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TOM FRANCIS
REGRETS THIS ALREADY

Hello! I'm Tom. I designed a game called Gunpoint, about rewiring things and punching people, and now I'm working on a new one called Heat Signature, about sneaking aboard randomly generated spaceships. Here's some more info on all the games I've worked on, here's the podcast I do, here are the videos I make on YouTube, here are some of the articles I wrote for PC Gamer, and here are two short stories I wrote for the Machine of Death collections.

Theme

By me. Uses Adaptive Images by Matt Wilcox.

Projects

What I’m Working On And What I’ve Done

Murder, She Wrote

The Formula For An Episode Of Murder, She Wrote

Heat Signature Wide 2

Heat Signature Needs An Artist And A Composer

Heat Signature Floorplans Header

Improving Heat Signature’s Randomly Generated Ships, Inside And Out

Gunpoint Steam Workshop

Gunpoint Patch: New Engine, Steam Workshop, And More

Distance Header

Distance: A Visual Short Story For The Space Cowboy Game Jam

The Magic Circle

Raising An Army Of Flying Dogs In The Magic Circle

Floating Point Blog Launch

Floating Point Is Out! And Free! On Steam! Watch A Trailer!

Floating Sine

Drawing With Gravity In Floating Point

Fault

What’s Your Fault?

Hoplite banner

The Randomised Tactical Elegance Of Hoplite

Gone Point

Here I Am Being Interviewed By Steve Gaynor For Tone Control

Heat Signature Thumbnail

Heat Signature: A Game About Sneaking Aboard Randomly Generated Spaceships

GRappling Hook Thumbnail

The Grappling Hook Game, Dev Log 6: The Accomplice

Alien Swarm Heroics

A Story Of Heroism In Alien Swarm

FTL Story

One Desperate Battle In FTL

Spelunky Banner

To Hell And Back In Spelunky

Game vs story graph

Games Vs Story 2

Gunpoint Breakdown

Gunpoint Development Breakdown

Max Payne 3

Five Things I Learned About Game Criticism In Nine Years At PC Gamer

This is how you die

My Short Story For The Second Machine Of Death Collection

Clouds

Not Being An Asshole In An Argument

Skyrim Diary - Frostmere

Playing Skyrim With Nothing But Illusion

Mainstream Games

How Mainstream Games Butchered Themselves, And Why It’s My Fault

A-Rock-and-a-Hard-Place-Trio-Jan

A Short Script For An Animated 60s Heist Movie

Dark Messiah

The Magical Logic Of Dark Messiah’s Boot

Arguing

Arguing On The Internet

Stealth Games

Why Are Stealth Games Cool?

Violence

E3’s Violence Overload, Versus Gaming’s Usual Violence Overload

Suspicious Manifesto

The Suspicious Developments manifesto

GDC

GDC Talk: How To Explain Your Game To An Asshole

Crosslink

Listening To Your Sound Effects For Gunpoint

Happiness

Understanding Your Brain

What Makes Games Good

What Makes Games Good

Seat Quest

A Story Of Plane Seats And Class

Beneath Suspicion

Avoiding Suspicion At The US Embassy

Open Worlds

An Idea For A Better Open World Game

Level Up

A Different Way To Level Up

BioShock Ending

How I Would Have Ended BioShock

Meet the Spy

My Script For A Team Fortress 2 Short About The Spy

Team Fortress 2

Team Fortress 2 Unlockable Weapon Ideas

Football Manager

Don’t Make Me Play Football Manager

EVE Assassins

EVE’s Assassins And The Kill That Shocked A Galaxy

GalCiv 2

My Galactic Civilizations 2 War Diary

Gnome

I Played Through Episode Two Holding A Goddamn Gnome

Machine of Death

My Short Story For The Machine Of Death Collection

AOL

A Woman’s Life In Search Queries

Second Life

First Night, Second Life

SWAT 4

SWAT 4: The Movie Script

Far Cry 2: Impersonation Of A Buddy

“Who are you thanks for saving me you look ill you have malaria you should see Reuben at Mike’s bar but let’s leave separately it’ll be faster bye.”

Is how I met Buddy 1.

“How’s it going buddy in times like these you need a guy like me man of action okay see you there.”

Is how I met Buddy 2.

*ring ring*
*ring ring*
*bleep!*

“Hey, I just had a weird tingling in my pituitary gland – did you just accept a mission? If you did, say nothing. Okay, I sense from your silence that your mission is to blow up a generator in the North-West airfield to cripple APR operations in the area. Drive five-hundred miles in the opposite direction, through nine heavily guarded enemy checkpoints, come into my bedroom, and I’ll give you some important information that for some reason I can’t tell you right now, then stand there for six hours wordlessly watching you sleep. If you don’t, I’ll hate you.”

Far Cry 2 - Car Accidents 5

“Hey, about time. It’s been forty-five seconds since I demanded you cross half the breadth of Africa to hear me say something I could have easily said down the phone. So, the UFLL want you to blow up that generator, right? I’ve heard that the police chief’s cousin’s step son is carrying a piece of paper with the location of a magic radio that will summon a whole battallion of enemy troops to your objective, pointlessly making your mission much, much harder for no extra reward.

“Intimidate him, steal the radio, lure the troops through a hostile village by performing a flamboyant jig, then defeat them all while being shot at by two other armies that you would have otherwise easily avoided. Then blow up the generator. Then save me because I’ll be in life-threatening danger by then. If you don’t do this, I will forget you saved my life and phone you up just to insult you.”

