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    Netcode Interview - with Yahn Bernier
    (senior software engineer at Valve).

    4. Are there any plans for addressing the issues raised about the netcode?

    Weíre always listening to our users and we have been and will continue to be diligent about addressing exploits and the like. As far as bugs, we will certainly address those on an ongoing basis. As for more global decisions/design decisions, we will also reevaluate those over time. We want our games to be fun, that is our main motivator.

    5. It also seems that most of the discussion about the netcode revolves only around its effects on Counterstrike (but the Counterstrike changes are sometimes attributed to Valve), do you see this is a problem that other Half-Life games are seemingly ignored often?

    Actually, there is quite an active debate going on about these issues in the TF1.5/TFC community as well as the HLDM community (note that HLDM, unlike CS and TF 1.5, does not include support for lag compensation or client-side predicted weapons). We saw a lot of reaction to the update right after the initial ship date. Having a few bugs slip through only served to cloud the issues further. With TF1.5, we made a few changes to a game that had remained unchanged for quite some time. A lot of users were caught off-guard by the scope of the changes. Also, there, was a perception that the feel of the game had changed and that users would have to relearn certain maneuvers. By now, though, most users have accepted the changes and by and large seem to be having a great time with the new stuff. As for CS in particular, I believe that the CS team intentionally decided to make the weapons a little harder to aim with. This has led to the perception that the netcode is the problem, when in fact the behavior, in a lot of cases, is an intentional game design decision. Thatís not to say that there arenít some bugs left in the netcode (there always will be) Ė just that Iím pretty sure that the netcode works they way it was designed most of the time.

    6. What other new additions to Half-Life or TF can we expect to see, whether before or after the release of TF2?

    A lot of new stuff will come out as additional functionality exposed in the Half-Life SDK. With that said, a few of the things that we are planning on releasing and using in TF1.5 before TF2 ships are voice support, new player models and improved animation, and possibly a new class.

    Back to the Interviews MainpageVoice your OpinionOur viewers Comments

    Comments on this article are always welcome. Please use the feedback page, and if you wish your comments to be placed up in our mailbag feature, please let us know.

    About the Author: Ninja is a senior staff member here at GameSurge, in charge of public relations for the site. Ninja is also the man when it comes to getting games for free to review, so we all like Ninja. Like his namesake, we never see Ninja till it's to late.

    About Yahn Bernier: "Yahn was an Atlanta patent lawyer with a degree in chemistry from Harvard. So obviously he ended up in Seattle developing computer games. He taught himself to program at the age of 12 and, more recently, developed what we at Valve have called "that other level editor," BSP. Now that he's getting paid to make games, he figures he'll practice law in his spare time (little does he know). Yahn worked on Half-Life's multiplayer code, and is currently hard at work on Team Fortress 2. His favorite phrase, when imbibing too freely, is "Yucca will assimilate you.""(From Valve)

    NB: If you haven't done so already, feel free to vote on the poll on the right of the page to express your thoughts.


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    Zalman: ZM-DS4F Headphones

    An affordable, ultra-portable headphone set.

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