Re-visit the horror that is Half-Life 1's third party remake!



  • It's probably old news by now, but there's this Half-Life 2 mod called Black Mesa that is a remake of the original Half-Life.

    First WTF: try clicking on links on that page. With your computer's sound turned on.

    So I downloaded the giant (3.4GB) 7z file and extracted it into my wine-steam installation's sourcemods folder. The Black Mesa team is REALLY REALLY GOOD at knowing what compression is and how it works:

       Date      Time    Attr         Size   Compressed  Name
    ------------------- ----- ------------ ------------  ------------------------
    2012-09-14 14:30:03 ....A   3298098513   3342627685  BlackMesa/BlackMesa.7z
    2012-09-14 13:55:01 ....A       827720       687962  BlackMesa/BlackMesa-Setup.exe
    2012-09-14 13:55:01 ....A          101               BlackMesa/BlackMesa.md5
    2012-09-14 13:48:51 D....            0            0  BlackMesa
    ------------------- ----- ------------ ------------  ------------------------
                                3298926334   3343315647  3 files, 1 folders
    
    Second WTF: Yep, they "compressed" a 7z file inside another 7z file. Oh look, they also have a 101 byte MD5 and an exe that's completely useless! How wonderful! That's totally worth having a 3.4GB download instead of a 3.2GB download and requiring me to extract it twice instead of just once.

    Fun fact: The 7z format has built in checksums.



  • That bullshit took up a Steam Greenlight slot. I hate Black Mesa with a passion. Fucking wankers.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    Um wasn't there already a remake of HL1 called Half Life: Source?



  • @joe.edwards said:

    Um wasn't there already a remake of HL1 called Half Life: Source?

    Re-visit the horror that is Half-Life 1's third party remake!



  • @blakeyrat said:

    That bullshit took up a Steam Greenlight slot. I hate Black Mesa with a passion. Fucking wankers.

    I've decided not to take your hatred of anything seriously until I have a baseline of something you like for comparison.



  • @Ben L. said:

    @joe.edwards said:
    Um wasn't there already a remake of HL1 called Half Life: Source?

    Re-visit the horror that is Half-Life 1's third party remake!

    So is Black Mesa a fourth party remake?



  • @Master Chief said:

    @blakeyrat said:
    That bullshit took up a Steam Greenlight slot. I hate Black Mesa with a passion. Fucking wankers.

    I've decided not to take your hatred of anything seriously until I have a baseline of something you like for comparison.

    There are quite a few games that I actually like!



  •  3.4GB file giant? Heh



  • @pbean said:

     3.4GB file giant? Heh

    I'll admit to have stopped caring about video games over a decade ago, but 3.4gb still seems pretty big for a mod, dontcha think?



  • @Ben L. said:

       Date      Time    Attr         Size   Compressed  Name


    2012-09-14 14:30:03 ....A 3298098513 3342627685 BlackMesa/BlackMesa.7z
    2012-09-14 13:55:01 ....A 827720 687962 BlackMesa/BlackMesa-Setup.exe
    2012-09-14 13:55:01 ....A 101 BlackMesa/BlackMesa.md5
    2012-09-14 13:48:51 D.... 0 0 BlackMesa


                            3298926334   3343315647  3 files, 1 folders
    

    TRWTF is that 7zip uses up 44 megabytes to store about 65 bytes of information (64 bytes for the checksum, plus the fact that BlackMesa.7z doesn't compress, rounded up to the nearest byte).



  • @Ben L. said:

    First WTF: try clicking on links on that page. With your computer's sound turned on.
    I hate it when people do that. "Go stick a paperclip into that socket. Go on. It's gonna be really funny." Yeah, right. Like I'm going to fall for that one... again... after the first seven times.



  • Yeah! If 7z was any good, it would consistently compress any input to maybe 90% of original size, so if you just ran it enough times you could ship that 3.4GB monster on an 8 way DIP switch.

