GWJ Conference Call Episode 31

Conference Call

Forza 2 With THE WHEEL, Crackdown DLC, Blacksite: Area 51, A Surprise Topic Buffet, A Delicious Plan, Your Emails and more!

This week we unveil a del.icio.us plan to include more of your input into the show! Rabbit dishes some more information on his foray into teen D&D gaming, Rob is dead to Cory and we wheel in a surprise topic buffet. All this plus the thread of the week and your emails!

Want to support the show? Hit the Digg link just above (it's fast and easy to register) or review us on iTunes! Read on for show notes.

To contact us, email [email protected]! Send us your thoughts on the show, pressing issues you want to talk about or whatever else is on your mind. You can even send a 30 second audio question or comment (MP3 format please) if you're so inclined.

Sponsor
Liongames.com

The Links
Settlers of Catan
Area 51: Blacksite
Crackdown DLC
Forza 2 Demo
Del.icio.us
Fun Again (Catan Variants)

Thread of the Week:
1) How do you tell a game is really good? - 1Dgaf

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Show credits

Music credits: 

Intro/Outro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks

"George" (Benoit Casey) - 0:21:20
"Luna Machine" (Benoit Casey) - 0:46:08
"Long Midnight" (Benoit Casey) - 1:02:10

Comments

Hi there. Want to join us in our plan to take over Del.icio.us, but are too lazy to listen to the podcast? Do you like to wait until the wee hours of the night to listen to the velvet tones of Rabbit's voice? Do I just talk too damn fast for you during the show? Well pull up a chair and use our handy-dandy guide for tagging news stories you want us to talk about.

Step 1) Create an account on del.icio.us. There's a register link in the top right of the page. During the account creation process, del.icio.us will tell you how you can create bookmarklets you can use to add sites to your account. If you're a Firefox user, there's an official extension you can try.

Step 2) Find a gaming story on the Intertron that is scintillating, fascinating, or just plain cool, and post it to your del.icio.us account. If you want us to see it, make sure to use the tag "gwjcc" without quotes. You can give a story as many tags as you want, and in fact you should, because that's what del.icio.us is all about. But we won't see it if one of the tags isn't "gwjcc."

Step 3) There is no step 3.

Just by following these simple guidelines, you too can both jump headfirst into the wonderful world of Web 2.0, and help us remain lazy by giving us stuff to talk about on the show. If we discuss your submission, we'll probably even give you credit, possibly launching you into a new career as an Internet Celebrity, but at least giving you bragging rights amongst your friends and co-workers.

Just a few comments.

Driving/Racing Games:

Forza 2, I can't say how the game plays because I don't even have an Xbox however just from some of the movie clips on the site I see a few issues that taken into account in Gran Turismo 4 and not seemingly in this game. For example when the car goes into the grass I would expect the car to seriously decrease in speed and lose stability. Also when braking in a turn I do not expect for the car to continue keeping traction at the speeds they seem to be driving. On the Japan vs. Detroit trailer I noticed the difference in sounds of the two cars but again it looks like the handling is generic. Honestly I think there should be a bit more difference in car makes and models. Though the tutoring line you were talking about is an interesting learning tool. As for hitting a car going the same speed as you, you guys really need to watch some Sports GT racing on the sports channels. A slight nudge at 100mph can send you fish tailing into the grass with very little effort, especially on a turn.

I still haven't seen a game series more to the heart of driving games than GT yet. Hopefully a company surprises me. It is a Playstation game though so sorry people on the Xbox. Check it out: http://www.gran-turismo.com/

****

Rabbit's part: Are there two fundamentally different games between children and adults? Yes. Absolutely. Adults, our generation, want more content and more substance to the storyline in games than kids. Kids want action they want stimulations and stuff that requires fast reactions and big explosions. I also think there are games for Children. So we should look at games in three different ways. Children, Teenager, Adult. Each market is different and games are enjoyable to each market in different ways. Though there is a point in the ratings attracting kids. They may not like the game when they play it but the initial M rating will in fact "peak" their interest. Did the fact that Penthouse magazines were behind black plastic suddenly make us as teenagers not want to look through the magazine even if the magazine isn't all that good? What the M rating is playing on is not the intelligence or critic side of teenagers, it plays on more basic instincts than that.

