I'm an old schooler PC gaming and tech nut. Been employed in the industry for 20+ years and loving it. Long time coder and writer. Worked in most aspects of development in one capacity or another during my time. There's an amazing amount of talented people with fresh ideas here on ModDB. I really enjoy checking out and playing what others have/are working on. Too busy now for personal projects, but I truly appreciate the visions and efforts of those of you who can.Success to all of you and thank you! See you around the site !! Fair warning though - I have an odd sense of humor so please try not to take offense.
Like so many of you, I've been playing a wide variety of game genres for a long time now. Ultimately, I happen to prefer a good immersive FPS with a solid progressive storyline any day. Survival Horror first, secondly something with an RP element to it as well ( preferably both ). I've always sought out great combat action with some strategic flexibity, but equally important are all the critical elements which truly make any game worthwhile, but for my intents here I'm going with the topic of difficulty.
Each game varies in it's inherent standard level of difficulty and many offer more than the regular three. Depending on the title, there may be as many as 5 or 6. We generally take the first run on " normal " or an equivilant and work up from there, pretty much happy with challenging ourselves enough to keep our replays interesting. How many times can you really do this before your installing a new title though ?
I've not so recently realized that It wasn't the games I'm playing that were giving me that " ho-hum " feeling - it's that i just wasn't getting the satisfaction that I used to playing this way. I needed to see just how much I could improve my overall playing skills. I needed a difficulty level very close to " WTF Insane ". Games that are deliberately designed to be so hard as to make you sweaty, pissed, swearing and punching your monitor after only a couple of hours aren't made. But luckily for me a mod was.
I love the STALKER franchise, bugs, debates and all. Played them all with various mods 3-4 times each easily. The " Call of Pripyat " is the best yet in all regards except for combat. The feature allowing for upgrading weapons and armor soon have you wandering around just looking for a fight..any fight...
In steps Beac ( and friends ), developer of the " S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat: Redux " mod Desura.com . If your not familiar with it, check it out. If not to use it, then to better understand the projects goal, which is realism. It's hard - fucking hard and not for everyone by any means ! And I just love it ! I have never played anything that forced me to realize just how lame my comfortable old game play style really was. I was forced to completely reconsider my approaches to the RP FPS and adapt various new game-wide strategies just to survive for a couple of missions ! And that's just the start...
Since then though, I've begun to understand how good I used to think I was and just how much better I can potentially become playing at this level of difficulty. I swear and bitch a lot while I'm playing it, but I'm having a blast playing again just for the sake of having it. I encourage everyone to either do a mod like this for your favorite if you can or play one that's way outside your comfort zone. The game-play doesn't so much get stale as we do. Get the fun back !
It's no secret that I'm a serious HL2 fan in all respects. There was a bit of a dry spell in the HL2 mod scene a little while back, so in the interest of waiting out some new releases, I decided to dig through some of my faves and play a game or two I hadn't indulged in in some time.
First I gave PainKiller a run ( Awesome audio and soundtrack ), but got bored with it quite quickly and moved on to FEAR. Again, a great game with some terrific play and atmosphere, but It too failed to satisfy what I was looking for. I realized I was really looking for a good free roam sandbox, and with the amazing looking mod work from Artistpavel and crew, it had to be SOC !
Loved the game ( as buggy as it was ) from the beginning, but with the " Stalker Complete 2012 " mod, the numerous enhancements created a whole new experience and I was hooked all over again. Absolutely fantastic mod ! After spending quite some time playing and completing it, I went straight to SOC CS and the " Clear Sky Complete " mod ( again, utterly fantastic ). Incredible cinematic enhancements created an amazingly immersive atmosphere in both mods , but the refined game sounds, custom music, game play tweaks and added features were the icing on the overall game play cake. Took my time playing this one too !
Now don't get me wrong, I insist on staying true to the HL2 universe and storyline and also realize the limitations facing Source, but I believe some cues taken from these enhancements could take the HL2 experience to a whole new level. I'm not suggesting a massive rework of the Hl2 modding scene, but to have some of these features introduced into it could take it in an awesome new direction !
Some ideas to entertain : The ability to more actively interact with NPC's
: The simple ability to drop weapons you don't want
: Larger sandbox style maps for exercising more strategic attacks
: Ability to earn suit and weapon upgrades
: More powerful variations of weapons ( shotguns,and pistols i.e. )
: iron sights of course ( And SMOD style scopes )
: Night vision
: Information from NPC's about important cashes
: The ability to to save med-kits for later use
: perhaps even side quests to earn some of the aforementioned
: more custom tracks
Now these are just a few thoughts thrown out here ( and I know a few have been done to one extent or another in some mods), but it's just some food for thought that I view as far from impossible. How about some thoughts on this ?
A very enlightening article ( Courtesy of ZDNet.com ) for those who assume that because Windows recognizes a piece of software as having a valid signature it's safe. Just want to spread the awareness of this misconception.
A common misconception is that if a piece of code, such as an application, has been signed, it's clean and safe to install. Wrong ! According to Jarno Niemelä of F-Secure, there are literally tens of thousands of instances of malware in the wild that are signed.How does this happen? There are plenty of ways to get a certificate into malware:
- Copying Certificate information from clean files
- Selfsigned certs with fake name
- MD5 forgery
- Get certified and be evil
- Get certificate with misleading name
- Get certificate with misleading name
- Find someone to sign your stuff for you
- Steal a certificate
- Infect developers system and get signed with software release
Bottom line, the certificate is worth the paper it's printed on, so be careful what you go and install ! It's a jungle out there ! PDF of the report can be found here.Adrian Kingsley-Hughes is an internationally published technology author who has devoted over a decade to helping users get the most from technology.
The user/tester reviews of a product or service are the first tool I use in making a purchase decision. Hell, I do the same thing for freeware apps. or anything else for that matter. User reviews are an invaluable source of quick information, and almost everyone is willing to do a short one. Especially if it was a bad experience or a real good one.
This same " quick review " formula would be just as equally useful for mod players as well. We don't need every review to be an essay describing the " cheers and geers " of every aspect of the mod. Just a brief description and the basic facts with and a thumbs up or down will do most of the time.
With this in mind, I believe far more players would be willing to submit this type of personal review if we all could simply get over calling them " comments " all the time. We can all simply put a " Quick review " header on it. So many developers and players alike, myself included, hate wading through all the usual comments so that we don't even look at them when they might actually be useful to us.
EDIT- 1/08/10 - Thankfully, a comment from a good man showed me that I may have mistakenly conveyed a point other than what I meant to express, so I'll try to clarify a bit.
I don't mean to recommend changing the comments feature at all. But simply to suggest that for those who wish to post more feedback than "Great game!", but less than a comprehensive review, could simply type
" Quick Review " in the first line of the comment box for the ease of reference for those of us who might just be looking for a little quick information.