February 2015 General Chat

1st February 2015

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

OMG, it hasn’t stopped raining for about a week. The small underpass at the end of my road flooded on Friday and we’ve had snow-like hailstones today. YUCK. Hope it gets better.

February is here and I haven’t posted that many maps and mods, so sorry about that.

To be honest, this new theme is taking almost all my time, I’ll be glad when it’s live and I can concentrate on CONTENT!

Anyway, over to you, let’s chat.

This Month’s Sci-Fi Movie

In June, I started to use a poster from a classic Sci-Fi move as the background for the post image.

This month it is from Invasion of the Saucer Men (1957). A teenage couple making out in the woods accidentally runs over an alien creature with their car. The creature’s hand falls off, but it comes alive, and, with an eye growing out of it, …

You gotta love those HUGE heads. They look quite a lot like controllers don’t you think?


  1. Has anyone played this one yet?


    I still haven’t found the time but I’m so much looking forward to it. I hope it’s going to be good. The demo was pretty cool.

    If you have played it: What did you think? How long is it? Best Silent Hill thingy since 3 came out?

    No spoilers please πŸ˜‰

    1. I was kind of hoping to avoid wading into Alchemilla discussions, since I tend to get worked up, to put it mildly, when it comes to Silent Hill, but you’re asking directly, and I have played it (I didn’t time myself, but I think it took something like four to six hours), so I can’t pass up your question.

      As someone who likes the first game an order of magnitude more than the subsequent series, and who took a liking to Origins’ attempt to sidle back up to that style, I wasn’t really ever going to absolutely love this mod, so take what I say with a grain of salt if you disagree.

      I wouldn’t consider this a spoiler, since the project page mentions it unambiguously: there’s no combat. If you’re after just the atmosphere of SH 2 and 3, you’ll find it in spades, with some gorgeous texture and model work, but they’ve removed the “survival” aspect from the term “survival horror”. With no need to conserve ammunition or manage healing items, the tension is somewhat diminished, so if you enjoy the give and take of dealing with resources you may be disappointed.

      There were a few puzzles that drove me crazy, and that I couldn’t solve without reading ModDB comments, so the team definitely paid appropriate homage to the series. There’s one in particular that expects you to reason your way to pressing buttons in a certain order, but the solution doesn’t make sense, according to my own morality. Maybe it was something lost in translation from Russian, maybe it’s a difference in ethics between me and the developers, or maybe I just missed some other clue, but I couldn’t get past it without help. That and a navigation puzzle toward the end, which is reminiscent of the first game but even more obtuse. Strong as my love for the original may be, there are some things I’m happy to leave in the past.

      You will also, unfortunately, find a series of completely inexcusable Pineview Drive style key hunts in SH: Alchemilla. As tempting as it will no doubt be for people to blame it on nostalgia, “What do you expect from developers aping old fashioned game design?”, it must be remembered that from the very beginning, in January of 1999, the SH series has named its keys and provided a map. “Doctor’s Lounge key”, “Bridge Control Room key”, and so on, with matching names on said map. This mod has you picking up “a small key”, or something similar, and expects you to try every locked door in the area all over again. Not my taste, but different mind numbing strokes for different brain damaged folks. πŸ™‚

      Ultimately, despite several obnoxious design choices that I don’t care for, the atmosphere does overwhelmingly evoke Silent Hill 2 and 3. I never really liked the idea of turning the town itself into a “Gauntlet for the Guilty”, preferring instead the first game’s simple (if ornately presented) “let’s sacrifice this girl to resurrect a demon”, but a lot of people do like it, and if you’re one of them you’ll more than likely find something to appreciate in the mod.

  2. Greenman

    These thoughts could be mere madness, speculation. I will not be silenced. So what if THEY find me here. At least it would be something.

  3. Just a shout out for help,,
    HL2 crashes, yes even the original game.
    All of Runthinkshootlive maps crash.
    I have validated HL2 and both Ep’s and all are correct.
    The last time I asked for steam help they took a month just to reply–

    Win 8.1
    Ge70 2PE Apache Pro

    1. JG

      If you can afford the bandwidth, back up any maps you want to keep and nuke your HL2/Ep1/Ep2 installations and redownload/reinstall them. There are too many wacky, random issues that you can waste time chasing down in the time it would take to just redownload it.

      1. You are probably right,,
        I am wondering how old the “Orange Box” disc sets still on sale would be by now,, did they ever produce a newer version?

