So I gave a talk on Half-Life / game development at PRACTICE 2013, and the video is now online with a fancy title card and everything. Thanks again to NYU Game Center for hosting and having me!
Well-Made: Back to Black Mesa
The modern AAA single player first person shooter consists mainly of two things: shooting faces in implausibly realistic levels with a pistol, machine gun, shotgun, sniper rifle, or rocket launcher -- and obeying NPCs when they trap you inside a room so they can emit voiceover lines at you. Half-Life's legacy in the latter is well-mythologized in history, but what if we re-visit Half-Life as a masterpiece of technical design, enemy encounters, AI scripting, weapons tuning, and architecture? Spoiler: we'll find out it's a pretty well-crafted game.
To learn more about PRACTICE, visit http://gamecenter.nyu.edu/practice