The Reverse Design series looks at all of the design decisions that went into classic video games. This is the fourth installment in the Reverse Design series, looking at Half Life. Written in a readable format, it is broken down into six sections examining some of the most important topics to the game: How Half-Life is a key step in the evolution from the composite style of videogame design to the set piece style of design. How Half-Life defined almost all of the core concepts of the cover-based shooter, and redefined the level architecture of the FPS genre The small tricks and flourishes that Half-Life used to tell a story through its mechanics, AI and environments Key Features Comprehensive definitions of key concepts and terms, introducing the reader to the basic knowledge about the study of FPS design Summary of historical context of Half-Life, how it emerged from arena shooters like Doom and Quake, and how it influenced other games Extensive collections of data and data visualizations explaining how systems like enemy movement, cover design and platformer physics work
Chapter 1 Half-Life and the History of Videogame Design
Chapter 2 Introduction and Structure
Chapter 3 The Platform Theme
Chapter 4 The Arena Theme
Chapter 5 Non-Theme Set Pieces and Selected Through Content
Chapter 6 Half-Life Cover and Multiplayer Level Design
Chapter 7 Conclusion
Patrick Holleman founded The Game Design Forum in 2010 with the specific goal of publishing scholarly articles about videogame design. On that site he originally published the Reverse Design series, which has been used by game designers and students across the world to improve their understanding of their craft. Material from that series has been used in online courses as well as university settings, including the University of Toronto and Cornell. His writing has also appeared in Paste Magazine, Indie Game Magazine and Tutsplus. In addition to his writing, Holleman has worked as a part-time producer and consultant in the game development industry. He lives in Pennsylvania.
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