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SC:CT's adversarial MP really was fantastic, even more so when you consider that it managed despite an engine that was roughly a generation behind what the single player and co-op modes were using.
The only thing is that, like quite a few games today, it was best in beta. I distinctly remember that in the final version, they tweaked the lighting model across all levels to be far higher contrast, and that pretty much killed it for myself and everyone I knew who played it.
Yeah, you couldn't cheat anymore by turning up your gamma, but that came at the price of destroying those priceless moments where you thought you saw something in the shadows, but you weren't sure.
I suspect the multiplayer took a lot of inspiration from Thievery:UT, a total conversion / mod for Unreal Tournament that offers a multiplayer game inspired by the game Thief.
One of the developers for Splinter Cell, in his spare time, helped out with the project and probably benefitted tremendously from all the multiplayer testing and balancing we did.
At some point he asked all the team members for our real names and put us in some of the communications documents/emails in the actual game. It's really odd to see my name pop up in GameFAQs walkthroughs and such, and perhaps a bit depressing to know that it's what 'my name' is most famous for. But mostly fun.
I never played the SC multiplayer, but Thievery:UT has been some of the most fun I've ever had multiplayer, more than all the UT, Quake, Age Of Empires, and whatnot.
I (and my friends) still consider it the best multiplayer game ever. I really wish someone could make another game like that, but the depth and learning curve limit the market so much that it might never happen again.
If you read the original article and wanted the rest (not in annoying transcript form) here it is:
The short version is that over time, Martin slowly regained some control of his body. By the time he was in his mid-20s, he could squeeze your hand on occasion. And he was getting better and better at holding himself upright in his chair. Now, the doctors told his parents that he still had the intelligence level of a 3-month-old baby.
But one nurse, one nurse named Verna, was convinced that there was something there. And so she eventually convinced his parents to get Martin reassessed at another medical center, where he was given a test where he had to identify different objects by pointing at them with his eyes. And he passed, not with flying colors, but he passed.
Joan, Martin's mom, who came home to care for Martin, helped him with his physical therapy and most important, purchase this kind of joystick for the computer. A proximity switch, which is just something that you knocked. And though it took him about a year to get the hang of it...
Martin had like school - if you want to call it - four hours in the morning every single day. Once he did, everything changed because suddenly he had a way to select the words he wanted to say. "I am cold. I am hungry. I want toast." And as words came back, gradually, so did other things.
Martin started moving his eyes and moving his head and almost nodding, asking for coffee by stirring his hands around and things like that. Noone couldn't really explain it, but... when Martin gets the tools to communicate, he forges ahead.
So wherever you are standing in your life, prepare to be lapped. Within two years of passing that assessment test, Martin gets a job filing papers at a local government office. "I wanted to prove that I could do more than just speak words via a laptop."
Around this time, his nurse savior Verna mentioned she's having trouble with her computer. And Martin, who has not tinkered with electronics since he was 12 years old fixes it. Repairing a computer is a bit like going into a maze. You might go down dead ends. But eventually, you find your way through. It was absolutely flabbergasting.
After that he scraps the government job...
...Starts a web design company...
...Gets into college.
In computer science.
He writes a book.
He's learning to drive. He always wanted to drive.
Martin achieves everything he wants to do.
So how is it that Martin has been able to achieve all this? Now, I don't want it oversimplify it because it was many things - Martin's naturally strong will, flukes of electricity in the brain, a really dedicated family. But I do think that his decision to lean back into those thoughts way back when, instead of just spending his life detaching, in some way helped him, in part because it probably kept his mind occupied and allowed him to emerge this kind of well-oiled machine of mental ability, but also because I think his leaning into those dark thoughts in particular gave him a kind of self-understanding and humor about the human condition that allowed him to snag the very best thing in his life.
"My wife, Joanna." -Martin
"When Martin talks about me or types about me, he always starts smiling."
Joanna was a friend of Martin's sister. And the two of them first met over Skype. She was a manager for the social work team for a hospital social work team. She says the thing that drew her to Martin... "I turned around, and it was just this guy with this big smile. And it's such a warm personality." ... that was the way he began to interact with her.
"Unfortunately, I'm one of those people, I say something and then I, more often, need to say sorry I said it."
But not with Martin. When she asked him how things work in the bathroom or what people do around you when they think you are not there...
"If I ask Margin anything, he'll give me an honest answer." And that perked her ears. There's no pretend. That first night, they talked for hours.
She would speak, and Martgin would type my response. The sister and the other friends drifted away, and Joanna just stayed there in front of the screen. "I just really liked him." After that, she just kept wanting to Skype with him.
"Yeah. OK, well, he's in a wheelchair, and he doesn't speak. But I love this guy. He's amazing. It just so quickly turned into love."
As for Martin - after over a decade convinced that he would be alone forever, he was pretty happy. "My face would hurt from smiling so much." They were married in 2009. Martin was 33 years old.