Wot I Made: Sir, You Are Being Hunted V1.0

By Jim Rossignol on May 1st, 2014 at 6:00 pm.

We’re not going to be publishing a Wot I Think of the game Sir, You Are Being Hunted because one of the principle people behind it – although secondary in overall accomplishment to the mercurial Tom Betts and the incendiary James Carey – is me. I started a small game design company (just the three of us) back in 2010, and in November 2012 we Kickstarted our first big project, which was the open-world stealth and survival game, Sir, You Are Being Hunted. Today, after just over eight months of Early Access, that project hits V1.0. This means that we’ve done what we promised we’d do in the Kickstarter, and the game is superb shape. It’s out and you should play it. That’s my objective analysis of the situation, anyway.

Oh, and there’s a Professor Elemental video below to celebrate the release. You should watch that.

First though, here’s a launch trailer from our design lead, James Carey.

And I think that sums it up nicely.

But here’s a further summary: Sir, You Are Being Hunted is an open world game of stealth, and as such I think it is fairly unusual. It employs procedural systems to generate British landscapes across five biomes (rural, industrial, castle, fen and mountain), which we then populate with merciless robots. As you rebuild your teleporter to escape, so the hunt intensifies. It’s intended to be a challenging experience, with particularly tricky AI enemies.

It also has a stuffed badger as an inventory item, which is a feature I feel many games neglect these days:

Needless to say, I will write more about the experience of making important design decisions like this at a later date. There’s much to be learned from the Menu Pheasant and the Trombone Slide.

Finally, as promised, here’s Big Robot chum and Brighton’s master rapper, Professor Elemental, providing a musical hurrah for the big day:

As for reviews, well, I am just beaming that Harvey “Deus Ex / Dishonored” Smith called the game “so good” back in January.

That’ll do. That’ll do.

[Header image for this post is by the talented Christian Anderson.]

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108 Comments »

  1. Ich Will says:

    Wot I Think: It’s bloody good

  2. HiFiHair says:

    Well done, Jim (and company)!

  3. Antsy says:

    Capital!

  4. Bull0 says:

    Congratulations on 1.0!

  5. Synesthesia says:

    Congratulations! Reinstalling now. I’m really glad you guys didn’t stay in early access forever.

  6. Edgar the Peaceful says:

    Been waiting for 1.0 to purchase. Well done Jim. Looking forward to a wander around somewhere recognisably British. Oh no I sound like a UKIP voter.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Don’t worry, so do our murderous robots. (FOR SOME REASON.)

      • Premium User Badge Rizlar says:

        Nigel Farage: most disgusting boss since Gaping Dragon.

      • Ultra Superior says:

        I’m not British, but I do enjoy mr. Farage’s speeches greatly. Less government, more sovereignty, what’s wrong with that? Also, Thatcher was the best PM you ever had, second only to Churchill but that’s only because he was lucky enough to battle Hitler.

        ..oops, I guess I’m gonna be hunted by the ubiquitous well intentioned commies and social-engineers.

        Differences aside, congrats on a fun game, Jim.

        • pepperfez says:

          Sovereignty for all!
          Keep your government out of my sovereignty!
          A sovereign in every pot!

        • Arren says:

          ..oops, I guess I’m gonna be hunted by the ubiquitous well intentioned commies and social-engineers.

          Tut, tut — the persecution complexes on these fellows!

          Run along now, chap: no one cares enough to hunt you. Go Galt!

        • LennyLeonardo says:

          You would like Farage; you’re a space marine.

        • bill says:

          It seems to be an unfortunate fact of life that all countries tend to fall towards right wing nationalism, isolationism and jingoism when the economy isn’t good. In some ways I guess he’s just the latest of a long line of guys to take advantage of that.

          But since the UK’s recent slide towards right wing nationalism, isolationism and jingoism means that I can’t bring my family back to the UK and am effectively exiled from my own country, while he seems to have a german wife living in the UK, I tend to take his rise in influence rather personally. (though of course it’s the conservative government bowing to their fears of him that actually changed the rules).

          Hopefully it’s a temporary blip in the nation’s history and if the ecomony recovers then it’ll be soon forgotten.

          PS/ Churchill was a terrible prime minister, but a good war leader. Thatcher was like chemotherapy – she may have been necessary in the long term, but the side effects were horrible and I don’t think many people would actually say that they like it.

