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40oz

Favorite John Romero formspring Q/A

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It's interesting that he holds Valve in such high regard considering that all of their games are very linear and locked down.

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I too hold Romero in high regard and found that an interesting read (learned something too ('O of destruction')). Thanks for posting it.

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40oz said:

I also think it's cool that he thinks that games should be built to be as flexible as possible, instead of locking the content so that games always stay the way they were distributed.

That's why so many modern games make me sad. There are almost no mods at all, part to developers being adamant against hacking and editing, but also because game content nowadays need a huge amount of work behind them. Bioshock especially just begs some dungeon crawl mods.

Remotely related, any place with collection of things the id guys have said in regards to map-making? It'd be especially cool to read Sandy's experiences, what with most of this kind of stuff being focused on Romero. (with a good reason, though)

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Modern games are locked down so that they can charge you for DLC, but that's another thread ...

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Oblivion and Fallout 3 both have had commercial DLCs (Morrowind had DLCs too, but they were free, so instead of a buzzwordy acronym they were just called "official plugins"), and these games are among the most open and the most modded you can find in the mainstream modern market.

However, that's true of the PC versions. The console versions are entirely locked down, but the decision was made by the platform's company, not the game's.

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Modern games are locked down so that the developers don't need to waste time (which is money) on making their in-house tools distributable and creating documentation for them. Publishers also prefer games being disposable rather than having players increasing the ganes' life span, which results in players buying less games because they're happy with the old ones.

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Jodwin said:

Modern games are locked down so that the developers don't need to waste time (which is money) on making their in-house tools distributable and creating documentation for them. Publishers also prefer games being disposable rather than having players increasing the ganes' life span, which results in players buying less games because they're happy with the old ones.


Well-said and very true.

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kristus said:

It's interesting that he holds Valve in such high regard considering that all of their games are very linear and locked down.


Linear perhaps, but locked down? How many games started out as mods for Half-Life? You know, like fucking COUNTERSTRIKE.

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Day of Defeat as well :p and hey, Team Fortress started as a mod for Quake, and the sequel is probably the most played online FPS currently :p

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For me "'O' of destruction" has always had a mystical ring by it. Guess that's why.

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kristus said:

It's interesting that he holds Valve in such high regard considering that all of their games are very linear and locked down.

? The Source SDK which is freely availaible to anyone who owns a Source game on Steam includes their level editor, tools for lipsynching voice to NPC models, game sourcecode for making mods, tools for converting models and textures to the correct engine format, not to mention the huge Valve-supported wiki on Source engine development...

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And also you aren't limited to using just Valve's tools to make Source mods either. They happen to package them in a convenient way, but you can still download the SDK separately and use your own compilers and tools. Even QuArK is still regularly updated and can be used for editing Source maps.

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EarthQuake said:
So that's not a bug after all! I figured they renamed it and forgot to change one text or the other.

Hmm, yeah, now that you mention it, the way he puts it there seems like the difference could be intentional, one getting to see the easter egg only by paying attention to the automap...

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arrrgh said:

? The Source SDK which is freely availaible to anyone who owns a Source game on Steam includes their level editor, tools for lipsynching voice to NPC models, game sourcecode for making mods, tools for converting models and textures to the correct engine format, not to mention the huge Valve-supported wiki on Source engine development...

So? Their games are still 1 way only rail shooters. Except Portal, which is a 1 way only puzzle game.

Valve isn't the only ones to ship their tools with their games. Bethesda does that too, and Epic released their Unreal (3?) engine as a stand alone development kit just like Id has done with all their engines. Only they spend more time on selling their engines, so Epic's got more developed tools. While Id usually leaves it to the community to further develop the tools.

This still doesn't make their games ANY better.

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"their games are linear and locked down"
"no, they aren't locked down"
"so? SO? they're linear they suck graaarh"

Someone's stuck a decade ago... Haven't we grown up past the fan/hate relationship with game developers by now ?

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Oh shut up. I don't give a shit about Valve as a game studio, I just get amazed that other people do. With Steam, they are in the business of getting the games of other developers to the players. Their own games however, aren't of any great calibre.

I never said anything about their modability. I was talking about their games being locked down from any kind of exploration.

EDIT: While that is said, I did however like Portal. But it was way too easy, and as such over way too fast.

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EarthQuake said:

So that's not a bug after all! I figured they renamed it and forgot to change one text or the other.

