Brilliant and also ridiculous:
Brilliant and also ridiculous:
Do they always sell them there? Or is it just because more people are living downtown?
The first time I realized in Left 4 Dead that things didn't occur linearly, that monsters jumped out and events happened more randomly (or, more accurately, according to the director AI), I didn't really get the implications. Reading this piece by Gabe Newell, esp. the whole idea of "procedural narrative," *especially* esp. with multiple players/viewers/readers, I'm now realizing how big this idea could be:
We can know for sure of something is actually frightening the player - their heart rate is going up, their respiration stats are peaking, appropriate parts of their brains are being activated. Direct measurement of players’ arousal states and responses to the things we’re doing is super exciting. It just will allow us to be much more analytical about the decisions that we’re making and the roller coaster ride we’re trying to create for the player.
Ultimately, statistics are guiding stories and generating narrative, but they are all based on actual, real-world, human experiences of playing the game.
I e-mailed this, but figured I'd post it, too:
For the record—aside from any overall assessment of playability etc.—my first impression is that they made a terrible mistake by including all the (as Rob Lightner calls them) "magic zombies," the tanks, the boomers, etc. The hunter seems totally fine, since they're phenotypically still standard zombies.
I've been really looking forward to this game, and I thought it would tap into the deep well of zombie anxiety and associated mythos that we all have, when we talk about 28 Days Later, World War Z, Dawn of the Dead, etc. So I was freaked out the first time I jumped in with Brandon and Tyler (bless you, Tyler, for making me take point), but the first time I saw a boomer, the super-fat zombies, my anxiety just totally evaporated. My brain was just like, "Ohhhh, these basically may as well be aliens or orcs or whatever." Why do none of the touchstone zombie movie and books have "magic zombies"? Because that would push them into SF and make them way less effective. I think they've fucked with the recipe and it shows. It doesn't help that there are only like ten kinds of "normal" zombies, and once you've seen them all, you no longer believe that they were unique humans that underwent some horrible transformation that could happen to you, too.
I'm sure there are all sorts of good gameplay arguments for including the magic zombies, but story-wise, it seems like a colossal misstep. I think this game could have kept me on edge for a long time, but after five minutes it already feels interchangeable with Gears of War, just with a different skin. That doesn't mean it's not fun, but I feel pretty shortchanged after the marketing hype. I think we all felt like, "wow, finally, a game that simulates what we talk about all the time!" But it isn't that at all.
"Real," scary zombies:
Not "real," not scary zombies:
As I post this, I've only watched this first 18-minute segment. At the end of the interview, he apparently talks about out his college playoff plans:
"It would add three extra weeks to the season," he said at the conclusion of a wide-ranging interview. "You could trim back on the regular season. I don't know any serious fan of college football who has disagreed with me on this. So, I'm going to throw my weight around a little bit. I think it's the right thing to do."
Here is I think an uber-embed of the whole thing:
Update: more good news, a lot of people watched this.
DeskLickr lets you "flickrize" your desktop with random images from Flickr. It can pull images manually or on a timer, and you choose where the come from, by "Flickr interestingness"--that's based on tags--or from a particular photostream or group. Neat!