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Alien Swarm Can Be Played As a Terrifying FPS

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the sounds-icky dept.

First Person Shooters (Games) 157

AndrewGOO9 writes "With a few simple commands from the developer console, Alien Swarm can go from being played as an isometric top-down shooter to a first-person perspective. Surprisingly easy, it does make the game, which was released for free via Steam earlier this week, a lot more terrifying. But, anyone who is at home playing games like Modern Warfare or Halo should have no problem slaughtering their way through wave after wave of creatures. In fact, it poses the potential to make the game easier for people who would've otherwise struggled with the overhead view."

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Sounds like (1)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 4 years ago | (#32999212)

An alien game that'd be good. I've been playing AS since it was released and am loving it.

Re:Sounds like (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32999756)

The world looks mighty good to me,
'Cause goatse holes are all I see.
Whatever it is I think I see,
becomes a goatse hole to me
Goatse hole how I love your anusy chew,
Goatse hole I think I'm in love with you
Whatever it is I think I see,
becomes a goatse hole to me.

Or.. (0, Troll)

Netshroud (1856624) | more than 4 years ago | (#32999236)

Or it could be played.... you know, the way it was designed to be played

Re:Or.. (4, Insightful)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#32999288)

Not everyone likes 3rd person view for all games. I think it sucks for when you control a walking/running character and need to aim. That's the job of 1st person view.

Re:Or.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32999370)

All games? It seems First Person games are far more common these days, a Third Person shooter sounds like a good change of pace.

Re:Or.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32999646)

Gunz is a 3rd person shooter and aiming isn't really any different than 1st person probably because the camera is like on your shoulder.
The Specialists Mod for HL1 was both, you press X to switch between 1st and 3rd. and it was way better than CS.

Re:Or.. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32999524)

Yeah, it's true that 3rd person sucks for aiming, but this is only usually because you cannot zoom in 3rd person. Or for some other reason, like the crosshairs or ironsights being invisible. The camera distance increase only usually has a marginal penalty on accuracy.

For games with a visible crosshairs in 3rd, accuracy can sometimes approach even. It does take quite some getting used to. There are many games where the FoV change makes up-close combat more favorable to 3rd person, and as a result you see all skilled persons fighting in 3rd when close. These guys can turn and headshot another in .1 second when the opponent appears at 270 degrees left, while a person in 1st-person view would not have seen the enemy at all. It also makes rapidly switching between targets a lot easier.

It's easy to tell the difference between the styles of play. Someone in 1st-person might make one kill and take a small moment to locate another opponent that happened to move. A skilled person in 3rd-person will perform three near-simultaneous executions to kill off opponents on all sides. FoV increases really shouldn't be underestimated.

Plus, there is the obligatory "seeing around corners" benefit. It can help in multiplayer. A lot.

Re:Or.. (1)

mR.bRiGhTsId3 (1196765) | more than 4 years ago | (#32999600)

That's one of the reasons that I really like Alan Wake. The aiming mechanic is really easy since the flashlight that you need to use anyway gives you a good crosshair, plus, since the enemies attack from all sides, it would be particularly difficult to handle from a 1st person view.

Re:Or.. (1)

slodan (1134883) | more than 4 years ago | (#32999700)

Alien Swarm gives a laser beam so you can see where you and your allies are aiming.

Re:Or.. (2, Insightful)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | more than 4 years ago | (#32999892)

Yeah, it's true that 3rd person sucks for aiming, but this is only usually because you cannot zoom in 3rd person.

As long as laser precision at infinite range is the norm for FPSs, why wouldn't everything else suck?

These guys can turn and headshot another in .1 second when the opponent appears at 270 degrees left, while a person in 1st-person view would not have seen the enemy at all. It also makes rapidly switching between targets a lot easier.

*sigh* that's whats wrong with games these days. 270 degree .1 second headshot. How is that immersive? Shot to the head is "realistic" but foot, hand, arm, leg, abdomen etc, those are glancing blows. Twitch shooting is going to kill the FPS genre.

