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Pressure Valve
May 24th 2000, 09:12 CEST by andy

Valve has long been regarded as the most respectable of the FPS companies, but some recent events have cast a shadow on that image. The latest controversy looks set to not just turn people away from the company, but may raise questions about its long-term commitment to mod developers.



When Valve decided to invest in the Counter-Strike mod and make it an official Half-Life add-on, there were mumbles of discontent in the community. The decision was widely seen as a positive move to support a few dedicated mod authors, but some people saw it as a kick in the teeth to those working on other popular projects.

The next Half-Life patch is expected soon, and then an upgrade is likely to be released which will include Counter-Strike. To be compatible with the new version of the game, mods must be upgraded using v2.0 of the Half-Life development kit.

For the Action Half-Life mod, and possibly several others, this signals the end of the road. Because the new development kit no longer supports a feature known as "hull type 3", which is needed for some Action Half-Life features, the mod can only be compiled with the old development kit and will therefore not be compatible with the upgraded game.

Even if fans of Action Half-Life choose not to upgrade so they can continue playing the mod, old clients may not be compatible with the WON registration system that is required to play.

Some fans of Action Half-Life see this as an act of sabotage by Valve, believing that the company wants to cut down the number of available mods so that Counter-Strike can become the dominant add-on. Even if support for "hull type 3" is later re-implemented, it will likely be too late for other mods to gain much of a following.

Action Half-Life is one of the most established Half-Life mods, having been around since shortly after the game was released. The current version was released as a third beta, with one more patch expected before the v1.0 release.

According to Ryan Roper, the Action Half-Life team manager, the mod does not likely have any future unless "hull type 3" support is added to the latest development kit. Valve has said that it will look into the problem but has given no estimate of when support could be made available, if at all. The company often takes several months to release patches.

C O M M E N T S
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#1 by ""
2000-05-24 09:17:17
first!
#2 by ""
2000-05-24 09:21:52
second!

oh and daikatana the biggest piece of shit since blood2/shogo/lithtech is out
#3 by "Happy cow"
2000-05-24 09:28:09
happycow30@hotmail.com http://happycow.home.icq.com
Hey I liked Shogo

Happy Cow (big robots rule man, lets play some slave zero too)<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#4 by ""
2000-05-24 09:30:49
try playing shogo over the internet on a regular modem. there is also lots and lots and lots of cheating thanks to monolith being stupid and hacking together a fix for their crappy netcode that didnt fix it but just made cheating easier.
#5 by "Happy cow"
2000-05-24 09:39:04
happycow30@hotmail.com http://happycow.home.icq.com
I'm sort of a single play cow. I don't even think I own a modem. What is that anyway?

Happy Cow (Already way off topic)<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#6 by ""
2000-05-24 09:43:42
well its not like the single player was great. it was extremely linear and the textures and sounds and models and maps and voices and animation and the whole game sucked
#7 by "Lowtax"
2000-05-24 09:46:00
lowtax@somethingawful.com http://www.somethingawful.com
Valve is too busy looking around in the magic land of fairies and dwarves and dancing leprechauns for the secret to make Powerplay a success.  Either that or they're doing top secret work for TF2 that they can't tell anybody about, because then the public might expect the game sometime this decade.

If I sound too cynical, it's because I've had to play "Daikatana" for the past eight hours, and it is by far the worst game ever created.  Worse than "Shogo" or "Blood 2".  Worse than "Section Z".  Worse than "Keith Courage in the Alpha Zone".  Worse than "Deadly Towers".  Worse than "ET" for the Atari 2600.  I am literally weeping because of the pain this game has inflicted upon me.

Can somebody please ban the word "first" in the first post?  If I wanted to see people who get off by posting the first reponse to a message, I would go to the Shugashack forums.

-Lowtax
#8 by ""
2000-05-24 09:48:45
eighth!
#9 by "CliffyB"
2000-05-24 09:50:07
cliffyb@cliffyb.com http://www.cliffyb.com
Lowtax, Section Z fucking 0wned. What have you been smoking?

Cliff
#10 by "Jowr"
2000-05-24 09:51:07
Jowr@sdf.lonestar.org http://n/a
Emmmm....Excuse me?

[4] Dude, what are you yapping about? Go talk to a rock or something.

Valve isnt that bad, they made a poor choice when they officially endorced Counter(monopoly) strike. The majority of the mods out there are put in a bad light, simply because of the amount of servers dedicated (NOTICE I SAID MAJORITY, NOT ALL).

BTW, earlier i thought CS was going to be put with the patch, it isnt. CS will be released seperately like EVERY OTHER MOD. Valve obviously does care about the other mods, since they gave SDK 2.0 to the major mod developers. So counterstrike isnt being 'put on top of the list', its simply a good mod.

Action-Halflife is a great mod (love those jump kicks...) and as far as im concerned, the problem with SDK 2.0 is an isolated-fucking-incident and there is no real reason get up in arms about it.

