MINERVA: Episodic, Single-Player Half-Life 2


If you have any reason to deal with TNT Belgium, please avoid completely.

They don't deliver, they invent excuses, and the apparently very helpful people on the customer service line over the past few days were making promises they couldn't possibly make or keep.

That work address I gave earlier, for delivery between three and four in the afternoon? Not on file. That sort of thing is impossible, apparently.


So, in a completely childish manner, I'm posting my grievances on a well-read blog - in the hope that some other people might deprive TNT of their custom. So ner-ner-ner... ;-)

Edit 2007-11-20: Seems TNT in Britain is fully capable of making a complete arse-up of things too!

Article Comments (now closed)

kast's gravatar

1. Watchdog?

Posted by kast at 5:58PM, Tuesday September 4 2007

Just a thought - does Belgium have some sort of equivalently of Watchdog? Getting your problems some TV air time would sort 'em out. *Evil grin*

fuzz's gravatar

2. Shitty link

Posted by fuzz at 6:28PM, Tuesday September 4 2007

While we're all having a moan, shitty link, supposed to be delivering the parts for my current computer, took 6 days of supposedly attempting to deliver (I was in every time, and there's only one road through the village) before someone actually turned up, and then they'd forgotten one of the boxes.
So in the end I jut drove the couple of hour round trip to get it rather than wait for the morons to get round to it...

Sortie's gravatar

3. TNT is the worlds leading provider of express delivery services and logistics supply chain solutions. We make sure your documents, parcels, freight are delivered safely on time using our integrated air and road networks. Our networks are supported by soph

Posted by Sortie at 7:41PM, Tuesday September 4 2007

TNT is the worlds leading provider of express delivery services and logistics supply chain solutions. We make sure your documents, parcels, freight are delivered safely on time using our integrated air and road networks. Our networks are supported by sophisticated technology that helps us ensure service reliability and provide real-time on-line information about the status of your consignments.

Naurgul's gravatar

4. I don't know what to say

Posted by Naurgul at 7:56PM, Tuesday September 4 2007

Actually, I do: Just be grateful that most companies don't treat their customers like this where you live...

PS: Yes, I know how frustrating it is. Just be brave! :p

Baffled's gravatar

5. You are not alone

Posted by Baffled at 8:27PM, Tuesday September 4 2007

Read this Adam, it all sounds horribly familiar:


Also, an example of their general attitude towards their customer's property:


Yar Kramer's gravatar

6. TNT technology

Posted by Yar Kramer at 8:46PM, Tuesday September 4 2007

"Sophisticated technology"? They must mean Windows Vista ...

Cargo Cult's gravatar


Posted by Cargo Cult at 9:05PM, Tuesday September 4 2007

Slightly paranoid, I checked that my doorbell worked when I got home.

It does work. It's rather loud - I could hear it from the front door. I'm not sure if the previous delivery attempts on Friday and Monday involved gently caressing the button after tip-toeing up to the front door...

A friend has a similar tale of woe with TNT in the UK. It ends with the following sentence:

"I gave TNT lots of grief, and finally they delivered it to my home just after midnight... on the 25th of December."

Sortie's gravatar

8. Re: *BZZZZT*

Posted by Sortie at 9:48PM, Tuesday September 4 2007

Haha. Great quote.

Terrapin's gravatar

9. The Media

Posted by Terrapin at 2:25AM, Wednesday September 5 2007

The best way to handle a situation like this is to sic the media on them. Call every news channel in your area, and tell them about your experience. Then lodge complaints with every online service you can find. Finally, tell everyone to avoid them like the plague. Childish and petty, yes, but hey, it works. In this day and age, the media has way more power than I normally care to think about. :)

In any case, I really hope your luck turns around. These kinds of things happen, but eventually, it'll work out. Hopefully that happens soon - shipping hell can be crazy.

Best of luck to you.

Procyon's gravatar

10. Minerva metastasis 3... when?

Posted by Procyon at 2:37AM, Wednesday September 5 2007

Is posible that the mod is released before 14 september?

I can't play hl2 in this laptop, I can only play it in my house's PC (which I will finally be in my home in september, during only one week). If you release it after 20 september, I will not be able to play it, until christmas, when I return home.

Mercy for a dying acolyte! *cough* *cough*

Yar Kramer's gravatar

11. Dying

Posted by Yar Kramer at 5:01AM, Wednesday September 5 2007

Procyon's not quite dying, he's just resting ... ing.

(Sorry, I'm feeling full of one-liner responses today ...)

And I approve of the suggestion to sic the media on them, but only if you use the media for good, never for evil.

SenatorPalpatine's gravatar

12. Translation:

Posted by SenatorPalpatine at 5:02AM, Wednesday September 5 2007

Release the damn game!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Yes, it does warrant 14 exclamation marks)

And while your at that, why don't you talk to Valve about releasing the Black Box sooner. (I know what I need, one of those slow teleports.)

Basically what I'm saying is that if it's not out in a week, a week and a half, I can't be held responsible for what happens.

Naurgul's gravatar

13. If it's childish and petty, why do it?

Posted by Naurgul at 6:51AM, Wednesday September 5 2007

Err, I just want to state I'm against complaining about companies like that. Can you imagine what would happen if everyone did that? There is enough internet and TV-drama as it is; let's try to not help it expand further.

About release: I don't really care since exams force me to actually study. *Only* 10 more subjects to go, I guess. :(

PS: The Black Box no more is, Senator Palpatine. Meditate on that, you must.

LocoYokel's gravatar

14. complaining about bad service?

Posted by LocoYokel at 2:25PM, Wednesday September 5 2007

"Err, I just want to state I'm against complaining about companies like that. Can you imagine what would happen if everyone did that? "

What, the companies might start figuring out that they should provide the service they are being paid to provide?


If you are using this equipment for business purposes you might consider informing them that you will be providing them with a bill for lost time and wages that them not delivering business equipment in a timely manner has cost you. Then file a claim in whatever the local equivilant of small claims court is.

BILLAL's gravatar


Posted by BILLAL at 4:54PM, Wednesday September 5 2007

Guys, you are not alone. TNT does not have business ethics whatsoever. Whether it is you the end user or us their re-sellers (agents).

In Canada we re-sell services for TNT on discounted rates. Knowing TNT's behaviour, we always put our phone number as the sender. Within a day or two after shipping, we receive a call from TNT saying that they can give us better rates than the re-seller (ourselves). In cases where we have set accounts with TNT, TNT has sent them letters with our rates and have taken the accounts from us. To make things worse, after taking the account from us, when the customer ships, TNT sends us the bill ???

TNT cannot be trusted - they have been losing ground in Canada since the last 5 years and are surely headed to closing down operations soon in Canada, with this kind of operations. We complained to the CEO in the United States and all we received was a call from the Sales Manager in Canada saying there was nothing they could do to help.

Dracko55's gravatar

16. Are you dense or just perpetually beaten?

Posted by Dracko55 at 8:28PM, Wednesday September 5 2007

Naurgul: It's childish and petty to not take bad service lying down? Could you imagine what would happen if no one ever spoke up?

Ace's gravatar

17. Are you?

Posted by Ace at 9:26PM, Wednesday September 5 2007

I think Naurgul was just trying to be a voice of reason. Just because shit happens sometimes doesn't mean we have to "Call every news channel in your area". There are proper ways to deal with these types of situations. Which, I'm sure Adam can handle himself. (sorry to use you as an example terrapin.)

Hmm, tone over here a bit of a downer. We need some 'angry lesbian mob' type discussion.

Beckhamerica's gravatar

18. More than you cared to know

Posted by Beckhamerica at 11:35PM, Wednesday September 5 2007

I was acquainted with TNT during a project in England where the customer only used TNT. I was told they were the biggest and best company for overnight stuff in the UK. Stuff sent from the USA by priority and express international US Mail was faster getting to me than TNT was going the other way. USPS never had customs issuesand they are supposedly the slow and cheap way to send stuff. I never had to call them stuff just showed up. One slight problem with USPS was if they sent stuff to my UK apartment instead of work and if it was too big to fit through the mail slot it would end up back at the post office and I would have to go get it. No option for a second delivery or to leave it at the door.

I also had trouble with TNT in the Netherlands, package tracking didn't work. I had regular problems with on time deliveries and clearing customs with FedEx in the Netherlands too. The FedEx Netherlands customer service people were polite and helpful. The Fedex tracking was brilliant. Using the detailed location I could see exactly where it was (Schipol customs area ZoneB arrived 08:32) and If i remember they re-estimated the delivery after it cleared customs and that was pretty accurate. One time The shipping clerk at the company swore Fedex never came and I was able to show him that his name was on the tracking report as having signed for it. He just sent it to the wrong department. He hated me from then on. Dutch really take it personal when they think you've made them look stupid. But that's another story...

DHL Belgium

UPS International Shipping

Terrapin's gravatar

19. And yet TNT still exists...

Posted by Terrapin at 11:55PM, Wednesday September 5 2007

Yet they obviously don't deserve to. The main principal of capitalism is that those who provide high quality goods and services survive. Yet here TNT is, with not one positive mention that I've seen, and they still manage to do business. People have to stand up to corporate giants like this, or the little people are going to keep losing. And what, I ask you, is the strongest, legally usable weapon the little people have? The media. So yes, Ace, there are proper ways to deal with this. However, most of those ways, if not all, end with TNT giving everyone they've messed with the equivalent of "Oh yes, we're very sorry, please keep using TNT", with TNT going on to continue its bad business. If any one of us signed a binding contract that we would deliver x goods on x date, and failed to get anywhere even close to that date, and then lied about why we failed, we would be sued, and would likely be subject to negative media attention. TNT has done this - they deserve equal punishment for their wrongdoings.

Anyway, how Adam, and everyone else, should handle this in the long run is a matter of personal principals. If you think it's right that TNT get away with this, so be it. But I've been in this position before, and nothing makes up for weeks of turmoil, broken promises, and lies, like good, old fashioned justice.

And besides, this isn't just a computer we're dealing with. It's delaying the release of Metastasis 3.


Cargo Cult's gravatar

20. Finally!

Posted by Cargo Cult at 12:29AM, Thursday September 6 2007

I have an iMac. It got delivered to the office this afternoon. I'll work on installing Windows XP, Steam and all my modding stuff tomorrow.

Brief summary of the TNT issues:

Friday: tracking system indicated it would be delivered then, and thus I took the day off work. Apparent attempt at delivery failed just gone 7pm, despite me sitting at the front of my apartment, near the incredibly loud doorbell, overlooking the street and the area surrounding the front floor. I'm on the +1/2 floor, after all. "Company Closed On Delivery Attempt ". No evidence that TNT ever went to my apartment. Phoned customer services that evening, was told it would get delivered on Monday.

Monday: took the day off work, stayed in apartment - again sat at front, near incredibly loud doorbell. Checked tracking system after 5pm, no sign of delivery - so phoned customer services. Their attempts at calling delivery driver failed, and was told it should be delivered in the next hour or so. At almost 6pm, tracking system brings up new reason for delivery failure: "Receiver On Holiday". Again, no evidence that TNT ever went to my apartment. Phoned customer services, was told package should be delivered at around 6pm on Tuesday evening - I explained how I'd been waiting at the front of my apartment, with a loud doorbell, hearing every vehicle and pedestrian which went past - the non-delivery was regarded as suspicious, and that a letter would be sent and the driver contacted.

Tuesday: went into office to work, and checked on tracking system every hour or so. At almost 2pm, "Company Closed On Delivery Attempt" - definitely not the ~6pm I'd been quoted. Phoned customer services again - and seemingly in an attempt to help me out, they immediately suggested dropping the package off at my current location. Gave address of office, and driver was called - after hold music, was told that package should arrive at around 3:30pm to 4:30 pm.

Gone 5pm, I was getting suspicious - so called customer services again. Was told that there were problems with package delivery in Brussels, was put on hold again, and then phone was answered by a grade A cow of the year. Did not understand story she'd obviously been given already, and I had to explain it all again - and was told that the estimates regarding delivery time and the alternate address were completely impossible. Did I have the names of the people who'd given me this information? No? Hah, I wouldn't be able to make an official complaint. This office address I'd given earlier that afternoon? Not on file. Impossible to redirect packages to different addresses, and besides, the office was in a different postcode to my apartment. A few hundred metres, but impossible. Different driver. Regarding *Company* closed on delivery attempt, despite it being a residential address? They only delivered to companies. Receiver on holiday? Well, Monday is just after the weekend... Being in all day on both Friday and Monday, and never hearing anything? Well, I must have gone to the loo, or been at the bottom of the garden or something.

That final phone conversation was what prompted me to post this childish blog article - basically it was all my word against theirs, and that I couldn't prove anything - the Brussels lot weren't interested in any potential failings in the system (the seemingly helpful people earlier were from Antwerp or Liege or something, and were thus out of the Brussels cabal). I did manage to give the office address, and may have reverted to asking if they were actually a delivery company (it was one of the few times I've ever started to lose my temper) - but, fortunately, the computer arrived at the office this afternoon.

05 Sep 2007 15:32 Brussels Delivered

The corners of the box were rather dented, and one piece of stylishly moulded expanded polystyrene packing material inside was broken outright - another had rather large fractures in it.

Fortunately, it works - whatever g-forces it as subjected to obviously weren't enough to destroy the hard disk. And it's utterly gorgeous - and rather large. I've never had a 20in monitor before - and never 2GB of memory and 300GB of main disk space!

Dracko55's gravatar

21. Voice of reason.

Posted by Dracko55 at 1:21AM, Thursday September 6 2007

Voice of reason doesn't mean acting like a passive/aggressive pessimist, contrarily to popular opinion.

If he was trying, he failed pretty horribly.

Terrapin's gravatar

22. Congratulations!

Posted by Terrapin at 1:56AM, Thursday September 6 2007

Well Adam, for better or for worse, you have your iMac now. Don't worry about Minerva. Seriously, we've waited almost 18 months, another couple weeks isn't going to kill us. Just enjoy your new system, complain to everyone you can about TNT, and relax. After going through that kind of hell, you deserve a medal. Congrats again. : )

Baffled's gravatar

23. Congrats

Posted by Baffled at 1:58AM, Thursday September 6 2007

Congratulations on the delivery of your new baby, perhaps she, in turn, can give birth to the Metastasis finale in the nearish future?

One question, what is that keyboard like to use, it looks rather minimalist?


SenatorPalpatine's gravatar

24. Black Box on steam?

Posted by SenatorPalpatine at 3:18AM, Thursday September 6 2007

Naurgul: I was under the impression that the Black Box was still being released on Steam. (It's not in a box, but still) I don't think they could possibly make us buy HL2 and Ep. 1 over steam, as opposed to when they have to make physical CDs and boxes and stuff. The sad thing is that if they only had the Orange Box even on steam, there wouldn't be anything we could do about it--the majority of us would still buy it. Ah well...

And I guess Terrapins right, we can wait another couple of weeks. (We may not want to, but we can.)

Yar Kramer's gravatar

25. "Where is the ambiguity in a box over there."

Posted by Yar Kramer at 4:35AM, Thursday September 6 2007

Monty Python quotes aside, that was my impression, too. That said: glad to hear you've got the blasted contraption, Adam, hope you can finish Minerva soon ...

Naurgul's gravatar

26. Black Box

Posted by Naurgul at 7:00AM, Thursday September 6 2007

At least, the delivery is done. Sorry if I offended anyone, but instinctively doing the first thing that comes to mind when treated in an unfair manner is not what I do. Sure, the TV must be an easy way but people are treated like this every day; you think calling a TV-station and exaggerating about the situation would help? Or is everyone a "passive-aggressive pessimist" failing to reason except for the handful of people that take their problems to TV? Isn't it outright wrong using the Mass Media in that manner, anyway? What kind of deluded mentality is this? "I got treated unfairly so I'll use any stupid probably-not-going-to-work means at my disposal to take revenge and get it my way"? Isn't that the same mentality companies like that use? Surely, you can understand the benefits a company can have by deceiving their customers. But at least they do it in a professional manner. The simple people will have to depend on TV. To sum it up, I think there are more effective ways to take action in these situations. Less direct and with more purpose.

Also, yes, the equivalent of the Black Box will most likely be on Steam. It's not confirmed yet, but since there will be various bundles (that *has* been confirmed) one can safely assume that one containing only the three new games is a given. I thought you were talking about retail, sorry. There's no chance they'd only offer the Black Box.... it would be tons of bad publicity coming from their very fans. Who'd want that?

greven's gravatar

27. Less Direct?

Posted by greven at 7:29AM, Thursday September 6 2007

I fail to see how taking direct action of any kind under this kind of situation is a bad thing. Rather, taking no action at all is the only poor choice as far as I'm concerned. Poor publicity is what a company who delivers poor service is going to get and SHOULD get. It is the responsibility of the customers who receive such poor service to notify other potential customers what poor service they are likely to receive. If not who will? Certainly not TNT.

From what limited experience I have with problems from shipping companies is that their problems normally come from "corrupt" supervisors who do not care to uphold their companies standards. The best thing you could do is try to work your way up the management chain in hopes of brining the area manager or regional manager's poor standards to higher management light.

Naurgul's gravatar

28. Where's that edit button when you need it?

Posted by Naurgul at 7:41AM, Thursday September 6 2007

Obviously, I meant to say "There's no chance they'd only offer the Orange Box" in my last paragraph.

Arsnof's gravatar

29. *B-Koom*

Posted by Arsnof at 1:39PM, Thursday September 6 2007

This is why I never entrust my explosives to a shipping company. It's just polite to deliver the payload in person.

Cargo Cult's gravatar

30. Curious

Posted by Cargo Cult at 2:10PM, Thursday September 6 2007

I've got Windows XP up and running on the iMac, along with all my games stuff - installation was suspiciously easy.

There were a few, obviously driver-related issues in HL2 (mainly with directional fog - in one direction it goes white, which isn't very nice) - so I went to look for updated drivers.

In the process, I discovered an unexpected bonus.

