Subnet is a stealth, hacking and parkour game with a first person perspective, incorporating freestyle gameplay in a futuristic, dystopian England. It's Nineteen Stone Ninjas' current work in progress, with work commencing in late 2013.
In 2054 - after decades of oppressive governmental controls put in place to manipulate and restrict the flow of information to the public - the use of all wide area communication methods such as telephony and internet were outlawed across the globe. The United Nations’ World Protocol Governance Committee (WPGC) was formed in order to facilitate the worldwide decommissioning of internet backbones, broadcast towers, and public communication satellites, eventually replacing them with a personal cybernetic communications implant named the Enhanced Social Operating System (ESOS).
Tweets by @SubnetGame 200 years later, ESOS is an integral part of everyday life. Implanted in all new-born’s by law, it records their every living moment, and allows users to "associate" and share information with each other, much like the social networking websites that gained popularity in the early 21st century. ESOS gradually became the only way in which people can communicate (other than face-to-face), and citizens have become entirely reliant on it to organize and enhance their lives. Any corporate local area communication - i.e. office-based computer networks - require special licensing, and are under constant surveillance by the WPGC, whilst citizens are free to create personal networks contained to their property. Wider range communication outside of ESOS is almost unheard of.
Information has become a more powerful commodity than ever – the Digital Underworld’s black market is saturated by covert hacking jobs of all shapes and sizes; government corruption, corporations on the take, family feuds and personal vendettas. The Jobs are high-risk, high-reward, and are all undertaken by elite hackers, both freelance and privately employed by security companies and large corporations.
Subnet follows the story of Byron Alexis, hobbyist programmer and every-man, frustrated by the oppressive environment in which he lives. His resentment eventually turns him to freelance hacking, in a vain retaliation attempt against the WPGC.
Subnet's player control system features a comprehensive array of first person parkour movements including wall running, power-sliding, ledge grabbing, mantling and rolling. Parkour is expected to play a big part in the gameplay, as you will be encouraged to run and hide from enemies, rather than face them head on. In fact, we're currently considering avoiding player controlled projectile weapons entirely, and focussing on the stealth and hacking elements of the game.
As part of the story, you will infiltrate different types of buildings across an urban environment. Once inside, you'll be able to hack numerous devices - from computer terminals and security cameras, to doors and elevators - using them to solve puzzles in order to advance towards mission objectives. Subnet's hacking system is comprehensive; once you have successfully hacked a device, you will be able to control it precisely, control devices connected to it, and re-route various rules that have been set up in order to gain an advantage. You may want to halt an elevator mid-floor to access a secret hatch, or remotely disable an alarm booby trap set up on a control panel, before using it to open a door or turn a terminal on.
Network devices can be linked to each other in a variety of different ways, and various rules can be set up across the networks configured in the various locations in the game. If you hack into a computer terminal without the correct skill, or without checking the rules first, it may close and lock all doors in the room you're currently in; opening a door might disable a computer terminal, or activating a camera may open a door. Whilst hacking, Byron will be able to change the state of a network device, and manipulate relay rules set up on it to cater for different scenarios. Choice is the key point to make here - there will be many ways to approach any given situation.
Progress is being made on Subnet every day, though we are a small team with a big project ahead of us. We currently aim to release a single level playable demo at some point in the near future.
You can talk to us about Subnet specific stuff on any of the following sites: