Half-Life 2 and simple machines

Monday, August 29th, 2005

It turns out that I didn’t have to kill the queen of the antlions in the prison/assylum. The great John Timmons has already completed the work in a weekend and in comparing notes, we’re noting how things went differently, given choices within the environment and our different responses to the physics.

For me, learning the environment has a lot to do with understanding simple machines, such as the fulcrum.

A view of the bridge. The sense of distance and scale.

Same bridge. Freeman suspended, hoping not to fall. Vertigo.


4 responses to “Half-Life 2 and simple machines”

  1. susan says:

    Was talking w/John about this last night at the meeting and I’m anxious to see it in action at the next. How did you get the screen shots? I might try to do that as I work with and post on Still Life.

  2. Steve says:

    HL2 has a hot key for screen shots. They come in about 1100X800 so they’re big enough to reduce for the web and still retain their detail.

  3. JGT says:

    The Half-Life series’ strengths has been in the creation of a believable environment. The illusions of a 3-d space and the intelligent use of ambient sounds is extremely effective and engaging. Half-Life 2 takes these elements to a higher level but it is in the rendering of real-world physics that makes it so powerful.

  4. Steve says:

    I agree about the environment, John. The feeling of being in place is extraordinary. But as I consider Facade and HL2 as environments I think that that’s the only strength of HL2: the world. But I’ll employ a little more detail in a more direct comparison of the “worlds.”

    I still find the most striking section and the more attuned area in terms of sound, structure, and action to be Nova Prospect, where the massive attack comes in the small room with the turrets. Alyx establishes the emotional tension and helps to releave it by marking time against your struggle. Fascinating little arc of time.