7 Predictions for 2012 – The 7 Series

18th January 2012

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

I have been meaning to write this for a few weeks now, better late than never I suppose.

To be honest, it was only the title I thought about and not the actual predictions. These are all off the top of my balding head.

Don’t forget to add your own in the comments.

Number Seven: Ep3/HL3 Will be announced but not released
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

Not really a stretch this one. They have to announce it eventually and it’s getting to feel about right.

I think it will be more interesting how the do it, rather than when.

It’s been talked to death, but it had to go on the list.

Number Six: I will learn to map!
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

OMG, how many times have I said that?

More than Valve have made sequels!

This time I feel it in my aching, creaking and slightly curving old bones.

Of course, after all my talk anything I release will be a let down but at least I won’t have the excuse of “There’s been no releases”.

If nothing gets made, I’ll just make something myself. Fingers crossed.

Number Five: PlanetHalfLife.Com will get a revamp
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

It’s sad when you see a website like PHL, with such a history just go idle.

I am sure there are good reasons for it, but from a reader’s point of view, it’s such a waste.

Others have stepped in to take its readership, but I suspect with a revamp many would return in the hope of those glory days.

Perhaps I am wrong and it will just continue to wilt and end up looking like something from the beginning of Portal 2.

Number Four: Valve will release another update that will cause problems.
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

I hate being negative but I truly believe that EP3/HL3 will use an updated Source engine and in preparation for that they will screw things up for modders.

Yes, they will probably fix it quite quickly but it will still cause issues.

They will probably do it just before the deadline of one of my competitions as well, just to make things even worse.

Can’t blame them for improving stuff, gotta respect it really. Just wish it didn’t cause issues for all us innocents.

Number Three: 2012 will be a defining year for Source modders.
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

have a feeling that with all the recent talk of teams changing engines, many modders will compeletely re-evalutate their engine choice. I don’t mean teams will suddenly start changing engines, just that instead of automatcially choosing Source because they know it, they will base their decision of the project’s objectives instead.

Source mods will remain smaller in scope and design and hopefully more will get released. I’m hoping that modders will see small but well made mods as stepping stones onto greater things rather than those things being great from the beginning.

I would worry that all these modders moving engines and going indie only have one good game idea in them. If that’s not true then why worry about the game you are making? Finish the project within the limits of yourself and the eengine, then move onto something bigger and better.

Don’t start building a shack and move onto a cottage and finish with a mansion. Start what you finish and move onto to soemthing bigger.

I hope that make sense to you.

Number Two: We’ll buy more indie games than AAA titles
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

Stepping out of my comfort zone here, but I have the feeling that this year, that’s exactly what I’ll do.

For me, gone are the days of high-cost titles. For less than 10 Dollars there are some fantastic games available.

Big developers will jump on the bandwagon and set up “local” studios and try to push out these sorts of things.

They will never replace the AAA titles, but they will take a chuck out of the playtime – at least on the PC.

Number One: Black Mesa will be released
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

Sticking my double-chinned neck out on this one. It’s a bit like number 7. At some point it’s gotta be released so if I keep saying it, I’ll get it right one day! Unless of course they cancel or switch engines or even worse go retail.

Wait, perhaps we should just block BM from our minds in a group hynosis session, then we it does get released we will be so happy and surprised.


  1. MikeS

    Heh, I read through the list wondering if you’d mention Black Mesa. I was so excited about this mod a few years ago, but now I’ve kinda lost interest. I suspect the people involved in bringing it to fruition have too, more’s the pity.

    I really really hope you’re right about Valve announcing HL3. BTW, Phillip, are you aware of the Steam community group “A Call for Communication’? The idea was to get 10,000 members and then petition Valve into talking about HL3. There are 13,000 members now, and counting.

    As for #2, I’ve bought a lot of excellent indie games over the past year or two, and can confirm it’s a lot cheaper and more satisfying than paying for hyped AAA titles.

    1. Yes, I am aware of the group and project, but to be honest, I don’t mind the silence. I personally, don’t feel they should say anything until the day it’s released.

      I only feel Valve “owe” us some form of communication when they do something that changes our gaming, E.G. when they change the engine etc and it stops mods from working or stops the SDK tools form doing what they are supposed to to.

      Giving stuff away doesn’t absolve anybody of responsibility.

      I’m glad to hear you are enjoying your Indie gaming.

      With regard to Black Mesa, I just think they are working behind the scenes.

  2. I’m scared of this year , cause my most loved site can be killed with 4 easy letters.

  3. @nr. 4: I hope we will see a Source 2 engine for HL3/EP3 instead. Why? A lot of things can be optimized and executed faster using DX11. Today’s graphics cards are certainly capable of running DX11 games at acceptable framerate. If they optimize the Source 2 engine as good as Source 1, the games will run amazingly on it. DX9/OpenGL support will be probably included. Source engine is old, the more features they will add, the slower it will be!

    @nr. 2: I totally agree with this one. A lot of todays indie games are top quality and way better than AAA games. They give you very long gameplay and they are hard, just the way oldskool gamers like it :D. The AAA games are mostly bad console ports – yes, PC gaming as we know it is dying, but thanks to indie gamers it could be alive for a few more years.

    @nr. 1: I hope it will be, but I think it will take more time. If they release an unfinished version, there are going to be a lot of angry people: those who think they have the right to play a perfect rebuild, but didn’t contribute not even a cent or a minute of their time to get it finished.

  4. andyb

    I’m working on #6 myself.I’m starting with portal2 thou as it seems less daunting than HL2 and has some good youtube tutorials,just need a good idea for a puzzle as the start/end is complete but nothing in the middle lol

  5. Am happy to help anyone with number 6 if you’re interested…

    I swear to god it’s really not that tough..if I can do it anyone can!

