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Thread: The Immersive Sim thread

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland

    The Immersive Sim thread

    This is a thread about Immersive sims.

    (... to be continued...)


    TO DO: List of released immersive sims, just as soon as we agree on what exactly is and isn't an immersive sim.


    Immersive sims in development
    A lot of these fine games don't have TTLG threads - so feel free to go and make one so I can link them here!

    Immersive Sims in Development - part 1
    Immersive Sims in Development - part 2
    Immersive Sims in Development - part 3
    Last edited by Nameless Voice; 29th Mar 2021 at 18:32.

  2. #2
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    Immersive Sims in development (page 1)

    Gloomwood
    A dark, Victorian stealth/survival horror game.
    Heavily inspired by Thief, Call of Cthulhu Dark Corners of the Earth, and survival horror classics.


    Developer Twitter
    TTLG thread
    Steam page



    Monomyth
    A dungeon crawler inspired by Arx Fatalis, Ultima Underworld and the King's Field series.


    Developer Twitter
    (No TTLG thread)
    Steam page
    Website



    Graven
    A retro medieval first-person shooter with immersive sim elements, inspired by Heretic and Hexen.


    TTLG thread
    Steam page
    (No developer Twitter)



    Peripeteia
    "Polish Deus Ex."
    An indie stealth FPS-RPG/Immersive Sim, heavily inspired by Deus Ex.


    Developer Twitter
    (No TTLG thread)
    Steam page
    Demo on itch.io
    Website



    Safe Not Safe
    First-person stealth game with procedurally-generated levels.
    "Challenging stealth game, solving shortcomings of the genre. Infiltrate well-guarded outposts against all odds. Fight, sneak or hack your way to the safe."
    Developer Twitter


    (No TTLG thread)
    Steam page



    Delight
    First Person Stealth game, Thief inspired. UE4.


    Developer Twitter
    TTLG thread
    Itch.io page



    Athanasia
    A survival horror immersive sim RPG. Early development.


    Developer Twitter
    (No TTLG thread)
    (No Steam page)



    Neverlooted Dungeon
    Immersive-sim dungeon crawler.


    Developer Twitter
    (No TTLG thread)
    Steam page
    Last edited by Nameless Voice; 2nd Apr 2021 at 06:41.

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    Immersive Sims in development (page 2)


    Hapax
    "Hapax is a puzzle focused immersive sim set on a hard sci-fi alien spaceship."


    Developer Twitter
    (No TTLG thread)
    Offical website



    Terminus Cyberstar
    "Low-poly cyberpunk immersive sim in the vein of late-90's PC games like Deus Ex 1 and System Shock 2."


    Developer Twitter
    (No TTLG thread)



    Project Sorceress
    A physics-based puzzle immersive sim.
    "Aspires to be a game with systemic approach to spellcasting that serves for exploration and combat in first person relying on different system interactions and player quick thinking."


    Developer Twitter
    (No TTLG thread)
    itch.io page



    Ad Infernum
    Survival horror/immersive sim. Unity.
    "Stranded alone at a gas station in the middle of the desert. Dark Rituals. Demonic Pursuers. No escape."


    Developer Twitter
    (No TTLG thread)
    itch.io page



    Shadows of Doubt
    "First-person detective stealth game set in a fully-simulated sci-fi noir city. There’s a serial killer on the loose, and it’s up to you to catch them by any means necessary: Sneak, tail, hide, hack and lock-pick. Just keep a low profile!"


    Developer Twitter
    (No TTLG thread)
    Steam page



    Filcher
    Filcher is a first-person, 2.5D, mission-based stealth game where you steal from the wealthy and corrupt, using only your senses, your wits, and a handful of tools and gadgets.


    Developer Twitter
    (No TTLG thread)
    Steam page



    Core Decay
    Low-poly sci-fi immersive sim.
    "Explore vast facilities across a dying Earth and uncover a sinister plot to preserve humanity no matter the cost - even if it means redefining what makes us alive - in an atmospheric immersive sim that explores the nature of consciousness and individuality. "

    Developer Twitter
    (No TTLG thread)
    Steam page




    Skin Deep
    A stealth-shooter where you need to pick shards of glass out of your feet.

    Developer Twitter
    TTLG thread
    Steam page
    Official website



    System Shock Remake
    Modern remake of the original System Shock, in development by Night Dive in the Unreal Engine. Has terrible pixellated textures.


    Developer Twitter
    TTLG thread
    Systemshock.org thread
    Steam page



    Unnamed dungeon crawler by Michel Mohr
    Thief-inspired dungeon crawler.

