I can understand why the developer would want to cutscene through Polis. It’s a massive space and making it available to the player would have been expensive. You need collision hulls to keep the player from jumping out of the level. You need to populate it with people. You need to voice and lip-sync at least SOME of the people so it doesn’t feel like everyone has been lobotomized. People need to be animated so they aren’t rigid. You’d need to make a couple of new art assets because having the exact same bar with the exact same arrangement of posters in two different towns would likely be immersion-breaking. You’d also need some shopkeepers and sales chatter. (I don’t mean the gun vendors. I mean like the food vendors we see in other towns.)
If you’re worried about budget, Polis is probably the most sensible place to cut corners. Having said that, it really did sting to spend the entire game getting here only to be carried through by cutscene rails.
It’s probably hard to tell from our footage, but the cutscenes are really annoying. The game cuts you loose to shop, but if you get too close to your friend (like, maybe you were hoping to look at the OTHER half of this tiny room?) then it grabs your camera and begins the cutscene that shoves you out of town. It doesn’t even have the decency to give you a “are you ready?” prompt. The shopping is the only interactivity in all of Polis. The rest is cutscene.
A shame, really. Understandable, but a shame.
There's a wonderful way to balance difficulty in RPGs, and designers try to prevent it. For some reason.
Starcraft: Bot Fight
Let's do some scripting to make the Starcraft AI fight itself, and see how smart it is. Or isn't.
Quakecon 2012 Annotated
An interesting but technically dense talk about gaming technology. I translate it for the non-coders.
Video Compression Gone Wrong
How does image compression work, and why does it create those ugly spots all over some videos and not others?
The Death of Half-Life
Valve still hasn't admitted it, but the Half-Life franchise is dead. So what made these games so popular anyway?