32 Responses to “Episode #76”


Thanks for the positive responses on Crypt podcast 17 crew! It was quite uplifting and inspiring for me :D

Our pleasure, Dredile. You’ve evidently put the work in and this was a really interesting update for myself and the others. Keep up the great work. No slacking, we’re watching!

Oh also, I’d love the mini news rundown cast. I try and follow games in general but followly the general gaming news and the Valve community modding news gets a little tricky, then you add in the fact that mods aren’t always the best at advertising themselves and getting people aware of their existance, well lets just say dspite checking moddb most days, I miss a few. E.G. I only played Radiator Polaris & Handle with Care quite a while after release cuz you guys never stfu about it, and I’m a better person for the experiance. Thats just one example in many where for what ever reason you guys are talking about a mod that’s news worthy (be it a new release or something old thats got an update or something) that I’d have never tried, or even heard about otherwise. I try my best to follow the modding news and most importantly releases, but like a few people I imagine, a fair few things slip by me unnoticed.

Just to clarify that GamesRadar article was part of their “week of hate” which is a kind of event they do every year where they just write hate filled articles for a week… I forget why but It’s pretty hilarious on the whole. But needless to say, I wouldn’t read too much into the article, if anything 1 series getting a whole article dedicated to it in the week of hate is an honour.

You don’t see Breen’s body fall, you see the platform he’s on descend. (and if you no-clip you see him and the platform descend through the ground, but that’s neither here nor there.) And we still don’t really know how Eli & Mossman escaped the citadel, if anything Breen would be more likely to survive it being in a force field.

Also, Quiver was the original name for half-life, and not a separate game.

To the P17 staff:

I’ve just listened to this week’s podcast all the way through, and quite frankly I was disappointed by the comments made about my project, Lethal Stigma, and some other modifications. Why? I submitted a news item pertaining to Lethal Stigma expecting some talk about our latest news item. What the listeners got instead was a comment on the first two sentences of the news item, then you moved on. This didn’t just happen to LS this week, but other projects as well.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind that there was generally negative talk about those first couple of sentences. Hell, I wouldn’t mind if you just flat out said it was a crappy idea that should never be executed. However what does get me angry as both a developer and a dedicated listener is how you blissfully ignored the rest of the post. Phillip himself said he hadn’t watched the videos, commenting that he “liked the screenshots,” halfway through his analysis of the first 30 or so words of a 500+ word post. I submitted that news item to you guys on Sunday, leaving everyone plenty of time to read up. I’m sure there was plenty of time to catch up on many of the other modifications’ news too, but it was obvious in this week’s podcast that you guys didn’t capitalize on these opportunities.

I know you guys are just HL2 enthusiasts talking about what you want to talk about, but considering the close attention to detail and thorough analysis of some of the other modifications, I am disappointed and I’m sure I’m not alone. Each and every item on the agenda deserves to be closely summarized from beginning to end, not just the ones that certain individuals feel like discussing, otherwise they should not be added to the agenda in the first place. I don’t want to tell you guys how you should be running things around here, but really, a bit of respect would be nice considering the amount of time people put into making everything that goes into a news post on ModDB.

Anyway, that’s all I had to say. I’m sorry if anything came off overly negative, but as a dedicated listener, I do not like the direction things are going in. That being said, you can obviously do whatever you please seeing as you guys are running the show.

/end rant

I would like to chime in briefly, but I think Phillip already summarized a lot of what I wanted to say. Understand that the new format of Podcast 17 allows for any of the co-hosts to bring up any news topic they wish to discuss. Unfortunately, this can lead to the other co-hosts unprepared. You know my opinion of Lethal Stigma and I currently standby awaiting something “unique”, but Phillip does have a point and the point was brought up in his “rant”. Presentation is what matters, this was discussed on the other weeks episode about Source2D. Podcast 17 is not swayed by marketing sentences… we need proof, meat and contents.

I know you are trying to get people excited for Lethal Stigma and I have very high hopes for the mod and it’s successes. The bottom line… Phillip was upset about the first sentence, he believed it was too strong and he thought it built a bad impression and somewhat bland (we see this line all the time) image of the mod. That was his opinion and if one persons opinion was negative think of how many others feel the same way.