No comment on the Xbox Live stuff since I don't own one except for one thing. Why would I be having an MSN text dialog from random people while I'm playing console games? Whatever happened to SMS on the phone or heaven forbid actually calling people on the phone? And who doesn't have a computer? Wouldn't you have your IM up on that? Just seems odd. I can see getting Live community Text messages about playing a game since you can add friends but having entire conversations? Seems very odd.

Madden War? Excuse me while I go vomit in the corner. Turf level? Are you sure they don't be Turd level? Disgusting. As close as I can think to sports cross vaulting to other genre would be like Unreal Tournament Powerball or Capture the Flag. As for sports RTS... top down I guess. Very odd but Madden is crap and continues to be crap. Tom Clancy needs to just remove his name from these idiot games and start picking and choosing decent titles.

Gaming Mags: I actually still like PC Gamer. I subscribe to it and have for years now. Games for Windows looks ok too. I would suggest PC Gamer if you like Games for Windows mag.

As for Halo 3, sorry folks but the only thing I would look forward to is updated graphical versions of Red vs Blue.
****

All registered on del.icio.us as kilroy0097 obviously. If I see some cool interesting things on the net on games or gaming related stuff then I'll go ahead and add the tag. Though I do add neat stuff to the forums already so this won't be that much more especially with that firefox.addon.

Tecmo Bowl. That brings back memories. I don't know how you could make anything special from football games though. That game was so great because it was one of the first. Now they are a dime a dozen. The name isn't enough to bring me interest.

I'd rather have an Xbox that glows an eerie blue and then changes colors according to the game. Kind of like that mood lighting on some LCD TVs. Puzzle Quest? Guys.. you really like that game? Eh I can't complain I like Sudoku games.

****

Want a bit of effect? Have the person who did the Thread of the week actually record themselves reading the initial post clearly and then replay that on the show.

When I was going through my Battlefield 2 phase I was constantly imagining BF2 scenarios. You are driving down the street and you see a building and thing, "That would be a good sniper position." I also had dreams about BF2. I must played over 1000 hours of BF2 and BF2142. I was so damn addicted to that game. And the mods like POE2.

****

Hey thanks for the air time. Yes I have played a whole lot of Catan and yes a lot of Catan games are crap. The card games like I said in my email are horrible and you should only play it if you have nothing else to do in a van ride or flying. While I do enjoy Starfarers of Catan because it puts a different twist on the game it's not as good as the original. I love the in house variations of Catan for obvious reasons. Of course I didn't really enjoy Cities and Knights of Catan as much as some. So to each their own but there is no greater than the original. I kind of wish I had an Xbox 360 just so I could challenge Rabbit there to some head to heads.

On the topic about violence in games, we as a culture just become more desensitized to violence and so games will just get more and more real in graphics and sound and we will continue to want more and more to get excited in the area of gaming. Monologues, spoken dialog or narration in cut scenes is a very good thing if done correctly because it allows you to "focus" on the graphics of the cut scene. It immerses you into the game more. You don't have to read text which really brings you a bit out of the immersion. Like the intro scene of F.E.A.R there is a reason it exists. It brings you into the game. The movie cut scenes in C&C3 gives you a feeling that you are actually a commander in the war. The only time where something should be cutting the action in half is beginning tutorials and you should be able to turn that off if you choose.

Another great Conference Call.

Cheers.

I think there's just about enough space for me to squee's'e in down here.

Good conference call guys.

kilroy0097 wrote:

Driving/Racing Games:

Forza 2, I can't say how the game plays because I don't even have an Xbox however just from some of the movie clips on the site I see a few issues that taken into account in Gran Turismo 4 and not seemingly in this game.

I still haven't seen a game series more to the heart of driving games than GT yet.

