testers – unless you only expect 900 purchases of course.

        • Jim Rossignol says:

          “It is interesting that you consider your beta testers more important than non-beta testers”

          What a strange thing to say. Where did I say who I considered more important?

        • Javier-de-Ass says:

          haha. well, he’s probably considering feedback from people who have sat through it or actually played the game more important than feedback from people who just saw the load time minutes and seconds estimate typed out as a number. the nerve on this guy.

        • Quinnbeast says:

          I sense that some reading-between-the-lines has gone awry here.

          Given that the beta testers are the only people to have played it, comparing their response to ‘everyone else’ would prove rather difficult would it?

          Prep the time machine folks!

      • massey says:

        Prime candidate for a load screen mini game :D

        • Widthwood says:

          An extremely hard mini game that the player has no chance of winning, and it simply proclaims YOU WON when all maps are generated. Would confuse the hell out of everybody :)

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          Surlywombat says:

          You actually see the maps being generated. If you really want to be on the ball you will be taking notes!

      • Widthwood says:

        You could generate those while the player is in some sort of tutorial/introduction… Like, a tutorial/introduction would be on a really small static map – a house, room, underground something, a dirigible, etc. And you could allocate all available cores above 1 to generating maps.

        • Muzman says:

          I’ve watched it in a video or two and I think the fact that it’s not concealed and is something other than just old fashioned loading is preferable to trying to hide it (which would make it just like old fashioned loading).
          I don’t think it’s such a way out concept people can’t cope with this as a reason it takes a bit of time. Much of this discussion seems to assume that.
          (alternately they might be able to make it so the outer islands aren’t generated until you actually go there. That might speed things up a bit. It would depend on the implementation of course, which I know nothing about.)

    • goettel says:

      Worlds like these are baked in the glow of the long, dark tea-time of the soul, ain’t no shake ‘n bake here, Sir !

    • Engloutie says:

      So long as there’s something to read / look at / do while waiting, I don’t see the problem at all.

      • Cleave says:

        There’s not really anything to do while you’re waiting but it doesn’t take too long and it’s only once. I think if you understand what’s it doing you can’t really complain.

  8. SuicideKing says:

    It’ll be very entertaining if SYABH (can we call it that? No? Ok) Sir’s AI turns out to be better than in both Arma and Total War.

    BTW Jim, how CPU bound is the game? Will my Core 2 Quad get killed?

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      It might struggle a little, yes, but you can drag down some gfx options to improve things.

      • SuicideKing says:

        Why would turning down graphics improve CPU perf? You mean stuff like shadows and all? (a lot of games seem to use the CPU for shadows)…

        It would be nice if you could release some kind of documentation that allows us to know what game settings affect what component (GPU/CPU, RAM/VRAM, etc.). I think that’s always been missing from games, no way to quickly tweak the stuff manually.

        • Premium User Badge

          jrodman says:

          Graphics features usually require some time on the CPU.

          The software on the main cpu has to run to decide to tell the graphics driver what to do. The graphics driver *also* runs on the main cpu to tell the graphics hardware what to do.

          Some features will use fairly little cpu time and mostly resources on the graphics hardware. Others have other balances.

          • SuicideKing says:

            True enough, but unless the render thread’s holding the GPU (or other sub-routines) back, it shouldn’t really impact performance that much.

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            jrodman says:

            Or unless the total work for graphics combined with the other work for the game exhausts your cores overall, which seems like the more likely scenario for a cpu problem on a core 2.

          • SuicideKing says:

            True, which was the context of my original question…will the non-GPU stuff kill my CPU?

            Probably will. Probably will still get it, though. :D

  9. goettel says:

    Pledged ‘n ready for it !

  10. Alistair says:

    Like the art style a lot – good looking and distinctive. Those hud, er, things seem a little intrusive though. You wouldn’t fade them a little or move them away from the centre?

  11. Donjo says:

    Who’s handling audio aspects? The hunter vocalisations are great :)

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      James and I did all the audio so far, but we’re going to get a bit of help polishing it up in the coming months.

