I'm Working on a Gritty Heist Novel! "Five Finger Discount" (WIP)

young-adult-fiction
gender-choice

#21

You sold me on the Baby Driver part, but I got questions though.
Will the story also takes place outside of the bank heist job? Like a clash between the crew members because of a mole? Some set up that turned the job FUBAR? Or a mexican standoff in a warehouse used as a safehouse?


#22

Oh absolutely! I won’t say much on potential story spoilers, but I hope to hop around locations quite a bit.

More than anything, I want character relationships to be the focus. The dynamics between the crew, decisions that truly split the player, and absolutely tons of dialogue. As for location, there will be a lot of times where the dialogue takes place during the safehouse, as I kind of want it to be a hub area. Things like changing hair color and length (maybe more customization options), as well as getting to know and talk to each crew member will be present here. With Red Dead Redemption 2’s recent release, I have had a massive boost in inspiration. That game does the feeling of outlaws and the chemistry between them so well, and I hope to take inspiration from as much of that as I can.

As for other various locations and activities, you may be able to do things like go out and party with your crew after a successful job, go on small missions to get equipment or other things, and seeing as how I plan on there being romance, go on dates.

None of this is set in stone, as I’ve obviously not gotten around to writing any of this yet, but there are definitely directions I want to take this other than a traditional ‘bank job’.

All I’ll say here is banks are not the only things that will be robbed.


#23

Sneak Peek of the new Stats Screen. Yes, the protagonist does have a set age. I may add multiple ages to play from in the future, but for right now, the MC: Has Childhood -> Graduates High School -> Goes straight and gets a job. The job is determinant on your role, and your backstory is determinant on your childhood, but everything else is pretty set in stone at the moment.


#24

Alright, I’m going to go a bit more in-depth for each of the heist roles, and what exactly this entails.

The Muscle is your typical heister. Loud, threatening, and violent. An MC that picks the Muscle role will be, well the Muscle. They’ll do all the dirty work, whether it be loading the bags, strong-arming the hostages, or packing extra heat if things get too bad. For those of you who want to play white-hat, there will be more pacifist methods to coerce those around you, though that is mainly left for…

The Pointman. This is the gang’s charismatic, or if you choose, ruthless leader. Their job will be talking down the citizens, leading the charge, and seeing that the rigorous planning comes to fruition. Give long winded speeches, ensuring everyone’s safety, go on small con jobs, or do neither. What you lack in charisma better make up for in smarts, though, otherwise things will go bad. After all, you’re in charge.

The Driver is arguably the crew’s most valuable asset. The Driver will be in charge of sourcing, choosing, and driving the crew’s only escape. Whether it be choosing a driving song and drifting while keeping those sunglasses on, or grabbing something big and plowing your way to safety, your eyes will stay on the road. Not all jobs may require a Driver however, and if things go wrong, you better hope driving isn’t the only thing you’re good at.

And finally, The Tech. I debated adding this one, but there’s honestly too much potential to pass up. Along with being an optional extra gun on more practical heists, this role relies on infiltrating and scouting out the jobs. Depending on your skill, things like stealthy options and power blackouts may be available, along with more destructive methods like being in charge of traffic or even rupturing steam pipes. You can choose to stay in the comfort of your chair, or get out there yourself and get your hands dirty.

Whatever your role, each heist will feel different. And yes, there will be romance. It’s not a priority at the moment, but I do expect it to be there at launch. After all, everyone loves a good Romeo and Juliet story :slight_smile:


#25

This looks good you got my support. Any reason to lose myself in a nice criminal story is good enough for me, here is to hoping for some sweet noir influence.

Extra padding to help stop bullets or extra pockets for more money :wink:


#26

So would the muscle have to cut open safes and things like that? Because lots of heists have a kind of “mechanic” type guy. Anyways super excited for this, and by Romeo and Juliette I hope we can have a cop RO


#27

The thought hadn’t crossed my mind yet of having a cop romance, but that is a brilliant idea and I already have tons of scenes just playing out already. The crew will consist of more than four members, some being specialized in certain things, these are just the four roles the player can choose. (I’ll make assigning crew members a thing if I can figure out how to implement the dialogue similar to @JimD’s stories without having to write a bunch of if-then statements. Safe Haven in particular has tons of characters and optional dialogue.)

I actually planned on having the Muscle work as a bouncer initially, but the possibility is there. Nothing is set in stone yet, though, and anything that isn’t hackable I won’t be too sure how many options there will actually be until I get to writing it.


#28

Good enough read, so far.

But you should check out this other crime team action drama.


