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The Future of FPS Games

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Anonymous
April 7, 2005 4:10:29 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

As we saw with Half Life 2 , Developers are realizing that they must
come up with different ideas so the player can interact more with the
envirement. The Gravity Gun and the real life physics is what makes
that game stand out. Having nice graphics like in Far Cry is nice but
the rest is just shooting like any other Game.
The future of gaming will be interesting as Computers get faster and
graphics cards more powerful.

More about : future fps games

Anonymous
April 7, 2005 5:50:07 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

SamuelF566@AOL.COM wrote:
> As we saw with Half Life 2 , Developers are realizing that they must
> come up with different ideas so the player can interact more with the
> envirement. The Gravity Gun and the real life physics is what makes
> that game stand out. Having nice graphics like in Far Cry is nice but
> the rest is just shooting like any other Game.
> The future of gaming will be interesting as Computers get faster and
> graphics cards more powerful.

Absolutely. Physics has been present for a while, in the form of highly
controlled and simulated physics effects like pulling the bottom block
of a stack out so that the others all fall down. Not true physics,
because every movement is controlled and pre-programmed, but the
impression of physics is there.

The Source engine (and maybe others?) now gives the ability for in-game
"random" physics and that opens up a whole range of possibilities for
games designers. The environment is no longer about cover and hiding
surprises; it is a weapon and a tool in it's own right. It opens up a
whole load of "open-ended" gaming possibilities.

Imagine if Deus Ex, IGI or Far Cry featured the ability to move stuff
around like you can in HL2? IGI, DX and FC are pretty open in the game
design - you can approach your goal in a number of different ways and
change tactics at the drop of a hat. Throw in the ability to interact
more fully with the environment and you have even greater freedom. A
wall is no longer an impassable barrier - you just need to find
something to stack up so you can climb over it.

Personally, I think we will see more of the this kind of game, where
you can have much more freedom to do what you want and the physics can
work out the results on the fly. Games will become much more of a
personal experience that can be replayed in different ways.

But I bet we see a lot of duds for every gem, because this is asking a
lot of the designers.
Anonymous
April 7, 2005 10:03:20 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

On Thu, 7 Apr 2005, Chadwick wrote:

> The Source engine (and maybe others?) now gives the ability for in-game
> "random" physics and that opens up a whole range of possibilities for

The Source engine has nothing to do with this. HL2 uses the Havoc engine
which can be added to 3d engines like the Karma engine for Unreal games.

> Imagine if Deus Ex, IGI or Far Cry featured the ability to move stuff
> around like you can in HL2? IGI, DX and FC are pretty open in the game

Far Cry already has a great physics engine, it just didn't celebrate it
like HL2. Without the HL2 gravity gun, not much would have been left...

> wall is no longer an impassable barrier - you just need to find
> something to stack up so you can climb over it.

They already did this in Trespasser a long time ago and it shouldn't be
overdone. After all, how often do we do something like it in real life?

--
Werner Spahl (spahl@cup.uni-muenchen.de) Freedom for
"The meaning of my life is to make me crazy" Vorlonships
Related resources
Anonymous
April 8, 2005 2:36:23 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

SamuelF566@AOL.COM wrote:
>As we saw with Half Life 2 , Developers are realizing that they must
>come up with different ideas so the player can interact more with the
>envirement. The Gravity Gun and the real life physics is what makes
>that game stand out. Having nice graphics like in Far Cry is nice but
>the rest is just shooting like any other Game.
> The future of gaming will be interesting as Computers get faster and
>graphics cards more powerful.

WOW YOU'RE A GENISU.
April 8, 2005 2:36:24 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

"Bateau" wrote
> SamuelF566@AOL.COM wrote:

>>As we saw with Half Life 2 , Developers are realizing that they must
>>come up with different ideas so the player can interact more with the
>>envirement. The Gravity Gun and the real life physics is what makes
>>that game stand out. Having nice graphics like in Far Cry is nice but
>>the rest is just shooting like any other Game.
>> The future of gaming will be interesting as Computers get faster and
>>graphics cards more powerful.

> WOW YOU'RE A GENISU.

It obviously takes one to know one.
Anonymous
April 8, 2005 3:43:24 AM
Anonymous
April 8, 2005 3:48:07 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

"Chadwick" <chadwick110@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
>SamuelF566@AOL.COM wrote:
>> As we saw with Half Life 2 , Developers are realizing that they must
>> come up with different ideas so the player can interact more with the
>> envirement. The Gravity Gun and the real life physics is what makes
>> that game stand out. Having nice graphics like in Far Cry is nice but
>> the rest is just shooting like any other Game.
>> The future of gaming will be interesting as Computers get faster and
>> graphics cards more powerful.
>
>Absolutely. Physics has been present for a while, in the form of highly
>controlled and simulated physics effects like pulling the bottom block
>of a stack out so that the others all fall down. Not true physics,
>because every movement is controlled and pre-programmed, but the
>impression of physics is there.
>
>The Source engine (and maybe others?) now gives the ability for in-game
>"random" physics and that opens up a whole range of possibilities for
>games designers. The environment is no longer about cover and hiding
>surprises; it is a weapon and a tool in it's own right. It opens up a
>whole load of "open-ended" gaming possibilities.
>
>Imagine if Deus Ex, IGI or Far Cry featured the ability to move stuff
>around like you can in HL2? IGI, DX and FC are pretty open in the game
>design - you can approach your goal in a number of different ways and
>change tactics at the drop of a hat. Throw in the ability to interact
>more fully with the environment and you have even greater freedom. A
>wall is no longer an impassable barrier - you just need to find
>something to stack up so you can climb over it.

Yeah imagine if Deus Ex had crates you could push around and stack up to
get over obstacles! It could have a special augmentation that let you
move heavier crates!

>Personally, I think we will see more of the this kind of game, where
>you can have much more freedom to do what you want and the physics can
>work out the results on the fly. Games will become much more of a
>personal experience that can be replayed in different ways.
>
>But I bet we see a lot of duds for every gem, because this is asking a
>lot of the designers.
Anonymous
April 8, 2005 6:27:27 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

HalfLife 2 is a pile of POO POO. Whats so good abour a game thats the
same as any other FPS ?
Anonymous
April 8, 2005 10:10:57 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

Chadwick wrote:
> SamuelF566@AOL.COM wrote:
> > As we saw with Half Life 2 , Developers are realizing that they
must
> > come up with different ideas so the player can interact more with
the
> > envirement. The Gravity Gun and the real life physics is what makes
> > that game stand out. Having nice graphics like in Far Cry is nice
but
> > the rest is just shooting like any other Game.
> > The future of gaming will be interesting as Computers get faster
and
> > graphics cards more powerful.
>
> Absolutely. Physics has been present for a while, in the form of
highly
> controlled and simulated physics effects like pulling the bottom
block
> of a stack out so that the others all fall down. Not true physics,
> because every movement is controlled and pre-programmed, but the
> impression of physics is there.
>
> The Source engine (and maybe others?) now gives the ability for
in-game
> "random" physics and that opens up a whole range of possibilities for
> games designers. The environment is no longer about cover and hiding
> surprises; it is a weapon and a tool in it's own right. It opens up a
> whole load of "open-ended" gaming possibilities.
>
> Imagine if Deus Ex, IGI or Far Cry featured the ability to move stuff
> around like you can in HL2? IGI, DX and FC are pretty open in the
game
> design - you can approach your goal in a number of different ways and
> change tactics at the drop of a hat. Throw in the ability to interact
> more fully with the environment and you have even greater freedom. A
> wall is no longer an impassable barrier - you just need to find
> something to stack up so you can climb over it.
>
> Personally, I think we will see more of the this kind of game, where
> you can have much more freedom to do what you want and the physics
can
> work out the results on the fly. Games will become much more of a
> personal experience that can be replayed in different ways.
>
> But I bet we see a lot of duds for every gem, because this is asking
a
> lot of the designers.