From the Apple website:

* ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO graphics processor

From the device manager in Windows:

* ATI Mobility Radeon HD 2600 XT

Which, it turns out, is a somewhat faster GPU. - even when underclocked a bit.


Nesretep's gravatar

31. Now let us rejoice!

Posted by Nesretep at 3:42PM, Thursday September 6 2007

Adam has finally received the blessed package containing the machine which will enable him to deliver us from this wasteland of MINERVA-lessness! Let all acolytes rejoice! The 3rd installment of MINERVA shall soon follow!

kast's gravatar

32. by soon... ?

Posted by kast at 4:25PM, Thursday September 6 2007

You mean in conjunction with the Rapture, by any chance?

Nesretep's gravatar

33. Re: by soon... ?

Posted by Nesretep at 4:34PM, Thursday September 6 2007

Don't you remember Adam's comment about it "coming soon" and the then subsequent comment about the "soon chanting"? It was a poor attempt to reference that bit of humor, I guess. :(

TjOeNeR's gravatar

34. Brussels People

Posted by TjOeNeR at 4:40PM, Thursday September 6 2007

I myself also live in Belgium as a 3rd year student in the college of antwerp. And I must say, I absolutely HATE the mentality of those IDIOTS from Brussels.

I worked in the holidays to pay for my pc, and I had to place a call to the Brussels head office. Man, that was the phonecall from hell.

They didn't want to listen to my problem and they just said it was my fault. So I had to make my boss call them personally to get the bloody thing (which was a useraccount on a windows network) fixed. I needed it for my job and all they could say is you're not allowed blablabla. My boss already sent an e-mail the previous day explaining the situation.

I had to wait another week before I got it.

Stupid idiots, all they do is shout, and blame it on you.

fuzz's gravatar

35. Not all bad

Posted by fuzz at 6:57PM, Thursday September 6 2007

Just to lighten the tone a bit. Where I used to live (middle of the countryside), when we used to have stuff delivered by post, the postman, knowing that a non delivery would result in us driving half an hour to the nearest post office for a pick up, would sign for stuff himself and hide it round the back of our house.
Completely against regulations, but very handy for us :)

Terrapin's gravatar

36. Postal service

Posted by Terrapin at 3:47AM, Friday September 7 2007

What can I say, TjOeNeR, they're in this for money. If you complain, they lose money. If they admit a mistake, they lose money. So really, what do you expect? :-)

And fuzz... wow, I wish the service people in my area were like they are in yours. One day they're going to realize that an act of good will once and a while, just to make other people's lives a bit easier, is worth more in the long run than some corporate regulation. Until then, I have to content myself with stories of the "nice guys" you have the pleasure of dealing with. Oh, if only it were a perfect world...

SenatorPalpatine's gravatar

37. Perfect World?

Posted by SenatorPalpatine at 5:34AM, Friday September 7 2007

A perfect world would probably be incredibly boring. for all of us You know the first version of the matrix was designed to create a perfect world, but humans rejected it and the machines lost a whole crop.

A world closer to being perfect then this one would be nice though. With a better postal system.

Yar Kramer's gravatar

38. Re: Perfect World

Posted by Yar Kramer at 7:59AM, Friday September 7 2007

... You're citing the Matrix as part of your argument. I bestow upon you 200 nerd points. Oh, and another 100 for making me forget what else I'd been going to say. ;)

Ace's gravatar

39. conspiracy theory

Posted by Ace at 12:23AM, Saturday September 8 2007

It's my understanding that Metastasis 3 is to be called, Depth Charge, right? I just happened to notice (for some convoluted reasons) that that is also the moniker (D3pth Charge actually) of a fellow who wrote a very favorable review on planet halflife awhile ago:

I'd have thought Adam wouldn't have to revert to such shenanigans to get a good review???

Sortie's gravatar

40. Re: conspiracy theory

Posted by Sortie at 1:01AM, Saturday September 8 2007

Haha. Yeah, also that "every area accessable by the player and enemies" is just a big lie. I did have a look at the vmf, some of the topside buildings aren't accessable, but most underground is. I wonder why Adam didn't use the secret stairs from the topside to the downside of the island more. I'd use 'dynamic squad assults' for that task. ;-)

Ace's gravatar

41. secret stairs?

Posted by Ace at 2:50AM, Saturday September 8 2007

secret stairs??

Pse's gravatar

42. Re: Perfect World

Posted by Pse at 9:12AM, Saturday September 8 2007

In a perfect world there would be no boredom.

Sortie's gravatar

43. re: secret stairs?

Posted by Sortie at 12:16PM, Saturday September 8 2007

They're blocked off by a combine forcefield and links the map together.

locworks's gravatar

44. conspiracy?

Posted by locworks at 12:51PM, Saturday September 8 2007

RE: http://planethalflife.gamespy.com/View.php?view=HLMotw.Detail&id=7
Do you mean the review by Ben "D3pth Charge" Ballinger, Planet Half-Life Content Director? Please use your favourite search engine before posting.

kast's gravatar

45. re: secret stairs?

Posted by kast at 1:09PM, Saturday September 8 2007

The top end is located in the town, to your immediate left when you first enter it through the short tunnel in the cliff.

The bottom end of the stairs comes out in the bunker. Can't quite remember where, though. I think it could be the gangway you see soldiers running along briefly.

Sortie's gravatar

46. Re: re: secret stairs?

Posted by Sortie at 3:55PM, Saturday September 8 2007

Yeah. That's where it is, and yes, that's the gangway. ;-)

Cargo Cult's gravatar


Posted by Cargo Cult at 4:22PM, Saturday September 8 2007


... and I wanted to work on MINERVA. :-(

Cargo Cult's gravatar

48. Actually...

Posted by Cargo Cult at 4:32PM, Saturday September 8 2007

I can still work on the holy titles.txt. So that shall be my task for today! ;-)

Sortie's gravatar


Posted by Sortie at 5:15PM, Saturday September 8 2007

Guess what, I did notice that myself when I tried to launch the SDK. ;-)
Appearenly your Steam client tries to get a copy of the 236 gcf, which doesn't exist.

Nesretep's gravatar

50. If it isn't one thing it's another...

Posted by Nesretep at 5:52PM, Saturday September 8 2007

Everytime one obstacle to completing MINERVA is removed something else happens to throw another obstacle in its path. Adam, you don't have some kind of karmic payback coming to you that we don't know about do you? :)

Think about it...(launching conspiracy_theory.exe)

First, he was sick...twice. Then he runs into a problem with one of the maps that wont let him compile and then the iMac shipping debacle and now there is some kind of snafu with Steam and the Source SDK!

Just when we thought there was cause to rejoice in the arrival of Adam's long awaited iMac, this plaugue comes upon us to cause such despair...

Ace's gravatar

51. secrets and conspiracies

Posted by Ace at 6:58PM, Saturday September 8 2007

Ah yes, secret stairs, I did manage to find them. I guess the only way to get there was with noclipping?

locworks: I'm not sure what you're getting at here, what difference does the guy's real name and (former) title make? (my skills with my favourite search engine tell me the current content director at planet halflife is a chap named John Phillips, Ben Ballinger is no longer there.) Anyway I'm not honestly suggesting Adam named Depth Charge after the guy to get a good review, but everyone loves a good conpsiracy theory, right? (at least Nesretep gets it!)

Yar Kramer's gravatar

52. Moar problems

Posted by Yar Kramer at 7:30PM, Saturday September 8 2007

Damn ... at this rate, he'll miss the "before Episode 2" deadline as well ...

Terrapin's gravatar

53. Murphy's Law

Posted by Terrapin at 9:03PM, Saturday September 8 2007

Murphy's Law 101: If you say something will be done by a certain date, it won't be. Something will stop you. I'm trying very hard to convince myself that I won't be playing Orange Box until November, and won't be playing Minerva 3 until next year. Why? Because If I expect to play Orange Box on the day it comes out, my internet will go down, or my computer will crash, or I'll have to work a double shift at work, or the power will go out (this actually happened when I got my hands on an Xbox 360. I got it hooked up, turned it on, when boom, the power to my block goes out for 2 hours). Bottom line: You'll get stuff when you get it - deadlines and dates are worthless.

Murphy's Law 201: The solution to any problem will automatically create a new, harder to solve, problem, to which the eventual solution will create a larger problem still, etc. Again, this has happened to me more times than I can count. When the SDK starts working again, some other bizarre, unlikely series of events that can never be predicted will buy the cosmos another few weeks of sadistic glee.

So good luck Adam - we're all hoping for the best.

TjOeNeR's gravatar

54. My dog

Posted by TjOeNeR at 9:44PM, Saturday September 8 2007

"My dog ate metastasis_3a."

Now THAT would be a good one.

locworks's gravatar

55. conspiracy?

Posted by locworks at 10:49PM, Saturday September 8 2007

Apologies, Ace, I got carried away for a moment.

PyroDude's gravatar

56. Hums

Posted by PyroDude at 12:58AM, Sunday September 9 2007

Maybe it's a publicity stunt from Valve?

They delay Minerva until after Episodes 2 etc. is launched so no attention is taken away from it by the magicalness of Minerva! Thos crafty Valve bastards, first they infect Adam with carefully cultivated cold viruses, then pay TNT to fluff the delivery completely, and now they bugger steam up so that Adam can't work on Minerva, even at the cost of no one else being able to work as well.


geekofalltrades's gravatar

57. SDK

Posted by geekofalltrades at 1:00AM, Sunday September 9 2007

Try running Steam in offline mode and getting to the SDK that way. I can't see how it could possibly give you a problem then (at least this problem). That's right, no excuses. :P

Pyro-Dude's gravatar

58. Re: SDK

Posted by Pyro-Dude at 1:02AM, Sunday September 9 2007

Sorry for the practical double post, but someone on the thread said that didn't work

Yar Kramer's gravatar

59. SDK

Posted by Yar Kramer at 1:19AM, Sunday September 9 2007

Hmm ... I'm not getting any error messages from the SDK (apart from a comment that Minerva needs to get its number changed from 220 to 215 or something).

I wonder if it might have something to do with the fact that I have the Source SDK Base installed ... nah, if it was that obvious, someone else would've fixed it already.

wargamerROB's gravatar

60. SDK works now

Posted by wargamerROB at 1:57AM, Sunday September 9 2007

I had the SDK error, but it works just fine now. The problem was that it was trying to load GCF 236, which does not exist. It tried to get 236 from the servers, but they didn't have it so that's what caused the error.

Siman's gravatar

61. long time no type

Posted by Siman at 3:25AM, Sunday September 9 2007

still not out...yet......

yah i heard the over seas shipping servers arnt that good.

o yah ever since mac switched to intel processors they are junk i sold my 8 core G5... my windows quad core was out performing it LOLz. But thats windows for you way more flexible.

siman's gravatar

62. sry

Posted by siman at 3:26AM, Sunday September 9 2007


belboz's gravatar

63. content servers

Posted by belboz at 4:09AM, Sunday September 9 2007

Valve have had the buggy content server fixed, apparently it was a server in germany that caused all the problems. They were probably waiting for TNT to deliver a new router.

Valve have a big anouncement this tuesday, that will be wednesday for europe and the rest of the world that are not on PST.

SkUrRiEr's gravatar

64. Re: long time no type

Posted by SkUrRiEr at 5:04AM, Sunday September 9 2007

Yeah, and Linux is more flexible than both of them put together.

Your point is?

Yar Kramer's gravatar

65. Now, now

Posted by Yar Kramer at 5:42AM, Sunday September 9 2007

Let's not have an OS war here. Let's just get back to toadying Adam and asking him to finish Minerva ...

Terrapin's gravatar

66. When it's done

Posted by Terrapin at 8:47AM, Sunday September 9 2007

If only the collective will of all the acolytes would somehow compel Adam to work on Minerva 24/7 until he got it done, tearing through every obstacle life through at him. Unfortunately, this sadistic little universe we live in clearly has other ideas.

We'll get Minerva when we get Minerva. Take comfort in this, however: at the moment you read this, we are closer to the release of Minerva than ever before. :)


MrHappy's gravatar

67. OS war pretty please?

Posted by MrHappy at 8:56AM, Sunday September 9 2007

Oh can we please have a "linux isn't usefull for anything except bragging about" war?

Or perhaps "mac is nothing but a shiny pc that costs more" war?

Techno-obsessions are so much fun!

Sortie's gravatar

68. Well the SDK has been working for ages

Posted by Sortie at 9:07AM, Sunday September 9 2007

Or just hours. ;-)


Sortie's gravatar

69. Secret Bugfix

Posted by Sortie at 9:08AM, Sunday September 9 2007

Also, just noticed, Valve has fixed the terrible 'no launch buttom and no properties buttom on the tools page' bug. I know it could be fixed by changes the res-files, but whatever. ;-)

TjOeNeR's gravatar

70. If I could...

Posted by TjOeNeR at 2:21PM, Sunday September 9 2007

Compile Windows From Scratch

(with k8 and SSE optimizations like you could with Linux)

Now THAT would make me a Windows addict for life.

Sortie's gravatar

71. Re: If I could...

Posted by Sortie at 2:53PM, Sunday September 9 2007

Of course you can do that. You're just a sourcecode away from doing it.

TjOeNeR's gravatar

72. Re: Re: If I could...

Posted by TjOeNeR at 2:58PM, Sunday September 9 2007

Somebody care hacking Redmond?

In other news: Minerva is a great mod and I'm waiting for part number 3.

In other news: Adam don't you live in Belgium?

SkUrRiEr's gravatar

73. Re: OS flamewar

Posted by SkUrRiEr at 11:35AM, Monday September 10 2007

Sorry about the small OS flamewar I just started. I can't stand people who throw out stupid remarks.

IMHO, there's very little common ground on which to actually properly compare Windows, Linux (pick a distribution, any distribution...) and Mac OS X. To actually perform a fair comparison, you'd have to run the same apps, on the same hardware, with the person driving it having the same skill set and experience with all three OSs. - and "speed" is really subjective too. Is this speed to load a file in your document editor? speed of copying a file? network performance? boot time?

Also, flexibility is not something which can (to me) be measured conclusively, so to say that one OS is more flexible than the other is simply stupid. (of course I welcome suggestions as to how I'm wrong (which I most certainly am) )

As for speed between a 8 core G5 and a quad core Winbox, could we have some numbers? or at least specifications? otherwise it's just a pointless, stupid comparison.

Oh, and for even more pointless comparisons: In some ways, my 850 MHz win2k box outperforms my 2.4 GHz winXP box.

Sortie's gravatar

74. Re: Re: OS flamewar

Posted by Sortie at 4:44PM, Monday September 10 2007

Oooh. Hehe. When you compare the speed of OS's, you compare which OS you'll personally work fastest with for the task you do.

Pyro-Dude's gravatar

75. User Unfriednliness

Posted by Pyro-Dude at 6:42PM, Monday September 10 2007

The only reason I particularly dislike Windows is the fact that crashes and similar lockups n things are too regular, and the user unfriednliness and annoying messages of some parts. If it weren't for this, I would be a lot more comfortable using it regularly as opposed to just for gamin and my iMac for normal use

Nesretep's gravatar


Posted by Nesretep at 7:25PM, Monday September 10 2007

Just be glad there isn't a MINERVA OS. In the MINERVA OS, your computer cynically mocks you as you try to perform tasks, the HTML help is unbelievably cryptic to the point of being almost no help at all. You have to dig through the registry top find any decent hints on things like that. If you are running a program that MINERVA OS doesn't like or doesn't want you to run, then it will shut it down automatically and then scold you for running it.

See it could be worse. :)

Sortie's gravatar


Posted by Sortie at 10:25PM, Monday September 10 2007

And it takes 3 weeks to boot it, the http login query is being delivered by TNT - ooh - just fictional? Just remember the patches are always delayed, and the I AM MINERVA loginscreen propaganda is kinda ironically.

Cargo Cult's gravatar

78. Well, that's a new one

Posted by Cargo Cult at 11:10PM, Monday September 10 2007

"numplanes + fakeplanes >= MAX_MAP_PLANES"

Now to get back to deleting sufficient brushes from metastasis_3 to allow me to keep the fancy new holographic screeny things I've added, without making everything else UGLY...

Flobster's gravatar

79. Max Planes

Posted by Flobster at 12:24AM, Tuesday September 11 2007

The curse of creativity in mapping, there comes a time you have to accept, this one needs to be a prop!

Oh for a really talented modeler with infinite time.

Terrapin's gravatar

80. Re: Well, that's a new one

Posted by Terrapin at 1:43AM, Tuesday September 11 2007

Well, based on the effort being put forth, Metastasis 3 should look friggin' awesome, in addition to quite possibly being the first mod to be better than the game it's based on. I only hope it's out before Halo 3 - I won't be doing much of anything else after that comes out.

rb_lestr's gravatar

81. err.

Posted by rb_lestr at 1:53AM, Tuesday September 11 2007

You're killing me Adam.

G'luck with the deleting.

Cargo Cult's gravatar

82. *** DELETED ***

Posted by Cargo Cult at 1:58AM, Tuesday September 11 2007

Found an unexpected goldmine of pointless brushes, and trimmed a big wodge off 'em in one fell swoop. The map now compiles again, and looks rather splendid with its new additions!

*That* map's probably about done. ;-)

SenatorPapatine's gravatar

83. "About done!!!!"

Posted by SenatorPapatine at 3:12AM, Tuesday September 11 2007

If it's about done, then why not release it? Wait maybe you already did! OK, not there, maybe tomorrow. Or maybe it's there now! Guess not.

What's "about done" in valve time? Probably like two weeks.

SenatorPalpatine's gravatar

84. I never said please

Posted by SenatorPalpatine at 3:13AM, Tuesday September 11 2007

PLEASEPLEASEPLEASE release it soon Adam?