#29

Thanks for the suggestion! I really enjoyed the opening heist, though I felt the driver’s role was a bit lacking. There’s a lot here that I actually plan on incorporating, minus the dice rolls. I want a much more consequential story, with every wrong doing being the result of either poor planning or the player. Think Grand Theft Auto 5’s heists, with multiple crew members and a whole lot more ways of approaching it. The customization is also very close to how I actually plan on having mine as well, really cool to see similar minds in action. I’ll have to read more when I get a chance!


#30

Ok, just making sure you knew about it and weren’t duplicating efforts if you didn’t want to. The timer is definitely different. I don’t know if I like it, yet, but I’m happy to test drive it. Looking forward to more.


#31

Can we pick a nickname for the job? I want to give my MC the name “Mr. Black”, but I’m worried that the boss won’t let us to choose our own name


#32

Yes, your “codename” will be customizable, and I considered having preset themed names choosable for the crew (like the Reservoir Dogs codenames, letters, or animals), but decided it’d be better to leave them with one to avoid any confusion that would inevitably happen.


#33

(POLL)
So… how do we do things from here?

I have two ways of going about doing the dialogue/action scenes.
I could implement a Fallout-style dialogue system, or I could leave all options unlocked and let the player’s decisions choose their path.

For the Fallout system, your stats will determine what you can and can’t say. For example, you can’t rattle off about the internals of guns if you have a low skill in such. This could also extend over to action scenes, a getaway driver with a high shooting skill may be able to shoot their way out if necessary, instead of running or finding a car.

Doing this style would go a little something like this:
(Italicized options are grayed out)

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

You approach the dark blue Honda, peering at the messy haired man sat inside it.
“Hey (player_name), what’s up?”

*(Driving: 55/50) “You got the new V8 installed yet?”

*(Hacking 30/50) “The ECU’s going to overheat, Nord.”

*“Just going over the plan again.”

*“Aren’t you worried about all of this?”

*“Ah… I don’t know…”

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

The other option would be something like this, and would be in broader terms to fit all types of character builds.

*How’s the engine going?"

*“Aren’t you worried that’s a little too much… power?”

*“Just going over the plan again.”

*“Aren’t you worried about all of this?”

*“Ah… I don’t know…”

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

So… I have two questions.

One, which system would you prefer?

  • Skill-based Dialogue System
  • All Options Available

0 voters

Two, if the Skill-based dialogue system was added, should it remain as completely optional and additional dialogue, or extend over to action scenes and planning?

  • Only have skills affect/add optional dialogue
  • Have skills impact actual story choices and planning

0 voters

Next, I’m going to be overhauling the stats soon. Instead of 0-100 percentages, I’m going to have “proficiencies”, 0-5. I’ll also probably have a “level-up” kind of system, with assignable skill points at the end of each chapter. This will move the focus away from player choices unknowingly assigning stats, and move them to the player assigning stats, giving the story a more RPG-lite feel.

Example:
0-Incompetent
1-Poor
2-Decent
3-Good
4-Great
5-Amazing

If the Skill-based system is not implemented, this will still make things easier to read in the stats screen, and add some player freedom. “Job” stats will be increased by training at the safehouse, while “General” stats will be increased with aforementioned level ups.

Finally, my good friend Dez is working on the first piece of art for one of the crew members you’ll be able to meet. I hope to release these rather frequently, but there’s no real schedule I have planned here.

Please know, these drawings aren’t final, and are simply concept drawings. I have roughly half the characters already written out, but I still have the player’s backstory to get through before I can introduce the crew to the story.


#34

I would prefer all options open. Also why don’t you make a poll people can vote on? [poll type=regular results=always]

  • Skill based
  • All open
    [/poll]

#35

Thanks! I honestly had no idea there was a poll feature, that makes things a whole lot easier.


#36

After being snowed in with the power out and having caught pneumonia last week, I’m finally back to working on the story. Progress has been made on the Driver role, and I plan on getting the first getaway (prologue) scene done soon. I’ll do this for each role until we get the starting robbery squared away, and then I can focus on implementing the big elements.

My friend Dez has started sketching out some concepts of the first character. More from her will come in the future as well. I’m hoping to release character sketches for all of the crew along the development cycle for this story, styled in the form of mugshots.

I don’t plan on having any more snow-ins or illnesses any time soon, and I’m coming rather close to graduating school, which will give me a grace period between leaving school and getting a job. During this time I’ll work extra hard, and hopefully make significant amounts of progress on the story.


#37

Your plans for the story seem interesting, and I like your writing style so far, although it’s very limited at the moment to be able to comment on it more.

Regarding a possible problem I encountered…I searched the body while in the car but left the gun and bullets in his pocket, yet when I got out of the car, it said I made sure to ditch the gun.


#38

Thanks! I’ve just now fixed it and it’ll be in the next demo version.