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Messages - your evil twin

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1
Game News / Re: Halo Wars
« on: February 16, 2009, 11:20:30 AM »
I agree with many of your points!

But:
I played Command & Conquer: Red Alert on Playstation. There was nothing "dumbed down" or "simplified" about the game, the singleplayer missions were identical to the PC version, the units were the same, the abilities were the same, etc. I brought my Playstation and a TV round to a friend's house and we played link games, with two Playstations linked together for multiplayer on two TVs. And we had weeks and weeks of fun. We got to enjoy Red Alert LAN gaming without either of us owning a PC.

The FMV movies were better quality (no interlacing etc), but alas they no longer had a little movie for every victory failure, instead just the main story briefings. Also, the graphics didn't look quite as nice (the icons were in the style of the DOS version of C&C rather than the Win95 version).

So, just cause an RTS is put onto a console, doesn't mean it's dumbed down or simplified. So what, a console controller has fewer buttons - in an RTS, generally you only use two buttons, left click and right click. Sure, you have keyboard hotkeys for performing various special actions, but do you really need more than 4 or 5 hotkeys? RTS games benefit from mouse control rather than controller, but you certainly don't need a keyboard.


That said, it is quite possible that Halo Wars could be a dumbed down RTS. There is definately a trend of dumbing down nowadays. I understand why though - in "the good old days" gamers that actually FINISHED games were a sort of hardcore elite. In school there'd be one or two kids that finished Sonic the Hedgehog or Super Mario, or Doom, or Quake. Many people would have PLAYED them, but after level 4 etc the game would be very punishing. And when it came to complex RPGs like System Shock 2, that would probably take most people months to finish without a walkthough. Awesome for adolescents that love gaming, they get maximum amount of game for their buck. But for the average "normal" person who has finished school/university and has a job, well they've only got time to play a game for a few hours each week, and after a month of a few hours each week they'd like to finish it.

I agree with a certain amount of dumbing down, it's just that in many ways games have been dumbed down in the wrong ways. Games like Bioshock and Fallout 3 are RPGs but unlike their forerunners by the end of the game you are a jack of all trades who is awesome at everything and can do anything. The "correct" way to dumb the game down would be to make it so that the game was winnable even if the player choose to invest in unusual skills or weapons or whatever. In the old Fallout games you could sneak into the enemy base, use science or lockpick skill to set a nuclear bomb and sneak out again, etc, without having to do some huge battle to win. The final sections of Fallout 3 should have some kind of secret passage or route through the sewers so you could sneak into the final area, or you should have been able to bluff your way in by wearing Enclave power armor and saying the right things. While the normal "combat" option should have been much, much harder, because Fallout 3's final battles were easier than battles against supermutants in the middle of the game.

Of course I have no such complaint about Bioshock having a boss battle - the previous System Shock games also featured big boss battles. Instead, the complaint is that the boss battle was too damn easy, because you are so poweful at the end of the game. A way to solve this feeling of easiness would be to make the battle long and in multiple stages - you beat the bad guy and he runs off to another area of the underwater city, you chase him and have to fight him some more there. If the whole final conflict went on for half an hour or something then it would seem like you accomplished something, even if chances of failure were actually low.

2
General Chat / Re: Half-Life Animation converter
« on: September 29, 2008, 06:17:09 PM »
Wow, this could be very cool. Would mean pretty much anything - player model, singleplayer model, whatever - could be easily converted for use as any other type of model.

Will those only work for Half-Life 1 models, or would Half-Life 2 stuff be compatible too?

3
Source RELEASES / Re: New Screen Effects Smod
« on: September 15, 2008, 12:15:14 AM »
Ooh, might give this a try! :)

Never had a problem with the standard SMOD effects, but now I come to think about it, I guess it would be handy if the blood and water obscured the screen a bit less.

4
Conversation / Re: 2008 Concept Weapon Modelling Contest
« on: August 21, 2008, 06:48:15 PM »
About the double barrelled/double shot thing, The shotgun in HL1's dbarrel shoot sound shoots TWICE in succession, rather than one loud shot.