Terrapin's gravatar

85. One down...

Posted by Terrapin at 3:45AM, Tuesday September 11 2007

...two to go. Once all the maps are probably about done, then we just have to wait for them to be about done, and then nearly finished, followed by the necessary state of being practically complete. Then of course, once all the maps are soon to be fully developed, Adam can begin the process which will begin to put the maps into the state they need to be in to start uploading them to us. Then we can download them, install them, and finally play them.

Shouldn't be long now! :-)

Lord_Baz's gravatar

86. It's funny

Posted by Lord_Baz at 8:02AM, Tuesday September 11 2007

Mapping is a hard bastard to master, but I can see why so many try though. Because once you get that reputation of being good at it it's oh so easy to be a bastard and toy with your acolytes.

The only catch with doing this with source? Just as you're capable of trolling the fanbase, Steam is just as willing to toy with you. :D

MacNix Vista forever!!! Hehehe.

Lord_Baz's gravatar

87. Hmm.

Posted by Lord_Baz at 8:13AM, Tuesday September 11 2007

Oh and yeah, the problem with companies like TNT is that for every complaint they can and will ignore unless it's chased up relentlessly, there's two or three people happy with the service they got or can't be assed complaining. Which is sad.

Nesretep's gravatar

88. Good News

Posted by Nesretep at 2:37PM, Tuesday September 11 2007

It's good to hear that metastasis_3 is complete. How are things looking on the other two maps, metastasis_4a and 4b? Are they nearly as close to completion as metastasis_3? We're itching for a release and the relentless teasing won't be funny forever, ya know... :)

On another note, I hear that Episode 2 is dropping support for DirectX 8.1 cards in lieu of being able to make it all look prettier. This situation kinda sucks for me because I am fairly certain that my aging rig has been running HL2 and Episode 1 in DX 8.1 mode. After all I have a Geforce FX5200 for a video card, not exactly gonna blow you away with the framerates! I guess I may have to wait until I can get a new gaming rig to play these newer games that are coming out now. :( Too bad I have no money for a new one *now*.

TjOeNeR's gravatar

89. Nope, its a niner.

Posted by TjOeNeR at 3:27PM, Tuesday September 11 2007

Uhuh, an FX5200 is a directX 9 card.
Albeit a REAAAALLLY slow one.

Nesretep's gravatar

90. Re: Nope, its a niner.

Posted by Nesretep at 4:12PM, Tuesday September 11 2007

Thanks for the news. As slow as that card is I still wonder if it will kick out playable framerate in Ep. 2 or not. I guess only time will tell.

Sortie's gravatar

91. No? That's DirectX 7

Posted by Sortie at 7:06PM, Tuesday September 11 2007

It's DirectX 7 they're removing support for. DirectX8 will still be supported for a game or two more, because of the large amount of users having it, if they removed support for that then Source just lost it's good reputation of being good at the lower end. ;D

Yar Kramer's gravatar

92. DirectX 7? THIS IS SPARTA!

Posted by Yar Kramer at 7:27PM, Tuesday September 11 2007

That depends on how "lower end" you're willing to go. *sings the Limbo song*

Nesretep's gravatar

93. Re: No? That's DirectX 7

Posted by Nesretep at 8:48PM, Tuesday September 11 2007

According the October issue of Maximum PC magazine which I have right in front of me:

"By ditching support for legacy DirectX 8 graphics cards, Valve opened the door for a much better looking Half-Life that is superior to both Episode 1 and Lost Coast."

Unless it's a misprint, it *is* DX8 that they have cut out for Episode 2.

AiusEpsi's gravatar

94. Must be DX7

Posted by AiusEpsi at 4:43AM, Wednesday September 12 2007

15.18% of Steam users are on DX8, compared to only 4.97% on DX7. So cutting support for DX8 would be a fairly bad idea.

I can see the point of removing DX7 support though - those people are using incredibly old hardware. The GeForce 4 MX was released in 2002, and the GeForce 2 is even older, 2000.


Ace's gravatar

95. More conspiracies

Posted by Ace at 5:39AM, Wednesday September 12 2007

I don't know if anyone might find this remotely interesting, but I came across this short story by Marc Laidlaw:
I'd never read any of his writing before (other than halflife), but I thought this was actually quite good. AND, it's main character's name is Foster! I wonder what Adam had to do for Mr. Laidlaw for this honor? (No, no, calm down locworks, I'm just kidding!)

Ace's gravatar

96. another one

Posted by Ace at 7:32AM, Wednesday September 12 2007

here's the other story from that site by Marc Laidlaw, again, if anybody's interested.
Also good, though more grim, and, eh, confusing. If anybody reads it and thinks they know exactly what's going on here, feel free to let me know...

Naurgul's gravatar

97. Direct X

Posted by Naurgul at 11:24AM, Wednesday September 12 2007

The magazine is wrong. It's DX7 they're dropping. Your magazine is the only source mentioning DX8 thus far. Also, it doesn't make any sense. Go to Episode Two's storefront page and you'll see the minumum system requirements.

In other news, you guys noticed that "Meet the Engie" was released, there is a pre-release Orange Box bundle on Steam and a TF2 beta, right?

Sortie's gravatar

98. Re: 95. More conspiracies

Posted by Sortie at 1:19PM, Wednesday September 12 2007

Really good that story, I didn't ge the end but it really was worth reading. Thanks for posting it here. ;D

Yar Kramer's gravatar

99. More stuff on Steam

Posted by Yar Kramer at 8:52PM, Wednesday September 12 2007

While you're looking, make sure you catch a glimpse of Peggle Extreme (an Orange Box-themed set of levels for Peggle).

... Heh. Pre-orders of the Orange Box are outselling Bioshock on Steam.

Esvandiary's gravatar

100. Graphics cards...

Posted by Esvandiary at 10:10PM, Wednesday September 12 2007

I've had quite a few mentioned above...
Started off with a GeForce 2 MX400 (no, really - I played CS Source on that thing for quite a while :D)

Then a *very* quick encounter with a Sapphire Radeon 7000, the only ATI card I have ever, and ever plan to, have owned.

Then onto an FX5200, a 6800GS (good solid card, that) and finally my current 8800GTS, which shall have to last me through university...

Ahem. Back on topic... We want Minerva! Someone crack the whip, I'm too far away to do it myself...

Terrapin's gravatar

101. Orange Box Preorders...

Posted by Terrapin at 3:44AM, Thursday September 13 2007

...and my Steam FUBARs. Just my luck...

But I'll be getting it one way or another...

MrHappy's gravatar

102. What?

Posted by MrHappy at 3:51AM, Thursday September 13 2007

Eh what?

M3's been released, albeit in a very hidden place.

I've got one of laidlaw's books kickin around the house but haven't had a chance to crack it open yet.

Terrapin's gravatar

103. Re: What?

Posted by Terrapin at 5:29AM, Thursday September 13 2007

Well, if you read my subject, you'd see that you can now pre-order The Orange Box through Steam for $50. Yet any attempt to access the store through Steam results in an "illegal operation" that crashes me to my desktop. Ah, Steam, what will you do to us next?

Oh, and I'm not going to bother searching for your "very hidden place". I have neither the ingenuity nor the patience right now - I'll get it when it out in the open. :-)

Yar Kramer's gravatar

104. Re: A very hidden place

Posted by Yar Kramer at 5:48AM, Thursday September 13 2007

I think, MrHappy, if it's all the same to you, I'd rather whack you upside the head with the flashlight from Doom 3 than try to figure out where M3's hidden just from one post by an apocriphal acolyte. ;)

... hmm, "apocryphal acolyte" isn't as punny as I'd hoped ... Oh well!

belboz's gravatar

105. Steam bug

Posted by belboz at 12:06PM, Thursday September 13 2007

there's something wrong with steam at the moment, it was working yesterday when I pre-ordered my orange box, then had a night of peggle extreme, but it doesn't seam to be working very well now, steam had an update late last night and it started to act weird after the update. The update said the comunity beta was over, and steam was being reset to its original configuration, but you could see the comunity beta, minus the fact it didn't say beta any more, so somewhere someones futzed the update.

belboz's gravatar

106. Denial-of-service attack

Posted by belboz at 12:21PM, Thursday September 13 2007

Or it might not be related to the update, all steam users were told about the orange box release, but everyone else wasn't, the fact the servers have suddenly gone flakey, its started to look like a dos attack because even the steams web pages are refusing to load and are timing out.

Nesretep's gravatar

107. Re: What?

Posted by Nesretep at 2:16PM, Thursday September 13 2007

While a part of me wishes you were telling the truth, most of me wants to grab a flashlight with Yar and begin the "investigation" into the truth of the matter. :) Unless by chance you are a playtester...but I guess we'll know soon enough. (taps end of flashlight into open palm repeatedly)

Is anyone else having trouble logging in to the blog? I got some error about not being able to find an article with id=0 or something. Adam, do you have any idea what might be the problem?

Nesretep's gravatar

108. PS

Posted by Nesretep at 2:19PM, Thursday September 13 2007

As soon as I submitted my last post it automatically logged me in. ????? Don't ask me how that works.

Terrapin's gravatar

109. Blog Problems

Posted by Terrapin at 3:34PM, Thursday September 13 2007

Same here, sometimes it works fine, and sometimes I get an error. Maybe it's really a clue to Metastasis 3's location... or just an annoyingly well timed server glitch.

But honestly, if M3 is done, to the point where it has been released, albeit not publicly, why doesn't Adam just quit toying with us and release it. Oh yes... because it's Minerva. Everything has to be unnecessarily cryptic and convoluted... well, two can play at that game.

52 65 6c 65 61 73 65 20 4d 65 74 61 73 74 61 73 69 73 20 33 20 73 6f 6f 6e 21 21 21

(/pathetic attempt at Minerva-ish-ness)

Yar Kramer's gravatar

110. Steam

Posted by Yar Kramer at 6:19PM, Thursday September 13 2007

Yeah, I'm getting that bug, too. Guess we'll have to wait and see what it was ...

Yar Kramer's gravatar

111. More Steam

Posted by Yar Kramer at 7:37PM, Thursday September 13 2007

Hmm ... it seems to be working now, apart from the fact that, within Steam, it can't tell I'm using Steam (i.e. the front page when you start Steam says "Get Steam now!" and when I download demos etc., it asks me if I have steam installed, etc).

MrHappy's gravatar

112. It's out!

Posted by MrHappy at 7:59PM, Thursday September 13 2007

Fortress-Forever has been released!

Cargo Cult's gravatar

113. Fortress Forever out, that is...

Posted by Cargo Cult at 8:34PM, Thursday September 13 2007

Didn't want to get anyone thinking it was MINERVA!


Another thing, where's this 'very hidden place'? If there's a finished version of MINERVA kicking around somewhere, I'd like to know - so I could download it and save myself some work in finishing it normally...

Oh, and I think the blog problems have been fixed. Apparently the urlencoded '&'s in the return URL were somehow now being parsed as the real thing - so now I'm shoving that return_url through a base64_encode too. Should be *more* than enough by now...

Sortie's gravatar

114. Ooh, I am inventing files.

Posted by Sortie at 9:11PM, Thursday September 13 2007

Don't worry, I am inventing files, if I come by such a release I'd tell you. ;-)

That means after I played it a few times. ;D

Flobster's gravatar

115. Hidden

Posted by Flobster at 9:17PM, Thursday September 13 2007

I expect it would be one of those time space loop thingies, a strange backwards portal contained within digital streams of infomation, that has allowed a Minerva 3 release page to connect with the present, thus creating a paradox with its creator, and causing a wibbly wobbly jelly thing to engulf the universe.

True Story

Nesretep's gravatar

116. Re: It's out!

Posted by Nesretep at 9:25PM, Thursday September 13 2007

Yeah, just like M3 is too, eh? Just kidding. I had heard they were pushing to get it out earlier than their original release date of 9/17 to give it a head start on TF2 since the TF2 beta was going to be available next week too.

So Adam, if you're gonna make it out BEFORE the Orange Box release (by which I assume you meant the UK release date of Oct 12) then I hope you've already got M3 out to your playtesters, otherwise you might not make it, my friend!

Terrapin's gravatar

117. Fortress Forever

Posted by Terrapin at 12:30AM, Friday September 14 2007

I wonder if FF will be any good? My internet connection has been doggy as of recent, so I probably won't be able to play it too much until I can get that fixed.

And as for the release of M3 before Orange Box... I doubt it. If Adam has just completed the first of three maps, then we're not likely to see anything until late fall/early winter. Pessimistic, yes, but last time I hoped for a release, Adam accidentally fried his hard drive, his MacBook went on the fritz, and TNT sent his shiny new iMac into purgatory for a few weeks. And recently, the blog has been struggling. I'd even be willing to bet that every time Adam opens the source SDK, a kitten inexplicably dies.

But good luck anyways. ;-)

Ace's gravatar

118. pool?

Posted by Ace at 12:58AM, Friday September 14 2007

We could start a pool. I'm a little more optimistic, I'd say 2 weeks. That puts me at Sep. 27. (why would it take so long to playtest?)

And I'm wondering what's next? Will there be more after this? I think the idea was that this last bit would finish off this story arc? (at least of the island.)

MrHappy's gravatar

119. Hidden!

Posted by MrHappy at 1:01AM, Friday September 14 2007

You'll have to cross the inter-spacial membranes of string theory to find it but minerva's been released in at least ten thousand parallel universes!

Yar Kramer's gravatar

120. "Hidden"

Posted by Yar Kramer at 3:01AM, Friday September 14 2007

Heh. At the moment, my bank account's precisely $1.96 short of preordering Orange Box. Fortunately, I'm due for about $43 from Half.com ... by the way, anyone want to buy some old Magic the Gathering and Star Wars TCG cards? ;)

Oh, and MrHappy? My flashlight and I want a word with you ... *brandishes, smirking while eyes glow red*

Flobster's gravatar

121. FF

Posted by Flobster at 3:20AM, Friday September 14 2007

Im a nostalgic TFC player at heart, they have done a good job of recreating it with a few nifty extras, there seems to be alot of laggy servers about, but the ones that are stable are good fun.

Divals's gravatar

122. Magic cards??

Posted by Divals at 7:29AM, Friday September 14 2007

Whatcha got, Yar Kramer?

Naurgul's gravatar

123. Tragic: The Gathering

Posted by Naurgul at 8:27AM, Friday September 14 2007

Hey, I want old Magic cards too! By the way, FF seems decent enough, it sure is a good mod. Too early to tell if it plays well (especially since I lack any experience in QWTF and TFC)

Nesretep's gravatar

124. Pessimism's finest

Posted by Nesretep at 2:28PM, Friday September 14 2007

Terrapin, you seem to me to always be at one end of the spectrum or another. Either you are totally excitied and upbeat about things or you are cynical and pessimistic about them. No room for Mr. In Between for you is there? Let the rest of us be delusional for at least a while longer before we see the extension of the due date again.


Adam, your fix seems to have worked fine. This morning (afternoon to you folks on the other side of the pond) when I logged in there was no trouble at all.

Yar Kramer's gravatar

125. Re: Re: Magic cards

Posted by Yar Kramer at 6:27PM, Friday September 14 2007

Put a period between the two words in my name and stick 'at gmail.com' at the end (them's some email address munging, yo), or look up dylan7752 at eBay or Half.com, and we'll talk. ;)

Pretty much all commons, though, I only ever got the starter pack.

U-Mu-La-Ma-Rhi's gravatar

126. magic

Posted by U-Mu-La-Ma-Rhi at 7:29AM, Saturday September 15 2007

I liked magic cards because that artwork was cool, i didnt understand how to play the game

Lord_Baz's gravatar

127. Laidlaw's stuff

Posted by Lord_Baz at 2:50PM, Saturday September 15 2007

Damn. Those were awesome. No wonder he's working for valve now. Very cool.

Nesretep's gravatar

128. Re: Laidlaw's stuff

Posted by Nesretep at 5:59PM, Saturday September 15 2007

I read the story "Flight Risk" and that was a awesome story. No wonder that Half-life's story is so great. He has some real talent. If he ever leaves Valve before they finish the Half-Life story arc I will cry.

Ace's gravatar

129. Re:Re: Laidlaw's stuff

Posted by Ace at 8:38PM, Saturday September 15 2007

If you liked "flight risk", I'd also strongly recommend the other one "Jane". I probably didn't give it enough of an endorsement before, it's definitely the more haunting and memorable of the two. It does require some thought though. You can see where Valve gets some of their crypticness (if that's a word) from, they don't usually like to just come out and tell you stuff plainly, and neither does Marc Laidlaw.

And sort of on the subject, I was considering checking out some of Iain M. Bank's stuff, I remember there were some people discussing him here. I was wondering if the culture novels need to be read in order? Or are they separate? I'd read good things about Use of Weapons and The Player of Games so I was thinking about reading one of them.

Procyon's gravatar

130. Language issues with Steam/HL2/Minerva

Posted by Procyon at 3:26AM, Sunday September 16 2007

I have a small problem. First of all, my mother language is Spanish, so I downloaded the spanish patch of minerva.

It works well, but the voices of the soldiers are in english, not spanish. (I have all my steam games 100% with both english and spanish. I select the language I want to play with, in settings/interface of steam.).

Hl2 in spanish works with the voices of that language, but the mods don't.

I think that this has an easy solution, but I don't know it...

please help me....

cypher543's gravatar

131. Quake Wars

Posted by cypher543 at 7:12AM, Sunday September 16 2007

Did anybody download the Quake Wars demo? Personally, I thought it was crap.

The AI wasn't that good, the level design was "meh", and the HUD was so crowded and distracting. The only parts I liked about the whole game were the vehicles and the menu interface.

I'll stick to UT2004, thanks.

mr  happy's gravatar

132. Spanish language

Posted by mr happy at 11:06AM, Sunday September 16 2007

Hmmm, should be fairly simple to fix with some new script/resource files, I'll see if I can make one for you when I have some free time. (although that could be months :( )

locworks's gravatar

133. Spanish pack

Posted by locworks at 12:10PM, Sunday September 16 2007

Yay! First bug for the language packs reported!
(short dance of joy)
Procyon, you made my day. We'll look into that and provide a fix asap.