  6. Mega Sean 45

    1) I wish they’d announce HL3 / EP3.
    2) I don’t go on Planet HL.
    3) It would be very cool if you learned to map Phil! Maybe I can give you some ideas of what to map.
    4) Valve, for Wizard of Hope’s sake, please don’t update anything if it’s gonna affect alot of mods.
    5) What’s Indie Games or AAA Titles?
    6) I’m not really flipped over Black Mesa, because like Halo Anniversery, I’m not really flipped over remakes of games I already have. So what if you have better graphics? So what if you add new multiplayer maps? The story is the same, I know what goes on.

    Stuff I predict / want in 2012:
    1) GTA 5 and Halo 4 coming out (can’t wait!)
    2) Human Error 2, 1187 Part 2, Combine Destiny 2, Rooftop Retreat and The Citizen 3 mods coming out.
    3) Me learning to use faceposer on Source SDK.
    4) Me winning the lottery.
    5) Planet Phillip being awarded the number one mod site.
    6) ScannerVille mapping contest.
    7) Hopefully NOT the end of the world.

  7. Hec

    I haven’t tought in indie games at all! but actually I did a little research and I found some pretty good ones, in Mod DB, well is actually Indie DB, ill try The Euthanasia mod, is scary as hell, and there are specially good horror indie titles, for free!!!, forget about the 10 bucks.

    Well back on the track I agree in the posibility that Ep 3 HL3 Could be anounced, but not released, and I think BMS will be launched at least I don’t know maybe in 31 of December but I think it will be this year I hope the also most likley to happen steam updates wont ruin many good mods.

    In a personal prediction I think L4D3 will make some news at least on the plans for working on it.

  8. Herr_Alien

    @Number Six: I will learn to map!
    My advice is to do your learning on a simple game, Half Life for example.

    @PlanetHalfLife.Com will get a revamp: makes sense, if you consider the first prediction – HL3 being announced.
    @Valve will release another update that will cause problems, @Valve will release another update that will cause problems. – same as above

    @Black Mesa will be released:

    You’re wrong.

    I mentioned this before, I suspect that the main issue is the high variation in map quality, due to the long development time. This is what I think it keeps them back.
    Add to that a new engine (Portal 2, and perhaps the HL3 one), and they will fall into the trap of eternally updating their project to use the latest version of the Source SDK.

    I will be more than happy to be proven wrong.

  9. Number Seven: Ep3/HL3 Will be announced but not released:
    I whole heartily believe this as well… there is definitely something brewing and the natives are getting restless. We won’t hear anything until after either CS:GO or DOTA2 are fully released (perhaps both).

    Number Six: I will learn to map!
    This is funny, just TODAY I revisited Valve Hammer Editor for the first time since… probably 2008. Mapping is something you never unlearn (like riding a bike). I never bothered to learn how to map in source, I still stick to gldsrc (and Svencoop). If you ever need any help I’ll be glad to point you in the right direction. Unless it’s source, then you’ll have to find someone else.

    Number Five: PlanetHalfLife.Com will get a revamp
    I don’t think sites like PHL went “idle”, I think they just refused to change. I look forward to seeing a revamped PP; not because the site is stale, but because change is always good! At least that’s how I feel… unless it’s changing from gldsrc to source, then it’s not good.

    Number Four: Valve will release another update that will cause problems.
    I’m going to have to disagree, I don’t think we will be seeing a big source engine update until probably 2013. This year we are going to see things like the Portal 2 editor which will basically be mapping for dummies, but I don’t think that will have an effect on the SDK.

    Number Three: 2012 will be a defining year for Source modders.
    This is certainly a big year for modders. I think source modders are at the tipping point, everyone is waiting for an updated engine, something they can cling too and if Valve doesn’t deliver (or promise/or annouce/ or open their mouth) this year then I fear for what the future holds.

    Number Two: We’ll buy more indie games than AAA titles
    This is already true for me. Take a look at some of the great titles that came out of the IGF or Lumundare. Check out indiegames.com… hell check out steam. There are plenty of awesome indie titles in the works, things that can keep you more interested than the FPS shovelware out there now.

    Number One: Black Mesa will be released
    Nope. Never.

    1. I don’t think sites like PHL went “idle”, I think they just refused to change.

      The site hasn’t been updated since October and even before that it was hardly posting.

  10. NAN

    Black Mesa will be released
    I must apologize for this, but

  11. I dont understand what all the fuss about Black Mesa is…
    Whats the point of rebuilding Half Life 1?
    weve already played it… we know it upside down and inside out.

    seems like a waste of a huge amount of talent. they could all be working on something new!

  12. WizardExt

    Great list Phillip! 🙂

    I hope Ep3 or HL3 gets announced. I am a bit tired of all the trolling done by the community and sometimes accidently done by Valve..?

    I don’t visit PlanetHalfLife too often. Back in the days I surely did, but in recent years they have had bigger and bigger gaps between each news post. And now I see they have stopped completely. Hope they shape up and get back.

    I am not überpsyched about Black Mesa right now. I might be when the hype machine returns and they are closer to a release. Been a while since I played Half-Life 1, so that’s why I am still having an eye on them. Maybe they teamwork with Valve with their release of Black Mesa, maybe having it included in some DLC or help advertising it.

    SourceSDK will surely be broken several times throughout 2012, but that’s how it is. There are some weeks of frustration and after that we are back on track. They are iterating on things, adding features and stuff. So I don’t mind too much, SourceSDK is a great set of tools.

    I hope you get to learn mapping Phillip and having fun while doing so. Cheers.

  13. mediochrea

    Called it.

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