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Como muchos conocen , Mihn Le aka "Gooseman" fue uno de los diseñadores originales de CS , esta actualmente trabajando en un nuevo proyecto del genero llamado "Tactical Intervention".
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"September 28, 2009 - On any given weekend in South Korea you're likely to run across a video game tournament, and the most popular game is Blizzard's StarCraft from 1998. But as if that isn't odd enough, the fact that an 11-year old game is the biggest thing in one of most video game-crazed nations in the world, then it's really no surprise that the second-most popular game is almost as old, Counter-Strike. But for Counter-Strike creator, Minh Le, it doesn't seem to phase him. Actually, he's more focused on his current project than his past accomplishments, and now the new project is almost finished. I sat down with Minh at a little Italian restaurant in Itaewon, Seoul's popular nightlife area, to chat with him about what he's been doing since he left Valve, his thoughts on the current gaming circuit, and his new project: Tactical Intervention.
After graduating from Simon Fraser University, Minh went to work for Valve on various Counter-Strike related projects, the biggest of which was supposed to be Counter-Strike 2. But things never really got off the ground, the project ended up being put on the shelf, and Counter-Strike 2 died there. But the pressure was there for him to do something big; pressure he didn't care for. So Minh and Valve agreed to part ways on good terms (he still keeps in touch with people there), and he started his own project soon afterwards. Then he promptly fell off the video gaming map. "I moved into my parents' basement since I had to save money," he recalled. "And for two years, I worked as much as I could." Minh moved to Vancouver and continued the new project with a small 5-man team. But things were difficult for him as he now had to come up with an entirely brand new game on his own, from coding to map-making, with no pre-existing game to rely on. Add in the fact that Minh didn't have a regular support staff to help him and the one-year project Minh envisioned died a horrible death.
After years of waiting, the creator of Counter-Strike finally reveals his new project.
Minh moved to South Korea in April 2008 after a friend put him in touch with a South Korean businessman with capital who was looking to get into the video game industry. The new partner provided Minh with an office and some capital to form a new company, allowing him to hire another programmer and some part-time staff. Now over a year later, Tactical Intervention is nearly complete. For Minh it's been a labor of love, the game he wanted Counter-Strike to be but was never able to make happen or call his own. "I enjoyed Counter-Strike," Minh recalls, "but I wanted to have my own game. I was never able to put in all the cool features I wanted because the people who played Counter-Strike would [complain] about all the changes. They liked the game as it is."
I had the opportunity to look at Tactical Intervention when I visited Minh's office in the western part of Seoul. On the surface the new game very much resembles Counter-Strike in appearance; both games run off the same engine so the graphics haven't progressed much. "Graphics-wise, I know it's not the best," said Minh. But the game is definitely his baby as he is finally able to introduce some of the elements he wanted to put in Counter-Strike into TI.
One big game play change being introduced in TI is the appearance of hostages. Expect active civilians within the map that run around, react to events happening around them (bullets flying by), getting in the way, and being used by terrorists as human shields. Another element is introducing dogs -- not little Chihuahuas that the civilians carry but big dogs, German Shepherds or Rottweilers that players can command. The demonstration I saw had Minh order a dog to attack a terrorist. The dog quickly ran to the terrorist, jumped up, and attached itself to his arm. A split second later, Minh dropped the terrorist with a few quick shots.
Maps in Tactical Intervention will include non-combatants.
Other issues that posed problems early-on in Counter-Strike are also addressed, specifically snipers, camping, and waiting. "I hated how powerful snipers were in Counter-Strike," said Minh. "They really unbalanced the game." With players camping at sniping points around the map, Minh remembers playing and watching games that took way too long, especially for players who died early and had to watch from the sidelines. TI resolves the waiting issue in a simple manner: make the rounds faster. "I wanted to make TI faster so people aren't waiting around as much between rounds," explained Minh. "The average round should be two minutes, maybe less, so people aren't waiting around as much." I have to agree; one of the most frustrating things in the world is watching other people play while you're stuck on the sidelines. Quicker rounds means more playing time. More playing time means more fun. It also equates to me getting killed more often, but hey, I'm having fun.
And gaming is all about having fun, as Minh sees it. "I just want to make a game that's a lot of fun for people to play; something that's not complicated." But he's also very much determined to make sure that any game he makes is distinctly his own and fun to play. And he's learned quite a few things about the nitty-gritty side of the video game industry, more than he ever likely wanted to know. After all, it is a multi-billion dollar worldwide business. And the stakes for a piece of that pie are growing ever higher. Minh clearly realizes this as he and his business partner continue to talk to publishers about TI. But in the end, I think Minh would just prefer to be in front of a computer somewhere, programming or playing, and not worry about all the hassles, much in the same way that he acknowledges what he did with Counter-Strike but isn't caught up in it. "It's very much a what have you done for me lately attitude now," he said. "And I haven't done anything for a while." Well, Minh's going to do something soon. Tactical Intervention will be going into beta-testing soon and is likely to be released by the end of this year."
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