Wouldn't you all like games with real life tactics better? Not the aim for the head!, or finish the guy off with a pistol at 300 yds kind...

Re:Or.. (-1, Troll)

Kral_Blbec (1201285) | more than 4 years ago | (#32999954)

There was a recent school shooting (in Germany I think it was) where there were 9 people killed, with nine shots fired, and 9 headshots. This kid had never used a gun before in his life, but his parents had built him a gaming cave for CS. Think playing Counter Strike with a Wii-like custom controller. Even SWAT dont go for that kind of accuracy. FPS gamers just train and expect headshots everytime where the professionals go for the 2+1 rule. 2 bodyshots with one follow up headshot.

Re:Or.. (2, Informative)

dadioflex (854298) | more than 4 years ago | (#33000024)

There was a recent school shooting (in Germany I think it was) where there were 9 people killed, with nine shots fired, and 9 headshots.

No there wasn't...

Re:Or.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33000606)

1. Every shooting in Germany was done by members of gun clubs with access to guns as well as target practice.
2. No shooter was seriously involved in computer gaming. Of course they had a computer (every kid does) and dabbled sometimes.
3. Such a "CS cave" doesn't exist. It is a fantasy of someone who doesn't really understand computers or gaming. By fantasy I mean lie.

Re:Or.. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32999998)

As long as laser precision at infinite range is the norm for FPSs, why wouldn't everything else suck?

Yeah, this is probably true -- although it might make it a bit too easy, some might say -- but I hadn't played a game with this feature. I understand Alien Swarm has it. The camera pullback for 3rd would make aiming at targets a little tougher, but not too difficult to overcome. An eyeball might be hard to aim at, but not a person's head.

*sigh* that's whats wrong with games these days. 270 degree .1 second headshot. How is that immersive? Shot to the head is "realistic" but foot, hand, arm, leg, abdomen etc, those are glancing blows.

I agree. But it bears mentioning that a gaping head wound is usually instantly fatal. A shot to the heart will stun and disable a person, but not instantly kill them. So a headshot might still be preferable. Especially against zombies. Or if the target is wearing body armor. But a headshot is generally much too easy to accomplish as opposed to real life, yes.

Wouldn't you all like games with real life tactics better? Not the aim for the head!, or finish the guy off with a pistol at 300 yds kind...

Well, I pretty much stopped playing all cookie-cutter FPSes back in 2003. That was when I discovered Operation Flashpoint. And it had realistic wounding and ballistics systems, and depended on team orchestrated tactics to survive, and where surviving rather than killing as many enemies as possible, Rambo-style, was the ultimate goal.

Once you play a game like that, you just can't go back. It's much more fun to out-smart an opponent than to out-react him. Choosing a camouflaged location and waiting there while the enemy moves into view, and waiting until he enters a situation he cannot retreat from if you miss -- waiting for that one perfect shot -- that's fun. Outsmarting a dozen human opponents is fun. Blowing them all up with one grenade is not as fun.

Re:Or.. (1)

montibbalt (946696) | more than 4 years ago | (#33000082)

Wouldn't you all like games with real life tactics better? Not the aim for the head!, or finish the guy off with a pistol at 300 yds kind...

Absolutely not. In fact I can't stand the trend of shooters trying to be super realistic. It's one of the reasons I still play Quake 3 after >10 years.

Re:Or.. (1)

naz404 (1282810) | more than 4 years ago | (#33000138)

I don't think it'll be killing the genre.

Twitch shooting was what made the multiplayer FPS genre popular in the first place (Quake, Unreal Tournament).

If you want something slower-paced and less twitchy, I recommend Operation Flashpoint & the ARMA series.

Or Fallout 3 with VATS aming :)

Re:Or.. (1)

Redlazer (786403) | more than 4 years ago | (#32999640)

To be honest, I found it rather easy to aim and move with. The mobility is quite impressive, really reminds me of the mobility in WoW (as compared to click-to-move games, the horror).

It's fun, and surprisingly tough.

