1. #111
    Nice to hear that it's made its way to the sub this week.
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  2. #112
    LuckyBide's Avatar Senior Member
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    Yes. Sadly there are people who upvoted but didn't comment so I don't have their usernames. But we just reached 100 supporters.
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  3. #113
    Dieinthedark's Avatar Senior Member
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    Hey all, long time no see here. This letter is organized and quite well thought out. There are three points I feel are worth mentioning, two of which are covered in the letter.

    First, talking about the current state of the "stealth genre", how things are watered down with detection arcs, poor AI, etc, I would argue that we (and obviously the developers more importantly) would need some sort of consensus on what makes the stealth genre. Modern games to me, aside from Hitman in some regards, treat stealth as a mechanic or feature, not a genre. Having line of sight, sneaking behind enemies to do more damage or remain undetected is pretty much standard in any AAA game nowadays. Even movement speed is usually accounted for with something as simple as needing the player to crouch and move at a somewhat reduced speed to limit movement noise. As an example, Battlefield 1, an FPS, still had this level of stealth but no one would argue that BF1 is stealth game or part of the stealth genre, it merely has some stealth mechanics. So what are we proposing is the basis of, or is going to revolutionize the "stealth genre"?

    The letter here touches on some of what makes the stealth genre to me, information warfare, geopolitical story giving your actions a grander context than just tactical level gameplay. But I personally think there's another element that goes hand-in-hand with stealth and that's the tension, almost reminiscent of horror games. As you progress through the level, there is no break in the action, there's no safe space or break in the tension. How many of us still get that feeling in our stomach playing the old games when that single bass note rings out that a guard is suspicious about something? Your level design has to work with that atmosphere of building tension, and I don't know simply saying sandbox levels will do that just because it works for Hitman. I've spoken about this significantly too, but something as simple as a cover system, which nearly all Ubi games include, fundamentally breaks the atmosphere of building tension as the level progresses because:

    1) cover systems and cover to cover fast swapping typically go hand in hand thus relegating the player to pick pre-defined c2c paths to move through the level (not specifically picking their steps and movement speed)
    2) cover is inheritably safe, whether from bullets in combat, or as simple as breaking line of sight with the enemy, you will never achieve that same level of tension.

    Third and final point, I know that the letter mentions this to some degree but tapering expectations both our side as well as theirs is in order. I think it may be worth calling that we do not want nor expect a AAA budget for SC or for it be anywhere near as profitable as saying R6S has been. As with any business venture, I would suggest we brainstorm what is a minimum viable product to us and to Ubi? They have a reputation and a brand image to uphold, one that 100+ of us don't necessarily see as being in the best interests of our beloved franchise. But a couple hundred of us vs the unspoken multitudes of people who might be captivated by a game such as Conviction or Blacklist....we don't hold any weight to that.

    Edit: One more thing I forgot to mention is that trying to open communication with Ubi is a noble goal, but how are they to determine which of us are the representative voice for our hopes? By that I mean, look at Relic and Company of Heroes 3. They're doing something similar where the community is highly active in the development and they go to users who are established as part of the community whether that's from top players multiplayer who have put in thousands of hours understanding the gameplay/mechanics, or top modders, content creators etc. Contrastingly, SC is a single player game, we don't have that same level of, "oh so and so is a good representative voice for SC". All of us that have been on these forums or Reddit are going to be all equal through Ubi's eyes, and without a small focus group of representatives, there's going to be more feedback than they can actually use.
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  4. #114
    LuckyBide's Avatar Senior Member
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    Hey, great to see you here again Dieinthedark.

    About your first point you're right, we talked about it here many times and it's pointed out in the letter. Stealth is no longer treated as a genre but as a mechanic. And to answer your question, I think it needs to get out of that by going back to the basics. It would be the first step and the most important one. If it's done, it would mean that stealth is becoming a new "popular" thing among players, at least popular enough for publishers to release new stealth games. And once we'll have that, it will be possible for the genre to be modernized so it can revolutionize or redefine itself with new mechanics and features taking advantage of new technologies and todays powerful consoles.

    I think there's no need to say more about tension. You described it perfectly and we talked about it several times as well. Tension is what defines real and fun stealth games, and what makes them great by making the player feel vulnerable and alone behind enemy lines, without no help. And the more tension there is, the more rewardful it is to succeed a mission without having killed or even touched a single guard.
    Many things go against that tension and ruin it in Conviction and Blacklist. The whole cover system that you mention is one of them, and you perfectly described why.

