Heist is a game engine, and a series of games built using the engine.

Why This Post?

I’m planning to start being a bit more public about Heist soon, initially by posting on r/gamedev. I don’t want to do a full explanation of exactly what Heist is every time I introduce someone new to it so that’s what this post is for.

What Is Heist?

What Was Heist To Start With?

Heist was originally conceived about 6 years ago (2007). First there was this crazy idea I got into my head that entire cities could be generated by a computer, I was totally obsessed with this idea for a couple of years while in college. The second part was that I love Heist movies, and many of them consist of creatively misusing the environment around the target of the Heist to somehow create a flaw within the bank. The simplest example would be The Bank Job where they simply tunnel into the bank. Once you have these two thoughts bouncing around your head the idea becomes pretty obvious: Generate a city around a bank for the ultimate Heist game!

Once I started work on Heist (in January of 2012) it became clear that the project, in some ways, wasn’t ambitious enough (not something I get accused of very often). Building an entire city generator and then just setting one single game in it felt like such a massive waste of potential. The biggest demonstration of this was that every time I mentioned the city generator to people they would mention other games they would love to see in such a system.

A few suggestions people have made:

  • Break Into Banks
  • Multiplayer Deathmatch
  • Procedural Racing Game
  • Procedural Mirrors Edge
  • Spiderman/Worms 3D mashup
  • Detective Game (explore city, talk to NPCs)
  • Assassination
  • Zombie Survival (The most common suggestion by far)
  • World Building (Minecraft) / Contraption Building (Gmod) Mashup

Luckily this became clear while I was experimenting with procedural generation technology and hadn’t even started on building the game yet. Once I began thinking about building the game itself I expanded the scope a little…

So What Is Heist?

A Game Engine

Heist is a game engine, which is a platform for building many other games with. The engine supports procedural generation of massive worlds and is designed to be controlled by lua scripts to define new gamemodes and entities.

A Series Of Games

While the engine is in development I will also be building test games using the engine to push it’s capabilities. If these games turn out to be any good then I shall keep them around, polish them up and release them.

A Game About Breaking Into Banks

Once the engine has been developed enough that it has all the features I need to build this game mode, I will do so. There’s nothing special about the Heist game mode any more, it’s just another game in the series.

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