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Half Life intro = Final Fantasy technique

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I''ve just realised that what the Half-Life intro (tramride, and ''meeting'' the scientists) does is pretty much the same as the technique used in many tile-based RPGs (a technique that I find works well), where the characters will say something if you go up to them. Think of all the things that happen SPOILERS the problem with the computer, the tying of shoelaces, guy stuck in the microwave, will gordon freeman please report to x... Spoilers over. They are all things that you could find in an RPG. Make of that what you will.

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As long as I can skip the intro, you can do this however you want. :0

Man, it ticked me off to have to go through the whole ride each time I wanted to replay. Got to the point of saving shortly after arriving just so I could have a reasonable point to restart.

Just waiting for the mothership...

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Guest Anonymous Poster
so what they do is react to your presence, but not demand any conersational input. which is appropriate in that situation.

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I''d really like to see a dynamic system for handling scripted conversations in an FPS game. I know this isn''t quite on topic, but I got to thinking about how Perfect Dark handled conversations. You''d walk up to somebody, and they''d say, "Hi there," and your character would usually respond, "Hi." For more sophisticated conversations, they might go back and forth with actual info.

I was thinking of a way to have FPS characters talk to one another in a manner appropriate to the situation. You walk up to someone, they say, "Don''t shoot, it''s me," and you holster your gun. If, during the course of the conversation, you hear something or see something that might be a threat, you might pull the gun back out. Maybe your character would hush the NPC, and then after you solve the problem or decide there was nothing to worry about, you can resume the conversation. An example:

Agent Black meets Doctor Smart in a warehouse to get info on the new vampire tests. A few vampires were outside, and Agent Black dispatched them.

Agent Black: *walks in with rifle at low ready, scanning for threats* Doctor Smart? Are you here?
Doctor Smart: *Hiding behind a crate* Over here, Agent Black.
AB: *slings rifle* Good to see you, doctor. What have you got for me?
DS: Well, we finished the tests on that vampire you captured. My theory was correct. They are not storybook monsters. They''re genetically engineered supersoldiers. Hitler was recently raised from the dead with fancy DNA-cryo-science, and he''s building a new perfect race, but not with eugenics. He''s using the far more precise tool of transgenic...
AB: *hearing a clang, unslings rifle* Hold that thought, Doc. I''ll be right back. *tip-toes out into the open, finds and neutralizes vampire, returns to DS hiding spot, but crouches by the corner of the box, keeping his infra-red scanner moving about the room* Go ahead, professor.
DS: As i was saying, he''s using the far more precise tool of transgenic manipulation to turn peace-loving hippies into blood-craving denizens of the night. Are you listening to me?
AB: *still scanning* You bet, Doc. Keep talking.
DS: Okay, then. The only way to stop him is AAAAARRGH! *DS head is ripped off by vampire ninja*
AB: Damn it! *gunfight ensues*

Had Agent Black heard or spotted that second vampire assassin, he might have whipped out his stake-shooter and gone to check it out while DS sat tight and waited. Since DS died before AB got the secret to victory, mission objectives will have changed. Each sentence DS uttered has a "nugget" of info, and depending on how many "nuggets" AB collects, the plot/mission/structure/ending will change.

The trick to making this work is to have the game read context to actions. The professor might not be comfortable talking to you while you''ve got a gun in your hand or are pointing it at him, so if you insist on having it out all the time, he''ll punctuate his speech with "Must you point that thing at me?" or "Is it really that dangerous here?" which will slow down the intelligence-gathering process. On the other hand, if you look away from him, he might get whacked, and if you sling your weapon, it''ll take longer to respond to an attack.

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