This is the Poll Questions category

Regular (used to be weekly) polls to stimulate interesting and intelligent discussion.
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Poll Question 362 – Would you prefer achievements to be hidden until after the first playthrough of a game?

Having just purchased The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, I looked at the Steam page and found there were 14 hidden achievements. Initially, that seemed really unfair. How was I supposed to reach an achievement if I didn’t know what it was? That’s like playing darts with the lights off and not knowing where the dartboard is.

But then I looked at the Bioshock 2 page and found all the achievements listed and that seemed almost as bad. if I am just going to play a game to reach the achievements, won’t that take away some of the spontaneity of the experience?

So what is the middle ground? I don’t know, but perhaps it is that the achievements are hidden until after the first playthrough. Any achievements gained on the first playthrough are “Gold” or something, although people will just look for them online simply to get the gold star I suppose.

In fact, maybe make it so that it is impossible to get ANY achievements on the first playthrough!

Maybe there could be hints with the second and subsequent playthroughs to help you find the ones you missed.

How do you feel about the display or not of achievements?

21st November 2016 24 Comments

Poll question 361 – Would you pay for early access to Xen?

Unless you have been living under a rock, and that’s not a bad thing in today’s world, you would have seen the recent announcement by the Crowbar Collective that work on Xen is progressing well.

They have released a couple of plan screenshots for you to get excited about.

As soon as they did that, I started to wonder how many people would pay for early access, so that’s what this poll question about.

Players who have the mod version will not be getting the new levels, so if you haven’t bought the game yet, I highly recommend it. In addition, it allows you to play all of the maps released, whereas the mod version doesn’t.

8th November 2016 16 Comments

Poll Question 360 – Would you pay to try a Half-Life 3 Demo?

As soon as I heard Game were charging for VR demos, I thought would crazy Half-Life fab boys, like me!, pay for a HL3 demo?

of course, it’s a pretty open question and I want us to discuss the general idea of paying for demos and whether it would backfire for developers.

I should mention that I’m not talking about a HL3 VR release, just a regular format.

Surely to goodness you must wanna read the original BBC article.

The Video

31st October 2016 7 Comments

Poll Question 358 – How many Achievements have you attained?

In What The Headcrab! Episode 19 I talked about a post on Reddit that said that only 1% of people who have played Half-Life 2 had attained all of the statistics. I couldn’t find a page that said only 1% had all achievements but I suspect it was a play on the current 1%/99% theme in today’s world.

Then later that day, I was playing a single player mappack for Black Mesa called Small Lab and I started to get some achievements. The funny thing is that I haven’t even played the game yet and when I do, I might even have most of them attained.

I’ve never been a big fan of achievements but I understand their appeal. Perhaps we could have Attain November, just like we did last year with HARD November?

18th August 2016 26 Comments

Poll Question 357 – Is it possible for SP mods to release too many Alpha/Beta versions?

Preparing a What The Headcrab! episode, I noticed that Above The Catacombs had 3 Alphas available at the time of writing: Alpha 0.73 – Jul 18 2016 (Called the seventh), Alpha 0.4 – Jun 27 2015 and Alpha 0.3 – Jun 2 2015.

Putting aside the time difference between 0.73 and 0.4 of almost a year, I feel that schedules for public release should be fairly limited.

In general, Alpha are internal milestones and beta are external. Of course, it doesn’t have to be that way with mods but I can’t help feeling that if you need feedback this early in development then you don’t have much confidence in your concept.

11th August 2016 9 Comments

Poll Question 355 – What is the worst thing that could happen in HL3?

Sorry to have so many poll questions about HL3 lately, but the modding scene is a little quiet at the moment.

We all have our pet peeves; things that drive us crazy and with the recent leaks of supposedly HL3 stuff in lines of code, the anticipation has reached new heights.

With anticipation comes disappointment and not just from delays but from not getting what we expected, so this week’s poll question tries to address that exact idea.

For you, what’s the worst thing that could happen in HL3?

I could live with no new weapons, enemies, or vehicles – although I don’t think for a moment that Valve would release HL3 without those things.

I could even live with a main character dying if the story needed it. Hell, I could even live with Gordon finally speaking but I would rather he didn’t.

What I couldn’t live with is a big change to the gameplay mechanics and dynamics. I play HL games because of the setting and shooting, if you took the shooting away I wouldn’t be interested.

What about you?

28th July 2016 34 Comments

Poll Question 354 – Would you prefer a TC with a play time of 1 hour or a mod set in the HL universe with a play time of 2 hours?

Questions like these are always more of a “depends on…” because there are some many factors. But assuming the quality and fun was more or less the same, which would you prefer to play?

I generally find Total Conversions interesting but ultimately lacking and that’s fully understandable considering we are comparing an amatuer mod to a AAA game developer with huge resources, but sometimes TCs can offer the player something new and that might be enough to please the player.

Is something shorter but new worth more than something known but longer?

If I had asked this questions 5 years ago, I would have chosen the known but longer option, but now I think I’d rather have something new.

Anyway, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

If you are curious, I do have some Total Conversions listed on the site.

22nd July 2016 16 Comments

Poll Question 353 – Would you play Half-Life Go?

Unless you live in a cave in the mountains and have just returned to civilisation (I used that word reluctantly!) and this is the first website you have checked, you will no doubt have heard all about Pokemon Go.

I have got almost no idea how Pokemon Go exactly works, nor do I want to, so please don’t explain, but here is how I see half-Life Go working.

At various locations around , well, everywhere, are hidden various Half-Life enemies. You job is to kill or avoid them. For example, when you are in 5 metres of a headcrab your phone starts to make that purring sound sound. Upon lifting your phone up and scanning the area, when you are facing the headcrab it jumps and screams at you. The only way to kill it, is to position it at your feet and kick it, making sure the camera sees it happen.

With other enemies, you must use your phone as a gun. In some cases you must run away. There would be ammo caches scattered around the area. For example, if you saw a strider you would know that there is a rocket launcher nearby, as well as some rockets.

Players could locate Easter eggs of extra caches buy looking in groups i.e. the caches only appear if there are two or more “rebels” with 2 metres of each other.

I suppose you could buy extra weapons, ammo or range detection and I assume you can do those things in the Pokemon version.

Anyway, would you play it?

What other Half-Life inspired features would you add?

14th July 2016 25 Comments