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The Knockover Official Thread
Posted: 16 November 2012 05:36 PM
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Project Lead: Jeremy Natividad

In The Knockover, you’ll get to plan and pull off heists. Each heist will have a number of different ways to complete successfully. Scouting and planning are important to pull of successful heists. You’ll need to recruit a crew that’s skilled at exploiting vulnerabitlies in your target. Build a big crew; the take gets divided up more. Use a small crew; the takes are higher, but success is much riskier. Completing pre-heist objectives can give you items to boost your character’s stats. However, some items have a limited timeframe to use. You’ll have to make all these kinds of decisions in The Knockover.

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Posted: 16 November 2012 06:45 PM
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YO, forum thread!

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The idea for THE KNOCKOVER came from watching heist movies. I love them. They’re one of my favorite kinds of movies. I’ve always been drawn to the parts when they first get the job and they’d start gathering a crew with different skills and specialties. They’d come up with an elaborate plan and each person had their own part in it. Then they’d go in and if everything ran like clockwork they’d getaway with all the loot.

I’ve always thought this would make a great game. You have pre-heist objectives to complete and resources to manage. You have characters with different skills and classes. There are a number of different solutions to completing the same mission. A lot of risk and reward comes into play depending on how you plan and build your team. I’m hoping that THE KNOCKOVER can hit all these aspects of pulling off a heist.

In the upcoming days, I’ll try to explain the game more and how everything works. In the meantime, there are a ton of heist movies out there. What are some of your favorites?

[ Edited: 19 November 2012 03:38 AM by DF Jeremy ]
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Posted: 19 November 2012 01:43 PM
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It reminds me of a game I used to love many years ago called The Clue! which was some of the most fun I ever had playing a video game.

The criminal mastermind inside me wants this game. I love heist movies and I would love the chance to safely plan and execute my own heist in the safety of my home.

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Posted: 19 November 2012 03:52 PM
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This is very interesting. I wonder if you are thinking of multiplayer (one being the bank and setting defenses and the other controlling the thieves).

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Posted: 19 November 2012 04:56 PM
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@David
I gotta check that out. I’ve been looking for good reference. The Clue! sounds like a good place to start.

@serjay
I have thought about that. Also, I thought about a mode that would dump you and a buddy in the same city. There’d be a couple targets to choose from. So potentially the both of you could be trying to hit the same bank. Who will get to it first!

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Posted: 19 November 2012 10:14 PM
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The Clue! was my first thought, too.  (And its sequel, The Sting!)

You may also want to look up They Stole A Million, which was the C64 game The Clue! was based on.

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Posted: 19 November 2012 10:31 PM
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I like this as a tactical bankrobber crew management game, but the pitch video tripped me up at “card game”. In a videogame, you can pin statistics and information right ONTO characters instead of on a card with a picture of their face on it.
It seems like a missed opportunity to not have a group of men around a table in a smokey basement planning this out- maybe even using this exact art style- than to present it as a card game instead.

Anyway it might be fun if certain people with valuable skills will only join if you can complete specific objectives, or if they get a bigger cut of the money.
Maybe it’d fun to rob a casino, or like A CONVINIENCE STORE… maybe that could be the tutorial, hell I dunno.

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Posted: 19 November 2012 10:41 PM
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TomBrien - 19 November 2012 10:31 PM

I like this as a tactical bankrobber crew management game, but the pitch video tripped me up at “card game”. In a videogame, you can pin statistics and information right ONTO characters instead of on a card with a picture of their face on it.

I actually like the idea of doing it as a card game.  (Though partially because the other heist games people have been mentioning, like The Clue! and They Stole A Million, generally represented potential accomplices and tools you could bring using stat cards in the planning stage.)  I mean, at heart, a game is about how you interact with the world, and having a bunch of cards that represent the various things you can bring to a heist would work well, in my mind.

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Posted: 20 November 2012 02:50 AM
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There’s this movie called ‘Ladrón que roba a ladrón’, which is a fairly typical heist flick, but what makes it compelling is that they’re trying to bring down a ‘bad guy.’ Do you plan to develop characters, or are they just archetypes?