Re:Or.. (2, Insightful)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 4 years ago | (#32999894)

No, it's first person view that's completely unusable for any game. If I could do 1 thing to improve gaming, it would be to go back in time and murder the guy who created FPS before he was born. Gaming for the past decade would be orders of magnitude better.

Re:Or.. (1)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 4 years ago | (#32999932)

You think it's tough in a game... you should try it in REAL life.

Re:Or.. (1)

kiddygrinder (605598) | more than 4 years ago | (#33000646)

you're right, i've always fucking hated steve colley [wikipedia.org] (that bastard). also just because you don't like it doesn't mean it's bad, live and let live: that's my motto. No wait, it's "when you question your training, you only train yourself in asking questions", forget i said anything.

Re:Or.. (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 4 years ago | (#33000506)

I especially hate when the TPS game has the character off center of the screen and sniping from behind cover.

Option 1. See the enemy, hit obstacle while shooting.
Option 2. Have line of fire to the enemy, don't see the obstacle
Option 3. Move from behind the cover, get shot.

Re:Or.. (1)

dingen (958134) | more than 4 years ago | (#33001276)

Not everyone likes 3rd person view for all games. I think it sucks for when you control a walking/running character and need to aim. That's the job of 1st person view.

I seriously disagree with you there. I really think a lot of games where you control a walking/running character are much better playable in 3rd person than in 1st person. Games with a first person perspective always seem very outdated and limited to me, especially when controlled with a mouse and keyboard. The biggest problem as I see it, is that in most fps games, there is no seperation between looking and moving. You both look and steer your character with the mouse, while you use the keyboard to accelerate, break or strafe. I use racing terms for this, because it feels to me as if it's controls for a car instead of person. You press W and move forward while looking straight ahead, but if you want to look at something on your left or right (as you would do in real life all the time), the entire body of the character moves along with it. If you want to keep on going in a straight line while looking left, you have to use an akward combination of W and D, so you are sort of half-strafing. Doing these sort of manoeuvres make me feel like a complete idiot and I can't imagine it looks good from other people's perspectives. The fact you're constantly looking at your own hands, so apparently are walking around with your arms in front of your body doesn't help with this.

Good games to me are not just about shooting. There's all other sorts of actions, and most of 'em are an awful hassle from a first person perspective, while being easy yet fun from a 3rd person angle. Jumping and climbing is really akward and hard in most first perspective games, not to mention moving down a ladder while walking backwards. Just look at how smooth your character jumps into ropes and climbs buildings in games such as Assasin's Creed or the new Prince of Persia games and compare that to how you move around in Call of Duty or Half-Life. Some smart folks may point out that Mirror's Edge is a first person game and jumping and climbing in that game is a really nice experience. The fact that that's an achievement really says a lot about the first person perspective. It's just not suitable if you want control over your character and be aware of your surroundings.

Re:Or.. (1)

Redlazer (786403) | more than 4 years ago | (#32999636)

Or it could be played... differently.

You know, however you want to play it. Because you're the one playing it.

Do you work for Activision?

Re:Or.. (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 4 years ago | (#32999654)

so your statement means what exactly?

first person is in the game and not exactly hidden.

Re:Or.. (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 4 years ago | (#32999796)

Or it could be played.... you know, the way it was designed to be played

Yep. Also, music should be listened to on the CD, and not format-shifted to something the publisher did not intend.

Re:Or.. (5, Insightful)

pclminion (145572) | more than 4 years ago | (#32999798)

Ahh, yes. That's why they released the source code. To make sure that nobody could ever modify it. And that's why they added a developer's console along with a command to switch to first-person view. To make sure that nobody could ever possibly activate that. And that's why the first person perspective was implemented in the first place. Because developers have nothing better to do than waste their time on features they hate and never want anyone to use.

Re:Or.. (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#33000010)

Because developers have nothing better to do than waste their time on features they hate and never want anyone to use.

Explains why they insist on putting motion controls in games that don't need it.

Re:Or.. (1)

Dersaidin (954402) | more than 4 years ago | (#33000464)

They put stuff like that (and first person controls, etc) into the engine, not the game.

It just comes downstream to the games, as it should.