Here’s how good an idea Michelle had about my first ever mission: once I’d done what she asked, after I’d cauterised the wounds, plucked the shrapnel from my flesh and put out most of the fires on my person, I found her and – without a word – shot her in the spine. As she attempted to hobble away, I slit her throat with a machete, then drove it through her chest, shot her six times in the face with her own Magnum and set fire to her corpse. Then ran it over.

Far Cry 2 - Car Accidents 1

The idea of setting up an ambush, Michelle, is that the enemy should get ambushed. Not me, twice.

There will now be a short interlude for a joke.

Ubisoft’s Clint Hocking walks into a bar. A man he’s never seen before, leaning against the wall, announces that he is Clint’s second-best buddy in the world and will one day save his life. When Clint returns home that night, he finds the man standing in his bedroom, trying to get cellphone reception. Clint goes to bed and dreams of the game he will make at work the next day.

Far Cry 2 - Car Accidents 3

I’m missing something fundamental about the buddy missions. Namely, why? And also, why? Why do they want to hurt the APR/UFLL much more seriously at enormous risk to my health and for no extra reward? And why do they think I will want to? It can’t be that they’re die-hard UFLL or APR supporters, because my next mission will be against that faction and they will again demand that I take enormous, preposterous detours to commit mass murders.

Some of these missions are to destroy medicine. Some are to ruin farms or sever water supplies. I’ve had five buddies, and each one’s sole motivation seemed to be to cause as much indiscriminate human suffering as possible, even – in fact especially – mine.

Far Cry 2 - Car Accidents 4

On the plus side: Did you know you can slide? I didn’t know you could slide. It’s awesome. You tap duck while sprinting, and you skim smoothly along the ground into a crouch.

Today’s screenshot theme: Car Crashes I Would Later Be Unable To Satisfactorily Explain To The Authorities.

Far Cry 2 - Car Accidents 6

More

Nicholas Feinberg: You could slide in the original Half-Life, I'm pretty sure. It was subtle, though.

Excellent story-telling AND screenshots. Especially the screenshots.

Justice: Nonetheless, while disappointed at glaring narrative flaws pointed out by Pentadact within Far Cry 2, I will still be purchasing it. Simply because it looks like a blockbuster.

SenatorPalpatine: I need to pay more attention to pictures. Both this post and the last Far Cry 2 post had a number of pictures with one thing in common, which I saw after being told at the end of the post. I felt pretty stupid going back and saying "oh wow, there's fire in every screenshot!" I guess I'm just a text oriented person.

Too bad about the annoying stuff in the game. I hope you're having fun anyway.

Lack_26: Yey, more indiscriminate slaughter.

Steven: Yes, yes, YES. I heftily agree with you. It's hard enough maintaining a healthy social life using vocalisation and gesticulation - somehow Gordon Freeman and FAR CRY MAN can do it without even the occasional approving grunt.

ALSO. I would have chosen the headline "Far Cry 2: Fuck Buddies".

x25killa: Excellent. These "buddies" might remind me of the postman at one point... still waiting for game to be posted.

peterd102: Wicked Title Steven

Devenger: Feinberg, all movements had very slight inertia, and still do to a very slightly less extent, so yes you could crouch and come to a stop after you've crouched even if you press/release simultaneously.

It is, surely, a credit to the game that you can utterly obliterate your 'buddies' if you so wish. Even though it probably isn't recommended.

Clint: Tom:

Thanks for the (cheeky) comments. I would very much liked to have done a better job of realizing the buddies and making them more present and meangingful in the game. At least you can shoot them and make them go away if you don't like them. I don't like Michelle much either and after the third or fourth time I had her as a buddy I secretly painted some sandbags with her brains when no one was looking.

I would point out however that doing the alternate versions of the faction missions for the buddies DOES have a reward - each time you do one it upgrades all the unlocked safehouses in the world, providing more health supplies, more ammunition supplies, and vehicles. If you are playing in a higher difficulty (I assume you are) then these safe house upgrades are indispensible (particularly for keeping that M79 ready to handle the fucking enemy trucks). Probably this is not well communicated and you didn't realize it... my bad.

As for the other 'why' why do the buddies want you destroy medicine or defoliate a jungle?... The answer is because they are bad fucking people. They are self-interested, dangerous assholes. Are they really different from the warlords and their goons? It's completely fine if you don't want to do that stuff. It's completely fine that you think they are monsterous. If you don't want to do that stuff, if you think it's 'bad', you don't have to. Your reputation will stay low, you'll have access to medicine for longer, you won't find the battlefield quite so littered with wounded. But make no mistake - you're motives here are not to end this conflict. Don't be so high and mighty, errand boy. You're a killer. You've probably killed and burned and stabbed more people than all of your buddies combined. Why do you think you are the one we hired to kill the Jackal and not one of them :)

As for your previous post - lots of food for thought in there about possible mission structures for a game. Some of it is very interesting. I will point out the obvious flaw of having the Jackal actually be in the world and findable at any time... it degenerates to a puzzle and not a game... it's a semantic debate I suppose, but if you can simply look it up on the internet and finish the game with one bullet, it kind of defeats the purpose no? Puzzles have an 'answer' games have a progressive series of challenges riffing on a theme. There is no 'gameplay' to find the Jackal - true -it is part of the story... but I don't see how making it a puzzle is inherently superior to making it part of the story (questions of admitted flaws in our execution aside) - though yes making it part of the GAME would be even better. I've been working on that problem for my whole career and it's not as easy as it sounds ;)

Anyway - didn't know about your blog until today. Good stuff. Look forward to digging through the past posts. Take it easy and I hope you enjoy the rest of the game despite its flaws.