<QUOTE> It pains me to have to be writing this news update. Many of you have been complaining recently about the lack of a patch, and how we have been unreceptive to your needs. This is untrue, and the time has come to explain exactly what the situation is. The new SDK from Valve (SDK 2.0) has caused quite a few problems in the porting of Action Half-Life and many other of the top quality mods. Action Half-Life uses what's called a third hull in order to implement diving and the prone position that you have all come to know so well. This has been inhibited in the new SDK. In addition, things like model checking, some map goals, and some of the other features are either rendered useless or have to be done a completely different way because of the changes in the code. Even worse, any method of repairing dives and prone that we could implement would require the recompiling of every map used in Action Half-Life, including standard Half-Life maps.
Now the question is, where do we go from here? Valve has said that they will look into the hull problem, but can't give a time estimate on when it might be ready. In addition there is still the question on all of the features that have to be recoded and the maps that need to be recompiled. As of right now, we are trying to find ways around the limitations but are having a significant amount of trouble, which has been compounded by the growing lack of support from the fans. I do apologize for my reactions as of late, in addition to the rest of the team, but as you can clearly understand we are at a roadblock with no obvious ways around. We're all under a lot of stress, which inevitably has an effect on our reactions.

The team is not planning on giving up on AHL, but we do ask that you, the fans lend your support and try to understand the position we are in. I wouldn't be making this news post if it wasn't the only thing possible. We're doing our best. </QUOTE> (god i hope the quote works)

This is from Http://www.planethalflife.com

Judge for yourself. Valve isnt out to get AHL, and if it was, may i ask why Valve is singling out the AHL team out? BTW, AHL has a tiny fanbase simply because of its shitty 1st beta.


andy, please get into the real world and crawl out from under your conspiracy-theory creating rock, jesus. I wish some of you people wouldnt rush of jumping to conclusions, as i did. I asked Gabe Newell...

<QUOTE>  The networking/v-gui update is separate from the Counter-Strike update.
Over time we will provide a cleaner way for people to download mods .


We do intend to work with the other mod makers, and get them the
distribution and visibility they deserve.  We'll be announcing something in
the next couple of weeks specifically about this. </QUOTE>

Valve isnt out to get mod makers! ~whine~
#11 by "Happy cow"
2000-05-24 09:52:09
happycow30@hotmail.com http://happycow.home.icq.com
Hoot man, are you wacky? The single player game rocked. You got to be in the middle of a love triangle, wonder if Hank was a virgin, and kick Ryo istikawa's buttox in the end. And what about the mysterious Samantha Sternburge? Why is it you could kill her over and over and she would keep coming back. What about the mission to rescue the kitty cat. I guess some people don't understand Anime. Shogo, shogo, shogo. Chant with me people

Happy cow (wishing there was a Gun Smith cats computer game to play)<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#12 by "Atma"
2000-05-24 09:57:20
atma32@yahoo.com
FUCK THAT SHIT MANG.

errrrr

Valve has made it's selection and has probably doomed another [popular] mod unless they bother to help them out by adding hull type 3 support in the near future..

<quote>Valve has said that it will look into the problem but has given no estimate of when support could be made available, if at all. The company often takes several months to release patches.</quote>

Any amount of time measured in months is enough to kill just about any mod. :/


Yay, my first post to PlanetCrap 3.0....!
#13 by ""
2000-05-24 09:58:11
that cat mission was stupid.

chant with me

<I><U>shogo <B>sucks</B> lalalal monolith <B>sucks</B> lalalala shogo <B>sucks</B> dododooo lithtech <B>sucks</B> dododod</U></I>

at least daikatana has more models than that other stupid game unreal tournament that has like 3 models and a gay dancing disco robot
#14 by "CliffyB"
2000-05-24 10:02:40
cliffyb@cliffyb.com http://www.cliffyb.com
Xan was not gay. He liked RoboChix.

Cliff
#15 by ""
2000-05-24 10:06:22
Xan was gay. He liked RoboDix.
#16 by "Atma"
2000-05-24 10:15:33
Xan is leet. He can dance like the BSB..

At least unreal tournament doesn't pit you against the wee swamp creatures.
#17 by "Happy cow"
2000-05-24 10:15:42
happycow30@hotmail.com http://happycow.home.icq.com
Hey Cliffy, don't encourage him. I'm sure he's able to be a humorless troll all on his own. I think UT is pretty cool. The only thing that could have made it better would be GIANT ROBOTS. That Rune game looks cool too. I wonder if it's too late for them to have GIANT VIKING ROBOTS to the game.