Naurgul's gravatar

134. Jane

Posted by Naurgul at 2:47PM, Sunday September 16 2007

I'm ashamed to say that I didn't quite get what exactly was going on. I have some clues, but I didn't pay enough attention, unfortunately. Can someone provide some hints and/or explanation, please?

Foodstuff's gravatar

135. Quake Wars

Posted by Foodstuff at 4:43PM, Sunday September 16 2007

Hey, cypher543; try to play online.

Ace's gravatar

136. Re: Jane

Posted by Ace at 7:23PM, Sunday September 16 2007

Naurgul, I suppose the proper response here would be 'read it more carefully'! But that wouldn't give me an excuse to delve into my analysis. I could certainly be wrong or be missing something important, but I can at least try.

*** spoilers ahead for the story "Jane" ****
First off, the main mystery to me is who is this civilization, and what in the hell was up with those kite things? Goodness. The kites seem to indicate this isn't some ordinary human society, or if it is they've discovered some rather interesting technology. That and some other things to me hint at a larger backstory which isn't fully described. Maybe it's just there to give depth to the story, but it does make me wonder if it's something he expanded on elsewhere, or even if he's referencing a work by someone else. But I'm not aware of anything like that. The only thing which I thought could be a clue was that royal emblem, which maybe we were supposed to recognize?

Anyway, here's my attempt at a plot summary: A young member of the royal family of this civilization hooks up with some girl and gets her pregnant. Either this or something else they did breaks some pretty serious laws and they flee into exile to live in isolation. Years go by, they raise a family, until one day they're accidentally discovered by some people who were lost. They kill the travelers to avoid being reported (indicating they would've been in serious trouble if they'd ever been found), but one of the sons (Ash) doesn't like this and he runs away, not realizing the danger. When the boy is found by the civilization they turn him into one of those kite things. Yeeks. I'm not entirely sure why, they probably didn't know who he was (he didn't even know he was a royal), maybe they just don't take kindly to strangers? Anyway this new Ash/kite thing comes and looks for his family, though again I'm not sure exactly why. Perhaps it's all part of the punishment? The parents, knowing what's coming, flee their house. (the Ash/kite would've led the society to their house, or at least told them about it). The Ash/kite tracks them, and Dad kills Mom to keep her from crying out and revealing their presence one night. The civilization is also hunting them, and they use poison gas to try to flush them out. Dad, knowing it's over goes to a high cliff and throws himself off, intending to take Jane with him. But she doesn't, and instead shows the hunters the royal emblem and they bow to her. I don't know what happens next, but it seems to be implied that they accept her (and don't kill her.) I guess Dad probably thought they'd kill her/kite her and had been trying to save the family from that fate.

Hmm, still lots of holes in there, if anyone can fill some in, or disagrees with something, feel free..

Naurgul's gravatar

137. Re: Jane

Posted by Naurgul at 7:38PM, Sunday September 16 2007

Thanks, that clears it up a bit (hadn't realised it was dad who killed mom and that there was poison gas used to flush them) and confirms a lot of things I thought I understood (mostly that there wasn't some kind of explanation I missed). Err... how does the other brother die and little sister die then? They're just hunted down by the guards? Finally, what's the symbolism behind the hood? Is it something like "blessed are the ignorant" and then plays with it by getting the little girl killed because of that?

I also get the feeling that it's impossible to get a meaningful story without getting some more information on the setting but maybe that's part of the story: the unknown that makes everything creepier. And that makes sense, because being ignorant of what was going on was a central theme of the story for the characters.

Ace's gravatar

138. Re: Jane (continuing spoilers)

Posted by Ace at 8:39PM, Sunday September 16 2007

Jane's older brother and little sister were killed by the poison gas, that was the green mist. It also killed the all the little animals which she commented on, amongst which her brother and sister died.

And that's an interesting observation on the hood, I'm not sure about it either, though it could be something about ignorance. It did serve a purpose to develop Jane's character, since she started thinking independently of her father when she thought that her sister could've lived if she hadn't been wearing the hood. Perhaps preparing her to make a stand and not follow her father in jumping off the cliff. I'm not sure what else.

And I think you're right that we're probably supposed to be confused. We see the events only through the little girl's eyes, and she doesn't know what's going on. We're probably supposed to share her reactions to what happens. Tough little kid though, eh?

PX6DEVASTATER's gravatar

139. lol

Posted by PX6DEVASTATER at 12:14AM, Monday September 17 2007

we have places like that over here in the states. lol. don't really think about the horrible service that some companies offer in other countries till some one talks about it.

cypher543's gravatar

140. Quake Wars

Posted by cypher543 at 4:38AM, Monday September 17 2007

Foodstuff: even playing online (which I can't do at the moment) wouldn't make up for the fact that the level design is boring and the HUD is way too distracting.

Nesretep's gravatar

141. About "Jane"

Posted by Nesretep at 4:37PM, Monday September 17 2007

The thing I found most perplexing was her description of the "kite".

"Then across the face of the moon, something drifted like a skeletal kite; but only the bars of the kite, with the sail itself all twisted and in tatters. And then I woke, thinking it was a dream, but did not wake, for it was not a dream. The kite drifted untethered, under its own power..."

I wonder if she was actually describing a prop-driven airplane. It would be flying under its own power, untethered and without a sail going between the wing and body of the airplane. I guess the only person who would know would be Mr. Laidlaw...the only thing that seems to contradict this idea that I came across was how Jane's father said that in retribution for what they had done there would be many "kites" above the city. So I don't really know, I'm just curious as to what those kites really were. Nothing else in the story seems outside the realm of current technology so I'm wondering why only that one thing would be.

Nesretep's gravatar

142. Another contradiction

Posted by Nesretep at 6:20PM, Monday September 17 2007

It hung it place over them too. So that totally blows away my idea. Anyway...any other ideas to distract us while we wait for M3?

Ace's gravatar

143. kites

Posted by Ace at 9:47PM, Monday September 17 2007

Yeah the kites were perplexing to put it mildly. It wasn't just the method of propulsion that was mysterious, there was also the fact that the person on it isn't dead even though Jane didn't see how, given the shape he was in. Also, even the small chunk of flesh the falcon tore from it still screamed in Ash's voice. These clearly aren't natural occurrences.
One thought I had, from the description in your quote, the frame of a simple kite would be a cross I think. Perhaps that could add extra significance? Perhaps the kites are a particularly advanced and nasty form of crucifixion? It does seem to be a common form of punishment for their society.

(and I couldn't get the song Jane Says out of my head this morning for some reason...)

SenatorPalpatine's gravatar

144. Kite

Posted by SenatorPalpatine at 12:22AM, Tuesday September 18 2007

I also thought that was the most confusing part of the story. Obviously however they turned Ash into a kite was a kind of technology that we don't have, and haven't heard of before. But the way I imagined the kite was this:

At first I thought it was a large regular sized kite, but now I think it's got to be human sized or bigger, where they stretch out his flesh and muscles to make the kite, while his bones or some sort of a frame made (as I imagined it) a cross. I don't see how he stayed alive, but he probably still had lungs, heart, and head near the middle of this human sized or larger kite. Obviously he's in agony and he's going to be screaming a LOT. That doesn't really explain the chunk the falcon tore away though.

Another idea just came to me. As they are making this kite out of him while he's still alive, they record his screaming and put it in some sort of small player in the kite. The hawk tears this out for the dad to break.

^Anyways, that is just my imagination and probably nothing like how it supposed to be.

Procyon's gravatar

145. language bug...

Posted by Procyon at 1:34AM, Tuesday September 18 2007

In fact, this happens with the most (if not ALL) of the source mods...

locworks's gravatar

146. language bug...

Posted by locworks at 1:53AM, Tuesday September 18 2007

This confirms our tests. Even HL2 (Episode 0) is affected. Alyx speaks English in all the localized versions.

macc's gravatar

147. something to do till M3

Posted by macc at 2:43AM, Tuesday September 18 2007

There's a new mod called Ravenholm, pretty decent. Not great, but good.

Some big open spaces in the mod will give you some performance trouble. But the Red Forest with the fog is nicely done.

Check it out:

rb_lestr's gravatar

148. Ravenholm?

Posted by rb_lestr at 3:18AM, Tuesday September 18 2007


Foodstuff's gravatar

149. Ravenholm!?!

Posted by Foodstuff at 3:49AM, Tuesday September 18 2007

Wasn't that released in 2004 or something?

Yar Kramer's gravatar

150. RAVENHOLM!?!?!?

Posted by Yar Kramer at 7:38AM, Tuesday September 18 2007

Yeah, I think it was.

Meh, zombies aren't really my thing.

Columbus007's gravatar

151. Sooo... TF2?

Posted by Columbus007 at 2:12PM, Tuesday September 18 2007

So what do you guys think of Team Fortress 2?

I'm at work now, so I probably won't be playing it for a while....

Nesretep's gravatar

152. Gravatar problems

Posted by Nesretep at 3:45PM, Tuesday September 18 2007

Hey Adam, I finally uploaded a graphic for my gravatar so I could use it here and it doesn't show. Any suggestions? (anyone else with ideas feel free to jump in with help too)

macc's gravatar

153. ravenholm

Posted by macc at 3:54PM, Tuesday September 18 2007

its indeed older sorry. Got it as a tip from someone, never saw it before.

fuzz's gravatar

154. Bah!

Posted by fuzz at 6:11PM, Tuesday September 18 2007

Get home from work, start up Steam, tell it to download the TF2 beta, and start checking emails/blogs etc.
Two minutes later, "Steam has been updated, would you like to restart?", Hit 'ok'
"Steam.exe (main exception): Win32 StructuredException at 0FEA1949 : Attempt to write to virtual address 266726000 without appropriate access rights"

Cheers steam, no TF2 for fuzz then :(

Terrapin's gravatar

155. Troubleshooting

Posted by Terrapin at 12:23AM, Wednesday September 19 2007

Have you tried restarting your computer? I get an error like that too sometimes, but after rebooting once or twice, it seems to fix itself. The Steam support page doesn't say anything about that error though.

Oh, and according to HLF, TF2 beta is out. I plan to try it within the hour. Happy fragging to all!

Procyon's gravatar

156. language issues

Posted by Procyon at 12:25AM, Wednesday September 19 2007

The fault of these bugs is a steam update of a date between july and 14 september...

I know it, because I haven't played source games between that time, and I remember that I played Ep1 and Minerva with voices in spanish in july.

I always hated the games in spanish with the accent of spain (which we, latinoamericans, called "coño speak"), but now I'm missing it...

I hope steam fix this soon....

Terrapin's gravatar

157. TF2 Beta = Sheer Awesome

Posted by Terrapin at 2:43AM, Wednesday September 19 2007

Just finished a 90-minute TF2 session, and I must say, Valve has done a simply amazing job of carrying on the legacy of TFC, while still making a great new game. It feels very much like something a veteran player could quickly adapt to, while still being something a new player would pick up in a few short rounds.

My first taste of the "new" source engine was similarly amazing - the pyro's flamethrower has some really great particle effects with no perceivable performance impact. The new extended HDR and motion blur effects look great. Once we get our hands on Portal and Ep2, we should be in for a real treat - driving the new vehicle around in full HDR with near-lifelike motion blur effects is going to be a nearly overwhelming experience.

If you haven't pre-ordered the Orange Box, do it now. You definitely don't want to miss out on this.



Divals's gravatar

158. Orange box. Bah.

Posted by Divals at 4:08AM, Wednesday September 19 2007

No way am I paying extra for games I already own. Not unless they were updated in some way to make it worth it. I'm just going to buy the black box components on Steam, which is TOTALLY out of character for me... I need a physical component because I don't trust computers. =P

Terrapin's gravatar

159. Rip off? I think not.

Posted by Terrapin at 4:33AM, Wednesday September 19 2007

So you refuse to pay $15 per game, when all three games are all but guaranteed to be of the highest possible quality? Sure, you are spending money on games you already have, but forget about them. $15 plus tax for three awesome games, plus free, immediate access to a multiplayer beta to keep you occupied for the next 3 weeks is a great deal. You payed $20 for Ep1 alone, so technically, you're paying less for Ep2. But to each their own, I guess.

Columbus007's gravatar

160. Pay extra for the same games?

Posted by Columbus007 at 4:44AM, Wednesday September 19 2007

... I'm not sure that Half-life 2 and Episode one *will* be the same.... I have a sneaking suspicion that they'll include the achievements and HDR...

Even if that stuff gets updated automatically through Steam to your existing games, you still get three games for $15 each (not to mention map updates for TF2 and possibly a new map editor for Portal), plus Peggle Extreme, which is a nice diversion off and on for a few hours.

... I'm pretty sure $45 is a good deal.

SenatorPalpatine's gravatar

161. Beta cutoff?

Posted by SenatorPalpatine at 4:50AM, Wednesday September 19 2007

I'll be pre-purchasing it soon and giving HL2 and Ep. 1 to a friend. Does anyone know if I'll not be included in the beta if I don't pre-purchase by a certain date? (Later this week)

belboz's gravatar

162. beta cutoff thing

Posted by belboz at 5:14AM, Wednesday September 19 2007

it looks as though the cutoff is the 9th of october. As it says anyone who pre-orders before the 10th of october gets to play the beta.

MrHappy's gravatar

163. Cutoff

Posted by MrHappy at 7:36AM, Wednesday September 19 2007

Heard through semi-reliable channels that the beta won't be lasting until release. Not even close. Like one week longer from now, but I don't (want to) believe it.

Orange Box....oh my such a great and wonderfull deal. Ep2: 8 hours, Portal: 4 hours + challenge maps, TF2: infinite hours for when I don't feel like playing FF. Currently, $45.

Portal by itself: $20
Episode 2 by itself: $30
TF2 by itself: $30
(and yes each of these games are worth their individual prices. Go check out some of the crap on steam, store shelves, and bargain bins and see how much they cost)

What's that? a $35 discount for ordering them together?!!? But wouldn't that mean.. GAWSH!!! You aren't paying for HL2 and EP1 again, your getting them for free!!

Sorry about the sarcasm, but I've had to explain this litterally twenty or thirty times now.

Naurgul's gravatar

164. Pricing

Posted by Naurgul at 10:19AM, Wednesday September 19 2007

I thought about it like this: First, I calculated exactly how much it would cost me, and it was about 40 euros (tax included). Then I broke up the components disregarding those I don't care about or those I already have. So, it's 15 euros for Episode Two (more than fair for me since I paid more for Episode One and that was shorter), then 12 euros for Portal and 13 euros for TF2. A good deal, I thought.

By the way, HL2 and Ep1 won't have any graphical updates on the PC, at least initially.

Sortie's gravatar

165. Re: Pay extra for the same games?

Posted by Sortie at 4:10PM, Wednesday September 19 2007

No way, there is no new editor for Portal. It's the same old Source SDK just gently improved as with Ep1. Also new FGD's. :D

But yeah, we're not paying for the old games with the pack right now, and if we were I'd pay anyways.
Turns out that I have at least 75 tasks left before I can get it for free.

Divals's gravatar

166. Re: Cutoff

Posted by Divals at 4:11PM, Wednesday September 19 2007

So wait, if I buy the black box on steam it's going to cost $80? That doesn't make any sense at all...

Sortie's gravatar

167. Re: Re: Cutoff

Posted by Sortie at 6:27PM, Wednesday September 19 2007

It's going to cost the same, just without $5 discount.

fuzz's gravatar

168. Who?

Posted by fuzz at 6:46PM, Wednesday September 19 2007

Yeah, a restart fixed it, still waiting for TF2 to download though (/how/ big?).

Personally I'm giving HL2 to my brother (in exchange for a drink or two) and Ep1 to a mate who has HL2, but is too skint to buy any games, or at least that's what his girlfriend tells him ;)

I can see why Valve did it, now my bro will play through HL2, and might well want to buy Ep1 after that etc. But it is a bit cheeky to expect your most hardcore fans to stump out for stuff twice.
That said $45 is a good price for three games IMO, even short ones, so having a spare copy of HL2 is just a bonus for me.

Yar Kramer's gravatar

169. Hours/length

Posted by Yar Kramer at 8:15PM, Wednesday September 19 2007

MrHappy, where exactly did that number of hours come from? I'm curious.

Vodkarn's gravatar

170. Tic-Tac-Bang

Posted by Vodkarn at 12:06AM, Thursday September 20 2007

I'd really like to know how good TF2 is, so please, everyone tell!

I'm an old QTF vet, so the idea of it being around again makes me giddy with child-like glee.

And murderous rage, which is probably not childish.

Vodkarn's gravatar

171. Off-side

Posted by Vodkarn at 12:24AM, Thursday September 20 2007

As a horribly off topic question, how the hell do I get my gravatar to show up here?

I'm totally lost, assume I know nothing about doing these things at all.

Flobster's gravatar

172. TF2

Posted by Flobster at 12:41AM, Thursday September 20 2007

TF2 reminds me of a mix of Team Fortress and RTCW which is no bad thing in my mind, but it is impossible to express how genuinely fun the game is, on the outside a TF vet could see it purely as a stripped down version of there beloved game, but its so much more than that.

Anybody can jump in this and get stuck in and laugh and be rewarded, you dont have to spend six months learning how to drop a grenade right, and some of the new tag team rolls are solid.

For me personaly I have had more fun with it than any MP game in a long, long time, and watching an invunerable medic and heavy be run over by a train just as they light up is a piece of comedy gaming gold!

vecima's gravatar

173. uhhhh

Posted by vecima at 1:36AM, Thursday September 20 2007

so, when does that other game come out...

what's it called? Madonna? ... Manure? ... Mineral? ...

oh screw it i can't recall now.

Terrapin's gravatar

174. Minerva

Posted by Terrapin at 2:03AM, Thursday September 20 2007

Oh yes, the reason we're all here and not at some other arbitrary point in cyberspace. While it may appear far off in light of the recent, and not yet concluded, wave of other game releases, I'm sure that Adam would be willing to grant his loyal acolytes some form of news... soon.