Tom Francis: Holy shit, it's Clint Hocking everyone! Aw, now I just feel bad for being rude about your game. We critics are much more comfortable never having to say anything to anyone's face or justify our points.

Thanks for taking the time to comment, though, this is very illuminating stuff. Your buddies are meant to be assholes? That answers most of my questions. Their murderous lunacy has actually been the source of more mirth than annoyance, I only devoted this post to them because they're so fun to mock.

The more prominent limit on my fun has been the abundance of guardposts I can't easily skirt around or drive through without stopping to fight. A fun fight, the first dozen times, but wearying after that.

As for my Jackal-hunting game structure proposal, I was thinking the Jackal's actual appearence and location would be randomised, so each player is hunting a different man and you can't just look it up online. I agree it shouldn't just be a big logic puzzle - in practise I'd want each bit of intel to be genuinely necessary to find him, so it's essentially just a bunch of missions all or most of which you have to do. They can be hopelessly flimsy "I won't tell you this until you kill this guy/retrieve this McGuffin" type ones too.

The purpose of doing it this way is for the player to know how each task he takes on is related to his ultimate goal - finding the Jackal. I get despirited when I don't know why I'm working for these assholes - the UFLL kidnap you at the start, and yet I have to spend most of the game doing whatever they want, without seeing how this gets me closer to finding my man.

Anyway, thanks for stopping by! I'm going to have to start a wall of fame to keep track of all my heroes who've commented here. I'm a big Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory fanboy, and was actually a little saddened by Double Agent by comparison.

Clint: I understand. Some fairly serious weaknesses on the story telling side to help make the player feel that these guys are saying 'if you go do this mission, we'll help you find the Jackal' - it's just not there... and yeah, you're right, we could have given a few more clues and sprinkled the actual main story threads through the bulk of the faction missions better for sure... we didn't know until far too late how long those sections of the game would be (they are 3x as long as we imagined, easily) making the pacing of the 'hunting the jackal' story much weaker. But many of the things you suggest are things we actively tried to do - your criticism (and that of others) is a pretty good measure of how successful we were... I mostly agree with your proposed improvements - it's more a matter of the difficulty of execution really.

The guardposts thing - yeah, we're getting raked over the coals for that. Funny thing is, we did discuss it and unfortunately, while there are better theoretical solutions than repopulating them after unloading, none of them are terribly simple (in the time we had to react to the weakness). I decided it was better to have them repopulate rather than have the player be able to empty the world of gameplay too easily... I still think it is the better solution barring a really robust one that would have taken weeks we did not have. As much as I think it is the best possible solution, I admit I underestimated the response. Lesson learned.

I really liked Double Agent actually... it was the first SC title I got to play without really knowing mostly everything about it, and it was very refreshing and fun to be an SC 'fan' for the first time.

Anyway thanks again for the smart criticism Tom.

peterd102: Chaos Theroy was great, i havent Played double agent but i cant see why they tried to put a differnt Genre with an existing story line. Why didnt they start a new one, who in an intelligence organisation would send an agent skilled in staying hidden to do the job of a spy.

And btw, Hi Clint!

Tom Francis: Yeah, that's always in the back of my mind when I'm suggesting stuff like this: "Oh, great idea, Tom, and why don't they also just make the whole of Africa, and fully simulate the human mind for each grunt?" Difficulty of execution, about which I know nothing. It's particularly tough to judge where to draw the feasibility line with Far Cry 2, because you guys just went ahead and did about five things conventional design wisdom says are impossible.

With guard posts, it's actually not the respawning that I think is causing me grief - I get that you can't let us empty the game world in an action game, though I think you could wait a little longer before repopulating it. I'd just like it if the half that are presumably on my side on any given mission would let me pass. They could be faction colour coded on the map, and if players don't get it and attack anyway, so be it.

Thanks for letting us kill buddies, by the way, it's greatly appreciated. Earlier I wanted to cull Warren Clyde from my roster, so I blew up my car, stood on the flaming wreck until I burnt to death, then when he showed up, dragged me to safety and gave me a gun, headshotted him with it. Players are bad people.

roBurky: My only criticism of the game is this whole theme business that's being discussed here. We're given this great open-world game full of choice, but the only choices available all involve being a fucking horrible person for no real reason.

I'll accept that I do get pleasure from the pretend shooting of things. But I'd rather not be made to feel quite this guilty for it.

Clint: roBurky

If we've managed to make a shooter that makes the average person *feel something* because of all the violence he is causing (whether it's guilt or other), then I think we've succeeded.

If you continue through to the mid-game and then finally to the end, I think there is some illumination there into what that violence means... depending on how it shakes out in your particular game and with your particular approach, guilt and some form of redemption are possible outcomes... sacrifice, pride in personal responsibility are potentially a few others.

Anyway - that's all theory... it's clearly and unquestionably my fault that the 'reason' you would participate in these actions is not developed and made clearer. That said, you don't actually have to be that horrible at all (though it is a lot fucking harder and less fun to try to kill as few people as possible) in reality the number of people you have to kill in the game is quite small, and the truly horrible things you're asked to do are typically asked by your buddies, not by the factions.

We always said from day one that the game was asking the question 'how far are you willing to go to do the right thing', and that's not an easy question... we could have made the question easier and clearer by putting it - and the answer to it - in some cinematics, but we decided to put them into the actual mechanics of play.

