3D or 2D Stealth?

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Hi everyone. I'm currently planning on making a stealth game of sorts and have been spending a lot of time thinking about whether I should make a 3D or 2D stealth game. 

On one hand, having a 2D game can mean a lot more transparency in the mechanics. Mark of the Ninja, for example, has visual cues for the sound of your footsteps, your current lighting state, as well as well defined vision cones for guards. This makes planning an approach to a situation far more reliable and so pulling off your plan just feels that much more satisfying. Furthermore, because there's usually less complexity, it's easier to design maps that can lead to interesting interactions.

However, 2D does kind of lose a lot of complexity. Comparing the levels of Mark of the Ninja to something like Thief 2 can show how adding 1 more dimension can lead to a whole different stealth experience. That's not mentioning potentially more immersion in the game; I've never really felt too immersed in a 2D game. But once more, those games can kind of just feel like trial and error because of the vagueness of the system...

 

Long story short, I'm interested in your guys' thoughts on 3D stealth games vs 2D stealth games. Which do you prefer and which do you think would be good to pursue?

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1 hour ago, Scouting Ninja said:

If you have made 3D games before then you should go with 3D, although for stealth I wouldn't recommend first person. A kind of top-down camera will give you a much better view for stealth games.

 

 

Why do you think first person isn't good for stealth? Not meant as a malicious question; I'm just curious to know your reasoning.

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13 hours ago, dertharino said:

Why do you think first person isn't good for stealth?

Because of the limited information.

In real life we see more than a FPS game, we see almost at a 180 degree range. We have hearing that allows us to know where things are behind us, we feel movement near us and even our smell adds to this by allowing us to know if a person was in a room with us.

So in short a 3rd person camera gives the player the same amount of environment info as they would normally have.

 

If you think about stealth FPS games, the ones where the player can see people through walls gives a more realistic info feedback. It's been proven many times that unless sound from a room is completely blocked off a person would not only know there is a other person in that room, they could even roughly point out where that person is in the room.

Because we are use to all these senses we feel constraint when playing a FPS game, like we are controlling a robot. As such we need much more time to look around.

Compare stealth in Assassin's creed with stealth in Dishonored. Dishonored's world feels almost dead because with the limited info a player can collect at a time means a more living world would have been frustrating.

 

If the game is stealth focused and you have no other reason to use first person camera, then go with 3rd person instead. Although as the developer the design choice is yours as a functioning FPS would be easier however making it interesting would be harder.

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1 hour ago, Scouting Ninja said:

So in short a 3rd person camera gives the player the same amount of environment info as they would normally have.

Ahhh I didn't know this. Very interesting.

 

1 hour ago, Scouting Ninja said:

If you think about stealth FPS games, the ones where the player can see people through walls gives a more realistic info feedback. It's been proven many times that unless sound from a room is completely blocked off a person would not only know there is a other person in that room, they could even roughly point out where that person is in the room.

Sorry I'm a little bit confused about what you mean here. Are you saying that players should be given the ability to see through walls? Like those spidey-sense mechanics you see in games like far cry? 

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3 minutes ago, dertharino said:

Like those spidey-sense mechanics you see in games like far cry? 

What I meant was that information like that is more like we have in real life.

If you where in your living room and someone is in your kitchen, you could deduce from the sound not only that they are in the kitchen, you could also know where in the kitchen they are even if you can't see them.

This is because your brain has a map of a room. Even if you have never been in that room, your mind will listen to the echoes in the room to get an idea of how large a room is. If you turned on a microwave in the kitchen you could tell where it is even if it has been moved and if you didn't know the room you could still say in what corner of the room it's in.

So the info gained in a game that has that kind of senses is more like what we get constantly in real life. If you where on a balcony in real life you would sense if someone was standing a floor below you. Just like how those powers in games would show if someone is below you.

 

In the end you could try to use the game audio to work like they do in real life, however audio quality in games are often not nearly that good so people don't use it as much for info gathering.

Whether you should use audio, visual or any clues at all depends on the game your making. If it's a fast paced sneak game then all info is important and the 3rd person view would be better. If it's a horror game limited info is often better.

 

Personally I prefer the 3rd person solution, because that way if the AI isn't on a fixed path the player can follow them even while hiding behind objects.

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I'm been a fan of playing stealth games since I was a kid, and I have to break it to you, playing a stealth FPS game is a no-no because of the limited self-awareness in the game. you would get caught constantly not because of the player is unskillful but because the game provides hard limitations. 

However a mix between the two (First+Third Person View) has shown that this is probably the best way to make a stealth game flexible enough for players. (i.e. Metal Gear Solid franchise, Splinter Cell franchise).

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Hey,

For third person, I strongly suggest you have a look at those three games

1.       Metal Gear Solid V

2.       The Last of Us

3.       Deux Ex

They all have some stealth gameplay that could give you a good sense of what a third person stealth game should and would look like.

For 2D stealth game, Mark of The Ninja and Invisible inc (Both made by Klei Entertainment) are probably your best reference. What I like about 2D stealth game is that they will present fewer mechanics to the player and focus on their flexibility and reusability. 3D stealth game tends to give the player “many options to play the game your way” which is hard to balance and to master. You can easily get lost in too many mechanics like Assassin Creed: Syndicate.

Some people might think FPS his bad for stealth but I tend to disagree I think its even better than third person. Third person his generally use in adventure type game with stealth component. Stealth focused game in 3D will more than often go for FPS point of view. Have a look at Dishonored one of the most regarded stealth game of our generation.

TLDR:

2D stealth game, keep it simple and go for few mechanics that you can recycled in many ways.

3D stealth game, FPS for stealth focused game third person for a game mixing two or more types of game. Dishonored

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