Re:Or.. (1)

Netshroud (1856624) | more than 4 years ago | (#33000030)

Funny how Valve w/ sarcasm = Infinity Ward.

Re:Or.. (2, Insightful)

thrawn_aj (1073100) | more than 4 years ago | (#33000014)

Obviously. Good thing Steam isn't run by ol' Jobs so they have no problem letting the user decide. Gawd, I love console tweaks. Just wanna thank submitter for bringing this game (and the tweak) to my attention.
/rarely log on to Steam

is this a joke? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32999252)

Are we seriously saying that a few console commands in a game are now front-page /. material? Really?

WTF is wrong with the editors?

Yeah, yeah, I'm new here...

Re:is this a joke? (0, Troll)

_merlin (160982) | more than 4 years ago | (#32999340)

Yeah, the submitter's crapping on about it like he thinks he hacked the Gibson or something. Dude, you need to take two steps back and think about it. Did it take any skillz? Could my two-year-old have done the same? Put things in perspective, dude. I think you need to chill with Dan Queed.

Re:is this a joke? (2, Insightful)

Barny (103770) | more than 4 years ago | (#32999570)

I think both of you just need to chill, take a hit or whatever will calm you down, and just let Mr. Taco run his blog however the fuck he wants to :)

Re:is this a joke? (1)

kiddygrinder (605598) | more than 4 years ago | (#33000630)

i found it interesting, i might actually go download it now

slack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32999256)

and you tell me this when i have finished the game 12 times?

the kids seem to like top down (5, Funny)

superid (46543) | more than 4 years ago | (#32999334)

My son is playing AS right now with a few of his friends. I yelled over "hey did you know that AS can be...." "yeah yeah, played as a FPS.. it sucks"

Re:the kids seem to like top down (5, Insightful)

morari (1080535) | more than 4 years ago | (#32999576)

And it does suck. The aliens spawn too far out to react to your increased visibility, the hacking screens don't seem to respond, and the graphics are low-poly and blurry when viewed up close. The game is very atmospheric with the overhead view. The controls do take a few minutes to become comfortable with, but they work well enough. There's no need to turn the game into something it's not. There are already enough FPS on the market, leave Alien Swarm alone. :P

Re:the kids seem to like top down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33000794)

The game was released specifically to be moddable, turning the game into something it's not is exactly what the developers intended from the beginning.

Terrifying?? Try System Shock 2, Doom 3, Undying (5, Insightful)

Xaximus (1361711) | more than 4 years ago | (#32999346)

All of which were 100 times more terrifying than what I saw in the video.

Re:Terrifying?? Try System Shock 2, Doom 3, Undyin (4, Informative)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#32999512)

This story has shown me a terrifying game.

But not the one it indicated.

http://thumb-culture.com/2010/07/22/xbla-review-limbo/

What the hell?

Re:Terrifying?? Try System Shock 2, Doom 3, Undyin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32999858)

Looks and sounds like the thing of nightmares despite the fact it isn't focused on graphics of rotting monsters or etc.

Perhaps it's the shadows, evoking a sense of fear in us. When something is shrouded in shadows, its appearance is hidden causing us to fill in the blanks with our own terrifying imagination.

I'm also reminded of the Twilight Zone episode The Eye of the Beholder [wikipedia.org] since we can't see the boy's full appearance. Who knows what horrors lie beneath?

Re:Terrifying?? Try System Shock 2, Doom 3, Undyin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33000588)

Reminds me a bit of Oddworld.
Simple yet immersive

Re:Terrifying?? Try System Shock 2, Doom 3, Undyin (0)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#33000602)

The game itself doesn't look that spooky. The music is a little spooky but that's about it.

Kind of silly to say it has no contemporaries either when the gameplay looks exactly like LBP, only the graphics are slightly different. You could actually simulate the graphical style in LBP though, by switching the colour filter on the level, locking the camera view, only using black for the platforms, completely blackening the main character with an explosion at the start, etc..

