Poll Question 200 – Do you want more detailed player model?

27th November 2010

For mod media, do you prefer screenshots or videos?

There’s a cool video making the rounds of website links called Unfinished 1st person test (new footage at end) by thejazzman9475, yes, he of those TF2 dance videos. Highly recommended BTW. Got me thinking about whether this was something I wanted to see in EP3.

I have to admit I’m not really worried about the player model and not being able to see my feet. I suspend certain aspects of reality when I start playing games on my PC. I mean, i have to look at a screen for goodness sake. If I were in VR and had no legs then that might ruin it for me.

Now, not only does this video show more player model, it really shows enhanced interaction. The ability to block a Hunter’s attack with the crowbar, as my header image badly shows.

Of course, showing more player model wouldn’t mean you had to have new interaction of view styles, but it would seem a natural progression.

Personally, I’m more or less happy as we stand, as long as the basic controls required to play don’t increase, they that’s cool.

What do you think?

The Poll


  1. I’d like to see some improvement and variance in melee player combat. Nothing too big or dynamic (partly because that would probably delay Ep3 even more), but something similar to the way Alyx and Vortigaunts interact with zombies and the like.

    And a playermodel texture would be nice.

  2. Bramblepath

    Being able to see the player model like in Mirror’s Edge for me made the game more immersive. It would be pretty neat to have this in Half-Life 2, but it doesn’t matter all that much to me. I’d rather have decent gameplay, and really I don’t spend that much time worrying about the fact I have no torso or feet.

    Also, you can vote for all of the options for some reason. Might want to change that….

  3. I don’t think this is a matter of necessity anymore. High quality player models are a must in AAA gaming. With all these new technologies it’s not difficult to achieve too.

    Dark Messiah of Might and Magic was on Source Engine (pretty old version too) and it had a great player model for first person view.

    In Half Life 2’s case though, I have second thoughts. Since HL is about how the player thinks and what the player does (not Gordon Freeman in game), hiding the player model as much as possible is a choice . Valve decided to do hide Gordon and it was a successful decision.

    But I voted for “Yes, please”. I don’t mind seeing more Gordon. We long passed the times when we were just exploring and learning the HL series. Now on it’ll be only about new things Valve does in HL.

  4. Kasperg

    The player model in Crysis for example was excellent.
    If Valve were to implement something like it, they would have to make some gameplay changes. For example, when you climb a ladder in Crysis, both of your hands can be seen making the actual progress. You can’t shoot at that moment.
    In HL2, we would have to see Gordon’s hands holding the steering wheel or handles of the vehicles. That would be a nice touch.

    As someone making mods, I think the less that is visible of the player model, the easier it is to establish a mod with a protagonist other than freeman. If you are really into re-skinning or can even model, then it *could* be and advantage and an opportunity to make a clearer statement that your character is different.

  5. [MI] Stalk

    Higher detailed textures are always welcome. It’s always good to look at someone’s face and see every single detail on it… it freezes me in-game.

  6. The video from your link was most impressive. That kind of natural movement and view would greatly enhance in game immersion. Being able to see old Gordo when you look down in a puddle or run past a glass window would be nice, as long as game play is not affected. So that’s a “yes please” from me.

    Loved the crowbar block against that hunter!

  7. I don’t mind seeing more of the player model as long as it doesn’t take over player control or become a quick time event. I wouldn’t mind seeing hands on steering wheels or on ladders but context sensitive events like the crowbar block in the video, I feel, would start to encroach on the players freedom of movement that Valve has established.

    I played some of the latest Call of Duty, Black Ops, and I was disappointed with the way the game took away control from the player constantly. The animations looked great but the constant lack of control killed the immersion that the animations were trying to induce. After a while it felt more like a movie in first person than a game.

    If Valve can seamlessly thread the sorts of animations that appear in the video into EP3 without the player feeling any loss of control, I am all for it, but if it can’t be done, I am happy the way it is.

  8. Hec

    FOR HL2?? no thank you, I think it would ruin all the clasic gameplay, I mean maybe in an hipotetic HL3 with a whole new engine or a “super steroid SOURCE II” engine that improves 200% physics and dinamics could be justified to have a whole new player model, and to be able to look at his hands moving and grabbing objets, or jumping and hold with his hands to a ladder ore something like that… but I mean that could be possible so much more after the ep3 release maybe in 2013 or 14 who knows when valve could work in a totally new engeine that compites close to the ones that use Call of dutty4….

    1. Hec

      Just updating… Well I saw the youtube vid, and I must say it was AMAZING!, I love the animation but I still conssider that doing that would change everything in the way we play HL that’s for sure, but anyway i’d like to see that in a mod, it’d be a different mod that’s for sure but hope this guy who make the animation is looking forward to do a thing such a mod, it would be great to play somnething like that!

  9. Nihillo

    I think it would be an interesting addition for those moments where you have no control over what is happening, such as when an Advisor “grabs” Gordon. He could have an.. “optional” animation where he tries to reach a fallen weapon he was prieviously holding, but this is only shown if you actually look at the weapon; likewise, just looking around could have other results, such as Gordon trying to hold onto a support beam or trying to help Alyx or other companions that might be there with him.

    This wouldn’t limit the player’s control, since all of Gordon’s actions would be based on what the player is looking at, thus his actions would be the product of the player’s interests.

  10. Grey Acumen

    I’m amazed at how many people actually WANT to see Gordon. When I play HL2, Gordon takes a backseat. I, ME, am the one who has the physics degree and is kicking ass with the crowbar and gravity gun and solving the puzzles, beating the odds, etc. Seeing Gordon Freeman is fine when you’re watching a demo video or a teaser or a HL2 movie or something, but in that situation I have no control, so immersion isn’t an issue. I am simply watching Gordon Freeman perform his role.
    Seeing the arms and legs only serves to remind me that I am controlling the character Gordon Freeman in the game. Not seeing them lets me insert MYSELF into that position. No longer am I controlling a character in the game, I AM in the game. That’s what immersion IS.

