Open World Multiplayer Stealth: The Hit Launches Kickstarter

By Graham Smith on June 25th, 2014 at 12:00 pm.

There’s so much more we could do with open, urban environments than simply layering the structure of crime movies on top of them. For starters, we could make our violent missions dynamic, utilising the vast crowds of the city. That’s what The Hit intends to do. It sets you a contract – which could be another player or one of the city’s procedural NPCs – and then you set out to find and kill your target. Also players will experience dreams.

We covered it previously, but its one-man indie developer has now launched the project on Kickstarter, the home of dreams.

Here’s the trailer from a couple months back, now being used on the Kickstarter page:

It’s a little like the game you would make if you were trying to turn Watch_Dogs multiplayer mode into an entire game:

The Hit is a multiplayer stealth-shooter, set in an open-world city. Kill your target as quickly and cleanly as possible, before other players get there first. Try to stay incognito, or photograph other players and take out hits on them.

As well as the game, developer Dan Stubbs aims to release a set of tools which will allow players to remix the city.

With a powerful set of tools, you’ll be able to create your own ‘mix’ of the city, and personalise streets, buildings, interiors, signs, the various factions which operate within the city, as well as the rules the city operates by. Every image in the game, from the Agency logo to license-plates will be editable with a simple image-editor. You’ll be able to make buildings, complete with interiors, with the auto-architect tool, and it’ll be possible to make your own items and weapons with the object creator.

The depth and power of those tools is stretch goal-dependent, but part of the original was that players would be able to experience random remixes of the game by going to sleep and dreaming a random, alternate, player-made reality. Which sounds mad.

If you’re an early taker, £5 will get you a digital download of the finished game (£8 normally), while £15 nets you both the game and the remix tools.

The Hit is one of those projects that seems frightfully ambitious for a single developer, but also the sort of frightfully ambitious project for which Kickstarter was designed. Tread carefully but take a look.

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27 Comments »

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  1. Loque says:

    I know graphics aren’t crucial but … is this a joke?

    • Eukatheude says:

      I don’t mind them, they actually gave me a strong XIII vibe.

    • Glottis1 says:

      You are looking at £5 kickstarter game created by one developer. Kickstarter was made for games like this.

    • aDFP says:

      Graphics are totally crucial, but photoreal graphics would require a far larger budget, and restrict the kind of gameplay I’m trying to develop. Simple characters allow me to create more complexity in the environment, and make that complexity easy to take in at a glance.

      There’s something weird that happens when you make something interactive, and I’m still trying to understand it. In order to make any action, we need to process information into a symbolic language. The faster we need to react, the simpler that symbolism has to be. There appear to be several ‘layers’ to this processing, with the kind of immediate, ‘twitch’ interaction that makes up most of modern FPS games being processed in what often gets referred to as our ‘lizard brain’. Complex, detailed graphics, and especially detailed, believable faces and animation gets processed in our higher ‘monkey brain’, which is capable of more reasoned judgement, but acts much slower. It’s why modern FPS games feel sluggish when you start playing them, before you’ve processed the visuals into symbols the lizard brain can understand.

      I’m trying to create a visual language which bypasses a lot of that processing, so I can get the lizard and monkey working together, as it were. I’m still very much in the process of figuring it out, so the graphics will likely change considerably before final release. If I can find the money to add a photoreal mode, I’ll do it, just to give gamers the choice.

      Apologies for the ramble. I absolutely do care about graphics, but I believe the industry’s obsession with photorealism is limiting, and doesn’t always make for the most satisfying gameplay.

      • beforan says:

        Thanks for taking the time to give detailed replies to these comments!

      • MkMax says:

        modern FPS feel sluggish because they are made for console controllers that have no chance in hell of emulating the lighting fast pin point accuracy of a mouse

        Also, while i agree different kind of art styles trigger different parts of the brain i dont think “photoreal” graphics are necessary to trigger the “monkey brain”, the simple but stylized graphics Nintendo often uses can go as far as photorealistic 3d while staying on the best and cheapest side of the uncanny valley

        Imho what i dont like about this game graphics are that they overshoot the cartoony part of the valley, not quite photoreal but real enough to make the animations and lack of detail feel weird

        • aDFP says:

          Console controllers are part of it, but there’s no question that more detailed visuals require more time to process. I know it feels like thought is instantateous, but there’s a mountain of research that clearly shows this isn’t true.

