23 Responses to “Episode #51”

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I think it’s important to mention the Leon (from Strider Mountain) did not ask for the “chip in” and it was not his idea. The podcast almost made it seem like he did it to get a new video card. In fact, Leon had nothing to do with it.
I just wanted to clarify and say thanks to the people who did donate.

nice pocast again keep up the good work

the Tactical Intervention: The Next Counter-Strike

doint you think its a bit pointles to make a new counter strike like game that woint even look nicer than the old one ? if the realy want to make this game than the shut change game engine even if this means going away from the Source engine it wold be cool if you able to get him on the podcast tho so he can clear things up (and guns that are modeld wrong is a big point) :P

Funny start of the podcast. With the live listeners not hearing music. Hehe.

A bit too much blabla.. at times. Something that some episodes have. It’s hard to stay focused when things go way off topic for a long time. And I don’t like how the releases were just rushed through this time. Talk about them, what they are and especially why they were or were not good. I am not up-to-date with all the things you cover, that’s why I listen to you. But yea, also because you are all fun lovable characters and make for a good laugh every week. :)

Anyway..for the questions raised in this episode. I don’t really care for Left 4 Dead 2. It just upsets me in many ways. Why so soon? Why not released through updates? How is Left 4 Dead 2 exciting for players who have the first game? There are not that many new features… Why can’t Left 4 Dead 2 be at a lower price and even lower if you own Left 4 Dead? But the most important question, where the f-ck is Episode 3? Left 4 Dead 2 is what episodic releases should be – new year = new release. I can’t believe they turn their backs on Gordon Freeman… Not cool. I will most likely not buy Left 4 Dead 2. I have the first game and a follow-up so soon is not needed. So this will be the first time I avoid a Valve game.

Great work guys, as usual. Now go omnom some turkey! :)

you forgot the Stargate: Legacy October 09 news, i even gave you a link.

next week better feature a William apology section.

*glares angrily at William

also, i would like to everyone know that we are holding an achievement contest.
you may enter in either/or the Achievement Icon or Achievement categories.

the winner in each category wins a copy of hl2

runners up may get access to the closed beta testing sessions when they start

for full details check out http://www.stargatelegacy.net

Hi Surfa from NMRiH thanks for the boycott of our mod in the podcast although it makes no difference we will not be releasing any video until all the assets needed are ready. Also just to return the favour I am boycotting you podcast until you get someone with even a little bit of knowledge about the source engine on it. I mean seriously have none of you ever heard of colour correction.

Some light reading for you guys. The screenshots of the map contain no photoshop editing what so ever.

Also about the video again the reason there hasn’t been one yet is that we are seriously lacking in the animation department (if you are a talent animator and would like to join NMRiH please feel free to join our forums and make a post outline your skills) and we don’t want to release anything that will give the mod a bad image. Also the fact of the matter is that the latest build has only been worked on for the last 7-9months and is not the 6 years that everyone seems to think.

Tough love from Surfa

Hey surfa,

I’d take the work on those screenshots being mistaken for Photoshop effects as a compliment!
To be fair, nobody on the podcast works closely with the Source engine, you have us there, but we did mention colour correction was a possibility. I personally have never really seen it used to that extreme so was unsure of what I was seeing, again take pride that you guys are really taking advantage of it.

Lastly, the years comment is related to total development, not the latest build.


I didn’t mean to come off in a harsh way. I just felt it was fair that you get all of the story before making your judgments of the mod. Also I guess I took the comment about photoshop the wrong way I got the impression that you were doubting the skills of our level artists.

Also if you do want to fly me to Toronto I am fine with that but I wouldn’t really want you to waste your money or the money of other people.

Good podcast chaps :)
Thanks for mentioning GM, even if you did not read it x)

I’m sooo going to make Half-Life reddit :D

I just had the chance to read through the interview – sorry I couldn’t in time for the podcast. One thing that really interests me about Dan is that he combines mod development with academics and the study of human perception. Video games have a strong bond with emotion, not only mental emotion but metaphysical as well – and I don’t think this is explored enough. With an engine so versatile as the source engine I think it would be stupid not to incorporate some form of in depth interactivity into a mod or piece of work.

I loved this quote:
“At the same time, if you’re a researcher and interested in what you can do with this genre, where you can break the rules or test things out, then you’ve got to take any feedback as being of equal value.”

This is what I try to do with Podcast 17… even though a lot of our negativity is bullshit, some of it, or at least the bits that I try to communicate are addressing those who I believe can break the rules if they just push a little further. By no means do I want to see the mod community stagnate into a pile of zombie mods and cs clones.

I find it utterly surprising that Dan got as much negative feedback and he describes. I know a lot of people didn’t feel a strong connection to Korsakovia as I did, but I’m surprised that people can’t appreciate it for what it was/is.

I sincerely hope developers, both mainstream and community based (like the Half-Life community) can learn something about Korsakovia. Dan was trying to something experimental and he did just that. He wasn’t trying to woo anyone with aesthetics; he wanted to question the way mod development is done.

All you readers out there… (at least the ones that got this far into my comment), how many mods can you count that has done something unique – I guarantee you can count them on one hand. It really does anger me when developers decide to just “go with the flow” – why don’t they take all their talent and determination and direct it towards something unique and creative.

Dan talks about his mod getting negative criticism, but then he also talks about how that alone is a complete success because for him he can build upon that and for him it’s a research technique. For me personally Korsakovia was a mod I have been waiting around for for years, but for others… well they like that same shit different pile crap.