I just hope the people who are willing and able to level fair critism (instead of the ones who grief the forums with (EH gAME SuXXsRs) will give it a shot... we'll see.

darthpugwash: Just earlier today I was playing, and had Warren Clyde, who was my best buddy, die in front of me despite my attempts to save him - afew minutes before in a mission briefing he had declared that it was 'a good day to be Warren Clyde'. How's that for dynamic story telling! Have to admit I was a bit sad when my character closed ol' Warrens eyes.

Anyway, I'm enjoying the game alot, though the suicide jeeps are bloody annoying to have to deal with. I wish you were actually able to switch the firing modes on assault rifles as well, but I think that about every FPS I play.

Inferno: Wow... the fact that Clint has actually come on here and posted this in these comments with no real reason to do so but explain things has just convinced me to buy the game. I really respect devs who will go out of there way to do stuff like that when they don't have to at all.

Ben Abraham: Clints comments are really illuminating. I agree with Inferno and wish MORE Dev's would come by people's blogs and answer questions. What a champ!

Dante: @ Pentadact

You touched on the idea of the Jackal changing appearance with each game. I remember thinking when reading reviews, that Far Cry's buddy system, paired with a nickname rather than a physical one for the villain, would mean that a random character would be 'cast' as the Jackal when the game began, much in the same way as your first buddy varies. I wonder if that was ever considered.

Also, reading Clint's comments has made me want to go back to the game and approach it differently, with the moral ambiguity of the story in mind.

Tonks: wow, what clint was talking about has shifted the view point for me with this game - Iv been playing it thinking I was some kind of a hero. But I read that and I had to think, pausing 'I'm a bad guy! in fact, I'm an evil son of a bitch! blowing up medical supplies etc.'

very cool. Never played a guy like it, and for that reason alone I thank all of you behind far cry 2.

found this blog/post through brainygamer.com, shall stick around and see what else you have to stay, but thanks for this post Tom.

VRBones: Clint: (though it is a lot fucking harder and less fun to try to kill as few people as possible)

I'm finding that, yes. Not sure why (because I've played a LOT of shooters) but after you're instructed to kill off the guys to get into a safe house it didn't sit right for me, so I decided to play the game without killing anyone. Damn is it HARD!

If you think patrol points are tough when you can simply wade through them with an Uzi, it's agonizing having to sneak past every single fkn one time and time again.

I was surprised that the game doesn't have a kill count in the statistics, but so far I've only had to kill the tutorial enforced ones. It's a little easier now that I've got the dart gun (although they stay down for a long time and I have a suspicion that it's killing them anyway, and only 3 shots ??!@). Clint's comments give me hope that the game will eventually reward my moral standpoint as it was looking bleaker and bleaker as the game has gone on. I have just gone through the deforestation mission and it made me query the 'goodness' of buddies. I'm pleased that it's not supposed to be 'good vs bad' and that everyone can be an asshat, although it's leaving very little choice in the mission pile; I'm at a point where I don't want to help ANYONE, but I know I need to purely to get to this Jackal guy.

Clint: VR Bones

To answer your question about mechanics: I'll save you the grief, any low-level input into the reputation system based on how many people you kill or how you do it was removed from the game systems several months before launch as being nigh-on unreadable, impossible to debug, and not contributing to the game. It was always the goal that you would be able to keep your reputation in check quite effectively by 'behaving' - but goals change :(

For the dart rifle - the game does not distinguish between guys being killed with a bullet or sedated with a dart rifle - and they can't wake up from it... would have been nice, but the important effect we were after was instantly and silently dropping a guy, regardless of hit location.

But mechanics aside, from an aesthetic standpoint I believe the game can be enjoyed the way you are playing it and depending on the choices you make the way the game unfolds will be different if you attempt to minimize killing - the game makes its rebuttal to that idea in the final act... if you get that far.

I'm surprised you are against killing, but not opposed to defoliating a jungle or doing any of the things the buddies ask you to do. In fact, while your reputation will not change by low level input - it DOES change (significantly) depending on whether or not you work with the buddies... the thing that makes your reputation grow the fastest is doing what they ask you to do.

Anyway - came by to drop this off - a counterpoint to Tom's feelings about his buddies... Justin over at Groping the Elephant wrote this up

http://gropingtheele... ...behaviour/

Damon: Clint, kudos on you for responding to criticism in such an honest and open way. If only more game developers were as open to listening to their critics...
Will be buying Far Cry 2 as soon as I finish with Fallout :)

clint: Well, kudos to you guys for keeping it mature and civil... if it turned into a crazy fanboy freakshow I would probably be in a professional/personal conflict and would be compelled to stop... so thanks for allowing me the room to respond.

Jason L: I wonder if that extension of Heinlein's Razor is already named something? 'Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity - and never attribute to either that which can be adequately explained by a shortage of time or money.'

Itrade: I'm pretty sure that the dart gun kills people. I read somewhere that it shoots a neurotoxin dart, and I checked to see if shooting an assassination target with it would get me the reward, and it did.

It's still one of the coolest weapons in the game, though. I'm gonna have a tough time choosing between it and the Carl G when I reach that point in the game again.

VRBones: Thanks for the reply. I don't seem to have an issue decapitating people in Fallout 3, so I think it's mission accomplished for getting people to *feel*. I'll be coming back to this one after silly season is over, there's definitely more to it than a plain old shooter.

Jp1138: Thank you very much for all your coments here, Clint. I wasn´t very interestet in the game, but after reading your this review, your opinions and goals, and lloking around the net a bit, I just ordered it. I think Far Cry 2 shows one interesting direction of gaming, and I think we must support it.

