April 2018 – General Chat

1st April 2018

No doubt, there’s a bunch of “Half-Life 3 Has Been Announced!”, “Exclusive Half-Life 3 Screenshots!”, “Valve announces Half-Life 3!” etc but we are all too wise for to fall for those.

In fact, some of you might even avoid the Internet all together in the hope of not being disappointed yet again.

Sometimes the timing of news releases can have us doubting but the reality is that not everybody pays attention to April Fool’s and therefore inadvertently add to the strange news stories released.

I might have something to announce today and unfortunately it has to be today, so no doubt you’ll question its timing.

Anyway, enough of that.

As I write this, I still have another few more days off and hope to do some behind-the-scenes work on the site, including getting the multi-tags feature working again. I’ll also trying to open J.A.C.K. and starting doing some mapping again.

That plus my monthly promise to finish Wolfenstein: The new Order!

What about you, what do you have planned?

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10 Comments

  1. Please do get back into mapping; I enjoyed seeing you getting into it.

    Speaking of Wolfenstein: The New Order, I’ve played that for ~5 hours and enjoyed it until I reached some part of the game I found too damn hard to get past so I ended up just quitting the game. That’s a bit weird considering I didn’t find any part before that to be all that hard so I am not sure what’s up with it.

    1. I was fine with Wolf:TNO when it came out, but the more time has passed, the less favorable I’ve been toward it. I blame Doom. Just like in the early 90s, Doom happened and it more-or-less wiped the floor with Wolfenstein.

      It’s a solid FPS, don’t get me wrong, but it’s a quirky beast when it comes to the actual gameplay. There’s something indescribably “off” about the combat, the pacing, the enemy design, etc. The asinine quick time events and tedious base exploration weren’t much fun either. Apparently the sequel didn’t really address any of this, choosing instead to double down on cutscenes and shock violence, which were both things I didn’t care for in the original.

  2. Unq

    Yeah I hope you get back to mapping too. 🙂

    Wolfenstein: The New Order was pretty good overall. Some nifty setpieces and decent but not too hard boss fights. Plus a section that would have been perfect in BridgeVille.

    Been a while since I played anything. On my list: finish INFRA (~80% of the way through I think) and then Black Mesa (only played the old mod version).

  3. If you liked BioShock, but wish it carried over a few more features from System Shock 2, like a big interconnected world to explore, an inventory, and a wider array of gameplay styles to choose from, then you really should give Prey a try. I had a lot of fun with it and despite some quirks, it felt like the ultimate evolution of the “Shock” games. It’s the kind of unabashedly intelligent game we’re constantly told can’t be made in a triple-A environment anymore. Yet, here we are.

  4. I’ve been busy going back to mapping myself. Managing to recently releasing Hold Down The Fort, which is a small OP4 defense map based on the abysmal regen-health infinite-ammo/gunships train defense section from HDTF. I also thought of a jokey sequel for you-know-what called Hold Down The Boat, but didn’t really went far.

    I’m currently working on The Robotropolis Project. It’s a map turned full project that was originally going to be part of a Cry of Fear custom campaign of mine called Nostalgia 2. Unfortunately, N2 kinda died with only a survival map being the only remnant released, so, I was hoping I could do this as both closure and a bit of a retraining of skills.

    Although I do fear for my motivations, often than not I find myself either burdened by college work or some other thing like gaming that eventually it bled off, resulting in me not working on it for nearly months off (it started around last year, and I’m still only stuck with 2 maps, it’s that bad), I’m trying to fend it off by doing a a-part-of-a-room-a-day routine, but who knows how long it can last.

  5. I’ll join the “I want to get back into mapping” clique, then. I’ve started and scrapped a couple poorly-planned things over the past couple weeks, but I really wanna get back into this. Speaking of which, any advice on how to plan a map before firing up Hammer again? Paper, software, lego bricks, I’d love to hear what works best for y’all, because I’m useless if I don’t lay a map out start to finish before starting to work on it.

    1. It’s a cliche answer, but for me paper is the most valuable. Start rough with a rough layout of the entire map. Build that layout with simple shapes (which you can do fast). Test it, the timings and pacing etc., find weak points. Iterate. Go back to paper and draw a more detailed version, build that, iterate.

      Might seem tedious at first, but it is more rewarding and satisfying in the long run. You won’t end up in a dead end or get stuck. Your map will feel much more organic and as if its a real place.

      Start with compact maps to get used to this process.

      Also when you do it this way, you will have a version of your map that is playable from start to finish very early, and theoretically you could already send it in. Then just polish, add detail, iterate and improve it, until you reach the deadline, but you could enter any time. You can play your map early and have fun when you are bored of mapping, you can test it with friends early.

      1. I actually think that Photoshop is much better for designing a layout and writing down your ideas.
        In Photoshop, I can easily go back and erase something, while on pen and paper it can be messy and sometimes your eraser runs out.

        Your process sounds similar to mine, where I start out with basic shapes, then start modifying the geometry be more complex after game-play is locked down.

  6. I started playing BioShock Infinite a few days ago. After trying out the Modern Warfare trilogy Call of Duty has to offer, it was so refreshing to get back to a game that supports hipfiring.

  7. Well, I have some a mini-project in Hammer I’m trying to finish, and have been
    working on it for a month. I’m also working on some cool sprays for Tf2/Hl2DM.

    I’m just thinking today how much I used to stink at Hammer. I looked at an old map of mine yesterday, which I remember taking about 4-5 months. I was super proud of it, especially where the APC at the end destroys the windows and boards you’re hiding behind.

    Now? Ouch. Terrible optimization, dimensions, too dark lighting, weird geometry and just plain awful pacing.
    Now, I can make the same layout in just a few days(of course not finish it in that short a time). I did skip using Hammer for about 2-3 years, but it’s great to be back.

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