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  • Key Features Of Stealth Games

    - Ludovic Servat

  • Suitable Conditions

    To allow a stealth approach, the game has to offer conditions, places, accesses, with very little risks, favourable to furtivity, that can be used as hideouts, vantage points, windows of intervention, or escape ways that may contain useful items or objectives.

    To get the best of these conditions, the player must be able to collect information about them. 

    Information about Conditions

    Information is very important to reach the goals. It helps to establish plans, itineraries and to spot opportunities for interventions to overcome blocking situations . 

    Information is accessible through vantage points determined by conditions, places configurations and timing.

    Information's Distribution

    Depending on the conditions and configurations offered, the game distributes information in a detailed or limited way.

    Detailed Distribution:
    This distribution gives enough tools (ex: radar, aerial view, thermal vision...) to acquire enough information about the way to proceed.

    Reconnaissance is greatly assisted and situations are clear and detailed.

    Shadow Tactics: Blades of Shogun

    In this case, surveillance is not hidden by the environment configuration otherwise skills of the player allow to discover where threats are.

    The challenge is to operate like a tactical commando executing precise interventions.

    Limited Distribution:
    This distribution offers a partial knowledge of the situation.
    Information is incomplete, cut, hidden and every detail matters to progress without suffering serious consequences.

    Such withholding of information imposes constraints that may change according to the conditions and what the player does. These limitations lead them to look for the best, and sometimes only, vantage points to know what to do next.

    These unknown aspects create doubts in the player's mind and they participate in their need of being stealthy. In some cases, vantage points narrowness reinforces the sensation of accessing confidential information, or escaping through unexpected ways out.
    Also, in contrast, large empty spaces give the feeling of being alone but very exposed to the surveillance perception which amplifies doubts about risks taken.

    The challenge is to progress carefully with little information.

    Alien Isolation

    All these conditions and configurations influence the surveillance behaviour and dictate to what extent the player can act.

    The Surveillance

    Surveillance represents any entity in charge of detecting or arresting the player intruder. It makes every objective unreachable by the simplest way.

    Indications about the surveillance status show how and to what extent it gets involved in the search of intruders. Then, the player knows how much they need to be careful in order to avoid it.

    Surveillance status is represented by:

    The Perception:
    The perception helps the surveillance to detect the player exposed and in range.

    The surveillance perceives according to its abilities (ex: cone of vision, noise detection distance ...), the conditions (ex: darkness ...), obstacles and places properties (ex: resonant metal ground ...) in which, the player and the surveillance, evolve.

    Mark of The Ninja Remastered

    The Routine:
    The surveillance acts depending on routines according to the situations.
    In addition to telling how to behave (ex: patrolling around a treasure chest,  going back to turn on the light ...), routines indicate what task is executed. These repetitive behaviours are distinguishable and memorable to let the player take adequate measures to avoid or counter them.


    The Vigilance:
    The vigilance helps surveillance to know how much it needs to get involved in the research for intruders (ex: faster movements, further research in dark spots ...).

    Metal Gear Solid

    Surveillance is more or less vigilant depending on the situation (ex: talking guards, alert, offensive ...) changing according to the player's actions.


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