Sorry for my poor English :)

vic newey: Interesting stuff indeed, I have grown to really enjoy FC2 & find that respawns no longer bother me, one thing I have noticed is the tendency for the game to induce motion sickness when playing, mostly it affects me when entering a vehicle or running & it needs a 'bob' slider to turn it down or off as is usual in FPS ,lots of refs to this on the web.

Tom: Hey clint i agree with the many people before me that your response to this should be something we see more often from devs.

It is especially interesting to me because I want to be a games dev myself once i get out of uni.

I got the game on release day but there are just a few things that bug me other than some of the things that people have pointed out such as the respawning guard posts etc...

The most irritating thing ( although it may seem trivial ) is the fact that everytime you get ambuhed by a car the same revving sound gets played back. Noe that this is just ittitating, not a deal breaker in any way.

I think you've had enough bitching in these comments so here's some good points:

-Flames, absolutely amazing
-The engine is mindblowing (does it use GI?)
-the gunplay is very satisfying
-machete kill animations are really good.
-nothing more satisfying than blowing up an mmo truck with an IED :P

cheers for a great game.

Shaze: WARNING: SPOILER

I have beat the game completing all the extra buddy missions, and in the end, (if you side with the Jackal, I suppose) ALL of your buddies gang up on you and try and kill you. (Thought only if you steal their diamonds?)

Pentadact: You know you can go around the checkpoints, and that gorgeous river system cuts travel time in half, right?

dual_barrel: To Clint,

Need to be able to lean left or right, taking cover! Need to go prone!

The enemy in a gunfight doesn't behave tactically as in F.E.A.R or in S.T.A.L.K.E.R . Wish they would.

Repopulate the guard posts, alright, but do so after the passing of a certain amount of time and not based on the player moving away from that certain post, having cleared it.

AR-16 could've been totally hot if it was possible to shoot in full auto and not in bursts. Wait, why can't I change the firing modes in assault rifles, like in Far Cry 1?

I understand that Far Cry 2 is supposed to be real, still some things could've been added like, the arrival of a special shipment containing say, HK G36 or HK416. Also, shooting down of choppers (owned by the big shots) like in Far Cry 1.

I really loved some of the official story missions, especially the one before the end of the game, starting at the place, Heart of Darkness. But the ending, I mean the video was too dumb. Next time, for the ending please do something like choppers crashing down, earth shaking, earth spitting lava, ground flooding, biblical music playing, etc - an ending video that is more than 1 minute and worthy of remembrance. Because an ending of a game makes the last impression and later when I'll think about the game, I'll start thinking from that.

A sea beach would've been awesome.

Stealth doesn't make sense in this game. I can't tell whether I'm hidden in foliage or not. A meter of some sort would've been perfect. C'mon, Ubisoft created the Splinter Cell video game franchise.

I don't like the way the game starts. It's too fast and abrupt. It feels like getting born being an orphan. I don't think it would've been that bad if I could be with someone or some people, friendly (not like the weird, self-centered buddies) a little more, knowing a little more about the world before getting thrown into its hostility.

Need more civilians with life in the world and please stop thinking about everything in terms of realism. You guys should think more about what makes a game fun and epic. Remember, if reality was perfect then we wouldn't be playing video games.

Want to rescue innocent civilians lined up to be shot down by evil captives, John Rambo style. That would definitely be noble.

I want to be able to climb mountains, valleys i.e., get on top of them without having them just stand like walls.

This guy being a foreigner should've brought flashlight and nightvision goggles.

Wearing the camosuit doesn't change the outfit of the player character model!

Why can't I shoot the guns I'm carrying from the driver's seat while in a vehicle?

--

Great engine for not being a resource hog!

The world is amazing. Every time I look at it, I find it hard to believe that some people actually created it.

Great animation.

Thumbs up for fast gun reloading, fast getting in and out of vehicles, solid weapon firing mechanism, smooth controls, relatively faster movement.

SubIgnition: Wow! I got linked here by some friends and I have to say, I'm impressed that not only has a developer arrived to express his opinions, but also that the comments haven't degraded into typical internet trash afterward.

I really liked Far Cry 2. I never actually played the original, so I can't compare, but an open-ended shooter is a new experience for me. Being someone who likes to accomplish as much as he can before being forced to go anywhere, after the first couple faction missions I started exploring and doing all the other things outside Pala.

I spent 41 hours in act 1 alone-- which is far more value than I ever get out of a standard game purchase. I got bored shortly after, so I restarted on Infamous difficulty. Wow. Really leads to reinventing your strategies.

That aside, like many others, I thought the guard posts could have waited about four ingame hours to respawn, that enemy vehicles really had a habit of going faster than yours, that the monocular was a bit weird, and that it would be neat to be able to check your watch at any time.

Then again, I envisioned a game world where quicksaves would only persist until you saved your game at one of the blue cases, after which they'd be deleted. A way of making your choices a little more permanent, if you will, add to the realism a bit.

Overall, though, I really enjoy FC2. I say enjoy because I haven't beaten it yet. Infamous is taking even longer than Normal and that's awesome.

Cheers.

SubIgnition: Oops. One thing I forgot to mention.

Was slightly disappointed that by the time I had a symptom level of 0 I couldn't run for as long as I liked. The character has quite a lot of stamina, but eh.

After realizing that same stamina system was also used in holding your breath underwater and wandering around outside the boundaries of the map, I appreciated it a lot more as a design decision, though.

UBCS: I would like to know how do you feel about modding? We have some talented people in the community (I'm studying to be one of those guys) that would undoubtly mod the game to fit its expectations. So, what you think about the ideia of releasing a Software Development Kit (SDK) for the community?

