Content of the article: "Bangkok pitch meeting"
Boss: "Wow, these levels have been growing bigger and bigger. I can't wait to see what you come up with next!"
Designer: "Actually, I thought we'd go with a tighter design for Bangkok. Put the whole thing in this one big multistory building, starting with staff greeting you as you come in, and then you see the stairs splitting in two farther in front of you."
Boss: "Oh, kind of like Paris."
Designer: "Yeah, like Paris. The building itself is fancy, but the real standout area has been temporarily converted for this entertainment event, so there's striking contrast between all the electronic equipment there and the classical architecture."
Boss: "Like Paris?"
Designer: "Staff are pottering about in an off-limits basement, but then security really ramps up the higher you go. To really go sneaky, maybe you want to climb the green drainpipes."
Boss: "Like Paris."
Designer: "But we have plenty of local Thai flavor!"
Boss: "You composed Thai-sounding music?"
Designer: "No, I figured maybe we could just reuse the music from Paris."
Boss: "We definitely need some local stuff. Let's put a tuk-tuk in there."
Designer: "A tuk-tuk?"
Boss: "You know, those three-wheel vehicles they have all over the place in Asia?"
Designer: "No, we can't. This is going to be a closed-off hotel, accessible only by boat from the river. There's no way for a tuk-tuk to get here."
Boss: "I said I want a tuk-tuk."
Designer: "Uh, okay. Maybe we can make Ken Morgan interested in repairing a tuk-tuk … "
Boss: "Who's he?"
Designer: "He's a lawyer, one of the targets. He starts out right outside the hotel. Then he steps in, to a restaurant, then to the front desk next to it, then heads back out again."
Boss: "Okay. That doesn't sound all that exciting."
Designer: "You can also lure him to the laundry room if you like. Or you can lead him upstairs, dress like a maid, and have him order you around."
Boss: "Oh, leaning into the whole Thai sex tourism thing, I like it. Now who's the other target?"
Designer: "He's rocker Jordan Cross. He's this vegan—"
Boss: "Got it."
Designer: "We've actually got an interesting story here. He was dating—"
Boss: "No need, you had me at 'vegan.' Let's kill him. How can we do it?"
Designer: "He's recording an album in the hotel. So one thing you can do is show up as a crew member and install this new deadly microphone and crank the voltage up to a deadly level."
Boss: "Do you think this'll ever get old? Disguising yourself and then tinkering with some device that has a clear fatal flaw so it blows up in the target's face?"
Designer: "Someday, maybe. But not yet."
Boss: "Any other music-themed kills?"
Designer: "If you impress him with your drumming, you can get Jordan alone on the roof. Then you can push him to just the right spot, and he'll fall through a weak pane of glass smack onto Ken Morgan. You kill both targets at once!"
Boss: "A repeat of the Paris fireworks kill? No, we can't, c'mon. You'll have to think of some other way to kill them both together."
Designer: "Okay, guess we'll scrap the glass pane assassination then."
Boss: "No, you can still do it. Just make sure it won't kill Ken too."
Designer: "Even when Ken's walking right under it?"
Boss: "Even then."
Designer: "But if we're not also killing Ken, there's no real point in pushing Jordan in this special place. Why, if you have him alone on the roof, you could just as well punch him out then chuck the body off the rear side, and people would mistake this for just as much of an accident."
Boss: "But will him falling through the glass look cool?"
Designer: "It will look cool."
Boss: "Keep it."
Designer: "We've also got this elaborate mission story where you can evacuate the recording studio and have everyone move to the lobby. We're talking dozens of people. Huge move."
Boss: "Wow, that's going to be impressive. I'm surprised you have resources to design anything else after pulling something like that."
Designer: "Yeah, that's the thing. We kind of don't."
Boss: "What are you talking about? You must have designed more. This is a luxury hotel, and you've barely started telling me about everything in it."
Designer: "There's not much to tell. The two halves of the hotel are mirror images of each other, which means I had to fill both with empty rooms."
Boss: "Like Paris?"
Designer: "Not even. Here, it's the same guest room, copied over and over."
Boss: "But with different guests in each, so each has its own secrets and stories to tell!"
Designer: "Nope. All empty, mostly."
Boss: "What about that recording studio? That can't be mirrored on the other side of the hotel."
Designer: "That's a special suite. We do mirror it, but without the recording studio in it. And up one more floor are more rooms, filled with crew and people on break, so mirroring that, we have the same rooms, but they're completely empty."
Boss: "Besides guest rooms, what is there? We did a hotel back in Codename 47 twenty years ago, and we included a pool and a sauna."
Designer: "We were thinking of doing a kind of health resort later in the season though, so we'd better save the pool and sauna for then."
Boss: "Fine, but the Codename 47 hotel also had a florist's, and a dentist's office … "
Designer: "A … a dentist's office?"
Boss: "It seemed like it made sense at the time. Anyway, you don't have to feature those exact stores, but there's got to be something. A gym maybe? A business center?"
Designer: "There's a bar."
Boss: "Nice. Tell me about it."
Designer: "If you sit down for a while, we have this woman saddle up to you and offer you her room key. Her name is Jackie Carrington, and she's this horny washed-up actress."
Boss: "I like it. Let's make her pudgy and middle-aged and give her a drunken stupor, like that woman who hits on you in the Blood Money hotel."
Designer: "Then we'll have to pay the team to design a custom character model."
Boss: "Let's make her a generic NPC, the same model you've already used on the map repeatedly."
Designer: "There's also a bar."
Boss: "Uh, yeah, the bar. We were just talking about it."
Designer: "No, a different bar. Next door to the first one, in the Red Meadow lounge. Special private place, walls of wine bottles, real fancy."
Boss: "Okay. What else is there in this hotel?"
Designer: "There's also a bar."
Boss: "Another one?"
Designer: "This one's outside. We'll give you the option to start as a bartender, and 47 will begin the mission in disguise stationed here."
Boss: "Okay, what else have you got?"
Designer: "There's a bar."
Designer: "By the main steps that take you up into the two halves of the hotel. This bar also has a nice back door to the hotel rear."
Boss: "Tell me that's it."
Designer: "There's also a bar.
Designer: "This one's by the restaurant. Be careful, the guy here is sometimes an enforcer."
Boss: "That's it. No more bars."
Designer: "There is a sort of bar on a cart though in the Red Admiral Lounge."
Designer: "And a bar in a globe in the Beauty Camberwell Lounge."
Designer: "The Emperor and Queen suites each have their own kitchens with floor-to-ceiling racks of bottles."
Designer: "We've also laid out an alcohol buffet bar in the recording studio."
Boss: "I said stop."
Designer: "And a little bar set up for Jordan's birthday party."
Boss: "Jordan's whatnow?"
Designer: "Plus loads of beer in the band's room, where they've been partying."
Boss: "This is excessive."
Designer: "And really, every room should have a minibar, shouldn't it?"
Boss: "We paid for you to spend a whole week in Bangkok scouting the location. What did you do there exactly?"
Designer: "Well … "
(And in case you missed them, here are a couple more pitch meetings: Sapienza, Santa Fortuna, Paris, Whittleton Creek)
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