Thursday, September 25, 2008

Analysing "Half Life 2" — Spel, spelande & spelkulturer

Spel, spelande & spelkulturer IX
Spel, spelande & spelkulturer IX,
originally uploaded by miabacke.

Lotta Sennersten and Lennart Nacke have studied the first-person shooter Half Life 2, which was released in 2004. All time high score from Metacritic (96). Over 35 "Game of the Year" awards. Play experienced as story, no role-play, except seeing the game through the game character. Relying on Jesper Juul primarily. Theorists like Wittgenstein, de Saussure, and Shannon approached their respective disciplines through games. Words as a way of describing something, visual aspects as another. Combining Juul's game model and player - game - world.

The conventions of a FPS:
1. Looking (move mouse)
2. Moving (W-A-S-D, crouch CTRL)
3. Shooting
4. Supplementary Actions

Simple interface. Gun selection, crosshair, Ammunition, life etc.
Basic rules: Damage zones (head, torso, extremities); Shoot to kill; Manipulating physics to solve puzzles; Killing strategy can be selected freely (explosive barrels, direct shot); New weapons as you progress.

Game of progression with emergent components, no missions, no cut scenes, overall story arch, trigger-based level design. Progression game at first sight, but emergence exists in each gameplay sequence. Narrative as the driving force, diversity of gameplay elements keep player interested. Great pace and mix of FPS gameplay.

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