Aof: Hey, SubIgnition, at least there is someone who wants to check the watch like me.
Liked the game. Good work to the developers.
But there are some irritating things in there.
I see SO much potential wasted in this game (massive online action game anyone?).

Things I liked:
-World looks great. Lighting effects look very nice, there is a photorealistic feeling to it. Also runs fast. Light goes through leaves (subsurface scattering?), looks very nice. Made me remember the lighting in Riven, a relatively old pre-rendered game.
-World is big and open (that sometimes feels restricted due to mission structure).
-Nice to have to use iron sights instead of some top of the line holo sight. Fits well with the theme of the game. Having said that, it would be nice to have more optical upgrades as you progress in the game.
-Driving feels easy.
-You can approach missions in different ways (blow everything up, snipe them down, assault, stealth)
-Talking about explosions, it's great to blow up some peoples campament and watch the fire, the smoke and everything fly in all directions. Gives a great feeling of an action game.
-Nice explosions, there is more smoke and concussion than fireball, like in real life. However, I must say that explosions can lead to fire a lot less than this game may lead to believe.
-Sound effects are nice.
-Nice selection of weapons. Especial mention goes to the mortar, it's nice to see one.
-Fire can be used in different ways, looks great, but could look better when trees are burning.
-Had some laughs at what some people said when they were scared to die when I was shooting at them.
-Nice art direction.

Things I didn't like/missed:
-You have to be using your map to use the monocular, but then the map obstructs your vision! Very irritating. There should be some option to lower the map or to switch between map and monocular. Shouldn't be hard to implement.
-Snipers can see you always, even if you are using camo suit in tall grass.
-Enemy vehicles go too fast and always catch you.
-I finished the game and never got to buy the vehicles manuals and some other things.
-Talking about the ending (this shouldn't be a spoiler), I must say it didn't make sense to me at all. Didn't liked it.
-Like the author of this blog, buddies were sometimes so stupid that I had to set my rage free killing them in the worst ways possible I could imagine.
-Some more gore would have been nice, hehe. For example, you can burn some guy but the texture keeps the same. At least he should get a little tan...
-Some weapon upgrades don't seem to have a tangible effect. For example, sniper rifles are dead accurate without accuracy upgrade, why would you want to buy it?.
-No prone/lean. Not sure if this was a design decision to fit more with the character, as the guy is more a bad ass than a special forces operator.
-Dusk looks the same as Dawn. Too much yellow, were are reddish sky Dusks?.
-Don't like the primary/secondary/special weapon system. Why didn't they use an inventory system, using weight and/or volume?. I mean, compare the size and weight of carring 3 IED's, an AS50 and a Carl Gustaf, with carring a gun, a SMG and a dart rifle.
-Too few "screams" when killing guys. I mean, there are like 3.
-The things your buddies propose you, don't make sense. Even in the context of the game. They feel more like a hindrance. Yeah, you can add things to safe houses, and generally missions are longer this way (so I do them), but they still are crazy.
-Possibility to check watch. Sometimes you wonder what time is it. It should be easy, just assinging it to some key.
-Sometimes it's difficult to see guys at night, but they can easily see you. Some night vision goggles or some light amplification optics for the weapons would be nice. But then it's perhaps too high tech for an african country.
-Where is all the people hidding in this African country?.
-Where are the Lyons, the crocodiles, hyenas i.e. the animals that you instantly say "Africa"!.
-Possibility to change position in boats from gun to "driving" like in assault trucks. I have been feel frustrated several times after running to the mounted gun, pressing the action key, and then watching as he seats on the boat (and then dying).
-Perhaps you thought respawning as it is in guard posts was a good idea, but it doesn't work. Doesn't make sense, and it's frustating. I mean, can't you just make them respawn after several ingame hours or something like that?.
-You carry too little of some ammo. I mean, I have used tactical vests, and you can have 3 double 30 rounds magazine puches, that means 210 rounds on you (counting the ones on the assault riffle).
-African mercenaries are cyborgs. Even without bullet proof vest, they can whistand like 8 7.62x51mm bullets in average before they fall to the ground. Hell, some even survive to a .50 BMG caliber round from the AS50. If I recall correctly, in the original Far Cry, guys could whistand fire but because they were using tactical armor. You had to shoot to uncovered parts like the head or legs. Guys die fast from a headshot though in Far Cry 2. Also, mercenary buddies are some more advanced cyborg models, they can whistand a shot from the AS50 to the head.
-No firing mode selection. I mean, no single shot, or full auto instead of 3 round burst. This should also be easy to implement. There are probably no animations for this though.
-I don't know if it's my configuration, but sound it's not great at all. I am referring to the sound engine, sound effects are nice. Sound occlusion is too basic. Also, people sound at the same volume when they are far away as when they are close to you. Also, I can't get 5.1 sound, just stereo. Again, I am referring to the sound engine.

I don't know if it is just me, but I see a lot of similar things in this game with Oblivion (Superb Game BTW). Missions in that game didn't feel as frustating, because they were in a place not fat away from where you were. And if it was too far away, you could pospone it and do some others meanwhile. Also you could do them or just go the other way. In Far Cry 2 there is too much traveling from one place to another in a single mission. That wouldn't be such a bad thing, but guard posts make it frustating.

Overall, I liked the game. But sometimes you wonder how things like the map/monocular passed beta testing.

Aof: I was re reading what I posted and realised I put
"Like the author of this blog, buddies were sometimes so stupid that..."
What I meant was
"Like what the author of this blog found, I also found buddies were sometimes so stupid that..."
Sorry for the mistake hehe.

babalol: Just wondering are we ever going to see download content to allow adding of AI on map editor with actions like
aggresive,defensive, exct.

