Level With Me, Andrew Weldon

By Robert Yang on September 13th, 2013 at 5:00 pm.

Level With Me is a series of interviews with game developers about their games, work process, and design philosophy. At the end of each interview, they design part of a small first person game. You can play this game at the very end of the series.

Andrew Weldon started as a Half-Life 1 modder and made the notorious ns_eclipse and ns_veil maps for Natural Selection, then worked at Raven on Quake 4, Wolfenstein, and Singularity, then worked at Gearbox on Borderlands, then helped prototype some of the first test levels for Natural Selection 2, then (inhale) worked at Lightbox on Starhawk — and now he’s at Bungie, working on Destiny.

Robert Yang: Thank you for being the token AAA person in this series.

Andrew Weldon: [laughs] That’s a good way to put it.

RY: I had (surprising?) difficulty securing AAA people for this. I understand it, but it’s also a shame that AAA can’t open up more.

AW: I can get why that stuff happens, though, having worked at several places. Anything Phil Fish tweets becomes a news article…

RY: But he’s not “AAA.”

AW: No, but… my friend Manveer [Heir] at BioWare, he had similar stuff happen, with his statements becoming headlines. Fortunately everything turned out okay, but… I’m glad that I can sit here and do this.

RY: Yes, much gratitude to your Bungie overlords.

AW: I think you’re seeing a lot of cool stuff happen on Twitter, with individual AAA developers having more of a presence. We’re interacting more with communities. When I worked on Starhawk, some fans even drove to our studio with their kids. We gave them a tour and I showed them some levels I was working on.

RY: That would intimidate me. A father and son relying on me for their bonding time? If the game sucks, I’d be responsible for their relationship deteriorating…

AW: I’m glad I didn’t get nervous. I have a 7 year old kid myself, and I’m excited to start sharing some of this with him.

RY: Does he want to become a game developer?

AW: Not really. One day he’ll want to be a police officer, the next day he’ll want to be Spiderman.

RY: [laughs]

AW: But, my parents didn’t really know what games were…

RY: Neither did mine.

AW: That’s something our generation has gone through. “You can’t make money doing that. Go get a real job!” Being able to sit down and play Lego Harry Potter with my son, though — I’m most excited about the day he’ll be able to play something that I’ve worked on.

RY: But your work is too violent and graphic for now?

AW: A little bit. My wife plays games too, so we’re good about deciding what’s appropriate for him. Lately he’s gotten into Little Big Planet, and it’s cool to see him place stuff in the editor and come up with his own thing. I’m looking forward to this thing we’ll be able to share.

RY: I like how you make your job so personal, and I think that comes through in your work. Like, when I was playing Quake 4, some parts felt really Andrew Weldon-y.

AW: Think about an Adam Foster level, how he builds in a certain way. He does stuff that I would never think to do. As I’ve worked more in the industry, I’ve become more cognizant of how we all have different backgrounds and we all learn from each other. Like, do you remember how I was building a Team Fortress 2 map with a roundhouse [for trains]?

RY: Yeah, with all those rotated instances and tracks, magically lining up.

AW: That trick came from a co-worker at Gearbox, working in Unreal. Frankly, a lot of my work is mostly just sci-fi themed levels with 45 / 90 degree angles, like the layout for ns_eclipse. But when I see someone else build levels — “oh, you can make curvy things?” — that cross-pollination is important. So on Quake 4, we all kind of worked on everything, honestly. How far did you play in Quake 4?

RY: I played through the first chunk, just after the vehicle section when you get off the ship.

AW: In that first chunk, I worked mostly on the Hangar levels. I was fairly new on the project, and we had just cut a bunch of levels I was working on (but that’s how it is) — so I took over for another designer (who got sick and had to leave) and inherited his levels. They were kind of in the pink-box stage, like how you might orange-box in Source or gray-box in CryEngine to prototype a rough version of a level. I ended up taking those levels through ship[ping]. I wanted to preserve a lot of the original layout…

RY: Wait. Why preserve the layout?

AW: I thought it was a good one. The original designer had an architecture background, so he had this uncanny sense of connectivity for everything. He even modeled out some pipes to loop throughout the entire level. Well, Quake 4 is usually pretty linear, but there’s a part here where you have to defuse some bombs, and you can defuse them in either order. So we spawn some “gunner” NPCs to lay down suppressing fire for a melee “berserker” NPC below, then we also script them with “tethers” that told the gunners to stay within a certain radius around a point. I had to script the positioning so that it worked whether you defused one bomb before the other — and then when the player steps into a certain trigger, it changes the tethers for the gunners to keep the combat interesting.