When I played Far Cry I was amazed at the Graphics.. Almost made you
feel like you were on an island. As I got further into the game I
realized Far cry not only had great graphics, but had the best
qualities of other games such as vehicles like in Halo, Great creatures
and scary indoor levels like Doom 3 but you can now see stuff. The only
negative about far cry is even on the easy level , I can't see someone
finishing some levels because there are so many enemies. You really
have to plan your attacks carefully in this game. I put the game in God
Mode half way through to just see the entire game.
Anonymous
April 10, 2005 3:47:25 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

On 7 Apr 2005 23:43:24 -0700, step_y@yahoo.com wrote:

>wonder if there is any massiveo nline fps games.

Planetside.
Anonymous
April 11, 2005 6:55:06 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

Werner Spahl wrote:
> On Thu, 7 Apr 2005, Chadwick wrote:
>
> > The Source engine (and maybe others?) now gives the ability for
in-game
> > "random" physics and that opens up a whole range of possibilities
for
>
> The Source engine has nothing to do with this. HL2 uses the Havoc
engine
> which can be added to 3d engines like the Karma engine for Unreal
games.

Sorry, my bad! But you know what I mean.


>
> > Imagine if Deus Ex, IGI or Far Cry featured the ability to move
stuff
> > around like you can in HL2? IGI, DX and FC are pretty open in the
game
>
> Far Cry already has a great physics engine, it just didn't celebrate
it
> like HL2. Without the HL2 gravity gun, not much would have been
left...

Yeah, Far Cry uses Havok, but it doesn't make much use of it in the
actual game. The boats rock on the sea and the trucks roll downhill,
but that's pretty much it. HL2 allows you to do stuff with the
environment. You can build things and use the wreckage lying around you
as a weapon, as defence, to make a new path etc. OK, Valve got a little
obsessed by the see-saw, but at least they did build that kind of
environmental interaction ionto the game. This gives a lot of
possibilities for non-combat action (Garry's Mod makes theb point
rather more graphically) and I look forward to seeing more of this
stuff in games.

> > wall is no longer an impassable barrier - you just need to find
> > something to stack up so you can climb over it.
>
> They already did this in Trespasser a long time ago and it shouldn't
be
> overdone. After all, how often do we do something like it in real
life?
In real-life, I'm not generally fighting off aliens, sneaking into a
missile base or chasing terrorists, so it's difficult to answer. But if
I were I'd probably appreciate the option to take a more 'alternative'
route to avoid or escape detection.
Anonymous
April 11, 2005 12:06:52 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

knight37 wrote:
> Michael Cecil <macecil@comcast.net> wrote in
> news:eplk511180khmhpd9sol4om75kml41ronp@4ax.com:
>
> > On Mon, 11 Apr 2005 12:46:30 +0200, Werner Spahl
> > <spahl@cup.uni-muenchen.de> wrote:
> >
> >>On Mon, 11 Apr 2005, Chadwick wrote:
> >>
> >>> But if I were I'd probably appreciate the option to take a more
> >>> 'alternative' route to avoid or escape detection.
> >>
> >>My problem with HL2 is that they never gave you an alternative
route,
> >>even using the gravity gun. HL2 was always completely linear with
> >>riddles you had to solve with the gun to continue or the option to
use
> >>it as a weapon, and that only worked well if the level provided
> >>suitable ammunition...
> >
> > It would have been much more fun if they had just presented you
with a
> > large city to explore while fighting the alien menace where you had
> > many routes and options to accomplish the various tasks needed to
> > proceed.
> >
>
> Nah. I like having the developers build out a puzzle and me solving
it,
> and I like it to be relatively linear, so I know I'm making progress.
And
> that makes the story better, since the story writers know what you're

> going to do in what order so they can make the story flow better.

I';m with Werner and Michael (to an extent) on this one. My perfect
game would have the freedom of Far Cry, Deus Ex or IGI, with the
"interactive environment" of HL2. If you're having trouble going one
way you can change tactics and try a different approach. Equally, the
enemy AI will be free tor eact as appropriate and they will move around
in response to your presence (eg in Far Cry you can often lure soldiers
- or they will chase you - some way from starting positions).
The downside of this is that you may lose the scripted sequences and
set pieces that make HL(2) so good. The map designers cannot predict
how you will approach a location or that key NPCs will still be in the
area.
It would require careful level design to create bottlenecks where the
player and NPCs are forced to be present all together for a set piece.
There is a danger that it could look too contrived.
But if it could be done well....
Anonymous
April 11, 2005 4:46:30 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

On Mon, 11 Apr 2005, Chadwick wrote:

> But if I were I'd probably appreciate the option to take a more
> 'alternative' route to avoid or escape detection.

My problem with HL2 is that they never gave you an alternative route, even
using the gravity gun. HL2 was always completely linear with riddles you
had to solve with the gun to continue or the option to use it as a weapon,
and that only worked well if the level provided suitable ammunition...

--
Werner Spahl (spahl@cup.uni-muenchen.de) Freedom for
"The meaning of my life is to make me crazy" Vorlonships
Anonymous
April 11, 2005 4:46:31 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

On Mon, 11 Apr 2005 12:46:30 +0200, Werner Spahl
<spahl@cup.uni-muenchen.de> wrote:

>On Mon, 11 Apr 2005, Chadwick wrote:
>
>> But if I were I'd probably appreciate the option to take a more
>> 'alternative' route to avoid or escape detection.
>
>My problem with HL2 is that they never gave you an alternative route, even
>using the gravity gun. HL2 was always completely linear with riddles you
>had to solve with the gun to continue or the option to use it as a weapon,
>and that only worked well if the level provided suitable ammunition...

It would have been much more fun if they had just presented you with a
large city to explore while fighting the alien menace where you had many
routes and options to accomplish the various tasks needed to proceed.

--
Michael Cecil
http://home.comcast.net/~macecil/
http://home.comcast.net/~safehex/
Anonymous
April 11, 2005 4:46:31 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

Werner is dead right on this one. The reason the buggy and airboat are
basically indestructible is because the linear gameplay and fixed plot
demand they never be destroyed. Ditto for Barney and Alyx on certain levels,
they're basically indestructible as well. The original Half Life didn't seem
as linear although it probably was.

--
Remove nospam to email
"Werner Spahl" <spahl@cup.uni-muenchen.de> wrote in message
news:p ine.LNX.4.58.0504111242230.25727@cicum1.cup.uni-muenchen.de...
> On Mon, 11 Apr 2005, Chadwick wrote:
>
>> But if I were I'd probably appreciate the option to take a more
>> 'alternative' route to avoid or escape detection.
>
> My problem with HL2 is that they never gave you an alternative route, even
> using the gravity gun. HL2 was always completely linear with riddles you
> had to solve with the gun to continue or the option to use it as a weapon,
> and that only worked well if the level provided suitable ammunition...
>
> --
> Werner Spahl (spahl@cup.uni-muenchen.de) Freedom for
> "The meaning of my life is to make me crazy" Vorlonships
Anonymous
April 11, 2005 4:46:32 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

Then we would still be waiting for Half Life 2 to go gold.