    Developer Twitter



    Thievery: Beneath the Veil of Night
    Stealth/thieving game, very early development.


    (No TTLG thread)
    Official website
    Steam group



    Synther (Cancelled / no longer in active development.)
    Low-poly cyberpunk adventure/sim.
    "Synther is an FPP simulation game with adventure-like, detective elements set in a futuristic, open world. The game is innovative and reminiscent of early 3D games and DOS applications. "


    Developer Twitter
    (No TTLG thread)
    Steam page
    Last edited by Nameless Voice; 29th Mar 2021 at 20:04.

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    Immersive Sims in development (page 3)



    Cruelty Squad
    Retro shooter/immersive sim with extremely bright colours.
    "An immersive power fantasy simulator with tactical stealth elements set in a sewage infused garbage world"

    Developer Twitter
    TTLG thread
    Steam page




    Deathloop
    FPS/Immersive sim set in a time loop, in development by Arkane Studios.

    Developer Twitter
    TTLG thread
    Steam page
    Last edited by Nameless Voice; 3rd Apr 2021 at 14:11.

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    (Reserved #1)
    Last edited by Nameless Voice; 29th Mar 2021 at 18:32.

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    (Reserved #2)
    Last edited by Nameless Voice; 29th Mar 2021 at 18:32.

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    (Reserved #3)

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    None of those are immersive sims.

    ...What? Someone had to say it!

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Wasnít there some supposed top-down Wild West immersive sim coming up? Or is this thread firmly in the camp that an immersive sim must be first-person?

    Weird West, thatís the one.

  10. #10
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Ooooh, I hadn't even heard about several of these.

    I'm still most excited about Skin Deep and Gloomwood.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Nameless Voice View Post
    TO DO: List of released immersive sims, just as soon as we agree on what exactly is and isn't an immersive sim.
    So, never, in other words.

    I can contribute by mentioning The Occupation.

  12. #12
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Maupertuis
    Thanks for making this useful thread, Nameless Voice.

  13. #13
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: Netherlands
    Tried Peripeteia's demo, but it's rough. Imagine EYE Divine Cybermancy but 10 times as janky, with no idea where to go. Couldn't find any sneaky ways other than shooting someone from the dark, having the entire armed guard team swarm (taking the long way around) the location the shots came from, and making a run from there to where I needed to go. There's also a lot of messed up culling portals that they need to fix, and at one point I couldn't progress because the doors to where I assumed I was supposed to go didn't render from a distance, nor were they interactable up close. It's also very dark and using your night vision takes from your finite energy reserves. I raided the bar's liquor supply (incorrectly marked empty bottle) while the bartender watched and said nothing. I sold the liquor for a flashlight that doesn't do enough to illuminate the really dark areas. A hobo spotted me and made a beeline for me. He made the reticle turn red, but just stood there while the TRESPASSING indicator on my hud lit up. I shot him in the head and nobody was around to care. I tried finding a back way into my objective but eventually gave up and shot a guard a short distance away from two others, who started rotating left and right without animating on the spot, in sync. Then I shot a barrel next to them and they blew up.

    Yeah, this one needs a lot of work. I'm still interested though, I like Sewerslvt's music and the aesthetic they're going for.

    One last protip if anyone else is trying this: F is interact, but holding F is picking stuff up.

  14. #14

  15. #15
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Oh yeah, that reddit thread reminded me of the existence of Consortium: The Tower. A game which everyone forgets. I even played through the alpha ages ago, liked it, and still forgot. Here's the TTLG thread on it. The devs are still working on it, and it should definitely go on the list.

    Also, is Teardown an immsim? It just presents a set of systems, gives you a goal, and then you're free to accomplish that goal however you see fit. Tho as for the overall plot you don't have much choice, rather you just have to go along with the predefined script. (then again, that was also true for Thief)

    edit: also, Cruelty Squad? Has anyone played Cruelty Squad yet? It's apparently hot shit.
    Last edited by henke; 31st Mar 2021 at 10:54.

  16. #16
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    We can get the definition war, er, debate rolling...

    I think the first thing to note with the definition question is that there are two ways to take it.

    (1) By the set of features that combine "immersive" (realistic 3D world that you're in and can manipulate) and "simulation" (open world, problems not puzzles, lots of verbs other than just shooting, systems work like they're supposed to, fire & water spread, the world goes on without the player, etc.).

