Part 26: Commentary Corner - Mission 5Mission 5 Extra Stuff!
I had repressed a lot of this boat level from memory, and although it should've been one of the better levels (infiltrating a huge cargo ship? Awesome!) it turned out really bad with some half-finished ideas around.
The lighting tends to be pretty good in this level and the ship is fairly atmospheric, and they do a few tricks such as the moving water refraction in the lower sub level. The idea of big glass walls with water like that carry over to the multiplay map Islands, to get some re-use. The texturework is good and there are a lot of neat setpieces and shootable things, too.
This was an early promo shot of the level:
I think a lot of those early promo shots had Nod soldiers just pasted into them without much care. They always look out of place. Anyhow, it's another good shot of an old Havoc.
Here's another interesting piece of concept art for a GDI soldier. The rugged guy is full of pouches and has knives, grenades, and electronics all within reach. Like some of the earlier concept art, he's got tattoos: a skull on his neck, snake down his arm. Perhaps one of the Dead 6? Let's make a few changes, color it up, and--
Oh. It's Havoc, or rather, another proto-Havoc. Wearing one of the body armor pickups from the final game. Here's another punkier shot of a similar get-up that was used in some promo stuff:
Anyhow, I don't think we've seen these yet so far:
The more paramilitary, less supervillain version of the final look for the main Nod opposition for the first half of the game. And the more supervillain look for guys who will start showing up more often in the second half.
Back to the plot before I get distrac Tiberian Lifeform Detected
Havoc finds some mutants! Now, some of what we've seen in the past makes sense. The mystery bottom floor of the Hand of Nod full of those strap-down tables with big tiberium cylinders nearby. Nod's trying to work on augmented soldiers. These guys are called Initiates, which as you might surmise, implies there are other more advanced versions.
Initiates are interesting because they're melee creatures. Online, your character won't play more than one frame of animation during an "attack" so there's no melee there. Incidentally the harvesters won't do more than one frame either if asked to animate. Online, you can still make weapons translate along their axis, which is what gives recoil effects. You can set that negative for a "jab" effect but it'll suck. I mentioned that harvesting animations only do one frame so I should mention that RA:APB has Ore Trucks that properly scoop, but only because of a lot of effort in getting that to work.
For A Path Beyond, a custom animation is used for the Medic or Mechanic so he whacks you with his tool; that's just one blended frame of animation. Same for the Grenadier class; grenades are actually "Pistols" but with an override on the infantry to hold them at their side, and their one attack frame being to "throw."
Infantry classes can have a set of idle animations and differing weapon stance animations, actually, and a set of overrides for those. That's how Technicians in APB will revert to classic C&C "technician running with hands waving" once you exit combat for a while, their animation overrides specify that as their run animation when they're idle / not shooting and while holding that kind of weapon.
While we're still talking animations, Havoc does a bunch of neat rolls and sprints in the intro cinematic. Renegade was from a time before sprinting as a big deal in every game, although suitable animations exist for the rolling and sprinting (and like I've mentioned before, more interesting transitions for vehicles). You actually can re-add rolling to the game via a small configuration file tweak, although not-the-best animation is used. The dive/roll is then activated by pushing the directional key twice in a row. This does mean you will accidentally do it now and then.
Now and then you'll see Nod soldiers do a kind of goofy, bent down "sneak" animation where they do a quick 360. It's more of a ballet move. Instead of using the badass rolling animations (which have a set speed, and during which you cannot fire your weapon or change your direction), Havoc will use the goofy-twirls. That makes it less enjoyable, and it's not fast enough to help, and there is no stamina system so if it was fast enough to help I'm sure people would just goofy-twirl everywhere.
So, that Initiate. You might notice that Visceroids and that Initiate have no team logo, they have the (/) no sign. There are basically four teams in this game. Nod, GDI, Civilian, and Mutant. Mutant is actually hostile to everybody normally, although they appear target-wise the same as Civilian will. Civilian won't attack GDI.