--
Remove nospam to email
"Michael Cecil" <macecil@comcast.net> wrote in message
news:eplk511180khmhpd9sol4om75kml41ronp@4ax.com...
> On Mon, 11 Apr 2005 12:46:30 +0200, Werner Spahl
> <spahl@cup.uni-muenchen.de> wrote:
>
>>On Mon, 11 Apr 2005, Chadwick wrote:
>>
>>> But if I were I'd probably appreciate the option to take a more
>>> 'alternative' route to avoid or escape detection.
>>
>>My problem with HL2 is that they never gave you an alternative route, even
>>using the gravity gun. HL2 was always completely linear with riddles you
>>had to solve with the gun to continue or the option to use it as a weapon,
>>and that only worked well if the level provided suitable ammunition...
>
> It would have been much more fun if they had just presented you with a
> large city to explore while fighting the alien menace where you had many
> routes and options to accomplish the various tasks needed to proceed.
>
> --
> Michael Cecil
> http://home.comcast.net/~macecil/
> http://home.comcast.net/~safehex/
Anonymous
April 11, 2005 5:38:03 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

Michael Cecil <macecil@comcast.net> wrote in
news:eplk511180khmhpd9sol4om75kml41ronp@4ax.com:

> On Mon, 11 Apr 2005 12:46:30 +0200, Werner Spahl
> <spahl@cup.uni-muenchen.de> wrote:
>
>>On Mon, 11 Apr 2005, Chadwick wrote:
>>
>>> But if I were I'd probably appreciate the option to take a more
>>> 'alternative' route to avoid or escape detection.
>>
>>My problem with HL2 is that they never gave you an alternative route,
>>even using the gravity gun. HL2 was always completely linear with
>>riddles you had to solve with the gun to continue or the option to use
>>it as a weapon, and that only worked well if the level provided
>>suitable ammunition...
>
> It would have been much more fun if they had just presented you with a
> large city to explore while fighting the alien menace where you had
> many routes and options to accomplish the various tasks needed to
> proceed.
>

Nah. I like having the developers build out a puzzle and me solving it,
and I like it to be relatively linear, so I know I'm making progress. And
that makes the story better, since the story writers know what you're
going to do in what order so they can make the story flow better.

--

Knight37 - http://knightgames.blogspot.com
Once a Gamer, Always a Gamer.
Anonymous
April 11, 2005 7:46:47 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

On Mon, 11 Apr 2005, knight37 wrote:

> Nah. I like having the developers build out a puzzle and me solving it,
> and I like it to be relatively linear, so I know I'm making progress. And
> that makes the story better, since the story writers know what you're
> going to do in what order so they can make the story flow better.

Principally I agree with you, except there wasn't much of a story in HL2
to begin with and lots of modern games from NOLF and Thief to FarCry and
VTM:Bloodlines managed to provide alternative routes now and then without
sacrificing the story and therefore did hide their linearity much better.

--
Werner Spahl (spahl@cup.uni-muenchen.de) Freedom for
"The meaning of my life is to make me crazy" Vorlonships
Anonymous
April 11, 2005 7:46:48 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

Werner Spahl <spahl@cup.uni-muenchen.de> wrote in
news:p ine.LNX.4.58.0504111541070.25727@cicum1.cup.uni-muenchen.de:

> Principally I agree with you, except there wasn't much of a story in
> HL2 to begin with and lots of modern games from NOLF and Thief to
> FarCry and VTM:Bloodlines managed to provide alternative routes now
> and then without sacrificing the story and therefore did hide their
> linearity much better.

Guess I'm okay with non-linear as long as it doesn't sacrifice story.
BTW, I disagre about HL2 I thought it had a pretty good story.

--

Knight37 - http://knightgames.blogspot.com
Once a Gamer, Always a Gamer.
Anonymous
April 11, 2005 7:46:48 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

Werner Spahl wrote:
> On Mon, 11 Apr 2005, knight37 wrote:
>
>
>>Nah. I like having the developers build out a puzzle and me solving it,
>>and I like it to be relatively linear, so I know I'm making progress. And
>>that makes the story better, since the story writers know what you're
>>going to do in what order so they can make the story flow better.
>
> Principally I agree with you, except there wasn't much of a story in HL2
> to begin with and lots of modern games from NOLF and Thief to FarCry and
> VTM:Bloodlines managed to provide alternative routes now and then without
> sacrificing the story and therefore did hide their linearity much better.

As far as __story_ goes, there aren't many computer games that could
match a decent piece of fiction. That's sort of to be expected, since we
play the games to _play games_; if we wanted compelling fiction, we'd
read Saul Bellow. (There aren't even many movies which match written
fiction, so this isn't exactly a snipe at games.)

So a computer game, when it has a story, more or less uses it to provide
situations where we can do game-like things, like shooting, sneaking,
trading credits, hunting enemies, and the like. Usually, games tend to
be "linear" in the sense that the story follows one distinct path. The
map levels follow one another in a distinct order; "solving" the maps
may have a narrow solution (Half-Life) or several solutions (Deus Ex),
but it's still a single "path."

I suspect that one possibility for the future of gaming would be stories
which really _do_ branch off, with some decisions revealing whole maps
which may not be revealed with other decisions... and game endings which
really do vary, based on decisions made by the player. The Deus Ex games
were a good start on this.

And the upcoming Unreal engine, with its capability of swapping in level
data on the fly for bigger worlds, offers some really neat
possibilities. If you make one choice, Region A could be a happy, living
city... but make another, and it's a barren wasteland.

This could lend itself to games in which you're never sure you've
"completed." You may play through some levels, accomplish some kind of
goal....but you play it again, doing things differently, and find an
entirely different ending, or several maps you didn't reach before.
Anonymous
April 11, 2005 8:57:05 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

On Mon, 11 Apr 2005, knight37 wrote:

> Guess I'm okay with non-linear as long as it doesn't sacrifice story.
> BTW, I disagre about HL2 I thought it had a pretty good story.

Hmmm, then please explain it to me. As far as I remember it was like this:
You move from location A to location B without hardly knowing why.

--
Werner Spahl (spahl@cup.uni-muenchen.de) Freedom for
"The meaning of my life is to make me crazy" Vorlonships
Anonymous
April 11, 2005 8:57:06 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

Werner Spahl <spahl@cup.uni-muenchen.de> wrote in
news:p ine.LNX.4.58.0504111651000.25727@cicum1.cup.uni-muenchen.de:

> On Mon, 11 Apr 2005, knight37 wrote:
>
>> Guess I'm okay with non-linear as long as it doesn't sacrifice story.
>> BTW, I disagre about HL2 I thought it had a pretty good story.
>
> Hmmm, then please explain it to me. As far as I remember it was like
> this: You move from location A to location B without hardly knowing
> why.

That is what was good about it, you didn't know all the answers, so you
were constantly learning bits and pieces as to why all of it was
happening.

--

Knight37 - http://knightgames.blogspot.com
Once a Gamer, Always a Gamer.
Anonymous
April 11, 2005 8:57:06 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

Sometimes it did seem that Half Life 2 was just a bunch of tech demos strung
together by the weakest plot imaginable. We had boat maps, then buggy maps,
zombie-maps, then monster-ally maps, then human-ally maps and then the end.
The only thing we didn't have were any airborne/flying maps.