Happy Cow (Wishing I was a GIANT ROBOT COW right about now)<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#18 by "wabut"
2000-05-24 10:28:19
wabut@yahoo.com http://madownage.cjb.net
cliffyb beat me : Section Z was bad ass. I regret selling it for $5. Nowadays, Section Z could get me $5.50 on ebay.
#19 by ""
2000-05-24 10:28:33
xaero is much leeter than that lamer xan and xaero can dance on his hands much better than xan the gay lamer disco dancing robot can on his feet.

ut wasnt pretty cool. some of the things missing from it were creative models/maps/textures/sounds. the game could also used some maps that werent so tiny and cramped and most of all decent netcode would have been nice. the netcode in ut is almost as bad as lithtech.
#20 by "Happy cow"
2000-05-24 10:35:50
happycow30@hotmail.com http://happycow.home.icq.com
You know I find it kind of interesting that the first genuine troll we have here is a Q3 fan boy. Supports my theory that the only people that enjoy Q3 are people easily distracted by shinny objects.

Happy Cow ( not gay, just Happy)<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#21 by "PiRaMidA"
2000-05-24 10:40:57
piramida@usa.net http://www.agsm.net
<b>#20</b> "Happy cow" wrote...
<QUOTE>You know I find it kind of interesting that the first genuine troll we have here is a Q3 fan boy. Supports my theory that the only people that enjoy Q3 are people easily distracted by shinny objects.
</QUOTE>

Bad theory... I like Q3, it reminds me of the best deathmatch game ever which was Q1 :) It's really cool, especially for hardcore head-to-head deathmatching.

Speaking of trolls, why can't we ignore messages coming from nameless "authors"? Craig?<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#22 by ""
2000-05-24 10:48:57
your just angry because you know that The Smack Down Hotel/q3tourney4 map has more creativity than all of ut.
#23 by "IlIIllllI1"
2000-05-24 10:49:46
there now i have a name
#24 by "Happy cow"
2000-05-24 10:59:12
happycow30@hotmail.com http://happycow.home.icq.com
a very fitting name too.Bet you have the Mad skillz and all dat stuff.

Happy Cow (Look everybody, this troll followed me home, can we keep it?)<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#25 by "Desiato"
2000-05-24 11:05:24
desiato_hotblack@hotmail.com http://www.spew2.com
Uh oh....the lamer meter went off the scale when I scanned this thread's previous posts.

WTF? Are we going to have a good discussion, or just debate games by saying:

Anonymous: Q3A ROX!!

Anon2: UT ROX!! Q3A SUX!!

Uhhhh...comon.

For the record, Shogo was interesting for the first week, but even the multiplayer couldn't keep it alive for me. Sense of scale is a hard thing to implement -- I can see that now. Also, since I'm a "explore-every-nook-and-cranny" of a level kind of player -- there were a few glaring errors where you could fall "into" buildings, not to mention Hall Of Mirrors effects.

I wouldn't have minded seeing an update or even a revamped Shogo2, but honestly I would've preferred it being ported to the UT engine. Could you imagine the graphic capabilities? The palette support alone would make the bright color contrasts popular in anime material possible.

I'm done....

Desiato..
#26 by "RedLine"
2000-05-24 11:34:56
redline@omegaforge.com http://www.omegaforge.com/pod/
Heh.  There is a problem with this topic... if you don't know the background here, any comment you make about the topic is gonna be flawed.

First off, I'd like to know what "Hull type 3" actually is... why Valve feel they need to remove/disable it now... I'd also like to know how this change will affect other mods... My spider-sense tells me there is more to this than the superficial mention of it that was made in the topic.  I could give examples of what I mean, but then people would just pick apart the examples if they were wrong... good catch22, wouldn't you say ?

So instead, I'll quote some paragraphs from the Action half-life website:

<quote>The new SDK from Valve (SDK 2.0) has caused quite a few problems in the porting of Action Half-Life and many other of the top quality mods. Action Half-Life uses what's called a third hull in order to implement diving and the prone position that you have all come to know so well. This has been inhibited in the new SDK. In addition, things like model checking, some map goals, and some of the other features are either rendered useless or have to be done a completely different way because of the changes in the code.</quote>

[...]

<quote>The team is not planning on giving up on AHL, but we do ask that you, the fans lend your support and try to understand the position we are in. I wouldn't be making this news post if it wasn't the only thing possible.

We're doing our best.</quote>

I dunno, but to me, it sounds like they can re-code the mod, but it will just take a massive amount of work, and all the AHL maps will have to be recompiled.  Certainly a pain, but not the end in technology terms.

So as I said at the start, it depends on exactly why Valve have pulled/disabled the third hull support, as to if this is a genuinely good move, or a "pull the rug out" kinda move.

It does seems funny that Counter-Strike is kinda like what TF2 is gonna be, and Valve are making it an offical add-on... perhaps they're just gonna let it replace TFC ?