    (2) An actual historical lineage of games that share a way of thinking or philosophy in the gameplay, starting with Origin > LGS > Irrational, Eidos, Ion Storm > Arkane > ???. Ideas like: respect the player, let the player make their own game instead of railroading or spoonfeeding them; more like adventure game, not so much an RPG or FPS; have combination locks set to 451; a kind of moody, cool, dark visual style; guys in black trench coats / cloaks; games made by MIT-grad hobbyists for other MIT-grad hobbyists like them; etc.

    I think disagreement comes from people coming on one side or another. Games like Teardown or Skyrim & Fallout fit in (1), but less in (2). I'm playing Control right now, and it fits more or less in (2) but not (1). Arkane is of course the main studio that's staying more or less true to both sides of that coin.

  17. #17
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    That was part of the reason why I went with in-development games only, it saves on a bit of the debate-war!
    I think I'll probably divide the "released" list into groups of different types of games, so something like Hitman would be on there, but would be in a section for non-first-person games. That's probably the best way to handle it.

    I left Cruelty Squad off the list because I thought it was released, but it looks like it's still in Early Access, so yes, I should definitely add it.

  18. #18
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: The Plateaux Of Mirror

  19. #19
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    I see no-one's mentioned Elderborn, which is like Dark Messiah had a baby with Dark Souls. There's a modern Doom influence in the music too.
    It's great!


  20. #20
    That looks more hack and slash than immersive sim.

  21. #21
    ZylonBane
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: ZylonBane
    Any list of immersive sims that includes Bioshock is automatically suspect.

  22. #22
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: Netherlands
    What criteria is Bioshock not meeting?

  23. #23
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Can't stack crates.

  24. #24
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    I think Bioshock was the first game that crossed the threshold into Imm Sim 2.0. I think Halflife 2 instilled some tropes into the whole field of FPS that basically required major studios to present a cinematic experience and practically strangled the whole imm sim philosophy, as in players wondering wtf they were supposed to do and why wasn't the game providing a very controlled experience and throwing up its arms and shouting "are you not entertained?" at them around every turn?

    And Bioshock was the first game post HL2 that internalized that HL2 spirit, making this controlled cinematic experience, while still trying to resuscitate a lot of imm sim tropes: open level design, multiple approaches, player customaization, etc. (Okay, there was also Stalker, but GSC was kind of in a world of their own along with other Eastern European studios.)

    And I think the major lesson of Bioshock is that the two philosophies don't really mix very well, as in they're at cross purposes. Making a cinematic experience and players feeling gratified by the game progression call for techniques pretty much the opposite of what you want for an imm sim.*

    And of course then Arkane took that model and ran with it, pretty much defining the field of imm sim 2.0 with Dishonored & Prey, etc. I mean I had a great time playing them, but I can see how they raise the question if these two models can really mix well and how their sales wouldn't be great exactly because of the remnant imm sim features in them. And since I'm playing it right now, Control strikes me as exactly the kind of game that waves its hands at imm sim tropes (same list as above), but are so dominated by the controlled experience philosophy that it's a nominal imm sim at best and plays a lot more like HL2 than System Shock 2 or Deus Ex.

    I think this is where we're at now, in this weird space where imm sim 2.0 games are technically in the air, but not really gelling. And now we have this space of indie studios going back to basics, but I haven't played enough of them to have a strong opinion about this development yet maybe.

    * I haven't played the later BS's yet, but just by watching some videos, I think already by Bioshock 3 it'd basically drank the HL2 koolaid.
    Last edited by demagogue; 10th Apr 2021 at 02:49.

  25. #25
    ZylonBane
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: ZylonBane
    I'll let some random internet guy answer that question:
    Quote Originally Posted by Warren Spector
    A lot of people describe BioShock as an immersive sim and as the spiritual successor to games like System Shock. I describe it as more like Ė thereís an expression Ė kissing cousins. Itís similar in some ways to a System Shock game, or a Deus Ex, or an Underworld. Ken Levine is one of the most talented people in this business, and one of the best writers. But if you boil it down, I think heís more interested in telling his story than we are. Weíre much more into the player telling his or her own story. Whereas BioShock is is very much Kenís story, and itís a great one. But itís fairly different than what we do.
    And regarding the above ImSim2POINT-OH nonsense about Dishonored:
    Quote Originally Posted by Warren Spector again
    Dishonored is a fairly traditional immersive sim, which is to say that theyíre about empowering players. They were clearly inspired by Thief and Deus Ex, which is really cool, and I think they do a great job with empowering players, so no beef there.
    https://www.pcgamesn.com/warren-spec...shonored-zelda

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