--
Remove nospam to email
"Werner Spahl" <spahl@cup.uni-muenchen.de> wrote in message
news:p ine.LNX.4.58.0504111651000.25727@cicum1.cup.uni-muenchen.de...
> On Mon, 11 Apr 2005, knight37 wrote:
>
>> Guess I'm okay with non-linear as long as it doesn't sacrifice story.
>> BTW, I disagre about HL2 I thought it had a pretty good story.
>
> Hmmm, then please explain it to me. As far as I remember it was like this:
> You move from location A to location B without hardly knowing why.
>
> --
> Werner Spahl (spahl@cup.uni-muenchen.de) Freedom for
> "The meaning of my life is to make me crazy" Vorlonships
Anonymous
April 11, 2005 8:57:06 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

Werner Spahl wrote:

> Hmmm, then please explain it to me. As far as I remember it was like
> this: You move from location A to location B without hardly knowing
> why.

If you pay attention to the dialoge you can make sense out of the story.
This is all done through the point-of-view of Gordan, not someone playing a
video game. Gordan doesn't know what is going on either, even though
everyone assumes he does. G-man is manipulating Gordan the whole time. He
needed him to get to Nova Prospekt to spark the human rebellion. Come to
think of it, I wonder if the G-man is responsible for the rebellion against
the Empire in Star Wars.
Anonymous
April 12, 2005 5:17:29 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

Ian Galbraith wrote:
> On Mon, 11 Apr 2005 11:27:20 -0700, "Doug" <pigdos@nospamcharter.net>
> wrote:
>
> >Werner is dead right on this one. The reason the buggy and airboat
are
> >basically indestructible is because the linear gameplay and fixed
plot
> >demand they never be destroyed. Ditto for Barney and Alyx on certain
levels,
> >they're basically indestructible as well. The original Half Life
didn't seem
> >as linear although it probably was.
>
> I never finished HL1, finishing HL2 inspired me to finally finish it
> and yes it is just as linear IMHO, plus the much vaunted story of HL1
> is just as slight as in HL2. HL2 doesn't have the claustrophobic maze
> like structure of the early HL levels which is a big plus.

HL1 is, if anything, more linear because there is even less scope to
wander around a map like you can with the buggy and boat in HL2.
However, because you're on foot (or On A Rail) you don't notice the
restricted movement quite as much. It seems perfectly natural for exits
to be blocked by fallen rubble. (Come to think of it, On A Rail is
relatively open, because you can do it on foot or the train if you
want.) The levels in HL2 are environmentally and physically more open,
so the fact that there is still only one way forward is more noticable.

As for the story, the HL1 story is very simple and easy to tell without
having people stop and talk to Gordon all the time. There's no back
story to explain which helps. In HL2 you don't even know where you are,
why you're there, when it is or why everybody recognises you as a hero
- yet doesn't want anything to do with you. It needs more explanation
up front but this contradicts the HL style of learn-as-you-go. You end
up just doing whatever you're told because you (the player) have no
other option.

Compare the vehicles in HL2 to those of Far Cry. In HL2 the vehicles
are indestructible (although you can drive the buggy off a cliff). In
Far Cry they get blown up and you carry on by other means. My
preference is for the Far Cry approach.
Anonymous
April 12, 2005 7:02:22 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

"Bateau" <Gamera@work.stomping.aza> wrote in message
news:eela51ttfspkbiqmtrlk1n883hsu9mu6g4@4ax.com...
>>Imagine if Deus Ex, IGI or Far Cry featured the ability to move stuff
>>around like you can in HL2? IGI, DX and FC are pretty open in the game
>>design - you can approach your goal in a number of different ways and
>>change tactics at the drop of a hat. Throw in the ability to interact
>>more fully with the environment and you have even greater freedom. A
>>wall is no longer an impassable barrier - you just need to find
>>something to stack up so you can climb over it.
>
> Yeah imagine if Deus Ex had crates you could push around and stack up to
> get over obstacles! It could have a special augmentation that let you
> move heavier crates!

You didn't even need crates to get over walls most of the time. All you
needed were two booby-trap mines - you can scale almost any wall in Deus Ex
by planting a sticky-mine, jumping onto it, planting the second mine,
jumping on that and retrieving the first one, repeat. This was probably
unintended by the developers (the careless player can easily break the game
by getting into forbidden areas or returning to areas he wasn't supposed to
and seeing Jock in two places, etc.) but it really opened up the tactics and
strategies you could use.

Of course, crates were still useful. You could use them (a bit
unrealistically) to block enemy movements and to block laser tripwires.

Anyway, it does show you don't need a fancy physics engine - just a
reasonable mechanism for carrying out the player's intentions in moving
stuff and scaling walls. And more importantly, a mechanism whose results are
reasonably controllable by the player. Actual crate stacking in Deus Ex (and
even more so in Thief) is often too error-prone for me to enjoy using it as
a game tactic.
April 12, 2005 12:21:33 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

On 12 Apr 2005 01:17:29 -0700, "Chadwick" <chadwick110@hotmail.com>
wrote:

>Compare the vehicles in HL2 to those of Far Cry. In HL2 the vehicles
>are indestructible (although you can drive the buggy off a cliff). In
>Far Cry they get blown up and you carry on by other means. My
>preference is for the Far Cry approach.

In theory I prefer the Far Cry approach, but in practice I enjoyed HL2
far more than Far Cry. Far Cry was a bit of a wasted opportunity, the
engine could have delivered a much better game IMO.
--
Andrew, contact via interpleb.blogspot.com
Help make Usenet a better place: English is read downwards,
please don't top post. Trim replies to quote only relevant text.
Check groups.google.com before asking an obvious question.
Anonymous
April 12, 2005 2:29:14 PM

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On Mon, 11 Apr 2005, Chadwick wrote:

> It would require careful level design to create bottlenecks where the
> player and NPCs are forced to be present all together for a set piece.

This is the way it was done in NOLF and Deus Ex and FarCry and Vampire.
After seeing so many games doing it, HL2s linearity was disappointing.

--
Werner Spahl (spahl@cup.uni-muenchen.de) Freedom for
"The meaning of my life is to make me crazy" Vorlonships
Anonymous
April 12, 2005 2:35:05 PM

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On Mon, 11 Apr 2005, knight37 wrote:

> Werner Spahl <spahl@cup.uni-muenchen.de> wrote in
> news:p ine.LNX.4.58.0504111651000.25727@cicum1.cup.uni-muenchen.de:
>
> > Hmmm, then please explain it to me. As far as I remember it was like
> > this: You move from location A to location B without hardly knowing
> > why.
>
> That is what was good about it, you didn't know all the answers, so you
> were constantly learning bits and pieces as to why all of it was
> happening.

Then again, please explain to me what we learned! Somehow there was an
alien invasion of earth, despite all those great weapons discovered in HL.
Humanity lost although the Combine seems much weaker than the original Xen
forces. Years later you are awakened by Gman to spark a revolution. Why so
late? What happened to Xen? It all seems very random to me, as someone
here stated, more like some demo levels stitched together without sense.

--
Werner Spahl (spahl@cup.uni-muenchen.de) Freedom for
"The meaning of my life is to make me crazy" Vorlonships
Anonymous
April 12, 2005 2:52:39 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

SpammersDie wrote:

> You didn't even need crates to get over walls most of the time. All you
> needed were two booby-trap mines - you can scale almost any wall in Deus Ex
> by planting a sticky-mine, jumping onto it, planting the second mine,
> jumping on that and retrieving the first one, repeat. This was probably
> unintended by the developers (the careless player can easily break the game
> by getting into forbidden areas or returning to areas he wasn't supposed to
> and seeing Jock in two places, etc.) but it really opened up the tactics and
> strategies you could use.