Emphasis mine.

If you haven't played either of the Forza games then you've not seen one of two game series' that are actually better in almost every way than GT. Having played both.. the only nod I give to Gran Turismo is slightly better car models. The physics modeling, driving feel, sound, and any number of other things all feel much more realistic in Forza than I feel they do in Gran Turismo.

And if you really want a game series "more to the heart of driving games than GT" maybe you should check out GTR on the PC. It's more realistic than both Forza and GT.

When it comes to driving physics and feel... GTR>Forza>GranTurismo.

Good show guys.

Thin_J: Do you mean GTR FIA Racing for the PC?
http://www.gamespot.com/pc/driving/g...

Just making sure cuz I'm willing to give it a try if you think it's better than Gran Turismo. As for my opinions on Forza, you're right. I can't really comment on it except from what I've seen video wise for it. I watched the car race videos and I just notice that both cars have similar handling in the curves and when they go off road I see very little deviation as grass and sand should have. I know those effects exist in GranTurismo which is why I mentioned the lack or apparent lack there of. However I am noticing that more and more cool titles are coming out for the Xbox 360 and while I admit I was actually waiting for the PS3, it's a huge disappointment for me. Who knows I might get myself an Xbox one day.

I'll check out the GTR game. Thanks.

I watched the car race videos and I just notice that both cars have similar handling in the curves and when they go off road I see very little deviation as grass and sand should have. I know those effects exist in GranTurismo which is why I mentioned the lack or apparent lack there of.

Actually there is a big difference when you end up in the grass or dirt or rock. Not only in handling but also in speed. You can trust me on that one I spent a lot of time off the road and not because I wanted to, but because I suck at racing games.

Also when braking in a turn I do not expect for the car to continue keeping traction at the speeds they seem to be driving. On the Japan vs. Detroit trailer I noticed the difference in sounds of the two cars but again it looks like the handling is generic. Honestly I think there should be a bit more difference in car makes and models. Though the tutoring line you were talking about is an interesting learning tool. As for hitting a car going the same speed as you, you guys really need to watch some Sports GT racing on the sports channels. A slight nudge at 100mph can send you fish tailing into the grass with very little effort, especially on a turn.

As for the rest of the comments you have about the game, the video you watched truly did not do the game any justice. Just about every worry you have about the game is off.

Speed and breaking are very important when trying to make it around a corner, if you are going too fast you will end up in a wall.

Handling is not generic. I played several rounds with 3 different cars and they all handled differently.

As for the collisions, well I guess it comes down to preference. In PGR 3 I would be racing down the track on a straight away, in a straight line and the next thing you know some AI car would nudge me and I would spin out of control. I hated that it was so frustrating and there was nothing I could about it because the game gave you no time to try and adjust. With Forza 2 that never happened I am not saying it is impossible to spin out, it certainly is especially when taking turns. I just prefer the physics model way more than PGR 3.

As a former Gran Turismo 4 addict I can confirm what Thin_J is on about. Although the body roll during turning and breaking doesn't feel as good as GT4 the car handling is much better. I'm having a hell of a time controlling the R2 Corvette in the demo though. I play with the assists off and unless I gear up to 3rd when I take off I just don't have a light enough touch to stop from spinning out. Anyone using the wheel find it any easier to control throttle?

Demi and Gaald bring up some good counterpoints about dialogue. HL and HL 2 would absolutely suck with narration in place of dialogue. But maybe Gaald can verify this for me. I would think its much easier to produce quality narration than a full game of dialogue.

Like Rabbit said, narration doesnt have to be intrusive, hence the square peg in the round hole reference in regards to trying to orchestrate dialogue.

With narration of course the actor/reader is playing a character but I think its a much easier character than trying to fill a role in a scene. Also, its only one role whereas more than likely you will have at least one male and one female for all the dialogue if you are going on the cheap.

Its not that I dont like dialogue in my games. I just think its more cost effective and easier to get quality work with narration.

