Quick note to any coders out there who may be reading this: One of my G-Mod friends is looking for coders to help him with his HL2 multiplayer mod, the details of which can be found here. If you're interested and you've got mad coding skeelz, post a comment over there!|
Today's comic shows the first of several physics puzzles you encounter in Half-Life 2. Most of the puzzles are pretty easy to solve, but they're easy to solve because their physics-based solutions are genuine and intuitive. The fact that you can look at the problem and say, "Well, I guess maybe weighing this thing down with oh huh it actually worked wow" is pretty darn cool. I still marvel over the physics in the game, sometimes pausing during comic-making to just chuck stuff around or watch things bobbing around in the water.
If you've been following the Half-Life 2 news lately, you've probably heard about Lost Coast and HDR. Lost Coast is an omitted level of Half-Life 2 that will eventually be released to us, and it will utilize HDR, which stands for High Dynamic Range, which will make games look a lot nicer and more realistic (if you have a high-end gaming system).
Frankly, I think PC games look pretty damn good now, and while I'm sure they can look better, I'd much rather see improvements in in-game physics than some lighting enhancements that will blind me when I come out of a dark room so the game designers can ambush me (you know that's what this HDR stuff is all about). I think physics are the new graphics, or at least they should be. As beautiful as HL2 was to look at, I think the physics are what really knocked me on my ass, and I know they can be refined and pushed even further for an even more realistic experience. Any improvements they can continue to make to games physics-wise will grab my attention more than some new lighting effects will.