This brings up a problem with really open-ended games, actually. It's
great when new tactics offer themselves, and when a game environment
allows for some variety... but the game is limited, and a game designer
doesn't want a player to go beyond those limits because, well, there's
only so many tactics a designer can anticipate.

The more the game allows you to do, the greater the chance that you
might go outside a boundary and wind up, say, in a map's limbo area, or
among the NPCs while they're waiting for their cue. (I found such an
area in _Deus Ex: Invisible War_, actually.)
Anonymous
April 12, 2005 2:57:21 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

Werner Spahl wrote:

> On Mon, 11 Apr 2005, knight37 wrote:
>
>
>>Werner Spahl <spahl@cup.uni-muenchen.de> wrote in
>>news:p ine.LNX.4.58.0504111651000.25727@cicum1.cup.uni-muenchen.de:
>>
>>
>>>Hmmm, then please explain it to me. As far as I remember it was like
>>>this: You move from location A to location B without hardly knowing
>>>why.
>>
>>That is what was good about it, you didn't know all the answers, so you
>>were constantly learning bits and pieces as to why all of it was
>>happening.
>
>
> Then again, please explain to me what we learned! Somehow there was an
> alien invasion of earth, despite all those great weapons discovered in HL.
> Humanity lost although the Combine seems much weaker than the original Xen
> forces. Years later you are awakened by Gman to spark a revolution. Why so
> late? What happened to Xen? It all seems very random to me, as someone
> here stated, more like some demo levels stitched together without sense.

I think I posted something here a few months ago about the lack of story
details, but now I'm going to argue the other way. I _liked_ the fact
that there was a lot of mystery about the invasion. It added to the
creepiness. And in general, mysteries where you're not _certain_ of
things are creepier than plot points which spell out what's what.
Anonymous
April 12, 2005 3:02:35 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

On Mon, 11 Apr 2005, Hank the Rapper wrote:

> everyone assumes he does. G-man is manipulating Gordan the whole time. He
> needed him to get to Nova Prospekt to spark the human rebellion. Come to

So the whole story of HL2 is that the leader of the human resistance was
captured and trying to free him starts a rebellion? The rest looked to me
rather like a series of accidents, like failing teleporters or dropping
ceilings forcing you along. You always only react which was not quite that
obvious in HL1. There you had to fight aliens, then marines, then launch a
satellite, then move to Xen to stop the fight... Quite linear as well, but
you seemed to be more active, which you are in HL2 only right at the end.

--
Werner Spahl (spahl@cup.uni-muenchen.de) Freedom for
"The meaning of my life is to make me crazy" Vorlonships
Anonymous
April 12, 2005 3:18:16 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

Chadwick wrote:

> Brian Siano wrote:

>
>>I think I posted something here a few months ago about the lack of
>
> story
>
>>details, but now I'm going to argue the other way. I _liked_ the fact
>>that there was a lot of mystery about the invasion. It added to the
>>creepiness. And in general, mysteries where you're not _certain_ of
>>things are creepier than plot points which spell out what's what.
>
> Nah, Werner's right IMO. You didn't know why you were doing anything.
> Yes you got a little pointer from the NPCs every now and again, but
> most of the time your wondering "where the hell am I" and "how come
> some of the aliens are now mates with us but some aren't?" and "who are
> the combine anyway?".

As a general rule, I tend to like the atmosphere and suspense of a game
more than the actual action. For me, the fun in HL2 was in the Ravenholm
levels, and the general dread one got in the city sequences. The Combine
soldiers were, well, just soldiers. Not much mystery there worth
worrying about.

But I think I have to agree with you here. I was thinking of a general
creepy mood, like with the Ravenholm sequence, or the spectacles inside
the Combine building. As far as the story _motivating_ Gordon to do
anything, I'd say you and Werner are correct.

Granted, in Farcry, the enemies were just monsters and mercenaries. But
somehow, they worked for me. (And the cut scene where the monsters broke
out, massacred the mercenaries and got guns, was one of the high points
for me. Suddenly, the game took on a whole "Oh, shiiiit...." quality.)
Anonymous
April 12, 2005 3:28:18 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

On Tue, 12 Apr 2005, Chadwick wrote:

> want.) The levels in HL2 are environmentally and physically more open,
> so the fact that there is still only one way forward is more noticable.

Exactly! In a secret underground base like in HL I accept that I can't go
everywhere even though you get around a lot in the game. In HL2 you have a
whole city available but every street or path is blocked by doors, fences
or barriers except one. This is like shouting LINEAR right in my face ;) !

> As for the story, the HL1 story is very simple and easy to tell without
> having people stop and talk to Gordon all the time. There's no back

This is not really true. They talk to you about what happens as well, but
the whole background, at least from your personal point of view is clear.
There are some questions about who started the whole thing and what is the
Gmans role in all this to keep it interresting, but more is not needed...

> story to explain which helps. In HL2 you don't even know where you are,
> why you're there, when it is or why everybody recognises you as a hero

Exactly! Also it doesn't help that, in my opion, the starting situation in
HL2 contradicts the ending of HL1 and seem illogical at all. Regarding all
those fantastic weapons and the fact that the Xen aliens are on earths
side now, how could those ridiculous Combine soldiers win? Not speaking of
Breen suddenly have been Black Mesas administrator instead of Gman and him
becoming ruler of the earth instead of another stupid politician ;) ...

--
Werner Spahl (spahl@cup.uni-muenchen.de) Freedom for
"The meaning of my life is to make me crazy" Vorlonships
Anonymous
April 12, 2005 3:28:19 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

Werner Spahl wrote:

> On Tue, 12 Apr 2005, Chadwick wrote:
>
>
>>want.) The levels in HL2 are environmentally and physically more open,
>>so the fact that there is still only one way forward is more noticable.
>
>
> Exactly! In a secret underground base like in HL I accept that I can't go
> everywhere even though you get around a lot in the game. In HL2 you have a
> whole city available but every street or path is blocked by doors, fences
> or barriers except one. This is like shouting LINEAR right in my face ;) !

I have to agree with this point. It's one thing to have a fairly
confined space, where the options really are limited for good reason--
locked doors, collapses, etc. It's another to show the _promise_ of wide
open spaces, and then disallow the desire to explore things.

This was really frustrating in the HL2 sequences when we were outside
the city, like during the boat ride. Here we were, wide open, somewhat
free... and the banks were just _slightly_ too high to ride the boat
over the ridge. And while the buildings in the distance looked nice,
suddenly one realized that they were just really good-looking skyboxes,
and the actual game maps weren't any larger than those in the original
Half-Life.

I mean, I _liked_ it when the vehicles in _Far Cry_ broke down, and I'd
have to leg it across country. It made for some great suspense. Were
there mutants running about in the woods? Would my ammo hold out? What
about patrols?

I haven't done any level design since _Doom_, but when I get the desire,
it's always within _Farcry_, not _HL2_.
Anonymous
April 12, 2005 4:44:20 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

On Mon, 11 Apr 2005 11:27:20 -0700, "Doug" <pigdos@nospamcharter.net>
wrote:

>Werner is dead right on this one. The reason the buggy and airboat are
>basically indestructible is because the linear gameplay and fixed plot
>demand they never be destroyed. Ditto for Barney and Alyx on certain levels,
>they're basically indestructible as well. The original Half Life didn't seem
>as linear although it probably was.

