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EsH

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  1. EsH

    Doom 3 Too Repetitive

    I'm not really a huge Doom1 player, but I remember how cool the levels were, and how much of a kick my friend and I got out of getting surprised by monsters, and running away back to the start of the level in some cases. I get the impression from some of the levels of Doom3, though, that a lot of the staff were so worried about working up to the technology that they didn't really have the opportunity to just have fun with the levels. Just about every room is a set-piece for some machinery or scripted event-- something to show off the engine. So, in order to make the most of this, you have to make sure the player stays close to the fixture or event. Which means kind of keeping the player on a fixed, amusment park ride path. You don't have this sort of trouble with Doom1-- the set pieces are the level configurations themselves, their very structure (okay, maybe some creative textures, too, but this was secondary). In Doom1, a boring room was blatently obvious--you didn't have dodads and machines and shadows to distract you from what you were seeing like in Doom3. Level designers had to be creative or the game would just look dumb. With Doom3, you can take a square room, and stuff it with desks and chairs, and suddenly it looks "complicated", even though the complexity has no effect on the gameplay. I think it would be a cool project to take the level editor from Doom1, and just have it spit out files in Doom3 format. You might have to give up some things like stairs and stuff, but it would be much easier to be creative with level design.
  2. EsH

    More good/bad stuff about the game

    It has nothing to do with lack of imagination-- Doom3 presents an amazingly detailed, immersive world and I'm not debating that in the least. Quite the opposite-- I wouldn't bother making such minute, picky observations if the game was more seriously flawed. In regards to the computer system, it's just a matter of more fully utilizing the GUI surface technology and further enhancing the realism they've put into everything else. Okay, I don't know what life will be like three decades from now. For all I know, dark and gloomy might be the big style (maybe gothic architecture made a comeback or something). I know it's id's interpretation-- it's good interpretation. But it doesn't mean we can't discuss that interpretation. People still critique Beethovan's symphonies-- it doesn't mean we don't think that they're full of imagination and genius. It's just what we do to keep the work dynamic and alive. Someone once said that a religion is truly dead when there is noone left to question it. Anywho, back to the topic at hand-- why, for example with networking available, would all of these small electronic machines and dodads need be be crammed into the users desk space-- they should be kept remotely, and accessed through one terminal. It would be like if Nasa decided to put the spaceshuttle launch pad right in the control room. And why are the desks METAL?! It's MORE expensive, and hard to move. Military environments need to be flexible, I know that much. People change offices, offices become storage rooms, etc... What do you think?
  3. EsH

    More good/bad stuff about the game

    With extra complexity in the computer systems, the player would have to spend a few (relatively brief) moments to figure out what to do. This would provide mental stimulation, as a small break from the more viceral action. There actually is a light example of this in the game, where what you have to do with a terminal isn't completely obvious, and you have to use your brain to figure out what to do. It was that terminal where you had to flip through the security camera, and you realize that one of them is pointing at a meeting room with a security code printed on a screen. It wasn't rocket science, but you had to play around with it, and realize where and what the prize was. This principle should have been extended to many more terminals-- you should have to manipulate the interface to figure out what to do, it should give you a pause. Otherwise, it's just a flashy way of presenting the standard fps buttons.
  4. EsH

    More good/bad stuff about the game

    Guys I'm not complaining about the game at all! I'm playing through it for the FOURTH time, and I'm still having a ball. Well, well worth the wait. --------------------------------- Did it ever occur to you that they were keypads and not personal computers? I mean, the ones in the elevators are keypads. The ones in the workstations are also keypads because you can't use the keyboards...These aren't PCs, they're simply keypads which carry out simple functions (except for when you have to move the toxin-leaking barrels). ---------------------------------- Yes-- I'm not talking about the lifts and the door pads, but the full fledge computers terminals that the scientists obviously do complex work with. It's just that I think it was a lost opportunity not to have the computer workstations that the scientists use be a bit more complex. Playing around with more complex GUI's would have been a great way to enhance the sense of realism, allow the player to ferret out what scientists were working on, and to provide an occasional change of challenge for the player in the form of light OS/IT oriented puzzles. ... As a quick addition to my GOOD list, the game actually does have a lot of replay value IMHO-- for one, you really can't appreciate stuff fully the first time, because you just too scared to concentrate on much except your aim. It's fun just going back, after your more comfortable, and just have fun admiring the surprises, the animation, and the quality. Also the game isn't totally linear-- there is some exploration, and you're sure to miss stuff the first time around.
  5. EsH