      • Donjo says:

        Great work so far. The hunters jumbled mess of blips and beeps in the Gamplay video #1 as they pass the hidden player are unnerving… creepy and kitsch, a weird and interesting collision :)

  12. Penguin_Factory says:

    I’m super excited for this, but part of me is tempted to hold off until the game leaves alpha and I get to experience it in a completed form for the first time…..

    Ah screw it, I’m going to buy it day one. It looks way too interesting to ignore.

    Between this and Gone Home, the second half of August is going to be indie heaven.

  13. Chris D says:

    So, the idlethumbs guys played this a little while ago-

    Their verdict seems to be it looks really interesting but it’s quite easy to wander aimlessly without anything happening. Is this the kind of feeling you wanted for the game or is is still something that’s being tweaked. Alternatively, are they just a bit rubbish at the game and going around in circles without realising it?

    Edit: Verdict was probably the wrong word, they’re very aware it’s not finished yet.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      There are a bunch of signposts in there they were just ignoring or weren’t aware of: the compass waypoints and the wisps are usually enough to keep people going in the right direction.

      I do think people’s expectation for games, particularly first-person games, is to be unsubtly herded to the next point in the experience. We’ve deliberately avoided that.

      • Chris D says:

        Thanks for the answer. So you’re supposed to follow the wisps? I think my instinct would be more along the lines “NO! IT’S A TRAP!”

    • Muzman says:

      As I said elsewhere, Remo is such an indie ‘art-school’ gamer always looking for the alternative experience, the self generating narrative etc. Which is great, of course. But he ends up playing this like a Call of Duty playtester or console gamer, wondering where his radar and ability to see through walls is. I think he’s aware of this, but is trying to keep the video short and eventful.
      But the irony is quite funny.
      Stealth and survival has been pretty watered down and nerfed, especially in the first person space. It’s funny how a stripped down game like Sir is probably fairly rebellious to many players, even people who like that sort of thing in principle..

  14. jonahcutter says:

    The game looks phenomenal and I only wish it were available this weekend.

    But in the spirit of who watches the watchmen: Is there a Madam, You Are Being Hunted option?

  15. analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

    Apart from the lack of Battenberg and Macaroons it’ looks right up my street.

    How long is it invisaged that a co-op round will take to complete on average?

  16. Premium User Badge

    Hodge says:

    BUT WHY CAN’T WE GO INSIDE THE BUILDINGS JIM? :-P

    I bought into the Kickstarter early access thingy so I’ve been playing the alpha on and off (admittedly, more ‘off’ due to general business) for about a month, and I can confirm that it’s already quite splendid.

    Hiding in the undergrowth, hearing the hunters all around you and trying to pick the right time to break cover and run… and never knowing if you’re running straight into another patrol. It’s all super tense.

    Once I saw a lone hunter wandering down the main street of one of the small towns and decided that I’d kill the unfortunate gent so I could loot the buildings in peace. A couple of shots with my revolver did the trick – unfortunately, I didn’t realise that behind the buildings were three large packs of hunters, and they all heard the gunshots. I soon found myself cornered in an alley where I was mercilessly executed by about ten of the blighters.

    It’s full of moments like that. The countryside is beautiful, too. My only real complaint so far is that I’m rubbish at it, but that’s hardly the game’s fault.

    Some of the early access peeps have done Let’s Plays that give a pretty good idea of what the game’s like.

    https://www.youtube.com/darkkai3gaming

    https://www.youtube.com/user/RefinedRytho?feature=watch

    If you search YouTube you’ll find more, I’m only listing a couple so I don’t get eaten by the spam filter.

  17. moocow says:

    Will this fall under the Steam Early Access section, as you’re classing it as an alpha?

    That seems to emerging as a big trend that More Should Be Written About (please),

    Looking forward to my kickstarter keys in any case!

  18. Jason Moyer says:

    Still kicking myself for not, er, kicking this. Genuine candidate for GotY.