I never finished HL1, finishing HL2 inspired me to finally finish it
and yes it is just as linear IMHO, plus the much vaunted story of HL1
is just as slight as in HL2. HL2 doesn't have the claustrophobic maze
like structure of the early HL levels which is a big plus.
Anonymous
April 12, 2005 7:10:07 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

Brian Siano wrote:

> But I think I have to agree with you here. I was thinking of a general
> creepy mood, like with the Ravenholm sequence, or the spectacles inside
> the Combine building. As far as the story _motivating_ Gordon to do
> anything, I'd say you and Werner are correct.

Okay, maybe we can get bakc to the subject line: what is the future of
FPS games? Here's my list of what I'd _like_ to see.

1. More open-ended play with less linearity-- larger map levels, more
choices, wider range of decisions. (Encouraging examples: Deus Ex, Farcry.)

We could just say "more interaction," but that's not precise enough:
DX:IW had more objects to manipulate, but it didn't seem to help. (And
it lost some of this, since there were no computer terminals and emails
to play with.)

2. Greater emphasis on atmosphere, mood, suspense. (Encouraging
examples: Doom 3, Half-Life 2, Silent Hill.)

3. Open-ended stories with multiple threads and endings. (Deus Ex series)

4. Greater implementaton of real-world physics (Half-Life 2, Farcry).

5. Greater interaction with NPCs. (Best example: Deus Ex. HL2 had good
dramatics, but little choice in how to deal with the characters.)

I, for one, would like to see effective water physics (rivers, floods,
turbulence), and the spread of fire might be fun to have too. (Imagine
making a trail of gunpower or gasoline to blow up a fuelling station in
Farcry.)
Anonymous
April 12, 2005 7:17:35 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

On Tue, 12 Apr 2005 10:35:05 +0200, Werner Spahl
<spahl@cup.uni-muenchen.de> wrote:

>On Mon, 11 Apr 2005, knight37 wrote:
>
>> Werner Spahl <spahl@cup.uni-muenchen.de> wrote in
>> news:p ine.LNX.4.58.0504111651000.25727@cicum1.cup.uni-muenchen.de:
>>
>> > Hmmm, then please explain it to me. As far as I remember it was like
>> > this: You move from location A to location B without hardly knowing
>> > why.
>>
>> That is what was good about it, you didn't know all the answers, so you
>> were constantly learning bits and pieces as to why all of it was
>> happening.
>
>Then again, please explain to me what we learned! Somehow there was an
>alien invasion of earth, despite all those great weapons discovered in HL.
>Humanity lost although the Combine seems much weaker than the original Xen
>forces. Years later you are awakened by Gman to spark a revolution. Why so
>late? What happened to Xen? It all seems very random to me, as someone
>here stated, more like some demo levels stitched together without sense.

The "Half Life Saga Story Guide" http://fragfiles.org/~hlstory/ has
plausible explanation of the story behind the games that seems to
match most of what we saw in the games. It more or less coincides with
what I gathered of the plot while playing. It's still mostly all
speculation, but it works.

I am not sure if I agree with his interpretation of the "G-Man's"
motives, and there are a few other areas I could nitpick but on the
whole it is as valid an explanation as any. Except, he doesn't explain
who the NEW aliens from Opposing Forces were.

Having said all that, while Half Life 2 has an interesting backstory,
the actual drama you play through is very weak; it's about at the same
level as Doom (the original!), practically
Anonymous
April 13, 2005 6:37:33 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

Dmitri the Mad wrote:
> The "Half Life Saga Story Guide" http://fragfiles.org/~hlstory/ has
> plausible explanation of the story behind the games that seems to
> match most of what we saw in the games. It more or less coincides
with
> what I gathered of the plot while playing. It's still mostly all
> speculation, but it works.
>
> I am not sure if I agree with his interpretation of the "G-Man's"
> motives, and there are a few other areas I could nitpick but on the
> whole it is as valid an explanation as any. Except, he doesn't
explain
> who the NEW aliens from Opposing Forces were.
>
> Having said all that, while Half Life 2 has an interesting backstory,
> the actual drama you play through is very weak; it's about at the
same
> level as Doom (the original!), practically

My big problem with that guide is that so much of it is pure
conjecture. Particularly the changing role of the G-Man and the link
between the Combine and Xen.

In HL1, the G-Man is a Government official who wants to hush up the
events at Black Mesa. Ultimately he blows the place up in OpFor to
destroy any evidence. He may be the Administrator, but this is not
clear in HL1 and is contradicted in HL2, so we must accept that he
isn't.

IIRC, Breen does not make an appearance in HL1. Sure the
"Administrator" is mentioned, but if you play HL1 in isolation, the
Administrator could easily be the G-Man for all the difference it
makes. Effectively, Breen was invented for HL2.

The Combine also do not exist in HL1. The enemy is the Xen aliens,
taking advantage of the now uncontrolled link to Earth. They are
introduced in HL2 and all we really know is:
- there have been "storms" as the portals from their world opened up;
- there was a 7 hour battle for control of the Earth;
- somehow Breen came to be in charge (where was Bush? Kofi Annan? the
Zion Conspiracy and the Knights Templar?);
- humans are enslaved in various ways as soldiers and workers for the
new ruling power;
- the Xen aliens are still around;
- there is a rebel force, including scientists from Black Mesa;
- Gordon Freeman has become a symbolic hero for the rebels, and his
face is recognised everywhere.

The "Saga" site above has one version of events. Here's mine:
1 - Scientists at Black Mesa have found a way to link to another world
(Xen). They are secretly getting samples of flora and fauna but one day
something goes wrong and there is a "resonance cascade scenario".
2 - The Xen aliens come through the uncontrolled access and all hell
breaks loose. Many of the aliens are just animals and fight out of
self-defence, but there are some soldier types as well.
3 - Gordon Freeman, a scientist somehow survives the accident and
fights his way out of lack Mesa. On the way, he discovers that Black
mesa has been in contact with Xen for quite some time. Ultimately, he
has to defeat a Big Boss on Xen who (presumably) is sending the alien
grunts through, or keeping the portal open.
4 - The G-Man, desparate that the world does not get to hear of what
they are doing at Black Mesa, sends in troops to destroy all evidence.
He also plants a nuclear bomb to destroy the facility.
5 - Gordon survives everything. The G-Man has been keeping an eye on
him, impressed with his abilities. In order to prevent Gordon selling
his story to the world's newpapers, the G-Man makes use of the
equipment at Black Mesa to intercept Gordon and block his return to
Earth. Gordon is put into stasis somehow (we must assume Black Mesa has
the equipment to do this, as they can obviously teleport people to a
parallel universe).
6 - Despite the G-Man's best efforts, the portal between Other Worlds
and Earth is not completely sealed. A new race of aliens, the Combine,
make use of it some time later and invade the Earth. This is a planned
attack, unlike the Black Mesa accident, and is therefore much more
successful. The G-Man is unable to prevent it for some reason. Perhaps
he is caught off-guard because he cannot monitor the portal properly
without Black Mesa.
7 - The G-Man and Administrator of Black Mesa are two of the few people
who understand the technology and concept of the portal and the world's
leaders and the United Nations call them up to advise on their defence
strategy.
8 - Breen manages to make contact with the Combine and is persueded to
change sides. Whether he genuinely believes it is for the best, or is
brain-washed, or is intending to double-cross them at some point is
anyone's guess.
9 - With Breen's help the Combine make a final attack. In a seven hour
battle, the world's leaders are defeated (killed?). The G-Man quietly
runs away somewhere safe.
10 - Breen is set up as the human face of the Combine as they settle in
and start establishing their own troops and infrastructure. Breen
appears to negotiate a truce and a peaceful settlement with the
Combine. Gradually, Breen convinces the world's armies to stand down
and the Combine also start "adapting" them to be loyal Overwatch
soldiers etc.
11 - Years pass, and the situation settles down. The Combine
consolidate their hold, with Breen as the omnipresent figurehead. The
people of Earth come to begrudgingly accept their new way of life. Tiny
pockets of resistance continue, but are unable to make any significant
impact.
12 - The G-Man has been busy. He has managed to make contact with Dr
Kleiner and Ali Vance and together they have rebuilt some of the
teleporter technology from Black Mesa. Vance and Kleiner are in fact
based right under the Combine's nose in City 17, which has become
Breen's centre of operations. Whether this is accident or design is
anyone's guess. The G-Man remains cautious and keeps his distance from
the actual operation, trusting no-one. He is right, because unknown to
any of them, Breen has got a spy in their camp and is developing
similar technology on behalf of the Combine (it would appear that the
Combine do not know how to make portal technology themselves - this is
why they were only able to invade when the portal was opened at Black
Mesa).
13 - G-Man senses the time is right to bring Gordon back on the scene.
Gordon has become a hero of the revolution and his presence might
triger a fight back (as actually does happen). Also maybe the G-Man
thinks Gordon is tough enough and tenacious enough to actually make a
difference (again, this is true). Why now? Perhaps the technology is
finally capable of it. Perhaps Breen is otherwise engaged for a while
and G-Man hopes to slip Gordon in unnoticed.