<quote>When Valve decided to invest in the Counter-Strike mod and make it an official Half-Life add-on, there were mumbles of discontent in the community.</quote>

So there are people who are jealous of the success of Counter-Strike... that's the way of it I guess.
#27 by "PiRaMidA"
2000-05-24 11:44:43
piramida@agsm.net http://www.agsm.net/
<b>#26</b> "RedLine" wrote...
<QUOTE>I dunno, but to me, it sounds like they can re-code the mod, but it will just take a massive amount of work, and all the AHL maps will have to be recompiled. Certainly a pain, but not the end in technology terms.
</QUOTE>

You missed the point I think, quoting original update:

<QUOTE>Even worse, any method of repairing dives and prone that we could implement would require the recompiling of every map used in Action Half-Life, <b>including standard Half-Life maps</b></QUOTE>

(bolding added by me). That is quite different, is not it?
<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#28 by "Tom (cyberfart)"
2000-05-24 11:50:39
tom187@dingoblue.net.au http://www.rtsplayers.org
<b>#10</b> "Jowr" wrote...
<QUOTE>andy, please get into the real world and crawl out from under your conspiracy-theory creating rock, jesus. I wish some of you people wouldnt rush of jumping to conclusions, as i did. </QUOTE>

Amen!

<b>#3</b> "Happy cow" wrote...
<QUOTE>Hey I liked Shogo </QUOTE>

Double Amen!

Wow, look how useful my post is
<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#29 by "RedLine"
2000-05-24 13:01:14
redline@omegaforge.com http://www.omegaforge.com/pod/
[27] PiRaMidA

Hmm... it just means that if the AHL team re-write the mod, if you wanted to use <B>any map</B> with this new version of AHL, it would have to be recompiled.

The real points here should be (1) What did this third hull let mod developers do with Half-Life and (2) Why have Valve decided to disable/remove this feature for the new patch.

Those were the things I would have tried to find out before posting this topic.  If - for example only - removing the third hull would help stop cheating, I would call it an acceptable trade-off that some mods would have to be re-written.  Of course if there weren't any really important reasons for removing/disabling it... <I>then</I> you'd have to start to wonder what was going on.

You also need the background on this "third hull" thing because if - again for example only - it was always an "ugly hack" (A feature not offically supported but used because it was there and it was easy) then you couldn't really complain that Valve decided to break it.  Again, I don't know the situation so this is purely a fictional example...

[Note: General opinion below]

But I guess it really raises the wider question of how mod development should be handled... Valve have no contract with mod developers to consult with them on how the engine should be developed and what should or shouldn't be included... it is, after all Valve's game...

But having said that, mods do a lot to keep a game going, sometimes years after its initial release, so in a way a company "owes" the people who develop mods for their game, to a certain extent.

Or do they ?

I mean, if you develop a new single-player mission pack, or a new multiplayer mod... you have to ask yourself why you are doing it.

If you make something just for the fun of it, and give it away for free, and it is a little bit of a success, then you're happy with that and you keep making stuff.

But do the same and suddenly one of your creations is all over the 'Net and <I>everyone</I> is playing it... does that suddenly mean that someone "owes" you ?

Should it matter if 5 people a day play your creation, or 500 people a day play it ?  If it does, surely you have to ask yourself what your motivations were at the start, as in "Oh I'll just give this away since only a handful of people will ever play it" and then when it gets really huge you are like "Oh crap, if I had <I>known</I> it was gonna be this big, I'd have done it different at the start", so suddenly you feel as if someone owes you something ?  I dunno, but that seems wrong to me.  You either do things one way or the other from the beginning.

Where was I ?  Oh yeah... you make a mod that is so good people start buying copies of a particular game just so that they can play this mod... some people start calling the company who makes the game bad things because they are making a profit off the backs of the "ordinary" people who put out their mod for free... but what if the person/people who developed the mod don't care... they're just happy that other people are enjoying what they made ?

I dunno... it strikes me that if you are gonna have a system where the massively popular mods get "kick-backs" from the company who made the game that the mod has been made for... then we (The games companies and community as a whole) really need to re-think how mods are developed, because at the moment it's a no-risk commercial development melting pot in the sense that CompanyX can just sit back and let people do stuff and then anything that looks really cool they can just skim off the top.  It's no risk to CompanyX because they just sit back and wait to see what is successful and then make the team an offer.

I don't know if this is a good or a bad thing, but the point is, with the kind of model described above, the one that exists right now, CompanyX has it both ways... they can take the really successful mods and buy them up/hire the dev team/whatever, and at the same time, they can "fox" (Get shut down) a mod they don't like, or CompanyX can just change features in the game engine without notice, and really screw things up for people who have put a load of work into a project.

If a company wants the public to develop stuff for their game, then I believe they have an obligation to consult with those people when they decide to make a major change to the way things work.  Obviously this would just never work in practice, you couldn't consult with everyone, but I'm sure someone could come up with something....

Perhaps a pledge that goes, "Features B,H,J,T,M,V,X,Y and Z will always be there and will never be removed... all other features are subject to change without prior notice" Something to give mod developers a concrete ground to stand on... so you know if you make a mod using only all the "solid" features, it will always work, but if you use any of the other features, you may find at some point in the future, you'll have to recode parts of the mod... that would at least take the surprise/"Ahhh, We've been betrayed" reaction out of the equation....

