Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
Half-Life : During the opening tramcar ride, the player rides a sus-
pended tramcar through the Black Mesa Science Facility. Scenes scroll
past—a locked-out guard knocking on a door, utility robots carrying
hazardous materials—while a recorded voice reads off the prosaic details
of facility life. As the ride goes on and on, we realize how massive and
dangerous this place really is. The player has the choice of walking around
inside the tram and looking out the different windows, but can't otherwise
affect anything.
Dead Space 2 : In this science-fiction survivor horror game, the player
walks down the aisle of a subway car that hangs from a track in the ceiling.
As the car speeds down the tunnel, a link to the track gives way and the
car drops into a steep angle. The protagonist slides unstoppably down the
aisle, and the player's normal movement controls are disabled. However,
the player retains his shooting controls. As he slides through several train
cars, monsters crash through doors and windows and the player must
shoot them in time to survive. This sequence is an explosive break from
Dead Space 2 's usual deliberate pacing. It takes away part of the player's
movement controls to create a special, authored experience, but sustains
flow by leaving most of the interface intact.
Halo: Reach : This first-person shooter has a system that encodes pre-
defined tactical hints for the computer-controlled characters. These script-
ed hints make enemies tend toward certain tactical moves, but still allow
them to respond on a lower level to attacks by the player. For example,
a hint might require enemies to stay in the rear half of a room, but still
allow them to autonomously shoot, grab cover, dodge grenades, and punch
players who get too close. Designers use these hints to author higher-level
strategic movements, while the AI handles moment-by-moment tactical
responses to player behavior.
There are also ways of scripting events which are naturally immune to
interference. Mail can arrive in the player character's mailbox at a certain
time. Objects or characters can appear or disappear while the player is
in another room. Radio messages and loudspeaker broadcasts can play.
These methods are popular because they are powerful, cheap, and don't
require the careful bespoke design of a custom semi-interactive scripted
sequence.
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