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New Condition Zero Developer

There's a new Counter-Strike: Condition Zero preview on CS-Nation that includes word of yet another developer(!) on the upcoming Counter-Strike game, as Turtle Rock Studios (thanks HomeLAN Fed) is now at work on the project. According to the article, some of the content from Ritual (who assumed the reigns of the project from Gearbox earlier in this soap opera) was not equal to expectations, so Valve has turned things over to this small start-up, comprised of four former Westwood/EA Pacific employees, headed by Mike Booth (Nox). Here's a bit more on this:

Although you will still find some of the Ritual missions in the game, the meat of CS: Condition Zero is a new mode programmed by Turtle Rock Studios. Twelve Ritual missions will be in a section of the game called "Deleted Scenes." These missions were the best of the 20 or so that Ritual developed. But the new game mode that will comprise most of Condition Zero is a Tony Hawk Pro Skater-like challenge mode.

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111. HL engine is played out... Oct 18, 2003, 00:03 mbmonk
 
OH im sorry I meant the QUAKE 2 engine is played out. The graphics of HL are starting to look like this game, http://www.jmpc.com/Starcade/games/burgertime.htm, compared to games of coming out now. As long as CZ was in developement it should have had a new engine, new maps, and new models.

 
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110. Re: Ritual Screenshots Oct 14, 2003, 23:12 L0cky
 
Then someone's in bed with someone

 
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109. Re: Ritual Screenshots Oct 13, 2003, 20:45 JeZZyBaLL
 
In a follow up to my Post-several of the developers are saying on fansite Ritualistic that the animation sotry is complete BS. That everything worked and was fine when they sent it to Valve....  
You put de lime in de coco-nut, you shake it all up; you put de lime in de coco-nut it make you feel bettah.....
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108. Re: Ritual Screenshots Oct 13, 2003, 08:24 J/K
 
This whole incident is pretty weird. I find it hard to imagine that a developer like ritual is neither willing nor able to fix animation problems. Hell, I can't even believe they'd deliver a final version with player models which don't even work properly. now ritual might not be the greatest dev team ever, but it really isn't THAT difficult to get this stuff running.
Ritual isn't exactly unexperienced, look at Heavy Metal Fakk, or Elite Force2 .. even SiN which was actually a pretty fun game after the patches.
visit this http://www.ritualistic.com/screens/cz/renders_characters_02.php page and you can actually see a direct comparsion between original cs and ritual characters. it very much speaks for itself.
in the ritualistic forums you can also find hints which indicate that even those who worked on CZ, don't seem to quite know what's going on and why their work isn't used anymore.
something must have gone pretty wrong here.

 
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107. Re: Ritual Screenshots Oct 13, 2003, 06:46 JeZZyBaLL
 
I just read this post which "might" (thi stuff is rumor rampant and who knows if its true, but seems to maybe make sense in this senseless drama)

from rizzuh (CS Nation)


I talked to cliffe about the models. He said that the player models just wouldn't work: The animations were poorly done and would often do very weird things. Ritual was either unwilling or unable to fix it.

In my opinion, the weapon models looked worse so I really don't miss them.

I know that, in the end, it's what the consumer wants is what they should get, but unfortunately technical problems really stopped this from happening. It's really no big loss to me because they very much got the gameplay right, in my opinion.[q


Now I disagree with the Weapon Model Statement, but maybe this wasn't about the artwork, maybe it was indeed some animation issues. Who knows.....


This comment was edited on Oct 13, 06:48.
 
You put de lime in de coco-nut, you shake it all up; you put de lime in de coco-nut it make you feel bettah.....
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106. Re: Ritual Screenshots Oct 13, 2003, 02:29 Term
 
These are neither the same textures nor the same models.

Well, if you re-read my post you'll see that I wasn't talking models here. But the base textures are the same, easy to spot if you ask me. Just to underline my point (not to nitpick), here are 2 more obvious examples, one for models, 2nd for maps/artwork (Ritual first, GBX second):

Models (i.e. plants):
http://www.ritualistic.com/screens/cz/030501_10.jpg
http://actionvault.ign.com/features/intelligence/images/cscz/csczint06.jpg

Map Content:
http://www.ritualistic.com/screens/cz/030901_06.jpg
http://actionvault.ign.com/features/interviews/images/cscz/screen02.jpg

in any case, ritual, or gearbox..it all looks better than the supposedly most current shots.

I think we can agree on that. As I understand it, Valve legally owns the stuff handed over by either GBX or Ritual... so I don't get why they would step back to those ancient models instead of spicing up the package with the content they already have and are free to use?

