Tag Archives: valve-software

Im in ur game, watchin u play

So I likee my video games.  A lot.  Enough that I’ve had to mail them to another country to save myself.  And I like stats.  Graphs and numbers and stuff that make pretty lines are cool.  Combining the two?  Heaven.

Via the very funny gaming site Rock, Paper, Shotgun we see that Valve, creators of that wonderful trio of games in The Orange Box, have been watching you, and the stats are something fun to see.  They’ve published info for Half-Life 2: Episode 2, including completion times, hours played, how often people died, etc.  Probably the coolest feature is the ‘death map,’ a kind of infrared map showing areas where players have died.  Thought you were the only one who fell off that cliff in the very beginning?  Not according to the red dot in the picture above.

They’ve also got data on TeamFortress 2, including the tidbit that BLU have a slight edge over RED.  Privacy issues aside (I guess some people object to being watched while they pathetically die over and over in the same place…), this is an interesting method for designing games and hopefully the data will be incorporated into how to make future games more fun.

Portal to a whole new world in gaming

At midnight on Wednesday, gaming company Valve unlocked it’s Orange Box software.  In addition to a new episode in the compelling Half-Life 2 universe, you also got a quirky/awesome multi-player game called Team Fortress 2, and this enigmatic concept game called simply ‘Portal.’

In it, you wake up in a small room, and are required to navigate several mazes in a sterile, psychological experiment-looking series of rooms.  The tests get progressively harder, challenging your spatial ability and your patience.  At times, you just want to break free…

I’d seen videos of it before, but nothing prepared me for playing it.  Overall, the game itself is way too short, but as a high concept of an aspect of gaming to come, it’s revolutionary.  I’ve only played through the basic missions, the more advanced ones await me.  But there are lots of puzzles, and me likely the puzzle.  There are also rumors that the character here will be incorporated into the Half-Life universe.  Now it’s time to start up Episode 2.

(image via Borkweb)