Adam, if you're reading this, we're not asking for a release - it will be done when it's done, and I think we've all accepted that at this point. But please, do keep us informed. ;-)

SenatorPalpatine's gravatar

175. Release

Posted by SenatorPalpatine at 2:17AM, Thursday September 20 2007

Speak for yourself Terrapin, I'm asking for a release. Not necessarily expecting one, and it's true, I'd rather get a complete product then get it right now, but only up to a certain extent. For instance, if it's not released by say October 5th (an arbitrary number), I would rather get what he has (and beat it by the time I need to play Ep. 2), then wait for him to completely make it absolutely perfect.

Well enough of that. Sorry if I seem impatient Adam, but I am. :(

Dracko55's gravatar

176. Impatience.

Posted by Dracko55 at 2:47AM, Thursday September 20 2007

Yeah, you have to admit that a prospective release date has been put off for quite some time now, months on end, really. I can definitely see how it wouldn't do wonders for credibility. Hell, I've just decided not to pay attention at all, sorry to say, Adam.

This is by far the best single-player HL2 mod out there and a great reminder of its own potential. But you can't expect it to always maintain attention at this rate, even if Valve are acknowledged fans.

But hey, to anyone still waiting, have you played any of the major inspirations for this mod? I mean Bungie's Marathon trilogy and the Halo: Combat Evolved single-player map, The Silent Cartographer. You can get the former, all three of them, and believe me, they're excellent and quasi-essential gaming, here: http://trilogyrelease.bungie.org/

And luckily for you, the Halo demo's map is, in fact, The Silent Cartographer. The influence, especially for Metastasis' first chapter will be obvious. Get it here: http://www.gamershell.com/pc/halo/

Should tide most anyone over, especially Marathon.

MrHappy's gravatar

177. Hours and such

Posted by MrHappy at 5:31AM, Thursday September 20 2007

Yar Kramer, I got those hours from various interviews that I remember. I could be wrong about portal, 3-4 may be more accurate, but there are also challenge maps outside the story line that are much more difficult.

EP2 is definitely 8-9. They're playtests said EP1 was 5 hours, and the average actual playtime (from their steam stats) is 4-5 so that was accurate, wheras EP2 is usually finished in nine hours in playtests so 8-9 seems right.

I swear to god in that black and white interview with the Portal team one of them (Kim?) said that there would be a brand new level editor for Portal that made it easy for anyone to assemble a new puzzle (possibly like skatepark editors in certain other games), but that Hammer can still be used for more complex work.

Omnivore's gravatar

178. Relax

Posted by Omnivore at 5:40AM, Thursday September 20 2007

Forgive Adam's mistake of making predictions. This cat can really be put back into the bag using the power of the mind. M3 happens when it happens. If the world has moved on by then, that's Adam's cross to bear, not ours. (Because by definition, we'll be on to bigger and better things.) Chill. And thanks for the Marathon links. I remember my old Centris 610 fondly. It's a teenager now...my word.

Terrapin's gravatar

179. Agreed

Posted by Terrapin at 6:04AM, Thursday September 20 2007

I 100% agree with Omnivore. I know we all want a release - mods like this don't come around often - and with the cliff-hanger ending, wanting some closure is normal. Minerva is a simply amazing mod, but Adam is still only one person, with a life beyond mapping. And life, as we should all have learned over this past summer, is full of unpredictable events. And when you're one person, a single such event can delay even the most carefully calculated release date.

Oh, and MrHappy, I remember something similar to that, but I seem to recall that they were looking at that as a potential feature, not guaranteed. So its unlikely to happen, as cool as it would be. I'll try to find the video later.

Nesretep's gravatar

180. My First Look

Posted by Nesretep at 3:03PM, Thursday September 20 2007

I finally got my first look at Bioshock yesterday, and I have to say it looked fantabulous! The gameplay did remind me a lot of System Shock 2 with the Vita-Chambers or whatever they are actually callled, the plasmids mirroring some of the psionic weapons but in greater depth, and the ability to research your enemies to prey on their weaknesses. Over all it looks like a fantastic game. However, my computer still won't run it so I am relegated to a little gameplaying here and there when visiting my parents' house. :(

Flobster's gravatar

181. Situation

Posted by Flobster at 3:31PM, Thursday September 20 2007

The way I feel about Bioshock, is you can nitpick about things if you want to, but at the end of the day, there is a huge lack of games like this out there, the closest thing between System Shock and Bioshock for me is DeusEx, which didnt get the attention it deserved imo, the sequal kinda slipped into the black abyss of the console market which swallowed it whole.

I hope Bioshocks success maybe inspires devs out there to at least attempt a step in that direction, although the talk of Bioshock as a franchise with GTA being mentioned by the publisher as an example scares the crap outta me.

Nesretep's gravatar

182. Oh no....

Posted by Nesretep at 4:11PM, Thursday September 20 2007

Saying that it reminds me of SS2 is more of a compliment than anything as I still own a copy of the game and absolutely love it. Deus Ex was also a fave of mine. It had a great mix of traditional FPS gameplay and RPG dynamics. The sequal was a disappointment to me I own it as well and felt they did to much to make it appeal to the console audience and that effectively squashed the respect from the PC audience that made the first one a hit.

Also your comment about making Bioshock a franchise like GTA is kinda scary. Sometimes I think companies get overzealous when they have a hit on their hands and try to "milk it for all it's worth." That's when you get Deus Ex: Invisible War instead of a worthy successor like Half-life 2 was to Half-life.

Yar Kramer's gravatar

183. Marathon

Posted by Yar Kramer at 6:51PM, Thursday September 20 2007

I've started playing that, and it's rather fun so far.

Still need to actually install and start playing the System Shocks ...

SenatorPalpatine's gravatar

184. Portal additions

Posted by SenatorPalpatine at 12:36AM, Friday September 21 2007

I read something on Portal (linked from a Steam news popup) that said that after Portal came out the Portal team would either work on new maps, a sequel, or multiplayer depending on what people wanted. So even if a map editer simpler and easier to use then hammer doesn't come out at first, that doesn't mean there never will be one.

I for one am really looking forward to Portal, and will switch off between it and Ep. 2 when they are released (having already played much TF2 beta).

cypher543's gravatar

185. Portal Multiplayer

Posted by cypher543 at 1:16AM, Friday September 21 2007

I think a multiplayer version of Portal would be awesome! I'm not really a "run and gun" guy, though. I like to sit and wait with a trusty .50 caliber rifle at my side. But, I could probably get into "Portal: Online".


Foodstuff's gravatar

186. Portal Multiplayer

Posted by Foodstuff at 7:35AM, Friday September 21 2007

That would be called Excite;

Sortie's gravatar

187. Various Variable Topics With Portal As Paremeter

Posted by Sortie at 2:59PM, Friday September 21 2007

I doubt there will be any simple Portal Editor. I'll be neither usefull for development, and it'll have less features and control and will result in lower quality Portal maps.

The good thing is that you don't need fantastic mapping skills for Portal, so more amathurs mappers can join the modding.

I'm sorry that Exite is dead, or just idle. They announced the alpha 2.0 in febuary, and that's too long without any updates whatever they're alive. I think they're back at Stridermod instead.
The main problem with Portal multiplayer is the gameplay; really, how should that play out? The most crazy DM mod ever, or a coop puzzle solver with dynamic puzzles for every replay? It'll take a lot of thought, but it's very possible if the idea just got polished like TF2.

belboz's gravatar

188. excite

Posted by belboz at 4:45PM, Friday September 21 2007

I tried a copy of excite, the single person version, and couldn't get out of the first room, the cube kept falling out of the level, or the door wouldn't open for long enough to actually get out of the room. Once you lost the cube you couldn't get any further. Or the other problem was the gun wouldn't punt the cube far enough, as in the switch is on the ceiling, and the gun wouldn't punt the cube up, making two holes in the floor and punting the cube down one to go up in the other didn't work as the cube lost acceleration as it went in the first hole. You couldn't use noclip to get to other areas, as the other areas were turned on as you did the puzzles.

I think excite died when they got hacked, there forum got hacked and their download server got hacked. Got my copy of excite from a torrent site.

Nesretep's gravatar

189. Hmmm...

Posted by Nesretep at 5:05PM, Friday September 21 2007

Sounds like excite might have died off once interest in Portal started really building up. They probably realized that they couldn't compete head to head with Valve and abandoned the project. Not that I can entirely blame them, I don't know jack about making a mod, but I wouldn't feel too confident about competing against a title from Valve if the gameplay was basically the same. Valve has more resources at their disposal to create a title like Portal than most indie mod crews. There as exception I imagine, but that's enough rambling from me...

Nesretep's gravatar

190. [EDIT]

Posted by Nesretep at 5:07PM, Friday September 21 2007

That last sentence should have started: "There are exceptions..." :)

Esvandiary's gravatar

191. I just hope...

Posted by Esvandiary at 5:31PM, Friday September 21 2007

... the Ep2/Portal preload starts before the end of this month. Pissing off your new uni network admins in the first week with massive bandwidth usage is NOT a good idea!

Baffled's gravatar

192. 24 Hours!

Posted by Baffled at 5:31PM, Friday September 21 2007

I was just checking Adam's Community page to see how much time he'd been able to spare for MINERVA this week, and I got quite a shock!

It appears that, Mr "I don't like multiplayer gaming" has spent 24 whole hours this week playing TF2!!!!:


I mean a few hours to review the mapping and the graphical style, would be perfectly understandable, but TWENTY-FOUR HOURS? It's only been out for three-and-a-half days!!!

Gahh!!! If his TF2 gaming time exceeds his SDK time, I think there's going to be trouble!!! ;-)

Now, I had a chance to play it myself, and must admit that it is indeed fun-on-a-stick and quite addictive...but really ... tut tut. ;-)

Flobster's gravatar

193. heh

Posted by Flobster at 7:00PM, Friday September 21 2007

rofl, The game is just to damn playable, it becomes addictive.

SenatorPalpatine's gravatar

194. Agreed

Posted by SenatorPalpatine at 7:31PM, Friday September 21 2007

I'm off to play it now.

Cargo Cult's gravatar

195. Just one more go... ;-)

Posted by Cargo Cult at 7:35PM, Friday September 21 2007

I'm convinced there's a bug in the time tracking thing for TF2. If you add the individual times for the classes up, it comes to 'quite a few' hours, but nowhere near what it's reporting! ... And yes, it's a bit addictive.

Anyway, I've been playing TF2 while MINERVA maps have been compiling - okay, it slows it down a bit (one core instead of two being used) but it's still pretty speedy on this iMac. 3 hours, 17 minutes, 23 seconds elapsed for VIS-ing the last map, which is actually comparable with my MacBook Pro running flat out.

I think I'm going to get a playtest version of MINERVA out tonight. I've got sheets of crossed-out bugs on my desk, and I think it's time for someone else to look at it...

Now to editing titles.txt again!

Nesretep's gravatar

196. Think of me...

Posted by Nesretep at 7:57PM, Friday September 21 2007

@Adam, Mighty Avatar of Minerva: Feel free to include me in your playtest, I really wouldn't object to it one bit. I have always wanted to be a playtester! ;-)

Also, you mention editing titles.txt more often than I would expect. I sure this stems from the aforementioned lack of knowledge concerning making a mod. Is there really *that* much dialog in M3 from our dear Minerva?

As for the time tracking bug, I would be willing to venture that the total TF2 time includes from launch to close where the individual class times only include time spent actually playing that class in a game of TF2. Sooooooooo without adding up the individual times myself at this point to know for sure, that could account for the discrepancy...and by the way, when I clicked on the link to look at the numbers you were at nearly 26 total hours on TF2. I am relieved to know however, that that is time spent while compiling M3 rather than instead of working on it, so Baffled: You can relax a bit now. ;-)

Sortie's gravatar

197. That Vis process has gone crazy.

Posted by Sortie at 8:18PM, Friday September 21 2007

Seriously, you must mean VRAD, not VVIS. I can only accept below 3 minutes for VVIS, because I turn every into func_details that delays it any minute. Most often 30 seconds is what it is for me; I know you're doing something complex, but 3 hours? That wouldn't improve framerate much, hehe.

There most often isn't much text in the titles.txt, but it's how it's written that is important. :D

Nesretep's gravatar

198. So what you're telling me is...

Posted by Nesretep at 9:05PM, Friday September 21 2007

So what you're telling me is he's making it take longer to give him more time to play TF2? :)

Terrapin's gravatar

199. Question for Adam

Posted by Terrapin at 12:08AM, Saturday September 22 2007

Adam, if you read this, could you be so kind as to answer one simple question: How likely is a public Minerva release before the end of the month, with 10 being absolutely certain there will be such a release, and 1 being no chance of a release in September at all? I need to put my mind at ease...

SenatorPalpatine's gravatar

200. Avatar?

Posted by SenatorPalpatine at 12:31AM, Saturday September 22 2007

How do I get one, I don't see a settings section anywhere? Now that they're bigger I need one.

Cargo Cult's gravatar

201. (e^iπ)^2*√42±π ... ish

Posted by Cargo Cult at 12:39AM, Saturday September 22 2007

Uploading playtest thingummy now!

Not a release candidate (I've worked myself to a standstill, and I know there are bugs - but I want some fresh eyes to look at it) but it's going nicely.

September is very, very much likely. And I don't mean this in a September-the-30th kind of way either.


Oh my. That would be an EXCELLENT release date! ;-)

cypher543's gravatar

202. Avatar

Posted by cypher543 at 1:10AM, Saturday September 22 2007

SenatorPalpatine: Avatars are retrieved from a service called Gravatar (http://www.gravatar.com/).

Sign up for an account there and then your avatar will automatically show up on Gravatar-enabled sites that you post on (using the email address associated with your Gravatar account).

Ace's gravatar

203. sep. 30?

Posted by Ace at 1:32AM, Saturday September 22 2007

Anyone know what would be significant about Sep. 30? (why it would make an EXCELLENT release date?) All I've got so far is that it's Martina Hingis' birthday. Perhaps Minerva is... a tennis player??

Sortie's gravatar

204. Re: sep. 30?

Posted by Sortie at 1:43AM, Saturday September 22 2007

Because it's the last day in the month. ;-)
Also, neat to have 80px avatars now, glad I figured out that gravatar didn't support 40px fully.

Terrapin's gravatar

205. Sep. 30!

Posted by Terrapin at 2:13AM, Saturday September 22 2007

The only downside to this is that I'll have to postpone my Halo 3 playing to play Minerva a few times. By the time I get Halo 3's campaign done a couple times, Orange Box will be out, and I'll have no time to play Halo 3s no doubt awesome multiplayer. The trials of a gamer...

Baffled's gravatar

206. Beware The Foster Cycle

Posted by Baffled at 2:25AM, Saturday September 22 2007

I have noticed a definite pattern in Adam's pronouncements concerning the release date of the Metastasis finale, which I am calling the Foster Cycle.

It seems to be directly related to his prevailing mood at the time he "suggests" a date.

*Happy with progress, so release is "soon"

*Confident ,"very soon"

*Hideously overconfident and possibly drunk, "On <insert horribly-over-optimistic-date here>"

*Sobered up and slightly regretful, "Setback, yet still very soon"

*Reality sinking in, "Problems, so not so soon"

*Frustration, "Not this month"

*Irritation, "Not next month either"

*Mapper's block, "late <insert the following season here"

*Depression, "Release date? No idea"

*Sudden breakthrough, "soonish"

And repeat...

Yar Kramer's gravatar

207. Minerva will be released in September 30 ...

Posted by Yar Kramer at 3:39AM, Saturday September 22 2007

... of 2008. :)

Evan's gravatar

208. Soon?

Posted by Evan at 4:55AM, Saturday September 22 2007


Terrapin's gravatar

209. Gravatar Craze?

Posted by Terrapin at 6:44AM, Saturday September 22 2007

Is it just me, or did everyone start getting a gravatar within the past few days? First I got one... and now I hardly see the default avatar here at all. Maybe Adam's top-secret plan to turn us acolytes in to a post-human hive-minded cult is finally coming to fruition. ;-)

On a completely different note, Adam distinctly said he doesn't "mean this in a September-the-30th kind of way". So it could be very, very soon indeed when all our waiting is made worth it. I myself have three hand-written sheets of lined paper on all my theories for where the plot is going (left over from July/early August). It all seems to make so much sense, and yet part of me knows Adam is going to pull something totally unexpected and totally awesome.

Not long now, my fellow acolytes. Not long now.

Ace's gravatar

210. Re: Gravatar Craze?

Posted by Ace at 8:16AM, Saturday September 22 2007

Una cerveza por favor!! Andale! Andale! Arriba! Arriba! Mas tequila!!
sorry I now find it virtually impossible to be serious at all. Serious and sombreros just don't go together. Hmm,
As to yours turtleboy, you're not by any chance from Maryland are you?

(And glad to have you and your unique insights back Baffled, I thought we'd lost you for a bit there. Though if I may borrow from the theme established in the subject line of Adam's previous post, let's hope this oscillatory phenomena (the foster cycle) you describe is damped and asymptotically approaching a fixed release date!) (and they asked when we'd ever need Euler's identity in the real world! ha!)

Sortie's gravatar

211. Re: Gravatar Craze?

Posted by Sortie at 10:55AM, Saturday September 22 2007

It's just because the avatar system works again - I did some testing and found out that the 40px avatars on the site didn't work because of a gravatar bug, so I talked to adam and now we got these shiney 80px avatars.

I do believe that 30sep 2007 is possible, the playtest pack got out yesterday, not entirely bugfree, but whatever. It's a huge step towards releasedom of the mod.

