Poll Question 354 – Would you prefer a TC with a play time of 1 hour or a mod set in the HL universe with a play time of 2 hours?

Questions like these are always more of a “depends on…” because there are some many factors. But assuming the quality and fun was more or less the same, which would you prefer to play?

I generally find Total Conversions interesting but ultimately lacking and that’s fully understandable considering we are comparing an amatuer mod to a AAA game developer with huge resources, but sometimes TCs can offer the player something new and that might be enough to please the player.

Is something shorter but new worth more than something known but longer?

If I had asked this questions 5 years ago, I would have chosen the known but longer option, but now I think I’d rather have something new.

Anyway, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

If you are curious, I do have some Total Conversions listed on the site.


Would you prefer a TC with a play time of 1 hour or a mod set in the HL universe with a play time of 2 hours?

  • Within HL Universe (66%, 23 Votes)
  • Total Conversion (34%, 12 Votes)

Total Voters: 35

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  1. At this stage, 12 years later I’m enjoying Total Conversion stuff more, because it’s usally new n fresh.

  2. Can’t seem to submit my vote as there is no option, but I would select “total conversion”. It all really depends on the quality of either mods. I’m not really a particular fan of modifications that just expand on what Half-Life 2 and its episodes have already done, but at the same time I am still interested in playing a modification that takes place in the Half-Life universe, just not from the perspective of Gordon Freeman.

  3. I can’t vote either, but I would go for a longer mod set in the Half-Life 2 universe, for two reasons: first, I love that universe, so I’m always glad to explore it more; second, there’s always the chance that extra time and effort that would go towards creating new models, backstory, etc. would be redirected towards making a better Half-Life 2 gameplay experience.

  4. I’d still side with “Within HL Universe” because I feel most TCs are poorly done. And when they are done well, half the time they are pretentious as all get out and I can’t stand them.

    1. hah that’s exactly what I think, but I didn’t wanted to write it 🙂

  5. I’m a sucker for anything set in the Half-Life universe, especially within Black Mesa. I mean… come on… The Core. You know? Been working on Black Mesa based maps for years!

    I’m not against Total Conversions, but they always feel somewhat more shallow in terms of story. I do hope to release a total conversion someday though, because I love telling stories as much as I love level design.

  6. I don’t play any other FPS games other than HL2 mods. I am strictly a mouse-it shooter and things like hand controllers are alien to me. I choose the TC over a HL2 mod because something new is always more interesting. I was even a mermaid in “Water” and I found that TC very enjoyable. I usually don’t touch Half Life anymore but I was astounded by “Cry of Fear”. I was enjoying this horror TC until I was Ransom-ware hacked and lost everything on my hard drive. This is the Rolls Royce of TCs although “G-String” is also up there.

    But “The Closure” reminded me why I so love HL2 mods, especially the long ones!

    Is the Cinematic mod a TC or mod, same for “Der Schwartze Nebel”?

  7. It’s not so much that I prefer TCs, it’s that I need something new. I don’t need a whole new universe. I just need a new weapon, a new enemy, or a new way to play. Transmissions: Element 120, Research and Development, and other HL-universe mods are some of my favorites because they gave me a new way to look at the old game.

  8. If its fun. I like it. (Basically i can’t decide to side with one of the sides)

  9. I’d say for me it would entirely depend on the universe that total conversation plays in.
    If it would be something like the Warhammer40k Universe for instance I wouldn’t be interested at all.

    Still considering the play time option naturally I would prefer the Half-Life Universe as long as it’s entertaining and not amateurish made like. Otherwise the TC option sounds much more appealing as it will offer something new and unique but considering that most coders for hl1 & hl2 moved on a long time ago these scenarios are lesser likely to happen.

    If Tcs are becoming more of an option to this site there are few worth mention able mods yet still missing on this page:

    A Half-Life1 western inspired mod despite the theme is it a very cool mod with good game play.


    A Half-Life1 TC coming soon:


    A Half-Life1 TC playing in Russia:


    I can’t say much about it except that it does have some good mapping and interesting npc script usage but most story relevant texts and dialogs are in Russian. 🙁


    The TC continuation of the Hl1 mod Paranoia1. While not listed as Half-Life mod it technically still is Half-Life as it uses core assets of the game. It runs on the Xash3D engine a slightly modified version of the Gold Source engine.

    Half-Life Aron version 1.0 again a Russian TC using russian texts and voices.. It clearly is inspired by Unreal1.


    1. Half-Rats was chosen as a MOTW once !

      1. A Fever Dream or Parasomnia ?

  10. The thing about Total Conversions is that the devs are going up and beyond with their work. Not to say that non-TC devs are not as good, but the fact that those mods change the rules of the game and offer many new additions is astounding.

    My favorite TC of all time would be Underhell (which isn’t on this site, strangely). It was a far cry from the Half-Life we know and is a complete overhaul of everything.

    I do enjoy non-TC mods and they are fun to play because everything is already familiar to me; there’s no need to learn new things, just do what you know.

  11. Sorry to say this, Phillip, but I feel this thread is a bit pointless. I think there was another poll who talked about TC’s vs. HL mods. Correct me if I’m wrong.

    Both can be extremely fun, depending on the circumstances. In fact my top 3 mods from the Half-Life series are Total Conversions (PARANOIA, Afraid of Monsters and Poke 646, was that it?).

    If I were to choose one though I would go with Half-Life mods. Although from time to time I like having something different, when I look for Half-Life mods I’m looking for another unfortunate journey through Black Mesa/Desert/City 17/White Forest.

    1. No need to apologize, you can’t like everything I post. You could be right about a similar poll question. I looked but couldn’t find one, so I made this one. One thing to consider is that over times new visistors come to the site, so even the exact question might illict different and new repsonses.

      Like a lot of poll questions, it’s never a simple choice, but it does encourage discussion about gaming and modding in general, which is my real objective.

  12. bolec

    Always a mod/map set in HL2 universe. I play HL2 for its amazing setting/mechanics/atmosphere, not for TC that are something completely else and use Source engine to create something new.
    In short – when I play HL2 I want more of HL2.

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