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    PQ | Features | Mailbag | June 30, 2000
   

PQ Mailbag

Three Pages A Mailbag

The PQ Mailbag contains three pages. Three whole pages full of mailbagly goodness. Not a final page just saying "thanks, here's my e-mail so you can praise/bitch at me". Not a first page featuring an introduction only. Not one, not two, but yes, three pages jam-packed full of letters and insightful commentary. It's so good, I can't believe we give it away. You should be sending us money.

Rev Up The Story Car

Sven submitted a very interesting editorial this week. "Genesis of the Storytelling Engine" gives a backstory on what may or may not be called Doom 3, and a summary of what Quake 2's single player was like, and how that will evolve over time, into what just may be a storytelling engine, to make single player experiences easier to script. An interesting concept, and our readers thought so also..

From: John Doe
Subject: Respond to: Genesis of the Storytelling Engine

Well Sven, I agreed with some of what you said. I won't get into what I think about everything you mentioned, but I would like to comment on when you said "Half-Life proved that single player fans don't just want to blast apart monsters, they also want to blast apart their brains on puzzles." That is not entirely true. Halflife progressed nicely and the story line just kind of sailed along smoothly. There were a few puzzles and such that you had to use your head for, but it wasn't anything that "blasted apart our brains". But that is good! Halflife is a good example of what an FPS single player game should be with a great story line and a few puzzles along the way. I think you described it to be more of a thinking game though. Lets leave the heavy thinking to RPGs and strategy.

Dredwing

From: Travis "Ash" Bradshaw
Subject: Sven's Storytelling Engine Editorial

Hate to plug another game here, but Sven's talking about Vampire: The Masquerade Redemption. That's exactly what that engine sought out to do, and does pretty well.

Instead of concentrating entirely on the engine (though they did do a very good job), Nihilistic created an engine that is for storytellers. There you can create your own worlds (or refab the cities provided) and place your own objects, players, NPCs, and scripts to make a true singleplayer (or even better: multiplayer) experiance.

This Storyteller engine isn't something to wait for, it's already been done.. it's new, it looks pretty darn good, and is worth a shot to try it out. Of course, it will never replace the pure fraggin' fun of an id game, but don't wait for solely on id to change directions... there are other great companies out there already halfway down the road.

From: Soul Colossus
Subject: Feedback: Genesis of the Storytelling Engine

What about DOOM's single player? If you ask me the DOOM series has the best single player ive seen. Sure the monsters are dumb and easy, sure it's often about "find the key," sure the graphics are infirior to today's engines. but it was fun, and that's what counts. Walk around the corner BOOM take down five monsters in one shot with the super shotgun. A door opens, uh oh a Baron of Hell, so you have to strafe it's projectiles and take it out with a series of SSG shots. Especially on harder difficulties where it seemed to have too many monsters and it was just one big slaughter fest. To me, that's what single player is all about.

From: hutchart
Subject: I completely agree

I want hologram technology... no wait, I meant Doom III, or whatever they are going to call it, since Doom 64 for the N64 was kind of like a Doom III. I think that if id software makes a basic game that can get the hell modified out of it, that is the best thing. Have any of you tried Dawn of Darkness for Quake II, that truly strays from the original single player and it's pretty damn fun.

I would still like to see id at least try to make a decent storyline, maybe even something original. If id would do that I think even more of the community would be inspired to continue the saga or create branching storylines from the Doom universe. I personally am a single player freak. I may be only 15, but I have been playing games since I was old enough to hold the controls of an intelevision. Multiplayer may be fun, but it can never seem to capture the depth and creativity that a single player storyline can capture. BIG example would be Thief or Thief 2.

I'm probably freaking out whoever is reading this by now, but I figured that I'd give in my insight on the whole Doom III thing. Also, the storytelling engine would be great. If only someone would create a system where any kind player (newbie or veteran) could easily create their story in the form of a game with a decent engine. Now that would be neato!

-Jesse "Squirrel_King" Hutchinson

From: Sean Ryan
Subject: Sven,about DoomIII plot

I am with you all the way on this one,not becuase having little plot strikes creativity into someone,but the origional Doom was created to scare the piss out of someone.The long hallways with flashing ambient light so you could never get a clear view of the spectral bulldemon at the end of the hall,the random snarl of an enemy that probably was never there,but still made you grab your shotgun a little tighter.

The environment was the game,because lets face it,the sprite system monster was so limited on how an enemy could attack.They could either slash or shoot a rocket off their back,maybe bite once in a while,but lets not take it down to brass tacks.What im trying to say through all this ranting is may the plot to DoomIII not excede the plot of its brothers,and lets not get a game that is so rittled with plot that it burns away the very thing made Doom the harbringer of every scary moment in a FPS,scary as shit moments.Ive played most console interpitations of Doom,like the old SNES Doom,Final Doom for the PS,but out of all these,Doom64 for (take a cheap guess} the N64 was the best Doom I played on any of these,not becuase of the graphics but the environment.In one particular level,Eye of the Storm there is lightning and a general lifelike feeling that a storm of brewing all arround,it takes you away from the mindless killing and gives you a chance to appreciate the game for more than the gibs and heaps of flesh.It makes you think,man,what a shitty situation this would be if it started raining.That is what I want to see in DoomIII, a good environment over plot.Becuase while playing you forget about the plot,but its hard to forget about the fear that a level can create while you are standing in the middle of it

From: Miller Hooks
Subject: RE: Genesis of the Storytelling Engine

"Eventually, the technology will refine itself enough to the make a Storytelling Engine possible."

Possible? Hello "Vampire: The Masqurade - Redemption".... www.planetvampire.com. Am I the only person out there that has heared of this game. I know it got a few crappy reviews but with the SDK out now it has a ton of potential.

There's your story telling engine man. Beats the Q3 engine to hell in my opinion, could have used another year's fine tuning but, close enough. So go out, get a copy, and start making cool storys!!!!

-Loki

Not a whole lot of feedback for this editorial, but two readers here bring up an excellent point; Vampire has what is said to be an amazing engine behind it, perfect for scripting events, in a 3D RPG setting. I'm sure it wouldn't take a whole lot of work to adapt it to first person shooters, and it would make for some interesting games. Just imagine, within one program, you can input guidelines for a story, and you get a storyboard spat back at you; now all you have to do is implement your details within the levels you've already crafted. I wouldn't be surprised if we see more of this within the next 3 years. It's an exciting time!

On Page 2: More Story Time & Leftover Gibs!


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