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Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Blizzard ate my friends

Strangest thing about having online chums who suddenly discovered the World of Warcraft. Every now and then, they just disappear. One more time and I'm sending out a large dog with whiskey around it's neck.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Monster Closets and Head Crabs

Playing the Half-Life 2 demo made me realize - Monster Closets are here to stay. Monster Closets are those parts made famous from the original DooM where you would enter a room, a secret door would open up and wham - apparently three hungry imps had locked themselves in a pantry.

Course, in HL2 they don't seem to be closets per se - but walking around Ravenholm it two things became apparent: every room probably has a corpse in it somewhere, and that corpse will get up to eat you. There also seemed to be a nearly unlimited source of the creatures from somewhere, even though I swear I was stone cold trapped in that hallway.

I just think it's fascinating that everyone bitched about Doom 3's use of them when it seems that HL2 is just as guilty, if only more subtle. I will say though, that the grav gun might be the most gimmicky thing I've seen in an FPS for a while - but it's also one of the most fun. Valve is to be commended for an excellent use of third party physics, something games like Deus Ex 2 proved isn't as easy as it sounds.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Dev Night Diary: Fight or Flight

I swear, I won't just be posting DND's. But the holidays make it slow to do news crawls. Anywho, my latest problem with UDS involves the fact that the Enemy AI seems to have only two modes: fight or flight. This basically turns the rounds into one of two things: either a bum rush or chasing down an annoyingly elusive enemy. The goal is to make it somewhere in between. The cause is that in normal deathmatch, enemies charge you if they're feeling brave, and then run for health and equipment if they've been hurt. UDS removes the equipment, so the bots never have a reason to turn back around and fight. So they just keep retreating. This is especially annoying because the current control setup forces you set a destination for your squadmates, slowing you down.

So the hopeful goal is to a) get the enemy to use cover and stop bum rushing, b) force them to resuse cover instead of infinitely looking for powerups and c) append squad commands so that they will simply follow ahead or behind you.