I always just kind of assumed that the 'O' was supposed to represent a circle, and that whoever did the intermission graphics couldn't fit the name Circle of Destruction, so they changed it to Circle of Death instead. I was surprised when I learned about the Ultima reference (of course I've known that for years now).

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kristus said:

Their own games however, aren't of any great calibre.

EDIT: While that is said, I did however like Portal. But it was way too easy, and as such over way too fast.


You must pretty much hate fun video games then because Halflife, Portal, and L4D series are fun as hell. Also, even though I never got into it I'm sure there's some reason for TF2's huge player base.

Did Valve beat you as a child or something?!

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kristus said:

I never said anything about their modability. I was talking about their games being locked down from any kind of exploration.


We obviously misread what you were saying. We thought you were referring to valve games as locked down as in their content is unnaccessible to it's fan base, which is the context it is used in the question John Romero answered.

In your case I agree. Despite the huge levels you have to handle every obstacle one by one. There are never any alternate routes to anything and I suppose the random empty rooms in every apartment building in Half-Life 2 could be considered 'exploring'

Halflife 2 has a lot of things that John Romero would typically frown upon. Like how he said that FPS's make the character into a slow moving damage sponge, I recall Half-Life 2 being exactly that. The machine guns were pretty close to worthless. The combine used them all the time and I recall pretty clearly being stuck in expansive outdoor areas with nowhere to hide, and relying on the fact that these bullets will spray everywhere and do about 3% damage per hit to stay alive. I don't recall using any type of 'strategy' to fight these guys other than to not let them be alive long enough to wear at your health. *yawn*

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John is a cool fellow - though I agree that HL2 def. isn't what a simple and fun shooter is about... it's more of an interactive adventure game and a great one at that.
Though I strongly dislike valve and their influence on games with a passion I have to confess that HL2 was one of the few modern games that got me so hooked that I played through it in a nonstop session.

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Rise and shine, Mr. Freeman... Rise and... shine.

Personally, I'm all for Valve. They know what kind of games they want to play, and make them. They have fun doing it. (Well, maybe not HL2's development). And even if someone isn't satisfied with the way a certain game plays, the fan base still has the full ability to do whatever they want with the Source engine.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xPn-Mf8nvg , for example.

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kristus said:

Oh shut up. I don't give a shit about Valve as a game studio, I just get amazed that other people do.

If you really didn't give a shit like you claim you wouldn't discuss Valve's faults at every opportunity whenever it's mentioned in a thread.

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I must be the only person who found Portal irritating. That fucking robot bitch never shuts up and is about as funny as gonorrhea.

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Jodwin said:

Halflife is fun? That's news to me.

Yeah it is, actually. The series has a lot of interesting chapters and mechanics. But then, I suppose you conform to a higher standard of video game. I'd love to hear about the non-stop thrill rides you're playing.

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40oz said:

Halflife 2 has a lot of things that John Romero would typically frown upon. Like how he said that FPS's make the character into a slow moving damage sponge, I recall Half-Life 2 being exactly that. The machine guns were pretty close to worthless. The combine used them all the time and I recall pretty clearly being stuck in expansive outdoor areas with nowhere to hide, and relying on the fact that these bullets will spray everywhere and do about 3% damage per hit to stay alive. I don't recall using any type of 'strategy' to fight these guys other than to not let them be alive long enough to wear at your health. *yawn*

HL2 has different gameplay from Doom. If the player could dash around at top speed for as long as they liked, it would break parts of the game because a lot of the fights with the combine centre around intelligent use of cover - you aren't meant to charge in and start shooting. I don't remember a fight against the combine at long range without some sort of cover. HL2
HL2 does have its faults though. Like the stupid airboat chapter which went on forever and was incredibly dull, or the squad thing where you took control of rebels who did nothing but get in your way and remind you to reload, or the way the SMG becomes totally useless the second you pick up the AR2.

Use3D said:

I must be the only person who found Portal irritating. That fucking robot bitch never shuts up and is about as funny as gonorrhea.

Portal was a clever puzzle game but I couldn't find out what people found so hilarious about it.

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Valves best games are all made by people other than Valve. Lol
Eg

TF=Quake mod
Opposing Force=Gearbox
CS=mod

etc etc

Portal was OK for free. Full of Valve "storytelling" argh

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HL1 is meh, HL2 is okay, HL2EP1 is crap, HL2EP2 is pretty good.

Portal was short and disappointing.

So yeah, the Valve games that I've played so far weren't anything special.

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