Perhaps, but that doesn't make much sense given that the pump the shotgun after both single shots and double shots. ;)

And in HL2 Episode 2 (and also the Xbox version of regular HL2) there is a hint-text that says "RIGHT CLICK: FIRE BOTH BARRELS". So even if HL1 supposedly got around the problem by it being a double-shot from the same barrel, Valve themselves have said the HL2 shotgun has two barrels. Even though the model doesn't.

What's that got to do with this contest?

Not much, other than the fact that this contest's double-barreled shotgun would make a great replacement for the shotgun in HL1 and HL2.

5
Conversation / Re: 2008 Concept Weapon Modelling Contest
« on: August 20, 2008, 10:20:35 AM »
The business end of mah shotgun.

Glad to see someone is doing the double-barrelled shotgun. :)

Always found it weird that HL1 and HL2 have shotguns with double-shot features yet the models only have one barrel. TimeShift (which is obviously "inspired" by Half-Life 2) went the extra mile and designed a cool automatic shotgun with two barrels, side-by-side. Would be good to see a double-barrelled shotty for HL2.

So yeah, when this contest is over, someone please actually make the model usable in HL2!

6
Cool. :)

As for the CABAL intel database entry... it did not resolve what was going on with CABAL and Kane. The point is that fans were wondering what would happen next, it seemed CABAL and Kane's minds were fusing. EA just erased that plot by saying the bunker got blown up. (Though given that Kane was alive and well, I took that to mean that GDI discovered the bunker far too late, after it had already served its purpose.) Thankfully EA reconsidered and made the CABAL/Kane thing central to the plot of the Kane's Wrath expansion.

Kane's Wrath doesn't explicitly say anything about it being a fusion of Kane and CABAL's minds, but the name "LEGION" is a bit of a giveaway thanks to the biblical "Our name is legion for we are many." Plus CABAL's face flashes up a few times of Legion's screens, like there is some remnant of CABAL's personality struggling to get out.

So yeah, EA did an excellent job there. Just a shame they arbitrarily changed the Tiberium and in the process inadvertently screwed up twenty other things without noticing.

Oh, by the way, feel free to leave comments on the blog itself. Either click on the thing at the bottom that of the post that says "0 comments", or click on the "Command & Conquer is Serious Business" title.

7
I've created a new blog site where I review the hell out of things. Or rather, write insane dissertation/thesis length deconstructions of them. First up is EA's Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars. I find that they did a great job in most areas, but completely missed the whole point of what Tiberium is supposed to be and its role in the story. Kinda important, given that it is in the title of the game. Further investigation reveals that the changes EA made cause the overall plot to make no sense at all!

http://reviewsareseriousbusiness.blogspot.com/

8
Game News / Re: Care for a cup of /facepalm?
« on: July 23, 2008, 11:36:28 AM »
Theres a string of great new games for the wii, the godfather, the conduit, that scarface game and now this. finally I can experience dead rising.

I seem to recall that The Godfather and Scarface turned out to be pretty mediocre games, so if they are simply porting those same games to Wii it wont' be much to look forward to.

9
Game News / Re: Operation Black Mesa Media
« on: July 13, 2008, 06:06:34 PM »
I'm glad to see that Operation Black Mesa is alive and kicking!

It seems a bit daft to see people criticizing the quality of certain models. I'm personally not a fan of the soldier's body armour and would be happier seeing something similar to Gearbox's high definition hgrunts, but the models certainly don't look BAD to me. Just a different style to what I would expect. (Really not too sure about those soldier pads.)

I like the shock trooper. And the houndeye looks fine too, though perhaps a little dark. Slightly lighter skin would make it look a little more like the original, but it doesn't bother me.

I've no problem with these supposed "FaceGen" heads. The grunts in Opposing Force are totally generic characters that you only see for a minute or two, so I see no problem with automatically generated generic heads. They look perfectly human to me. And indeed I'm pretty sure I've seen plenty of retail games that have faces just as generic. They don't look any better or worse than the sort of stuff that is in Quake 4 or the player models for Battlefield 2.

