Heat Signature is a game from the developers of Gunpoint where you break into spaceships, make terrible mistakes, and think of clever ways out of them. You take a mission, fly to the target ship, sneak inside, and make clever use of your gadgets to distract, ambush and take out the crew.
Recent Reviews:
Very Positive (30) - 96% of the 30 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
All Reviews:
Very Positive (2,711) - 93% of the 2,711 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date:
Sep 21, 2017

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September 24

The Space Birthday Update: Player Story Trading Cards



This post is about a feature of the free Space Birthday Update, coming September 27th and in public beta now. See this post for the details.

One Space Year ago, we said we'd do something different with our trading cards. We didn't want them to be about the game's story, we wanted them to be about player stories. But we needed you to play a bit first, and show us what you got up to. And then it also took a really long time to make them.

But now, on its first Space Birthday, we celebrate eight players and their moments of brilliance, stupidity and panic. They supplied us with clips of their antics, linked below, I wrote up their story as part of the game's lore, and John Roberts recreated their characters and situations to produce these lovely glamour shots of their moments of glory and/or shame.

The cards themselves will go live when the update launches on the 27th.

Thank you so much to all our players, for playing our strange game in smarter, wilder and funnier ways than we ever predicted.



August 'Glitch Thief' Dust
Player: Dan Gaffney
Original video

August's objective was in a locked room. He looked at his options.

A Sidewinder teleporter can't get you through doors: it can only take you to places you have a clear path to.

And a Swapper teleporter can't get you into an empty room: it needs someone to swap with.

A guard with a keycard can certainly get you into a locked room, but you can't lure them in unless you're already there.

But August had an idea. The guard didn't need to ever set foot in the room for this to work. He stood in front of the locked door, close enough for it to deny his credentials, then swapped with the guard.

This solved one problem and created two more. The guard found themselves involuntarily right next to the door they had clearance to open, spinning around in confusion, and it opened for them. But now August was in a room full of the guard's friends, and the door would close again any second.

But now there WAS a clear path. And with a Sidewinder, that's all you need. One click took him out of the death room before the guards could react, behind the baffled keycard guard, and into the security room with his objective.




Cascara 'Human Shield' Rotanev
Player: Jediotty
Original video

Cascara's mission was to capture Cleone Forrest, alive. She was close. She'd taken out the captain, found her target, took aim, and fired. WAIT! NO!

To say Cascara was a quick-thinker would perhaps be too generous. She had, after all, just shot at the person she was sent to take in alive. But she was a selective quick-thinker. In the limitless time she had to prepare and execute a plan for this mission, she didn't think to remind herself of her objective. In the time between her bullet leaving the muzzle of her gun and it striking the person she was supposed to be taking alive, though, she did.

It wasn't too late. It was extremely, ridiculously, comically late, but it wasn't TOO late. She had one option, and it wasn't good. But the mission comes first. The mission she didn't entirely read or remember comes first. So with a wince, she equipped her Sidewinder and teleported in front of the bullet.

There's a long, noble history of brave agents diving in front of bullets to save presidents, witnesses, loved ones, or their comrades in arms. For diving in front of her own bullet, to save the person she forgot she wasn't meant to kill, Cascara didn't think she'd be added to that list. But, she reflected as her target carried her bleeding body to the airlock, she'd probably be added to some kind of list.




Caeli 'Jailbreak' Havill
Player: @cinderBlock6
Original video

Caeli's sister was always in trouble. But getting herself locked in a cell in the middle of massive and heavily guarded Foundry ship, this was next level. Getting to her was going to be a nightmare. Unless...

Caeli flew a Coldfire. It was almost undetectable. And she knew roughly where in the ship her sister was being kept. And she had a Swapper. This could work. It took a bit of bumping around and judging the angle, but eventually she was confident enough to eject herself right under the ship. As she passed her sister's cell, she aimed blind and hit the Swapper.

Bwap! She was in prison. And her sister was suffocating in space. This was an excellent plan.

She remote-controlled her Coldfire to catch her sister with 4 seconds of oxygen to spare. She was out of trouble. And Caeli was back in it - locked in a cell in the middle of massive and heavily guarded Foundry ship.

But Caeli was always in trouble too. She was just better at getting out of it.




Genie 'Hands Off' Whiteblood
Player: @Poulatorus
Original video

Some people are legends for what they did. Genie is famous for doing nothing at all. All he did, all he had to do, was walk into a room. And set into motion a chain of events that killed five people without him lifting a finger.

He was seen, immediately, by a guard who promptly fired at him. At the sound of the gunshot, the guard's friends in the adjoining room immediately glitch-dashed to the danger. They glitch-dashed so fast the bullet hadn't even hit yet. They glitch-dashed in front of the bullet.

This was fine. The guard in the line of fire had a shield. The bullet hit the shield, and bounced back, toward - not the firer, no, this was worse. The window. The glass shattered and all four guards were instantly spaced, leaving Genie staring, stunned, at an empty room.




