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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Me On That Portal Thing

Recent AIM with a friend and fellow gamer (names changed to protect from spam):

him: have you seen the crazy valve portal video?
me: can't see videos here
me: what's it like?
him: it's a fps gun, that shoots portals
him: shoot 1 wall, creates start portal, shoot 2nd wall, creates 2nd, 2 are linked
me: oh, shoot one portal one thing ... shot another... then you can step through
him: yep
him: you can step through, you can make objects fall through, etc.
me: so it's a translocator
me: from Unreal
me: but with a door
me: I swear there was a mutator for that a year or so ago :)
him: except it works with anything
me: but you have to shoot a wall?
him: ie: I shoot a portal under a baddy, or an object, it comes out the other one
him: wall, floor, ceiling
me: yeah I think the mutator worked similar. You couldn't shoot a hole in the floor, but you could toss one in front someone and zap them across the map
me: sucked hardcore for CTF
me: funny as hell though
him: ah, i think this is unique in that it basically allows you to create a new door that opens from anywhere to anywhere, including seeing the other side of the portal through where you shot
him: and that any object is succeptible to falling through
me: yeah, UE2 didn't allow you to view other sections of the map remotely
him: i'd imagine it would make ctf a lot diff
me: I think it would generally be banned. Four guys with that kind of gun could wall off the flag pretty quickly
him: it's most intersting, and in the demo, appears to also function like the grav gun
me: You can move the doors around?
him: no, you can grab objects with it
him: they could have been swapping weapons or using something else for the grabby stuff, but, that's not the important part
me: damn Valve ... everything's the damn grav gun
him: lol
me: "oooo I can move stuff" .... what ever happened to the Cerebral Bore?
me: OK, that was Turok
me: but still...

tagged: ,


Thomas said...

I finally got around to playing Half Life 2. It's fun. The gravity gun (plus accompanying physics) is neat, and they use it well. But it's one of those gadgets that basically becomes invisible, because it's doing what a non-gamer would think you should be able to do.

I watched the portal video and said "holy crap." It's like Escher built a game. I know it's fundamentally a less impressive technology, but wow.

The last time I saw something that cool was playing as the Alien in AvP 1 and realizing that I had forgotten which way was up, years before Prey tried the same trick.

Josh said...

I liked the grav gun ... I thought it was implemented well enough to elevate it above the normal schtick. I just think it was overhyped by some (OMG THIS WILL REVOLUTIONIZE FPS).

Also, I wasn't too thrilled by it's usage towards the end of the game.

This seems neat, and I'm speaking without having seen the video, but it seems a little dated compared to the Serious Engine and, as noted, code I've seen hobbyists play with.

Still, in honesty I'm all for people doing something other than putting a new skin on the rocket launcher. So aside from my snark, a hearty handclap is probably in order.

Josh said...

And to tack on: I loved the Alien in AvP 1. Hands down one of my favorite aspects of any FPS of all time.

Patrick Dugan said...

Carbanacular Drop, a horrific name and marketing suicide, but really a lot of fun, I played it at the IGF showcase in march.

The cool think about the grav gun is that its full name has something to do with zero point energy, which is one of those mysterious corners of quantum physics.

Winkyboy said...

The Unreal4Ever guys had this for UT2004 way before HL2 :P

Josh said...

Doh - right! U4E.

See, to rant on about this - this exactly why the mod community going pro sucks so hard. I look at stuff like the grav gun or portal gun and I'm like ... meh. I've played with three team designs and skating and seen people toy with stuff like ingame crowd control or teleport guns or health guns, turrets, grappling vines .... the list really does go on.

But people equate mods with commercial games these days ... so even little expirements like this (of which the Unreal community used to have in spades) are infrequent distractions. If someone doesn't have a modeller and a skinner ... they'll probably go completely unnoticed.

So yeah, it's neat that Valve is toying with something different. It's great that Prey is toying with gravity. But the FPS genre turned it's back on it's greatest source of innovation ... so I'm not exactly going to go gaga to see a pro company (once again) rehash an old mod idea as if it were revolutionary.