Anyways... just a couple of random thoughts... the bottom line here I am pretty sure was that a given company needs to be somehow more accountable to its mod developing community, which would probably require a change in attitude and a change from the way mod development is handled right now.  I don't what that would mean, it's just an observation on my part. ;-)
#30 by "PiRaMidA"
2000-05-24 13:25:28
piramida@agsm.net http://www.agsm.net/
<b>#29</b> "RedLine" wrote...
<QUOTE>Perhaps a pledge that goes, "Features B,H,J,T,M,V,X,Y and Z will always be there and will never be removed... all other features are subject to change without prior notice" Something to give mod developers a concrete ground to stand on... so you know if you make a mod using only all the "solid" features, it will always work, but if you use any of the other features, you may find at some point in the future, you'll have to recode parts of the mod... that would at least take the surprise/"Ahhh, We've been betrayed" reaction out of the equation.... </QUOTE>

Surely, if the mod scene would be more important to game companies (and Valve was usually the example of company that cares about it's community) then the companies would listen to the community, especially when releasing SDK for them to use. As for the set of non-changing features, would not work because as far as I know, every mod team tries to stretch the bounds of the game as far as they can, and that usually means exploiting undocumented or unused features to create something which was not possible in the original game, like Quake1's temp1 variable if you know what I mean :) If id would for some reason remove that variable, quite a few mods would have to be rewritten, at least to some degree.

I think that it should not be hard for a company to setup a developer's discussion forum where they would publish a proposal for an upcoming SDK for people to review.. However, afaik no one does this, so mod authors are left wondering how much would they have to change after each new update to the game. It's like if WinAmp would suddenly change its plugin interface, and all the plugins that people spent their time to create (enhancing WinAmp's value for free) would be rendered useless... They don't do that, and as far as I know they care a lot about their plugin making crowd; so maybe game companies should start *thinking* about mod authors, too? Not just supporting the most popular one (CS) and hitting the others on the head to make them drown quicker...<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#31 by ""
2000-05-24 13:55:21
<i>Thinking...</i>
#32 by "RedLine"
2000-05-24 14:18:30
redline@omegaforge.com http://www.omegaforge.com/pod/
Yeah, that's the point... right now a company supporting the mod scene that grows up around their game is not required of the company... it makes sense for the comany to have the tools available to allow people to make mods, but they are not required to actively support the people that use those tools, and/or are not required to involve those people in any decisions that could cause big problems for them.

I think that now we have all seen that a good active mod community can and does help game sales and the longevity of a given game, it's time to say that if a company is going to release the tools to allow people to make mods, there should be some system of open communication between that company and the mod community.

I know there are some companies that do listen and act on suggestions a lot... (And I know Valve is usually one of these... but this is a more general overview of gaming, not aimed at any one specific target....) but the system at the moment is very much still optional in that a company can take or leave its help/support of, and listening/Participation in, the mod community that springs up around its game(s), and all I am saying is that there needs to be some clarification and openness here... everyone needs to sit down and come up with a policy that defines an agreement between a given company and the people who make mods for their game(s).... just so that everyone knows where they stand.

<quote>As for the set of non-changing features, would not work because as far as I know, every mod team tries to stretch the bounds of the game as far as they can[...]</quote>

This is true, but I think a list of static features would help a little... at least then mod developers would know for sure where they stood.  Whereas now, people use stuff just going "Oh, I'm <I>sure</I> they would never change that" -- But they don't actually <I>know</I> if that is true or not... if you knew beforehand that you weren't on soild ground, perhaps you'd go a different route to begin with, eg "Oh we can hack that together in a few hours using features that could change in the future, or we can spend a couple of days figuring a way to do it with the features that we know aren't ever gonna change"... right now that kind of argument just isn't possible, so of course people are gonna go the simplest, quickest and easiest route.
#33 by "asspennies"
2000-05-24 14:27:48
asspennies@coredump.org http://www.coredump.org
Part of the problem here is the perception that Valve is doing something WRONG by endorsing Counter-Strike - or, more specifically, that Counter-Strike is bad for being popular.

I'm not going to go into WHY Counter-Strike is popular, it is and that's that.  But the problem with declaring it a monopoly(!) is that it is in now way a limiting factor to other mods that CS is popular.  Why?

Because there is NOT a finite amount of people playing Half-Life!  The number increases, decreases with time, age, and people picking up the game at stores.  Make a good enough mod, and people will buy Half-Life JUST TO PLAY YOUR GAME.  Counter-Strike proved that, so did TFC.  I imagine slick looking, well coded mods like the forthcoming "Sherman Project" might do the same.

Look at Firearms.  They released a mod that is (IMO) incomplete and lacking in many areas, yet they quickly gained a lot of popularity.  They did steal some players away from less popular mods like AHL (more on that later) but their impact on Counter-Strike and TFC was minimal at best.  I firmly believe that firearms will only get better, and only grow in popularity, while at the SAME TIME CS will remain as popular as it is. (All other things being equal.)