Re:Terrifying?? Try System Shock 2, Doom 3, Undyin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33000626)

Yes, I saw this had been added to XBLA the other day. I clicked through and had a look at the screen grabs, it looks pretty creepy, although I wonder how long it would take for the effect to get old and whether there's some substance to the game.

Re:Terrifying?? Try System Shock 2, Doom 3, Undyin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33000720)

Thief: Deadly Shadows - The Cradle

This will be the last time you feel tension in a game.

Front page news? (5, Informative)

MintOreo (1849326) | more than 4 years ago | (#32999362)

An inordinate amount of attention for simple game.

In other headline news, Starcraft 2 can be played as anything, thanks to a gnarly editor.

Re:Front page news? (1)

adamofgreyskull (640712) | more than 4 years ago | (#33000122)

2 stories?? Of which this is one? "Inordinate"? Really? I think perhaps you need a new dictionary...

/. has spent far more time discussing Starcraft 2 [slashdot.org] (6) over the past year than they have Alien Swarm [slashdot.org] (2). Numbers in brackets are the actual number of stories I counted, this year. Going back further, there's another 8 SC2 stories and only 3 more Alien Swarm stories, and those are discussing the original mod, not the current Source port.

SEO (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32999366)

SEO [zoapcon.com]

Uh, big deal. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32999386)

Pretty much all 2D-perspective (uncommonly referred to as isometric view) video games developed later than 2003 have the ability to unlock the camera, even if unsupported by official feature. The challenges of developing an isometric (or 2D graphics) game overcome those of a 3D game, simply because the industry has left it behind. You won't find many quality engines that render in 2D, if any are even available.

Re:Uh, big deal. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32999482)

(uncommonly referred to as isometric view)

Never try to sound smarter than you are, because someone who actually knows what they're talking about will show you up. Isometric view points in a game specifically refer to when the plane is tilted to a certain perspective, usually 45 degrees. It is possible to have 2D perspective that is not at all isometric, since to be isometric, it needs to be fixed that all along each axis, the scale is the same, meaning that there's no foreshortening or vanishing points.

Further, when it's actually applicable, isometric is commonly used. The only reason it would be uncommon is if it's not applicable.

Re:Uh, big deal. (1)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 4 years ago | (#32999492)

You, sir, are an idiot. Isometric and 2D are not, at all, the same thing. Alien Swarm is neither, regardless of what people who are utterly unfamiliar with both terms seem to think. Believe it or not, these words have actual meanings, although you clearly don't understand them.

Exactly what Steam needs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32999390)

More first-person shooters.

Easier? (3, Interesting)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 4 years ago | (#32999402)

I doubt it, Aliens are constantly coming from all directions including from behind and catch up in seconds or even fractions of seconds, particularly in the harder difficulties.
also constantly maintaining the optimum strategic positions relative to your teammates is a necessarily in Insane mode, and it only takes running in front of your team mate while they file a few times to kill you.

That being said it would be easier to shoot in the z dimension, in the rare instances that it is necessary.
and their is nothing really nothing i have not mentioned about the game that makes FP view harder then top down.
So it would be more then possible, at least at easier difficulties, but I think that insane mode would be near impossible if not totally impossible.
But then some people could just be very stilled at FP squad based tactics and make it work perfectly fine, but then their are a lot more pope playing FPSes then top down shooters.

Re:Easier? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32999530)

This is true, but you can set up a key to toggle between the two views, and only switch to first person view when it's necessary to line up a particular shot, using FP view situationally, and sticking to the tactical 3rd person view the majority of the time.

Re:Easier? (1)

Xaximus (1361711) | more than 4 years ago | (#32999582)

I think the writer meant that the process to switch to first person is easy, not the actual gameplay.

Re:Easier? (2, Insightful)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 4 years ago | (#32999596)

"In fact, it poses the potential to make the game easier for people who would've otherwise struggled with the overhead view."

I do not think their is any other way to read this quote...

Re:Easier? (1)

mr_gorkajuice (1347383) | more than 4 years ago | (#33000726)

It's a dangerous business, commenting on peoples comments to comments, without reading the comment originally being commented on.

