Half-Life 2: Point Insertion Part II

#ABANDON POINTLESS PROJECT. I lost the screenshots I was taking for this, and then found this post in my drafts folder. I cannot be arsed to continue this.

Christ on a bike, it was 2 years since I last thought about doing anything with this.

his flesh is jelly!

He partially melted

We last left our hero GORDON FREEMAN standing in front of a turnstile. Gordon felt threatened by the irregular gate, and remained motionless for some time.

As Gordon watched, a man walked through the gate. And when I say through the gate, I don’t mean that the turnstile turned around him, as is proper.

I mean we walked THROUGH the gate. He warped through it. He phased through it. He ignored everyday physical laws.

Gordon, being a theoretical physicist, calms down and stops trying to worry so much. He realises that the man in question is in possession of alien technology. Or he is possessed.

On the other side of the gate is the main station arrivals / departures area. It’s got a few people in it to interact with, all of which inform the setting, all of whom I’ll talk about in a moment.

Looking at this room 9 years later is strange. These days, you’d generally expect it to hold a dozen people or more, to make it seem busier, and make the world seem more real. However this can be a detriment in some ways – if you populate a room with that many people, you’d want each one to have at least SOMETHING to say, and it becomes harder and harder to avoid problems such as – NPCs standing around doing nothing. Not interacting, not talking, not going anywhere. Even here, with these few NPCs, that problem is not totally avoided.

Each of the NPCs has a specific task, an action they must perform. They are mere puppets, condemned to play out the same stage directions over and over again, with no variations.

Paranoid Guy

Paranoid Guy looks a little older than most of the people we talk to here. His line delivery is twitch, and furtive; he doesn’t want to be seen talking to you, but still feels obliged to warn you.

According to him, They have been putting something in the water, to sap the precious bodily fluids to make everyone forget. If this is true, and not just the paranoid delusions of an old man, we never get a hint of it. For all Gordon knows, he could have been talking about stuff in the water even before the Combine invasion, and he probably believed in chemtrails and the Illuminate.

However, it wouldn’t really be out of character for the combine to be drugging the population into submissiveness and compliance. If people can’t recall a time before the combine so easily, then they’d be less likely to rebel?

Of course – history (and 1984) shows us that there are much subtler ways to achieve this. Mass propaganda and fear can accomplish much the same thing.

Muttering Guy

Muttering guy paces back and forth in front of the departures/arrivals board

Petulant Guy

Guys Soon To be Dragged Away By Secret Police and Shot

 

Half-Life 2: Point Insertion Part I

Abstract

Recently, Valve released Half-Life 2 and it’s episodes for Linux. For me, this is more or less a dream come true, something I’ve been waiting and wanting and wishing for since I started using Linux in 2006.

I’ve tried Wine, multiple times, and it’s always been a bit too quirky, with too many peculiar bugs and foibles. This is not to say that I don’t find Wine impressive. Wine is probably one of the more audacious projects I’ve ever seen – an attempt to reverse engineer one of the most obtuse black boxes ever, the Windows API.

So now that Half-Life 2 has been natively released for Linux, I decided it was time to do a complete replay of the game. I’ve played the game a lot, but I don’t think I’ve actually sat down and gone end to end for a long time. I always skip bits, replay certain sections and then stop.

This time I’m going to share my experiences, via pretentious blog posts, probably on THE INTERNET (but not¬†necessarily¬† I’ll accept requests to have pages posted to you, if you first of all send me a written request via the royal mail).

I’m doing this not because I think I’ve got anything interesting to say, or anything new. Everything has been more or less said about the game at this point, and if I ejaculate all over it I don’t think it will make much difference to the world at large.

No, I’m doing this because I want to and because I’m a mouthy git, and because this is the internet I can do what I like.

Technical Specifications

I’m playing this on a Samsung Series 7 Chronos, which is an ultrabook type thing. It’s got:

Xubuntu 13.04 x64

Intel Core i5

8GB RAM

nVidia geforce 630M

Although the nVidia bit is actually Optimus, and I get way better performance out of the Intel bit than I do with the discrete nVidia chip. Still working on that.

And away we go!
Continue reading