Overall though accept my apology as well James – you have put your trust in me; with the Beta-testing and all… and none of us were prepared for your update. I hope we haven’t lost you as a listener and friend.

I understand what you two are saying, but the only thing that keeps bugging me is that you are talking about Lethal Stigma as though it has no unique content to show for all of its wild claims of being unique. This is totally false. In the news post I linked you to last week, there were two gameplay videos, each three minutes long that together outlined most of the mod’s core features. Was this mentioned when Phillip was talking about the mod’s presentation? No, and I think that’s rather unfair, though like said I appreciate Phillip’s acknowledgement that he was perhaps a bit unprepared last week.

Again, I have absolutely no problems with people stating their opinions and I’m sorry if you took my comments that way, but I do request that they be based on facts, and the fact is that we do have a lot to show for our tedious work on Lethal Stigma even this early on in development. Just because you can’t play the mod does not mean you can’t at least comment about the videos and images that are all readily available on ModDB and our website, especially when they’re included in the news post that was in your agenda.

I think all of us would agree that presentation isn’t just about words on a page, but what accompanies it as well. So why do you guys insist on exclusively talking about the former yet claim the ladder? It all sounds rather hypocritical to me, that’s all, and I’d like an explanation so we can put all of this to bed and call it a day.

James, In this reply I have chosen to quote you so I can respond directly to your points.

“I understand what you two are saying, but the only thing that keeps bugging me is that you are talking about Lethal Stigma as though it has no unique content to show for all of its wild claims of being unique. This is totally false.”
I think here is the crux of the problem. I am not talking about your mod but its presentation. Maybe it has 20 unique features or maybe 1, the point is I am not motivated to find out.

“In the news post I linked you to last week, there were two gameplay videos, each three minutes long that together outlined most of the mod’s core features. Was this mentioned when Phillip was talking about the mod’s presentation? No, and I think that’s rather unfair, though like said I appreciate Phillip’s acknowledgement that he was perhaps a bit unprepared last week.
Even if I had been fully prepared I would still have highlight that opening because this is what I am talking about not you, your mod, its features.

“Again, I have absolutely no problems with people stating their opinions and I’m sorry if you took my comments that way, but I do request that they be based on facts”
I feel my comment is based on fact. The fact that 99% of mods never live up to players expectation and those that promise too much are the worst. Yours could be the 1% but I don’t have the motivation to find out.

“I think all of us would agree that presentation isn’t just about words on a page, but what accompanies it as well.”

“So why do you guys insist on exclusively talking about the former yet claim the ladder?”
Because as I have said the first impression is of yet another mod who promises everything and I am really tired of that.

“I’d like an explanation so we can put all of this to bed and call it a day.”
This is how I see it. Your opening statement is like a shop window. It’s the first thing I see and if I don’t like what I see I move on. To me, and remember, this is just my personal opinion, your shop window is proclaiming to have the Greatest Sale, with the best products at the best prices. I’ve been in too many shops that have that plastered all over the windows and been disappointed. So what do I do? I just grumble and move on.

Of course, this shop could have the Greatest Sale ever but often the most understated things are the things we remember.

The opening statement stopped me looking deeply at the mod and I might be the only one in the gaming community that stopped. Bu I am the only Phillip Marlowe in the community that happened to be on Podcast 17 that week and I expressed my thoughts.

Hopefully that answers your questions.

I truly hope you create a great mod and if you do, that still won’t change my view, because am talking about its promotion not the mod itself.

I’m hate to admit the storefront analogy is really what made things click, but it did. =X … nevertheless I do believe I truly understand things now, so thank you for the lengthy explanation and for answering my questions, Phillip. In fact, I don’t believe I have anything else to say, so cue the awkward pause and I will strive to make things right.

I understand your sentiments regarding my comments. Modders work hard and deserve praise and recognition. In defence of my comments I would like to make the following points.

The show isn´t about “reporting the news”, it´s about the guests opinions. Reporters report news and details, they don´t offer a personal viewpoint and that´s exactly what I do. I give my opinion and thoughts on the things I see.

