When Daikatana Is Better Than Far Cry
29 Nov 2005
Continuing my tradition of playing games way after they come out, I am playing Far
Cry. In general, this is a really good game. The outdoor environment is nicely
immersive, and there is usually plenty of freedom to choose how to approach
the objectives. The enemies show the ability to hide, and sometimes even flank.
They still don't learn from the fate of their comrades; they do notice the
bodies of their comrades, but they are happy to follow the same path and die in the
same way. Seriously, any believable shooter AI needs a healthy sense of
I did not mention Daikatana in the title by accident. In some ways, the greatest
difference between the two games is merely one of degree. I am speaking of the
sidekick problem. In four years of game development, this limitation of game
development has not been overcome: the sidekick that is an idiot. Far Cry is a
better game, but not because the sidekick is more sophisticated; as far as I could
tell, she isn't. Far Cry is better because the game designers avoid inflicting the
sidekick on you as much. It boggles my mind that game programmers can't do
something to keep the sidekick who must not die from running into my
line of fire. In this category, Daikatana is better than Far Cry because
at least I could order my sidekick to stay out of the way!
Update: I just got to the section entitled "Dam." I hereby give CryTek the all-time
award for replacing game design with infinitly repetitive game reloading. I have
seen this type of map many times before, starting with amateur levels for DOOM where
you got a pistol to fight 12 Cyberdemons. Whee. 10 rounds - enough to kill 1 mutant
- with a jungle full of them. OK, I suppose if I played this long enough, I could
locate all the enemies in the jungle and build a optimum path to run through them to
escape. If I even had the binoculars, it would be playable - I could use my vantage
point to plan my course FIRST. But, the game designers weren't that generous. I
challenge them to prove that someone could play through this game, at challenging
difficulty (the setting I am playing at), and actually succeed on this level the
first time through it. I don't see how it could be done.
25 October 2005
It's pretty sweet mod for Source. Here's my generated .sig from dys-stats.com:
CS:S Mapping: fy_parked
27 April 2005
This map is a 3 story parking garage. There are ramps on each end
and a stairwell in the center. It's a simple map. It's
pretty complex by fy_ standards, though. The CT's, starting on
the roof level, have the advantage of being able to jump down on the
ramps to the second level. The T's have several places to hide on
the bottom level. The middle level has lots of cars available for
(updated 2 May 2005)
Please give me feedback about this; I am not sure about the balance. I am thinking
about moving the spawn points.
(updated 14 May 2005)
I did move the spawn points for both teams, to slow down the CT's and speed up the
place the files included in the zip file into your Steam\SteamApps\your
username\counter-strike source\maps\ directory.
Blog. (and other bridges)
Banished Words List
Simply put, words like "blog" are important to people at the time. They
help move from the old to the new; "It's a log, but on the web." At my
there was a person who really liked the term "eForm." I was annoyed by
I felt it was enough to just call it a form; "eForm" should be limited
to use during
training. The fact that it was "electronic" really wasn't that
important. I see now
that these words are just a natural stage in the language. From
and "wireless" to "blog" and "wireless" :) these words are used when
people are adjusting to a new paradigm for how things are done. As
illustrated by "wireless," these terms can actually come around again.
At some time, we should recognize that the transitional term isn't
necessary and just use the regular word in it's place (unless the
writer is trying to make a point).
28 Nov 2004
I have played both Daikatana and Counter-Strike:Condition Zero today.
CS:CZ is worse. I can't understand how they could let this product out
the door with bots that throw grenades for no reason at all and
worse, throw them so they land in close proximity to their friends!
I like the variations in the "characters" of the bots - mostly whether
they cooperate or not - but there is no excuse, especially for "higher"
skill bots, to be so incredibly awful. OK, I know making computers seem
smart is very difficult. However, this problem is inexcusable. Many
times, a bot or two on my team would toss a grenade well before we
contacted the enemy. Usually this would be somewhere that the grenade
would bounce back into the middle of my team. That wasn't the worst
I'd rather have bots that just can't use grenades than this
aggravation. BTW, I remember reading some gaming article giving a
glowing report of how "human" the CS:CZ bots were. This must not be the
same bot engine, because these are awful. Actually, that may be what
happenened since this is the product of developer number five for CS:CZ.
- My team of four bots and myself spawns and buys equipment.
- Team departs spawn, as usual, divided into two groups to make
taking on the seven terrorists harder.
- I tell the team to "fall back" to the spawn.
- Team complies and returns to the spawn.
- Several seconds after the entire team has returned, one of them
throws a grenade which lands near most of the team.
- Player cursing commmences.
I am glad that I didn't go out and buy this as a standalone product.
A more common problem for bots also appears to afflict CS:CZ. It's a
problem that I like to call the "brick wall" effect. Low level bots are
slow to react and inaccurate. Then, suddenly, the bots become amazingly
accurate with incredible reflexes. Not just once in a while, but all
18 Nov 2004
Well, I am done with HL2; it's a great game. However, the designer for
d3_c17_13 disappointed me. After all the time and effort I had spent on
taking care of my squad, they suddenly became total cannon fodder.
There was no warning. On a previous level, Barney's comment that he
would send any more citizens up to me was a good hint that my current
squad was probably going to buy it. Here's my suggestion for an
additional instruction from the NPC at the start of the level:
Don't worry about us! We'll try to support you and keep the
striders occupied. You must get through!
...or something like that. The point is that I became frustrated by
this map and how hard it was, and the fact that I didn't have
sufficient firepower to take down the striders - until I figured out
that I would have to ignore my "followers" and just try to make it
through. It also took me a while to figure out that the Overwatch
troops were going to keep on spawning until I moved up on them. THAT
It highlights one of the well designed aspects of HL2, though. I
knew that I was doing something wrong when I began running out of ammo.