Re:Easier? (1)

binkzz (779594) | more than 4 years ago | (#33001262)

That being said it would be easier to shoot in the z dimension,

Although it is of course relative, you probably mean the y dimension. You always shoot in the z dimension, unless you put someone else directly in front of your gun. Try it at home, you'll see!

Next up... (4, Funny)

russotto (537200) | more than 4 years ago | (#32999406)

...Space Invaders as a first person shooter. The original alien swarm.

Re:Next up... (5, Funny)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#32999598)

Not abstract enough...

http://firstpersontetris.com/

Re:Next up... (4, Funny)

Degro (989442) | more than 4 years ago | (#33000026)

Thanks, now I'm sea sick.

Re:Next up... (1)

nyctopterus (717502) | more than 4 years ago | (#33001090)

Oi, why did I have to check that out? I'm all dizzy and nauseous, and frustrated at my low score!

Re:Next up... (1)

Bucc5062 (856482) | more than 4 years ago | (#33001362)

Don't play that after a night of drinking, reopened the headache before I could stop...fun though

Re:Next up... (5, Funny)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#33000986)

...Space Invaders as a first person shooter. The original alien swarm.

Space Invaders FPS FAQ:

Why is the screen blank?
The Space invaders are 2 Dimensional, and you're viewing them from the side. Good Luck.

I keep dying. What's going on?
We already covered that. The Space Invaders are essentially invisible now. Only elite space defenders can win this game from muscle memory learned in the early 80's. You're not one of them.

That is terrifying (1)

tpstigers (1075021) | more than 4 years ago | (#32999458)

I just watched the video. It looks almost as terrifying as Doom.

Re:That is terrifying (3, Funny)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 4 years ago | (#32999504)

Hey, man, those pinky demons can turn freaking invisible! It's scary! And don't get me started on what they did to those poor bunnies in the end...

How is this news? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32999502)

Seriously? Could we get something remotely interesting for a change? I've not even downloaded the game and I could tell you exactly how to do this, its really, really not even remotely difficult or complicated in any way. I will very shortly be removing slashdot from my RSS feeds.

Re:How is this news? (2)

Barny (103770) | more than 4 years ago | (#32999584)

And we all had to know this why?

1 Get your own blog
2 Whine on that
3 Leave this one alone
4 ...
5 Forget profit, I would love it if I could read one thread without anyone having to be modded off-topic or troll.

Re:How is this news? (0, Offtopic)

Barny (103770) | more than 4 years ago | (#33000234)

Moderation
    50% Offtopic
    50% Troll

I would love it if I could read one thread without anyone having to be modded off-topic or troll

Hehe, I should have seen that coming :)

Well played, Moderators, well played indeed.

Re:How is this news? (5, Funny)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#33001202)

Seriously? Could we get something remotely interesting for a change? I've not even downloaded the game and I could tell you exactly how to do this, its really, really not even remotely difficult or complicated in any way. I will very shortly be removing slashdot from my RSS feeds.

Your post is hilarious when read out in a posh and pretentious English schoolgirl's voice.

opensource (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32999542)

Whoever tagged it that is severely misinformed. This involves nothing with the tampering of the source and more of messing with commands and cvars. It's more elementary what people call "modding" these days by passing around .cfg files of aliases.

Think Mageslayer's crappy first person view.

Re:opensource (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#32999604)

No... The game really is open source.

Re:opensource (1)

cbhacking (979169) | more than 4 years ago | (#32999786)

It is, so the tagger isn't actually misinformed. That said, the source license is still almost completely irrelevant to the story. It's cool to point it out, but that's not what this story is about (to the extent that it's about much at all...)

Re:opensource (1)

atomic-penguin (100835) | more than 4 years ago | (#32999968)

No, Open Source actually means something more than source code that you can download and look through. I did look through the SDK source for a license, and the only thing I found was "Copyright (year) Valve Corporation, LLC, All Rights Reserved". I cannot find the terms and conditions of the source code for Alien Swarm anywhere in the SDK distribution.