Adam: dual_barrel: You said...


The enemy in a gunfight doesn't behave tactically as in F.E.A.R or in S.T.A.L.K.E.R

...and there are a couple of issues with it. First of all, I really think you're glossing your memory of STALKER's AI a little. I don't remember it being all that smart and now that 1up FM is doing a backlog replay of STALKER at the end of their podcasts, I'm feeling that this memory of mine is pretty confirmed. I never got the impression that STALKER's enemies were working to ambush me or route me or flush me out. In fact, I'd set STALKER and FarCry 2's enemies right about the same level. Which isn't that great, since it's been some time since STALKER and they really could have improved on that since then.

As far as FEAR goes, you need to remember that FEAR is set in a series of extremely linear hallways. The AI used in an environment like that simply doesn't work for the wide-open spaces of a game like FarCry 2 (or even STALKER) because the AI has a lot more choice in how it will respond to your actions. It should also be noted that FEAR is well-known for its use of clever coding tricks to present an AI that seems more intelligent and tactical than it really is. A combination of dynamic AI and scripted actions are what give FEAR its wickedly smart foes. Could that be adapted for FarCry 2? Sure, but it'd be far more limited in scope, far more prone to bug the hell out and its repetition would be a lot more noticeable.

Adam: Oh, and while I'm yammering on...

Clint.

Please.

DLC for more fauna.

I wanna see elephants crossing the road and have to slow down my truck to let them pass, lest they go crazy.

I want to be making my way toward an enemy camp, only to realize that my prey are being stalked by another predator, a pride of hungry lionesses.

I want to be breezing down the river, relatively certain of my safety from enemy forces, only to have to gun the engine when I venture too far into a hippo's territory. Those guys are the worst!

I want to wrestle a giraffe. (Or at least see one.) Race a cheetah. Plan my attack around avoiding a rhino. See a bongo. Ride a bongo. Hug a bongo. Play with a bongo!*

*I will pay 800 MS points for a bongo add-on pack.

J-Man: @Adam,

I'd like there to be missions to hunt paticularly elusive or rare animals, with the reward being diamonds, and a head mounted on the wall of a safehouse.

JMareel: Well first and foremost let me give kudos to Tom for his insightful and hilarious blog post here, to Clint for commenting and giving us the gamers a little insight into his and the team's thinking behind the game, and the public here for keeping as it was said before... civil.

Now I am going to repeat the question that UBCS asked before me... Why haven't we seen any info concerning an SDK (except for one blurb in an interview way back) and why on God's green Earth would you EVER consider not letting Far Cry 2 and the Dunia engine to be modded?!

Knowing how big modding has become and is in the past years, makes the decision to keep tight-lipped about mod-ability is I believe a BIG error. Especially with the modding community in your own backyard (referring to Far Cry 1) that was anxiously awaiting this game even though its from a different production house and totally different story line.

I also ask from a personal desire to mod the Far Cry 2 world and Dunia engine, as we have a team chomping at the bit for an SDK so we can create a rich experience for the game with our competitive shooting and hunting mod called Mwindaji Expeditions http://me.g2mods.net . So please can we get some insight as to why not much information into no appearance of SDK and why the modding community has been left in the dark about mod-ability?

Thanks so much for this game that could have so much future possibility. Help us help you realize this potential.

dual_barrel: Adam,

All I asked for is, I wanted the enemy to behave in an organized manner during a gunfight, like taking cover, trying to flank me out if they can - coordinating among themselves. I wanted the enemy to act as a whole, instead of each of them running around on their own from cover to cover without any form of coordination.

Chinese_boxer: This is our new website, the last one got to expensive after 6yrs. Any way Our clan started on Ubi games on the ps2( junglestorm, ghost recon, GR2...ect, in fact Ubi games were probably one of the only companies that were international. We are an international clan and play only international games. I have a few questions that no one will answer on the far cry 2 forum.
1.)Why do you region lock the game after it was region free?? I am going to have to go play that socom crap now!
2.) Please put in a patch to atleast give us a choice to turn off the respawn. This should atleast be an option!!
3.) Please make it so we can keep our weapons in non-ranked rooms. I hate starting over evey time I play the game.
Fix these probles please!!!!!!! Great game, one of the best I have played from ubi, but I will have to sell it, especially if you do not make it international, all 40 of us! Respawn gets boring, please give us the option, Thank you.

Anthony: Where's Clint?

I would like him to come back on to discuss the game.

Anthony: I quite enjoyed the game and sure, it didn't meet my expectations, but seeing as I've been looking forward to it all year how could I not enjoy it?

The game had it's flaws, but I still loved it. I was upset to see my friend Paul die after injecting three morphines into him on a rainy night leaving me left alone.

What I was confused about was how did this match the theme The Heart of Darkness?

[SPOILER]
The goal was for the main character to kill The Jackal. He turned this country upside down putting his life on the line for the months, but when he gets the oppurtinity to kill The Jackal, instead of putting two bullets in the heart and one in the end, he kills himself because The Jackal told him to.
WTF?

When Clint returns, I would like to discuss this game, though it has flaws, I still love it. I'm trying to get all buddies, diamonds, safe houses etc.

Far Cry 2: What I Do Like, by Pentadact, who is secretly Tom Francis: [...] promise. For those who don’t follow the comments, something pretty remarkable happened in the Impersonation Of A Buddy post. The guy who actually made Far Cry 2, Clint Hocking, showed up to explain how some of this [...]

