In the development of the game, it is important to recognize when not to reinvent the wheel. And so, 25 years after Id first lit Quake’s flashing lightning, we ended up with Half-Life Alyx & # 39; s City 17 fluorescent lamps flashing in exactly the same way.
To clarify, this is not just a similar effect. As Redditor saw it CrazyGiaky, the flashing lights of Half-Life: Alyx work the same way they did in the original 1998 Half-Life: two major engine changes and 22 years later.
In Source – and of course both GoldSrc and Source 2 – the lights have a list of properties that can be played with the editor. Blinking is controlled by a letter string from A to Z (with A black and Z in full brightness). If you change this string, lights can be made to emulate a candle flicker, a soft LED pulse, or, as shown, a hard, broken fluorescent lamp.
For example, a candle can use the string "nmonqnmomnmomomno", while this particular effect is generated with "mmamammmmammamamaaamammma".
It's one thing to reuse Half-Life 1 code. But the developer's engine has its own roots in the reference Quake engine of Id Software. Here, it turned out that this method of breaking lights may have started with John Carmack’s engine, but with decades of 2D games preceding it, it’s more than possible that this technique will go back even further.
We’re used to seeing developers talk about taking huge, technically impressive steps, especially when it comes to something as complex as lighting. Still, it’s sometimes nice to see that even after decades of progress, a simple trick can still fit the bill.