    Now about your third point, I'd say that Splinter Cell doesn't necessarily need to have top notch graphics. Even if I would love so because first games used to be the best of their times in terms of graphics. But most importantly would be to have a nice and effective representation of lights and shadows so gameplay can be at its best, and RTX technology could possibly be very useful here.
    Then Splinter Cell doesn't need to have a ton of cutscenes because they cost a lot and there's no need to have them in a Tom Clancy game at first place. But sadly we know that marketing teams love cutscenes because they help making visually impressive trailers.
    And to end I wonder how much costs mocap compared to handcrafted animations. Because I much prefer old handcrafted SC animations but that's my opinion.
    Anyway I wished people wouldn't care about graphics. I'd be even okay with a new Splinter Cell game using Unreal Engine 2.5 and having CT or DA's graphics. I don't care ^^

    How would they determine which of us are the representative voice for our hopes ?
    Well if they are open to talk to the fans then I suppose they'll have to take into consideration the most detailed and constructive feedback. That's what a good and smart company would do.
    This way they'll little by little remember people who are being the most invested and giving the best feedback. It will be a slow process but that's how we build great things. And Hitman 2016 development showed once again that it works because that's what they did after starting to release the first maps of the game.
    By the way the same question goes to Ubisoft. Who from Ubisoft would be a good representative for SC ? To me it must be someone (or a small team) who knows very well this franchise, loves stealth and understands its fans.
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  5. #115
    LuckyBide's Avatar Senior Member
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    Now a small update about the number of people supporting the letter, there are now 200 supporters. (Edit)
    By the way I respost the link to the letter: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...TFF7IqT7zm5wM/

    It went really well the first day on Reddit but then the pace suddenly dropped and went very slowly. I posted a new thread there a few hours ago and it went up a bit. So I guess that making a new thread everyday or every two days about it would be the best but I doubt mods would be okay, and users would probably be annoyed.
    Having the official thread there being pinned probably doesn't help, I think a lot of people automatically ignore pinned threads since they remain the same for weeks or even months. Anyway I'll try to contact mods and try to find a way. Maybe by making a new thread per week.

    Other than that Discord channels and other forums where I posted (Hitmanforum, Steam) are not very receptive and probably very few people saw it, but I'll try again.

    I think we will make this letter run on the internet for several weeks or maybe months for the message to spread slowly so everybody can hear about it. I will also try to contact stealth Youtubers like Stealth Docs, BigFry TV (he's more about tactical games but he also loves SC), Critical Nobody and Centerstrain01 once we'll get a bit more supporters. If you know more stealth Youtubers, please post their names.

    Otherwise SCAgent95 and I think that having 500 supporters minimum would be the best before sending it to Ubisoft. Let us know what you think and if you agree with that number.

    I also wanted to ask if you have any ideas about where else we could post this letter and how it could be broadcast to as many people as possible. And maybe find an easier way for people to sign in.


    Now to end my message on a positive note, here's a screenshot of some of the nicest comments we had on Reddit. They complimented the letter in very positive ways so you might want to read them because you deserve all these compliments as well

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  6. #116
    Those are some really nice comments! I'm glad it's been so well received.

    As far as exposure, I think the YouTuber route could work well. I'm not sure how to best get their attention (without bombarding lol), but it sounds like some of them have exactly the kind of audiences that we want to reach. Can't hurt to try!
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  7. #117
    LuckyBide's Avatar Senior Member
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    Yes ! Oh there are some people who are criticizing the idea and especially one guy who has been negative about it but still managed to talk for two hours long by repeating again and again the same narrow-minded arguments, but these people were way less numerous that people who enjoy the idea and support it !

    I don't think bombarding would be the best, haha. Once we'll get enough support and make this letter have more credibility, I'll try to reach to them through social media.

    By the way if you guys know any other stealth youtubers, any places where we can find stealth players, or any videogame websites with active forums then please let me know
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  8. #118
    Wish I saw this thread earlier before the letter got posted on Reddit, but I saw edits can still be made so in case you find something of value in my input Iíll write something out here.
    Iíve been playing SC since the original xbox release. And I fully agree with the letter in regards to the stealth mechanics, I really want to see sam being more vulnerable again and have to rely on darkness, stealth, realistic gadgets and vision goggles, as well as creative hiding to keep him alive in his missions. I really didnít care for the ďaction stealthĒ move that the newer games transitioned into. If youíre going to make a shooter game then just make a shooter game. If youíre going to make a stealth game then focus on the stealth. Donít try to marry the two together. What makes a scary game scary is when the playable character has very limited weapons and/or ammo at their disposal which makes the player feel more naked and exposed and has to make every bullet and gadget count. The same applies here. Sam needs to be dressed for stealth and fitting into tight spaces so why would he even carry more than a single pistol magazine with him into a mission?
    The idea of a sandbox map scares me though, it could be good but the linear gameplay that the previous games followed seemed to work for me. Other stealth/survival games have been successful following that formula as well, The Last of Us (1 and 2) would be a good example of that.