Now, AHL is NOT a very popular mod, despite what you may have heard.  Frankly, it has a limited appeal - those who love the Hong-Kong action movie style, fast-paced deathmatch, and who don't care as much about their Mod having a polished look.  Many of the people who were playing the mod were just playing it as an alternative to TFC and CS, and jumped ship as soon as FireArms came out, leaving the other fans behind.  I don't want to sound like I'm insulting the mod because I'm not - it's a well-made, creative, and innovative mod, but unfortunately it has, as I mentioned, limited appeal.

Is this AHL's swan song?  Yes, most likely, but Action UT is in development as well, and the fans of AHL will likely migrate there, or back to Action Q2.

It's rediculous to suggest Valve is trying to sabotage AHL, just as rediculous as it is to suggest that CS holds some sort of unbreakable monopoly over online servers and players.  They're just trying to make the game a better game for everyone.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#34 by "Avixe"
2000-05-24 14:28:25
jsg@fiam.net
So this is /stories/42/ , huh. I would not have figured Valve was the meaning of life.
#35 by "PiRaMidA"
2000-05-24 14:34:57
piramida@agsm.net http://www.agsm.net/
<b>#32</b> "RedLine" wrote...
<QUOTE>
This is true, but I think a list of static features would help a little... at least then mod developers would know for sure where they stood. Whereas now, people use stuff just going "Oh, I'm sure they would never change that" -- But they don't actually know if that is true or not... if you knew beforehand that you weren't on soild ground, perhaps you'd go a different route to begin with, eg "Oh we can hack that together in a few hours using features that could change in the future, or we can spend a couple of days figuring a way to do it with the features that we know aren't ever gonna change"... right now that kind of argument just isn't possible, so of course people are gonna go the simplest, quickest and easiest route. </QUOTE>


Don't know much about HalfLife editing, but with Quake you knew what was there to stay and what could be changed later; the set of features which were documented were permanent, unless they said "don't use that, would probably be obsolete later".

But it's a lot of work, to create a document with reasonable coverage of the game's features, like something that goes together with the engine license, so it all gets down to whether or not game developers have the time to dedicate to the free mod community, giving them professional technical documentation and support instead of the "we hacked a way for you to do some mods, code at your own risk, we don't promise anything"... I think unless some marketing wiz figures out the number of extra sales mod community generates it would not be possible, it's business, not charity :)<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#36 by "RedLine"
2000-05-24 15:00:51
redline@omegaforge.com http://www.omegaforge.com/pod/
[35] PiRaMidA

<quote>I think unless some marketing wiz figures out the number of extra sales mod community generates it would not be possible, it's business, not charity :)</quote>

This is very true... then again, a company can sit back, watch all the mods develop, and when they see something that is really popular and looks interesting, they can buy it or hire the people that made it and make something of it... eg, TF for Quake to TFC in HL to TF2.

This is akin to me growing a field full of wheat, just because I love growing wheat mind you, risking all the problems of birds eating the seeds, too much rain, too little sun, and all the other things, and then when I have a field of top-quality wheat, a professional farmer coming along and going "Oh what a lovely field of wheat, my I purchase that off you so I can harvest it and sell it ?"

To the farmer this is very good business... all the risk has been mine from the start to the point where it is obvious I have a viable product, then at the end the farmer sweeps in, makes me a good offer, and makes a bit extra himself.

Now if this happens entirely by accident, there's nothing wrong with it... the farmer happens to be passing my field and thinks it would be a shame to let such good wheat go to waste.

But what if this "farmer" has spies all over the country, looking at thousands of fields just like mine, where people grow things just of the fun of it... he watches and waits while these people bear out all the risks, and then he swoops in when it's time.

This is happening more and more in the mod community in general.  They Are Watching.

I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing, but I do think that if companies are going to do this kind of watching, waiting game (Some would call it poaching, but that carries too many of the wrong meanings, for me at least) I do think they should come out and be honest about it, and offer more support.

I also think to a certain extent that this is already starting to happen... Epic and Valve in particular have been making strides in a direction that I would call "good", but I still think there are things that could be done.
#37 by "Dethstryk"
2000-05-24 15:08:00
dethstryk@damagegaming.com http://www.damagegaming.com/
<quote>Some fans of Action Half-Life see this as an act of sabotage by Valve, believing that the company wants to cut down the number of available mods so that Counter-Strike can become the dominant add-on. Even if support for "hull type 3" is later re-implemented, it will likely be too late for other mods to gain much of a following.</quote>
I haven't read any of the other posts yets, but I just thought I would comment that Action Half-life isn't as popular as it is hailed in your post, Andy. The number of AHL players is miniscule compared to the number of Counter-strike players, and the same with the servers. Because it is played by a few people doesn't mean it's popular.


