Thursday, March 19, 2009

Propane Tanks in Left 4 Dead

So I was playing Left 4 Dead the other day, and I am more than willing to admit I am pretty new at it.

Anyways we were setting up to take on a horde of zombies, and I was told to shoot a placed propane tank when they came.

I dutifully threw my Molotov on it then shot it, and was ridiculed for wasting my Molotov. Of course I was ridiculed for being so foolish. WTF! O

Okay, obviously it is just a game. You can't really heal yourself from being mauled by wrapping an ace bandage around your leg, nor slam random pills to get a health boost. Still, you do expect SOME real world interactions. If I fall, I am not suprised when I take damage. When I fall off a tall building I am not surprised that I die. In fact, I don't have to have my character fall off a tall building and die to learn that. I simply assume that it implemented that way in the game. In the same manner I assume if I run through the flames left by another player's thrown Molotov, my character would take damage.

I don't know why it was so surprising that I thought you needed to provide a 'spark' to the propane. Afterward I found some more around and shot them. They explode, but in a very non-dramatic fashion. Heck, I suspect I have accidentally shot a few and didn't even notice.

In retrospect, maybe I should have assumed if they didn't bother with adding some sort of incendiary to the gas can, they'd apply the same rule to propane tanks. Even still, the magnitude of the propane tank explosion was pitiful.

Here's how it SHOULD work.

Molotov = as depicted in game is fine. The small fire it produces is fitting.

Gas Can = should have a road flare tied to it. When you drop it/throw it, the road flare is lit. You simply then shoot it to make it blow. The medium sized fire it produces is fitting.

Propane Tank = should be a two-step process. Step 1, throw a Molotov (or some other existing fire) Step 2, pierce tank. This should result in a HUGE fireball, and the tank should go flying and bouncing around, knocking over anyone it hits, potentially bouncing back right into the survivors.

Even if you skip the road flare or Molotov to ignite Gas Can and Propane Tank, the itty bitty bang is just not acceptable.

HERE are some vids of propane tanks (properly engulfed in minor flames first, you will notice) DO behave. Having seen stuff like this first-hand, the deafening boom is rarely caught, and even when it is, it does not do justice to the chest thump you feel.


avk said...

Now, that's more like it.

avk said...

Also,in my experience, slamming random pills does give you a health boost. (short-term effects only)

Gus said...

This is the Andrew I know and love.

w1ndst0rm said...

Hard to refute a presentation like that.

Andrew said...

Game Developer: What? Propane Tanks that explode in damatic firebals and go flying all over the place? NO! we want less visually dramatic elements in our games!

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