“In Silent Room, you play as just another average citizen of an average city. On a certain day, you and Quinn, a friend of yours, were invited by Danny, your paranoid friend, to party in his home. As it turned dark, you got too drunk to even stand up and so had to lie down in Danny’s bed. You fell asleep… and woke up at midnight only to find the door locked… which is when your ordeal begins.”
My Goodness! How long has it been since the last release of an official half-Life game? Too long, that’s for sure.
We all know how hard it is to start something again after we have taken a break – going back to school after the summer (teachers as well as students!), starting a new diet after eating whatever we want or doing exercise after lazing on the sofa for months.
It can’t be much different for Valve and let’s not forget that Valve back then and Valve now are very different. Different people, different objectives and different priorities.
There’s also the Duke Nukem effect. The longer you leave it, the greater the expectation.
So, what do you think is the reason for the lack of Half-Life 3?
21st July 2018 11 Comments
“Somewhere outside City 17, near the coast, our intrepid hero has fallen through an unsecured vent in an effort to escape the closing security forces.
Guide Gordon through the underground offices of Vexko International in this player-made single player level for HL2.”
I am going to take you on a short journey.
I love corridors. Perhaps there is some deeper meaning about wanting limits or restrictions in my life. Perhaps I like the linear feel of doing everything in the correct order.
Anyway, a quick search for “corridors as metaphors” produced nothing of interest, so at least I have the title of my new academic research paper I’ll never write. I think I will keep looking though as I honestly feel there is something deeper here.
It contrasts nicely with my general dislike of arena or large empty spaces, at least from a gameplay perspective. That said, the best memories I have of areas in mods, were places where the enemies were all around me, although not at the same time.
Now, a search for “corridors in video games” produces some more interesting results.
The first is a discussion about How Valve took gaming out of corridors. I’ve yet to read it beyond the intro but it does look interesting.
Another results that is very cool is the “http://scificorridorarchive.com/”Sci-Fi Corridor Archive which certainly deserves further exploration.
And finally, for now at least, I searched for “corridors in architecture” hoping for something unusual and I was not disappointed. Obviously, it brings up lots of links about technicalities but it eventually led me to the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture which sounds totally cool and worth reading some more about.
From its website: “The mission of the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture is to promote and advance knowledge that links neuroscience research to a growing understanding of human responses to the built environment.”, which totally sounds like code for making better games to me!
So, where are we? Well, I am thinking about how corridors in games represent the “process of change” and how they can be used to greater effect. I’m not planning to write a book or create a tutorial video because I’m not qualified to create either, but I will begin to pay more attention to corridors in games and specifically Half-Life.
Let me know your thoughts.
19th July 2018 1 Comment
Fight your way through an unfinished and shockingly lit early map.
Remember, this is from 2004, so do not expect anything amazing.
Mappers were still getting to grips with how things worked and what was possible.
That said, this is still pretty basic and badly designed.
“CUBE is a first-person, single-player puzzle adventure game based on Source Engine and set in a huge and constantly moving maze of different test chambers. The character you play as has been placed inside this cubic labyrinth and now must find a way out. But what is more, he has to remember his past and understand why he ended up as a test subject in this strange place! As you progress into the Cube, you get answers bit by bit with the help of your character’s fragmentary memories and even visions as well as hidden messages from those who had been here before.
The game offers a unique setting and a dark, mysterious story, which bears some connection with Half-Life and Portal universe. Moreover, CUBE can boast of new gameplay elements and almost non-linear, “forked” walkthrough with different options for further events. The result of everything that happens in the cubic complex will be directly influenced by your actions while playing!”
“This project is NOT a full-fledged game based on the original film trilogy Cube, because this series is copyright-protected (as of 2015-2016, all the rights belong to Lions Gate Entertainment Corporation). Only the basic concept of main location is similar; however, it has been modified. The game uses its OWN storyline and content, which do not correspond to the film canon. If you thought this is a game based on CUBE (1997) or CUBE2: Hypercube, that is not the case. We mention these films on the project’s page only to pay tribute to the initial source of our inspiration.”
“You play as a anonymous, lone rebel, woken up by the combine’s threatening movement through the forest, with no memory whatsoever of how you got there.
You’ll go through the forest and find your way to City 17, and drive through to the other side of the City to find a way to get to The White Forest base, with or without help.
In this mod you will explore and traverse many environments and locations, including (and still might change in development) : White Forest, City 17, and possibly The Coast.
This mod takes place not too long after Freeman has just been taken out of stasis.”
It is with some trepidation that I announce the 50 Sourcey Days of Summer!
For the next 50 consecutive days, I will be adding new maps or updating older maps. All will be Source based, mostly Half-Life 2.
I have created a special page for the event, prosaically and rather obviously called 50 Sourcey Days of Summer and it is similar to the 100 Summer Days of Nostalgia event, which believe it or not I ran 7, yes, SEVEN!!! years ago.
It’s linked to on the second menu, under the header images.
I hope to post screenshots etc and even my review, for each map or mod I post or update. I plan to update quite old maps, so don’t get too excited. There will be new releases added too though.
I should tress that I will do my utmost to not miss a day but I seem to be much busier than 7 years ago, so I won’t make any promises.
I have already posted NostalgiaVille for today’s release.
Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions regarding the event.
15th July 2018 9 Comments
Half-Life 2 has been around for longer than 13 years, but many will agree that the game has still not lost its charm. However, as Episode 1 and 2 came out, people switched their focus to the new environments and gameplay that were introduced.
NostalgiaVille seeks to balance out the scale by re-introducing the classic environments of Half-Life 2 in the modern day.
Play through 8 official entries and 1 bonus map in this special 2018 mapping challenge.