Bruce Perens once related a story [youtube.com] about Steve Ballmer announcing Microsoft's "Shared Source" program. During the Q&A portion of Ballmer's presentation, an audience member asked if Microsoft was going "Open Source". Ballmer's reply was something along the lines of, "Open Source means more than just releasing the source code". In other words, Ballmer had read Peren's Open Source Definition [opensource.org] and understood that Open Source was more than just a couple of buzz words to be thrown around for marketing purposes.

There is a very specific definition for Open Source software. The term applies to many licenses [opensource.org] . However, that term just does not extend to every bit of source code given away by a person or a company.

Re:opensource (3, Informative)

Ailure (853833) | more than 4 years ago | (#33000526)

Valve never said that the game was "open source", just that the source code for the "game logic" is available, similar to how it is with HL2. At some point, people (and press?) got confused and keep calling it open source, despite that it's not really different from the other moddable Source engine games that you can use as base. The intent being opening up avenues of modding, but the game still depends on large binary blobs to compile and is releases under a restricted license.

Valve probably didn't intend to mislead people, unlike the whole "Shared source" crap by Microsoft.

Re:opensource (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#33001294)

The thing that I will be interested to see(and to see Valve's reaction to) is A)whether alien swarm's modding options are sufficiently aggressive to do fairly radical total conversions(as opposed to just more alien swarm-ish; but on a different map, with different guns, or whatever) B)If A is true, whether people come up with anything particularly interesting. C) If B is true, does alien swarm, being free as in beer, become the preferred 'base' game for source-engine mods of all kinds?

Historically, modders have been somewhere between tolerated and celebrated because they voluntarily add value to commercial games. Now that Valve has a free and moddable game, using basically the same engine as their big guns, will modders just swarm around that, or are most of them too tied to working with modifications of the asset sets of the game they start with?

Doomish? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32999634)

Did anyone else get the feel of the original doom while watching that video? The mostly gray world, the green acid, the minigun sounds, sideways sliding doors and most importantly the layout of the levels with their lack of much vertical dimension and quite a few square rooms? really felt like it was 95 again for me.

Re:Doomish? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#33001308)

Not really. I don't actually derive pleasure from playing games, just from feeling my graphics card's suffering(like an audiophile; but for graphics), so Alien Swarm FPS was much more enjoyable...

I still think (0, Offtopic)

rich3rd (559032) | more than 4 years ago | (#32999638)

Time Pilot 1984 was a kick-ass 2D scroller. But then I am a dinosaur whose FPS skills peaked with Quake and UT (where you could always set your FOV to whatever you wanted, IIRC). Whatever. I'll still kick your schoolboy ass at paintball or conkers or petanque or tennis or nine ball. "Never give a sword to a man who can't dance." - Confucius. Oh, and you can stay on my lawn, I don't give a shit about it.

Why not script it? (4, Informative)

atomic-penguin (100835) | more than 4 years ago | (#32999670)

Why not script it? I guess you just have to do everything yourself.

// povtoggle.cfg
alias "povtoggle" "normalcam"
alias "normalcam" "asw_hide_marine 0; asw_controls 1; thirdperson; alias povtoggle fpscam"
alias "fpscam" "asw_hide_marine 1; firstperson; asw_controls 0; alias povtoggle normalcam"
bind "p" "povtoggle"
normalcam
 
// autoexec.cfg
exec fovtoggle.cfg

Just bind p for a handy point-of-view toggle.

Can't anything.. (1)

MintOreo (1849326) | more than 4 years ago | (#32999716)

be played at terrifying frames per second?

fps glory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32999728)

someone needs to make some proper hud-guns skybox and proper cross-hairs and we will have a great shootem-up fps here

not for the mac (yet?) (1, Interesting)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 4 years ago | (#32999738)

Left 4 Dead still isn't available as a Mac title...and now this. Which is completely bizarre, because Alien Swarm was originally available for the Mac; it's based on UT2004...available for, oh, you know, 6 years?