Ehem, oh and one last point: Remember that long tram ride, one of a kind experience, at the beginning of HL? Now imagine what that tram ride would be like without the tram's computer voice relaying instructions and information about the environment you were entering... that certainly isnt dialogue =)

Stylez wrote:

Anyone using the wheel find it any easier to control throttle?

I think I'm headed out to pick up the wheel today. I have the same problem sometimes starting off with the C6R so I should be able to tell ya if it makes a difference

I don't think that narration is better than dialogue. This is probably a gut reaction from my literary training, but it feels like narration is "telling" the player what to think and feel, rather than "showing" them the situation and letting them come to their own conclusions.

Rabbit was gone? I though he was Demi.

LobsterMobster wrote:

I don't think that narration is better than dialogue. This is probably a gut reaction from my literary training, but it feels like narration is "telling" the player what to think and feel, rather than "showing" them the situation and letting them come to their own conclusions.

Like I said in the show they each have there place. Narration is great if you want a story book feel in your game, the player is like an observer to the story. Where as using dialogue to tell your story is supposed to help bring the player into the game world, as if they are actually taking part in the story. Some games use both Narration and Dialogue.

Ehem, oh and one last point: Remember that long tram ride, one of a kind experience, at the beginning of HL? Now imagine what that tram ride would be like without the tram's computer voice relaying instructions and information about the environment you were entering... that certainly isnt dialogue =)

I think we have to be careful here because I get the impression you are insinuating that the computer voice on the tram in HL is narration. I don't think it is, things like the computer voice is what I would consider atmosphere or background noise (there is probably a better word for it but it eludes me right now). Atmosphere is used all the time and it is supposed to help immerse the player in the game. It's like the background noise you hear in movies when the characters are in a specific location like an airport. You hear boarding announcements and planes landing and stuff, sometimes the noise will be specific to the story like an announcement that a flight has arrives so that the audience knows the time line. When I think of narration I think of a disembodied voice that tells a story.

Children vs. Adults in game expectations/desires:

I don't think I'm comfortable in characterizing this difference as a dichotomy of maturity, because not only do a lot of fully grown individuals play some truly inane games, but I myself often enjoy some pretty vapid fun. (Games I've played a lot lately include Centipede, Joust, and Gears & Beers.) You're right in that there is a very real difference, but there are plenty of mature adults who play games for less intellectual reasons than others -- and often gamers will like both kinds of games, but chose one depending on their mood at a given time. It's more a difference between "action flicks" and "artistic films." Sometimes you want to watch The Libertine, and sometimes you want to watch Pirates of the Caribbean. Sometimes you want to be forced to make tough ethical questions that reveal to you something about yourself. Sometimes you want to get drunk and chainsaw Gumbie's face. The two types are designed to appeal to different tastes and in different ways.

Ozzie as a character name:

Did I hear that right? I'm guessing that's not a White Sox reference. If it is, give that kid extra XP, and perhaps a guilded gauntlet (gold glove, anyone?)

1D's thread:

I think the problem is that the thread prompts us to try and quantify subjective emotions. I don't think most of the time we have to step outside ourselves and analyze our behavior from that 3rd person perspective in order to know if we really like a game -- I similarly don't often have to see that I'm bleeding to know that my leg hurts. That said, ever since I started playing FPS games, I find myself checking down every hallway and open door I pass to make sure it's clear. This can be embarrassing when walking past women's restrooms.

Story moments:

First off, I'll admit that in terms of clean, Boy Scout ethics, all Canadians are better people than I am. I not only accept this, but am proud of it. As usual, Minnesota counts as Canada here. I'm not sure at this point as to how much I can say about the various ethical considerations on so many narrative and meta-narrative levels beyond that geographic distinction. I may have to start a new thread about it. Going down an entirely different road, the email said that the girl in Ico doesn't act like a normal video game character. What exactly does that mean, and how can the industry break out of that kind of constraining mold for characters? Perhaps that does go back into discussions about how players and player characters feel about NPCs, as in Fable. I don't know. I haven't played Ico.