Now, I, perhaps unfairly, focused on an incredibly small part of your update. I did that because the first two sentences are probably the most important. Get those right and the reader will read on, get those wrong and you could have the world´s greatest mod that nobody knows about.

I was trying to make the point that by setting the bar so high that even if you achieve everything you set out to do, all you have done is meet my expectations (which by the way, you set with the first two sentences) when in fact you should be trying to exceed them.

Of course, not everybody is like me but I am old and jaded and having read literally hundreds of similar opening lines and only been disappointed it´s hard not to feel the same. Younger, newer readers won´t view things in the same way.

Personally, I believe that if it´s not in the mod then I don´t want to know about it. For example, long detailed background stories mean squat once you start playing because 95% of players won´t have read the documents anyway. I don´t know if this is the case in your mod, I am just using that as an example.

With regard to the time needed to read and prepare you are right and I pride myself on trying to do that every week and even making notes. In this case I was offered the chance to come on the show about 20 minutes before it started and 10 minutes of that was used to get my desktop up and running. Therefore I was ill-prepared if I were going to cover something in depth.

I don´t see it as a case of capitalizing on opportunities because we never cover anybody´s mod to their satisfaction. I know I speak from a modders´ `perspective when my “HoloReality” was covered on the show and I wasn´t present.

We just don´t have time to cover every mod in detail and if we did half the listeners would complain we spent too long on the mods. However, the idea of an episode dedicated to one mod has been suggested and I think it´s a good one, although it may only work for released mods.

You need to see the agenda as items that MAY BE covered on the show, rather than the past situation were IT WAS covered. That´s an important difference with the new format.

I do respect the work that goes into making a mod but just because you post something on ModDB doesn´t automatically mean we have to cover all of it. Sure, this week was an extreme but I was trying to use your mod as an example rather than simply saying it was bad. I felt I said a number of times that your mod may be fantastic, it´s just I didn´t even want to learn more.

You haven´t come across as negative, your response was well written and does you credit. (I don´t mean to sound patronising, it´s not my intention).

Yes, we can do whatever we want but that´s doesn´t mean we should. We have personal standards like everybody else and want to be as professional as possible, within the confines of giving honest opinions.

I have no hesitation in offering you a sincere and unreserved apology if I offended you, again, it was not my intention.

I hope that this incident won´t stop you listening to the show.

Bah, you crafty son of a bitch, I concede I may have overacted. =P

I have nothing against people stating their opinions. I’m sorry if I came off as saying that because that sounds completely stupid and would mean that most news organizations are void of any content (which may or may not be true this day and age). However I do believe preparedness is important, so I’m glad you acknowledged that bit.

I know most of the time you guys are busy and most of the time you guys prepare out the nose for a show, it’s just a shame because the episodes that stick out most in my mind are ones like this week’s where everything just seems a bit off. I don’t believe the new format has to do with it as I like the idea of putting it out there that you guys don’t get to everything, but it’d be great if last-minute changes/alterations could be kept to a minimum. Again, this is just my two cents as a listener. And Phillip, I know you are usually the one to have it all down pat which is why I was somewhat surprised by this week’s episode, but now that you’ve explained things I’m feeling quite a bit better about the whole ordeal, so thank you.

On a more personal note, you must know that when I hear a discussion about a minimal part of my news item, I take you or anyone else’s comments for their face value, not for any deeper meaning that may be implied by those comments. For instance, I didn’t even consider the fact that those two sentences might be turning off potential fans of the modification just because of simple word choice. All I heard was that you did not approve of them and that William thought the modification was “still in its very early stages,” at which time I promptly got a little worked up, especially when you guys just moved on to the next item on the agenda. I have a nasty habit of being defensive and controlling, so picking up on these suggestions is something I need to work on.

But hell, I would never stop listening to this podcast simply because something didn’t go my way. Trust me, it’s not the first time, and I’ll continue to strive to do better to meet your expectations next time around. It’s all in good fun.

I don’t feel you have overreacted. I take full responsibility for not explaining myself properly. The problem is that it was all adlib, with no preparation, so expressing oneself on a live recording can often be difficult. I say live because we never re-record anything, so there’s no second chance.

I may be on again this week and if I am, and with William’s permission, I’ll make a clarifying statement.

