Sunday, 17 January 2021

Why the bottles in Half-Life: Alyx look so dang good

quote [ The bottles are not transparent. But they look transparent, because Alyx is pulling the cube map for your approximate coordinates, and projecting that pre-baked image onto the side of the bottle you’re looking at. It shows you a distorted view of the space, but it’s a wild illusion that absolutely works. ]

Interesting deduction of shader fakes in simple English.
[SFW] [Virtual & Augmented Reality] [+4 Interesting]
[by Paracetamol@9:24pmGMT]


cb361 said[1] @ 11:19pm GMT on 17th Jan [Score:1 Funny]
I noticed the bottles in HL:Alyx, and I was impressed. But I thought that they were just another cute feature of the engine, and didn't think about them further.

What I did think, though, was "So, Mr Newell. I paid you good money, and now you want me to solve environmental puzzles while playing hide-and-seek with a blind, sound-sensitive screaming eldritch horror. In the dark. With a flash light. Surrounded by alien spores that make me cough. In VR. In retrospect, I am not happy with our transaction."
steele said @ 2:22am GMT on 18th Jan
Jeff and I are besties.
cb361 said[2] @ 7:41am GMT on 18th Jan
You can come and complete that section for me, then.

The bit that got me was when I had Jeff trapped in a meat locker. I felt safe for the time being, even though I assumed he would pop up again later in the chapter. Then, I realised that I had to open the meat locker door and sneak in to complete the puzzle. What, did Valve "acquire" Frictional, to obtain their industry leading Make-the-Player-Shit-Themsleves technology?

Acually, it wasn't as bad as I expected. Knowing Valve, the AI was probably heavily scripted to give an illusion of threat while mostly avoiding killing the player. Unlike, say, Alien Isolation where the AI is famously fair.
steele said @ 6:54pm GMT on 18th Jan
I mean, I can't pretend I didn't die a few times. My big hurdle from that section was that getting him locked in the freezer seemed obvious, but when I went to roll up the door, my hand (maybe the knuckles) released the valve handle too early or something so it kept rolling back down! So I spent like a good hour thinking I was supposed to use Jeff to break the door down so it would get stuck up and I could crawl under it. It was only after googling a walkthrough I realized what happened and finally moved forward to the 'shitting yourself in the dark with the monster' part of the story.

But there were definitely tears when Jeff and I said our goodbyes.
cb361 said[1] @ 7:51pm GMT on 18th Jan
Oh, I'm not a aggressive person, but I pressed that button to squish Jeff with the greatest of satisfaction.

Reminded me of The Long Dark story campaign. All through the second chapter, a recurring villain bear is scripted to pop up at the wrong moment. The finale is a long fight with the bear, and when it's finally dead our character extols its flawed virtues at length. How great and noble it was, and how he wishes that he hadn't had to kill it. And I was thinking "I'm not sorry! I hated that bear! I hated it and I'm glad it's finally dead!"

Unfortunately the game did not give me the opportunity to kill the insane, cannibal priest who is keeping the survivors of an airliner crash alive and incapacitated, as his personal larder.
steele said @ 9:46pm GMT on 18th Jan
Lol, I'm afraid I don't play many games that are non-VR, but I think I can say with some certainty that Jeff was aggressive enough for all of us.
cb361 said[1] @ 12:03am GMT on 20th Jan [Score:1 Funny]
In that case I should mention that the priest in Long Dark isn't really a cannibal. I was just hoping that someone would read that last paragraph and think that they had missed some enormous plot point or side quest in the game.

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