[one_third]Trade Secrets continues with the creator of sidescrolling multiplayer shooters Soldat and Link-Dead, Michal Marcinkowski.[/one_third]
Developer: Michal Marcinkowski (Game Designer)
The creator of sidescrolling multiplayer shooter Soldat – Counter-Strike on a 2D plane – has expanded similar gameplay into a prototype multiplayer shooter named Link-Dead. Its asymmetric stealth, brutal difficulty and underlying complexity make it something truly unique. It’s why Michal Marcinkowski thinks stealth is a genre that should be reserved for the hardcore gamer.
Sneaky Bastards: What is it that attracts you to stealth gameplay?
Stealth gameplay is generally very open-ended, which leads to a lot of replayability in stealth games.
Why do you think stealth games fell out of popularity?
They’re hard! Gaming as a whole seems to be moving towards more casual gameplay, which largely rules out the challenging part of stealth gameplay. Stealth falling from popularity doesn’t mean they’re gone though – the Metal Gear Solid series and the Spy in Team Fortress are good examples of popular stealth gameplay options in todays gaming climate.
Gaming as a whole seems to be moving towards more casual gameplay, which largely rules out the challenging part of stealth gameplay.
What are your thoughts on stealth gameplay being included as one possible path or playstyle, as opposed to the main focus of a game?
In terms of making a game accessible to a wider audience I think that’s certainly the safer option, as evidenced by TF2’s giant following with some fraction of that choosing to play spy as their main class – however in terms of gameplay design I think it likely leaves more options open to focus only on the stealth element.
What would a way forward for stealth gameplay be?
More exploration. I’d like to see more stealth games step away from just hiding in the shadows and backstabbing people. Stealth can be manifest in so many different ways – as long as you can sneak around while doing it, it can be in a stealth game.
Thanks, Michal. As always, you can return to the Trade Secrets hub for previous stealth interviews, or visit tomorrow for a new insight into the genre.