DGC Ep 066: Half-Life (part two)

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where we are discussing Valve Software's 1998 classic Half-Life. We talk about what works in both the design of the military you fight and about enemy design in the game generally. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Apprehension (up to Residue Processing)

Podcast breakdown:
0:35    Soldier AI and Enemy Design
53:12  Break
53:39  Feedback

Issues covered: a bit of the history of game console licensing and certification, why Brett is behind on his homework, where the demo ended, special ops military, demo effectiveness, good general rules for AI in games, AI who communicate their state, postures for aiming, addressing the problem of AI who have perfect aim, alien telegraphing, use of grenades, line of sight, throwing a grenade to where you are, limiting the space in which an AI needs to work, world reacting to the soldiers with the same rules, enemy telegraphing and learning rules, orthogonal design, zombies and dread, long wind-ups, similarity between imp fireballs and head crabs, audio cueing, outsmarting the level designer, dying to learn the environment, not telegraphing the rules of the environment itself, making the perfect jump, pacing, memorable levels, distinguishing Valve games through their level explorations, approaches to innovate in games, making first person shooters is really hard, trigger to death, per-level mechanics, Japanese games, Japanese lenses on Western film genres, music in games, getting into a production role.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Xbox One X, Route 66, Tacoma, Nintendo, Atari, Star Wars (obliquely), Nathan Martz, Star Wars: Starfighter, Republic Commando, Alien, Doom, Quake, Cthulhu, Chaosium, Sandy Petersen, Dark Forces, Valve, Deus Ex, Thief, Bethesda Game Studios, Jenny Huang, id Software, Starcraft 2, Jordan Staley, Final Fantasy IX, Kotaku, Super Metroid, Nier: Automata, Platinum Games, Clover Studios, Capcom, Devil May Cry, Vagrant Story, Metal Gear Solid, Resident Evil, Fumito Ueda, Link to the Past, Castlevania, Ninja Gaiden, Dark Cloud, Kojima Productions, Halo, Day of the Tentacle, Full Throttle, iMuse, Nine Inch Nails, Trent Reznor, Loom, Shadow of the Colossus, Cory Potomis, Ori and the Blind Forest, Microsoft, Campo Santo, Jake Rodkin, Sean Vanaman, Pauly P0p, KurkPeterman, The San Francisco Kid, Mr. Eric Anderson, Haden Blackman, The Force Unleashed, Mafia III, Fallout 3, Steven Spielberg, Ficus/@giant_rat.

Next time:
Residue Processing through Lambda Core

@brett_douville, @timlongojr, and @devgameclub