On November 7, we released our Game of the Year Edition of HITMAN and thought it would be fitting that the Contract Curator for November would be the creator who has had the most Featured Contracts since the launch of the game. Until this point, we’ve not been keeping track of exactly who was at the top of that leaderboard.
It was a close run thing, decided by just one contract, but we do have someone standing at the top of the pile; the next Contract Curator is Quinez. There’s a good chance that you’ve played one of his Featured Contracts already. Here’s the list: Too Many Claudios, Blindness and Sight, Cappin’ Cap’ns, Aquacadabra, Explosive Secrets, Foretold, Sniper Mario, Stay Outside the Fence, Plywood and Paste, and A Crossed Swords Puzzle.
Now, we’re ready to find out more about him and the Contracts that he’s chosen to be featured – they went live in the game on November 30!
Hi! I’m very pleased to be here.
Can you give us some intel on who you are?
I work in academia, and my research is on emotional disorders and psychosis. I’ve always been obsessed with puzzles and game mechanics. Hitman is a perfect sandbox for creating puzzles inside a really fun game, so I quickly took to contract creation.
Where can people find/watch/follow you online?
Ok, let’s really get to you know; fibre wire or silverballer?
Silverballer for sure. Fibre wire is classic, but it’s one-note. The Silverballer lets you do cool tricks, like shooting down chandeliers, distracting bystanders with bullet holes, or making tricky shots through windows that usually go unnoticed. It’s the weapon of choice for the puzzle-minded.
How did you go about choosing the 10 contracts?
I chose a mix of old contracts that have always stuck with me along with new contracts that use the new complications. Overall, I wanted to showcase Contracts that I think manifest excellent design decisions. Let me pick out a couple of the older contracts I chose and talk about why I think they’re noteworthy:
Elite Sniper: Church Tower is one of my favorite sniper contracts. To make a good sniper contract, you need to find targets who can be sniped without the bodies being discovered, and you need to encourage the player to do long-range shots. This contract from BernardoOne asks you to make some truly diabolical shots from Sapienza’s church tower. The GOTY patch made some changes to sniping that makes this contract a lot easier than it used to be, but the contract is still very satisfying.
The Retroviral Revengeance is simple and clean: kill Silvio and Francesca while dressed in the hazmat suit. It’s a perfect example of a “roulette style” contract that just adds extra objectives to a story mission. These kinds of contracts can be really strong, but the problem is in getting the objectives just right. If they’re too restrictive then the mission becomes linear and boring, but if they’re not restrictive enough then they just add a little busywork without really affecting the gameplay. This is one that I think really works. It changes how the level plays while still requiring thought and creativity. Nakar, the creator, even suggests a couple of optional bonus objectives:
BONUS: Poison both targets. This includes regular poison, the Prototype Virus Sample, and the hazardous gas in the containment room.
SUPER BONUS: Never have line of sight to either target.
You mentioned the new Contract Complications that were recently added to Contracts Mode. As you’re the first curator to use them, how much did that affect your choices for Featured Contracts?
I’m really excited about the new complications. Contract creators have wanted them for a long time, and now we have them! Creators are still getting their feet wet, exploring what the complications make possible, but there are already some gems out there that I’ve chosen to feature. Urben’s ‘Alley Bully’ makes you hide bodies where there aren’t any obvious places to hide them. Coastercraft’s ‘Easy at First Glance’ asks you to sneak all throughout the hospital while dressed as a ninja. BlazingSky’s ‘Surgical Precision’ makes you clear out a crowded surgery room without using any legshots. Beware security cameras!
Looking back at your own Featured Contracts, which one do you think is the best?
This is a tough call. It’s not the best contract – lots of players hated it – but the most fun I had was when Blindness and Sight was selected. Pros and speedrunners tore their hair out trying to figure out how to complete it with a Silent Assassin rating, with many saying it was impossible. Eventually, a 30 minute run was found, and the time was then gradually whittled to 5 minutes. Players now understand the game too well for something like this to ever happen again, I think.
Foretold might be the best. It’s simple in concept: in Marrakesh at night, snipe the fortune teller in your suit. It’s evocative, and I think the briefing is especially strong. The runs that emerged were fascinating. The solution I intended is shown here by Euler13: it requires making a blind shot through curtains after breaking the smoke machine with a breaching charge so that the fortune-teller can’t turn it off. (That’s something even the level designer didn’t realize was possible!) But the contract inspired plenty of other mystifying and hilarious runs.
I like that Stay Outside the Fence asks you to do something original and turns the game into a shooting gallery. And I think Sniper Mario is a strong sniper contract.
We’ve also recently re-activated Elusive Targets, is there one particular moment from an ET that stands out for you?
Probably The Bookkeeper, one of my two failures. At that point I had already unlocked all the suits, so I decided to have some fun. I tried to catch the target in the blast from Sean Rose’s watch bomb. But I mistimed it, and chaos ensued.
Elusive targets cause my hands to sweat and shake like nothing else. They’re brilliant.
Now is your chance to share or say one last thing before you go. Have at it!
Another bit of fan creation I like to do is write up design documents for imaginary Hitman levels. I’ve written fantasy missions set at a Swiss pharma company, a North Korean internment compound, a Hong Kong shopping mall and an Icelandic whaling village.
I’ve also written up a bonus mission set in Bangkok and a very speculative outline for what Season 2 could look like. Please check them out!
Thanks to you!