Then maybe you should provide a better first impression, the majority of people are not going to look at a mod in much depth

Unfortunately, I fear you’re right. Quite frankly though, I expect a podcast that prides itself on community-based modifications to do some digging and get to the core of a modification instead of taking a project for its face value. Also, if you’re not going to do this and just state some opinions without any facts or figures, at least read through an entire news post that someone worked diligently on – either that or just don’t talk about it at all. Again, Lethal Stigma is not the only project that has fallen victim to this stuff in the last couple of weeks, and I fear it will only get worse.

Who knows, maybe you guys have been busy and just haven’t gotten to everything as of late. I do hope this is the case, anyhow. I don’t run your personal lives, but please – and I don’t mean to offend anyone when I said this, believe me – but beg of you guys to inform yourselves before going on air. When you don’t, it’s blatantly obvious and downright depressing for me to listen to, so I can only imagine there are others who pick up on it as well.

You’re right, all reporters (PC17 crew can be considered, to some extent, reporters) should cover all stories in depth.
Thing is, there are too many stories for all of them to be covered in this one-two hours podcast. This is why first impression counts a lot, despite the fact that judging a book by its covers is bad. Time, time and again, time.

I agree, and maybe that excuse can fly for one or two episodes, however keep it mind that the P17 staff has the final word as to whether or not they will talk about the topic. So, if they simply don’t have the time to get to everything during a podcast, perhaps there should be less on the agenda in the first place so there can be more in-depth reporting about what does make it to the agenda. Plus, if you take a look at this week’s log, this episode didn’t run that long compared to past episodes.

I don’t think time itself is the problem here, I think it more has to do with time management. Spending about five minutes talking about two sentences of a news item is silly. Why not talk about the entire news item for five minutes instead? Maybe you don’t get to everything, but at least take a look at any images and video that is included in the news item beforehand so that you have more material to work with when you’re on air.

Again, that’s just my two cents, but I’ve now heard from many individuals who agree with me outright, and I’m willing to bet there are more who agree but aren’t willing to come forward at this time. I truly want this podcast to succeed and stand out from the pack, so all I ask is that you guys at least consider what I’ve been talking about here.

The idea is to NEVER BOAST. Otherwise you will come across as an inexperienced modder and full of yourself. Good mods will have a combination of tact, modesty, and critical information regarding their plot. Do yourself a favor – go read the first few introduction lines of “Research and Development”, then mimic that.

It´s easy to say that we should do some digging but every word you write represents your mod. If I start to read something that actually causes me to groan, why should I continue to read?

Imagine this opening line of a mod:
“Dis mod wil make you forget ever udder game you have ever played cause its da business!”

What impression did that leave you with? Not a good one, I suspect. Now, your grammar and construction was clearly superior to the above but its sentiment is similar. Everybody judges things on what they see and read. The rest of the mod description or update might include details of a feature that really will make me forget other games but I don´t think I will ever read about them.

Presentation is everything. Keep it honest, keep it short and keep it interesting.

I can´t speak about other episodes and perhaps you are right, maybe the presenters are getting jaded of seeing the same stuff week in, week out. If that´s the case, then we need to really question ourselves.

I would also like to point out that sometimes it´s hard to continually talk about “nice” things. Perhaps more importantly it´s generally considered boring. Whilst I didn´t do it just to be controversial sometimes that is the best was to get a mod noticed.

As I said in a previous reply, you need to see the agenda as “Potential discussion items” not fixed in stone. In the past we covered everything on the agenda but really just gave a quick repeat of the news post and moved on. There was personal opinion but with some many things to cover we HAD to move on. That is why the format has changed, to allow each presenter the opportunity to cover what interest them, not just repeat the news.

You must understand that I wasn´t talking about you mod but its presentation. That´s a big difference.

I already feel that Podcast17 is a success; it´s been going for over a year and has a lot of regular listeners. I also feel it stands out from the crowd because it constantly tries to improve.

Of course, you are biased because it was your mod used as the example, but as I said I wasn´t talking about the mod itself. Clearly, you feel that was unfair and I understand that.