RY: About the pipes: I noticed them because that’s like something I might think to design. But if I were a typical player, going through the game room-by-room, I’m not sure if I’d notice how it’s the same pipes, or get that sense of connectivity.

AW: Well, the layout did change a lot, that’s what happens when you make games. The first thing doesn’t always work out. Maybe it was too closed, too much of an interior space. If it’s more of an open exterior, you get more of a sense of place because you can see more of it all at once, and understand how each thing fits together. But like… really, this is all just totally made up. Some guy just sat down at a computer and moved some polygons around and thought, “this is good.” These touches or whatever we can do, help ground the space, to the people who do notice them.

RY: If you’ll indulge me, and let me explain your own style to you — I think you have a good sense of “mid-level” forms and shapes. You don’t care about small details like wires, or get lost in huge structures. Your construction feels nice and “chunky” in a way that AAA level design often doesn’t anymore.

AW: “Chunky” is a good word for it. But again, I can’t take credit for everything, some of it might’ve been in the original layout.

RY: I wanted to ask you about this alcove, after you blast through the glass wall. It’s quite detailed, but seems functionally useless. Was there something planned to be here? I smell a story…

AW: I can’t remember off the top of my head who built this, but now I’m bothered by the texture misalignment there, how the panel edges and seams don’t line-up…

RY: [laughs] You mean that upper curve? I mean, I guess –

AW: That gray texture was a “make your own computer console set” kind of texture, where all the different parts and things were on one texture sheet. You can see more of that texture on those supports at the ends of the curves. That lower curve portion is fairly frequent throughout the game. It’s actually made of two separate models — two separate patch mesh strips, to make it easier to texture. And in these alcoves, we’d usually jam in all these monitors to make it look like a control station… but it looks like we forgot to put the monitors here.

RY: So one person made some pieces, and everyone just copied that chunk and put it in all their maps?

AW: Yeah. We didn’t have many artists making meshes for us; we built, detailed, and lit all our own maps. You’ll see a coil of red wire throughout all the levels… that’s a patch mesh cylinder we wrapped around itself. So maybe one designer made that, then someone else went into that map and grabbed it, uncoiled it a little, and made it re-textured it to a different colors. Those things happened a lot.

RY: Do you ever miss having more control over how your levels look? I assume these days at Bungie, or even in your time at Lightbox, you were mostly gray-boxing stuff and building rough layouts.

AW: Working at Lightbox was interesting. They didn’t have a level editor at first, they just had environment artists build the levels and then scripters go in and add the gameplay. But I was greedy, I wanted to be hands-on, so I learned World Machine and a bit of Maya so I could sculpt and generate the terrain directly. Eventually, our level editor became this Lua-based thing that ran inside the game… I used to make fun of those Westwood College TV ads, where they’re developing games with controllers, but then I found myself making levels with a PS3 controller.

I like what they did with the Spark editor for Natural Selection 2. It’s like a polygon-based SketchUp, with very fine control over everything. I’d love for more editors like that to takeoff because they break down barriers for players to learn level design without pirating a huge modeling package that, really, is not suited for level design. I just want to make a box with a texture on it, and not have to manage texture projections on it. When I was a kid, it was great to learn all that pretty quickly.

RY: I miss it too, but for kids today, that’s what Minecraft is? Some New York City schools even have Minecraft classes. A 3D pixel is so much easier to use than a 3D polygon. Maybe we don’t get it, and we need new tools.

AW: I really admire the people who make their own tools to mod the games they aren’t even supposed to be modding. How do you even do that? These days, with so many free multiplatform game tools like UDK or Unity…

RY: That’s what frustrated me about being a modder, your games are held hostage! My friends’d want to play, and I’d say, “download Steam, then download and install Episode Two, then run it once and quit, then unzip to the SourceMods folder inside your…” — to me, that was outweighing the benefit of modding.

AW: But there’s still so much value for full games and mods existing side by side. You’re kind of making this fan fiction thing, about this system and world that you care about. It also lets you focus on really specific aspects of games, to deconstruct just a few pieces and change them. A lot of my first Half-Life maps were about practicing a level design style from a tutorial. They were kind of like “studies” of that teal lab wall style from the beginning of Half-Life. I remember even replicating those cylindrical probe-like things in the test chamber…

RY: Oh yeah, the [anti-mass spectrometer emitters] that spin around. I think they had a barrel texture on them? They were flying laser barrels.