You played Alone in the Dark with friends? Were the lights on, too? Did you play Silent Hill in a loud valley, perhaps? Descent while going up an escalator?

Narration and Dialogue:
While I too was trained to "show, don't tell," I think each still has its place. I tend to see HL2 as being a sort of hybrid between dialogue and narration, since "dialogue" otherwise sort of implies that the player's character also speaks. I think a good way to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of narration and dialogue is then to see how the game would feel if HL2 was done with straight narration or real dialogue instead. It is of course through such introspective myopia that we can learn to perfect the struggling arts of voice-over, narration, and dialogue in our games.

I'll try and start, and let others help from there.

Narration: If HL2 had been done with 3rd person narration, would there less of the sense of mystery and confusion? Less anticipation and fear? Would the reduced communication with others, or the lack of others to communicate with, lessen feelings of communion with those other characters? Would it lead to a more lonely feeling to the game? Would there be less reason and meaning to Freeman's actions without that more direct contact?

Dialogue: Certainly having real dialogue between Gordon and the others would mean a loss of the "quiet man" archetype, and I invite the goodjers to explore how that would change things. That could be a thread unto itself, I'm sure -- but then a lot of this post might be that way. I picked up on a strong feeling of being a victim of circumstances in both HL1 and 2. I think having more interaction with NPCs would lessen that feeling of victimization by circumstances, since it would be less about following orders and reacting to the world as it changes around Gordon. I don't know if having that extra level of interaction would make me feel more in control of things or not. It would probably make me feel more responsible for what happens to the NPCs and the world in the game.

And then this analysis can probably be done to a largely unnarrated game like Gears as well. How would adding narration change that game?

Rat Boy wrote:

Rabbit was gone? I though he was Demi.

You wound me, sir.

I'd like to add that my favorite "voice overs" have to be the Guardian talking to me.

a small piece of me dies every time I hear Certis say "Mad Props"

TheGameguru wrote:

a small piece of me dies every time I hear Certis say "Mad Props"

I felt the same way when they mispronounced "Oogaba."

wordsmythe wrote:

Narration: If HL2 had been done with 3rd person narration, would there less of the sense of mystery and confusion? Less anticipation and fear? Would the reduced communication with others, or the lack of others to communicate with, lessen feelings of communion with those other characters? Would it lead to a more lonely feeling to the game? Would there be less reason and meaning to Freeman's actions without that more direct contact?

People are going to hate me for this...

Personally, i think that if Gordon spoke then Half Life would be more of an action game in feeling. He'd have more questions (the ones we all ask) rather than being some sort of spineless patsie - imagine a John McClane-esque character who's helplessly put into the situation but still retains his identity... take that away and you get Gordon Freeman.

HL2 disguises narration as dialogue, you sit through a conversation with one or more individuals, unable to interact and are allowed to wander around killing time without them batting an eyelid (except for one occasion in Kleiner's lab - as i recall). You're more of a mobile camera with a gun than an actual character within the story. Maybe it's one of the reasons i don't like HL2 but like HL as the pointless exposition isn't as long-winded?

Dialogue: Certainly having real dialogue between Gordon and the others would mean a loss of the "quiet man" archetype, and I invite the goodjers to explore how that would change things.

John McClane

That could be a thread unto itself, I'm sure -- but then a lot of this post might be that way. I picked up on a strong feeling of being a victim of circumstances in both HL1 and 2.

John McClane

It would probably make me feel more responsible for what happens to the NPCs and the world in the game.

I agree. I felt no attachment to anyone in HL2. The fact that Barney was so jokey and such a pal in the beginning really riled me because there was no basis for it... nor for a 20 yr old to have a crush on a guy who the general populace really shouldn't know about... but did and hailed him as a hero. It's as if we're in an episode of quantum leap but everyone knows that we're Sam Beckett...

And then this analysis can probably be done to a largely unnarrated game like Gears as well. How would adding narration change that game?

