Now, we must all fear evil men.

Ok, couple of new games I’m gonna talk about over the next few days; Quake 4, Call of Duty 2 and F.E.A.R – today’s discussion shall be Monolith’s F.E.A.R – with a bit of extra crud thrown at the end!

First impressions are mixed – the level design is fairly basic, without much world detail and fairly standard concrete textures all over the shop but the models are highly detailed and quite lovely to look at. The atmosphere is however amazing, they’ve done a really good job of using the technical aspects of the engine to best effect (real time lighting / shadowing for instance), firefights leave clouds of dust and smoke billowing through rooms and corridors, often completely obscuring your view, leading to wild firing from both yourself and the AI.

I won’t talk too much about the storyline, it’ll just lead to silly spoilers – it is however interesting enough to keep you generally engaged and playing through to the end. The combination of movie style action sequences with japanese style horror elements is nearly perfect in it’s execution – though the horror sequences can be wasted if the player isn’t locked into the experience. I know one of my housemates didn’t feel the full impact because he was charging through, paying little attention to the world around him.

The technical aspects are interesting, at least to a coder such as myself – there’s a developers commentary included on the dvd that talks about some of the limitations that the designers faced such as 6 AI’s, no water and a limited number of lights. It’s also quite obvious that it went through some fairly heavy optimisation, both in engineering and design.

A worthwhile purchase – if only for the pleasantly fresh and relatively different singleplayer, the multiplayer being some truly tasty hardcore deathmatch fun, it’s fast, furious and completely mentalist when you get a full 16 player server going on!

On a side note; the Hidden’s Beta 2 release went reasonably well, we suffered some horrific server crashes but got the majority of them under control within 24 hours – however, it has left us with the dirty secret nasty ones to track down and fix up over the next few weeks.

Ultimately, I need to keep B3 on the back burner while working on revolution, which is slowly but surely being ramped up across the team. Though it does look like at the very least, a B2b is required within the next month or so. I’m probably going to talk some more about B2b / B3 over the next few weeks as we decide what we’re going to do with it.

The peer mentoring system has finally started rolling at uni, I’m hoping I’ll have my group of 10 freshers to play with, erm, help, in the next few weeks – my ultimate intention is to try and make it even vaguely interesting, perhaps even set them a couple of challenges; game design within a set domain (physics, swarming, growth etc), possibly a mod of some form – I’d quite like to see a decent single player mod started off (I have a year to work with them on it in the role of “advisor” – it should be doable depending on starting skill levels).

There’s also the possibility of a demonstrator position working with 2nd years for their 3D Studio Max work and related projects – it’s caused dismay amongst the art team, the idea of a coder helping to teach Max has them in fits… But I have pointed out that it’s basic Max skills that I actually do have!

Finally, my mini-project for the next week or two is to try and write a basic BitTorrent client, a couple of reasons – learning more about networking, developing my win32 API skills and just writing something tool based rather than game based! I’ll try and keep this place updated with my progress while also talking about some other bits and pieces that may or may not be more interesting!

1 comment so far ↓

#1 Boxy on 12.10.05 at 9:51 pm

I didnt charge through! I was merely late for work…:/

Leave a Comment