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Alien: Isolation

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While I've only gone and got excited about an Aliens game again I've at least learned enough not to pre-order this one.

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So hard what they're trying to do.

Imagine how good the level design will need to be if it's a proper battle of wits with lots of different outcomes possible per encounter.

I'm not preordering either, but props to CA for the approach.

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Not just good level design and good ai, either, but getting the ai to use the level design to its advantage. That's the real trick.

While it's by no means the same thing (obviously), gta5 managed this really well, with every square block or individual building a complex multilayered area which is great for running shootouts and agressive flanking.

Thing is, in this case it's the polar opposite; a single enemy that, while powerful, predominantly relies on stealth. Like a cat. Also the environments are very enclosed. Giving the ability to the alien to skulk around slowly tracking you and laying ambushes etc like a true predator (not a true Predator) is probably really difficult behaviour to program. By comparison the enemies in amnesia etc were pretty straightforward. No doubt the alleged human enemies will be too, if nothing else than because the environments are designed for human use.

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Is it me or does the Alien just walking around look kind of dumb? I do hope he leaps to the ceiling from time to time and freeruns off walls and shit.

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See, that's what I'm getting at. I'd guess there are certain environments that have a very different design ethos than 'cramped little plastic retro-future office and staff room'. Corridors and shit kind of rob it of its biggest strengths, as we all know from the AvP games.

I mean, ok, the human doesnt have a gun this time, but I'm guessing watching the alien just casually strutting around taking his time because you're no threat whatsoever isnt really what we want either.

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I'd like him to be hiding in some pipes please, or in other unusual poses or positions. Having it stalk around in plain sight will be pants.

They also need to take a leaf out of the film's book and use strobing/shadows to good effect.

Also:

dkz0s.gif

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They also need to take a leaf out of the film's book and use strobing/shadows to good effect.

Uh, I think it's fairly clear that they've already got a handle on that given the games obvious focus on lighting effects.

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I'd like him to be hiding in some pipes please, or in other unusual poses or positions. Having it stalk around in plain sight will be pants.

They also need to take a leaf out of the film's book and use strobing/shadows to good effect.

Strong strobing in games is unlikely to survive publisher/console manufacturer TRCs.

AVP3 mini-fact: some of the pipework is designed to resemble Alien heads. It's a nice trope from Alien (Ripley in the escape shuttle) and Alien3 (when Ripley smashes open that old pipe).

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I just saw a pipe and thought....y'know what they should do?

Release a load of screenshots just like these, then say 'oh, btw, there's an alien in every one of these. Can you see him yet?'

That'd shit ppl up. :)

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I know I'm going to wind up yelling "what do you want from me?!" at those computer puzzles and desperately slapping buttons like a total Lambert.

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The more they hype up the Alien without talking about specific advances in AI processes, the more I fear their Molyneuxing it, and it'll actually be just a pretty but over-ambitious, cobbled together, series of scripted sequences.

On the otherhand if it does what they're claiming this has the potential to be an instant classic, and protentially the biggest leap we've had in the genre since Half-Life 2.

Which way is it going to go?

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The more they hype up the Alien without talking about specific advances in AI processes, the more I fear their Molyneuxing it, and it'll actually be just a pretty but over-ambitious, cobbled together, series of scripted sequences.

On the otherhand if it does what they're claiming this has the potential to be an instant classic, and protentially the biggest leap we've had in the genre since Half-Life 2.

Which way is it going to go?

flip a coin...

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I dunno, 50% of that was directly referencing ai. Ok, they dont explain specific mechanics, but that's the whole point, to not see discreet mechanics or specific scripts.

If it's situationally aware, can react dynamically and maybe plan, that's good enough.

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The more they hype up the Alien without talking about specific advances in AI processes, the more I fear their Molyneuxing it, and it'll actually be just a pretty but over-ambitious, cobbled together, series of scripted sequences.

I completely get the same vibe. That sort of talk is straight out of PR bullshit page 1. At the end the AI will come down to a fairly simple set of parameters and they know it. However I fully expect them to keep talking it up as we near release. I wonder if they've got the sense to not promise too much..?

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They have actually said that they drop it in environments and it takes care of itself; player progression switches on new AI features to maintain difficulty and make it a threat. It's definitely not just scripted.

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The actual bits of gameplay in that video look amazingly, stupefyingly atmospheric. It's got so much potential.

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You know you're onto absolutely solid art design when you can just imagine what the rest of it looks like without ever needing to really see it. Really evocative.

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Release date has just been announced as the 7th of October 2014.

Please be good please be good...

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