My nickname is pronounced [kvoz/\luri]. Things I love: Dead Space, Propper (Hammer compiler), Win 8, coffee. Things I hate: TF2, Garry's mod, unnecessary graphical things like parallax and people who're praising these over anything else, and lack of real, widespread advancement in computer-user interface.

Blog RSS Feed Report abuse [Dark Interval] Ideas for providing sufficient gameplay early in the game

1 comment by Cvoxalury on Jul 2nd, 2014

As you may know, Half-Life 2 is a shooter game. It may present to a player a lot of side elements like a [rather limited] roaming, puzzles fueled with game physics, or opportunity for having fun by throwing junk props at metrocops. But in the end, it is a shooter, and you'd expect some action to be found before you run out of patience roaming the city streets.

I have lately been working extensively on certain city levels, and could not have left this issue unadressed. Surely there is the thick atmosphere of the original storyline, the city filled with smoke, darkness and despair, but I personally wouldn't prefer spending about 1-1,5 hour without any actual action. First you have the lengthy train ride through the wastes, then you have to roam the streets and locate the Manhack Arcade (that would have at least some gameplay, and I have various ideas on it as well), and there is much more space waiting to be put in the mod, for that it is a 'leak-themed' mod, so it would be pointless to shorten the player's path following the Valve's example. So, what do we do?

 At first I turned my attention to things like branch player routes originally present in the leak levels, e.g. the little underground journey present at the Industrial map, where a player would fall down a shaft/pit and would have to locate a way back on the street, through flooded and ruined basements. Following the general logic of 'you can do what you want where the police isn't present', I placed some headcrabs and such at this part of the level, so that the player can have at least some shooting or lead pipe smashing. Then, making it a part of the linear walkthough, I extended this bit. Still not really enough, I say, for that we have at lest half an hour of more street walking ahead of us. Then I realised, that we, taking the role of G. Freeman, are the liberators after all, shouldn't we be fighting the oppression wherever it is present? Of couse, I'm not talking about going SMOD-style and shooting down every cop in the area (no offense to SMOD itself, and its creators!). No, I would prefer a more subtle experience. Say, we have to escape a police raid. Really, we need to. We need to neutralize the enemies rather than have a scripted ally deal with them, while we are having a black (white?..) out. Freeman is heading to the lab anyway, and he likely doesn't have a database entry, so he won't get caught once done with the chasing party. Or even better, how about that: at some backyard, while exploring the area, we are met by some cops gone 'hunting', trying to get more than they do in CP, basically beating&robbing citizens. We fight back the best we could. At first they don't request assistance (their deems being rather exclusive to the system's rules), yet when they meet sufficient resistance and do request help, we might get into trouble - the sector [the level we're on] is going to be placed in lockdown... in, say, 2 minutes. We have these minutes to leave, or if we feel lucky, to prepare and fight (though it would be really tough). Or if we simply fail to escape in time, we have to evade patrols, be it stealthy or fight-y. Having to operate hanging wathtowers and like that. I really think a system like that could be a fine addition.

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