AW: That’s another thing that I miss, putting a barrel texture on a thing that isn’t a barrel, or a wall texture on a ceiling.

RY: And this is how we got into games! We’re romantics. We learned to have emotions with games first, and then learned technique second. I see a lot of kids in game schools now who just learn techniques, and think that’s all that game development involves.

AW: There’s just fewer opportunities for them to learn by modding. A lot of studios don’t release toolsets anymore, and they say that “it’s too complex to release.” That doesn’t necessarily mean, “modders aren’t smart enough to figure it out.” It means that they have this super-specialized toolset that’s hooked up to server farm that’s doing overnight builds of the game, running on really high-powered hardware. It’s a lot of effort to make that usable for regular people. I admire Valve’s commitment to this. In fact, I remember the first time I heard of Valve was when I was using the Worldcraft 1.6 level editor for Quake…

RY: Oh yeah, Valve bought Worldcraft.

AW: Back then, the Worldcraft developers promised editor support for all these other games, and then they said, “oh, we got bought by this ‘valve’ company, so we’re not going to do that anymore.” Oh, come on! “You bastards!”… But then I found out about Half-Life 1 and forgave them. It helps that they haven’t changed the workflow much, that I can always go back to Source and fiddle with maps. Like I’m back home.

RY: Quake-lineage engines always feel like “home” to me. Then I play an Unreal game and, “ugh, this is so unpleasant.”

AW: The iD movement code always feels the best to me. You hit a button and an impulse is applied in that direction and that’s that. There’s no body awareness wrapped around your input, no barriers, no artificial things happening to the camera. Of course, I’m totally biased, I grew up with iD games. If you talk to people who started with Unreal, it’s totally flipped around. But I’d like to think it’s not a coincidence, how Counter-Strike, Half-Life, and Call of Duty, use the same core movement code.

RY: I don’t think it’s a coincidence. I think we’re definitely right. Zero bias.

AW: [laughs] I’ll go with that. I like the engine quirks that turned into skills, like rocket-jumping or strafe-jumping. Quake 4 was interesting because it was a singleplayer sequel to Quake 2 but we also wanted to make a multiplayer successor to Quake 3…

RY: Yeah, the mixed lineage was really interesting to me.

AW: So when we got into multiplayer, we knew we had to preserve strafe-jumping and player speeds. But Quake 4 was built on top of Doom 3 and their base movement, and that is a slower game. And actually, in Quake 2, you could ramp-jump.

RY: Oh, what’s ramp jumping?

AW: When you run up to the top of a ramp and jump, you can sort of maintain your momentum. We actually built that into a few of our multiplayer maps. One map had curved pipes with angled clip brushes, so you could ramp jump up the pipes to get to a higher ledge.

RY: Did players notice? Did they like it?

AW: I hope they did. Maybe not the shortcuts, but they definitely noticed the regular ramp jumping. The thing is that I’m actually terrible at all these things, I can’t strafe-jump for the life of me. But it’s important that it was there.

RY: How do you design levels that support things that you, the designer, cannot do?

AW: I cry a lot. [laughs] Other people did the measurement work for me, like how far you can jump when you have full momentum — and sometimes you just build something, watch people play it and discover new tricks that even you didn’t know about, and then tweak the map to support those better.

RY: I was always too scared to make multiplayer maps. I feel like you have to be a high-level player, to have enough understanding and skill, to make good multiplayer maps.

AW: It doesn’t hurt. A lot of my co-workers can definitely play at that level. But how do people design golf courses? Those guys probably aren’t Tiger Woods. And with baseball diamonds, every Major League outfield has different measurements.

RY: Was that on purpose? They didn’t think, “let’s put the Green Monster here to do __” did they?

AW: In some of those stadiums, they have custom rules built around things like that. I was a big Houston Astros fan, and the Astrodome had these hanging speakers –

RY: You realize we’re talking about baseball on a British PC gaming website?

AW: [strange retching groan noise?]

RY: Wait, no, okay, keep going! Sorry. I’m interested.

AW: — the speakers. Players would start hitting balls off them. But how do you handle that? That’s not in the rules of baseball. They ended up ruling those as ground-rule doubles. (Which is when the baseball bounces off the ground, and over the fence. It doesn’t count as a home run.) It’s not a star player designing these things, you just need to understand what the stars are capable of.

RY: It’s so hard to try to put this process into words though, right? This understanding? Why do we make things the way we do? Like, how did you come up with the layout for ns_eclipse? You just wing it?