 
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105. Re: No subject Oct 12, 2003, 21:15 L0cky
 
Valve wanted to bury CZ, for their own reasons.

To be fair the way plans were heading, HL2 was going to be released before CZ. From that perspective you can see some pretty obvious reasons for canning CZ altogether, just for being way out of date (regardless of the good or bad work done to it).

Now that HL2 is back in the office it makes business sense to take CZ back off the shelf, as long as they're quick about it. That's where the new development and Gold doubts are causing some confusion.

 
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104. polishing a turd Oct 12, 2003, 20:59 Synic
 
you can polish it all you want, it'll still stink

 
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103. Re: Ritual Screenshots Oct 12, 2003, 20:57 Camaro76
 
No flame-age, just trying to keep a nice discussion going...

And before we get the inevitable 'so what do the models etc. have to do with anything' post, when you're running around a game for hours and hours, do you want it to look like crap? Do you want to feel like you got your money's worth with new content, or the same old recycled uglyness? It's that all-important 'immersion factor' we're essentially talking about here.

Term - your additional information is appreciated. I agree with J/K, no matter if it came from Gearbox or Ritual, it's still miles better than the supposed current game content.

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102. Re: Ritual Screenshots Oct 12, 2003, 20:29 J/K
 
Term,
These are neither the same textures nor the same models.
in any case, ritual, or gearbox..it all looks better than the supposedly most current shots.
Which is rather odd, cause either good artwork got canned for worse, or both is used
which will make this whole game an extreme mixed bag . visually at least.

I migth add, that we were mostly talking about character models and textures. the wall texture set however, is without doubt the same in both screens.


This comment was edited on Oct 12, 20:31.
 
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101. Re: Ritual Screenshots Oct 12, 2003, 19:36 Term
 
Guys, I really don't want to interupt any flame war going on in here, but I need to clear up a few things:

You're right, the Ritual models are probably the best looking ones out there for CZ. But that's no "pushing the engine" or whatever, you can flood any engine with zillions of model polygons... it just performs worse on slower machines, that's all.

You're wrong, because beside those models all you're refering to is maps and artwork - and these are mostly Gearbox stuff still, sorry to burst your "Ritual rul0rz" bubbles there. For example, the screenshot you were refering to:
http://www.ritualistic.com/screens/cz/030501_08.jpg

Same texture set at Gearbox in 10/01:
http://www.gamesdomain.com/gdreview/zones/previews/oct01/zero05.html

I could post you tons of screenshots to prove that we're mostly talking about Gearbox content here, but it's late and I'm tired so I'll only comply with a demand


 
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100. Re: Valve going bankrupt Oct 12, 2003, 19:30 theAntiELVIS
 
There are some real problems with your math, but the biggest is with your assumption that all that money is just kept in a drawer somewhere.

Any company with $18 mill lying around is going to invest it. They will also have quite a large amount of credit to draw on.

Valve is not hurting.

-tAE-

 
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99. Re: No subject Oct 12, 2003, 19:17 theAntiELVIS
 
I suspect Levelord can't come by to tell us what's going on - legal issues, I would imagine. I got a communique that had some choice words for various entities involved, but am embargoed from repeating them. What follows is purely my own opinion - I have no professional connection with the parties involved.

Ritual had the thing for about six months or-so after Valve took it from Gearbox. Ritual delivered the game months ago. Valve sat on it, said nothing to Ritual at all about it. They were completely in the dark as to the game's fate. In fact, I'd bet they heard about Turtle Rock taking it the same way we did - on the Internet.

From what I can gather/guess, the HL2 release was so close Valve probably didn't want to compete with themselves for the gamer dollar (well, we know what happened with that). Now, after the HL2 source theft, and the release date being pushed back, Valve is looking for revenue. What do they have on the shelf? CZ, that's what.

Now, do you imagine that Valve didn't keep tabs on what Ritual was doing during the development process? Sound likely? Does it sound likely that they were surprised by what they got? I don't think so. Valve wanted to bury CZ, for their own reasons. The HL2 debacle brought it back to life.

But really, the entire idea was just lame. Another attempt to milk another nickel from the old HL engine. Ritual just tried to save it - but I don't think that was possible. Actually, Ritual does a lot of this "save a mess from itself" work behind the scenes, hiring their people out as consultants.

Valve can't do anything right anymore. Those guys' heads are so swelled they can't wear pull-over shirts. They may be the biggest one-trick pony on Earth - but still a one-trick pony. C-S, probably the best thing they ever released, wasn't done by them. They just bought it. Likewise for Team-Fortress. Just proves the old addage (somewhat altered for this context):

Creativity will get you through times of no money, better than a massive shitload of money will get you through a lack of creativity.

