DGC Ep 068: Half-Life (part four)

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where we are discussing Valve Software's 1998 classic Half-Life. We talk about the much-maligned final levels and understand where they came from and then turn to a few pillars. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Up to the end!

Podcast breakdown:
0:35     End of the game
51:40   Break
52:10   Takeaways and Feedback

Issues covered: weather and climate change, teleportation and level connectivity, landmarks, teleporting all over the level, unfair design, planning and execution, competence and player empowerment, obsession with permutation, explaining teleportation through visuals, good teleportation design in Portal, bigger payback for more work, limitations in AI make sense and reinforce the story/space, minimal use of character lending importance, G-man as hook character for HL2, bleedthrough of Xen into Black Mesa, control precision (or lack thereof), upping the ante at the end of a game, elite players and first-person navigation, relearning a lot of rules, trying to create recognizable spaces in alien world, throwing lots of spaghetti at the wall, knowing your limitations, sunk cost fallacy, having faith in your vision, the thing that brings nothingness, incorporating teleportation into baby battle, brute forcing a boss, false choice, bridge story from Half-Life to Half-Life 2, fully realized sense of place, connected level design, sensible spaces and narrative ties, making AI look smart and interesting and motivated, direct relation of place to gameplay, accuracy of hours played, interview guest, feedback.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussedTacoma, Portal, Left 4 Dead, DigiPen, Kim Swift, Half-Life 2, Twin Peaks, X-Files, Starfighter, Troy Mashburn, Doom, Quake, System Shock 2, Republic Commando, Eraserhead, Rayman 3D, June, Planescape, Final Fantasy IX, Valve, Marc Laidlaw, Gamer Lawyer, Firewatch, Breath of the Wild, Assassin's Creed, Far Cry, The Crew, Ghost Recon, Resident Evil, The Evil Within, Wasteland, The Last Guardian, lucasrizoli, Reed Knight, Darren Johnson, Diplomacy, Dan Connors, Telltale, briAnderson66(maybe), Doc16109, ToeJam and Earl.

Next time:
Interview episode

@brett_douville, @timlongojr, and @devgameclub