Steampunk cybercrime caper The Swindle announced for PS4, PS3 and PS Vita

Your first look at Dan Marshall’s procedurally-generated stealth action game

Hello! My name’s Dan Marshall (@danthat) – and I’m here to tell you about the latest thing I’ve been working on, called The Swindle, because excitingly, it’s going to be coming out in 2015 on PS3, PS4 and PS Vita in all regions, thanks to the lovely chaps at Curve Digital. I’ve been an indie dev for a long time, but have never had a game on console, so this is a real treat.

The Swindle is a Steampunk cybercrime game. It’s a little bit Steampunk, a little bit cyberpunk – and every level is unique. You break into procedurally-generated buildings , try to hack all their computers and empty their bank accounts, and then leg it back to your airship. If you do, you can spend that cash on trendy steampunk gadgetry and bio-mods such as bombs, quad-jumping, teleportation, bionic eyes and all sorts, which will help you take on bigger and more elaborate heists.

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The game’s kind of my answer to all the stuff I find frustrating in stealth titles. There’s no following people from a distance, or listening in on guards’ conversations. Here, when things go awry, the alarm bells start ringing and the police are on their way, all that happens is that the game switches from sneaky-sneaky stealthy fun to an against-the-clock action race. Cash starts draining from computers, so you’ll need to nip around quickly and hack what’s left, all the while aware that the dreaded police ‘copter could turn up at any moment.

It’s a little bit “best of both worlds”; you’re a stealthy burglar, and when things (inevitably) go wrong, you’re a full-on action hero.

Importantly, how you play is kind of up to you. You can either hack doors or blast your way through, your choice. But the game never punishes you for choosing one path over another – if you want to complete the final swindle, you’ll eventually need pretty much every gadget in your toolkit.

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I once described it as being a bit like “Spelunky meets Deus Ex“, which was a mistake because now everyone just thinks it’s exactly the same as Spelunky, which it’s not. But it has that procedurally-generated feel , and the ‘whipping around a building however you like, quietly hacking computers’ of Deus Ex. And the bit from Sonic where if you die you lose all your coins. SOME OF THE IDEAS IN THE GAME ARE MY OWN, I promise.

I’ve been slaving away on the game, and it’s coming together really well. I’m really excited to see it on PS Vita, it’ll look lush on that screen!

If you want to know more about the game, I’ll be Tweeting all sorts of updates from @danthat, hope to see you there!

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21 Comments
0 Author replies

This looks awesome, thankyou Dan and Curve Digital! :)

ummagummachild 12 February, 2015 @ 15:29
2

One thing I m really dreadful of is ‘against the clock, cz I always do bad in pressure. Otherwise, the game looks good..

Hah, as long as you stay hidden you’ve got all the time in the world. But when you mess up, the game goes all ACTION-y and you’ve got to get a bit of a rush on. So it’s mostly fine, as long as you’re careful ;)

Mr.O (me!) does not usually comment on things much these days but this game you have been working on sounds excellent and I felt compelled to say something and I will definitely be giving it a try when it comes out.

ps. If you could put some kind of MrObycyek reference into the finished game then I would not mind at all.

Thanks! And done – I’ve added Obycyek as a surname in the random thief name generator!

Ha ha. Thanks Dan.

It has become an essential purchase now!

LieutenantFatman 12 February, 2015 @ 15:55
4

Sounds like a lot of fun, thank you for bringing this to the Vita!!

RetroDaddySlim 12 February, 2015 @ 15:56
5

If only there was more games like this.
I love old school type games.

Anything that comes from or with support of Curve is awesome. They never go wrong.

Thanks, Dan, for this wonderful game. Looks great, want it as soon as possible.
When is this coming? I hope by the summertime.

Yeah, should be out by summer! I certainly hope so! Thanks for your support! ;)

If you can teleport then it’s a must buy for me ;)

howboutthisthen 12 February, 2015 @ 16:17
7

Looks great! Thanks for launching on Vita, easily my favourite platform for smaller titles. And larger ones. :D

I’m really looking forward to seeing the Vita version, should look gooooorgeous on that screen.

zalwelgoedgaan 12 February, 2015 @ 18:53
8

This will look great on that OLED, love me some action games! What’s the price range?

9

I do like what I am seeing. Reminds me a bit (if that comparison is allowed) of CounterSPY, one of my favorite indie games on PS4, so far.

I just hope this one manages to avoid some of CounterSPY’s pitfalls, mostly the very limited “library” of randomly generated levels (CounterSPY had a limited number of “building blocks” that were attached to each other, which was fun, but sadly became a bit repetitive).
Another thing was that due to the arrangement of these building blocks, you often had no chance to avoid detection. Often, you would enter a room through the only door and enemies were guaranteed to see you – something that didn’t happen if the building block before that room was different and you thus could enter that next room in a different way.

So I am wondering: How procedural is the generation? Are there parts that are repeated but randomly attached to each other? Or is everything really generated on the fly?
And are there safeguards programmed into that generation? Like, th...

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I do like what I am seeing. Reminds me a bit (if that comparison is allowed) of CounterSPY, one of my favorite indie games on PS4, so far.

I just hope this one manages to avoid some of CounterSPY’s pitfalls, mostly the very limited “library” of randomly generated levels (CounterSPY had a limited number of “building blocks” that were attached to each other, which was fun, but sadly became a bit repetitive).
Another thing was that due to the arrangement of these building blocks, you often had no chance to avoid detection. Often, you would enter a room through the only door and enemies were guaranteed to see you – something that didn’t happen if the building block before that room was different and you thus could enter that next room in a different way.

So I am wondering: How procedural is the generation? Are there parts that are repeated but randomly attached to each other? Or is everything really generated on the fly?
And are there safeguards programmed into that generation? Like, the entry point to the room cannot be in direct line of sight of an enemy, or something?

Looking forward to hearing and seeing more…

Loving the artstyle, can’t wait to try this out :)

Great art + Curve + fun? My Vita is literally foaming with anticipation. Bring it!

Oh Jebus…. Another addiction incoming.. Not like musik Spelunky addiction was under control or anything but add on top of that?

Oh wow! So much yes from me.
And thanks SO much for making the time to get this on the VITA. We keep seeing too many VITA worthy games on here that totally skip the platform – so day one purchase and any bonus / dlc content you put out I will also buy :D

Ok i am in :) Well done Sir. I hope go on PS+. but whatever i really love the concept.

15

It’s MONACO as a side scroller :D That being said, it will probably be amazing even though it’s not unique!

16

Cool, stylishly-stealth game for the Vita! :)

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