Half Life 2 Damage Model

I was playing with the Half Life 2 SDK again (as well as the Hammer editor) though I haven't really got anywhere with it as I'm still trying to work out how to actually change the weapon damage variables. I did play around with the velocity and mass of bullets though was disapointed to find that this doesn't actually increase the damage of a round rather the damage done by a weapon in the engine is not related to these factors (though it's makes a lot of sense to scale accordingly). I now have a pistol that can knock objects miles. Hopefully I'll figure out the whole damage model thing soon, I thought I was on to a winner with CVar as it is a assigned for all weapons but it really is just registering a console variable.

Troika's Art of Patching

Looks like Troika is taking it's sweet time patching Vampire: Bloodlines. I got to a point where the game consistently crashed. After looking around I found some console commands that would set the flags and get you out of a level (as the inbuilt one failed to do). This has been an issue that has affected quite a few people and you would expect a quick patch. A month down the line and still nothing though a fan created an unofficial patch that fixes a few bugs. This isn't the first time this has happened Temple of Elemental Evil also had the same situation. I understand that building fairly open roleplaying games can lead to all sorts of scripting issues but I think they need a better post game release bug management, or better testing before a game is brought out.



I've been keen on Valve's Steam for a while. At first it took me some convincing to come around to the idea, I like media, I didn't like the concept of a game being purely digital. I did like the fact that if you lose your hard drive due to a failure it will automatically pull all the stuff you had back again. I thought to myself "what happens if Valve go bust, guess I won't be able to play my game anymore, still I can probably pick up the DVD cheap then". But I can't, see DVD copies need to be registered with Steam presenting the same issues, furthermore there have been countless other issues related to trying to log on to Steam after buying the DVD. I've seen a lot of people hacked of by this and quite frankly I'm not surprised. The DVD edition gets the worst of both worlds, Steam allows you to play a game on any machine as long as you have an Internet connection unless you have the DVD edition where you need to have the DVD in the drive to play as well. It takes away one of major reasons I like Steam and replaces it with the user's frustration.

I can't imagine how many sales Valve have lost from people returning a product that they can't get to work. Or how many fans have been outraged at the hoops they have to jump through to play the game. I imagine that this can't be doing anything good for their image, or that of their publisher. It really is a big shame as well, Half Life 2 is the best game that I've played this year, it's probably even worth the frustration that others have gone through to get it to work. I think as one person on the Valve forums summarised the issues with the technology well when they said I just bought Halo 2, I stuck it in my XBox drive, and look, it works.


And the winner of the next gen console war is...

IBM by the look of things. They've security chip production for the next gen XBox and Playstation and it looks a little like they might be producing the GameCube sequel. I imagine they must be overjoyed at this, and asking a CEO of IBM which console they think are the best will probably get the response We don't care, we think they are all good, maybe you should buy one of each and pick your favorite.


Hosting on Deltagreen

Well I've used the Atom feed to host on my own site's game page Deltagreen as well as here. You are free to use either, though I'm bound to link to files on Deltagreen from here. Over the next while I might play with the CSS to try and change the look. I know that this post isn't related to computer games, but it won't be setting a trend, honest.

Oh the Deltagreen site only updates once an hour so it might be a little out of sync.


Kick About in the Source SDK

Well I've had my first kickabout in the Source SDK today, it's been reasonably enjoyable but I think the documentation is still not quite there. I think the most amusing thing I found was the BULLET_IMPULSE_EXAGGERATION in hl2_gamerules.cpp which basically gives the cinematic item knock back feel based on things being shot. I changed it from the reasonable 3.5 to 35 which was just really to check that the change was made, thing were flying about in no time.

I haven't really started playing about with actually modding yet. I'm hoping to at some stage soon though.

I'm interested it trying out the flare grenade that used to be part of the assult rifle but was removed later (they now have that bouncy ball weapon on it). The code appears to be there, and the model was probably nearly finished. You can see it in action in hl2-tunnels.exe available from 3D Gamers.

Which to use

I've just set up an account at MSN as well. I'm not sure which of these I'll end up using. Think I'll give them both a go though. Blogger allows you to post straight to your own site which I find both scary and interesting.