    Given the way the game generates maps, is it possible to save them for future playthroughs or must you always start with a fresh map?

    • tomnullpointer says:

      It works a little bit like Minecraft, in that every playthrough is essentially a world slot. If you want you can copy the world folder somewhere else to back up the world before you start looting stuff. You can even zip it up and send it to a mate to play from too. I’m hoping to get a seed based system in there too, so you wouldnt have to swop world files, just remember seeds. (A zipped world is anywhere from about 50-70mb)

      • Jason Moyer says:

        Awesome, thanks for the reply. Being able to generate worlds quickly from seeds would be amazing.

  19. Laurentius says:

    All right !

  20. redredredguy says:

    Just out of curiosity, what will the starting price be in the UK on Steam?

  21. Bull0 says:

    Congratulations, I am looking forward to this with much interest. Also, launching on a monday? How suitably proper. Good show.

  22. Howard says:

    Jim, an odd question, but its something that is in the way of me buying this right now: How “winnable” is this game? While I adore open world stuff, I do still prefer to have an achievable objective at the end of it all. So, more STALKER, less DayZ, is my point. If one can actually tool up, take on the robots and achieve some kind of win state, I’d be far, far more interested in this game than if its just a “survive until the AI wins the war of attrition”. Does that make any sense?

    • Premium User Badge

      Diziet Sma says:

      It’s entirely winnable, though I have never managed it myself. Your ultimate aim is to gather a fixed number of items to restore some infernal device to get you the hell out of dodge (paraphrasing massively). So yes whilst it is open world you do have an ultimate, and fixed, goal. This isn’t survive until dead; with dead being inevitable…. unless you’re me.

      • Howard says:

        AH, thanks. That answers several things at once. I was wondering what was stopping you just running for the hills. A thing you have to repair sounds like an interesting mechanic.

    • tomnullpointer says:

      Yeah its definitely winnable, although we don’t have much of a congratulations screen/sequence yet :)
      The goal is fairly simple and standard actually (return x number of mysterious fragments), its the way the world places those peices when its generated, and how the AI guard/protect them that makes the challenge very varied. Its also designed to be replayable, after a few hours you will begin to learn the mechanics of the world and then things become a lot easier as you learn how to exploit situations and equipment. Its not a walkover though, we deliberately didn’t want to follow the usual mainstream handholding strategy of most AAA FPS. Still we are finding some people steaming through the game using only axes, or only traps or only drinking beer etc.

      • Premium User Badge

        Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

        The congratulations screen should say something along the lines of “Now go and treat yourself to a good cup of tea and open the good biscuits!”

        • The Random One says:

          CONGLATURATION!

          YOU HAVE COMPLETED A GREATE GAME

          AND PROUVED THE JUSTICE OF BRITISH CULTURE.

          NOW GO DRINK SOME TEA GOOD SIR/MADAM!

          • Premium User Badge

            DrScuttles says:

            On the topic of lousy endings, 10 years on and off occasionally braving Shadow Of The Beast 2 lead me to this massive anticlimax. A brief ending seems perfectly appropriate for a shorter rougelike game which encourages replayability (the FTL ending is brief as hell but the elation I felt upon seeing it for the first time was giddying).
            I’m just hoping that the end screen does have a luxurious close-up graphic of a freshly poured flask of tea, steam invitingly rising off it. Next to it lays a half-devoured pack of rich tea biscuits. With a robotic monocle tied around it as a trophy.

      • Dances to Podcasts says:

        You could create challenges or achievements for completing the game that way.

  23. realmenhuntinpacks says:

    Ah fantastic news. So genuinely excited to get a crack at this – looked amazing from day one – those environments! I grew up on the moors (sans robots, naturellement) and that washed out grey lighting is absolutely pitch-perfect. One of the best internet computer games writing-about men producing an ultra-idiosyncratic British robot evasion simulator? What. A. Time. To. Be. Alive.

  24. Sheng-ji says:

    Does anyone else read “Exciting Disclaimer” in the voice of an Elcor?