--
Dethstryk
Damage Gaming
#38 by "Dethstryk"
2000-05-24 15:11:03
dethstryk@damagegaming.com http://www.damagegaming.com/
<b>#25</b> "Desiato" wrote...
<QUOTE>For the record, Shogo was interesting for the first week, but even the multiplayer couldn't keep it alive for me. Sense of scale is a hard thing to implement -- I can see that now. Also, since I'm a "explore-every-nook-and-cranny" of a level kind of player -- there were a few glaring errors where you could fall "into" buildings, not to mention Hall Of Mirrors effects.</QUOTE>
Sure, everything you say is true, and falling between buildings is one big bitch, but you have to admit the game was actually pretty fun. Way too friggin' easy, but it was fun.


--
Dethstryk
Damage Gaming
#39 by "Avixe"
2000-05-24 15:44:17
jsg@fiam.net
Shogo's weapons impressed me more than anything else, especially the assault rifle and shotgun. They somehow 'felt' really good.
#40 by "Happy cow"
2000-05-24 15:50:05
happycow30@hotmail.com http://happycow.home.icq.com
I like the Bullgut. Very Anime. Drunken rockets and all

Happy cow (They were going to eat a cat!)<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#41 by "Barbarian"
2000-05-24 16:00:07
conanford@yahoo.com http://www.barbarian.iwarp.com/
Look here:

http://www.gamespy.com/stats/mods.asp?id=15

Notice how few people are playing Action Half-Life, in comparison to Counterstrike?

You know WHY so few people are playing it?  Because it's time is over.  If they want that type of gameplay, they can play Action Quake2.

From happenings in the TF community, I think it's probable that:

1) Action Quake2 people didn't like the feel of half-life and so wouldn't switch to AHL
2) Action Half Life didn't appeal to enough new players (i.e. people who started with Half-Life) because of TFC coming out last spring

Point 1) is probably since when TFC came out, a lot of Quakeworld TF people refused to switch because they didn't like the feel.

<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#42 by "Trin"
2000-05-24 16:01:45
trin@developium.com, trin@planetcrap.com http://www.developium.com
Quite simply, Valve is looking for support, and if it means that they have to snag mods to keep HL, then more power to them. I don't see them doing anything illegal...no anti-competition suits...nothing.

Thing is, yes Action HalfLife my be over now, and thats a shame, but I'm SURE that Valve wasnt doing this on purpose. After all, WHY WOULD THEY? That would turn away potential players, and diehard "Action" players.

Now that I've said something that doesn't take a stand, I'll address Shogo. Shogo was an excellent game, but missed on three counts:

- Character Models (they were beyond atrocious)
- Control (Even on my GeForce I had a slight "slidy effect" when moving)
- Pretending to be Anime (Either you actually GET japanese artists to do it, or just stay american. One or the other. It doesnt work quasi)

Anyway, I think I'm done now.
#43 by "Barbarian"
2000-05-24 16:01:47
conanford@yahoo.com http://www.barbarian.iwarp.com/
<b>#33</b> "asspennies" wrote...
<QUOTE>Because there is NOT a finite amount of people playing Half-Life! The number increases, decreases with time, age, and people picking up the game at stores. Make a good enough mod, and people will buy Half-Life JUST TO PLAY YOUR GAME. Counter-Strike proved that, so did TFC. I imagine slick looking, well coded mods like the forthcoming "Sherman Project" might do the same. </QUOTE>

I'd suppose that TFC did well because Half-Life had poor multiplayer before that, and Half-Life people were getting sick of deathmatch.
<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#44 by "Valeyard"
2000-05-24 16:06:05
valeyard@ck3.net http://www.ck3.net
Andy (from the topic):
<quote>When Valve decided to invest in the Counter-Strike mod and make it an official Half-Life add-on, there were mumbles of discontent in the community. [snip]...but some people saw it as a kick in the teeth to those working on other popular projects.</quote>

Jealousy.  Everyone wants their work to be recognized, and when someone else's work gets recognized instead, they're going to be upset.

<quote>Some fans of Action Half-Life see this as an act of sabotage by Valve, believing that the company wants to cut down the number of available mods so that Counter-Strike can become the dominant add-on.</quote>

Same reply.  Counter-Strike <b>already is</b> the dominant add-on.  It's more popular than TFC, Half-Life DM and Action HL - combined.  It would have been silly for Valve to ignore that level of popularity, but it would have been much sillier for them to give Action HL the same level of recognition.  Especially when you consider that Action Q2 is about 4 times more popular than Action HL.  It's just not a very popular mod...no matter how loud it's fans can yell.

It's unfortunate that the new changes will adversely affect some of the mods, but to imply that Valve is purposly "killing" these mods in order to increase the popularity of Counter-strike is just ridiculous.  Even if they could convince every Action HL player to switch to CS, you're talking about an increase of about 1.7%.  Do they really think the guys at Valve sat in a room and said, "Ya know, CS isn't using hull type 3, but some of these other mods are...so let's drop it in the next release and CS will become more popular."???  Isn't it much more likely that this change was made for other reasons?  Considering that the next patch begins using some of the code improvements you'll see in TF2 (especially the improved network code), it seems likely that this is simply the natural progession.

I seriously doubt that they're up there throwing a party to celebrate the demise of a rather average and mildly popular mod.

