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Competitive Open information Stealth Game

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larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008

There is a few stealth game lately that has been released lately (Ninja & lupin the 3rd) which are both games that uses pen and paper to create a hidden information game. I wanted to design a ninja game with open information, so my first idea was that the ennemy gets controlled by an AI. But using an AI is much more complicated and less interesting than if there is a real player behind. But the question is: Is it possible to make a stealth game with open information when your opponent can easily know where you are?

I had an idea lately that could make it possible. It follows the idea of the semi-invisible game master theory where the GM has little influence on the game. First, I would use an idea from another of my game where the GM controls the random events. Instead of drawing a random event from a deck of cards, the GM play it from it's hand. So in the end, the Events are planned but the GM does not have 100% control on the outcome of the game, he depends what he draws.

Another idea is to have random traps be placed by the game master instead of randomly. But the main mechanic is to restrict the movements of the game masters so that even if he knows the location of its ennemies, he cannot simply move there to capture them. Here is a description of how it could works:

Guards: They would be immobile units that will detect what's in their surrounding areas. If a player attract attention or gets detected, it will flip the guard in active mode. While in active mode, the player who control the guard can rotate the direction he is facing (he is looking around) but he cannot move his unit. The only condition to move a guard is if an ennemy is visible in an adjacent square, in that case, he can pursue the ennemy or call for help (this is where having a GM is useful to take this kind of decision).

Patrols: Patrols like in Ninja must follow a specific path. The player would be able to choose which path to take if there is a branch and they will activate if they detect somebody or if a guard is missing, but again, they will not be able to chase an ennemy even if they know where the ennemy is.

So in the end, the thematic explanation behind all this GM control could be coincidence. For example, it's just a coincidence that an alerted guard looked in the right direction, or managed to keep looking in a direction to prevent a player to pass. It's a coincidence if a special event added a complication or if a patrol picked up a path that lead where there were more ennemies.

So in the end, it allows to have a game where the stealthy character are placed on the board and where the GM tries to optimize the odds to detect the ennemy without be able to hunt them down. The only real hidden information would be cards with event and special abilities.

Do you think it could work?

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