    I'm sure ordinary Zip compression can do this, since I've quite often seen zipped zipped zip files that were smaller than the zipped zip files inside them.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Planar said:

    TRWTF is that 7zip uses up 44 megabytes to store about 65 bytes of information
    That really isn't how compression algorithms work you know. If you want to 'store only' a file you have to tell the compression utility to not compress that file. Running a compression algorithm over data already compressed with that algorithm generally results in larger files.



  • @PJH said:

    @Planar said:
    TRWTF is that 7zip uses up 44 megabytes to store about 65 bytes of information
    That really isn't how compression algorithms work you know. If you want to 'store only' a file you have to tell the compression utility to not compress that file. Running a compression algorithm over data already compressed with that algorithm generally results in larger files.

    My favorite was when I had some junior sysadmin who was writing scripts to backup files. The files needed to be put into an archive, compressed and encrypted so they could be uploaded off-site. Guess which order he did it in? He was quite confused when his bz2 files ended up larger than the originals..



  • @Ben L. said:

    @Master Chief said:
    @blakeyrat said:
    That bullshit took up a Steam Greenlight slot. I hate Black Mesa with a passion. Fucking wankers.

    I've decided not to take your hatred of anything seriously until I have a baseline of something you like for comparison.

    There are quite a few games that I actually like!
    Is one of them impersonating blakeyrat?



  • @PJH said:

    @Planar said:
    TRWTF is that 7zip uses up 44 megabytes to store about 65 bytes of information
    That really isn't how compression algorithms work you know. If you want to 'store only' a file you have to tell the compression utility to not compress that file. Running a compression algorithm over data already compressed with that algorithm generally results in larger files.

    Compression programs, OTOH, often support more than one algorithm; 7zip supports quite a few. It would not be unreasonable for the default behaviour when adding a file which matches the program's own magic header to be to use the null "compression" algorithm.





  • @dhromed said:

    @Zecc said:

    one of these days I really should start playing Portal 2
     

    Nah, you don't.

    Well I paid for it, I might as well. Or is it that bad?

     



  •  TRWTF is that 7-zip doesn't fall back to "store" when it detects it actually expanded what it was attempting to compress. Does it even attempt to perform such detection?


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Medinoc said:

     TRWTF is that 7-zip doesn't fall back to "store" when it detects it actually expanded what it was attempting to compress. Does it even attempt to perform such detection?

    I don't think any of the mainstream compressors attempt any automatic detection on the files they're compressing with a view to deciding whether or not to compress them - the onus is usually placed on the user of the utility.



  • @Zecc said:

    Well I paid for it, I might as well. Or is it that bad?
     

    It's an expansion pack to Portal 1.

    I literally pirated it, went up the first stairs into the room, said "Fuck it, not this shit again" and removed the game from my hard drive.

    And I played Portal 1 in a single sitting because it was so gripping.



  •  @PJH said:

    @Medinoc said:

     TRWTF is that 7-zip doesn't fall back to "store" when it detects it actually expanded what it was attempting to compress. Does it even attempt to perform such detection?

    I don't think any of the mainstream compressors attempt any automatic detection on the files they're compressing with a view to deciding whether or not to compress them - the onus is usually placed on the user of the utility.
    Doesn't WinZip do that? I've never seen a file bigger in WinZip, but I've seen a lot of files 0% compressed.

     



  • @dhromed said:

    @Zecc said:

    Well I paid for it, I might as well. Or is it that bad?
     

    It's an expansion pack to Portal 1.

    I literally pirated it, went up the first stairs into the room, said "Fuck it, not this shit again" and removed the game from my hard drive.

    Dude.  That's just the training levels.  You missed the entire game, which is huge and gripping and full of plot.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Medinoc said:

    Doesn't WinZip do that?
    Apparently not.@WinZip said:
    You would see a similar lack of compression if you zipped some files using maximum compression and then added that Zip file to another Zip file. This second Zip file would not be substantially smaller than the first one (it may even be slightly larger). Again, this is because the data in the original Zip file is already compressed.



  • @dhromed said:

    @Zecc said:

    Well I paid for it, I might as well. Or is it that bad?
     