    For me, I don’t care how good the player models look, it’s still just unnecessary distraction. Saying that you can see the hands when you climb the ladder, that’s great, but then that also makes it so you can’t fire your gun while you’re on a ladder, screw that. I’ll hook my leg in a rung of the ladder and go hands free from the ladder while I shoot if that’s what I need to do, but the programmers aren’t going to take the time to animate something like that, so on top of being distracting, it’s unacceptably prohibitive and limiting too.

    1. Hec

      Totally agree! the point is that WE are Gordon Freeman when we play that’s part of the spirit of HL

  11. I enjoyed the video. A bit of tongue-in-cheek humour as well. Seeing parts of GF is a considerable enhancement – but it must not be overdone.
    The video does it very well. To do more, though, might cross the line between FPS and 3rd person.

    I’m with Kyouryuu & MikeS at the forum and others here at PP.
    I finished Crysis recently. You get to see your hands and arms when climbing, swimming, driving, piloting and picking up stuff.
    This did not detract from immersion/characterisation but added very much to it.

    Having to deliberately stop to pick-up weapons and ammo, often under fire, adds just enough reality to add hugely to immersion.
    HL/HL2 requires the total suspension of reality as weaponry and ammo” is magically added to your ordnance.

    I am still the playing character, I am the character. Those are my arms and hands etc.

    And legs and feet please, I want to kick some Combine arse. Bring it on. 😀

  12. The true pleasure of playing FPS characters for me is in becoming that character psychologically through vicariously controlling and manipulating the environment through my conscious actions within it. The standard arms and hand(s) animations are just fine, but watching myself up off my ass after taking a heavy wallop would simply break my concentration and subsequently, my immersion level simultaneously. It might be fine for some, but I vote no on this one.

  13. Kyouryuu

    This is not a life or death thing. I’m perfectly happy with the way things are right now. But I think it would be worth investigating the option of being able to see your legs and arms. I don’t think it detracts from immersion at all – that’s just silly. It’s still your legs and your arms, buried under the HEV suit no less.

    See, the problem with the “it breaks immersion” argument is that there’s absolutely no bottom to it. Can we not say Gordon is a physicist? You’re probably not a rocket scientist, so why should he be? Do you know how to fire a sub-machine gun accurately? Load a rocket launcher in two seconds? That HEV suit model clearly could only fit an average-proportioned figure – does that mean Gordon doesn’t have love handles? Cause I have… you get the point.

    I actually think it’s more distracting to look down and not see my own shadow, or to see objects floating magically in front of me when I pick them up. Or not have even the slightest of weapon bobbing when I have the crowbar equipped. At that moment, Gordon is little more than a floating crowbar, not a character.

    Then again, if there was an invisible ghost with a disembodied, deadly crowbar floating around City 17, it’s no wonder the Combine fear it!

  14. Michal

    Cool video! I want this! It would realy deepen atmosphere and enhance gameplay. I like Mirrors Edge style. But on the other side it could become a bit CoD like and that isn’t HL.

  15. Soylent Bacon

    I liked seeing the characters” legs in Left 4 Dead, but I wouldn’t like a first person shooter that has all that stuff with the player’s view bobbing with his head and his arms doing everything.

    In other words, I’m fine with any extra detail that doesn’t interfere with gameplay. If I climb a ladder, for example, I want it to be a quick, comfortable process, instead of the slow, realistic climb where my side view may be obscured by my arms and I can’t look too far behind myself.

    I noticed Mirror’s Edge being brought up in the comment, and that actually really doesn’t look like it’s for me, but I guess I’m in the minority, judging by Mirror’s Edge’s popularity and by this poll’s results as I type. I guess a big part of that is that I’m not a big fan of those Parkour game mechanics you see in game like Prince of Persia, but it’s also because I’m even less comfortable seeing a character’s head and body moving more realistically when my view is restricted to that character’s point of view, with no peripheral vision or “sixth sense” for nearby objects.

    Thejazzman9475’s video is really cool to watch, but I doubt it would be as fun to be in control of, for the same reasons I’m not into Mirror’s Edge.

  16. Zekiran

    I wouldn’t mind, but not like that video shows. Motion blur is an instant turnoff to me, bad enough that if I can’t turn it off in a game, I won’t play it period.

    I think IF the game requires more levels of physical interaction and detail like being able to place your feet EXACTLY in a spot or using a body part to “bump” open a door or whatever, I can see using a more complicated system than is already in the HL2 games. But other than that happening, meh, not needed.

  17. Very interesting, to me anyway.

    In Crysis, you are Nomad and can see your feet. You also see your arms and hands reaching out for pick ups et al. You also speak occasionally and briefly with a neutral voice. You never see yourself.
    No loss of immersion

    In Crysis Warhead, you are Psycho with a gutteral British voice. You speak a great deal and you see your character in lots of very long cut scenes (V. V. Long!). This was over done and badly done
    Immersion destroyed.
    After the first few cut scenes, I took to leaving the room while they ran.

    Also in Warhead, You see your arms and hands pick up a weapon that you do not have but then collect ammo” for it magically a la HL/HL2, a backward step.

    I prefer the half-way house, between HL/HL2 and Warhead, that is Crysis.

  18. Basically…

    -Add more details to both the surrounding and the player-models!! The player-model in Lost Coast is a good example. They sure use that.

    -Different voice for different characters!! Highly important.

    That’s all I have to complain about so far…

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