Word is, the expansion for Half-Life 2, Aftermath, is going to be delayed until February or March of 2006. Not really a surprise, as I don't think anyone was really expecting it this month. Valve is notorious for missing predicted release dates, especially unofficial ones, and even March seems like an overly optimistic estimate. My guess is it will be out around the end of the summer. On the plus side, their games are always worth the wait. 10/28/05: Not My Desk
Got my old site, notmydesk.com, back online. I have no idea if any of you comic fans would be interested in it, but it consists mainly of humor essays on temping, office life, and a bunch of other junk. Take a look if you're bored!
Both G-Mod 9.0 and Lost Coast are out. I've played Lost Coast and it's great, if a bit short. It was nice to actually play some Half-Life 2 again... I really don't play it apart from shooting the occasional metrocop after a comic-posing session.
Haven't downloaded G-Mod 9.0 yet -- the G-Mod releases tend to be a bit buggy at first, so I may wait a week or so for the inevitable problems to be ironed out. Most of the changes and adds affect online play, anyway, and I don't really use G-Mod online very often.
10/25/05: G-Mod and Lost Coast
9/17/05: Day of Defeat: Source
9/11/05: F.E.A.R. Demo
Some other nice touches: You can look down and see your own legs, you cast a shadow (which can startle you at times if you're not expecting it), and ladder climbing is easy and nicely done; you even see your hands grabbing the rails as you climb. It'd be nice if these three things made their way into future Half-Life games.
Clichés abound, of course, but when done well, even recycled material can work. The creepy little girl ghost is indeed creepy, and the Matrix-esque "bullet-time" ability your character has is nicely done and extremely useful in the chaos of a fire-fight.
Couple things bugged me: walking over a dead enemy would cause his body to shift with a sound like a sack of softballs dropped from a 3-story crane: WHUMMPFF. Jolting at first and then just annoying. Can't my commando step over bodies instead of walking directly on them? And even if he can't, does the noise of stepping on a dead man have to be that loud? Stepping on a live man, unless that live man is Gilbert Gottfried, isn't even that loud.
The voice acting is resoundingly "eh". Evil guy with growly, fake British accent, boss with gruff, fake Chicago accent, etc.
Overall, though, I'm excited about the game's release. Looks like a great blend of horror and action.
9/05/05: High Res Skins
9/05/05: Minerva Mod:
9/02/05 -- Massive goodness at 1up.com this week, with a bunch of articles about HL 1 & 2, Aftermath and Lost Coast, Valve, Steam, X-Box, Mods, and anything else you can name that's Half-Life related. Check it out while it's free to access.
8/22/05 -- So, no new comics until Monday, August 29. I've gotta figure out why HL2 is so suddenly crashing every few minutes (I don't think it's G-Mod doing it, since it crashes when I play Deathmatch as well). This may not take until Monday to figure out, but I could honestly use a couple days off anyway to try to build up a bit of a backlog.
In the meantime, something fun to check
out: This Spartan Life.
It's a talk show, complete with guests, music, and dancers, all done
within an online game of Halo 2. Neat idea along the lines of Red
vs. Blue (which I link to so everyone won't send me e-mail saying
"Have you seen Red vs. Blue?), and hilarious when the host must
fend off snipers while his guest is talking (it's done on an open
server, and other players aren't aware there's a talk show in
progress). If you click on "Episodes" and check out the
Bob Stein interview, you'll see what I mean (sizable download, but well
I daresay I'm excited.
8/5/05 -- Another amusing video made with HL2, this time using audio from the film "Liar, Liar".
8/3/05 -- Thought I might start a dinky little News column since there's always lots of stuff going on with the HL2 community.
For instance, I'm not sure how long this has been around, but I only just saw it for the first time last week. This guy has taken the climactic scene from "A Few Good Men" and recreated it using Half-Life 2. It's brilliant. The animation is fantastic, the gestures, facial expressions, even the movement of the characters eyes is well done and perfectly mimics the actual scene from the movie. Even the casting is perfect! Enjoy it if you haven't seen it yet.
Of course, this has been around a while, but always deserves another look: Still Seeing Breen.
I still have no idea how people do this stuff, but it's amazing.