Announcing Filcher, a first-person stealth game

Enough lurking in the shadows, it’s time I announced what the hell I’ve been working on the last few months!

Or years, actually. While we were making Superfighters Deluxe, I started teaching myself Unity as a side project. What started as a little experiment went through several mutations and has now evolved into what is going to be my first-ever solo game:

What is Filcher?

Filcher is a first-person, 2.5D, mission-based stealth game. You are Sporey, a talented thief who spends her nights stealing from the wealthy and corrupt in a dark and retro-futuristic city. Break into fancy apartments, mansions and office buildings, steal money, jewellery and precious documents, and try not to be seen or heard.

Filcher will come out on PC first and foremost, but console versions aren’t out of the question.

What’s so special about it?

Features include:

  • Hand-crafted, non-linear levels with multiple ways to complete objectives. Each mission is filled with loot to steal, guards to outwit, documents to read, security systems to master, and secrets to find.
  • Dynamic light and shadow: Your visibility depends on several factors, like how much light you are in, whether you are standing or crouching, and whether you are moving or standing still. A simple light meter at the bottom of the screen shows you how well hidden you are.
  • Sound travels realistically through the environment and guards react to suspicious noises. Your footsteps make more or less noise depending on your speed and the floor type: metal and marble are loud, while grass and carpet are safe.
  • Sporey packs an arsenal of tools and gadgets including a blackjack, a dartgun, lockpicks, flashbangs and noisemaking wind-up toys.
  • Comic-book style cutscenes progress the story and provide mission briefings.
  • The sneakier you are, the higher your mission score. Expert players can strive for a perfect “Ghost” rating, which requires you to find all loot and secrets without being detected or knocking anyone out.

Filcher has a sharp focus on stealth and exploration. You can knock guards out with your blackjack or dartgun, but you are encouraged to avoid confrontations altogether. If you get spotted, you can recover by throwing a flashbang, shooting a tranquilizer dart, or simply running away.

Filcher is in many ways a lo-fi loveletter to the original Thief games, and other immersive sims like Deus Ex and System Shock. Despite its old-school roots, I’ve tried to make it really easy to pick up and learn the game.

For better or worse, it’s also the first game where I’m doing everything myself, including design, writing, programming, art, sound effects and music. Gurt (my buddy and MythoLogic co-founder) has agreed to act as a kind of producer, making sure I stay on track and deliver a quality game, which will then be released under the “MythoLogic Interactive presents” banner.

When’s it coming out?

At some point during 2020. The game mechanics are all in place, so it’s mostly a matter of building more levels and adding the final layer of polish. If you’re interested in beta testing the game, send me an email at contact@johanhjarpe.com. You can also leave feedback in the comments below, or on Twitter. Thanks!

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