I do find it disheartening though, that Dan says “funding” was a great issue with the development of the mod. Budget shouldn’t mean anything for Dan and for the developers of Korsakovia; I guarentee Dan could find plenty of people in the Half-Life community that would LOVE to work with him for free. Hell I would! I would do anything I could. If he wants voice acting – I’ll try to make it happen. There are many talented people who I’m sure would work with him too (campaignjunkee from radiator comes to mind).

Another quote comes to mind:
“Anyone wants to take on Korsakovia, I’d be delighted to let them have it… – also, as far as I’m concerned, this is all open source, public domain stuff, so I’ll take whatever people want to give.”

Epic… this is what the community is all about… pure gold.

Either way excellent interview – sorry if this turned into some what of a rant, but I truly believe Dan is a genius and an asset to the community.

I think the majority of the negative feedback was related to ‘technical’ aspects of the mod such as texturing and level design. I believe it was intentionally unconventional as a means of expressing the state of Christopher’s mind but I really fell in love with Dear Esther so I did a lot of reading up on it and Korsakovia prior to doing this interview. Other people who hadn’t done so would quite likely have misinterpreted it as having been badly made rather than intentionally messed up.

I paid a fair bit of attention to Korsakovia’s ModDB page after the release and there were very, very few people who simply didn’t get the whole idea (ie found it boring and not enough like your average action FPS) but there were a good number of frustrated people who wanted to play the mod but had real difficulty with things like that one ladder in the warehouse or the apartments level with doors everywhere you look. I think their criticism has been valid in that respect as the mod does still need to be playable and some concessions have to be made, having an great story and top notch audio doesn’t mean you can leave identifiable Half-Life 2 meshes referring to bits of HL canon and people won’t care.
I would suspect a lot of people had played Dear Esther and were having a good look around to find extra bits of story only to find the exact opposite. It breaks the immersion in quite a significant way.

The funding thing makes sense as it’s directly furthering his career by providing research data. Most mods are for fun or for helping to gain a career in game development, they’re more like practice whereas Dan’s projects are work. I can certainly understand him wanting to pay people and I suspect the people he works with only want a minimal fee.

I did find it quite surprising that the enemies were supposed to be a significant part of what Korsakovia was examining, enemies that don’t behave in a human way aren’t really anything new to gamers are they? I don’t think many people really look all that much into what the enemies in games are doing (they’re only playing preset animations after all), it’s just an enemy and you need to damage it in some way until it can no longer damage you. It can be a bipedal animal, a cloud of smoke, a textureless cuboid, a vehicle, a walking mushroom or a giant spider but at the end of the day if you have a weapon or several and they do damage to all of those things in a similar manner it doesn’t matter what the enemy actually is.

I’m rather wishing I’d stuck with Source now, I had a brief stint with it then moved onto Unreal as it’s so much easier to use (but unfortunately has a small playerbase). I’d have loved to be involved with a Korsakovia do-over too.

He’s definitely helping to push things in the right direction, hopefully we’ll see less generic sci-fi setting FPS deathmatch MP mods and more people trying to emulate the kind of single player experience that Dan has created with Dear Esther and Korsakovia.
I wouldn’t worry about ranting, it’s positive that the projects are inspiring a level of discussion about mods that goes beyond “weapon x is too powerful” and “those textures needs more work”.

You mention the enemies and I’m glad you did because that was a fundamental part I forgot to mention. To me the enemies were shocking at first and then I realized that it was just a replacement for the fast zombie and I applied the same tactics to the smoke monsters as I do to the fast zombies. This may seem like a bad thing, but to me it’s fine. It’s taking an already working mechanic and doing something interesting and shocking with it at first. When I first saw the smoke monster I pretty much shit my pants and ran, but after a while I got used to it and learnt how to deal with it. Not enough mods do this. In most mods (without saying any names) you see a normal Half-Life monster/enemy and you instantly know how to deal with said monster. It really turns the game into something very monotone. I’m glad Dan was able to put the smoke monster in there, but then I am also glad that it was somewhat familiar.

Ah, well I’m really not a big HL player so I’m not familiar with the enemy behaviour at all.
The way I initially approached them was to run away, I had difficulty set to normal instead of the easy value it defaulted to and I just couldn’t kill them so I assumed they were invincible and took to running away and trapping them in rooms by shutting the door as I went through it. I eventually read that you could indeed kill them by “hitting them a few times with the crowbar” so I started again on easy, tried it and it worked.
From that point on they were just another enemy to me and although there were moments where I had quite a serious health situation and had to run away rather than fight that isn’t any different to any human melee-only enemy in other games. I never really felt like I didn’t know how to approach the enemy because of its unusual appearance.
Something that did keep me on my toes however was the invisible variant (or the bug that made an enemy spawn with no particle system attached, so you couldn’t see it). You’d have no idea where it was or what it was going to do until you heard it scream and knew you really had to shift to stop it hitting you. I also never managed to kill it as I couldn’t locate it.

“Video games have a strong bond with emotion, not only mental emotion but metaphysical as well”
I’d like to be the first to say; what the hell does this even mean?

Well metaphysical can be defined as an idea, doctrine, or posited reality outside of human sense perception. So with video games our metaphysical emotion lay in the emotion of our character or player. I always think of something as metaphysical as being an extension of our own reality. So in video games our extensional reality is that of the reality within the game. Hense our metaphysical emotion is the emotion that we (as a player/character) is feeling as we immerse ourselves into the experience.