  4. I want to take a moment to talk about Colin Wyckoff.

    For those of you who don’t know, Colin made YouTube videos using Garrys Mod. He was very talanted and made hilarious videos that always made me laugh.

    He is no longer walking on this earth. He passed away the 25/1 from cancer. To the end, he did what he loved and let nothing stop him, not even his cancer. The man was an inspiration to many Animators, and I was one of them. I couldn’t belive it when I first read it but its true.

    Rest in Peace, Colin Wyckoff.

    1. I wasn’t a really big fan of his work but it was very sad to hear of his passing.
      DasBoShitt also published a farewell video in which friends of Colin sort of say their goodbyes.

    2. I know, it is actually very, VERY sad. His videos were hilarious and when I heard the name kitty0706 back then, I wanted to go and watch more of his videos.

      1994 – 2015

  5. So, it really did change. PlanetPhillip is no more.

  6. I’m currently learning to map for Doom II; I plan on “climbing” a “ladder” of FPS mapping, starting with the easiest engine I want to map for and going upward. It’s probably going to go something like this:

    id Tech 1 (Doom engine)
    BUILD engine (DN3D and many others)
    Quake engine
    id Tech 2 (Quake II)
    GoldSource (HL1 of course)
    Source (HL2 of course)

    and also id Tech 3 and Unreal engine at some point.

  7. I have a serious problem with this tutorial on twhl.info. I just have one question, what do I do when I have edited the files in HLSDK the way I want them to actually get them into the game? I assume that you have to compile them in some way, but I have no clue what to compile it TO, what to compile or WITH or WHERE in the game files… As far as I can see, there is no such information there.. If anyone could link a tutorial or help me out in any way, then please do!

    1. Unq

      Hi Lillen,

      I don’t see a basic coding tutorial on TWHL and offhand I don’t know where there is one.

      But basically, you compile the C++ code and build one or both dlls that the game uses – hl.dll is for the game code (weapons, enemies, effects, etc.) and client.dll is for client-side stuff (mostly the HUD, and things like scores, etc.).

      If you open the raw hl.dsw (workspace), you should be able to directly build the hl.dll from the menu in Visual Studio.

      Sorry I can’t give you more at the moment, hope this can get you going. You can search for old HL Coding tutorials and if you can’t find anything I’ll take a look later for you.

      1. I just found a site with a tutorial for the basics on HLSDK, but thanks for the answer anyway! Guess I should have left a reply earlier saying that I solved the problem πŸ˜›

  8. So this popped up in a .dll file used in the Source 2 engine being distributed with the Dota 2 Alpha Workshop Tools.

    Usually I’m the first not to trust these rumors but I personally checked the file in Notepad++ and that line actually exists. You can check it yourself by downloading Notepad++, going to Steam\SteamApps\common\dota 2 beta\dota_ugc\game\bin\win32\tools and opening “model_editor.dll” with N++. Then use the search function to find “hl3”, the one on line 19247 is used as a launch parameter for a .exe file, which judging from the name is some sort of physics tech test.

    Remember that you must have the Dota 2 Workshop Tools installed (and possibly Dota 2 itself) to get the .dll file. Luckily it’s free-to-play (fun fact: I got into Dota 2 after downloading it just to toy around with Source 2).

    1. Since you can’t edit comments, I forgot to give proper credits for the discovery so I’ll give them here instead. This is the original thread from (surprise surprise) Neogaf, where OP found and reported the reference.

  9. So, this is a quick test of the new edit comments feature. Please ignore the Latin below…

    I. Quo usque tandem abutere, Catilina, patientia nostra? quam diu etiam furor iste tuus nos eludet? quem ad finem sese effrenata iactabit audacia? Nihilne te nocturnum praesidium Palati, nihil urbis vigiliae, nihil timor populi, nihil concursus bonorum omnium, nihil hic munitissimus habendi senatus locus, nihil horum ora voltusque moverunt? Patere tua consilia non sentis, constrictam iam horum omnium scientia teneri coniurationem tuam non vides? Quid proxima, quid superiore nocte egeris, ubi fueris, quos convocaveris, quid consilii ceperis, quem nostrum ignorare arbitraris?

    Yep, seems to work.

  10. Phillip Not Logged In

    I just changed the loading image of the edit and need to test it. Fingers crossed.

    Right, so what does it look like?

    I think it’s pretty good.

    1. It’s cool.

      EDIT – It’s definitely cool. It could use a border like the “Reply” button and the formatting options but still cool.