It's just a theory, and no more valid than the Saga site, but I think
I've had to make fewer leaps of logic, and invented much less than the
Saga.
Anonymous
April 13, 2005 10:49:40 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

Brian Siano wrote:
> Werner Spahl wrote:
>
> > You forget that in HL1 Nihilanth clearly statet that he was
enslaved by
> > someone and looking at the Xen aliens you can see that the
sentinent ones
> > have some kind of metallic implant to control them, which Xen
animals do
> > not. Still the Combine doesn't look strong enough to enslave whole
Xen.
>
> I don't recall Nihilanth 'clearly stating' anything. There was a lot
of
> moaning and reverb.

Ditto. Could you clarify what Nihilanth is supposed to say?
Anonymous
April 13, 2005 2:07:36 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

On Tue, 12 Apr 2005, Brian Siano wrote:

> creepiness. And in general, mysteries where you're not _certain_ of
> things are creepier than plot points which spell out what's what.

I agree with you here, provided that the informations you do get make some
sense and don't contradict infos you got in a prequel, like in HL2.

--
Werner Spahl (spahl@cup.uni-muenchen.de) Freedom for
"The meaning of my life is to make me crazy" Vorlonships
Anonymous
April 13, 2005 2:42:49 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

On Tue, 12 Apr 2005, Dmitri the Mad wrote:

> The "Half Life Saga Story Guide" http://fragfiles.org/~hlstory/ has
> plausible explanation of the story behind the games that seems to

I disagree! These explanations seem to me like weak tries only to fit the
misfitting HL2 pieces together with HL1 and don't work for me at all...

We know that the Xen aliens were enslaved, but why is the tech used for
this completely different from the tech the Combine uses in HL2? To be
consistent some shiny metal rings or implants should have been used to
enslave humans, instead we get stupid run-of-the-mill-armor. After they
have been freed, why are only the slaves fleeing to earth and not the
grunts and other fighters? How could the combine stood a chance against
Xen and Earth combined with those puny weapons that are showed in HL2?

Where is any hint that the Combine contacted Breen before the cascade? In
HL1 it is only said, that Xen aliens started to catch researchers before.
Also I still think that Gman was the administrator in HL1 which fits with
the shown discussion with one scientist there. We do have definite proof
from some interview that making it Breen was a spontanous idea of Newell
himself. Probably the only thing he contributed to the game while working
on Steam and messing the HL storyline up by this all the same as well.

In my opinion it was Gman who starts or at least risks the HL1 resonance
cascade to force Earth into conquering Xen, not the other way round and
surely not some Breen guy who was not in existence at the time of HL1.
After all if Gman was intending to stop the invasion, how could he fail
with his ability to teleport freely while being invulnerable? Breen would
have had no chance at all. And who would his employers be in the theory
on that site? Those that he refers to so mystically at the end of HL1?

My HL1 theory was that behind Nihilanth/Xen and Gman/Earth were some big
players like the Shadows and Vorlons in Babylon 5. Not some ugly slugs!

--
Werner Spahl (spahl@cup.uni-muenchen.de) Freedom for
"The meaning of my life is to make me crazy" Vorlonships
Anonymous
April 13, 2005 2:42:50 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

Werner Spahl wrote:

> In my opinion it was Gman who starts or at least risks the HL1 resonance
> cascade to force Earth into conquering Xen, not the other way round and
> surely not some Breen guy who was not in existence at the time of HL1.
> After all if Gman was intending to stop the invasion, how could he fail
> with his ability to teleport freely while being invulnerable? Breen would
> have had no chance at all. And who would his employers be in the theory
> on that site? Those that he refers to so mystically at the end of HL1?
>
> My HL1 theory was that behind Nihilanth/Xen and Gman/Earth were some big
> players like the Shadows and Vorlons in Babylon 5. Not some ugly slugs!

I'm not worrying too much about the story. Frankly, I figured that
elements such as the G-man were thrown into the original game to create
a sense of mystery-- maybe they didn't really have much of a background
even _then_. And in the sequel, they either a) came up with more of a
background story that fit the established elements, or b) came up with
more elements for mystery and effect. (My guess is A.)
Anonymous
April 13, 2005 2:51:26 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

On Tue, 12 Apr 2005, Brian Siano wrote:

> Okay, maybe we can get back to the subject line: what is the future of
> FPS games? Here's my list of what I'd _like_ to see.
>
> 1. More open-ended play with less linearity-- larger map levels, more
> choices, wider range of decisions. (Encouraging examples: Deus Ex, Farcry.)

Also Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines.

> 2. Greater emphasis on atmosphere, mood, suspense. (Encouraging
> examples: Doom 3, Half-Life 2, Silent Hill.)

All there in VTMB.

> 3. Open-ended stories with multiple threads and endings. (Deus Ex series)

Again VTMB too.

> 4. Greater implementaton of real-world physics (Half-Life 2, Farcry).

Of course VTMB.

> 5. Greater interaction with NPCs. (Best example: Deus Ex. HL2 had good
> dramatics, but little choice in how to deal with the characters.)

Nothing beats VTMB here. I know this game is buggy, as I did a unofficial
patch to fix some stuff myself ;) , but why is this game so overlooked?

> I, for one, would like to see effective water physics (rivers, floods,
> turbulence), and the spread of fire might be fun to have too. (Imagine

I would like to finally have a flamethrower that can set fire to anything
that can burn. I think something like this was promised in some HL2 videos
when talking about how 'any material has its specific properties' but they
didn't even include dynamic lighting for burning stuff in HL2 at the end.

--
Werner Spahl (spahl@cup.uni-muenchen.de) Freedom for
"The meaning of my life is to make me crazy" Vorlonships
Anonymous
April 13, 2005 2:51:27 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

Werner Spahl wrote:

> On Tue, 12 Apr 2005, Brian Siano wrote:
=
> Nothing beats VTMB here. I know this game is buggy, as I did a unofficial
> patch to fix some stuff myself ;) , but why is this game so overlooked?

