10 Responses to “Episode #11”

10 Comments

Thanks for the mention and assessment of Pyramid guys. I know it is not the quality of other mods out there, but hey, I am glad many did find it fun to play and got through without problems. Keep up the good work with the podcasts.
Cheers

Hey! Such a great transmition! I’ve found a better mood between you guys, a lot of laughs and jokes I really liked that :D Also, the conversations you have talked about were great, as usual.
Thanks for mention us :)

Keep it going !!

Hearing the success of Pyramid and the devotion of the maker makes me feel empowered as a newbie level designer.

Thanks for the show. I just wanted to expand on one issue and that was your coverage of the single player mod Pyramid, and I guess my views are directed at William.

I don’t believe that I am the only person who has experienced playing through a HL mod without experience any crashes, freeze-ups or any major bugs that prevent one from finish the game, only to find a number of posts saying; this mod is too bugger for me, so have given up, or this mod crashed so much that I could not finish it. Equally I have often experienced the reverse where a mod will not work for me due to crashes or freeze ups only to find others have sailed through with no problems, and such is the case with my playing experience of Pyramid.

Well you my say so what, in this case I think the so what matters, it’s a unique case where we have a first time mapper releasing some 5 hours playing time, yes a very ambitious first release. We get all the faults that Phillip mentioned a 1000 or so, loads of issues that we can live with and put down to experience, but when we get 4 hours or more through the mod and can’t finish it, then questions need to be posed.

What we have is a very under tested release and if it was a short 20 minutes or less affair we would just put it down to experience, put to release a 5 hour mod without adequate testing and no commitment to solve some of the major issue, is just not acceptable.
I understand Phillips point about this being a one man project and no doubt it would take too long to put things right, so the question is should this mod have been release in the first place.

Just to point out that when Coastline to Atmosphere was first released I and a few others had similar issues with that mod, freeze-ups, crashes, saved games not loading, the difference here was that Leon and his team had the commitment, time and resources to put things right, even though they stated that this issues were only being experienced by 1 in 9 gamers.

Nice one guys, lots of topics covered in this one, so much so that I’ve forgotten what I was going to say about the earlier mods :)

I downloaded Svencoop 4 on boxing day, and had a quick blast in it during the afternoon. Its was quite fun to play but as a completely new player I was quite overwhelmed at times it was frustrating trying to work out where to go and what to do a lot of the time, I guess you really need a decent server with knowledgeable players to help you out, I’ll certainly give it a few more tries though.

Incidentally, I can picture William on Christmas day throwing all his physical presents aside and making a bee-line for his computer in order to download the 1 true present he has waited a few years for, hehe :)

On Half-life 2 single player releases, I must say I have been disappointed with just about everything since Union, oh and Tower part 1. It seems that some people really believe that making a box and filling it with enemies is somehow acceptable and that others will want to play it. I know from personal experience how exciting it is to put your maps on the internet and hear peoples opinions on them, but all custom mappers (and especially new people to the mapping scene) really need to put some sanity checks in place to avoid releasing crap.

Saying that though, player feedback is one of the best ways to improve your skills as a mapper, so you really need to beta test your releases (however small they might be) before you release your work to the masses. I cannot stress that enough! :)

Another reason I think that a lot of single player maps take a bruising is because the quality level is set extremely high by what has come before. We have all been blessed with Minerva, Union, and a few others that are Valve quality and they are the releases that really stick in peoples heads, so when new mapper ‘X’ comes along with their release it is instantly compared to these works (fairly so or not..).

Moving on, thanks for directing my attention to CSS Sci-fi, im currently downloading the mod so can’t comment on the gameplay yet, but as a concept it is quite clever as from what I can tell it uses existing content to create an entirely new gameplay experience. I really love mods like this and it must take so much pressure of the developers making them because you can reuse all the commercial quality assets in a new way that feels fresh to the end user. Another great example of this is a mod I play a lot for Quake (yes, thats Quake 1!) called DMSP (deathmatch singleplayer). All it does is simply populate deathmatch maps with single player enemies, then you are thrust into and need to kill every last monster on the map, before moving onto the next, a very simple idea but when you think how many deathmatch maps there are for Quake these days (I really cannot count that high) you will never need to play any map twice, ever.

Now imagine if someone made a mod that did the same thing for hl2/cs:s where you and a few rebels perhaps had to take a hold an area of the deathmatch map while being attacked by combine or zombie forces, or protect the bomb spot in a cs:s map from being destroyed by Combine, and you have yourself a mod that has a ton of custom maps for it already, and would be really fun I think.

Wow I wrote a lot… I’ll cut it off now, cya next week :)