The Science Behind Half-Life: Game Names

The idea of an article about the science behind some aspects of the Half-Life games popped into my head when I was listening to a physics podcast. It was talking about Zero-Point Energy and of course I immediately recognized the term.

I performed a quick search to see if somebody else had already written something and was initially disappointed to find somebody had. However, after scanning it and seeing the author say that the “Zero Point Energy” was just “a pointless quasi-scientific name that has no serious grounding in genuine physics”, I decided I would write my own.


11th April 2015 13 Comments

Hypnophobia

for Half-Life 2

“It’s the night that lasts forever. You’ve just found a way back into the winding non-euclidean streets of Insomnia City after after a long soul search in the great white void.

Time is running out and so are options. Enemies are closing in on all sides and everyone’s waiting for the inevitable.

This is it, the beginning of the end. Every question about who you were and why you’re here is irrelevant.

All that matters now is survival, and what you will become. Paranoia has taught you much, but it’s time to move on, on to orders of time and space still stranger.”

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Total Downloads: 98810th April 2015
13 Comments and 9 recommendations, most say "Play It Now!"

The Escape

for Half-Life

You are trapped.

You and one security guard and perhaps a scientist.

With careful planning you might be able to escape.

Can you save the others though?

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Total Downloads: 3269th April 2015
7 Comments and 7 recommendations, most say "Play It Later"

Poll Question 310 – How important is how long a release took to make?

This morning, I posted a request on TWHL.info (the best GoldSource mapping community around) asking for people to let me know which maps and mods I should add to the site (expect the next few months to be GoldSource-rich with new content!)

Somebody suggested a map of theirs only to find out I had already added it. The reviews were not glowing but he accepted it with humility. Here is what he said “Unfortunately it was a rushed map( done in about a week), and most of the members there don’t know that so they judge accordingly. I don’t feel bad about that,such good criticism helps you discover your weaknesses.”

The fact it was made in such a short space of time, shouldn’t have anything to do with a review, but the reality is that it probably does. At least in my opinion.


8th April 2015 14 Comments

Freeman

for Half-Life

You start in a large, bland room. Collect your ammo and HEV suit and let the action begin!

This is a “player’s” mappack.

Basically, it’s all about the gameplay. The layout and design is not meant to be real at all.

You just have to fight army grunts and keep going forward.

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Total Downloads: 2578th April 2015
8 Comments and 6 recommendations with no significant bias

Aberration

for Half-Life 2: Episode Two

” You play as a Resistance member who finds himself in a mysterious place with no idea how he got there.”

Explore carefully as you never know what might be around the corner.

Keep your wits about you as nothing is as simple as it seems.

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Total Downloads: 7637th April 2015
28 Comments and 8 recommendations, most say "Maybe?"

Sam Combs’ Notes from Critical Jim Video

When I suggested the idea of level design critique videos to Jim, it was always with the hope of having the author benefit from Jim’s eye for detail.

After the first video, for Station 51 by Sam Combs, was streamed and made available on the RTSL YouTube channel, the response from the community was overwhelmingly positive.

Sam published his response to the video on his Tumblr blog and has kindly allowed me to republish it here.


7th April 2015 1 Comment

Avenue Odessa

for Half-Life 2: Episode Two

Colonel Odessa Cubbage needs your help.

Together you can escape the city by train, but you must work as a team.

Don’t relax too soon though, because things have a way of catching up on you!

This is an updated and extended version of the map that was submitted to the CityStreetsVille mapping challenge.

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Total Downloads: 1,3826th April 2015
30 Comments and 16 recommendations, most really enjoyed it!

Lost in Transmission

for Half-Life 2: Episode Two

“Gordon and Alyx are on their way to Eli’s lab.

Something goes wrong while you’re being transported…

Search the ruins to find your way back.”

Author’s Note:” This map is unoptimized and contains quite a few particles. This might not run well on lower-end systems. I apologize for any framerate drop that might occur.”

This map was entered into TWHL’s Competitions 33: Floating Island.

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Total Downloads: 5675th April 2015
16 Comments and 10 recommendations with no significant bias