Speaking for myself, I'm not much of a vampire fan.
>
>>I, for one, would like to see effective water physics (rivers, floods,
>>turbulence), and the spread of fire might be fun to have too. (Imagine
>
>
> I would like to finally have a flamethrower that can set fire to anything
> that can burn. I think something like this was promised in some HL2 videos
> when talking about how 'any material has its specific properties' but they
> didn't even include dynamic lighting for burning stuff in HL2 at the end.

A friend of mine has a son who loves games. He suggested that they have
a weapon called the Flaming Hatchet Gun, which fires flaming hatchets at
the enemies. Always wanted to make a mod that does it.
Anonymous
April 13, 2005 3:22:22 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

On 13 Apr 2005 02:37:33 -0700, "Chadwick" <chadwick110@hotmail.com> wrote:

>
>Dmitri the Mad wrote:
>> The "Half Life Saga Story Guide" http://fragfiles.org/~hlstory/ has
>> plausible explanation of the story behind the games that seems to
>> match most of what we saw in the games. It more or less coincides
>with
>> what I gathered of the plot while playing. It's still mostly all
>> speculation, but it works.
>>
>> I am not sure if I agree with his interpretation of the "G-Man's"
>> motives, and there are a few other areas I could nitpick but on the
>> whole it is as valid an explanation as any. Except, he doesn't
>explain
>> who the NEW aliens from Opposing Forces were.
>>
>> Having said all that, while Half Life 2 has an interesting backstory,
>> the actual drama you play through is very weak; it's about at the
>same
>> level as Doom (the original!), practically
>
>My big problem with that guide is that so much of it is pure
>conjecture. Particularly the changing role of the G-Man and the link
>between the Combine and Xen.

I've looked through the page, and haven't heard of any information about
the G-Man changing roles.

The link between Combine and Xen is legitimate - the only holes in that
site are the same holes between HL1 and HL2, which involve trying to tie up
some loose ends and unnecessairy ambiguity.

>In HL1, the G-Man is a Government official who wants to hush up the
>events at Black Mesa. Ultimately he blows the place up in OpFor to
>destroy any evidence. He may be the Administrator, but this is not
>clear in HL1 and is contradicted in HL2, so we must accept that he
>isn't.

Actually, the G-Man isn't a government official - if he was, he wouldn't
have access to the technological magic that he uses (teleportation,
invulnerability device, and a few other tricks.)

>The Combine also do not exist in HL1. The enemy is the Xen aliens,
>taking advantage of the now uncontrolled link to Earth. They are
>introduced in HL2 and all we really know is:

One thing you should note: some of the Xen aliens have metal devices
attached to them in HL1. The vortigaunts with metal attachments can be
found in HL2 in two places: to the right of the initial starting point, and
in the Nova Prospekt prison camp.

>
>The "Saga" site above has one version of events. Here's mine:
[...]
>4 - The G-Man, desparate that the world does not get to hear of what
>they are doing at Black Mesa, sends in troops to destroy all evidence.
>He also plants a nuclear bomb to destroy the facility.

There's also the Race-X that needs to get factored into the story. There's
not much known about this race, although they appeared to come in after the
military did their escape but before Gordon entered Xen. The timing of it
indicates that it's more like a containment tactic to keep

While the facility was destroyed, the G-Man makes a very causal comment
about Black Mesa taking care of itself. This implies that the G-Man knew
about the package but isn't claiming responsibility for it.

>7 - The G-Man and Administrator of Black Mesa are two of the few people
>who understand the technology and concept of the portal and the world's
>leaders and the United Nations call them up to advise on their defence
>strategy.

I doubt the G-Man is even part of the Government. If he was, he wouldn't
be able to represent whomever is giving offers from the faction that he
represents. Besides, if the government did have that level of tech
available, they really would be able to handle the Combine without too much
problem.
Anonymous
April 13, 2005 5:03:53 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

On Wed, 13 Apr 2005, Chadwick wrote:

> destroy any evidence. He may be the Administrator, but this is not
> clear in HL1 and is contradicted in HL2, so we must accept that he

I explained in another posting that making Breen the administrator was a
spontanous decision of Newell which had nothing to do with the story. I
therefore think that Gman was indeed the administrator in HL1, after all
how else could he be able to move around so freely in all of Black Mesa.

> The Combine also do not exist in HL1. The enemy is the Xen aliens,
> taking advantage of the now uncontrolled link to Earth. They are

You forget that in HL1 Nihilanth clearly statet that he was enslaved by
someone and looking at the Xen aliens you can see that the sentinent ones
have some kind of metallic implant to control them, which Xen animals do
not. Still the Combine doesn't look strong enough to enslave whole Xen.

> Gordon Freeman has become a symbolic hero for the rebels, and his
> face is recognised everywhere.

I don't understand this part. Who in HL1 knew that Gordon Freeman was
responsible for the victory against Xen? Some scientists here and there
and we don't know who survived of these at all. Gman could have planted
that rumour but still it doesn't really fit that anyone knows Gordon.

> 1 - Scientists at Black Mesa have found a way to link to another world
> (Xen). They are secretly getting samples of flora and fauna but one day
> something goes wrong and there is a "resonance cascade scenario".

Even before the resonance cascade human researchers were 'started to get
sampled' by Xen as is said in the game. So Nihilanth already knew about
Earth. Also as I said before I think Gman did risk the cascade to happen.

> successful. The G-Man is unable to prevent it for some reason. Perhaps
> he is caught off-guard because he cannot monitor the portal properly

I do not believe this and therefore the whole HL2 scenario. In the end
monologue of HL1 Gman calls Xen a 'borderworld' that is under his control
'for the time being'. This shows that he knows there are other worlds and
races out there. Maybe he lost in this war of his, but not in the stupid
way how it is hinted at in HL2. Also don't forget his 'e-e-employers'...

> similar technology on behalf of the Combine (it would appear that the
> Combine do not know how to make portal technology themselves - this is

This is not true. I think it is said somewhere in HL2 that the Combine can
open portals only between different dimensions, not on one planet. In that
case Gman, Black Mesa tech and Nihilanth are all superior to the Combine.
Another reason why I can't accept that they have won the Earth so easily.

> It's just a theory, and no more valid than the Saga site, but I think
> I've had to make fewer leaps of logic, and invented much less than the

That's true, but I still prefer my own theory ;) . Shame though that as far
as I know, in HL2 the author had to write the story after the game whereas
in HL1 the game was written after the story. With the whole mess the HL2
development was, we'll never know the true version :( . As with Babylon 5.

--
Werner Spahl (spahl@cup.uni-muenchen.de) Freedom for
"The meaning of my life is to make me crazy" Vorlonships
April 13, 2005 5:03:54 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

On Wed, 13 Apr 2005 13:03:53 +0200, Werner Spahl
<spahl@cup.uni-muenchen.de> wrote:

>I explained in another posting that making Breen the administrator was a
>spontanous decision of Newell which had nothing to do with the story. I
>therefore think that Gman was indeed the administrator in HL1, after all
>how else could he be able to move around so freely in all of Black Mesa.

I think someone who can teleport himself and control time won't have
too much trouble going anywhere he wants to.
--
Andrew, contact via interpleb.blogspot.com
Help make Usenet a better place: English is read downwards,
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Anonymous
April 13, 2005 5:03:54 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

Werner Spahl wrote:

> You forget that in HL1 Nihilanth clearly statet that he was enslaved by
> someone and looking at the Xen aliens you can see that the sentinent ones
> have some kind of metallic implant to control them, which Xen animals do
> not. Still the Combine doesn't look strong enough to enslave whole Xen.

I don't recall Nihilanth 'clearly stating' anything. There was a lot of
moaning and reverb.
!