    It's an expansion pack to Portal 1.

    I literally pirated it, went up the first stairs into the room, said "Fuck it, not this shit again" and removed the game from my hard drive.

    And I played Portal 1 in a single sitting because it was so gripping.


    What you.downloaded wasn't Portal 2. There aren't any stairs in the whole first level. And there's nothing but original content (modulo a few throwbacks to the original Portal, but none of the gameplay in those levels remains)



  • @PJH said:

    @Medinoc said:
    Doesn't WinZip do that?
    Apparently not.
     

    I find that sane for a tool ; I would compare a compression tool that sometime do nothing to a gun that sometime refuse to fire. Even if it were an intelligent decision, I would like better to have the decision taken by the human.

     The problem here is clueless user, and there is a moment where you should stop trying to make your product idiot-proof.



  • @Zecc said:

    Is one of them impersonating blakeyrat?

    The man's obviously insane. Nobody likes Alien Swarm.

    I bet Dungeon Defenders is more his speed, since the UI is so fucking awful it just reminds him of his lovely Linux computer.


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    @TheLazyHase said:

    @PJH said:

    @Medinoc said:
    Doesn't WinZip do that?
    Apparently not.
     

    I find that sane for a tool ; I would compare a compression tool that sometime do nothing to a gun that sometime refuse to fire. Even if it were an intelligent decision, I would like better to have the decision taken by the human.

     The problem here is clueless user, and there is a moment where you should stop trying to make your product idiot-proof.

    While I agree with this sentiment, I don't see anything wrong with the default behavior for a compression utility being a "smart" guess at the most optimal compression algorithm (null, in this case). Of course this "smart" behavior should be coupled with some kind of switch that would allow you to force a specific algorithm if you really want to be inefficient.



  • @DaveK said:

    @dhromed said:
    It's an expansion pack to Portal 1.

    I literally pirated it, went up the first stairs into the room, said "Fuck it, not this shit again" and removed the game from my hard drive

    Dude. That's just the training levels. You missed the entire game, which is huge and gripping and full of plot.

    1. Hyperbole exists.

    2) Portal 2 is really good at one thing: making you hate Stephen Merchant as a comedian. "Hey guys he's so funny, he has 1 joke, here it is over and over and over again! Oh look here's Cave Johnson to tell his one schtick over and over and over again! I'm so glad we hired Slashdot to be our humor consultants!"

    Oh wait was I supposed to be talking positivity? I loved Bioshock Infinite. I like Mechwarrior Online and Tribes Ascend. I've played like 900 hours of Skyrim. Been playing Spore last week, digging it.


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    @blakeyrat said:

    I bet Dungeon Defenders is more his speed, since the UI is so fucking awful it just reminds him of his lovely Linux computer.

    What exactly is wrong with the UI here? This was actually a game I used (with success) to introduce a non-gamer friend to the medium. She didn't find the UI terribly daunting, although I did walk her through the game controls over Ventrilo.



  • @joe.edwards said:

    What exactly is wrong with the UI here?

    Are you... kidding? They seem to have been chosen at random.

    Every menu screen is so loaded with 58,000 options and super bright distracting colors it's difficult to figure out what you're supposed to click. Rantis and I played 2 whole co-op levels and NEVER figured out where (or even IF!) the game has its multiplayer lobby. (Thank God for Steam.) Hell it took us a full 10 minutes just to figure out how to both be in the same co-op game, watch the video.

    Menus with tabs you could switch sometimes used RT and LT to switch tabs, sometimes RB and LB. How did they select which button to use? As far as I can tell: dice roll. The turret placement radial menu is MENTAL. You have to use right stick to select an item, then left stick to place it, then right stick to aim it. (IIRC.) Even after playing that game for like 45 minutes I was still regularly hitting the wrong button while trying to place turrets.

    Anyway I don't know why I'm spelling this out. If you really care, watch the video. You can watch me try to figure out this arcane, insane, menu system as I was doing it. Call it "user testing", something the makers of Dungeon Defenders obviously never bothered to do.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    left stick

    @blakeyrat said:
    right stick

    It's 2013 and you're playing PC games with not one, but TWO joysticks?


