Via Rampant Coyote I see the stats for Half-Life 2: Episode 2. It has the breakdown of how much time people spend beating the game, how long the average play session is, how far through the game the average player is, and other bits of interesting trivia.
The average play session is about 25 minutes? How odd. I tend to play for an hour or more, and I’m sure this isn’t an unusual practice. That means there must be a good supply of players out there who play for much less than 25 minutes. There is a good bit of annoying overhead to firing up the game in terms of loading times and whatnot. Hardly seems worth it for ten minutes.
Another surprise in the Episode 2 stats is that 76% of gamers have cards capable of HDR, which means an Nvidia 7800 or higher. Due to my own prejudices I expected this number to be closer to 50%. Whenever I do one of my posts about how “games from four years ago still look fantastic and I see no reason to upgrade”, I get a lot of agreement in the comments. I think this eventually distorted my idea of what sort of hardware “most people” have. Perhaps I’m just projecting in an effort to justify my cheapskate lifestyle.
|The site of the train crash at the start of the game. That huge red blob marks the cliff where you can go and look down into City 17.|
Perhaps standing near the fence during the scripted portal storm / bridge collapse is dangerous. That fence falls open, allowing progress, and maybe impatient players are waiting right by the fence, anxious for the gate to open. The designers clearly intended for you to stand on the south edge of the map, looking at the vista of ruined City 17. It’s hard not to do so. It’s an amazing sight, and Alyx is down there talking to the player, which gives them a pretty good incentive to go over there.
|The final battle area against the striders. The green dot near the top is the sawmill. The bright red dot near the bottom is right outside the missle silo.|
The stats reveal the sad truth that my play experience is a lot like everyone else’s. When you find a secret or overcome a challenge it’s common to get the rush of having done something special, but then you realize everyone else did pretty much the same thing.
The Opportunity Crunch
No, brutal, soul-sucking, marriage-destroying crunch mode in game development isn't a privilege or an opportunity. It's idiocy.
Juvenile and Proud
Yes, this game is loud, crude, childish, and stupid. But it it knows what it wants to be and nails it. And that's admirable.
What Does a Robot Want?
No, self-aware robots aren't going to turn on us, Skynet-style. Not unless we designed them to.
Linux vs. Windows
Finally, the age-old debate has been settled.
A look at the main Borderlands games. What works, what doesn't, and where the series can go from here.