In the Prologue you could hack all sorts of things like computers, doors or robots. The hacking itself was presented as a hangman-esque mini game in which you had to decipher letters within a code cloud to assemble a password. The mini game allowed some diversity in gameplay but we are not done with it. Something was still missing.
After some discussions we were able to pinpoint the aspects that have been bothering us:
- The change of screen breaks the game-flow
- Hacking didn't feel authentic enough
- Limited ways of vary/upgrade the mini-game
Our new hacking game should feel more authentic, have relation to the main gameplay and -of course- look good! Here's what our first results look like.
Hacking Gameplay Mockup, inspired by Deus Ex: Human Revolution and EVE Online
The hacking game already looks more dynamic and this way we could play with more believable passwords or encryptions. The nodes are supposed to be data points that the player has to check for chunks of the password. If a red node is triggered you leave a trace in the system, after a couple of left traces you are being kicked out of the system. This game is already more flexible than the old one. You can combine it with upgrades or consumables that unveil certain nodes or raise the number of mistakes the player can make before being kicked out, for example.
This already felt much better to us but it was still too disconnected from the main game. Kevin suggested to integrate it in the map and actually base it on real hacking methods, like the Man in the Middle Attack. The network should have an important role, so should the location of the computers and maybe even NPCs. This is how it could look like:
This is how a map-integrated hacking game could look like
We're still in the middle of brainstorming and haven't fully decided if we stick with this idea, but it's already a solid direction and we will play around with it a bit longer.
What do you think about this first impression? Which games have the best hacking system in your opinion?