  25. Ross Angus says:

    “… and the other a huge procedurally generated castle which will dominate an entire island”. SQUEEEEE!

  26. Premium User Badge

    DrScuttles says:

    Part of me wants to wait until Sir is more feature complete to begin playing. But that’s the part of the brain that’s responsible for wanting to keep action figures in their original packaging, so I ignore it utterly. Can’t wait to get stuck in.

  27. Premium User Badge

    Continuity says:

    I’ve been looking forward to this, i’m taking the 19th off work so I can play it.

    CAN’T WAIT O_O

  28. Synesthesia says:

    Woah, those night screenshots… This is looking beautiful! As soon as i finish paying my new piano, i’m buying this. Looks excellent!

  29. brooklyn67 says:

    Damn you, commenters, you forced me to go buy it just to keep from missing out on the resulting threads! Also, it looks great, *and* although I realize it is not the same as RPS, buying it felt like giving something back for all the enjoyment I’ve received from the site.

  30. Gamboni says:

    Oh my god. You guys have given the game a lot more graphics (nearly all of them in fact), it looks stellar. I had no idea the already strong and distinctive aesthetic would receive this sort of fidelity as well. The atmosphere is now so thick I’ll be forced to buy this. It has so much soul.

  31. sk2k says:

    Hmm, if i pre-order now via the Humble Store, will i get a Steam key on 19. August?

  32. Barberetti says:

    We’re aiming to add two completely new biomes, or environment sets, one based on the post-industrial north of Britain, and the other a huge procedurally generated castle which will dominate an entire island.

    Oh.

    Oooooooooh.

    Looking forward to those, especially the castle one.

  33. Greggh says:

    Jim!

    Loved the game so far (fun fact: it will be released on my birthday – It’s like I’m destined to play it)

    I really like the fact that you put the little disclaimer before posting about SYARBH !ACRONYMS! and such but, on a not totally unrelated matter, why doesn’t RPS (you all) publish more editorial posts? It would be nice to know your stances on popular subjects of gaming (in the subjects themselves, not only when it comes to a particular game or publisher/dev).

    Just my two cents

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      I guess we write editorial when we have something to say. They do happen, but this summer has admittedly been pretty quiet.

      • Greggh says:

        The latest I can remember are both from John – one regarding digital property, sparked by the SimCity DRM controversy (etc.) and a few others regarding gender representation (lato sensu) in games. Both were very good.

  34. Contrafibularity says:

    YABH looks better every time I see it, can’t wait to play it. I love how the subtext is seemingly woven into every bit of the game.

    PS. I formally object to this revolving doors situation at RPS; clearly with such corruption Jim should be forbidden from writing anything but disclaimers. Serious investigative games journalists like you are supposed to keep out politicians and businessmen honest! What’s next, Cara succeeds Bobby Kotick, John and Adam start their own PMC, Nathan becomes Pope of Scientology and Craig the next culture secretary? What have you done, Jim?!

  35. sharks.don't.sleep says:

    I’m kind of sad that the Tweetpunk t-shirt is for Kickstarter backers only and won’t make it into any form of merchandising shop.
    Because I think it’s friggin’ awesome. :(

    Pic of the shirt: http://www.big-robot.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/TweedTShirtTemplateBlack.png

  36. trjp says:

    Will the post-industrial north one feature fracking? I hear it’s easy as it’s so desolate up here… ;)

  37. H-Hour says:

    Jim, were you or either of your partners big fans of the original Ghost Recon? Gameplay videos from Sir are strikingly similar to my experience of playing GR — stealthy, bush-crawling, AI-fleeing suspense. Mastering the terrain and managing lines of exposure took precedence over shooting skills. Many of us waited in vain for the series to return to its original form.

    If the similarities are more than just on the surface, can I make a suggestion? Don’t skimp on your coop gameplay. There were few things more thrilling in my gaming life than coop GR, with a teammate on overwatch, guiding me around the right side of a rock while the enemy was moving on the other side.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      James and I both played those games back in the day, but I wouldn’t say it was a huge influence. That said, I have always enjoyed that sort of game, so I guess it’s at the back of my mind.