      • Edgar the Peaceful says:

        hah! Just heard them moaning about taxation.

    • Ich Will says:

      Sir! You are being UKIPped – you play a European of your choice and the game deposits you in your job. Men from a certain generation and the more extreme daily mail readers hunt you across the English countryside, and you win by getting to the channel tunnel.

    • bstard says:

      I think Farage has been kidnapped by scared people who found in the EU a nice scapegoat.

      Anyways grtz on version 1.0. I’ve been hovering my mouse many a time over the early access buy button. Now I can buy the game savely :D

  7. rei says:

    Ooh awesome that you got Professor Elemental to make a song for you!

  8. Haplo says:

    Oh geez, the robots look and sound pretty creepy despite being charmingly British robo-robots. I think it was the scene where they were comparing human heads.

  9. Premium User Badge Stellar Duck says:

    Well done!

    I’m really happy that I backed this back in the day and I’m looking forward to playing the full version.

    The early access stuff I’ve played so far has been brilliant!

  10. Wolfenswan_ says:

    I can’t be the only German reader who was reminded of this pearl of the 90s upon watching the second video:

    • vivlo says:

      hahawesome !

    • InnerPartisan says:

      Good Lord. I completely squeezed out every memory of… that from my brain-sponge. Thanks for making the bad dreams come back, I guess.

    • Brinx says:

      To be fair
      “Während andere brav in der Messe beten,
      vertreibe ich mir die Zeit mit in die Fresse treten.”
      is a pretty awesome line.
      At least I laughed.

      • Premium User Badge DeVadder says:

        It is nice but you doomed me to another hour of reading Kollegah punchlines. Because one can not listen to them.
        “Er ist von fans umgeben,
        wie ein englischer Vorgarten.”

    • Premium User Badge DeVadder says:

      I love you, i never knew what that song was called and what to google but i still kept getting “Meister, meister, da kommt wieder einer, ist beliebt bei den Frauen und hat schon Drachen getötet stuck in my head in all different kinds of situations.

  11. jorygriffis says:

    Congratulations, Jim!

  12. Premium User Badge Hodge says:

    Well played. The game is full of arseing metal bastards wonderful!

  13. Emeraude says:

    Congrats.
    Will probably finally get to test it this weekend once I’m done with my accounting duties.

    Again, congrats.

  14. Premium User Badge Thurgret says:

    Congratulations. I played it a little bit during early access. It was surprisingly nerve-racking.

  15. The Random One says:

    But Early Access is meant for you to fleece the costumers for ever while neglecting the game! How dare you release it? You’re doing it wrong!

    Seriously though, the game looks great. I almost bought it when it was on sale late last year, but you didn’t match the Steam sale on your personal page/Humble widget so I didn’t. I don’t like hunting down your own page for the express purpose of giving you more money from the sale only to find I’ll have to also pay more money for it! But now I’ll probably buy it for the release discount it has right now and we’ll all be happy.

  16. Premium User Badge daphne says:

    Congratulations to everyone involved!

  17. povu says:

    [Hunting intensifies]

  18. Casimir's Blake says:

    Have interiors been added yet?

    • Premium User Badge Stellar Duck says:

      No.

      Just in case you were serious and not just mimicking people on forums.

    • torchedEARTH says:

      I felt the same way. Then I looked at the Big Robot blog and all the great screenshots of what is available in the exterior locations. It just looks amazing. Maybe interiors will be in the game one day, maybe they won’t.

      But considering the price tag and what *is* in the game, I am buying a copy tonight.

      Edit: bought a copy on Steam, having lots of fun.

  19. varangian says:

    Good show chaps! My only peeve is that the last update nuked my key settings and screen resolution which I think was dashed careless of you. Also I’ve never found a stuffed badger. But apart from that it’s all tickettyboo.

  20. PopeRatzo says:

    This means that we’ve done what we promised we’d do in the Kickstarter

    Very good. Congratulations.

    The fact that you’ve done something that’s unusual enough to require pointing out is not a point in Kickstarter’s favor. Pro-tip to nascent game developers: You’re supposed to do what you promise your backers you’re going to do. You don’t get extra credit for it.

