Friday, 19 November 2010

I think it's time forrrr... an actual blog post!!

Right, as my Tales of Monkey Island Review went down the drain, (more like cyber-drain but still) I thought I would do an actual blog post! I mean it's not like there's anything good that could of come out recently, (put my Anti-Activision visors on) and I'm not planning to do a new game review until Super Meat Boy finally comes out on PC. So... as I was saying, I'm incredibly bored, (or trying to get out of revision) and I'm just going to talk about some news, thoughts on a few recent events, what I'm up to and stuff like that. Isn't this exciting?! ...Don't answer that.

Okay, as some of you may know I may have gotten a little addiction to a game called "Killing Floor" an indie game that came out in May 2009, and I've heard about it here and there, but I never picked it up because well... for some time I wasn't very interested in it; one game mode and it reminded me of Left 4 Dead and another game that is a type of fish. So I passed on it for quite some time, until one day, low and behold, it was on one of the many fantastic sales on Steam, and so I picked up the game and all the DLC for the minor price of £5.99. As you may expect, I quickly pounced on the sale, devouring its body and obtaining the juicy red meat of the game and let me tell you it was well worth the wait and stalking of the pray for the best attack! As I will not do a review on the game, I'll just tell you some information about it here.

As I said before, I didn't buy the game before the deal because of it looking like Left 4 Dead and a fish game beginning with C. Well let me tell you that it isn't at all! It's kind of a misconception that the game carries around like a 10 ton weight, when in fact it's almost a completely different game. An example of this would be in Left 4 Dead the normal zombies run and do very little damage and only pose a small threat, with Killing Floor the "normal" Zombies walk and are now a much bigger threat, you may not think that when playing, but when they catch up to you they will grab you and make you a quick and easy snack for the "special infected". Also there are alot more "special infected" in Killing Floor, in fact there are so many it almost seems like every sort of infected zombie... things, are normal (as hinted by the quotation marks). Now I'll cut this short but to be plain, Killing Floor has more guns, maps, mods (I'll get to that in a minute) and enemies. However, is it a better game? No. Left 4 Dead just has more balance and is more... polished (for lack of a better word) than Killing Floor, however I do recommend a buy even at it's full price at £15/£19.99.

From Killing Floor to the Engine it's using, the Unreal 3 engine. I may not be the biggest fan of UR3, in fact I dislike it, I'm more of a Source engine fan (more news on that coming up... God, it's like a chat show here). Even though it may have its problems and big problems, I've always preferred it from UR3 (UDK) the reason; a clean and simple interface. I don't care about all this crap clotting up my screen, I like the shortcut keys and smaller viewing windows. Gives me more room to think and be able to find and apply what I want. Now I'm not saying that UDK is bad, far from it, I'm just saying it's not what I want and I know some people are different. For example, I prefer Softimage XSI for modelling than any other type of modelling tool. Why? Because it has writing on the buttons, not pictures I can hardly see without buying a massive HD screen for my PC (however that would be nice). But that's not what I'm here to talk about. I'm here to talk about the mod support for Killing Floor. (Why did I just spend a whole paragraph on how I dislike UDK... I don't know.)

As you may know, Killing Floor started out as a mod and became an indie title, so you would of thought that the mod support would be good wouldn't you? Well it is! It's much better than Left 4 Dead's, for example, Killing Floor actually has some of the best maps on the disc/cloud (if you've got Steam) when you buy the game, so there's no waiting around on Moddb or, you just pick up and you can play the custom made mods straight off from the geco. However, the best mod support for a game so far is Garry's Mod with it's Toybox feacher. So that got me thinking, why doesn't Left 4 Dead have a service like this? I mean, half their Developer team are modders so why haven't they got something like Killing Floor? Actually come to think about it, lately the Left 4 Dead Devs have made alot of stupid and bad choices over the last few months. So that's one of my questions I leave with you. Why haven't there been better mod support for L4D?

Okay, from L4D and Neatly, to my second to last talk...thing. As I was saying earlier, I prefer the Source SDK and because of that I am now working on two maps for it, one being a contest entry for Roofville on, and another being a Left 4 Dead 2 mod (a sort of mutation of a game mode in some ways). So as you may guess, I've being pulling my hair out with some of the gigantic issues with the two SDKs (Left 4 Dead 2 and Half Life 2 episode 2). Let me go through some of the problems I've been having (you may need to be a Dev to understand some of what I say). Okay, the big problems I've had issues with is geometry disappearing in Hammer and it's not because of too many entities, in fact, at the point I am with the maps, I haven't even started putting entities in my maps. However, this is a big issue, especially as one of the maps, (not saying which one) is huge and is just annoying when going through the 3D view, and finding missing walls and floors. It's very irritating and I think they really should get this fixed AS QUICK AS POSSIBLE! Another problem I had was my Vis Groups joining together to make this one super Vis. Now I've absolutely bored you with my constant blabbering about game engines and nattering about VisGroups and disappearing geometry, I just want to go over one more thing... Just after I've trimmed my new bucked teeth, removed these big glasses that have appeared on my head and have washed my now greasy hair.

Final thing, and if you want to hear more stuff about games... Well you're not, so leave. But for those who want to know about why I've not been as active as I normally am well listen up (wait I could have made a sex joke there. Oh SH*T my opportunity ruined). Well as a matter of fact, I am currently in my final year of GCSE's at secondary school, so as you may know for anyone who's been through them, it's extremely stressful and takes up alot of my time in the day, so as you can guess, I'm going to be very silent for the next few weeks/months. So I would like you to stick with me now, as I'm working on school work which comes first, understandably, Game Development comes a very close second (if I could do it all day I would), and writing which I'm afraid comes last, for the reason that I have the opportunity of getting some extra cash with level design, not like I can't with this however I don't think anyone wants to buy mis-spelt reviews from a dyslexic. However, I'm working on that, and have got myself a personal human spell checker (which unfortunately comes with the action of hitting me per mistake, but it's a step up). I don't think I can put her name up, however if she misses one of my mistakes, (which is very unlikely) you can call her the evil editor and tell her where the mistakes are, but only on my posts as she doesn't cover witty's reviews (hey that's a... what do you call it... a pun that's it!). Okay, I think I've covered everything. I do have one more big thing to announce, however I can save that for another time.

Liam Hackett
Maria Matthews (Evil Editor)

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