The House of Hair Out

March 16, 2020, at 04:38 AM by qobol in Media, Games (3 comments)

Title: The House of Hair Out Author: qobol Date: 2020-03-16 04:38 +1100 Tags: Media, Games Comments: Open




Size: 1.66 MB

The House of Hair Out


Author: Jeff Hannan (code) & Tim Hannan (art)
Year: 1998
Region: Europe
Genre: First Person Shooter

Description


Although the first person shooter genre was very popular in the late nineties, very few games of this kind were produced for the Net Yaroze. The House of Hair Out, however, is not an average shooter but a survival game instead. According to his author he got the inspiration from the classic arcade game Pac-Man[1], where enemies can't be killed and crossing the screen from one side to the opposite is possible thanks to warp zones.

Our main goal is to find the control room and then go back to the starting point. On our way the guards will try to capture us. We can freeze them with our gun but there's no way to get rid of them. What makes this game so interesting besides its simple concept is the way the environment is built. The player is trapped in a space loop, which means you can go through a corridor and take a ramp to a different floor only to find yourself seamlessly in the same corridor as before. You're not just running in circles, you're roaming through an architectural chimaera. It's like a video game adaptation of some of M.C. Escher's works[2]. At some places the level design is so crazy you won't notice the transition between looped areas and you'll even face yourself as if staring at a mirror. To help you find your way in this maze you can leave a trail of markers behind you.

The easy level can be completed in less than ten seconds but the hard level requires more time as it is easy to get lost and end up surrounded by guards.

The game was written in C++ using Metrowerks CodeWarrior[3]. Contrary to what the author himself says about the game, the 3D engine is very effective and it's quite polished. Due to the game's nature, taking place in narrow and short corridors, no fog effect is required to achieve a smooth movement and without any slowdowns, also, common PlayStation glitches such as wobbly polygons and incorrect texture perspective are scarcely seen. Jeff Hannan used to attach this game to his CV when searching for a job at video game companies[4].

This is the only Net Yaroze game created by the Hannan brothers, Jeff and Tim, or as they branded their small development team, We Are Alien Scum. Jeff Hannan wanted to write more Net Yaroze games, but he started working on commercial games shortly after finishing The House of Hair Out. He even planned to add more levels but he had to focus on his professional work.

The European Net Yaroze website used to have a list with the top ten European games (actually more than ten, besides its name). The House of Hair Out was one of those games.

How to play


Press left or right to select the level and Start to start a game.

Directional pad: Move and turn around the place.

L1: Strife left.

R1: Strife right.

X: Shoot.

: Place a marker (up to 50).

Select: Quit game.

Once you find the control room, just walk near the wall with the symbol and a message at the bottom of the screen will prompt you to find the exit.

Although your weapon can't kill enemies, you'll die if you shoot yourself.

Original documentation


This is the text file included with an early version of the game, when it only had one level.

  • readme.txt
Show/Hide
The House Of Hair Out
19/6/98

Code: Jeff Hannan
Art: Tim Hannan

This is a variation on the 3D shoot-em up.
1. The world has more than three dimensions.
2. You can shoot, but you can't kill.

The aim of the game is to shutdown the mainframe computer.
This can be achieved simply by going up to a symbol on a
wall in a room.  Then you must get back to the exit.

You can shoot the guards, currently disguised as cubes,
but it only halts their pursuit of you.  To succeed you have
to avoid the guards.  You are quicker than them, but they will
follow relentlessly.

If you can map the thing, I bow to you.  Even I find it hard,
and I designed the damn thing.  I have completed it in 32 seconds,
so its not meant to be an Odyssey.

In some places the 3D space is warped such that you can see
yourself.  You are the yellow and green object.

There are three things you can achieve which are timed:
Successful mission - shortest and longest times.
Reaching the room, but getting killed afterwards.

There may be a game in trying to stay alive as long as possible,
since more and more guards appear on the scene, up to ten.

Buttons:
Arrows - left/right/forward/back
L1/R1 - strafe left/right
X - fire
square - leave a marker (you have 50)
select - abort
start - progress through information screens

Unfortunately, there are still a few glitches which cause problems.
Not least the drastic slowdown in some areas - I think I know why this is,
but it would require me to redesign the level.

I'd appreciate any comments.

Thanks for playing it.


jmhannan@cix.co.uk

Jeff

This is a slightly different version included with a later update of the game.

  • readme.txt (2)
Show/Hide
The House Of Hair Out
7/7/98

Code: Jeff Hannan
Art: Tim Hannan

This is a variation on the 3D shoot-em up.
1. The world has more than three dimensions.
2. You can shoot, but you can't kill.

Initially, its a game of exploration, trying to find
your way around the weird layout. But once you know
your way around, its more a race against time,
with the aim of beating your fastest or slowest times.

The aim of the game is to shutdown the mainframe computer.
This can be achieved simply by going up to a symbol on a
wall in a room - these alien computers are so easy to
operate!  Then you must get back to the exit.

Your mission is timed. There are three things you 
can achieve:
1. Successful mission - fastest time.
2. Successful mission - slowest time.
3. Reaching the room then staying alive - longest time.

There are two different levels, easy and hard.

There may be a game in trying to stay alive as long as possible,
since more and more guards appear on the scene, three on easy,
ten on hard.

You can shoot the guards, currently disguised as cubes,
but it only halts their pursuit of you.  To succeed you have
to avoid the guards.  You are quicker than them, but they will
follow relentlessly.  Its worth shooting the guards when you
need to stop them to give you more time to think about where
to go next.  But watch out behind you!

In some places the 3D space is warped such that you can see
yourself.  You are the yellow and green object.

My best times are:
		Easy		Hard
Fastest		10.48 secs	31.28 secs
Slowest		1.09 mins	2.04 mins
Longest		1.18 mins	2.04 mins

Buttons:
Arrows - left/right/forward/back
L1/R1 - strafe left/right
X - fire
square - leave a marker (you have 50)
select - abort
start - progress through information screens

Unfortunately, there are still a few glitches which cause problems.
Not least the slowdown in some areas - so there is room for more 
optimisation.

I'd appreciate any comments.

Thanks for playing it.

Jeff
jmhannan@cix.co.uk

References


1. Pac-Man official website: pacman.com.

2. Impossible constructions by M.C. Escher.

3. Archived version of Metrowerks official website.

4. Some information is sourced from Jeff Hannan's personal website from the Net Yaroze members area. Since this was a password protected area, no backup exists at archive.org or any other online resource.

External Links


Categories: Games | Europe | 3D | First person shooter |

3 comments on "The House of Hair Out"

  • qobol: 2020-03-16 04:38 +1100
    The House of Hair Out by Jeff Hannan. Europe, 1998.

  • mgarcia: 2020-03-22 17:57 +1100
    Good find with these two guys!!!
    I'll try to find them, see if we can restore their personal site, it's very interesting!

    Jeff Hannan ~jmhannan (game/source/jobstory)
  • mgarcia: 2020-03-24 18:27 +1100
    I found this: https://www.gamedev.net/forums/topic/257322-insight-into-the-ai-for-colin-mcraes-rally2/

    And I messaged that user, fup, last post was in 2006.. so we'll see.
    Message below.


    Hi there,

    You wrote this http://www.ai-junkie.com/misc/hannan/hannan.html

    I'm trying to get in touch with Jeff Hannan.

    He was a Net Yaroze UK member and I'm would like to restore his member home page and maybe interview him.

    More info here: http://netyaroze-europe.com/Media/The-House-of-Hair-Out

    Thanks for any help.

    Mike.



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