Today is the day that my game transitioned from tech demo to actual legitimate game.
Gone is the debug mode showing the whole map and what’s left is the claustrophobic field-of-view cone which means that the player needs to turn behind them to see if the enemy lurking up nearby is a threat or not.
The introduction of a narrative was the critical change from a bunch of stealth encounters which didn’t mean anything. You are asked to perform a series of missions with just a handful of tools and whatever you can find in the town around you. There’s a bunch of different ways to go about it – dumb luck, hoping that you’ll find your target unguarded and unaware; all out aggression, hoping that you can win a fight where the numbers might potentially turn against you dramatically; luring away bodyguards from your goal to take out brutally; or better yet, luring your target away from his servants so that he can be dispatched without incident.
Neutral people become hostile if they see you do something evil, so if you’re not careful then the rest of the town will quickly become gripped by panic, and that’s particularly relevant as you try and escape the town to get to safety and your next mission. You can’t access your secret escape route while being seen by a hostile person, so you’ll find yourself either hoping to not be seen, or trying to shake a pursuer, or maybe even making creative use of smoke bombs for a dramatic and mysterious exit.
What’s left is polish with respect to title, help, and inventory screens. I actually plan on putting a fair bit of detail into the help system because without knowing what the game is all about then it would play like a horrificly difficult death simulator as players try to melee bash their way directly through all fights.