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We now have a website, currently showing a little more information about the project. Also, there's some new content. More importantly, we're now looking to expand - why don't you join us?

Posted by DaveW on Jul 13th, 2014

Grindstone is now kicking up a gear and entering development; this means we're going to need some talented folk to build a working prototype, and use this as a springboard for greater things!

First things first, we now have a little website here which has more information on the project. Over time this will contain news on development and the team.

We also have some new media to share:

G36C SF Level Concept DesignG36C SF Breakdown Bizon PP-19 Breakdown

We're looking to fill several positions, from programmers to environment artists, so if you're interested in contributing please take a look at our jobs page or our website and get in touch!

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Guest
Guest Jul 14 2014, 8:17am says:

The email you have listed does not work.

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DaveW Author
DaveW Jul 14 2014, 12:36pm replied:

Well, crap. I tested it before I posted, but it looks like all our e-mail has stopped working (not just that address).

I've updated it with my personal e-mail - sorry about that.

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ghost59
ghost59 Jul 14 2014, 9:29am says:

nice

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Jibrail
Jibrail Jul 15 2014, 12:15pm says:

I can't express how excited I'm about this one.
Being an avid stealth and especially Die Hard fan and almost classified as crazy because of the amount of times I watched the first 2 movies has imprinted in my brain the idea of making a game like this for quite some time.

What are the next steps for you right now? has a team been assembled yet and what are the plans for the prototype? Will you guys be open about it's development as you go?

If only I had the time to help with this one but development on our own game is taking up all my time.
I wish you all luck on this one and I will definitely keep a close eye on it!

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DaveW Author
DaveW Jul 15 2014, 2:37pm replied:

Not sure about the 2nd film - it's not bad but it ain't Die Hard! I think the first and fourth are my favorites of the series.

Right now the team is assembling, and the first goal is to build a working game play prototype with at least one level looking complete. From there, we'll decide how to proceed with funding - going it alone, or crowdfunding. It depends on what costs we're going to incur during development - I would love to do performance capture work, but I'm not sure if I can cover the cost for that myself.

I think we'll be open about development once the game starts taking form. Right now I think it's better to keep things under wraps until we have something more exciting to show - then, each media release will be something interesting and substantial.

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Jibrail
Jibrail Jul 15 2014, 2:56pm says:

Alright sounds good, if done right or at least the way I imagine this would I think it will attract big attention for crowd-funding amongst hardcore stealth fans.

For mocap have you looked at maybe going with Ipisoft.com ?
Another solution is to use sets from Mixamo.com and modify them, obviously not as good as proper mocap but still gives great results and its cost effective in comparison.

I know how these things go but I hope there wont be a long total media blackout.

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DaveW Author
DaveW Jul 15 2014, 3:16pm replied:

Well, although I want to put a large emphasis on the dynamic storyline, the stealth gameplay isn't going to rely on cheap takedowns or silly gadgets that let you cheat your way out of a bad situation. And if your poor stealth planning makes you do something stupid, like killing a character you didn't mean to, then that's just part of the story.

Hopefully there are enough people who still subscribe to that train of thought to run a successful crowd-funding campaign!

In terms of mo-cap, although there are cheaper solutions like the one you mentioned (using a Kinect is also a cheap - and hacky - way to do it), I'd probably go the whole way or not at all.

More important to me would be facial performance capture, given that most games have fantastic character animation but look worse than the original Half Life when people speak. But thankfully, that's inexpensive to do with a few cameras and some tracking software - just time consuming!

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Jibrail
Jibrail Jul 15 2014, 6:03pm says:

I like the sound of that, I never got the point with those tools anyway, they pretty much nullifies the stealth game play but I guess without it they don't appeal to the casuals so.

I think IPI works with kinect if I'm not mistaken, I believe they are working on a new version for Kinect 2.0 for windows so that should hopefully get rid of most of the problems devs experienced with the last version and should make the clean up process shorter.

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DaveW Author
DaveW Jul 15 2014, 7:33pm replied:

Indeed. The fun in stealth is between getting away with it, and being caught - so you're always on edge and close to being caught, but not quite. If you have gadgets like a cloak, where you can easily slip away from enemies if you do something wrong, there's less satisfaction in it because you're playing by different rules.

I thought Thief suffered a bit in that respect; in most cases if you mess up stealth, you can run away and come back in a minute and everyone will have returned to normal. In Grindstone, hopefully the gun battles will address that. If you get caught, you'll be shot at and you have to work for your escape.