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    That explains much; we were both using mouse and keyboard.


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    @blakeyrat said:

    2) Portal 2 is really good at one thing: making you hate Stephen Merchant as a comedian. "Hey guys he's so funny, he has 1 joke, here it is over and over and over again! Oh look here's Cave Johnson to tell his one schtick over and over and over again! I'm so glad we hired Slashdot to be our humor consultants!"

    This certainly hasn't been a staple of modern comedy.

    Oh, right, it's fairly commonplace for a character's lack of depth to be a repeated source of amusement.



  • @joe.edwards said:

    Oh, right, it's fairly commonplace for a character's lack of depth to be a repeated source of amusement.

    Except he's funny as shit in Extras, and the Ricky Gervais Show. I never had a problem with his schtick until Portal 2 made me fucking sick of it.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @joe.edwards said:
    Oh, right, it's fairly commonplace for a character's lack of depth to be a repeated source of amusement.

    Except he's funny as shit in Extras, and the Ricky Gervais Show. I never had a problem with his schtick until Portal 2 made me fucking sick of it.

    What part of "character" don't you understand? Wheatley isn't Stephen Merchant. Wheatley is a CHARACTER with the VOICE of Stephen Merchant.



  • @Ben L. said:

    What you.downloaded wasn't Portal 2. There aren't any stairs in the whole first level.

    When you are in the starting anteroom, and the door opens to let you into the very first test chamber YOU WALK UP SOME STAIRS.

    @Ben L. said:

    And there's nothing but original content ([...] none of the gameplay in those levels remains)

    ARE YOU BLIND, BOY? IT'S FUCKING PORTALS. BLUE AND ORANGE AND YOU SHOOT THEM ON WALLS.

     

    I liked the old bits, of course. Real stylish. But the mood was soooo different from P1. I settled for a livestream playthrough by someone, and a bunch of Blakeyrantis's Let's Plays instead.

     



  • @Ben L. said:

    Wheatley is a CHARACTER
     

    Wheatley is an annoying prat.



  • @Ben L. said:

    It's 2013 and you're playing PC games with not one, but TWO joysticks?
     

    We're having a communication breakdown here. I don't understand your angle. Are you making a joke... trying sarcasm? Hyperbole? Or are you serious in which case you're either completely insane or maybe there's an honest misunderstanding going on?

    Please let me know. TIA.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    I think he's saying no true PC gamer would use a gamepad instead of a mouse and keyboard.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Rantis and I played 2 whole co-op levels and NEVER figured out where (or even IF!) the game has its multiplayer lobby.

    It does, but it's also a bit bizarre.
    I played the game with a keyboard/mouse, and the first thing I noticed was that you can scroll down the list of games in the multiplayer lobby with the arrow keys. However, pressing enter refreshes the listing rather than join the game server you've highlighted. I have never worked out how to actually use the lobby without clicking "join game" using the mouse.

    Still, not quite as insane as the fact that the vertical camera movement is inverted depending on whether or not you're dead.



  • @dhromed said:

    @Ben L. said:
    What you.downloaded wasn't Portal 2. There aren't any stairs in the whole first level.

    When you are in the starting anteroom, and the door opens to let you into the very first test chamber YOU WALK UP SOME STAIRS.

    The first level consists of a simulated motel room, followed by the motel room being destroyed bit by bit, followed by you jumping over a single beam, followed by you going through a portal, followed by you putting a cube on a button, followed by you walking through a fizzler, followed by you entering an elevator. Nope, no stairs.

    @dhromed said:

    @Ben L. said:
    And there's nothing but original content ([...] none of the gameplay in those levels remains)

    ARE YOU BLIND, BOY? IT'S FUCKING PORTALS. BLUE AND ORANGE AND YOU SHOOT THEM ON WALLS.

