Chase – A New SP Gameplay Mode

3rd May 2007

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half Life 1, 2 and 3
About

I’m fascinated by chase scenes in movies and real life. My fascination comes from the decision making process. I used to imagine myself as a film director and saying to the actors: “Okay, this is the chase scene. I want you to just flee. The camera will follow you where ever you go. Somebody will be chasing you to simulate the villain”

The idea was to pretend that it was real. There would be no set route. They could retry a few times and we would simply see what happens.

How often do you think they would escape? What choices would they make? Run through the market and hope to get lost in the crowd? Keeping running until they can blend into the crowd? Run into the subway station and jump onto the train just moments before the doors close!

The point is that real-life chases are SO very different from the movies (Yes, isn’t everything!), but the basic concept of being chased and having to make choices is intriguing.

Gameplay Mode

With a little thought and planning this could perhaps be made into a new SP gameplay mode. In a similar way that Kreedz focused on the climbing and jumping elements of basic gameplay, RHEM (Run, Hide, Escape Mode – Working Title!) will focus on the running and hiding elements.

Of course chases have featured in many, many games but to my knowledge not as a specific gameplay mode. Please allow me to explain the basic idea. Firstly there are two submodes:

  • Time
    In this mode the player simply has to remain free for as long as possible. This could include simply running or using other transport and or hiding.
  • Objective
    In this gameplay mode the player has to reach one of a number of predetermined points. This points are never explicitly given to the player but clues would be available within the map.
Custom Made Maps – Of Course!

Talking of maps, they would of course need to be made especially. I envisage city-styled maps but I suppose that there’s no reason why all forms of environment couldn’t be used.

The Start

For this example I have used Half-Life 2 as the game. The player would simply start a map by walking, at a random time (a few seconds to a maximum of one minute) either Combine soldiers or Metrocops would shout “There he is!” and the chase would begin. No doubt novel ways could be introduced to start the maps, perhaps even some trigger events.

No Drivable Vehicles

There would be no drivable vehicles in the maps because that has been done with other games, this mode is about other elements. There could be trains that the player can board and maybe trams etc but nothing that the player can directly control.

Custom A.I.

The A.I. would also need to be configured and optimized for this mode. Once the player is out of sight the enemy would need to make guesses rather than know where the player is. I have no idea how this would be implemented but I am sure they are plenty of possibilities

Difficulty Levels

As with normal games and mods, this mode would feature varying degrees of difficulty and this would manifest itself in shooting accuracy, perseverance, speed and observational skills of the chasers.

Mappacks

Once the gameplay features have been created and optimized I am sure that a collection of custom designed maps could be made that follow on from one another. Each map would get progressively harder in one form or another.

Shooting?

I still imagine that players would be able to shoot but this is not the main element of the game. I envisage the player starting with the pistol and a full ammo compliment. Perhaps extra ammo could be collected from dead soliders or cops but this would need plenty of testing.

Conclusion

Story and Objective based SP maps are great fun but I feel that there are plenty of other possibilities for SP maps. This is just one idea I have that hopefully will inspire somebody to experiment with various gameplay modes.

If you are a developer and would like to discuss this concept with me in greater detail please contact me.

What do you think about it?

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8 Comments

  1. Manual_Monaro

    I remember in HL2 when you’re first recognised as a miscount and the CPs are chasing after you. It’s a great rush, and the way those citizens were helping you and how you made your way through the rooftops felt realistic but unfortunately quite linear.

    Implemented as an open-ended experience, it would be fantastic! I really like the ideas you have here except the addition of a {Gun.) weapon. I think all the player gets is what’s around him/her… the environment. The only way to get a gun would be to, say, grab a pipe or other blunt object and have to knock a chaser out. The player can take the weapon on that chaser, but has to remember that he/she is very much outnumbered and that other chasers might have more powerful weaponry.

    I’d love to make use of a full-on physics engine and variety of “environment” weapons. (I hope you know what I mean? Stuff that’s lying about, like the aforementioned pipe.)

    For the AI, maybe a modified Metal Gear Solid system (Though I’m not sure you’ve really played it. I’ve only played one game out of the series.) but with the removal of patrol routes (Of course :P) as well as status indicators…? Would’t it be a challenge just to guess or figure out on your own what the chasers” tactics, attention level etc. is?

    Anyway, that’s my two cents. 😛

  2. Luke L

    This reminds me a lot of NFS: Most Wanted. The thrill of trying to out run two dozen cop cars, then hiding in a tiny little nook waiting for your heat to go down was exhilarating. I suppose on the FPS front Far Cry came pretty close to achieving this. I remember being spotted by a tower and then having a small troop of soldiers flank my last known position (by then I’d moved so I was safe). It was just always scary knowing that the enemy was out there and he was bearing down on you.

  3. Darth Marsden

    I always imagined that if I was in a movie, I’d set up a chase scene with two guys and say to the first “Just run’, and to the second “Chase him’. We’d watch what they do, then get them to do it again, and then again. Taking note of what they’d done, we’d piece to together the best bits and get them to do that while they’re being filmed.

    For ultimate results, get someone who’s pretty good at Parkour (AKA Free-running) to be the person who’s running away. You’d get some amazing scenes that way.

    I don’t know how you’d translate that to a video game, but I hear the new game by the modern Prince of Persia team, Assassin’s Creed, will feature something which could be used for what you describe.

  4. Memobot

    I think one of the best chases on foot I have seen in any movie was ‘the Bourne Supremacy’, when Bourne is running away from half a police force (I can’t remember in what city. Paris?)
    Something like that would be very interesting in a game.

  5. I think escaping is a great idea.
    one because it requires skill in improvising what to do next.
    two because it will be very intense and quite a thriller.
    three because it will be replayable to do the same escape with a different route.

    Did anyone ever play stuntcar on playstation?
    talk about the most frustrating game ever!!!
    You have to fullfill the script perfectly by doing stunts within a short amount of time with out making mistakes. Otherwise you have to do it again.
    Imagine playing that game where you can make your own decisions in a chase scene!

    I would enjoy a FPS where you have missions to achieve a certain goal but you get found out and have to escape. Or you get caught, arrested, and then escape with a huge chase scene.

    This will require large levels with real-time events hapenning all around you. People interacting with the environment, trains, cars, etc. And the A.I. needs to be realistic where you can actually hid from them while the walk right by you like in Far Cry.

    I’ve had this kind of idea before but it involved a person trying to escape from demons…
    thats another story

  6. Ash Willam

    The best chase scene I can told :
    “Mills chases John Doe in New York”(Se7en)

    It used firearms wisely .
    Track down a man with a gun is dangerous.

  7. Ash Willam

    To Memobot

    About Supremacy ,it’s in berlin.
    I admire how he escapes from US embassy in Identity.

  8. Joker

    I say, you should have a look at Call of Juarez. There is a chasing by horse chapter. It is totally awesome. This should give you some nice example.
    Also I really want to see what you told, this is cool.

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