<quote>The company often takes several months to release patches.</quote>

OMG, they release patches?  You mean those hundreds of thousands of players are finally going to have a finished game?  Petty, I admit...but it somehow "felt" good.  Especially after your "oh so casual" admission that the list of fixes in the WOT patch looks rather acceptable.  I guess people weren't waiting for a finished game after all, were they?  Funny, I didn't see an apology to Warren or Legend for the accusation.

I'm not sure what you're implying by "months".  As far as I know, "months" is the norm.  It takes that long to properly test it and try to ensure that you don't have to re-patch a week later for one over-looked detail.  Maybe it's just the phrasing that makes it look like it's attacking Valve.  Maybe you just meant that it may take months to resolve this.

Yes, I read your post, and I know it's written on behalf of the Action HL folks...so that the conspiracy accusations are theirs and not yours.  Somehow, I suspect that you are more than a litle suspicious yourself...which explains why you posted it.  Especially since you posted this before Valve had a chance to give the reasons for removing that functionality.  You don't know the reason.  So now we've had two posts in the past few days that attempt to cast a company in a negative light based on suspicions - with <b>no</b> regard for the actual facts.  Yup, the crap is officially back.

-Valeyard





<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#45 by "Dethstryk"
2000-05-24 16:08:16
dethstryk@damagegaming.com http://www.damagegaming.com/
<b>#42</b> "Trin" wrote...
<QUOTE>- Control (Even on my GeForce I had a slight "slidy effect" when moving)</QUOTE>
Not to burst your bubble, but I think that's the wonders of the LithTech engine for ya there. I've had the same thing on my TNT2, so I doubt it's a video card thing.


--
Dethstryk
Damage Gaming
#46 by "Dethstryk"
2000-05-24 16:17:32
dethstryk@damagegaming.com http://www.damagegaming.com/
I think Valve is one of the few good, honest companies left, and I doubt they are actually trying to sabotage anything. They do so much for the community, and just because they endorse the insanely popular mods doesn't mean a thing. These guys have the biggest, best mod I have ever seen (since the original TF) and they want to make sure it continues to be of excellent quality. Since Valve is now backing Counter-strike, that is an easy feat. The mod is already top quality, with great levels and modeling already in place.

Now look at Action Half-life. There is a very small amount of servers dedicated to the mod, and there are actually too many. Anyone who uses GameSpy or some other game browser will notice that the number of people playing Action Half-life is next to nothing when compared to Counter-strike. I could understand Valve backing AHL if it had a much larger fanbase, less complicated gameplay, and a better team of modelers/level designers, but let's face it, AHL doesn't have any of those.

As has been said, the reason the "Hull Type 3" stuff was taken out must have been for a reason. Also, when mod makers program for Half-life, they must use the most recent SDK so it works. If parts of their game are broken because of a change in the SDK, they can fix it, like everyone else has to.

The only people who are going to be outraged about this are going to be the extremely loud Action Half-life players, and the kind of people who want to stir up controversy. To each their own, I imagine.


--
Dethstryk
Damage Gaming
#47 by "Tom (cyberfart)"
2000-05-24 16:24:35
tom187@dingoblue.net.au http://www.rtsplayers.org
Just out of curiosity;

Why does everyone bag the LithTech engine?

It seems like a pretty good engine to me. I mean, it presented Blood2 well (even tho the game was average) and the earlier version of LithTech did a good job with Shogo (imho)

<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#48 by "loonyboi"
2000-05-24 16:40:22
jason@loonygames.com http://www.bluesnews.com
<b>#6</b> "" wrote...
<QUOTE>well its not like the single player was great. it was extremely linear and the textures and sounds and models and maps and voices and animation and the whole game sucked </QUOTE>

Hey! I <i>loved</i> Shogo, and I even was really addicted to playing it online for a while there.

-jason<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#49 by "Skiddy Mark Mark"
2000-05-24 16:42:28
president@whitehouse.gov http://www.bluesnews.com
I've got Daikatana.... in my ass!

Lowtax, ET on the Atari 2600 was okay in it's time, it was okay.  Not as good as Superman for the 2600, but not as pathetic as Pac-Man 2600.

Pitfall ruled!


I was going to write a review for Daikatana, but since I've stuffed the box and CD up my ass, I'm just going to wait until it disintegrates.  I can probably give it a better review at that point.

Value is just a bunch of fuckers, plain and simple.  Where's my banana?
#50 by "loonyboi"
2000-05-24 16:48:35
jason@loonygames.com http://www.bluesnews.com
Okay, my thoughts on this issue:

Being a newsie, I get e-mails from these ActionHL guys all the time, and I've gotten the impression that they aren't the most professional of mod-makers. There's nothing wrong with that, these are guys doing it for the fun of it. But when I read the news that they couldn't port their mod over to the new SDK, I sorta had the feeling that it wasn't that it was <i>impossible</i> or anything, just that they couldn't figure out how to do it.

-jason<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
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