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Posted: 20 November 2012 09:52 AM
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I’m a big fan of strategy games, especially ones that require you to think about unique units. This was my favourite pitch.

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Posted: 20 November 2012 02:03 PM
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TomBrien - 19 November 2012 10:31 PM

Anyway it might be fun if certain people with valuable skills will only join if you can complete specific objectives, or if they get a bigger cut of the money.
Maybe it’d fun to rob a casino, or like A CONVINIENCE STORE… maybe that could be the tutorial, hell I dunno.

Yeah. I like that idea of ramping up in the complexity of the jobs. A convenience store would be a great way to ease in people. Also, I figure there’d be complex and quick jobs even in the main game. So you can send some of your guys to do a quick robbery to earn some extra cash in addition to planning a bigger heist.

VicOfAges - 20 November 2012 02:50 AM

There’s this movie called ‘Ladrón que roba a ladrón’, which is a fairly typical heist flick, but what makes it compelling is that they’re trying to bring down a ‘bad guy.’ Do you plan to develop characters, or are they just archetypes?

I had the initial idea as a revenge story akin to The Count of Monte Cristo. You’d play as a guy who was sent to jail after your crew sells you out to the cops. While you’re stuck in jail, they use the money to buy their way up to become powerful, influential members of society. Upon getting out, your mission is to take them for all their worth.

Also, I was hoping to develop at least some of the characters, because I think that would add another level of complexity to building a team. Maybe some characters can’t work with each other because one screwed the over the other in past. Or maybe you have to keep an eye one of your team members, because he’s acting suspicious and might double cross you.

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Posted: 20 November 2012 02:13 PM
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Here are some notes I had on the characters. Don’t take too much stock in what skills go where. This is just to illustrate how stats and skills will work with the characters.

There are three basic categories: TOUGHNESS, INTELLIGENCE, and LUCK. A character’s stats will determine what skills are available to them. Characters that have high ratings in one of the three categories will only have those skills available to them. But that also means they are very good at that thing. Characters with split points will have access to more than one category, but they won’t be as effective.

This spread of different skills should help to build a team that’s flexible to deal with different situations. Also, you’ll be able to use items to boost your character’s stats. For example, putting a disguise on will give a stat boost to LUCK. Or using weapons will give a bonus to a character’s TOUGHNESS. But some items, such as access codes that boost INTELLIGENCE, have a limited time frame. So you gotta use ‘em before you lose ‘em. These items can be acquired by doing pre-heist objectives.

If there are any other good skills or items you think would come in handy for a heist, lemme know what they are!

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Posted: 20 November 2012 02:35 PM
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As an avid boardgamer, i would love that as an actual card games, the graphic style is great.
As a video game, i don’t get the point of using “cards”. Can you elaborate on that design choice?

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Posted: 20 November 2012 06:50 PM
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I want this just because no one ever followed up The Clue. Even their sequel dident. Make this game.

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Posted: 21 November 2012 01:29 PM
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Ksempac - 20 November 2012 02:35 PM

As an avid boardgamer, i would love that as an actual card games, the graphic style is great. As a video game, i don’t get the point of using “cards”. Can you elaborate on that design choice?

The original idea for THE KNOCKOVER was that it would be a mobile game. Something that you could play for a couple minutes on your commute. You set your crew up with jobs in the morning, check the results later, and then plan their next moves.

On the development side, at least at DF, mobile games have been like 2 or 3 people teams. So with that in mind, I figured the best way to keep the game simple and manageable was to use cards. It gives more time to add more content; heists, solutions, and characters. Also there seemed to be a nice flexibility with cards. Just using a simple image to represent a location or a job leaves it open to any kind of solution that you want to attach to it. I wanted there to be a number of different ways to complete a heist.

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Posted: 21 November 2012 01:35 PM
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Here are some notes on team bonuses.
The bonuses are still up in the air, but I did want to give a certain incentive for thinking about crew builds. Right now I just used basic poker hands, but I think character personalities and skill sets would also be a good factor into building a team. If you can match up people that synergize well, you should get some reward for it.