  38. Asurmen says:

    I keep reading the game title as You, Sir, Are Being Hunted because I think it has a bit more snap :( Keep reminding myself it’s not right!

    • JimBob PhD says:

      I get it in the right order, but continually hear it in my head as if spoken by Jarvis from the Iron Man films(Paul Bettany). Might see if I can condition myself to hear it spoken by Jeeves as played by Stephen Fry.

  39. -Alligator- says:

    Will the game support LAN multiplayer?

  40. Elmarby says:

    One thing that is not doing much for me is the gun design, which is kinda important as you will be looking at it so much and is one of the main objects with which you “interact” with the robots. A more faithful representation of guns would have hit my personal sweet-spot a bit more then these more cartoonish looking versions.
    It is not like the history of the Empire cannot provide enough guns with a British-ish (it’s a word!) flavour. Holland & Holland style over and under shotgun, a Webley revolver, a Marini-Henry long lever rifle or maybe even an SMLE would only add to the British flavour while providing guns for the manly man.

    • Muzman says:

      I think their choices are more aristocratic and 19th century than that. The revolver looks like an old Beaumont – Adams or Tranter, The rifle looks like…er a Sharps (which isn’t all that British I suppose. But fancy!. Google fail I guess). And the shotgun looks like ….ummm.. one of the ones from Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (which are Holland and Holland)

      Tedious addendum: The rifle actually looks a lot like this Wesson rifle (American of course, sadly) only the receiver housing is larger and more rounded.
      I wonder if there’s an actual real gun it’s based on. Someone like Farquarson might have made one. (googling can make you sound like a gun nut pretty quick. Take that Yellow Pages)

  41. Diving Duck says:

    Can anyone say what the Field of Vision used is? My brain struggles with a FoV at the bizarrely standard 75 degrees and I nearly always find I have to change things to allow prolonged sessions. I only ask as the pictures above look somewhat close to the dreaded figure for me.

  42. Premium User Badge

    Gap Gen says:

    So the co-op mode is sort of adversarial. Interesting choice over a straight co-op mode. Unsure whether I’d prefer that over a straight co-op.

    Reminds me of a co-op mission we used to play in ArmA, where you were dumped onto the north half of the island with only a pistol, and had to escape to a US base of the coast, evading patrols, etc. The kicker was that everyone had to escape to complete the mission. I remember being tracked by my allies in a fleet of little birds while avoiding enemy patrols in UAZs. Point being that I kinda liked the cooperative escape feel of it, after a start that was mostly hiking through countryside. A few people I know managed to liberate a bus and drive it down the island to the docks past enemy patrols.

    • Vinraith says:

      A co-operative escape mode would be a nice addition in the future. I really have no interesting in playing a quasi-competitive mode like the one described.

      • Monkeh says:

        Same here. To me it’d actually seems a bit weird that a game which is advocated to RPS readers, would contain competitive co-op instead of cooperative.

  43. onyhow says:

    So does that mean if you die in co-op you’re dead for good?

  44. Gwilym says:

    My brother’s birthday! This is exactly our sort of game (in fact it edges close to “our dream game” territory), and he’s a hunter by trade. And I hadn’t decided on a gift yet. Excellent.

  45. Premium User Badge

    cpt_freakout says:

    Finally I will be able to understand the British (robots).

  46. pertusaria says:

    Bought this after watching a few of the gameplay videos over on the Big Robot website. Looks like good tense fun! Not quite sure what happens when you drop to 0 vitality for too long, but I guess I’ll find out soon.

  47. MrEvilGuy says:

    “We’re also introducing some of the NPCs promised in our Kickstarter: the riders (who pursue you relentlessly across the island), the poacher (who invisibly lies in wait with a blunderbuss), and the landowner (a horrendous giant thing which stalks you across the landscape).”

    At first I read ‘lawnmower’ instead of ‘landowner’ and the image in my head really freaked me out.

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