AW: Usually. But for ns_eclipse, I decided I would take a bunch of graph paper and draw the entire layout, to scale, across all these pages. I thought I was brilliant, for sketching this perfect thing and knowing everything!… And that was such a naive thing to think. To my credit, two areas stayed how they were, but I rebuilt that map at least six times. Plus, as I was building it, Natural Selection was changing in all these ways too.

RY: That describes so much of game development, right? You’re trying to hit a moving target.

AW: Exactly. You don’t have the luxury of making a game and then making all the levels after. Everything is changing constantly. When we got to the end of Quake 4, we all looked each other, and thought — now we know how this works, now we know what we were making, we can do everything better in half the time. But we couldn’t, because we were done and we shipped. But that approach isn’t great either. With ns_eclipse, I kept gutting 75% of the map after a playtest, and that’s just as bad as overly planning everything.

Now, I think it’s best to start with a core idea. It will probably fail, but you will fail in the right direction. For the Quake 4 multiplayer map pack, I made a level with a rocket launcher at the top of a large room in the middle of the map, and all the side areas snake around it and feed players back into the main area, like a swarm. It ended up being a terrible and unbalanced idea, and I replaced the rocket launcher with some armor instead, but the original idea with making these opportunities for cool line-of-sight moments, carried though.

RY: Those are my favorite maps, the ones that are “about” something — about a tower in the middle, or a jump pad path in the middle. A concept that holds it together.

AW: It’s the “personality” of a level. A rail gun alley isn’t just based on the level geometry. It’s also based on the energy, the potential for cool things to happen. There’s a joke about how much time level designers spend, flying the level editor camera through a level without making any changes…

RY: But it’s time well-spent. It’s testing the feel of the space. I used to think it was a waste of time, but I’ve changed my mind.

AW: Yeah. It’s the best thing you can do. But it’s funny when someone’s watching you, it looks like you’re doing nothing, just panning around, staring at it. Then you stop for a moment, select one thing, and nudge it over 1 inch. Over and over. But I think we’re actually inventing these player experiences in our head, thinking about how people will navigate and look around. It’s very deliberate, but to most people, we look like idiots.

RY: But we’re not idiots! We’re not!

AW: These levels are playgrounds, and playgrounds are very interesting to look at and move through. They’re also good at making you feel awesome. I think that’s what we do: we help players be awesome.

RY: Okay, so… this first person prototype is rough, please have mercy, etc. Right now, you just pull yourself along with these gray poles, and then go from there.

AW: [playing] I had a hard time figuring out why I was going at a slow pace, and how to move in range of the pylons. It reminded me of the grappling hook in Quake 2 Capture the Flag, but I imagine that wasn’t your inspiration? The momentum is interesting, with grabbing one and swinging yourself to the next one. I could imagine this being a skill-based gravity hook thing.

RY: We can turn it into that, if you want.

AW: Nah, I don’t think it needs that. I’m more interested in that thing that looks like a light pole? I saw the arm reaching across. I thought I’d be able to swing from that arm. What if I grab that and throw myself a bit further, slingshot style?

RY: Okay, I can add that. I’ll add a momentum hack property, just for that arm. And I think that’s an interaction that makes sense at a lake, to swing yourself into the water.

AW: Like a tire swing. Yeah. What if you raised that area around the water? So that you can take a sort of “leap of faith” and swing off from a height? But I don’t even know what you’re intending here. What am I? Why am I moving this way? That’s fine if that’s left unanswered…

RY: You can answer it if you want.

AW: I don’t think I have an answer. I’m more interested in how you see the ripples in the water, or how the trees frame your view of the moon up there. My main concern is if all of that gets raised up so you can swing off of it, then this view won’t have the same effect.

RY: A lot of this work was me, interpreting the person who came before you. She talked about a green lake and seeing the trees and such, and I tried to execute that view in the spirit of what she said.

AW: It’s really interesting to see how she was more interested in painting a picture of this scene (and it works) and then I come in and start thinking about these Quake 2 movement mechanics…

RY: [laughs] Maybe that’s what this needs?

AW: So, if we raised a cliff… you could push the water further back and see more of the water. Then suddenly you’d come up to the edge and notice it’s a big drop-off. The other thing I’d want is that there’s something in the water, but you don’t see it until you’re in there already. I’d want to get a hint of what’s down there, before I take my leap of faith and jump-in.

RY: Anything else?

AW: No, I think this will change things enough for the next round.

RY: A very reasonable addition… very well scoped. How AAA of you.

