December 6, 2006

A Hammer a Day

Our "House" wasn't crooked this time.

Hammer is actually fun. Though we saved our file, "The Enlightnment," the last time we worked on it in class, the file went to a little place I like to call computer purgatory--it's there--somewhere--but we don't know when it is going to be released from obscurity.

In any case, we didn't have our origianl file from our last class, so we started from scratch. This time, however, we were not in a house with gaps between the walls.and the lights were fixed on the ceiling, not a la disco, as before.


I must concur with Mike and say that the interface on this program is so much more user-friendly than many of the open source programs we've used in New Media Projects. The buttons' icons actually meant something to me. Though the undo function was not Ctrl+Z in Hammer, many of the keyboard shortcuts I easily picked up.


The zombie becomes interested in us. We later die and the screen goes crazy.

I particularly liked positioning the camera in various parts of the room. I got a better handle on the room's dimensions the second time around than the first.

And when I got to see our player being attacked by zombies, I was very satisfied by a day's work. What? Zombies? Yes, ZOMBIES. Dr. Jerz made zombies and helped us place them in our game. With our player's movement function disabled, the lesson was not in shooting them, as our classmates games portrayed, but rather, in passive resistance, as Evan put it.

I would definitely try Hammer again, and because I own it now, I will get the chance after I graduate...when I'm doing part-time work or grad school applications or...something.

Hammer seems to encourage the user, if backed into a corner, to find a way out. When I'm learning a new program, I've found, I tend to try everything until I find the right button or function or mode. Hammer is functional enough to deal with my eagerness to experiment, and doesn't force a user to read a 500-page manual. I like that in a program.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at December 6, 2006 2:25 PM | TrackBack

I'm glad to hear you found Hammer's interface easy to follow. You have always been intellectually assertive, and this class has given you the chance to apply that assertiveness to software. I really like what you did with Flash, and I'm glad that you were able to enjoy your experiences with HL2 modding. Onward and upward from here!

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at December 6, 2006 5:17 PM

Do I sense some sentimentality in this comment, Dr. Jerz?

Graduation hasn't even hit me yet. I've a feeling when I don't have to buy books for the next semester it will all hit me.

Posted by: Amanda at December 6, 2006 9:19 PM

It was fun to see everyone really get the hang of the software! You guys had a great approach, although to me it seemed more like "get pummeled on the playground"... but you could call that "passive resistance"

Posted by: Mike Rubino at December 6, 2006 11:34 PM

I liked the little storyline that Evan made up to go along with your HL2 mod--too funny.

I have to agree that Hammer is probably one of the few software packages we toyed with this semester that was easy to learn and produce with. It ranks right up there with Inform 7 and Flash.

I think the reason Hammer was such fun to work with is because it was so intuitive, more of a glorified, 3D "Paint" program than anything else. Simple combinations of clicks, dragging, and pressing buttons make it quick to create huge three-dimensional rooms and objects (all of the prefabs didn't hurt, either). I only wish there were more default texture choices.

Posted by: ChrisU at December 11, 2006 2:09 PM
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