Sunday Q&As

  • Marc Laidlaw
    The Marc Laidlaw Q&A on Computer and Video Games catches up with the Valve writer to discus the story in the Half-Life series: "Are you doing the right thing or the wrong thing? We really like messing around with the implications of telling you that you're doing one thing, when actually, everything else is forcing you to do something different from that. There's irony in the game - everybody tells you that you're a scientist, but all you're actually doing is running around shooting stuff. All these things fall into the bucket of Gordon Freeman..."
  • Warren Spector
    The State of play Q&A with Warren Spector on Computer and Video Games talks with the designer about, well, the state of play: "Well, I'm kind of a Johnny-one-note when it comes to game design - I'm all about giving players control over the experience. The sooner we get rid of games that are movie-inspired instead of pushing the unique qualities of OUR medium... the sooner we move from puzzle-oriented design to problem-oriented/open-ended-solution design... the sooner we stop making linear rollercoaster rides and start making games that give players freedom to act and to experience the consequences of their choices... the more we move in those directions, the better, as far as I'm concerned. The nice thing is, it seems like the market's agreeing with me. Finally!"
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No subject
Dec 24, 2006, 18:19
Jow
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No subject Dec 24, 2006, 18:19
Dec 24, 2006, 18:19
Jow
 
I'm not so sure I agree the market is agreeing with you, Warren. Splinter Cell *5*? Come on already.

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Dear Warren
Dec 24, 2006, 23:49
2.
Dear Warren Dec 24, 2006, 23:49
Dec 24, 2006, 23:49
 
I used to love everything you put your hands on. Then you made the huge mistake of letting that asswipe whose name I've forgotten completely fuck up Deus Ex 2.

You may remember that game, it was the one that basically shattered your credibility, since you were out there pawning it off like a cheap Russian hooker, even though you knew it really wasn't worth it.

Since then, you've done nothing but appear in 872,394 "State of Gaming" articles. But the problem is, everyone still has a bitter taste over Deus Ex 2 in their mouths.

Here's a hint : Stop talking to the press about what you feel and do. Get a team together, make a fucking kick ass game, like I KNOW you can make it. Give me a Next Gen visual game with Deus Ex gameplay and options.

Then, with everyone's faith restores, continue talking about what gaming should do and where it should go.

Oh, and please, stop your insane fucking prattle about how a one room RPG would be better than a one hundred locations RPG.

That is all.

Creston


Avatar 15604
3.
 
Forget it, Warren's past it
Dec 25, 2006, 01:06
3.
Forget it, Warren's past it Dec 25, 2006, 01:06
Dec 25, 2006, 01:06
 
I'm wagering his next game is a PS3 RPG. The reason he can't talk about it is 'cause he won't talk about it; as soon as he does he'll be ignored by what's left of his fan (?) base.

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No subject
Dec 25, 2006, 04:01
4.
No subject Dec 25, 2006, 04:01
Dec 25, 2006, 04:01
 
I've lost all respect for Marc Laidlaw for ever allowing that Alyx character into HL2. Up until she was introduced HL was believable, even if violently over the top at times. Alyx is not a realistic hero like Gordon, Alyx is right out of a Uwe Boll movie.

A genius scientist who happens to look like a model... martial arts expert... expert marksman... has bulletproof skintight jeans.. WTF, Marc?

This comment was edited on Dec 25, 04:02.
5.
 
Re: No subject
Dec 25, 2006, 06:29
5.
Re: No subject Dec 25, 2006, 06:29
Dec 25, 2006, 06:29
 
Slightly agreed. While it would have been silly to have had Alyx don another HEV suit (and thus explain how she's impervious to bullets), she is slightly too meatshield to be believable. But then if she was killed off as easily as, say, the other civilians in the game, it'd be very very tedious. So I can see why they sacrificed realism for gameplay.

Avatar 18712
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Re: No subject
Dec 25, 2006, 19:31
6.
Re: No subject Dec 25, 2006, 19:31
Dec 25, 2006, 19:31
 
A genius scientist who happens to look like a model... martial arts expert... expert marksman... has bulletproof skintight jeans.. WTF, Marc?