    • Arren says:

      Oh, FFS, Ratzo.

      Do you shout divorce statistics at weddings? Give it a rest.

    • karnie says:

      No, but I think a game company that meets its deadlines and delivers on everything they say they will IS unusual and deserves to be highlighted.

  21. Lemming says:

    Well done Big Robot! I shall be purchasing, directly. It’s human season.

  22. SuicideKing says:

    Congratulations! I hope it does really well! I’ll help. :D

  23. SkittleDiddler says:

    One of the few Early Access games doing it right. Congrats on the new version, I’m going to play it as soon as Steam comes back online!

    Goddamn it, Steam.

  24. Jason Moyer says:

    Just finished a game with the early access build a few days ago, looking forward to going through it again now. Lovely lovely game. And, imho, it actually exceeds the games I’ve seen cited as influences.

  25. trooperwally says:

    Professor Elemental: putting the RP into rap…

    Anyway, looking forward to getting back into some tweed suited, tea fuelled stealth shenanigans. And big congrats Jim and co!

  26. pepperfez says:

    No Wot I Think, but maybe impressions or diaries? Because Sir is exactly the sort of game I like reading about at RPS, and I think none but the most obtusely hateful would see anything amiss with it.

    And congratulations! It’s looking lovely.

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      Yeah, I would love something similar to the Dark Souls 2 WIT. Yeah yeah we know it’s a great game, but one of the RPS writers can surely get all critical and tell me what sucks about it!

  27. elevown says:

    Great :) Been waiting to buy this for ages – but I dont wanna spoil games playing early access / unfinished versions – same reason im holding off on ‘Divinity – original sin’. Now I can go buy it! looks like my sorta game.

  28. Moogie says:

    Please, think of us poor folk who suffer with motion sickness. :( We miss out on so many great games, because some creators have this bizarre notion that it’s “realistic” to have spaz-vision while running, or to rotate 45-degrees like a contortionist while strafing. I don’t do these things in real life, why do they happen in FPS games?

    I’ve been following this game’s progress since the Kickstarter, but I just can’t handle how weird the camera moves, it makes me feel drunk and ill. If 1.0 includes an option to disable the camera wobble/tilt, I will buy it immediately!

    • Muzman says:

      They do it because it aids immersion, often wonderfully, and most people don’t suffer as you do (although I don’t know what that strafing bit is all about). All the best first person experiences had great character physicality and head bobbing as a big part of it (Mirror’s Edge, Thief). It’s unfortunate but I hate skateboard cam and it’s an automatic strike against any FP game.

      Anyway, I don’t think they’ve got an option at present. There’s probably a hack someone knows though.

      • Widthwood says:

        Your brain removes bobbing in real life, so no one gets sick just by walking.

        Frankly, bobbing in games is one of the silliest “features” that everyone puts in for some reason – if bobbing in sync with player it gets removed in brain and is not noticed. If not – player gets sick. In any case it doesn’t actually add anything, and alienates sizable portion of gamers.

        Between this, and no alternative key bindings for each action, and inconsistent Esc key behaviour (doesn’t exit from all menus, only main) – it’s strange that they have so many typical pitfalls, considering one of the creators is actually a PC game reviewer.

        • Muzman says:

          It’s not there to be ‘noticed’ it’s there to provide additional feeling of movement. And you’re wrong anyway. Eyes don’t remove it entirely from a game. There are multiple factors that can go into it, from weapon movement to head movement and footfalls. It all goes into building an immersive first person perspective. You can definitely do it badly. But not having it is always worse in my experience and its absence is the thing that’s noticeable.
          Needs to be in every first person game where you are a human or something that walks. Sir’s is astoundingly mild as these things go as well. Not that there’s anything wrong with including accessibility options.

          I don’t what you’re talking about with the other stuff. You want an alternative key, rebind the key. And the escape key absolutely gets you out of every interface or inventory and takes you ‘back’ from every menu. If anything is missing its the ability to toggle inventory and so on with the same key.

          • Widthwood says:

            Well then we can just agree to disagree. I don’t see constant “bob” in real life, so how could it make a game more realistic?… I don’t get sick from bobbing, but turn it off in every FPS that doesn’t use avatar’s body and exaggerated movements as an important part of the game (like Mirrors Edge and Thief, but these constitute minuscule amount of total FPSs). Anyway I think an option to turn it off would please everyone.