Re:not for the mac (yet?) (2, Informative)

Oblong_Cheese (1002842) | more than 4 years ago | (#32999794)

It is a rewrite and based on the Source engine, which has nothing to do with UT2004.

Re:not for the mac (yet?) (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 4 years ago | (#32999918)

So? They have Source for Mac! They can rewrite for Mac Source!

Re:not for the mac (yet?) (1)

morty_vikka (1112597) | more than 4 years ago | (#32999940)

It is a rewrite and based on the Source engine, which has nothing to do with UT2004.

As are Half Life 2 and Portal, both of which are now playable on OSX.

Re:not for the mac (yet?) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33000128)

It is a rewrite and based on the Source engine, which has nothing to do with UT2004.

As are Half Life 2 and Portal, both of which are now playable on OSX.

Well, depends what you mean by playable. Framerate is at worst 50% less than in Windows. And mouse acceleration that can't be removed, it ruins every fps. Sure, you can try to hack the accel with steermouse and 10 other "solutions", none of which manage fully remove the accel.

Re:not for the mac (yet?) (2, Funny)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 4 years ago | (#33000360)

Here's a nickel kid, go get yourself a real computer.

Re:not for the mac (yet?) (1)

imakemusic (1164993) | more than 4 years ago | (#33000656)

So is Left 4 Dead, yet that isn't available...yet. Presumably because it's not just as easy as clicking "export for Mac".

Re:not for the mac (yet?) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33000176)

Face it, your not in a large enough audience. You will get games when/if people ever decide there are enough of you to be able to support the port cost. Business as usual, nothing to see here.

Re:not for the mac (yet?) (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33000432)

Left 4 Dead still isn't available as a Mac title...and now this. Which is completely bizarre, because Alien Swarm was originally available for the Mac; it's based on UT2004...available for, oh, you know, 6 years?

Buy a real computer and you can play games. Buy the $400 more expensive hipster "computer" and you can do what Jobs thinks you should be doing.

Re:not for the mac (yet?) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33001186)

Buy a real computer and you can play games. Buy the $400 more expensive hipster "computer" and you can do what Jobs thinks you should be doing.

Stop playing with your computer and get a life.

Re:not for the mac (yet?) (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 4 years ago | (#33001306)

Please can I purchase a license to use your neural Internet interface that clearly allows you to enter comments on Slashdot without the aid of a computing device.

Re:not for the mac (yet?) (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 4 years ago | (#33001160)

Left 4 Dead still isn't available as a Mac title...and now this. Which is completely bizarre, because Alien Swarm was originally available for the Mac; it's based on UT2004...available for, oh, you know, 6 years?

Not to worry! I read this on Apple's website:

Leopard is the world's most advanced operating system. So advanced, it even lets you run Windows if there's a PC application you need to use. Just get a copy of Windows and start up Boot Camp, now included with Leopard. Setup is simple and straightforward -- just as you'd expect with a Mac.

[Source [archive.org] ]

See? It's simple and straightforward!

MOD PARENT UP!!! (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 4 years ago | (#33001282)

Congratulations on making me laugh with the verbal equivalent of smashing a zombie around the head with its own severed arm. I would also like to bear your children.

Well (1)

Iburnaga (1089755) | more than 4 years ago | (#33000038)

I actually prefer top down. If it was first person it would be Left For Dead with aliens.

I tried it wrong (1)

Robadob (1800074) | more than 4 years ago | (#33000302)

I tried it (before this article) with just the firstperson command not the; asw_hide_marine 1 asw_controls 0 commands, the marines head filled most of the screen and the controls were still reacting as if i was in 3rd person so i could barley turn.

This would make life harder (2, Informative)

samael (12612) | more than 4 years ago | (#33000428)

FPS games tend to spawn most things in front of you.

Top-down games spawn all around you, because you can see behind you just as well as you can see in front of you.

Looking in only one direction at a time would be crippling.

Re:This would make life harder (2, Interesting)

delinear (991444) | more than 4 years ago | (#33000692)

I haven't played the game but from the video it looks like there's a radar that might help to offset this a little, especially if you have a good group for co-op who can cover each other effectively.
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