I had already spent alot of time making my IF before these blogs were assigned, but I figured I can still blog about Pre-Production aspects of parts of BMC (Black Mesa Chronicles, my IF) that are still in development as well as introduce everyone to what I’ve done so far. My basic concept is Half-Life from another point of view, much like the GearBox Software expansions except mine is not a Half-Life mod, it’s coded in Inform 7. It centers around the player who is a scientist that must escape from part of the Black Mesa Facility not shown in any Half-Life games or expansions. Half-Life differed from many FPSs at the time by using scripted sequences instead of cut scenes. The difference is that the player has control during these sequences, allowing for more realism and intensity. This makes Inform 7 quite a suitable medium for my version, as one of it’s key features is that during it’s scenes the player can still remain in full control. In fact the player’s choices during these scenes are going to be what determines the overall outcome of the game. I am also incorporating sound effects, music, and pictures that make the player feel more like he/she is in the classic Half-Life environment. This will hopefully make players familiar with first person shooters and/or Half-Life feel less alienated by the fact that they have much less control in aspects of first person shooters, along with more control along the lines of Inform capabilities. I also plan to integrate a help system uniquely tailored to the capabilities of my game for players new to IF.
In the beginning I was questioning how orignal I could be when everyone in our class had to do the same concept. I’ve avoided that aspect now and stuck to adding complexities to my story. As you can see the main aspect I’m functioning around is the stories of the people in the store, and how they connect. I converted all my pages to HyperTexTopia. I even added quite a bit more to the story, so that it is much more visible how all the characters interlock. With my link names, I always try to anticipate/ describe future events. I normally do this with “The (verb/noun)” to be as simple as possible with still foreshadowing future events. I still plan to add a lot more stories and have them all interconnect. So far, I have the security chief who discovers the punks stealing milk for kittens dumped by the Wife and husband who wrote a book slandering a former founder of a company but now works in the store due to the book. It’s complicated, yet simple how they all connect. Right now I only have three stories in the store. I plan to do eight. and I might move my current three to the end so that they would be the last three. HyperTexTopia is not the best thing for hypertext. If you want to link from a word in the text, you can’t do it again from that link. it’s called a shard and it doesn’t even show up as it’s own page. It justs pops up when you hover over that word. I decided not to use shards and just use the basic navigation system to avoid these problems. I think I’m an intuitive thinker, as I just write whatever pops into my head. then I refine it until I actually like it. I have had many successes so far, But when faced with a problem, I tend to search for a solution, or another solution if the solution is the problem.
Neither of these two New Media Posts could be long enough on their own, so I combined them:
Class Notes 2/28 – Metaphors:
A home page is not really either a home or a page. It’s the starting point where you go when you type the URL without any additional things (I.e. /post-new.php ). Just like this a page is not a tactile page in a book, but a digital representation of part of a path. these Metaphors along with many others in New Media are examples of transcoding. It basically means that we apply familiar terms to new technology that may not really apply well in an effort to make people feel more normal with that new technology. We also discussed the parent-child relationship within web pages. One of the interesting things with web pages is that the parent and child are more like nodes as you can go from a child to a parent in most circumstances, changing the parent to a child and the child into a parent.
Great News- Sound Design roles and the Source SDK:
I was recently accepted as a Sound Artist for a Half-Life: Opposing Force Remake for Source. It’s called Operation Black Mesa. It’s amazing some of the work they’ve done In the past few years. It’s been through at least one management change and it’s still going strong. I hope that I will Be a valuable addition.
The Source SDK is an amazing software package that still bewilders me. I would like to mod my own game, but I don’t have time to do anymore than mere experiments. The other day I had some fun with zombies, enclosed spaces, and a few metro cops. Zombies always win in close quarters, this was no exception. 5 Zombies against 12 Metro cops in a small hallway left me with about 2 zombies taking down the last Metro Cop. Aside from personal fun and amusement, the Source SDK is also a gateway to new experiences and other software such as the XSI Mod Tool and Visual Studio. One of the best aspects of the Source SDK is its variability aspect of a much loved game; Half-life 2. The ability to mod the game gives the player full “writerly” control. Also I would like to say that I did not know at the time that there was a HL1 SDK, My assumptions about it not existing were wrong. Another aspect of HL2 that the Source SDK improves is the modularity aspect. Before, the different parts of the game (sounds, Textures, Models, and other things like the HUD) were all combined to make the game. Now, The Different parts to make the game are available to the player and are combined to allow the player to literally “Make” the mod.