Haven't played Gears but i'd be happy to post my opinions if i had

Yeah, I always took Freeman to be like McClane, except that Freeman was a wimpy science nerd while McClane was a hard-nosed street cop.

Half Life. I cared nothing for any of the characters. There was no personal revelation about the characters themselves. I was more interested in the story as a whole. What actually happened, what will happen, what the conclusion will be. The storyline as a whole interested me. The characters were simply a means to an end. Games like FF or Fable were better in making you feel something for the actual characters and also the storyline. Both tell stories and they do so in different ways. Both have their appeal to certain people but not everyone likes both. Not every game needs or deserves a narrator or special dialog. Some would do just fine with text description or simply background noise. Mystery or Horror games where you listen to the noises in the game and find out more through reading emails you find on lone computers in dark dusty rooms instead of narration or dialog.

So yes not every game needs narration, dialog or anything of that sort but some do to tell the story. Does Gears of War need more dialog or better dialog to complete it's task? Probably not. Is the character unusually intelligent or charismatic? Or is he a single mind set force recon soldier in a war killing aliens? Perhaps the simple and bad dialog in Gears of War, that was commented on the show, is exactly what the developers wanted from the character. Would you expect Rambo to deliver some long speech about the turmoils of war and it's effect on this personal life? Or do you expect him to say some stupid one liner and then shoot someone? Just because I as the player of a game wants more from the game doesn't mean that it should be there.

The hard part is trying to separate your wants in a game from what is needed in the game to tell the story the developers wanted to tell (In games that actually have a story to tell).

kilroy0097 wrote:

Half Life. I cared nothing for any of the characters. There was no personal revelation about the characters themselves. I was more interested in the story as a whole. What actually happened, what will happen, what the conclusion will be. The storyline as a whole interested me. The characters were simply a means to an end.

And this is where i find that valve get away with so much. I don't understand it. It's like they have some magic franchise power (like spiderman and batman) to fail in their tasks and yet succeed anyway.

Most of the main characters revealed something of themselves - supposedly allowing the player to identify with them better:

Alyx - her crush, her determination and idealistic...ness, her clashes with Dr. Mossman.

Judith Mossman - her love of Eli and the conflict between herself and Alyx as she tries to have a relationship with him (just like any step mother/daughter conflict). ALSO her (wrongly perhaps) belief that if she gives their technology to the combine that they will somehow be spared - her naivety... a personal conflict between what she thinks is right and doing that because she loves Eli and doesn't want to see him hurt.

Eli Vance - His resiliance to be able to escape Black Mesa after losing a foot, somehow get back with Alyx and still muddle on through the occupation without his wife and with his missing limb. His outward show of jokey cool and bravado belies the serious and determined man underneath

Barney - You see barney for the man he has become. Always a brave security guard, now he is something more, as the game progresses you see that inbetween the times you meet up he has begun to take command of the situation, to gain the respect and admiration of his rag-tag bunch of freedom fighters. He's the leader of the guerilla war, the figurehead standing on the right hand of the "legendary" Gordon Freeman - not Kleiner or Eli.

Kleiner is just 2D... though they made him supposedly less robotic with his comdey 'pet' headcrab.

The populace - they are downtrodden, almost given up of hope. You see and hear their suffering and the hope and confidence that they gradually regain as the game progresses.

Breen - You see how the corrupting hand of power and the false belief that you can wield that power with any authority can affect those granted it. It reminds me of occupied countries that have local power given to them by the occupation force. They're supposed to inspire confidence and control outbursts because they are 'one of them'... but they are not. As soon as the person dons the vestments of the power granted by an outside source they become dispised. He is a propaganda tool, one more in their arsenal and it's not clear if Breen sees this himself or whether he has an overly naieve nature like Mossman.