            About other stuff. Alternative bindings are and always were used universally in almost all FPS’s to provide different means to access items on number keys. Like, for example binding shotgun not only on 4, but also on Q for quick access during fights. Or also binding binoculars on a middle mouse button. With modern mice alt bindings provide safe way to use all of the extra buttons without the risk of messing up default layout, like “do I need bandages on a mouse, or I will use them while aiming – so it’s better to keep them on keyboard?”. Alt bindings is just something PC games usually do, and (some) PC gamers are used to, so why would they omit that?…

            Esc exits from options and inventories, but for me it didn’t exit from a map. Instead it opened options menu on top of it, so exiting from a map usually involved pressing Esc, swearing, pressing Esc again and then pressing map key. By the way, both inventory and map are toggled with their respective keys, that one they got right.

          • Muzman says:

            Fair play. Sounds like the Esc key is double clicking sometimes. Not a problem I’ve had luckily. It’s all ok over here so far.
            I see what you mean about the key thing; actual individual binds for individual items, a la the map. Inventory heavy games like System Shock 2 and Deus Ex did such a thing. It’s a good idea.

            I’m all for headbob adjustments, I just like headbob more often than not and I think its a justifiable addition, just as the various camera support methods will change the way a shot feels in a movie.
            They also left off colourblind modes for this edition too. So it might turn up. I think they could have cooked the game a little longer. But I suspect they wanted to act like a proper company that hits their release targets when they say, as distinct from a home brew indie crew who can stretch and stretch (not that there’s necessarily anything wrong with that).

        • Moogie says:

          Thank you! Someone who gets it. As muzman said, it can definitely be done better or worse- and in Sir’s case, I feel it is worse. I can play *certain* FPS games with bobbing, and last longer/shorter depending on the methods they use. Skyrim, for example, does it pretty well, where as Just Cause 2 seriously messes with my head. Sir’s problem is mainly how the camera tilts sideways like a drunkard walking back from the pub. It’s very lethargic and “swimmy” and not immersive or realistic, IMHO.

          I agree that some types of wobble can add immersion. However, when simply moving around, I just don’t understand the need for it. My view in real life is “skateboard” steady (to borrow the term) unless something’s exploding next to me or there’s an earthquake. Fortunately for me, those things don’t happen very often.

    • aksen says:

      i suffer from pretty bad motion sickness, and definitely experience often in first person games that don’t let me adjust FOV. but in the few hours i put into sir during it’s pre-release stages, i never once felt sick. compare this with having to stop playing metro: last light within minutes of it starting (before hacking the INI file to set a reasonable FOV).

  29. derbefrier says:

    SWEET!!!! been waiting for this day. I have been waiting for it to be finished before i jumped in. I have messed around with it here and there and really enjoyed it but wanted to wait for the complete package. Now i will have to divide my time this weekend between this and Dark Souls 2. Congrats on passing the finish line.

    • derbefrier says:

      I just want to add that even though I had never heard of Professor Elemental until this post that was a great video.

  30. teije says:

    This is a great game, it takes a fresh concept and applies it so well. My 13-year old son loves it. I’m too addle-thumbed to be any good at it.

  31. Psymon says:

    Apologies if it’s been asked somewhere else before, but will a demo for this be considered?

  32. GameCat says:

    Poor badger. :( I hope he isn’t one of my cubs from Shelter.

  33. LennyLeonardo says:

    Just in time for the bank holiday. Rarrrufverygoodhmplpf.

  34. beatdarwin says:

    I think it just might be time for a Reddit AMA!

  35. TheMick says:

    Best musical pairing for a session of Sir? “Discombobulate” by Hans Zimmer.

    Best whiskey? Johnnie Walker Black

    Red meat? Any.

    Tweed is optional but highly recommended.

    Mustache wax? Penhaligon’s.

    Good hunting.

    • InnerPartisan says:

      Johhny Walker Black? I don’t know. Sir, You are being hunted! is a game that positively radiates dampness, like a grey November afternoon, so I’d say something with a lot more peat is advisable. Any Islay will do – preferably Laphroaig or Lagvulin, of course.

      • iainl says:

        I concur; the idea of coupling a Fen biome in particular with anything that isn’t peaty sounds wrong.

