What even is this game?

Killers and Thieves has been a bit of a pain in the description department. It’s not quite similar to any games I can think of (Banner Saga was a pain to describe too, now that I think about it). It’s not exclusively a roguelike or a strategy/management game or an action game or an rpg, and not surprisingly, it’s hard to explain how it plays.

The last couple months have been about drilling down on that, scrapping things that weren’t good for gameplay and expanding on things that improve it. At the center of everything has been the directive that it has to feel like being in charge of a medieval thieves guild.

Here’s where we’re at:

Like any respectable thief guild, it starts with stealing stuff. You can take up to four thieves from your roster on a heist.

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Check out more in the post!

Most of the movement animations have been added, there are guards and peasants roaming the streets and randomly generated rooms with randomly generated furniture that produce randomly generated loot.

Avoid or fight guards, steal as much loot as you can, get out. You can lose thieves to death or imprisonment here.

Once you’ve gotten your loot, it doesn’t magically turn into gold coins. You’ll have to shake down shops (via missions, explained more below) and get them to sell your stolen goods. Different shops will be able to sell different types of items for different amounts. It’s not a complicated economy, but there’s more to it than hitting “sell all” at the nearest loot vendor. It feels more like how a real city would function.

The city itself is a medieval sprawl called Greypool, and you work your way across several districts like this one as you gain a foothold in increasingly more valuable areas:

district_redo.jpg
Just one district of many.

You can send thieves on stakeouts and they’ll reveal the current value of each individual building in the area (denoted by stacked coins or diamonds as seen below). These values change over time and affect the value of items you find on a heist. Obviously, you’ll want to concentrate on high-value areas.

You can send your thieves on a heist anywhere in a district and you’ll see them run to the location. Based on how you do on the heist, guards will become more alert in the area, making future missions harder (or impossible) for a while.

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There’s also now some nice visual polish with rolling clouds and people walking paths.

The biggest conflict right now is paying the bills. The chest icon below shows how much money you’ve got in your treasury, and the hand icon shows how much money you spend each week (which counts down to a weekly deadline). The golden day/night coin will pass time, which is necessary to complete most missions.

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In most cases a mission involves sending your thieves out with a goal and waiting for the report on whether they failed or succeeded. You can improve your odds with better thieves, training and preparation, and not all missions will be worth the risk.

The game has a series of story events that you have to complete to progress the story. Completing missions requires that you have thieves with different skills and stats, sometimes it also requires gold, time, and a bit of luck. Thieves cost different amounts of gold to hire and a weekly cost to use, so you’ll constantly be weighing the most effective way to spend your cash.

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Missions may lean more heavily on strength, skill or stealth, which conveniently are the stats your thieves can improve

Fail to pay the weekly costs and thieves will leave or betray you, and they’re your most valuable resource. The further you get, the more skilled thieves you’ll need to complete the story missions.

As the game develops there will be more goals than just stealing things in heists, requiring the player to find a specific item, kill a specific person or create a certain amount of chaos. We’ll also be adding fail conditions, which can be created when a mission goes wrong. You’ll have to deal with fail conditions before you run out of time, in addition to everything else that is going on.

If all this sounds like a lot of work, it was! Killers and Thieves has gone through a ton of revisions to streamline the whole thing and give the player a lot of control and a lot to deal with without making it too complicated.

 

Keep an eye out for more updates coming up.

 

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What even is this game?

4 thoughts on “What even is this game?

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