Then there's finally the protagonist. The one who's supposed to experience things through the player's own feelings. First off, no one saw what Gordon did in the alien border world. Eli was in the beginning of the game and so never met Gordon again so wouldn't know of his achievements. Kleiner was with Eli. Barney - from what we're told, is the blue shift guy - is not seen in Half Life 1. It's safe to assume that most of the scientists that he did meet died (as a large portion of them did in the game).
So how do all the people know Gordon. Why do they know? Even if Eli and Kleiner and Barney all know of his deeds, if Gordon wasn't around then although they might tell people he wouldn't become some Godlike figure of hope. This is the flimsiest part of HL2 and it annoys me no end. It's an ego trip for the player - an unashamedly obvious one at that - and it makes no sense to be in the game.

I won't even start on the story as that will make the post too long
Hope no one thinks i'm flaming here... i just don't understand the situation...

Duoae wrote:

So how do all the people know Gordon. Why do they know? Even if Eli and Kleiner and Barney all know of his deeds, if Gordon wasn't around then although they might tell people he wouldn't become some Godlike figure of hope. This is the flimsiest part of HL2 and it annoys me no end. It's an ego trip for the player - an unashamedly obvious one at that - and it makes no sense to be in the game.

Typically specieist.
From the slave races that Gordon freed while there. From the prophesies that were crafted from dimensions unknown and spread throughout their population as a fragment of hope in dark times.
Help the Free Man to help yourself!

That's if I remember right. I'm terribly hung-over and only half-way through my first cup of coffee, but I distinctly remember those zapper dudes blathering on about the savior and prophecies and stuff. Sounds to me like they might have a good idea what happened in the zone, and it sounds to me like the scientists would be keen on hearing ALL about it and this mysterious Free Man.

Rezzy wrote:

Typically specieist.

Hehe, unashamedly so! I didn't consider that vector and it does explain some things...

*Chants*
Kill the muties!

Barney - from what we're told, is the blue shift guy - is not seen in Half Life 1.

It's the Barney from the very beginning of HL1 -- "About that beer I owed ya."

As to your misgivings regarding the game as a whole, they're all pointing out it's flaws a character-driven or plot-driven story; but it's not primarily fueled by those. It's a setting-driven experience, the element of storytelling that videogames handle best. A more accurate label for the two games would be Black Mesa and City 17.

Yeah, that would make sense.... but it's not. He's the guy from Blue shift.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barney_...

Blue shift wrote:

Barney gained a starring role in the following expansion, Half-Life: Blue Shift. He was finally given a surname (Calhoun) along with an improved appearance.

It should be noted that the Barney Calhoun from Blue Shift never actually meets Gordon Freeman in the course of the game itself, although Gordon's tram passes by Barney at the start of Blue Shift as he is trapped outside a locked door, in a humorous nod to a scene from Gordon's perspective during the tram ride in Half-Life.

It's like they amalgamated people and roles...

Danjo Olivaw wrote:

It's a setting-driven experience,

I'd beg to differ since the plot is the one thing that everyone - including valve - always praises HL on...

The reason the Gears characters slow down while receiving narration from the chick is because they're loading the next area. Those are the load times.

I'd beg to differ since the plot is the one thing that everyone - including valve - always praises HL on.

Usually I hear that the story of Half Life is praised, not the plot. There's hardly any plot to speak of, which I do like, but that's not the main reason I enjoy the story. Now that I think about it some more, they're really pushing for a character driven story with Alyx starting in Episode 1. If that comes to full fruition then I could see later Half Life's equally supported by setting and character. We'll see.

It's like they amalgamated people and roles.

That's really weird.

Yeah, you're right. I got mixed up with plot and story.... but since there's very little of either in the game it's quite easy to do

dictionary wrote:

Plot:
Also called storyline. the plan, scheme, or main story of a literary or dramatic work, as a play, novel, or short story.

Oh SNAP!

I love the fact that I hang out at a place where flame wars are started by dictionaries.

(heh. You're both right).

If it makes you any happier i also consulted a thesaurus for possible connections and interchangeable uses of the two... but i felt the above was sufficient

rabbit wrote:

Oh SNAP!

I love the fact that I hang out at a place where flame wars are started by dictionaries.

(heh. You're both right).

Don't make me come back in this thread!