AW: Funny thing is, I’m usually terrible at this sort of thing.

RY: Thanks for your time.

, .

29 Comments »

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  1. gunny1993 says:

    Phil fish is an AAA ass …

    Now back to the article.

    Edit: Real nice article, did get confused and scared at the mention of a baseball analogy though.

    • KevinLew says:

      He is saying that anything Phil Fish says immediately gets picked apart and ripped on by the Internet community, which is why AAA developers rarely give unscripted interviews anymore out of fear that it could happen to them and become a PR nightmare. When RPS said that “Well, Phil Fish isn’t a AAA developer”, he responded that similar things happen to AAA developers too and there’s a parallel.

      Then you post “PHIL FISH SNARL RAGE HATE HATE HATE” without even reading the context it was used. Thanks for proving his point.

    • Odessa14 says:

      I’m making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it.
      Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do,

      W­W­W.C­N­N­1­3.C­O­M

  2. DanMan says:

    It’s common knowledge in programming, that you build the first one to throw away – usually.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      Just like cooking pancakes.

    • Faxmachinen says:

      Not sure what you’re talking about. I haven’t heard that expression very often, and certainly never witnessed it being done. It doesn’t fit into any of the development models I know of either.

      … so do you not write perfect code right off the bat?

      • Premium User Badge

        jrodman says:

        It comes from the Mythical Man Month, a series of essays by Fred Brooks that every developer should read, not because they are gospel but because they are insightful and landmark observations. If you don’t know what is being digested in the essays, you probably don’t know how to do at least as well as them, if not better.

        http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?PlanToThrowOneAway

    • jamesgecko says:

      No, that’s not actually something most developers do. It’s common knowledge that in large projects you try to sketch or mock up a mostly non-functional thing as quickly as possible so that you can run it by people and make sure you’re building the right thing.

      Games are bit more fuzzy and creative than most other software, so people in the industry might expend more effort doing things that don’t ultimately make it into the final product, maybe? Throwing everything away sounds like a roadmap straight from the Duke Nukem Forever playbook, though.

      • Premium User Badge

        jrodman says:

        Mockups are pretty much what is meant by that phrase. It predates the practice of building mockups.

  3. Bostec says:

    Good article. A shame really, 95% of players will just run past each level to the killing of the next bad guy without even looking at the level designs, I know I do. I think I watched a 15 min youtube vid (Yang I think it was) discussing the layout of the reception in half life, The guard, the rotating chair, the rounded ceiling. I would of never thought those things or even look at them, just breeze past them. Must pay more attention.

    • kevmscotland says:

      very curious to see this video you mention if you happen to come across it again.

    • Lemming says:

      There’s actually plenty of opportunity to look at the level design in Quake 4 (heresy in a Quake game I know), as there’s a lot of scripted sequences where you are mainly watching other marines marvel at things. It’s quite nice, until the embarrassing moment when an NPC exclaims about the view as you go up a giant elevator, and outside is possibly the worst background texture known to man.

  4. Inglourious Badger says:

    Fascinating stuff, I love these articles giving a real insight into the game creation process. So much better than another Lead Designer reciting the marketing spiel for a latest release. I know Level with Me’s been on going on a while now, but the Zeno Clash art interview earlier in the week was brilliant too. Keep it coming

  5. muelnet says:

    I was going to post something about this post then I noticed the little freedom of speech thing above the comment box and got rather annoyed. Not about the contents or meaning of it, but that they have to put it there at all. Deleting comments has nothing to do with free speech.

    Not to mention RPS is in the UK, and UK limitations on free speech already cover this sort of thing (see http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1986/64/section/5).

    Sorry not the right place for this but people who think they are entitled to post hateful vitriol where ever they like anger me, and claiming ‘free speech’ only adds willful ignorance to their crimes. I found the above link in less than 5 minutes after typing ‘UK Free Speech’ into Google.

  6. pupsikaso says:

    Ugh, pipes. Pipes everywhere. They are to level design what -ly adjectives are to writing – one correctly placed in a level/page will enhance the level/page, but stick any more and it quickly starts to dilute the results to the point where you are swimming in garbage.

    I’m an amateur level designer so most people ignore me or call me crazy, but I absolutely detest the pipes and wires everywhere that seem to be the primary ammunition of level designers when the level calls for some kind of “industrial” feel or even simply “signs of human activity in a cave” or something.

    I’ve worked in many industrial and manufacturing buildings in my life, some as labour and some as a security guard. I’ve even worked on an oil rig for some time (CRAZY place), and let me tell you that pipes and wires don’t simply hang around all over the place, especially in corridors or walkways.