The same could be easily said about Gordon, except you know, the part about being a model and wearing bulletproof, skintight jeans. Really, they never did reveal where homeboy got his soldierly skills from, or his weapons and tactics training. Hell, Valve even makes fun of it a little bit when Wallace Breen's doing his little propaganda telecasts to his "citizens".

As far as loosing respect for Laidlaw, meh. It's just one mistake where he is concerned, I think. Not saying he's not committed others with the storyline, he's still a decent writer and author as far his own stories.

7.
 
Re: Dear Warren
Dec 25, 2006, 19:41
7.
Re: Dear Warren Dec 25, 2006, 19:41
Dec 25, 2006, 19:41
 
This quote:

stop your insane fucking prattle about how a one room RPG would be better than a one hundred locations RPG.

And this one:

Then you made the huge mistake of letting that asswipe whose name I've forgotten completely fuck up Deus Ex 2.

Heh, yeah, you're remembering Harvey Smith! Yeah, he was a complete ass. Really hacking the quote apart, but he said something to the effect of "Deus Ex should've been 2/3 the length..." and you know, that completely ignores what a whole slew of fans said they liked about it. DX was the perfect length.

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Re: No subject
Dec 25, 2006, 22:43
8.
Re: No subject Dec 25, 2006, 22:43
Dec 25, 2006, 22:43
 
Really, they never did reveal where homeboy got his soldierly skills from, or his weapons and tactics training.

I think that's part of what makes Half-Life interesting - the way they dealt with that. They made Gordon simply a tool. He's nothing more.
Which is also something Laidlaw mentions in that quote. You just sit there taking orders, never questioning. You're a drone that's considered a hero. HL2 makes it somewhat known that your orders may be questionable, but Gordon just goes with it.
Some people hate that, others adore it.


As for Alyx, yeah she's got her faults, but I think she fits in to HL well enough. She was a bit of a necessary evil in order to add humanity - something that wasn't necessary in 1998 but was in 2004. I'd like it more if they develop her, though. In HL2 she's like a little girl meeting her childhood hero - and having a puppydog crush.
I'd like to see her respond to Gordon being a drone. Her to start noticing he isn't the massive hero, he's just a killing machine. People point him in the right direction and he goes on a rampage.

-------------
Doomriders: the first new band worth a signature - http://www.deathwishinc.com/
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Re: No subject
Dec 26, 2006, 02:50
nin
9.
Re: No subject Dec 26, 2006, 02:50
Dec 26, 2006, 02:50
nin
 
The same could be easily said about Gordon

Exactly...

-----------------------------------------------------
GW: Nilaar Madalla, lvl 20 R/Mo / Tolyl Nor, lvl 20 E/Mo / Xylos Gath, lvl 16 W/Mo

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10.
 
Re: No subject
Dec 26, 2006, 05:57
10.
Re: No subject Dec 26, 2006, 05:57
Dec 26, 2006, 05:57
 
They made Gordon simply a tool. He's nothing more.

He's an MIT graduate. A theoretical physicist. I don't care how much they play on him being a "tool" or what have you, he's so far from fitting the profile of handling combat as he does that even when the first HL came out and it was still common they were trying intentionally perpetuate that kind of stereotype of implausibility in FPS and PC games in general.

Then they went through and had the kick-ass expansion, Opposing Forces, made for the first game; detailing CPL Shepherd and the soldiers' side of the fight. I mean, the first dump truck-sized hole in the story line (in Gordon) would be plausible on its own, but CPL Shepherd, whom is still the only character they haven't brought back yet, makes me think they'll tie up a few loose ends by the time the series comes to a close.

Oh, don't get me wrong, I like Gordon. Even if he's a mute, if someone's going to bring back the panache of combat that only the DooM marine could seemingly have (that rucksack of his WAS really huge), it'd be him.

As for Alyx

Alyx... I liked her character in Ep1, just not how she was presented in the story. That probably doesn't make sense, but you know, you really just retreaded old territory in the game, going back into the Citadel and all, then playing bodyguard later on (was not cool with me at all).

Maybe this "exodus" they've got planned from City 17 as part of the storyline will get it back on track. I don't mind instilling some humanity into my game (I liked that about HL2, the rebels felt "real" and somewhat genuine in their fight), but I don't care for masochistic girlfriends.

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