Comments on: Self-Representation in an FPS Wed, 10 Sep 2014 18:53:13 +0000 hourly 1 By: Darius Kazemi Tue, 19 Apr 2005 12:14:00 +0000 “Even though there isn’t.” Ouch, Darren!

By: Darren Torpey Tue, 19 Apr 2005 12:07:00 +0000 Perhaps Paolo was just grasping for straws. Bear in mind that he comes from an artistic background, so he probably would like to believe that there a humanistic background to games development. Even though there isn’t.

By: Darren Torpey Tue, 19 Apr 2005 12:05:00 +0000 As a matter of fact, you can’t see yourself in a mirror in Half-Life 2. There doesn’t even exist a model for Gordan Freeman at all!.

(This has been a complaint of the mod community for some time, since many of us want to do a 3rd person game w/ Freeman…)

Valve knew damn well that you don’t usually need a player model in an FPS. (Though it did look odd during the driving scenes…)

What’s more interesting, though, is that over time during HL2′s development, Valve came to understand more and more that, as many players can attest, the “gravity gun” was the TRUE presence of the player… which is interesting because the gun represented a direct means by which the player could interact with an interesting and intuitive system in the game.

By: Craig Perko Mon, 18 Apr 2005 15:10:00 +0000 I have to agree with you, Darius. The idea for an FPS is to allow the player maximum immersion by making the character so transparent that he is, in essence, whoever the player things he is.

This is an innately flawed premise, as they would say in academic circles. First, two players will feel very differently about various events in the game, meaning they’ll have different emotional responses. Second, a large part of the game is usually feeling a sense of empathy for your avatar – which, if he is an empty shell, you don’t feel.

That’s bad because it means that it’s very hard to set up meaningful interactions with NPCs.

Halo 2 was interesting. It kept the ‘empty avatar’ premise: they had a definite but very limited personality. However, where they really shone was with the NPCs. The marines kept up a cheerful chatter, and your AI also popped in with wry commentary – this was good. They used cutscenes – an old and rather cheap trick, according to me – but used them well. The cut scenes weren’t cop-outs, they were to explore characters.

Now, Halo 2 had a lot of flaws, but it did better at establishing empathy than many more interactive games – but the way they did it made it pretty obvious that they were working AROUND the avatar being a war machine with precious little else to say.