Sneaking through the shadows just slow enough to remain silent while approaching the guard. He’s whistling a tune oblivious to his key being lifted from his belt by the skills of a master thief. A shadow himself, Garrett ghosts his way through the city determined to complete his mission given to him by the Keepers.
We all remember Thief: The Dark Project, a late 1990′s game that started the stealth fps game genre. First Person Stealth games have been a mainstay of gaming since, with more modern entries like Splinter Cell and protagonist Sam Fischer.
Ray (GodlyPerfection), an indie game designer with a solid history in level design spanning five years, is building a game inspired by Thief in the new social era.
Covet is a peer to peer world builder game where you stealth into the estates of other thieves and rob them blind. With the spoils of your burgles you build your own hideout / mansion on your estate to show off your wealth.
This is the ultimate implementation of a true stealth multiplayer game without falling back to straight out brutality.
Set in a post-apocalyptic world brought back to the dark ages with some elements of steampunk, the backstory is delivered to you by your personal fence that lives on the outskirts of your estate, who also acts as the front for the global marketplace and rumor mill from other players.
The game is built on the Unity 3D Engine so it will be available on potentially all platforms including web-based and the newly announced OUYA console.
I personally think this is pure genius, but I’m biased being a die hard fan of the Thief Franchise.
Here are details straight from the source:
A player’s house is a visual representation of a player’s skill to increase their wealth. This concept plays similar to when player’s make gorgeous works of art in Minecraft to show off, or build an awesome farm/restaurant/whatever in Farmville or similar games, or they buy a house and fill it with unique artifacts in Skyrim. Your house is your “proof of awesome”. And if you don’t add to your house then it doesn’t count towards your representation of skill. You can steal everything you want, but if it isn’t in your house then no one knows or cares. When you build your house it takes a couple seconds to add to it for each piece. So to add a wall you have to sit there for say 5 seconds while you “build” the wall. This time sink is important to keep you pre-occupied and distracted from what may really be going on. The way you build your house is a unique system and what I’ve been working on for the past month. It involves a more complex system to minecraft and instead of cubes it uses hexagonal prisms. I’ll cover this in more detail later.
While you take time to add to you house you are ALWAYS in an online session (I am planning on a helpful offline counter part). At anytime while you are building any other player may join your game. House owners will NOT receive a notification. Thieves spawn a good distance away from the house in the darkness. At that time they can choose to do whatever they want. They can stay on the outskirts and observe the layout from afar, start sneaking around your house to find valuables, stalk you for more information, etc. At anytime the house owner may “boot” any thieves in their view with a direct line of sight within a particular range by holding the relevant button for somewhere around 1-3 seconds. Sometimes a house owner can just have a hunch that a thief is in front of them, or more often they will see them. “Booting” a thief from your property promptly respawns them at the outskirts of your house. They may choose to retry (knowing that you already know that they are around) or they can choose to leave and find a new house to try. There are more mechanics to being a Thief, but that will be discussed later.
There is a special kind of “artifact” that exists in this game. These “artifacts” create a gold piece (or whatever currency) every minute or so and it holds the gold piece until it is “harvested”. A new gold piece will not form in an “artifact” that already has one, so in order to keep a steady flow of income you must continuously harvest your “artifacts” when they refill. These “artifacts” are the real trophies as they increase your potential money flow. These can be taken by thieves. You can only carry so much gold in your coin purse at one time so you must also keep spending your gold in order to maximize your cash flow (so you can’t just sit there and keep harvesting). Because you must keep “harvesting” gold from your artifacts, smart thieves can stalk you to figure out where you are keeping them. If you sense a thief is following you, then you could potentially also trick them in various ways like revealing their self by turning the corner and spinning around as they round the corner. These “artifacts” haven’t been named or anything yet so stay tuned.
There is no true finite end goal of Covet. This game is about bragging rights. Leaderboards play a huge role in how players play. There will be 3 main leaderboards for sure (and possibly some smaller auxiliary ones). The main leaderboards are total value on your property, total square “footage” (or whatever units) on your property, and value per square “footage” (with minimums of course). These leaderboards will be easily accessible (like on the main menu when you login). The players at the top of the leaderboards will become the biggest targets. So the richer you get the higher chance that you will attract thieves. These leaderboards are also not traditional global leaderboards stored on the server. I designed a new leaderboard system just for this game. More on that later.
The Fence and UNIQUES
The Fence is your only NPC interaction in the game. He is mister know-it-all with his nose in everything. He interacts with you and other thieves. Some of his services will go to the highest bidder whether it be you or a Thief skulking around your property. He is also your store and your information highway. He sees Thieves that take stuff from you and can disclose their name based on some conditions. Thieves can also get info from him when they join your session like if any major UNIQUES are in your house that may be worth hunting for. These UNIQUES will be a one-of item that can drastically increase the total value of your property, they also serve as motivation quests for thieves that stumble onto your estate. UNIQUES will more than likely come out every week or month or so and they may involve community creation/design as well. Like some ancient sword or some gorgeous statue made by a community member.
- Covet Mailing List – Most important because this is where I send out all of the information on Covet.
- Latest Covet Version – This is the link where the latest public browser version of Covet will always be playable.
- Introducing Covet Blog Post – Has a well structured overview of the game concept.
- Covet Forums – Where discussions, concerns, questions, suggestions, etc are all handled.