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An Open Window is an experimental MOD for Half-Life 2, Episode 2. In this project I will attempt to bring the concept of different realities to life in a realistic scenario. Instead of being another Shooter, AnOpWi centers around the role of the player and his/her experience, emotion and memories. By interacting with the world the player will define his own reality within the story. For this project I chose an open development cycle, which means I will update very frequently and share every step I take in the process of creating this game. Next to the regular media updates, I will also share my thoughts on the different areas of game design in the form of articles. In every article I will also ask for your opinion with the Question of the Day. This MOD also functions as a knowledge base for new and experienced designers.
After a month of developing, it's time to reveal more information about the MOD. Time to get philosophical and dive into deep matter, such as the concept of reality and quantum mechanics.
Posted by Hezus on Mar 1st, 2011
An Open Window: Project Launch Day +30
Today it's exactly a month ago I started this project. So far I've been able to give you some development news every few days, despite a few minor setbacks. However, I yet have to reveal a bit more information about the MOD itself.
The idea behind the MOD came to me when I was watching a documentary on quantum physics theory. While I'm not a science person, the philosophical aspect of the theory intrigued me. Quantum mechanics cannot be described in a few sentences but a part of it came down to the concept of reality. Scientists have proven that the presence or the actions of humans can alter, or better, define reality in the very essence of all matter in the universe, down the level of particles. This makes reality relative and unique to each individual interacting with it and the same applies to the concept of time. In quantum mechanics, the future affects the present just as much as the past.
While a lot of this seems strange or highly unconventional, there must be ways to somehow display this in a game. However, forget about time machines or strange futuristic devices you see in other games. I'm attempting to put some of these theories into a realistic scenario. A place where full reality is happening, but the player decides which part of that reality becomes his own and what is the present, future or the past.
The trouble with making such a thing is the sheer amount of possibilities. Even in 100 years, humans won't be able to make a computer or a game which can handle full reality. There will always be factors you cannot predict and even though you would like to give the player freedom, you will always need to limit their possibilities. Looking at it that way, this might also be the reason why people flee from reality by playing games. The obvious reason would be that people want to be that superhero they can't be in reality but the game also gives them a confined and underwhelming reality, which is far easier to grasp and has clear rules and goals. This is what psychology calls the burden of choice.
With that I'd like to conclude today's update, before it's turning into a psychological wall of text. The framework has been laid out and in the next article I will expand on the role of the player and the mechanics behind the MOD. As this article, the Question of the Day requires some thought and I eagerly await your comments on this one. Thanks for reading!
Question of the Day:
Do you think the reality of games is more attractive than the actual reality?