Still, woo gravatars works. ;-)

Pyro-Dude's gravatar

212. :D

Posted by Pyro-Dude at 11:20AM, Saturday September 22 2007

I'm now looking forward to Minerva very much, and the 30th sounds like a very nice release date

Nesretep's gravatar

213. Sooooooooooon!

Posted by Nesretep at 5:15PM, Saturday September 22 2007

It would be nice to have M3 by the end of the month or before, since we'll all be so very busy with the string of new releases coming out. World of Conflict looks cool and Halo 3 does too but I probably won't play it because I don't own an Xbox360. :(

Terrapin's gravatar

214. Halo 3

Posted by Terrapin at 5:41PM, Saturday September 22 2007

As I said above, the Halo 3 release is going to pose a real problem with the Minerva 3 release, at least for me. If M3 comes out on the 25th, I'll likely drive myself to insanity and back over which to play first. I think Minerva would win that fight, but still...

And Ace... I'm not from anywhere near Maryland. To be honest, I'm not sure what lead you to that conclusion - are they obsessed with turtles there? :)

Ace's gravatar

215. Maryland Terrapins

Posted by Ace at 7:02PM, Saturday September 22 2007

It's just that most of the times in my life I've heard the word terrapin it's been in reference to the Maryland Terrapins, the college sports program http://umterps.cstv.com/

Terrapin's gravatar

216. Re: Maryland Terrapins

Posted by Terrapin at 9:25PM, Saturday September 22 2007

Good find, but I've never heard of them until now. I just find turtles and terrapins very interesting to watch. Seeing as most of the turtles I encounter will outlive me, it's very interesting (to me) to see the wonders of evolution in action. Or maybe I'm crazy, who knows. :)

Ace's gravatar

217. wonders of evolution

Posted by Ace at 9:46PM, Saturday September 22 2007

hmm, I think to me the thing that best shows off the wonders of evolution, or if you will, the sense of humor of God, is the duckbilled platypus. Seriously, that is one farked up critter.

Cargo Cult's gravatar

218. Dull, boring vertebrates...

Posted by Cargo Cult at 9:47PM, Saturday September 22 2007

You want some horseshoe crabs instead!


Forgotten backwaters of evolution!

(An aside: playtesters, please hurry up and report back. Or I may continue making changes you don't like. I'm not stopping work on MINERVA, you know... ;-) )

Terrapin's gravatar

219. Interesting Creatures

Posted by Terrapin at 10:35PM, Saturday September 22 2007

Personally, viruses have always been interesting to me as well. Tiny packets of genetic material that don't even classify as living beings, and yet look at the havoc they can cause once the find a suitable host for their reproductive processes. It's an interesting world we live in, indeed.

Speaking of wonders... since M3 is fully playtest-able, does anyone else have the feeling we'll be seeing a public release within 48 hours? I don't know why that thought occurred to me, but Adam has been known to do amazing things, and beating Halo 3 to a release would be worthy of a medal. No pressure though, I'd hate for Adam to take some shortcut and wind up releasing a version with bugs.

SenatorPalpatine's gravatar

220. Just out of curiosity...

Posted by SenatorPalpatine at 11:10PM, Saturday September 22 2007

who are the playtesters and where do they live?

SenatorPalpatine's gravatar

221. Oh, and

Posted by SenatorPalpatine at 11:18PM, Saturday September 22 2007

thanks Cypher. I made a Gravatar, though it doesn't seem to be working yet.

Baffled's gravatar

222. Bugged out

Posted by Baffled at 12:56AM, Sunday September 23 2007

I think the most wierd, and frankly disturbing products of the evolutionary process, are insects.

Take a look at the winners of the 2006 Oklahoma Ugly Bug Contest ( only in America eh?):


Be sure to click on the Cicada, I've always liked the sound they make but, oh dear God, they look like something out of a horror movie close up!

Let us hope that there are precious few of their virtual cousins lurking inside Metastasis 3-4 eh?

rb_lestr's gravatar

223. hum

Posted by rb_lestr at 12:56AM, Sunday September 23 2007

I remember when Adam stated "Early summer release" and i thought "great, it will be out just after my exams".


Terrapin's gravatar

224. Getting closer

Posted by Terrapin at 2:01AM, Sunday September 23 2007

Well, rb_lestr, if it's any comfort, I can safely say that as you read this, we are closer to the release of Metastasis 3 than ever before. In fact, as you read this particular sentence, we're even closer!

Anschluss's gravatar

225. Never Assume

Posted by Anschluss at 2:20AM, Sunday September 23 2007

That's assuming it ever comes out.

Ace's gravatar

226. MINERVA, Minerva

Posted by Ace at 3:04AM, Sunday September 23 2007

I just noticed that Adam always capitalizes MINERVA like so. Why is that? Does he feel that it alone in the English language deserves such treatment, above such words as God, Queen Elizabeth, Half-life 2, Adam Sander, etc. etc. Or perhaps it's an acronym? Reminds me of the crackpot index for physical theories.
I'm afraid Adam just earned 5 crackpot points. (item #7)

(and all you nay-sayers: feel free to enter the pool (post #118). I seem to be the only one who's entered so far, but I'm still feeling pretty good about my date!! )

vecima's gravatar

227. beefy grav hits

Posted by vecima at 3:17AM, Sunday September 23 2007

they seem almost obnoxiously large, after the minuscule squares i'm used to.

you wouldn't want to be Fostering a sense of mental sovereignty around here would you, CC?

vecima's gravatar

228. Re: MINERVA, Minerva

Posted by vecima at 3:20AM, Sunday September 23 2007

Mapping the Internet Electronic Resources Virtual Archive

google yourself silly.

Evan's gravatar


Posted by Evan at 7:31AM, Sunday September 23 2007

I notice there are quite a few comments on this one post here. What's the most we've ever had?

Yar Kramer's gravatar

230. Must ... resist ... temptation ... oh who am I kidding.

Posted by Yar Kramer at 4:37PM, Sunday September 23 2007

The most was OVER NINE THOUSAAAAAAND *bricked*

Evan's gravatar

231. Resistance is Futile

Posted by Evan at 5:24PM, Sunday September 23 2007

Yar Kramer, you are officially loved.

Terrapin's gravatar

232. Most comments

Posted by Terrapin at 5:42PM, Sunday September 23 2007

On a serious note, I think the record is 275 posts to a topic. I've got the feeling that the next newspost Adam puts up will be to either a) announce a concrete release date, or b) to release Metastasis 3 to the public.

Oh, and Yar Kramer, that was brilliantly done. Such brilliance is clearly worth five hundred and ninety nine US dollars.

Yar Kramer's gravatar

233. Cleverly done, Misssster Kramer, but you're not ssssuppossssed to be here ...

Posted by Yar Kramer at 6:56AM, Monday September 24 2007

Thank you, thank you, my paypal is the aforementioend email address. ;)

Gee, I haven't had such a dorky moment of badassery since the time we began a History of Rock & Roll class by listening to part of the Beatles' Revolution 9, followed by a test in which the professor asked the questions and we wrote down the answers; after doing eight questions, he said "Okay, what number are we on" and I said, "Number 9 ... Number 9 ... Number 9 ..."

Pyro-Dude's gravatar

234. Yas

Posted by Pyro-Dude at 8:58AM, Monday September 24 2007

Internet high five for that piece of fried gold

Vodkarn's gravatar

235. The Slings And Arrows of Outrageous Portions

Posted by Vodkarn at 10:35AM, Monday September 24 2007

I just got a 360 (I can't believe I said that/did the action), so I've got a few games to play, but to be honest, I really want to play something solid and worthwhile. Games like Burnout: Revenge and Perfect Dark Zero are fun, but I haven't played a game since MINERVA2 that I enjoyed that much.

Quake Wars has been a real let-down, which, as a Quake fanatic, made me sad to my very core.

Nesretep's gravatar

236. Comments on a comment

Posted by Nesretep at 3:25PM, Monday September 24 2007

I noticed that in Adam's last comment he mentioned that he needed the playtesters to get get back to him or he might continue making changes that they didn't like because he hadn't stopped working on MINERVA. That brought a few particular thoughts to mind.

1. @Playtesters: Yes you. You know who you are. Finish playtesting then return and report, ASAP. Got it? :)

2. Also, I wonder what changes had been made that the playtesters didn't like?

3. I'm glad that despite the game being released to playtesters, Adam is still diligently working on MINERVA to try to improve it.

...End of Topic...now for the randow ramblings!

@vecima: Good to see you 'round again. It's been a bit since you've haunted these electronic hollows. Been working on your Battle of Philadelphia mod perhaps? How goes the battle? (pun intended) ;-)

On the MINERVA, Minerva topic:
I have taken to using "MINERVA" when referring to the mod and "Minerva" when referring to the character in the mod. I don't know that Adam makes such a distinction, but that's what I typically do unless I'm just being lazy that day and don't bother. :)

I think that's all from me for the moment at least...

Sortie's gravatar

237. Qoutes in a comment trade-off.

Posted by Sortie at 5:18PM, Monday September 24 2007

Spoiler: I remember I saved this qoute, which really descriptes the changes:


kast's gravatar

238. MINERVA/Minerva

Posted by kast at 6:08PM, Monday September 24 2007

@Nesretep - He does make that very distinction.

If you'll remember, a fair amount of time has been spent pondering what (if anything) MINERVA might stand for.

Nesretep's gravatar

239. Duh.

Posted by Nesretep at 7:00PM, Monday September 24 2007

That "Duh." is for me by the way. I didn't even stop to think that even if someone was going to try and describe the changes made on Adam's own blog (for which I am sure they would be quickly beheaded) I would really understand what in blazes they were talking about because I have never seen or heard described the maps for M3. So Sortie, you probably did about as much as possible to answer my question, and I appreciate the effort.

@kast: I tried to model the way I use MINERVA/Minerva after Adam's usage but wasn't interested in analyzing past posts to figure out if I was doing it right or not. I just used my best recollection and and recent posts lying around the blog. Lazy, right? My wife would probably agree. :)

M_Gargantua's gravatar


Posted by M_Gargantua at 8:30PM, Monday September 24 2007

So is the capitalization speeding up the approach of part 3?

Yar Kramer's gravatar

241. Caps lock

Posted by Yar Kramer at 9:01PM, Monday September 24 2007

No, it's just the cruise control for cool.

Nesretep's gravatar

242. Re: MINERVA

Posted by Nesretep at 9:12PM, Monday September 24 2007

Quoth M_Gargantua:
"So is the capitalization speeding up the approach of part 3?"

Maybe if we all started doing it together it *might* work.... ;-)

Ace's gravatar

243. caps

Posted by Ace at 9:21PM, Monday September 24 2007

Ah yes, I hadn't noticed the mod/character capitalization distinction, I guess that probably explains it. (though still perhaps a touch of delusions of grandeur? Just kidding.) And sorry if that was a re-hashed topic. I tried searching for it though and all I got were these last few posts. Where was this discussion about what MINERVA could stand for? The old forums perhaps? I take it no conclusions (or at least entertaining attempts) were to be had?
Mapping the INternet Electronic Resources Virtual Archive sounds like it could've had some theorizing potential though, especially the "born digital" bit:


kast's gravatar

244. re:caps

Posted by kast at 9:42PM, Monday September 24 2007

I believe it was on the forums, yes. And sadly I don't recall any conclusions, though I have a niggling feeling that there were a couple or three very reasonable suggestions.

Terrapin's gravatar

245. What MINERVA stands for

Posted by Terrapin at 12:16AM, Tuesday September 25 2007

Manipulative Interesting Narcissistic Electronic Vague AI

Machiavellian Intelligence Navigating and Exploring Remote Violent Areas

Maybe It's Namesake Essentially Relates to Vicarious Action

Or something like that, depending on which theory you subscribe to.

Oh, and on a totally different note, has anyone here played the HL2 mod, Mistake of Pythagoras? While I was playing it, to pass the time until Halo 3, I noticed that it was easily the second best mod I've played, first being MINERVA. The finale of the game was incredibly well done, and, truth be told, was almost able to rival Minerva in sheer FPS awesomeness. Imagine my surprise when I saw Adam's name pop up in the credits - he really is the master of HL2 mods.

Pyro-Dude's gravatar

246. Agreed

Posted by Pyro-Dude at 12:38AM, Tuesday September 25 2007

That mod, on a whole, was really inventive and different in how it played, and that whole sub plot of the two alien factions was well done. I felt the 'mind powers' section was a bit badly done, especially as stuff had a tendency to hit YOU, but the ending was good and I liked how it had secret rooms.

Terrapin's gravatar

247. Secret Rooms?

Posted by Terrapin at 1:02AM, Tuesday September 25 2007

Where were these secret rooms? Did they have something to do with the floating numbers in the final puzzle?

And I for one loved the mind powers. Sure, stuff could hit you, but that just showed how unstable you had become. That alien machine had given you psychokinetic abilities that you were not able to control - anything you looked at turned into a deadly weapon. It really adds a feeling of ominous stress to the game; you're now a super-human killing machine with inhuman abilities, but it comes at the cost of the safety of everything you see. Still, blowing apart doors and columns was perversely entertaining, as was flinging the train cars around. I actually wish that part had lasted longer.

Yar Kramer's gravatar

248. Mistake of Pythagoras

Posted by Yar Kramer at 1:57AM, Tuesday September 25 2007

Heh ... I've gotta try that one again (though it DOES seem to do the annoying "flood the area with 9000 enemies at once" thing certain mods do, and I got stuck in the room with the floating numbers) ...

Meanwhile, Quake Wars. Oh, it's VISTA ONLY, no *wonder* it won't let me play it. In a word: screw.

SenatorPalpatine's gravatar

249. Mistake of Pythagoras

Posted by SenatorPalpatine at 2:00AM, Tuesday September 25 2007

I'll play that sometime, when I'm not browsing the internet to avoid doing homework. And once I've played my fill of TF2. (Possible??) So in eventually I'll play it.

Stupid gravatar, I don't know why it's not working.

cypher543's gravatar

250. Vista?

Posted by cypher543 at 2:04AM, Tuesday September 25 2007

Yar Kramer:

Quake Wars isn't Vista Only. I've been running the demo just fine on Windows XP SP2 ever since it was released on Steam.

Ace's gravatar

251. Koumei Satou

Posted by Ace at 2:20AM, Tuesday September 25 2007

Well Mistake of Pythagoras is definitely a re-hashed topic, but it's worth it in my opinion. If I may be excused for a moment for gushing effusively about Koumei Satou, ahem, it's not just MOP, but his half-life (1) mods are bloody brilliant also; Peaces Like Us and Sweet Half-life. (Peaces Like Us is actually a lot like MOP, it has a lot of similar things.)
What amazes me is his incredible imagination. Quite some time ago I downloaded the source SDK and fiddled around with it for a little while. What struck me about it was the opportunity for completely unbounded creative work. You can certainly model reality, or realistic situations with it if you want, but that's just a part of what you can do. Koumei Satou is the only one that I've seen who seems to take advantage of all the extra possibilities. He uses very surreal levels in MOP and Peaces Like Us which are my favorite parts.
One other thing he does well is endings, something which is very important to me in single player games. The endings in Sweet Half-life and Peaces Like Us are the two best and most satisfying endings I've ever seen in a video game, professional or not.
I'd give the edge to Adam for map layouts, professional polish and storytelling (Satou is just a bit too cryptic for me), but Koumei Satou wins out in sheer creativity and wow factor. Now if we could just get the two of them together, we could have something really interesting!!

(and I'm pretty sure the location of the secrets in MOP has still yet to be revealed in any public location, so we should probably keep it that way. Just one small hint, don't sit there staring at those big numbers at the end, you learn what to do earlier in the game.)

Ace's gravatar

252. gravatars

Posted by Ace at 2:37AM, Tuesday September 25 2007

Oh, and a couple people have said now they've had trouble with gravatars, I recently went through it, and it only took about 10 minutes for it to show up, so if it hasn't yet, something is probably wrong. The only thing I can think of is that you have to associate your gravatar with your email, it's not enough to just enter an email and upload the image, you have to put them together. And did you rate it? obviously use G unless your image is a pair of boobs or something.

(oh and Adam's name doesn't show up in the credits of MOP for me, though I think Koumei did issue a second version which cleaned up some gameplay issues and clarified a few things, maybe Adam contributed to that?)

(and one last thing, if you're stuck in the last room in MOP, you don't need those floating numbers for anything to finish the game.)

Terrapin's gravatar

253. Secrets

Posted by Terrapin at 2:37AM, Tuesday September 25 2007

Well, never the less, I think it's only polite for those who were able to find the secrets to not leave the rest of us out in the cold. I finished the entire game on my own - the final puzzle stumped me for a good fifteen minutes, but I did get it. So if any of you did find some secret rooms, or other areas not in the linear path of the game, do the right thing and help us out. For example, do those numbers in the last room actually do anything at all, or are they just a distraction?

Ace's gravatar

254. Re: Secrets

Posted by Ace at 3:05AM, Tuesday September 25 2007

Polite? You know how long I looked for those things? Screw polite. I'll refer you to the head honcho around here:

It's not any fun if you're just told where they are. But, just so you're not pulling your hair out over this, I'll give a very small hint:

***very small hint**
there are 2 secret rooms to find throughout the mod, you'll know them when you find them. After that, you'll have an idea of what to do.

If you really try to find them and can't, let me know and I can email them to you or something.

M_Gargantua's gravatar

255. MOP and secrets

Posted by M_Gargantua at 3:22AM, Tuesday September 25 2007

Joats is doing a "Lets Play" Half-life 2 mod's thread at Something awful. He goes through the secrets in the post-mortem extra bonus video and proves them to less satisfactory then you were led to belive.

Terrapin's gravatar

256. Secrets

Posted by Terrapin at 4:01AM, Tuesday September 25 2007

Well, if the secrets are really as grand as Ace and Cargo Cult's posts have lead me to believe, then I think the least I can do is give this an honest try. If I can't figure it out by the time The Orange Box comes out, I'll Google it, or see what info Ace will give me. At the very least, it will pass the time.

On a slightly different topic, did anyone get the ending to MOP? It seemed confusing to me - Breen wasn't in the rest of the mod at all, save for one or two voice clips. My thinking is that our action's somehow altered the timeline so that Breen never became a tyrannical government figurehead, and the red and pink triangle thing is some kind of memorial. But that still leaves a ton of unanswered questions. I guess another couple play-throughs are in order.