    Any time I see an out of place pipe in a level that makes no sense for it to be there I always groan. Heck, I think even the Thief games, lauded though their level design may be, had way too many pipes everywhere. Somehow, it seems like pipes are synonymous with human industry. But tell me, when was the last time you’ve seen such pipes in real life, in real places?

    I much prefer to use other props to indicate human activity or portray an industrial feel. They are harder to create than pipes, of course, which is why I call out level designers fond of pipes to be “lazy”, but I believe having more “human-intimate” props to depict human activity, or say machinery for industrial, these are much better to enhance the feel of a level.

    Say you are walking into what you are made to believe is an abandoned cave, but the deeper you go the more wires and pipes you start to see. What is this supposed to indicate? That the cave holds some kind of secret research laboratory surely? Because that’s what we’d probably expect to find in a cave like this in a video game, but for me it feels more like I’m about to come face to face with some kind of pipes and wires chimera monstrosity nonsense.
    Instead, what I’d do is think more about what kind of human activity would be present in such a research lab, and think a bit more on the story. If the lab is abandoned why was it abandoned? Was there an accident and people had to flee quickly? Were researchers trying to carry out valuable equipment or samples in their hands? Perhaps they dropped some of it in their rush, so I’d model a broken glass jar with some kind of organ or monster/alien baby or something. Put it next to an overturned cart that a scientist might have tripped over and dropped the jar. That, to me, puts a much better feel to the level and gives the benefit of foreshadowing.
    Much better than some “Ooooh OMINOUS PIPES!” bleh.

    • KwisatzHaderach says:

      I completely agree! We’ve got an article about lous in PC-games on RPS. I demand an article about pipes in PC-games!

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      Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

      By the same token, I found myself delighted with the environment in Dead Space because of the surprisingly detailed warning labels stuck on a lot of the obviously hazardous equipment.

      • Lemming says:

        There’s something quite cute about that in a game where you weaponize some truly lethal mining/engineering equipment.

  7. KwisatzHaderach says:

    Funny how the first thing I thought when I saw the title picture was: ” this screenie has got a vibe of that one room from the Natural Selection 2 map Biodome!” even though I’ve never heard of this guy before.

  8. abbieray says:

    like Diane replied I am alarmed that a mother able to profit $5803 in 1 month on the computer. my site …………..http://www.pick85.com/

  9. Mark says:

    I work in AAA. Would never dare to mention anything or give an opinion online about the specific games i’m working on in a millions years. A warning, a visit from security and a slap from someone from PR would be quickly forthcoming.

    People I work with have had articles written about things on games blogs/sites from stuff they’ve said on social media sites. Did you see that “leaked info” from a guy that was friends with a tester on GTAV? Worst fucking nightmare.

    It’s really a shame because a lot of us I think would like to be a bit more open about how games are developed. This interview was actually really good and gives an idea about how chaotic it is. The thing about having to ship the game at about the point where you’ve just learned to make the thing properly is utterly true.

  10. thecat17 says:

    RY: Quake-lineage engines always feel like “home” to me. Then I play an Unreal game and, “ugh, this is so unpleasant.”

    AW: The iD movement code always feels the best to me.

    It irks me so, when people spell it “iD” instead of “id”. I know this is a British site, and there’s a magazine over yonder that spells out their name in the former way. But, that’s really no excuse!

    Anyway! I totally agree on the movement thing. The Quakes have always felt more immersive than the Unreals. They’ve always felt more solid to me. Unreal games have some weird floaty feel to them when you’re moving around that makes me more aware I’m playing a game. I wish I could explain it more clearly, but… it just doesn’t feel right.

    I don’t know if I could chalk up this opinion to growing up with id games, though. I would, however, chalk it up to id having many more years of experience than Epic in creating first-person shooters.

  11. The Dark One says:

    I still yearn for Nightwatch.

  12. Premium User Badge

    Shockeh says:

    I still yearn for the day KungFuSquirrel gets somehow back into doing work for Unknown Worlds. His NS maps were always the best, (Though Mendasp runs a close second to my mind!) and it showed in how they were generally preferred even for competitive games.

  13. lamzor says:

    i didnt play ns1(unfortunately). i bought ns2 at launch and i love it. its so refreshing to play “indoors” shooter with complicated maps. maps, which you cannot learn in 1hour. ns_veil is easily one of my favorite map in fps game. happy to see that its creator is doing fine. i hope destiny turns out well.