Antares 'Catch' Kuiper
Player: Zetty
Original video

Kuiper had him: the man who tortured his son, slung over his shoulder. It was almost done. All he had to do now was carry him past the hail of gunfire from ten angry guards - doable - and past this shielded guard directly in his path - less doable. But Kuiper saw it coming, and Kuiper had a plan. He threw the unconscious body directly at the guard.

This, alone, achieved nothing - shields can withstand grenades, limp humans are not a concern. But the body would never hit the shield. Because next, Kuiper used his Swapper. Not on the body, but on the guard. Kuiper switched places with him just in time to catch the body coming his way, and ran on while the baffled guard watched a hail of gunfire bounce harmlessly off his shield.




Ferris ‘Swapshot’ Harris
Player: Ferris Harris
Original video

As a ship’s security guard, especially as an armoured elite, you have to be ready for anything. This one saw Harris coming. He saw an Offworld Angel coming at his ship’s broken window full burn, and even though he knew it couldn’t dock, he was ready for whatever other nonsense they were about to try.

At the moment of impact, Harris hit eject. He threw himself from his pod, through the pressure-retention field, and skidded to a halt directly in front of the guard. The guard didn’t flinch. He fired. And Harris swapped with him.

The guard was not ready for this. He suddenly found himself staring at the blue glow of the forcefield Harris just came through. He couldn’t process the situation fast enough to realise what would happen next: his own bullet hit him in the back of the head. His heavy armour saved him from the lethal impact, but the force was just enough to nudge him one step forwards – into the pressure field.

What we don’t know is if, in the 15 seconds between being flung into the icy void and asphyxiating, he had time to figure out what the hell just happened.




Lyra 'Vanishing Corpse' Chalamala
Player: Ian Frank
Original video

It takes guts to teleport into a room and throw a shortblade at the only person rigged with explosives. But guts, Lyra had. She also had a Visitor, which was how she got in. Her knife hit home, the guard exploded, and the explosion took out every other guard in the room - and Lyra. It was a bold opening move.

Now Lyra is lying in a room full of dead guards, bleeding out, with every other guard on the ship running to the source of the noise, fast. But even unconscious, Lyra has some moves. She came here with a Visitor, and if there's one universal cosmic truth, it's that a Visitor always pulls you back. It doesn't care if you're conscious. So Lyra's bleeding body vanishes out of the room, just as a crowd of guards burst in to figure out what the hell happened here.




Polaris 'Butterfingers' Cherry
Player: @MOOMANiBE
Original video

It takes talent, guts, and first rate equipment to break into a Siege ship, get to its cockpit, and set it on a collision course with an enemy stronghold before the guards take you out.

Cherry did it.

Getting out alive is even harder. You have a very short window to escape before the super fast, super powerful ship crashes into the super tough, super well defended stronghold and kills everyone on board.

Cherry did it.

The only easy part of taking out a stronghold is not breaking the siege ship. It would be hard to do that if you were trying. You can even blow up any single module on the ship, as long as it's not the cockpit, and it would still make it to the stronghold just fine. And to blow up the cockpit alone is wildly unlikely, you'd have to-

Cherry did it.

They... it's not clear if 'dropped' is the right word, but mistakes were made and an armed breach grenade remained in the cockpit after they vacated it. They did the one thing you must not do to the one module you must not do it to, and the whole ship was disabled. Cherry dangled in space as they watched it sail by the stronghold without making a scratch.

Cherry became a legend. Of sorts.

This post is about a feature of the free Space Birthday Update, coming September 27th and in public beta now. See this post for the details.
3 comments Read more

September 23

The Space Birthday Update: Upgraded AI & Reworked Alarms



This post is about some features of the free Space Birthday Update, coming September 27th and in public beta now. See this post for the details.

Upgraded AI

First up, our programmer John Winder has upgraded the guard AI with some new tricks:

Errand buddies: if there are enough guards in a cluster, they'll take a buddy when they go off on errands. If the errand guard needs to check on a terminal, the other one watches their back while they do it.

New patrol patterns: as well as visiting terminals, guards will sometimes now check on key rooms in their sector, including any locked up loot.

Ship search: reinforcements that teleport in have a new search behaviour that lets them scour the ship for you.

Back to work: guards who left their post to investigate your antics will now eventually return to their original posts, but stay on high alert.

Lifelink: a new variable on some harder missions gives the guards in a sector an electronic link to each other - if any of them goes down, the others will sound the alarm and run to investigate. This prevents you thinning out a cluster by waiting for guards to wander off and taking them one by one (or two by two). Crashing a guard takes them off this network, subverting them crashes the whole network.



New UI

Usually when I die in Heat Sig I'm saying "oh god!" or laughing, but every now and then it felt unfair. I eventually traced these frustrating cases to a quirk of the UI. Guards show an alert bar that fills as they start to recognise you, and as soon as it's full they'll shoot. But if they're currently in the process of sounding the alarm, that indicator replaces the alert bar, so you're left with no sense of when they're going to fire. Dying to that sucks.

So we've redone the UI so we can show both the guard's alert level and their alarm indicator at the same time, when we need to.