    HALF-LIFE 2 IS THE EXACT SAME THING AS HALF-LIFE 1 BECAUSE YOU SHOOT GUNS BY LEFT CLICKING



  • So, compression issues aside... have you actually tried playing the game?



    Because it's one of the best remakes I've ever seen. It keeps to the spirit of the original, but does introduce some changes - and they are for MUCH better.

    I was expecting them to fuck it up, and HL1 was one of my favourite games. They didn't.



  • @Ben L. said:

    @blakeyrat said:
    @joe.edwards said:
    Oh, right, it's fairly commonplace for a character's lack of depth to be a repeated source of amusement.

    Except he's funny as shit in Extras, and the Ricky Gervais Show. I never had a problem with his schtick until Portal 2 made me fucking sick of it.

    What part of "character" don't you understand? Wheatley isn't Stephen Merchant. Wheatley is a CHARACTER with the VOICE of Stephen Merchant.

    well duh, obviously he's playing a character. And who knows, maybe if someone else had played the character, they would have annoyed me just as much.

    But the fact remains: before Portal 2, I liked him. Now I do not.



  • @wrack said:

    So, compression issues aside... have you actually tried playing the game?



    Because it's one of the best remakes I've ever seen. It keeps to the spirit of the original, but does introduce some changes - and they are for MUCH better.

    I was expecting them to fuck it up, and HL1 was one of my favourite games. They didn't.

    The only thing I've noticed that changed is the graphics. It's got the same issues as the original HL1: The storyline goes away after the first few levels and it becomes senseless "lol we shoot gun at you", and the "puzzles" mostly consist of figuring out what the objective is in the first place. I've had multiple occasions where I went down a hall, saw a puzzle (how can I get to the other side of this room?), solved it (there are some crates I can push over to the other wall!), and walked into a brick wall. There was nothing on the other side of the room. It was all just scenery. No doors, no ammo, no NPCs, no medkits, no batteries, nothing.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    I honestly suffered through the puzzles for the reward of hearing more humorous monologues from the characters; and I didn't think any less of the game for it.

    Edit: Talking about Portal 2 here, not Black Mesa



  • @Ben L. said:

    The first level consists of

    I see we have a slightly different definition of "first level".

    @Ben L. said:

    HALF-LIFE 2 IS THE EXACT SAME THING AS HALF-LIFE 1 BECAUSE YOU SHOOT GUNS BY LEFT CLICKING
     

    Portal 2 is not substantially different from Portal 1, much like HL2's Episodes are not substantially different from HL2 itself. I was basically done with portalling as an end unto itself, without a larger story framework like the novelty of the gravity gun in Half-Life 2.

    The stupid thing is that I would have loved Portal 2 if it hadn't had portals. Or more than portals. Because this is a super-expertly produced game that does everything right. Except those fucking portals all over again. Portals portals portals portals portals portals portals portals portals. SHUT UP. I KNOW.



  • @wrack said:

    It keeps to the spirit of the original,
     

    Portal 2 has no sense of subtle mystery plus that mindfuck halfway through*, which was my main experience of 1.

    @wrack said:

    HL1 was one of my favourite games

    I never understand this. I never thought it was something special. But maybe that's hindsight, or being spoiled, or whatever.

    Unreal 1 was one of my favourite games. It was really good!

     

    *) hands up if you thought you were just playing a highly polished and fun puzzle game, and then you got to that hole in the wall and you suddenly realize you're not in Kansas anymore. O_O



  • @Ben L. said:

    The only thing I've noticed that changed is the graphics. It's got the same issues as the original HL1: The storyline goes away after the first few levels and it becomes senseless "lol we shoot gun at you", and the "puzzles" mostly consist of figuring out what the objective is in the first place.
     

    Wait, you're talking about HL2, while I think bannedfromcoding was talking about Portals.

    oh wait you're talking about the HL1 remake? ok.

     

    Anyway, HL2 is super awesome.



  • @dhromed said:

    @Ben L. said:
    The first level consists of

    I see we have a slightly different definition of "first level".


    Strange... I don't recall a level like that in the original portal.

    Unless you mean the dumb timer-based one.


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