In all honesty, I didn’t like the quiz very much, you seemed to find it funnier than anyone else did.
I think the call ins before worked better in my honest opinion

(see i can be serious and helpful when i want to be ;))

@Created by:
Wills seemed to have a similar idea with this jokish non official trailer for GraviNULL.

@Herr Alien concering HL2: Extinction:
Isn’t Dec1234 doing the same with “The Mortewood Plaza” and that won best upcoming mod of 2009.(players choice)
Granted though it hasn’t released, but that guy is pulling massive loads of work fairly fine it seems. Not the kind of position I’d like to be in to though, too much stress!

Hahahaha that is the first time I have seen that jokeish trailer; I have to say… I believe that is the only time I actually enjoyed listening to Wicked… I can’t stop laughing.

the new podcast structure is pretty good, but i was disappointed about what you said about fear.

first i think half life one was not scary in the sense of that you were particular afraid, it was just always the thing that you where so powerless in this conflict. For example the facility was huge and the enemys were partially. with this i mean for especially the tentacle one with the rocket thruster.

on the other hand i dont think fear is a cheap emotion. its not its really complicated putting the player in the right mode, and this is the most important. you have to play with the player like you make him think that hes safe and than scare him. your timing is also important and actually the game play is. No other emotion gets affected by the game play, but an action gets much more scary if you have to do a complex task to escape it.

i hope you found this informational.
maybe you should have a bigger discussion about the theme of emotions in video games, cause this is a really big theme.

When I referred to fear as a cheap emotion I meant that it’s often quite easy to do, but it’s hard to do really well. Doom 3 scared me because it was so dark and every cup had the potential to lead to an encounter. To me that’s cheap.

I agree!! Emotion is a huge part of the game play experience. By no means do I think fear is a cheap emotion – done correctly it can invoke a thrilling atmosphere that pulls a player deeper into game play. When fear is done “cheaply” though is when there is useless “scare” moments of things popping out at you… this is fear done cheaply; fear for the sake of scaring someone is not fear.

Isn’t a feeling of helplessness fear? Knowing no matter what you can’t stop something from happening? I agree, in Half-Life 1 you simply play an observer, a role assumed by Gordon Freeman as he helplessly watches the world crumble before him… he is powerless, simply trying to escape… no motive other than that. If that isn’t fear I don’t know what is. In Half-Life 2 that fear is taken from you; you are no longer helpless – you are the… FREE MAN; the saviour to Earth – the one who is to come and free humanity from oppression.

I think what Valve was trying to say is that it hopes to tear away some of that false sense of empowerment… bring Gordon back to his roots and understand that things are much bigger than he could ever imagine. Tear him down into an observer, powerless and remote… this is fear; loneliness… struggle… foreboding… the slow and drawn out sense of doom; these are the things I think we can expect from EP3.

@Quiz: “If you listen to podcast 17 you should have no problem”. I loved Phillip’s reply :D

@Fading over your abilities: or the fact that Gordon won’t be able to jump/shoot that well :O

@HL2: Extinction: true, you can’t expect one person to do coding, mapping and modeling for a fairly big mod. You could, no, strike that, you should try to hire somebody. Delegate some of the work.
Anyway, for a first release. just to test the gameplay, stock models/textures will do. Do, however, consider getting more people in the team.

@5 reasons to hate Half-Life: I agree with Phillip on the sexy underware :D
As for a rifle butt in the head: you do go out cold. But you don’t die.

@Robert Culp:
“Created by Will Right …” This already happens: Tom Clancy’s Rainbow 6, Clive Barker’s Undying.

@ Call In Quiz
Jesus f***ing Christ … William, could you be any more offensive at the beginning of the show?
Glad to see things settled down a bit.

Yep, both orthodox and catholic easter are in the same Sunday.

Remember though, about HL Extinction, it’s a single player mod – you can’t really have a “first release”. I don’t think there is anything wrong with using HL assets in a single player mod so long as there is structure and content in other places.

The titles associated with Tom Clancy’s Rainbow 6, Clive Barker’s Undying is because Tom Clancy wrote the original Rainbow Six series… same deal with Clive Barker – I doubt either of them had much to do with the game development other than story line… I think that’s a little different.

I was being offensive? When?