    Another major thing Iíd love to see is bringing back 2v2 spies vs mercís. That was such an amazing multiplayer because it was so tense!! You remove that tension by adding more spies and mercenaries into the mix. 2v2 was the best formula, less is definitely more here. I want to utilize teamwork between you and your partner, where communication between the two of you is key, whether your spies or mercs. And please take away/limit wireless terminal hacking, it was so much more intense when you had to go right up to the terminal to hack it. At least add a jammer or something as an option to the mercís kit that you can place which disables the spyís wireless hacking capabilities.

    So to summarize, I want to feel strong when undetected in the shadows but vulnerable and exposed when detected and/or in the light. I want slower gameplay where you have to analyze your situation, not just mark and execute everyone to oblivion. The single player mechanics with lighting and stealth in the first couple games on the original Xbox really hit the nail on the head, please use it as your blueprint. Same goes for the first 2 games with spies vs mercs.
    And please, coop vs AI is fun for 2 or 3 play throughís but then it gets dull and repetitive, Iíd rather not have it and just focus on 2v2 multiplayer.
    Thatís my two cents.
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  9. #119
    LuckyBide's Avatar Senior Member
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    Hello OGSCFan01,
    Thanks for posting here and showing your support !

    The final version of the letter is the one we published. It wouldn't be fair nor serious to modify it or add things now that a lot of people signed it. We would have liked to add more things, more precisions but we had to cut things and make it clear because it already was a very long letter.


    Originally Posted by OGSCFan01 Go to original post
    If you’re going to make a shooter game then just make a shooter game. If you’re going to make a stealth game then focus on the stealth. Don’t try to marry the two together. What makes a scary game scary is when the playable character has very limited weapons and/or ammo at their disposal which makes the player feel more naked and exposed and has to make every bullet and gadget count. The same applies here. Sam needs to be dressed for stealth and fitting into tight spaces so why would he even carry more than a single pistol magazine with him into a mission?
    I entirely agree of you, and many of us here share the same opinion. I think that they can't please all audiences in one game. Splinter Cell should go back to its roots and explore that amazing untapped stealth potential by making it focus on ghost playstyle in all aspects (gameplay, story, gadgets, gear, level design, AI,...). And they could easily make a spin-off game for those who prefer Conviction/Blacklist gameplay. Both could work in my opinion and please all categories of players.


    Originally Posted by OGSCFan01 Go to original post
    The idea of a sandbox map scares me though, it could be good but the linear gameplay that the previous games followed seemed to work for me.
    We mentioned large open-ended sandbox maps by taking inspiration of the new Hitman trilogy. And in my mind here how they would be build: outdoor environments would offer several paths with each one having its own challenge and characteristics, while indoor environments would offer more linear stealth puzzle segments like the first games had.
    I think a mix of these two would be interesting, fun and add replayability. We probably should have specified it in the letter, my bad for this.

    We didn't mention Spies vs Mercs in the letter but it's obvious that this mode should come back in a proper way as well because fans love it and it's a very unique mode that could be very popular these days among new players.

    Anyway thanks again for taking the time to write this.
    Did I already add your username to the letter ? Or do you want me to add this one here ?
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  10. #120
    LuckyBide's Avatar Senior Member
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    I didn't expect to encounter so much cold responses from the subreddit moderators and also from the staff of an important SC discord server.
    Moderators from the SC subreddit would consider as spam if I continue to talk about the letter, despite the fact that I explained them why we need to do new threads about it because very few people take a look at pinned posts. I replied to them by saying that I wouldn't make more than one post per week about it because we need it since most of the members still didn't hear about the letter. I'm still waiting for their answer.

    And about the discord, the staff authorized me to post on a general channel but after consultation between them, they refused to post an official announcement that would have sent a notification to all members and be very helpful. Therefore very few people (5) from that discord saw the letter.

    I don't know the reasons of their refusals for both cases. I just consider it sad that when some fans try to gather and do something for the franchise after all these years of absence, we get blocked. In my mind they can disagree with the letter of course but I think they shouldn't let their personal opinion prevent everybody to be informed about the existence of this open letter. But it is what it is, we'll make it wihtout them.


    Anyway, to end on a positive note, a cool dude from reddit who has been very supportive of the letter talked about the letter on his platforms.
    He talked about the letter in his latest stream (here at 01:31:10):
    https://youtu.be/t7u3l63ZM98?t=5469
    And he also wrote an article about it on his personal website:
    https://ghostgamer.news/if-the-rumor...-fans-want-in/
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