        Personally, however, I’ll be partnering the game with a full-bodied ale, most likely a Broadside or Poacher’s Choice

  36. Frank says:

    Backer here. Congrats!

    I hope there’s more room for exploration and choice of how to approach problems than the last time I tried it. I have minimal FPS skills and little desire to learn and exploit AI foibles. Still, an English countryside simulator is quite the thing, even if I can’t survive long in it!

  37. pleaseletmecomment says:

    le british xD fishnchips m8 XD XD XD le sire

  38. Cinnamon says:

    I’m not buying until a senior Tory MP claims that it is his favourite game.

    • Premium User Badge Gap Gen says:

      Michael Gove does chap hop, and this has a chap hop video, so…

  39. FullMetalMonkey says:

    I am one of the Kickstartees of Sir and it is a very enjoyable game.

    Also the guys at Big Robot are very helps in terms of solving personal problems (although I’m sure when the game has hundreds of thousands of players ;-) that may change abit).

    I just can’t believe the last 18 months have gone so quickly.

    But I’d just like to congratulate Big Robot and announce that Sirs, You are being hunted.

  40. ironman Tetsuo says:

    Congratulations Big Robot! You delivered as promised, Love the game!

  41. Premium User Badge frymaster says:

    I was thinking about this. I don’t see why we should be deprived of an RPS WIT just because one lobe of the hive mind was involved in the creation.

    A while back the Scottish ginger lass off Doctor Who wrote an article about how games journalism should throw away the pretense of objectivity and I think she was onto something. If Alec disliking Banished actually made me want to play the game and him liking Don’t Starve made me not buy it (and for the record, I _do_ agree with his WITs a lot too) then I think I could handle a Sir WIT

    Of course, the other argument is it might cause friction in the hive mind. In which case, fair enough, though I shall sulk anyway, on general principles.

  42. Michael Fogg says:

    Can you talk to the robots?

  43. Dave L. says:

    Hm. I haven’t been able to play this because it runs my video card at 100%, even with VSYNC and the frame limiter on (and the frame limiter option is kind of useless since you can’t actually set the framerate that you want it to be limited to), rather quickly resulting in higher operating temps than I get on Tomb Raider at max detail settings with stereo 3D on.

    Was hoping that 1.0 would finally have sorted that, but apparently not.

  44. shadybearfaced says:

    Lookin great! Out of curiosity though, any word on when co op will come to light?

  45. Premium User Badge Martel says:

    Yay! Owned it for a bit now but didn’t want to spoil it by playing too much. Excited to dive back in with 1.0.

  46. Raiyan 1.0 says:

    That music video was pure marketing fluff, with no gameplay whatsoever.

    (Capital job all around, chaps.)

    • Gravy100 says:

      I just bought it after watching that video, pushed me over the edge, hurrah!

  47. TACO BOY says:

    well i will be jumping in once multiplayer is here,any plans on revisiting perp once it hits steam? (or now since its free).
    ps: dont know if you remember me “TACO BOY” from stc.

  48. Greggh says:

    Congratz Jim, extend my regards to Big Robot’s other lovely chaps as well!!

  49. El_Emmental says:

    Great news :)

    Sadly I haven’t been that much convinced by the stealth gameplay I saw in earlier versions, the difficulty seemed to reside in learning how to glitch the IA (understanding its flaws and programming limits) to neutralize the threat it was supposed to represent, rather than being a vicious angst of constantly being hunted and having to crawl in the mud, fox holes and badger setts to live another day.

    Maybe I had inadequate expectations, maybe the game greatly improved the AI… any opinion on that point, Sir players ?

    • Widthwood says:

      My main gripe is not with AI, it’s with the main premise.

      All the game has at all are 16 simple fetch quests, that are laid out before you right at the start. That’s it, nothing to do in Sir besides them. It’s quickly got repetitive, boring and hollow, and I can’t imagine even finishing the whole thing… No occasional gags like stuffed badgers can fix that.

      Maybe if they’ve partly ditched the whole procedurally generated part, and made interesting hand-crafted puzzles/scenarios you have to think your way through – the gameplay would get more diverse. For now I only seen 1 scenario – here’s the thing you need, and there’s an increasingly large bunch of random bots around it.