    More good/bad stuff about the game

    Yeah, and it is scary ;) I just wish they began the game with "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away" so I didn't get the sense that human beings actually got paid to design something like this. I mean, the alien ruins (the first part) were actually more natural and comfortable to walk around in than the base... Yeah, I know the computers are streamlined to make the game simple. But Carmacks big "three pillar" emphasis on GUI controls really had me thinking (and looking forward to) some fun computer toys that I could really play around with. Like maybe the demons would infect the system with a virus or something, and you'd have to figure out a way to block demonic pop-up ads (okay, sort of silly) by going to the UAC system preferences menu. You know, really make that GUI system shine. One the plus side, the non-interactive GUI's were VERY impressive. I'm going to have to concede on the work environment thing-- it IS a work environment, I guess. It just seems like the architect saw Aliens, and said "well, if that's what space stations are supposed to look like...". And it does add to the "humanity dooming itself" feel, in a way.
  6. Just some thoughts that I haven't heard voiced by others yet: -- BAD STUFF -- (I'm making these observations with the idea that id really was trying to make a very realistic, immsersive environment to explore and be scared by.) While the lighting effects provide a sense of realism, it's often hobbled by the higher level reasoning that the base just doesn't make sense. For example, the game is supposed to take place in the future, yet the TV and monitors look like something you'd find in the storage basement of a high school. A lot of the video technology in the base gives the impression that UAC has just discovered the vacuum tube. The computer systems don't make sense. It seems like most usable, full fledged computer terminals are dedicated to one function with three or four simple operations. One could reason that that each terminal has been locked to ensure that the user's don't get into stuff they're not supposed to, but then, why go to the trouble of having a computer terminal? One not just a simple on/off button, to go along with all the other hard-wired buttons found just beside the terminals? Granted, the new GUI system is put to some wonderful use (such as with the teleports), but it would have been nice to have something to play with, even if it was just cosmetic. Perhaps a help menu--at every terminal, some windows to switch through in order to find the really useful option-- at every computer. Something to explore and challenge you with you so dont feel you're "just bumping into buttons" again. It's hard to imagine that anyone would ever build a critical work environment this moody and oppressive. I mean, the UAC would want a place as condusive to work in as possible. The environment would be comfortable at best, and unobtrusive at worst. Where are the plants? The sofas? Small fountains? CARPETS for goodness sakes! Yes, it's a military research base, but even military bases find room for a potted fern here and there. Yes, there are complaints about living conditions by the game character's to acknowlege that the base is oppressive, but it doesn't change the fact that a base like this simply wouldn't have been built. Especially in a remote, isolated, stressful environment like mars. It just wouldn't happen. There would be fountains, huge moving paintings of blue skies, every possible archetectual device to allow the people to forget how isolated they are, and to allow them to be happy and enthusiastic about working there. So about 1/4 through the game, seeing more variations on huge, dull metal plated hallways I actually began chuckling to myself at how absurd it was (however effective at being scary ;) ) Hell was too cool. I mean that in a bad way. Yes it was scary too, but it was scary in a cool way. I mean, yes it LOOKS like what we think hell is supposed to look like, and is scary, but unfortunately, in this day and age that sort of scary is quite too much fun. Hell in Doom looks like someplace you'd WANT to visit. You look FORWARD to going to hell. Yes I know, of course we looked forward, but it wasn't a sort of creepy, perverse facination of dread, but was a sort of "this is going to be so COOL!" sort of fun-park feeling. It dropped the dramtic impact of the game several notches. I kept thinking "What the hell am I doing?! UAC should be selling tickets to this place! This is awesome!" Hell was a brilliant level, but it wasn't HELL hell. You fought in hell not to get out of it, but to see MORE of it. I guess this is quibling about a brilliant level, but for a game that rests on scaring you, hell should actually have been the military base-- now THAT's someplace dreary enough that would have scared me into going to church (and I'm talking BEFORE the invasion). Evil was a bit too lackluster. There were some wonderful moments, like that first room strewn with candles, the pentagram, and the growth. But after fighting through his own hell and back, having Betruger break in with "Every step brings your soul closer to me..." just sounded more and more like a hollow threat. The monsters were violent, but they didn't seem EVIL. I mean, why would an evil demon kill someone with a rocket launcher? Why does the evil Guardian just almost mercifully just try to stamp you out? Bullies in high-school are more creatively sadistic than these demons-- where's the demonic equivalent of having your head flushed down the toilet? Why do all the demons seem so business like most of the time? Yes, there were a few living, evicerated corpese, but even this seemed like something that would show up on a polaroid, and that Satan would insists is "just an unfortunate, isolated incident". Only in the very last level, in the ruined martian base, did things start to get weird enough and just plain dreadful enough that I really started to believe I was fighting against something demonic. I'm not normally a sadistic person, but I really wanted id to do something that made parents sqirm, and make the rest of us drop our jaws in utter cool exorcist mode. --- GOOD STUFF ------- The subtle ways the base and the demonic evil sort of melded. I don't mean flashy stuff like "the growth", but the subtle suggestive things. A great example of this are the computer systems that displayed pentagrams. There's something really scary about the demons just slightly changing the way the technology works, reather than just destroying it. It suggests the demons really want to change us, as opposed to just blowing us up. My favourite was the terminal that gave tips on building pentagrams. Most people took this as a joke, but for me, it really was one of the great few scary moments that I thought "wow, hell really has taken over..!" Another great example, from the sound department, was the way the machines sounds gradually became demonic howls-- how you could just sense that these machines were evil in there very nature. I also like the Z-Sec guards-- a lot of people complain that they aren't "zombie-like" enough, but the very fact that they act so human and are so effective speaks far more about the power of evil warping humanity than a stumbling guy in a jumpsuit you don't bother to waste the good ammo on. The desk lamps. I don't know why, but these interactive lights scared me-- there's nothing so unnervingly weird looking as a tipped over desk light casting weird shadows. The fact that you could accidently shoot these, or knock them over, and that it made the room even more dreadfully creepy, was great. You really actually wished you could pick the lamp up again in some rooms... The crashing monorail. I know it was just one scene, and that it is not a factor in gameplay. (This sort of thing has probably been done before, but I don't play games much, so it was new to me.) But it was so well done, and it made me believe in the game again just I was starting to get bored. It was so expertly done-- the way you have sudden, slight realization that you're going "sorta fast..." to the sudden sense of REAL (see BAD STUFF) demonic presence to that awful "I shouldn't have got back on!" to "I'm gonna die!" feeling Doom feel really fun and scary just when it needed it. -- All the other obvious good stuff can be found elsewhere.
  7. EsH