You're right - IPI supports Kinect. Multiple kinects, actually, which would probably deliver decent results. Could be worth looking at when Kinect 2.0 comes out, because all the results I've seen from Kinect 1.0 are acceptable, but very unclean. Mocap always requires some cleanup, but I think it becomes uneconomical when it'd be easier to do the animation by hand!

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Jibrail
Jibrail Jul 16 2014, 4:22am says:

"In Grindstone, hopefully the gun battles will address that. If you get caught, you'll be shot at and you have to work for your escape."

That sounds interesting, I'm eager to see how you will work this one out, as I've always thought that the escape or "alert\" state is difficult to nail down in a believable way.

Out of curiosity what are your inspirations for this game apart from die hard? Any other games? books or movies where the good guy is the one being chased/hunted?

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DaveW Author
DaveW Jul 16 2014, 3:31pm replied:

I'm not sure if we'll nail it or not - it's a pretty tall order, and there has to be a balance between fun and realistic. But knowing that it's a problem is half the battle. Large scale changes, like having enemies be more alert if you keep getting caught, could discourage that kind of behavior. It also supports the idea of choice and consequence; if you choose not to plan, the game becomes more difficult.

Inspiration comes from a few places; mostly when I was playing a CS:Condition Zero map called 'Rise Hard' (guess the reference) and wanted to make a Left 4 Dead 2 map in a similar vein. There's a Half Life mod called Night at the Office which is a large inspiration as well, especially the idea of a bomb (although this is also in Die Hard).

In terms of narrative, The Stanley Parable is where the idea for freedom of choice comes from. But Grindstone won't take the same approach, since TSP is essentially a bunch of linear stories with binary decisions along the way. Grindstone will have fewer overall 'plots', but the player can jump between them and previous decisions affect the others (or stop you completing them)

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Jibrail
Jibrail Jul 16 2014, 8:28pm replied:

Yes it is and it seems like you have thought about it so you are half way there :D
It will for sure be one of the few pain in the butt mechanics to get right and I bet you will go through a handful of prototypes on that system before landing on the best one.

As our conversation have went on it got me thinking back about this kind of design and I have a couple of ideas of my own but will reserve it for now, I don't want to spill it all as that might directly impact the way you are looking at your own personal design and thoughts for the game.
I can definitely give feedback at the right time if that is something you welcome.

As for the inspirations I don't remember if I played those or not and even if I did I can't remember it at all so I'll give it a shot at some point for research purposes, I hope they aged well :D

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DaveW Author
DaveW Jul 17 2014, 3:22pm replied:

Thankfully, the AI and stealth systems will be relatively simple, so from our initial prototype it will be a matter of fine tuning over the course of development. We don't have the problem of balancing lots of gadgets / equipment, because there intentionally isn't any.

I think we'll be happy for feedback at any time. Community interaction is a great source of information and I hope we can use it to make the game awesome from the very start. There's always the worry with a 'new' and difficult-to-explain concept that people will ignore it, but I'm pretty happy with how people have responded to Grindstone so far.

The Stanley Parable is new and shiny, the Condition Zero map 'Rise Hard' is like something from a 1998 first person shooter, and Night at the Office is somewhat basic since it was made by a small (1-man?) team. I think the concept shines through on that though. It's a short, linear game, but there's some cool ideas there.

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Jibrail
Jibrail Jul 19 2014, 9:39am says:

Yeah true those wont be as difficult and should give you more time to focus on the other stuff.

Early community feedback is something we live off of in our company and around our game and it really gives you an unlimited point of views on your own game but the trap there is not to fall for everything people say, I'm not sure if this is your first major thing but you will see what I mean soon enough, you need to start to develop a certain "filter" to know what the players really want a "reading between the lines" sort of thing while trusting your instinct.

As I said I have a few cool ideas that I'm willing to share but I'd rather do that privately and at the right time ie maybe when you have a working prototype to go on( and just in case you don't like the ideas and I end up throwing it all out there, yeah I'm a little protective lol:D ), feel free to add me on here then we can do this at some point in the future over team speak or skype if you feel up for it.

I heard good things about TSP but sadly I haven't tried it yet, I might go back and try out Rise Hard, I just realized I have the game in my library for quite some time but never played the campaign :/

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