Ritual has the creativity. Valve has the massive shitload of money. 'Nuff said.

-tAE-

 
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98. Re: Ritual Screenshots Oct 12, 2003, 18:31 Camaro76
 
"still" ? since when is using photosource not professional?

Sorry, didn't mean to imply that it wasn't, I guess I'm from the 'old school' that hand-paints everything. Here's my old, moldy site from Planet Vampire back when I was involved with Vampire: The Masquerade - Redemption editing:

http://www.planetvampire.com/sinfactory/

It's been a while since I've done game editing due to work, etc. but I still read Polycount, etc. and keep up with 3D stuff in general.

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97. Re: Valve going bankrupt Oct 12, 2003, 18:11 Camaro76
 
My hat's ready but it's still safe. Somebody somewhere misworded the Steam release, honest Still, the 'Gold on Friday' news from Valve isn't _post_ Gold is it? Surely a Valve game would make it to gonegold.com? Or at least a Gold announcement to the fansites.

Yeah, I tried searching Gone Gold but didn't pull up anything. Normally there's some kind of publisher announcement that would be considered a little more 'official' than a post from Gabe Newell. For example, like this:

iGames Publishing announced that its vampire-flavored first-person action adventure game for the PC, Nosferatu: Wrath of Malachi, has gone gold and will be released to retail on October 20th.

And CS Nation says this...

Counter-Strike: Condition Zero is scheduled to go gold sometime soon, so we're posting hands-on impressions of the latest version of the game...

So now I'm totally confused, and I'm thinking the Shack is full of shit. Oh well, I tried to make some sense of this... argh!


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96. Re: Ritual Screenshots Oct 12, 2003, 17:58 J/K
 
>>These textures in this shot are mostly photosource, but still more professional looking than the cartoonish stuff in the Turtle screen... <

"still" ? since when is using photosource not professional?
you need to use it nowadays in professional texturing, except when you go for a more cartoonish handpainted look ( which can be just great too, just a different style concept). furthermore, using photos isn't just " slap the pic on the model and go" it's actually not really much less work than handpainting stuff, if done properly.

Apart from that I totally agree with you and really am wondering how people look at things, cause in this case its just sp extremely obvious which models and textures are done better here.
oh and btw.. "blurry" is in most cases only caused by lower resolution textures and has little to do with the artwork itself.

This comment was edited on Oct 12, 18:02.
 
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95. Re: Ritual Screenshots Oct 12, 2003, 17:48 J/K
 
I was referring to the new shots when I said how can you get away with releasing such in 2003. not the ritual ones.
anyway though, an outdated engine does not force you to do bad texturing and that green shirt guy on the screenshot is just done bad.
nothing to do with the engine

 
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94. Re: Ritual Screenshots Oct 12, 2003, 17:48 Camaro76
 
I seriously do not see how you can't see the difference in textures. Ritual's are far more blurry.

Yes, but you have to keep this in mind - what hardware and settings (resolution/AA/AF) were used to take the screenshots? How much JPEG compression was used? There are a lot of variables in the mix here. Regardless I say the Ritual models and textures do look better, blurry or not.

Look at this shot:
http://csnation.counter-strike.net/image.php?id=21662

Yes, the textures are quite sharp, but look at the models! Look how thick the skimasked dude's forearms are, and look how screwed up the green-jacketed dude's feet are! You mean to tell me those guys look more fearsome than this dude:

http://www.ritualistic.com/screens/cz/030501_02.jpg

These textures in this shot are mostly photosource, but still more professional looking than the cartoonish stuff in the Turtle screen...

http://www.ritualistic.com/screens/cz/030501_08.jpg

If you have a browser that handles tabs, load 'em up side by side and have a GOOD look. Me, I'd much rather play Ritual's game. Now if only the gameplay is fun... that's a whole other story...



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93. Re: Ritual Screenshots Oct 12, 2003, 17:40 JeZZyBaLL
 
J/K-

Of course they don't compare to 2003 games. It's the freaking HL ONE engine. That's what I'm talking about. For the engine they are creating on and it's limitations - they are better than any other models that have been created to date ON THE FIRST HALF-LIFE ENGINE.

They are better than gearbox, better than what is now called Turtle, (who by the way was only working on AI).

All the Honey (Sounds like an interesting fetish you have - All the Honeys must be Transvestites in your world). Man your a real smart guy. Keep up those witty answers...ROFLMAO!
 
You put de lime in de coco-nut, you shake it all up; you put de lime in de coco-nut it make you feel bettah.....
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92. i regret returning ut2k3 now Oct 12, 2003, 17:23 Pete
 
that red orchestra mod looks awesome

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Doin' it Big
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