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Posted: 21 November 2012 02:16 PM
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DF Jeremy - 21 November 2012 01:29 PM

On the development side, at least at DF, mobile games have been like 2 or 3 people teams. So with that in mind, I figured the best way to keep the game simple and manageable was to use cards. It gives more time to add more content; heists, solutions, and characters. Also there seemed to be a nice flexibility with cards. Just using a simple image to represent a location or a job leaves it open to any kind of solution that you want to attach to it. I wanted there to be a number of different ways to complete a heist.

Anyway, if it works as a card game, the prototype can evolve into actual “gamey” graphics and all. Right now the mechanics are the main part.

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Posted: 21 November 2012 05:40 PM
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This looks cool!  I voted for it!  Maybe it could have a future as an actual card game, if it doesn’t get to be a video game.

My favourite heist movie is actually a music video: Ich Will by Rammstein Video contains scenes of violence blablabla mature audiences blabla. :D

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Posted: 23 November 2012 08:12 PM
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I like the genre, but the card game aspect to it didn’t sell me. Definitely would like to see something in the heist genre though.

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Posted: 23 November 2012 09:32 PM
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Hey everybody! Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

tumblr_mdszrsECKb1qzalieo2_1280.jpg width=800

Here’s a look at the planning board.
When you first get a job (in the image it’s BELLERS TRUST), you’ll have options to scout it. If you’re feeling lucky, you could just take your crew in and see how well they do, but more than likely they’ll probably fail if it’s a complex heist like a bank.

Options attached to BELLERS TRUST have a time cost and a stat requirement to complete successfully. The stat requirement in this case is INTELLIGENCE: 3. The time cost isn’t in the image, but each task will have a time frame that will lock your crew member in. Difficult tasks may lock your character in for four or five days; keeping you from accomplishing other tasks. You’ll have to keep that in mind when sending them out.

Tasks such as a scouting mission will cost only one day. In the image above, this branched out into two new objectives, ALARM SYSTEMS and NUMBER OF GUARDS: 5. You can then assign crew members to research these objectives. Depending on how you want to tackle them, you’ll get some sort of advantage when pulling off the heist. For instance, you can steal some guard uniforms which will boost your crew’s LUCK stats when robbing the bank.

Most heists will have a certain window of time in which you can pull them off. If you wait too long, the bulk of the money might not be there anymore or their security protocols will have changed; leaving you with useless items and an unhappy crew. But if you don’t plan enough, you may go in unprepared and you crew will fail or, worse, get caught. So you’ll have to find the right balance when planning your heist to maximize the rewards and reduce the risks.

[ Edited: 23 November 2012 09:36 PM by DF Jeremy ]
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Posted: 25 November 2012 05:54 PM
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This seems like a perfect combination to me! Since the planning phase is one of the most important parts of a heist, I think it interacts very nicely with the card game aspect. And I really dig the art style too!

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Posted: 26 November 2012 12:32 PM
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I think this was my favourite of the ideas pitched, I’m sorry it didn’t get into the top 4. I hope this and some of the others might re-appear in some form in the future.

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Posted: 26 November 2012 01:05 PM
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I still think this is one of the more interesting pitches in AF.  I love a good caper story and game! smile

I’m okay with the card aspect of the game because I’ve seen that mechanic used well in other games (example: Fallen London).

I’m sad it didn’t get in the top 4, but I hope you keep pitching it in future AFs because I’d love to play this game.

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Posted: 27 November 2012 02:14 AM
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While many pitches were fantastic. I only voted for this game because I did not want my relative percentage of voteyness give it a better chance.

Seems like it didn’t work.

I never realized it, but it’s literally mindblowing that there are so few heist games. Computer games are perfect for this.

I truly hope this isn’t the end of this idea, because I want to see this happen so bad you can’t even imagine. :(

All the games that did make it to the final 4 are great though… just not the Knockover.

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