The game designers made sure that I was always able to get ammo when I
needed it. I might run out of a particular type of ammo, especially if
I was using it a lot, but it was rare for me to be short of ammo
Toward the end of the game, when my weapons were taken, I almost got
pissed. It was done in a cool way, with a very nice replacement, which
fit in very well. I just didn't try the alt-fire at first. I
thought I was stuck with a short-range weapon at first, so I was
ambushing the Combine troops at corners. I started getting pissed when
I figured out that I wasn't getting the troopers' weapons or ammo.
Finally I had to get my head "out of game" again, like I had in
d3_c17_13 and realize that the designers couldn't be that cruel
to me; then I realized I hadn't tried the alt-fire yet. :) The souped
up health/armor situation and the absolutely sweet weapon, along with
the Administrator's comments, brought to mind a quote that describes
that whole part of the game for me
I am become death, destroyer of
worlds. And not in the Einstein sense, either.
Eventually, I would like the chance to piss off the G-Man.
I would have put in at least one other pod ride before the last one;
perhaps by breaking up the initial one? It would have made the last
ride make more sense, instead of seeming like a really dumb thing to
do. Would Gordon be that dumb? I don't think so.
Another little peeve; Combine troopers show the same unreasoning hatred
of Gordon that the HL1 Grunts were afflicted with. Just once I
would like a bad guy be grateful to me for saving him from a horrific
You Magnificent Bastards!
18 Nov 2004
d3_c17_08; It's like you took the idea out of my brain and made it
better than I could ever have hoped to. Not the lower part, with the
water flow section. That was sweet, but probably not how I would have
done it. The upper part, with the hoist and the catwalks and the tanks
and Oh My.
Crimes against video game players:
- Letting me operate an awesome crane, but only giving me one
simple task to do with it. I was so disappointed by this that I ended
up playing with the crane for a half an hour even without a task to
- Giving me cool, useful followers who even pick up better
weapons but not making them secure enough that they will stay put
for just a couple of minutes while I move up on a sniper...or try to
take out an automated turret. Seriously, these are people that are so
afraid of being left behind, they will run right out into a kill zone
they know is there. It would be neat if they were drawing fire
intentionally, to help me out, but that's not the case.
- Followers that I can leave behind in a safe spot for a little
bit, but neither Barney or Alyx will even consider it. Ever.
- Railizing Half-Life. My impression was far less backtracking or
freedom of choice than in HL1. I think the only real example was in the
library/museum map, and that was just one map, rather than the
multi-map stuff like firing the engine test in HL1. So many times in
HL2, I could go right or left, and it turned out that the one direction
was an immediate dead end. Whee.
- Not getting to ride the "ski lift" in Ravenholm. It sure looked
to me like there would be a ski-lift-type ride in there; all the signs
were there, and I kept running across its path. But I never got to ride
it, so I was actually disappointed when I reached the finale for that
- The way you took away my ant-lions. OK, so I knew they had to go
eventually, but both times I lost them, the method didn't make much
sense. They can fly for goodness sake!
Shaking up the Combine
16 Nov 2004
I stayed up late last night and helped an old friend join the
resistance. He got in on a train at 0300 this morning. It took a half
to three quarters of an hour for him to process in. Then I helped him
get started until about 0700. I'll be back to helping him escape 17 as
soon as I get my morning ration.
Another benny of the Resistance - sometimes, we get some real food,
usually stolen. Sometimes redirected by friends in CP kitchens. MMM!
Leftover pizza for breakfast. I have to make it through a couple of
blocks to go get it. It will be worth it.
This Gordon Freeman sure has the Combine scared. Anyone, anywhere in
the city can see that, just by looking at the tower. That is great, by
itself. Even people outside the resistance know that there is something
or someone that scares the crap out of the Combine! I hope I can help
him get through. We're getting slaughtered by them.
Daikatana Is A Fun Game, Until You Reach A Sidekick.
16 Nov, 2004
I have been playing Daikatana in the background, for the last month or
so. More later. The "crematorium" is an excuse for a lot of gratuitous
mutilation - not by the player, but the "disassembly line" that you
have to watch as you play. It's like being on a tour of a gore factory.
Playing Unreal for the first time
19 Sept, 2004
I am playing Unreal for the first time, and I am reviewing
it as I go.
18 May, 2004
Finally, a new version of es_bottle to
release. I still need to
do more texture improvement, and lighting tweakage. THEN I need
to look at decalling & the Cool Gameplay Setup. This will
probably go to release as as_bottle.
Give us the Theatrical Release!
3 March, 2004
One final thought:
In 1997 George Lucas released an updated version of the original Star
Wars trilogy, known as the Special Edition. I thought it was a great
idea, and I really looked forward to an updated version of these great
movies. I am glad that he had the opportunity to improve his vision of
For an artist to attempt to ignore and hide the original artwork which
we came to love? That's plain rude.
It is rude to the rest of the artists who added to and
allowed you to realize your vision. It is rude to all of us who watched
your story unfold and made it a part of our lives. It is even rude to
George Lucas of 1977, 1980, and 1983 who put his sweat and toil into
making the best films he could at that time.
OK, I guess Mr. Lucas is entitled to be rude to his past selves.
It wouldn't matter if noone cared.
Why we will beat the spammers
25 July, 2003: Yep, we will beat them. IMHO, here's why:
1. There's more of us than there are of them.
2. We're smarter than they are.
3. They just make money from spam. It makes us angry.
4. It's about attacking the Internet, stupid!