Far Cry 2: What I’d Like, by Pentadact, who is secretly Tom Francis: [...] Comments    Anthony: I quite enjoyed the game and sure, it didn't...On Far Cry 2: Impersonation Of A Buddy Pod: The full CC comes with a proper shark's mouth...On Field [...]

Greg: for all of you asking why everything you are asked to do in the game is bad, watch the film blood diamond. TIA!

Greg: plus i freaking loved this game. sure it was a little repetitive, but I've been to africa, and it reminded me so much of being there(with the exception of being shot at by everyone, haha) which is probly why i enjoyed it so much.

Redhawk: So you ran into Michelle too, huh? I'd heard about her reputation, but when I ran into her in Fictionesia, saving her life for a UFLL lieutenant that I quietly nicknamed Lenin, I figured she'd be grateful for being rescued from some thugs that were probably getting a little gropey. So I thought that she wouldn't try to screw me over.

So Lieutenant Lenin tells me I need to go fuck some Special Forces guys. He pays me in advance, informing me that Lenin is not terribly intelligent, but I opt to do the job anyway. Michelle somehow hears about it and tells me that the SF guys have a Belgian informant in a nearby villa. She has a gig with some APR guys and if the Belgian redirects them to Mostaba, she can get the guys to ambush them and I get my job done way easier.

Awesome, I think. The infamous Michelle is now falling all over herself to help me. And she is living in my safe house. If only girls back in the States were this easy.

So I fight through the Belgian's private army, get him to redirect the SF team, and put a bullet through his skull. Michelle calls me up to let me know that she and her boys are on the way. I actually get to enjoy the river breeze in Fictionesia for once, thinking this job is pretty much done.

Then I get to Mostaba and see what a little clusterfuck shantytown it is. No problem, I think. I'll just give Michelle a ring and see if she's ready to go. No answer. Hrm. Whatever. The ambush must be on its way. I'm a sneaky motherfucker, so I'll just pick off some of the perimeter guards.

It would be silly to detail what happened next, so let me just say that, through a hilarious combination of circumstances, a significant amount of Mostaba was set on fire and I was lacking a lot of grenades and ammunition at the end of it. I'm not certain if the several dozen strong garrison was APR or UFLL; no one seems to wear a uniform in this fucking country which I'm sure makes massed firefights fun. But I am certain that Michelle's promised ambush never came.

As I hustled out of the flaming wreck formerly known as Mostaba, Michelle called me. Seems the very APR goons that she had said were coming to help me had had a disagreement with her and she was pinned down nearby. Could I help? Oh sure, Michelle. I'll come help. You're my bestest buddy.

Michelle was pinned down by a laughable three spastic mercenaries which I finished off in about thirty seconds. I found her huddled in a corner, clutching an AK to her chest. She smiled weakly when she saw me and muttered something about these fucking guys. I chuckled and she turned her back.

Michelle's corpse would later be found with her knees blasted off by a shotgun and her spine severed by a machete. That I happened to be carrying both shotgun and machete at the time is entirely coincidental, I swear.

Bret: Ah, it was those blasted invisible machete wielding shotgun robots.

Diabolical.

MartinJ: Well, I finished the game 2 minutes ago. I have to say that I completely understood the ending and didn't find it bad at all, one thing was disappointing - I didn't get to do the final thing. SPOILERS SPOILERSSPOILER SSPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS:
When you're supposed to kill yourself with a bullet, I say the game should give you an anim of the protagonist taking the gun out of his briefcase and putting it in their mouth or to the side of their head. Then, YOU have to press the button which pulls the trigger. Would feel much more .. sad that way. When the photos of fleeing people appeared, I had no idea what was going on, and was expecting to see my guy die, but you can't see that. Totally ruined the moment for me.

Far Cry 2: A Far Cry From What It Could Have Been « Thee Brouhaha: [...] Clint Hocking, falls in the same trap. Some of the problems have already been discussed over at Penadact’s blog which Clint Hocking actually visited and discussed for awhile, which is a major plus in my book. I [...]

Coint & Plick 2008 #17: Far Cry 2 « The ILG Coint & Plick Awards: [...] Developer-Reviewer discussion [...]

Fatalism in Leboa-Sako and Bowa-Seko | Five Players: [...] Cry 2′s launch was very nicely covered and illustrated by PC Gamer’s Tom Francis in a trilogy of posts to which Clint Hocking himself responded with some explanations for the more radical [...]

Jason L: http://www.penny-arc... ...11231l.gif

Post 500, by Tom Francis: [...] Far Cry 2: Impersonation Of A Buddy Thanks to a celebrity cameo in the comments – cheers, [...]

Lachnummer: A gorgeous world, both art and engine. It is sad that it is so steeped in blood.

I admire the artistry in first person games, but could really live without
all the fighting. Yes, enemies can make a game more interesting. And many types of story simply need adversaries. However, admiring these artificial worlds and experiencing the stories are my main motivations in playing games. It's what entertains me, it's what I buy the games for.

To me, fights are mostly a distraction. Fighting enemies is sometimes interesting, too, but not necessarily so. In particular, repeatedly fighting in the same arena can become tedious. In a linear FPS, the reward of a fight is at least progression into a newly accessible area. In an open-world game, once I have fought past an obstacle, I am no longer interested in fighting there.

Please make it easier to have fun in games without constantly having to fight or even kill something.
Cut yourself a slice of Mirror's Edge or Portal - almost no fighting required,
and no shooting at all.
Even the largely violence-loving Crysis (all three of them) allows
you to use stealth to avoid a lot of the fights.

Yeah, I know, the FC2 story is about becoming what you fight - but no thanks.

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