    Everything looks like 8bit color!

    Thanks for the advice-- increasing the resolution does lessen the effect quite a bit.
  8. Hi, I have a Radeon 9600 card. I've noticed that everything in the game has a sort of 8bit look to it-- there are severe banding artifacts in the clouds, the flasholight has a lot of sparkly colors, and places where light falls off into darkness, there is severe banding and loss in quality. Even the menu displays artifacts around the lettering in the labels. The opening movie even looks terrible. It looks like the textures themselves are all 8bit... I'm using the latest drivers, and I've tried the game in all quality modes. In Ultra quality, things looks much better, but I get the feeling the problem is just being covered up by screen resolution. I've also noticed now that other GL games/demos have this same problem. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  9. EsH

    enviroment

    I remember him saying that too. Still, I think if a game really did focus on providing great, totally interactive gameplay, it would easily compensate for non-state-of-the-art-graphics (as long as the graphics were still done attractively). In fact, Carmack said that making games with Quake level graphics might be a good idea for some developers, because it's a "no-brainer" and they can concentrate on content. It would be really nice to see a game that went out of there way to have simple graphics, with interactive gameplay being the big slogan on the box.
  10. EsH

    Character Modding Tools

    Most likely they'll make an exporter for GMax (the freeware 3DStudio Max that's designed specifically for game modding).
  11. Hi, I was wondering if you could help me with something. I need an idea of how many people in these forums currently have (or recently had) NV1 caliber cards and are now upgrading to a better card for Doom3, and how many people are going to stick it out with their GeForce1/2/MX card. Also, I need an idea of what kind of CPU's will be used by people sticking with the NV1 card. I'm trying to get a sense of whether there's still a market for games that target GeForce1-class hardware, and any responses here would help a lot.
  12. EsH

    New Doom3 (PC) Screenshot

    Motion blur can be done using geometry extrusion (a cheap trick that isn't acurate) or using an accumulation buffer (accurate, but quite expensive to get good results), as far as I know. I don't think Doom3 has motion blur for the simple reason that the shadows would also have to be motion blurred (where the moving objects shadow strike other objects), which means that most scene has to be rendered about 5 to 10 times. Already it's sluggish on a lot of cards just doing one pass of the scene, and Carmack wants all effects to be usable on all the cards. I dunno...
  13. EsH

    UnrealEngine3 GDC Impressions

    gamespot.com has some hi(-er) res screenshots of the UnrealEngine3. Also check out http://www.unrealtechnology.com/html/technology/ue30.shtml for even higher res stuff. Really, really curious to see how Carmack is going to leap-frog this one ;)
  14. EsH

    UnrealEngine3 GDC Impressions

    Thanks a ton for the link, Intel17. Well. Carmack was right about one thing-- content creation is going to be a huge bottle-neck for engines like this.
  15. Just a curio-- the new GF 6800 card has a small tech pamphlet documenting it's UltraShadow II technology. It uses Doom3 as a sort of case study. The interesting thing is that it shows a simple screen shot (new?), and then a screen shot with the shadow volume extrusions illustrated. It's a -600k download, so if you feel like filling in 5 mins... http://www.nvidia.com/object/feature_ultrashadow2.html
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