Over at Andy Baio's, he's posted an in-depth look at Half-Life 2's in-game Developer Commentary system, which has been relatively uncommented on and he's very tickled by.

He explains: "Each bit of audio is a "commentary node," a little floating speech icon that can be activated by aiming at it and hitting the "use" button. The dialogue then plays, with additional information about who's speaking and the length of the clip."

However, Baio also notes: "Most of the game's 115 nodes are audio only, pointing out interesting tidbits about the scene you're currently in, such as the visual design, character dialogue, or gameplay... But a few commentary nodes do much more, taking over the player's view to show them something hidden or entirely new. I've captured video from some of my favorites." Some excellent videos follow!

His conclusion? "Sadly, according to Valve's game statistics, only 15% of players have ever turned it on. So, try it out and help raise that number (it's buried in the audio options). I really hope this feature becomes more popular in new games, or even as special edition reissues for older games. Hearing the original developers discuss, in context, games like Ico, Deus Ex, or (gasp!) Day of the Tentacle would be a dream."

Heartily agreed - oh yeah, and I just thought of another commentary example - The Adventures Of Fatman 2D adventure, which I helped host in CC-licensed form on and LegalTorrents, also has a developer commentary for each game location. Neeto!