Sirc's gravatar

257. Everything Time Ascends

Posted by Sirc at 4:17AM, Tuesday September 25 2007

...is but mere memories of the truth...

Since the play testers are our quality control, I will make no effort to rush them. Let them find every nook and cranny undesired so that we shall have a flawless stage to play on. One must not rush things. Without the attention to detail, it will not be the same MINERVA we know and love.

But I will agree that there is always the impatience for the next big thing. Usually, the waiting will make the sacred fruit that much sweeter. Though, we'd rather not let it get overripe, now wouldn't you agree...? :P

So, focusing on other things, MoP was decent in many ways but had just as many shortcomings. Though MINERVA takes forever between each release, at least we know that there will be more to come and thus more to look forward to. Extending back to off MINERVA (Again), I was shocked to see that there was an actually mentioning of another game in a local newspaper. Although it has it's hype, I find the diligent waiting and musings we do here far outstrip that flashy value in my heart. Dang, can't stop talking about MINERVA. You'd think I had a brain implant or something...

(I wonder how long encryptions can go before they are deciphered? It is fun to be the key master, even if the door is unnoticed.)

Terrapin's gravatar

258. Insert Witty Subject Title Here

Posted by Terrapin at 5:06AM, Tuesday September 25 2007

Well... that was interesting.

But in any case, I just drove by my local EB Games, just to see what level of chaos was ensuing. Sure enough, there was a line up all the way down the front of the store and around the corner, complete with a roped-off line-up area. I myself have my copy safely preordered, and will pick it up tomorrow after work.

Oh, and Adam, with the apparent inaction on the part of the playtesters, are we still on track for a release this month? I think another delay might drive me to madness, were my darkest fears confirmed.

And now, back to my equally insanity inducing search through every square inch of MOP.

SenatorPalpatine's gravatar

259. Insert Witty Subject Title Here, and make sure it isn't a joke that has already been used.

Posted by SenatorPalpatine at 5:28AM, Tuesday September 25 2007

What apparent inaction of the playtesters? How can we know whether or not they've responded to Adam?

I will be playing co-op Halo 3 with a friend on Saturday. He was smart enough to preorder it too.

Nesretep's gravatar

260. The safety of preordered copies of video games

Posted by Nesretep at 5:49AM, Tuesday September 25 2007

If you think your preordered copy of Halo 3 is totally safe from being sold out from under you THINK AGAIN. I've seen it happen a number of times before. You still want to wait?

MrHappy's gravatar

261. Halo 3

Posted by MrHappy at 6:27AM, Tuesday September 25 2007

Halo 3? Why? Supposedly it's really dissappointing. Same old game, 3-4 hours of single player, devent multiplayer. I mean come on! It's HALO! Doesn't hold a candle to real FPS's.

But that's just my opinion. And I didn't like MOP :D (good ideas poorly executed)

But while we're digging up old topics, what do you guys think about..


MrHappy's gravatar

262. oops

Posted by MrHappy at 6:27AM, Tuesday September 25 2007

devent = decent, as in same old halo multiplayer whateverness

Ufotofu's gravatar

263. III

Posted by Ufotofu at 6:34AM, Tuesday September 25 2007

It boggles my mind how everyone getting so excited to cough up $59.99 to play the same sci-fi fragfest they've been playing since 2001.

That is all.

Stil's gravatar

264. Fancy another year?

Posted by Stil at 10:05AM, Tuesday September 25 2007

so adam,

We need to talk deals here. You see, at nine o'clock tonight (GMT), I leave for china. Cross land, gone a year, China.

China minus computer. China minus source. China minus Minervera.

Thus, risking severe tracking down and heavy beatings from fellow Acyolites...

If not before 9... fancy an extra year on the development cycle?

No seriously. Just think! all that time, You could add in that extra map you've always wanted, make use of that sexy sexy episode 2 technology! and just think of the greebels! You could put them everywhere!

(not entirely sure what a greebel is but i'm sure its very important to the creative map making process)

Thus I emplore you.

And if not, then DAMNIT PEOPLE NO SPOILERS. I don't wanna know whats at the bottom of that shaft until i've been there.

Nesretep's gravatar

265. Re: Fancy another year?

Posted by Nesretep at 2:20PM, Tuesday September 25 2007

What in the heck are you trying to do?!?! The rest of us here are "patiently waiting" and you want to delay it a year?! You must be crazy! [deep breath then much calmer voice]
By the way, why are you going to China for a year?

On another topic...

I heard today that Halo 3 is set to surpass all the movie blockbusters in sales by far inlcuding the record breaking Spiderman 3. I didn't quite catch this when I heard it, but I thought I heard the news anchor say that it had sold either 5 million copies in 24 hours or $5 million US in 24 hours. I'm not sure which, but I'm leaning toward the dollar amount figure.

cypher543's gravatar

266. How dare you!

Posted by cypher543 at 2:44PM, Tuesday September 25 2007

"It boggles my mind how everyone getting so excited to cough up $59.99 to play the same sci-fi fragfest they've been playing since 2001."

The subject title is sarcasm, of course. But, I still have a point to make.

Some people want to know how the storyline pans out. Halo 2 was ended with a very big cliffhanger and many people were disappointed. Halo 3 will explain everything (being the last game in the Halo series). Plus, there are new features all around:

Saved Films
New Grenades
New Weapons and Vehicles
Upgraded graphics (that look pretty darn good, in my opinion)
Co-op over LIVE
New multiplayer maps

So, as you can see, it's not the "same sci-fi fragfest" that we've been playing since 2001. I'm not trying to be a Halo fanboy here, but I just don't like it when people spurt off an ignorant opinion like that. Just because YOU don't want to spend $59.99 on Halo 3, doesn't mean you can just come in and put down everyone that is excited about playing the last game in the most popular video game franchise.

kast's gravatar

267. The critics speak

Posted by kast at 3:49PM, Tuesday September 25 2007

Well, it seems to be doing quite well in reviews. Metacritic currently has Halo 3 at 97% so it can't be THAT bad.

I am, however, led to understand that the score above mostly derives from website reviews. When magazines get to put their oar in, that might change a bit.

Nesretep's gravatar

268. Re: How dare you! or Here Comes Mr. Comment On Everything

Posted by Nesretep at 3:55PM, Tuesday September 25 2007

Yep, that's right! It's me again... ;-)

I got thinking about that whole "same sci-fi fragfest" thing myself even before reading cypher's comment and thought that there are probably plenty of people out there thinking the very same or similar things about Half-life 2 and the subsequent episodes that we all love so much. Not that you do, its just an argument usually tossed around about FPS games in general and usually by those who don't really play them. I have to be honest and say that I have never played any of the Halo series on PC or console systems. it sounds like it has a good story to it though. So with the cliffhanger ending on the last episode (boy, does that tactic sound familiar) I can understand why some would be eager to buy Halo 3 to get the rest of the story. It's not that different from what we're doing here, except when our game comes it will be free! :)

Stil's gravatar

269. Gap year!

Posted by Stil at 4:06PM, Tuesday September 25 2007

Travling cross land to China (from the UK). Should be an adventure. Hoping to get some teaching out there too.

Still damn my luck seriously. I leave the DAY halo 3 comes out (stuff the critics, it looks fantastic)

Episode 2 comes out actually ON MY BIRTHDAY.

Minerva due any day now.

Theres the best Xmas gaming line up for years.

Final serise of Battlestar (geek alert... sooo good though).

And i'm away for it all. Meh, just be one hell of a play fest when i get back.

fuzz's gravatar

270. Peaces Like Us

Posted by fuzz at 6:27PM, Tuesday September 25 2007

^^ definitely my favourite HL1 mod, yes, the mapping could do with a bit of polish occasionally, but the barminess of the ideas translates into a game that's not the same as anything else.

Halo 3? I'd like to play it, but my Halo crazy flatmate claims he's too skint to buy himself a 360, Halo 3 and an HD to play it all on.
Selfish bastard, what about us freeloaders eh? ;(

Ufotofu's gravatar

271. Halo 3

Posted by Ufotofu at 6:28PM, Tuesday September 25 2007

My amazement isn't at the excitement itself, but at the degree of excitement. I know what it's like to eagerly anticipate a release--I mean, I'm posting on this website! But, people are acting like their entire lives depend on the release of this game, and in the end, that's all it is-- a game.

My opinion is somewhat distorted by the fact that I live in a college dorm, and it's practically the only thing anyone is talking about. I'm one of the few people on my floor with a job, but even with the extra cash, I cringe at the idea of spending $60.00 on something to distract me from my studies. I couldn't even convince myself to cough up $45 to preorder the Orange Box!

I guess I should have been more specific.

Yar Kramer's gravatar

272. Internet: Serious Business

Posted by Yar Kramer at 6:53PM, Tuesday September 25 2007

It's probably partly the hype (which has an inorinate effect on some people), but my experience tells me that when people are fans of something, things like "logic" and "a sense of proportion" aren't really involved in the equation.

vecima's gravatar

273. Halo 3

Posted by vecima at 7:23PM, Tuesday September 25 2007

I don't mind people who are excited. I bet the game will even be fun as a coop, shoot some stuff, blow some stuff up, listen to some perfectly timed one liners, game.

there is something i DO mind though, and that is watching M$ try to turn Halo, a video game, into a pop culture phenomenon. Live action commercials featuring military items from the game are ridiculous. Halo 3 Mountain Dew is ridiculous (it's actually it's own flavor, not just master chief on a bottle). People dressing up like master chief and 'tea bagging' stacks of PS3s in a gamestop is ridiculous. Paying $130 for a master chief helmet is ridiculous. no, sorry, it's not ridiculous, in fact it's just sad. the game has had an advertising budget of over 10 Million dollars. (thats $10,000,000). most, if not all, of the people reading this will never see that much money in one place.

why not let the game speak for itself? the first one surely did. are they afraid they can't top little old Halo? (the first one). why not put that money toward something more useful...hell, why not make six more blockbuster games with that money?

this is what irritates me. i choose not to be part of the halo fanatastorm. i choose not to buy it, and yet i must be inundated with it. i have to sit here and have it rammed down my throat anyway.

if you do love Halo 3, good for you. just do everyone a favor and
at least in public. damn.
please excuse my language.

vecima's gravatar

274. sorry for double post but....

Posted by vecima at 7:29PM, Tuesday September 25 2007

this if from an article in the LA Times, here:


and it just goes a little way to re-enforce my point

The total cost to Microsoft for "Halo 3": a little more than $60 million. Development costs will probably be just above $30 million, given an elite team of 300 full-time artists and programmers working for three years on the game at Bungie, the internal Microsoft studio that created the games, said Michael Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush Morgan Securities. Bonuses to key developers and artists will probably add $25 million to the tab, Pachter said. Though about $15 million to $20 million in television marketing will be spent promoting the game, the majority will be footed by marketing partners such as Pepsi, Burger King and Pontiac that want to ride the "Halo 3" hype. [END]

Nesretep's gravatar

275. ...

Posted by Nesretep at 7:37PM, Tuesday September 25 2007

Yeah...hi vecima. Good to see you too. Sorry that the Halo 3 crud temporarily fried your brain. ;-)

Working at a Wal-mart (in electronics no less) I can understand your POV, I have been inundated with Halo 3 this and that since a month ago and that was pre-launch set up crap! Yesterday evening (launch night), everyone was running around like a chicken with their head cut off trying to get everything done for the launch event. Boy was I glad I was off work at 9pm!

SenatorPalpatine's gravatar

276. Halo 3

Posted by SenatorPalpatine at 12:50AM, Wednesday September 26 2007

will be a great game. Someone said it had a 97 metascore. You don't get that with just hype. Yes the game is overhyped, and it will overshadow better FPSs, but that's life. I don't have a 360, but I'll be playing a large part of Halo 3 coop this weekend with a friend. The graphics will most likely be intense and the plot well-written. It is not going to be the same thing people have been playing since 2001. I'll hold off saying more about it until I've actually gotten a chance to play it.

MrHappy's gravatar

277. Hmm

Posted by MrHappy at 12:57AM, Wednesday September 26 2007

My 360 barely gets any use. Maybe I'll get Halo 3 just so I can point out it's flaws to my fanyboy friends :D

Still, the idea of trying to play an FPS with a thumbstick....eeew.

M_Gargantua's gravatar

278. On Halo 3

Posted by M_Gargantua at 1:10AM, Wednesday September 26 2007

I know what happens, I know all the twists, I know the order of the levels, I know the endings. I even know the differences between its legendary skill level and previous ones.

And becaue I know that I'm going to be waiting till you can get it a lot cheeper, then throw it on a 360 emulator so I don't have to buy a 360 for another $350.

And thats going to work out quite well.

ufotofu's gravatar

279. History might be being rewritten as we speak...

Posted by ufotofu at 2:26AM, Wednesday September 26 2007

Topic = Record-breaking post count?

Evan's gravatar

280. Hmm...

Posted by Evan at 3:34AM, Wednesday September 26 2007

Only 8721 to go!

Terrapin's gravatar

281. Halo 3: My Opinion

Posted by Terrapin at 3:37AM, Wednesday September 26 2007

I just finished Halo 3, and I must say, I was truly satisfied. Yes, they leave it so far open for Halo 4 that regardless of what the Bungie execs are saying, some continuation of the story is inevitable, and yes, not all our questions get answered. But this time, we get what we were promised. No cop out endings, bizarre plot twits, or deus ex machinae. The AI actually makes for a worthy opponent, the new weapons are well balanced, and the entire virtual world is simply beautiful to look at.

Don't misunderstand me, the game does have flaws. However, the amount of effort and polish put into the game makes it worthy of the highest accolade. Throw in quality acting and some clever level design, and you get a game which rivals the likes of Half-Life 2. I'd even go so far as to say that The Orange Box, to be released two weeks from tomorrow, may have a tough time raining on Halo 3's parade.

I won't give anything away for those who haven't played, but the more sensitive of you may want to keep a box of tissues handy - there are a few moments in the game that may well bring a tear to your eye. Johnson, Keyes, and the other host of NPCs have been advanced from bullet spitting robots to near Alyx-like sidekicks. Again, I don't want to give too much away, but Master Chief's reunion with Cortana is a truly emotional experience. And as for the ending - well, I'll stop here before I say anything important.

To all of you who criticize Halo 3, I say this: you're wrong. I'm no fanboy - as I mentioned, the game has just as many problems as any other. But honestly, before you condemn this as a cash-cow rehash of Halos 1 and 2, actually play it. The game is very well done, and it is made abundantly clear that the developers have learned from the mistakes of Halo 2. This is a great game, well worth the money, and one no serious gamer should miss.

Oh, and Nesretep, things went very smoothly in getting my copy of Halo 3. I came in, waited in line for 10-15 minutes, showed them my pre-order form, got may game, payed, and left. And now, as I prepare to attempt some semblance of sleep so as to render myself at least somewhat functional tomorrow, I say... where the hell is Metastasis 3?

macc's gravatar

282. Halo 3

Posted by macc at 10:12AM, Wednesday September 26 2007

Nice review.

You know, I played Halo 1 on the PC and really loved it, played it on line for a long time. Halo 2 just couldn't get to me (maybe because of the years it takes to be ported to PC). Actually the devs at Bungie admitted they didn't go all the way with Halo 2 and that it was the biggest mistake in their life (of course this was a long time after release after the shit load of money came in), so they went all the way with Halo 3. I have no doubt Halo 3 will be good.

The Halo gameplay is just really addictive in some way. On the PC there are for sure much better titles, but I can see why it's so popular on the consoles.

But no way I'm going to buy a console for it, PC all the way. I will try it when it'll be released for PC. Probably in another lifetime.:)

macc's gravatar

283. PS

Posted by macc at 11:17AM, Wednesday September 26 2007

quote Terrapin:
... where the hell is Metastasis 3?


locworks's gravatar

284. 220. Just out of curiosity...

Posted by locworks at 2:26PM, Wednesday September 26 2007

The playtesters are all over the planet. Some live in Poland and raise very talkative and bouncy headcrabs.

Yar Kramer's gravatar

285. More metastasis

Posted by Yar Kramer at 8:27PM, Wednesday September 26 2007

Hmm. I added Adam to my Friends list in Steam, and now whenever I login when he's on I get a message saying something like "Cargo Cult is playing Team Fortress 2" or "Cargo Cult is playing Source SDK." I'm tempted to send him an IM that says something like "You're being watched, Mr. Foster ..."

Sortie's gravatar

286. About that watchment

Posted by Sortie at 9:58PM, Wednesday September 26 2007

Mind you. The group system enables direct survilance of all members. You're not alone.

U-Mu-La-Ma-Rhi's gravatar

287. Halo 3: More of The Same

Posted by U-Mu-La-Ma-Rhi at 10:44PM, Wednesday September 26 2007

I played it and beat it on the day it came out. It only took about 9 hours I had the game at 8 was playing by 9, and was done at midnight, in between I saw Resident eveil, and ate

Graphics: AWESOME, BEST 360 GRAPHICS I HAVE SEEN YET!!! No blocky tetures, or shoddy explosions, nice shiny metals, AND LIGHTING THAT DOENT MAKE YOUR GUNS LOOK CELL ANIMATED *wink wink Call Of Duty 3*

Gameplay: Meh, it was fun and it is hard, there are a few new enemies, and the new defensive grenades, (A Shield, Helth regenerator, portable cover....yadda yadda yadda)

Multiplayer: Well I can say I had much more fun in the "Forge" editing maps than I did playing against people, overall...lame

Story line: It was satifactory at best. Wierd moments of flashbacks and ESP, at inoprtune times, IE: room full of flood. BUT JUST LIKE HALO 2 IT WAS MUCH MUCH MUCH TOO SHORT AND HAD A STUPID LAME ASS CLIFFAHNEGR ENDING!!!!!