          Tbh, I’m not totally sure what you mean by the ‘cartoony part of the valley’. I’ve watched cartoons and anime in hundreds of different styles, and I don’t have any difficulty accepting cheaply drawn characters there, so I’m not entirely sure why it should be different with videogames (aside from the fact that massive marketing campaigns have us valuing graphics above gameplay, but you’re an RPS reader, so I assume you’re more discerning than that).

          Anyway, thanks for the comments, intelligent criticism is always useful.

    • Excelle says:

      Looks like a cross between GTA style city and Interstate 76. Which, frankly, is fine.

    • Chalky says:

      A kickstarter trailer not having top of the range graphics shouldn’t blow your mind.

  2. LaundroMat says:

    I guess it is foreseen that other players will have to use a lot of stealth as it won’t be too difficult to spot other players between the NPC automatons.

    Also: how does one find the target? Is it a matter of luckily stumbling upon it, or are there clues or indicators as to its whereabouts? If the latter, will it just mean that whomever gets there first, wins?

    • aDFP says:

      Thanks, that’s obviously something I need to make clearer in the Kickstarter. I’ll try to get another gameplay video up before it finishes which will elaborate on that. I had intended to make a new video before the KS, but unfortunately life got in the way, and I ran out of time and money before I could get that together.

      Basically, the Agency will direct you to the approximate area, and give you a description of the target. You’ll have a few options once you get there, and there’ll be ways to distract, delay and screw over other players when you figure out who they are, including putting hits on them.

      • LaundroMat says:

        Thanks for the enlightening reply; I sincerely hope you’ll be able to continue your project.

  3. Premium User Badge

    deadfolk says:

    Gang, it’s worth noting that the developer of this game (aDFP, as seen above) is one of our very own.

    I actually heard about this game after seeing him chatting about the design in the RPS comments section a while back, and have been following his feed ever since. Quickest TTB (time to back) ever for me.

    • aDFP says:

      Thanks! See you in the City soon!

      • Premium User Badge

        deadfolk says:

        See you there!

        By the way, are you planning to mention the KS on your blog? I only found out because of this article – gotta get the word out!

        • aDFP says:

          Oh yeah, totally. I’m working on a new video, and making some changes to the development schedule so I can roll the multiplayer into the core game (I’m sure it’s putting people off that that’s a stretch goal), so I don’t want to announce that until I’m ready.

          I know it runs counter to everything the internet is about, but I’d rather make fewer announcements which say more, than constantly spam everyone with updates that say very little. I’m sure your time is just as precious as mine, so I don’t want to waste it.

  4. spamenigma says:

    Backed! I like the look of this. I also get a good feeling this could work very well with the Oculus Rift. Looking forward to seeing more.

  5. bakka bakka bakka says:

    Let’s all play The Ship while we wait for this.

    • spamenigma says:

      I went to look at the ship and suddenly saw it on sale for 74p
      http://www.bundlestars.com/store/the-ship-complete-pack/

      • The Random One says:

        I think they gave me like three extra copies when I bought it.

        E: It was long ago and on a different site, but I think you get a few extra copies of The Ship when you activate it on Steam regardless. Do not base your purchasing decisions on this post.

        • spamenigma says:

          Yes, I got 2 extra copies, which then will also give 2 extra copies… 5 total!! bargain :D

  6. phelix says:

    Reminds me of The GTA IV Assassination Mod

    Looking very interesting so far! Graphics are always subordinate to gameplay.

  7. Premium User Badge

    Jp1138 says:

    I don´t usually play MP games, but I backed this anyway. It´s cheap and looks interesting enough, let´s see what comes out of it :)

  8. racccoon says:

    kickstarters:
    They start of poor and then hope to get richer in the game as money poors in.
    Lets all make sandboxs out of cardboard and do in KICKSTARTERS.

    • Marr says:

      £20k isn’t rich, dude, it’s six months minimum wage for one programmer.