As for criticisms that the infirmary doesn't look much like an infirmary... it's true that the screenshots don't look much like an infirmary, but I'm pretty sure that only the very first area where the player wakes up is an infirmary. Once you've got your vest on and Otis has let you through the door it isn't an infirmary anymore. Within moments you are in an area that has labs with crazy laser experiments, and leaking tubes full of glowing green stuff. As long as the first rooms and corridors with the CAT scanner and scientists examining zombies and headcrabs looks like an infirmary, then there's no problem.

The main thing is that I'm happy Opposing Force is being remade. Keep up the good work!

10
Game News / Re: Obsidian Conflict 1.3 is out!
« on: July 13, 2008, 05:46:29 PM »
- Made game less to play

Less what? Less expensive? It's a free mod. Less hardware intensive?

11
Game News / Re: Pyro upgrade page.
« on: June 19, 2008, 02:07:32 PM »
Yeah, that's the thing hardly anyone bothered with medic before the medic update. The medic update made everyone try medic, and now more people are willing to play as a medic in normal games.

And yeah, it's fantastic that you don't have to do ALL the achievements to get the three unlocks. Some of the medic achievements were a bit stupid and only possible to complete with farming. (I suppose they might happen by accident after TWO YEARS of playing as medic.) The pyro achievements look more likely. A couple of them are a bit hard, but that's OK cause they aren't necessary. So people are less likely to farm to try and get them, instead those tricky achievements will just happen by accident very occasionally. Which is the way it should work.

What'll be funny about the pyro update is that pyros can't catch on fire, so if everyone is playing as pyro then being a pyro will actually SUCK cause there will be no-one to burn.

12
Game News / Re: Pyro upgrade page.
« on: June 18, 2008, 11:39:47 PM »
Wow, the alt-fire on the flamethrower sounds awesome. It pushes enemies and projectiles away with a blast of air. I remember old Chaos mod for Quake 2 had an airblower weapon that worked similarly, and that was pretty cool.

What's brilliant is that now there is a way to counteract an ubercharge (push the ubered players off the control point), and it will be great deflecting soldier rockets.

I really love the look of most of those achievements. Pyro is my favourite class, so I won't have to bother farming achievements. What's irritating is that some (such as "Pyromancer: Do 1 million points of total fire damage") probably won't take into account how much damage I've done in previous games before this update. I play pyro more than any other class so I wouldn't be suprised if I had already done 1 million fire damage.

13
Other Threads / Re: Happy Birthday Thread!
« on: June 18, 2008, 05:18:07 PM »
Thank you very much!  8)

Truth be told I only noticed due to the PM - I didn't even remember that there was a birthday thread. I usually don't check out the general and off-topic areas - I'm too much of a geek, only looking at the mods and models etc.

14
Game News / Re: [HL2] SMOD: Redux
« on: May 28, 2008, 09:26:50 PM »
Yeah the OICW model is used for the stickybomb launcher. But I noticed no mention of OICW in the readme, so I was slightly surprised when I came across the OICW files. (Especially given that they are the exact same OICW files I've been using! For a moment I thought I was in the wrong mod folder, heh.)

It's also used by SMOD's custom weapon 14.

EDIT: Just noticed that in the default_smod_config file it thinks that the hardest NPC skill setting is npc_skill_high.cfg but the config file is actually called npc_skill_hard.cfg.

15
Game News / Re: [HL2] SMOD: Redux
« on: May 27, 2008, 01:19:59 AM »
Very awesome.  8)

For the flamethrower I had actually been using the v_cremator and w_immolator (they are the same weapon) from Missing Information, so it looked like some kind of Combine-built flamethrower. Now I've a hard time choosing between that and the cool Fortress Forever flamethrower.

EDIT: You forgot to mention in the readme that you included an OICW weapon.

What's uncanny is the huge number of things that match up with what I have done in my own mod - I'm using that exact same OICW (the "version 2" from FPSbanana, right?), high res .357 world model, and the Synergy flaregun. And NPCs with crossbows. On the one hand, I'm slightly bummed cause I can't take credit for adding those features, but on the other hand it means it is incredibly easy for me to integrate your latest SMOD fixes into my own mod!

I'll let you try out my mod before I generally release it. If you approve, perhaps we could put by "your evil twin and Onemanshow47" cause a third of the stuff will probably be stuff that you've already done.

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