We've also changed the alarm indicators themselves so guards now specify why they're sounding the alarm: a body? A gunshot? Or did they actually see you? If the alarm ever goes off unexpectedly, pause the game and zoom out - you should always be able to see who's sounding it and why they're spooked.



Quiet Guns

Alarms were also causing another subtle design problem I didn't put my finger on until after release. They often made the game feel... fragile. Guards take 0.5 seconds to recognise you as an intruder, and 1 more second after that to sound the alarm. It was meant to be tricky to take a group of guards out before any of them could fire, but easier to take them all out before they sounded the alarm.

In practice, though, it didn't work that way: if anyone fired at you, even if you dodged it easily, someone in another sector would always hear the shot and sound the alarm before you could possibly get to them. You effectively had 0.5 seconds to take out everyone.

We've done two things to solve this:
  • Guard's guns are now 'Quiet'
  • 'Quiet' now means 'Can't be heard through walls'
You can still bring Loud weapons on a mission if you like them, but the ones the guards fire will never be heard through walls or closed doors. This means if you can take out a group of guards before any of them can sound the alarm, no matter how many shots were fired, no-one else will know anything is amiss.

I really like dodging my way through a slow motion gunfight, taking everyone out elegantly, then having that lovely stealth-game feeling that the situation has been contained.

This post is about some features of the free Space Birthday Update, coming September 27th and in public beta now. See this post for the details.
17 comments Read more

Supporter's Edition

The Supporter's Edition of Heat Signature comes with a bunch of fun extras:

  • Play through Heat Signature's development with 8 early prototypes from its 3.5 year development.
  • Watch 9 developer commentary videos showing and explaining its evolution: from drilling through hulls to liberating empires. (Total: 70 minutes)
  • Own the full soundtrack in 320kbps MP3 format. (19 tracks, 83 minutes)

About This Game

Break into spaceships!

Fly your pod up to any spaceship in the galaxy and dock with its airlock to sneak inside. From there, you've got to sneak up on the crew, outshoot them in slowmo gunfights, or outthink them with clever gadgets. Take missions to steal loot, assassinate VIPs, or rescue friends.


Take your time!

Get out of impossible situations by pausing at any time and taking as long as you need to figure out a clever plan. You have a wide range of gadgets with clever uses, and you can switch, aim and fire them with no time pressure at all, letting you pull off ridiculously cool tricks without needing twitch skills.


Liberate the galaxy!

All your missions get you closer to liberating new space stations from the empires that control them, and this unlocks new gadgets to buy in your shops, and special challenge characters to play.

Lots more features!
I'm not making GIFs for all these!
I'm not made of GIFs!
I'm not some kind of GIF-golem!

Emergent gameplay!

Use gadgets like teleporters, stealth shields and subverters to invent your own solutions to tricky situations.

Galactic zoom!

Zoom smoothly from a view of the whole galaxy down to your character sneaking up on guards inside the spaceship you're boarding.

Choose your difficulty!

You choose each mission, ranging from trivially easy to nightmarishly hard. There's also a practice mode where you can try items and tactics with no consequences and instant-restart.


Randomly generated missions!

Each one picks a random combination of guard kit, ship layout, and complications like space battles.

Each life is a new character!

Choose between randomly generated characters with different starting kit, and when you die, play as someone new in the same galaxy.

Personal missions!

Every character has one grand heist to work towards: rescue their brother, steal their gun back, get revenge on their partner's killer.


Modular destruction!

Blow up any part of a ship with breach grenades or fuel barrels. Rip a ship in half. Get sucked into space by the vacuum.

Rescue your friends' characters!

If someone on your friends list gets their character captured, and they aren't able to rescue them, maybe you can! You'll sometimes get a character whose personal goal is to rescue a friend's character. If you manage it, you unlock your friend's character to play as! They don't get it back. They had their chance. It's yours now.

Find your friends' items!

When you retire an accomplished character, you can choose one item to pass on. You get to name it, and both your Steam friends and your own future characters have a chance to find these as loot. Equally, you'll come across items your friends have named.


What Heat Signature is not:

We don't want you to buy Heat Signature if it's not for you. We'd always rather have a happy non-customer than an unhappy customer. So here's what it isn't:

-

  • It's not story-driven: there's a backstory to this place and a few conversations with characters, but there's not a story that develops as you play. It's much more about the stories you generate by playing, about how you got out of impossible situation X or pulled off crazy stunt Y.

  • There aren't other careers: You can't mine asteroids. You can't build ships. You can't recruit a crew. You're an infiltrator, you break into spaceships for a living, it's all about that.

  • There are no planets: The whole game takes place in this nebula full of space stations. You can dock at any friendly station and board any hostile ship, but it's not a space exploration game.

  • It's not multiplayer: The friends features mentioned above are fun but they're just sharing content, it's not multiplayer at all and you're never in the same world together.

There are cool games about all those things. This is a cool game about something else!

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows 7
    • Processor: 1.7GHz dual-core CPU
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel HD 5000 or better (GeForce and Radeon tend to be better)
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Storage: 400 MB available space

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