Not to mention that the ending sequence of the game is exactly the same as one of the other two, Escaping an exploding Halo in a warthog, and making crazy jumps while sqaushing flood galore

Overall, good game, but VERY disapointing in the single player department, which is the only real reason I play video games, I think that games now are focusing MUCH MUCH MUCH to heavily on multiplayer BS and not enough on a good story with some substance

Dont buy any special editions, they arent worth it

locworks's gravatar

288. Halo 3 SP modding...

Posted by locworks at 12:24AM, Thursday September 27 2007

...anyone? When it's out on PC and when I get my "M.C .and C. are stitting in a tree" T-shirt...

rb_lestr's gravatar

289. f*ck H3

Posted by rb_lestr at 12:56AM, Thursday September 27 2007

Got Halo 3 last night.
Finished it in less than 6 hours.
Could NOT be more disappointed.
Its really, really short.
Very unsatisfying.

I was so psyched about this game, yes, i will admit, the adverts got me to get it. I really wanted to "Believe" and to "Finish the fight", but in the end the story doesn't really let you do any of that. Where was the massive war against the Brutes? Fucking nowhere thats where. The story was incredibly weak, with what seems to be a tacked on ending.

The gameplay is polished to perfection, shooting aliens has never felt to right. No complaints here.

Multiplayer? Yay.

In the end the story felt rushed and it was much too short. Starts off great, lags in the middle, and is pretty much dead by the end.

Not worth the money that was paid if you ask me.

cypher543's gravatar

290. Personally, I loved it

Posted by cypher543 at 1:22AM, Thursday September 27 2007

Yes, the ending was a bit of a disappointment. I put it just a hair below "Sir, finishing this fight." But, it seemed pretty open, in my opinion. Almost like there's still room for a Halo 4 (regardless of what Bungie has said... we all know they're a bunch of liars anyway. j/k). I posted a thread on the Bungie Forums and no one can come to an agreement on what exactly happened to the other Halos or the remainder of the Flood (which are still on the other Halos). So, I guess we'll just have to wait until E3 '10 or something to find out for sure.

The graphics were amazing. They were much more life-like than the graphics in Gears of War. I admit, I spent quite a long time trying to point my gun in exactly the right direction just so I could see that really cool looking glare coming from the shiny metal.

The gameplay was awesome, as well. The new weapons and vehicles certainly added an extra dimension to everything. I highly enjoyed smashing in Brute skulls with the hammer thingy (dunno what it's called). And jumping sand dunes on a Mongoose was insanely awesome... I often went back over the same hill 3 or 4 times just to see how high I could go.

Storyline... as I said, I was a bit disappointed. I also disliked the messages from Cortana and Gravemind. They were OK when I got one every level of so... but near the end, I started getting one every time I went around a corner. I pretty much just stopped listening to whatever they had to say. It also interrupted my thought process and made my incredibly well-thought-out plan go down the drain.

Forge: haven't tried it yet. I've been spending too much time with Saved Films.

Saved Films are SWEET! I can watch my entire single-player campaign in slow motion and fly wherever I want to. I can see a TON of potential for the Red vs. Blue guys. Plus, watching two grunts get run over by a warthog in slow motion is almost the funniest thing I've seen in a long time.

So... yeah. I loved it. :P

Yar Kramer's gravatar

291. Peaces Like Us

Posted by Yar Kramer at 2:23AM, Thursday September 27 2007

I just beat that. It's pretty awesome, too; it also very much fits the "Weird comic art" title the author gave it.

... though said author could brush up on his/her English a bit more ...

M_Gargantua's gravatar

292. On the ending of H3

Posted by M_Gargantua at 4:44AM, Thursday September 27 2007

The post credits wrap up that plays when you beat it on legendary is only remarkable if you've read the ghosts of onyx. That being said most of the people who care enough to beat it on legendary are fanatical enough to read everything Halo related and play every ARG they can find.

I say most because I'm just the kind of guy to play Farcry on realistic.

Ace's gravatar

293. H3 backstory

Posted by Ace at 5:54AM, Thursday September 27 2007

What I was most interested in was the backstory, the forerunners and their relationship with humans and human development. It seemed to me like Bungie was trying to make a story which was compatible with real world human history and development. The last firing of the rings being about the time of the development of modern humans, the "flood" and "ark" clearly being referenced by ancient human (Judeo-Christian) mythologies. It doesn't seem like they developed that though, other than implying that humans are the forerunners, or that they're our forefathers, whatever that might mean. Or did I miss something? Anyone catch any other hints? (I haven't played the game, I don't have a 360, but I watched the cutscenes on youtube and read the plot summary on wikipedia.)

Yar Kramer's gravatar

294. Another snide MINERVA comment

Posted by Yar Kramer at 8:13AM, Thursday September 27 2007

I like how the description of the Steam group for Acolytes of Minerva is "No information given." How very ... Minerva.

kast's gravatar

295. Release date

Posted by kast at 12:34PM, Thursday September 27 2007

September 30th coming up fast ;-)

Nesretep's gravatar

296. Re: Release Date

Posted by Nesretep at 3:50PM, Thursday September 27 2007

@ Adam: With what kast has said in mind, are you still on track to release before the 30th (crosses fingers in vain hope)?

belboz's gravatar

297. halo backstory

Posted by belboz at 5:01PM, Thursday September 27 2007

Halo is based on the 'ringworld' books by Larry Niven, and the bit about humans being the fore runners of halo you have to read 'Protector' also by Larry Niven. As in Pak protectors in Protector are part of the human race from ages back, and it was the Pak protectors that built ringworld.

vindow_viper's gravatar

298. Halo 3 aside...

Posted by vindow_viper at 8:14PM, Thursday September 27 2007

... is everyone else getting pumped for the ORANGE BOX???! Whoo!

MrHappy's gravatar

299. Whoooo!!!

Posted by MrHappy at 10:55PM, Thursday September 27 2007

Yay Orange Box!!

U-Mu-La-Ma-Rhi's gravatar

300. Orange Box Teh Ripzoffzorz

Posted by U-Mu-La-Ma-Rhi at 11:06PM, Thursday September 27 2007

Well unles syou get it now when its $45 but I do feel its retarded how you can only buy it in a huge package, I am realtively un-interested in anything besides Episode 2, I have heard and seen enough about the TF2 beta to know it is lame. Portal...seems tedious at best

cypher543's gravatar

301. The Orange Box contents

Posted by cypher543 at 11:45PM, Thursday September 27 2007

I am looking forward to Ep 2 and Portal, but I honestly don't give a crap about TF2. *shrugs*

macc's gravatar

302. orange box gold

Posted by macc at 12:07AM, Friday September 28 2007


Yes, this release date we're gonna actually make so it seems.

Esvandiary's gravatar

303. Wow...

Posted by Esvandiary at 12:34AM, Friday September 28 2007

... nice macc. Let's just hope the preload starts soon :P

MrHappy's gravatar

304. RE:Umularuduakemalelsude

Posted by MrHappy at 1:29AM, Friday September 28 2007

You can get Ep2 by itself for 29.99 you cheap foolish bastid :P (jk sry)

Terrapin's gravatar

305. The Orange Box

Posted by Terrapin at 1:33AM, Friday September 28 2007

So it seems that Valve will actually meet a release date set three months in advance. I'm truly impressed - maybe their public relations division is starting to get its self together.

Now if only Adam would be so kind as to confirm or deny whether we will in fact be playing M3 before the weekend is done. :)

Seriously Adam, the paranoia is starting to get to me. Is September still the release month, or has life torn our collective dreams asunder once again?

U-Mu-La-Ma-Rhi's gravatar

306. lol

Posted by U-Mu-La-Ma-Rhi at 1:54AM, Friday September 28 2007

Nice interpetation of my name lol

Where? because that would be grand

Vodkarn's gravatar

307. Man, Give The Guy A Promotion Already

Posted by Vodkarn at 2:03AM, Friday September 28 2007

"Well, it seems to be doing quite well in reviews. Metacritic currently has Halo 3 at 97% so it can't be THAT bad.

I am, however, led to understand that the score above mostly derives from website reviews. When magazines get to put their oar in, that might change a bit."

To quote my friend here:
"Well I can't imagine anyone expecting Halo 3 to get an honest review. It's exactly the kind of game that'll have magazines and gaming sites sucking it's cock like two dollar whores."

When people call it the 'same sci-fi fragfest,' keep in mind they're comparing it to PC shooters. Take Half Life. I'm not a fan of the second one, but the games are totally different. They didn't just 'change the guns, add saved films, and change the graphics.' When you boil it down, the Halo trilogy all plays the same. And for a series that follows Marathon, it REALLY fails at storyline. Cliffhanger? Sure, but the story wasn't really that amazing in the first place. Aliens invade, one man has to defeat them, and so on.

I'm just surprised the multiplayer is so popular. It's not anything another FPS hasn't done.

Yar Kramer's gravatar

308. Re: Vodkarn

Posted by Yar Kramer at 3:08AM, Friday September 28 2007

Never be surprised that anything is popular. Otherwise you'll never get anything else done.

If I had to guess, I'd say it's because ... hmm ... it got popular among a particular class of gamers ... and then other people got popular because *they* liked it, and then Microsoft started hyping it to bits, and before you know it, it got sort of the self-sustained "popular because it's popular" status, like it was an internet meme or something.

Speaking of which, I'm still waiting to see someone photoshop Master Chief's armor over Leonidas and/or his army. Or for someone to call Master Chief a madman and for him or someone else to say something like "Madness? This is a Spartan!"

Cargo Cult's gravatar

309. September 30th?

Posted by Cargo Cult at 3:15AM, Friday September 28 2007

I'm currently tidying up the last remaining bits of MINERVA - the playtesters did decide to provide some fantastic ideas and feedback, so I've now got new things like a fancy, rebuilt puzzle in metastasis_4b to hopefully not impossibly confuse you all.

I'd *like* to release it on Sunday, but with it being a weekend I don't think the installer can be built - so I'll make an official announcement tomorrow after I've had some sleep... ;-)

Terrapin's gravatar

310. Good news

Posted by Terrapin at 3:48AM, Friday September 28 2007

So you will beat The Orange Box in terms of release dates? Excellent. Of course, tomorrow is still technically a weekday, so see what you can do about that installer - although personally, I'd prefer you just put it in a .zip folder rather than delay the release by another few days. That's just me though.

Anyway, I'm glad to hear you have it more or less finished. We await your final announcement with greatest anticipation!

Ufotofu's gravatar

311. Congratulations!

Posted by Ufotofu at 4:15AM, Friday September 28 2007

Adam, if I were Valve (or any other game development company), I'd hire you in a heartbeat. Your mapping skills never cease to amaze me.

Flobster's gravatar

312. Question

Posted by Flobster at 4:25AM, Friday September 28 2007

This will most likely be a dumb one, but will this release be the end of Minerva? or just another link in the chain of sleepless, hair pulling, suicide inducing nights staring at a compiler you plan on subjecting yourself to!?

cypher543's gravatar

313. Re: Good news

Posted by cypher543 at 5:07AM, Friday September 28 2007

I agree with the ZIP file suggestion. Personally, I find installers to be useless for everything other than actual applications. You can easily pop open a ZIP file and copy some files to a directory.

Of course, you could always add an installer later. But, if MINERVA is going to get delayed just because it doesn't have an installer, I'm afraid I'll get a little bit angry. ;)

Terrapin's gravatar

314. Agreed

Posted by Terrapin at 5:13AM, Friday September 28 2007

I agree with what cypher543 said - after the trials and tribulations you've gone through over the summer, refusing to simply use a zip folder seems like a pretty bad excuse. We want Metastasis 3 sooner, not later. ;-)

Let's hope for good news in the days ahead - this could be the moment we've been waiting for.

U-Mu-La-Ma-Rhi's gravatar

315. you guys are missing it....

Posted by U-Mu-La-Ma-Rhi at 6:06AM, Friday September 28 2007

Flobster asked if this is the end for Adam....

Well Adam, will this be the last treasure of gaming that you give us? or will we have more amazing mysteries ahead?

Ace's gravatar

316. Sneaky

Posted by Ace at 6:23AM, Friday September 28 2007

Terrapin did you just agree with yourself via cypher543? I salute you sir for that sneaky sneakiness!

Terrapin's gravatar

317. Re: Sneaky

Posted by Terrapin at 6:37AM, Friday September 28 2007

Haha, yes, I did. But at this point, if we don't get M3 this month simply because Adam refuses to use a ZIP file, I think I may go insane. Seriously, he's fought through viral infections, electrified hard drives, seriously messed up computers, and a delivery company with the collective IQ of a brick. If he can't find a way around compiling an installer - and I still don't understand why he can't create said installer on the weekend - it proves that he just wants to torment us for his own sadistic desires. Heck, if he wants, I'll find someone, and pay them to make the installer. I want my Metastasis 3! :)

Ace's gravatar

318. installer

Posted by Ace at 6:49AM, Friday September 28 2007

In the credits of Metastasis 2 he thanked someone at Valve for the installer, so presumably he'll do the same thing this time, explaining why he has to wait for a weekday. Besides, he didn't say it's done, just that he'd like to have it done by Sunday, except for the installer. So at most it sets us back by a day. And you remember what happened to Eric Cartman when he couldn't just be patient right? Stay away from freezers my fellow acolyte!

MrHappy's gravatar

319. Nine

Posted by MrHappy at 11:25AM, Friday September 28 2007

As I recall Minerva was originally set to be three trilogies. After metastatis is something with a C.

Adam, please, confuse us. You have no idea how long I've been waiting for a game shooter with a slightly difficult puzzle. You haven't made any puzzles yet, please do the first one right!

I'll have something for you all tommorow.

MrHappy's gravatar

320. I wish we could edit comments

Posted by MrHappy at 11:28AM, Friday September 28 2007

So then I wouldnt have to post a second one. I understand him wanting to do an installer. This is a big deal finishing 3 and 4. It's his moment of glory, it'll be fun for us but he gets to have his masterpiece done. Not having an installer would be like hanging hanging a van gogh without a frame!

fuzz's gravatar

321. Perfection

Posted by fuzz at 12:05PM, Friday September 28 2007

Mr F wants to wait for a proper and working installer for the same reason it's taken this long to release the whole trilogy, which is one and the same reason we want to play it.

Because he's a perfectionist, and that shows through in Minerva, which is why we're here really :)

Columbus007's gravatar

322. Congratulations, Adam!

Posted by Columbus007 at 2:16PM, Friday September 28 2007

Great news, Adam. I'm really looking forward nearly as much, I think, to your latest offering as I am to Valve's.

How will the installer work - will there still be one "Minerva" in my Steam games list, or two, or what?

kast's gravatar

323. @Columbus007

Posted by kast at 2:54PM, Friday September 28 2007

I'm sure that this installer will leave just one MINERVA in your Games list.

OMG we're talking about a matter of days before the release of MINERVA and the Orange Box. Assuming 6 or 7 days between the two of them, that gives us all plenty of time to play the latest M level over a few dozen times :P

Nesretep's gravatar

324. I believe the word you are searching for is...

Posted by Nesretep at 3:46PM, Friday September 28 2007

...Chronoclasm. The next thing for us to agonizingly(sp?) wait for once we've had our fill of Metastasis. As I understand it, it will have a separate yet connected storyline for us to speculate about and possibly a different character to play as. Correct me if I'm wrong on any of that.


As far as this installer thing goes, is it that he needs an installer for Steam, which is why has had Valve do it for him in the past? I know there are free installer programs out there for Windows (I have one), but he may be looking for something other than that.


Quoth Her Avatar:
"I'd *like* to release it on Sunday, but with it being a weekend I don't think the installer can be built - so I'll make an official announcement tomorrow after I've had some sleep... ;-)"

So just to clarify the annoucement is going to come on the 29th is that right? Because by Mountain Daylight Time it *is* a different day from when you made the announcement. So if you want to make it earlier...go for it! :)

Esvandiary's gravatar

325. I'm sincerely hoping...

Posted by Esvandiary at 4:37PM, Friday September 28 2007

... that "tomorrow" is today rather than, well, tomorrow... Either that, or Adam is going into hibernation until the weekend ;)

Nesretep's gravatar

326. I almost forgot!

Posted by Nesretep at 4:45PM, Friday September 28 2007

Again quoth Her Avatar:
"The forums almost certainly shall be brought back from the dead to coincide with a certain release - but I'm far too busy working on that MINERVA thing right now."

So the forums will be back soon as well, if what he said back when *March* was the release date holds true... ;-)

Esvandiary's gravatar

327. Well...

Posted by Esvandiary at 5:02PM, Friday September 28 2007

This link seems to work (although admittedly only the Free Will forum is currently still open):


Esvandiary's gravatar

328. Oops, I forgot to say...

Posted by Esvandiary at 5:03PM, Friday September 28 2007

... I messed up my registration for said forum (under this username).

Could our favourite deity possibly interface with yet another godforsaken network and remove the diseased cadaver? (The account, not IE6).

geekofalltrades's gravatar

329. Wooooo!

Posted by geekofalltrades at 7:13PM, Friday September 28 2007

Man, it's been a looooong wait. I can barely contain my excitement, even with my first few days of college as a distraction...

MrHappy's gravatar

330. Palpable

Posted by MrHappy at 8:45PM, Friday September 28 2007

You can almost taste it in the air, Minerva is coming and no ones going to hold her back!

Nesretep's gravatar

331. A Word of Warning

Posted by Nesretep at 8:56PM, Friday September 28 2007

Let this be a word of warning to all people, companies, machines, software programs, and other entities, sentient, sapient or otherwise who would even consider causing another delay to MINERVA's release:

Do NOT screw with the release of this 3rd chapter of Metastasis unless your want the holy wrath of the Acolytes of Minerva to rain down upon your without abandon! The release is so close that were it to be delayed again now, I cannot promise that we would allow you to survive your sad mistake...

Yar Kramer's gravatar

332. Heh heh heh.

Posted by Yar Kramer at 11:17PM, Friday September 28 2007

Wow. Looks like it'll be done even before my birthday.

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