      1. t could use a border like the β€œReply” button and the formatting options but still cool.

        How about now?

    2. Still Not Logged In

      Okay, so forgive this, but this is another quick test. I will be deleting this soon.

    3. Ignore this, Just Tesing It… πŸ˜›

      EDIT– Aha!, Works!

  11. Loading image? What loading image?
    EDIT 1: The countdown clock that’s pretty sweet πŸ˜€

    EDIT 2: And just seen the loading bar thingy, very pleasing… I feel like I am being easily amused.

  12. My Valentine’s day rhyme:

    Headcrabs are Red
    Vortigaunts are Blue
    Gordon doesn’t speak
    and neither should you

  13. Having trouble posting a reply on your current “remix” post.

    1. Can you define “having trouble”? What happens when you click SUBMIT? There’s nothing in the spam folder, so it didn’t go there.

      1. It goes to a “whoops that page doesn’t exist, maybe it got moved” 404 (?) page. I tried numerous attempts to post, including cutting the post into parts but it just refused to do anything. I haven’t tried again today.

        * yes, I was logged on at the time, under my current ID.

        1. I know this is not what you want to hear, but it’s a problem that a few WordPress users have encountered but there’s no consistent solution. I have performed a small admin operation that is supposed to help, so the best I can say is please try again.

          1. I certainly will, thank you for looking into it πŸ˜€


            Tried, failed again, and I also tried not logging directly into my account, also failed. πŸ™ boo.

  14. So I replayed Half-Life 1 + both expansions again on Hard. Nothing new: Half-Life 1 is still my favourite FPS, Opposing Force was still fun to play and Blue Shift was still a disappointment :). Well, I did manage to find some weird glitches/bugs in HL1 and OPFOR. Check the youtube/user/R33D3M33R/ if you are curious :).

    Now for the Black Mesa Source (when the final version comes out of course :P)

    1. Zekiran

      I have yet to manage a full play through of HL1 on hard. Hell I’m sometimes hard-pressed to make it on Normal! I mean, just when I think “hey I’m pretty good at this shooting stuff” in another game or two, then I go back to HL1 and… omg. >_> Partly it’s the different responsiveness that the engine offers, when you’re used to much more modern ones.

      1. I think the biggest problem of modern games is health regeneration. No need to carefully monitor your health or search for secrets, just shoot-hide-shoot-hide and you will be ok … I play mostly old games and thus always carefully conserve resources for that final fight and save often of course… :D. I think Half-Life 2 and Episode 1 are also too easy on normal, but Episode 2 is just right :).

        1. JG

          I think health regeneration is the symptom, but not the disease. The disease is the military shooter craze that insists on giving every enemy a hitscan gun, because “realism.” It reduces every battle to a probability game, ironically similar to a turn-based JRPG. As long as you’re in the open, you’re going to get hit at some point whether you like it or not.

          In real life, there aren’t slow-moving projectiles. What good would a projectile be if the target could just step to the left and avoid it? But it makes for dubious video game combat. The Imp fireball in Doom is a classic example – it feels way more engaging to see this flaming orb of death coming at you and have to weave out of the way than to get pegged by a gunman standing the same distance away.

          I think in its relentless pursuit to emulate “realism,” modern games threw these conventions away, and it’s a shame. You couple the player’s inability to dodge a random number generator with the overall impatience of the incoming generation, and regenerating health is the end result.

          1. A lot of games use health regeneration, not all of them are trying to be realistic. I think health regeneration is just a very handy design shortcut, it auto manages player health. Every encounter the player starts with the same health and this makes it a lot easier to make the maps fair. Given the budgets of most AAA games these days it’s reasonably understandable that a classic health system is an unnecessary risk.

            Hybrid health systems are becoming more popular though, having the players health regenerate up to a point and then classically heal the rest of the way. This eliminates the chance of the player getting low enough as to make progression almost impossible while keeping the benefits of a classic health system.

        2. Zekiran

          I don’t really see it as a problem for me personally, as I have played far more games in which you do NOT have health regen, than those which do. Having health KITS, sure – that’s kind of a given because otherwise games are just not fun for nearly enough people to make it worth selling broadly.

          No, my problem is that while I absolutely love Half Life and all its incarnates and associated games… I am not necessarily that GOOD at them. πŸ™‚ I’m vicious with a sniper rifle but I don’t dare touch TF2 because LOL I SUCK at pvp and can’t even do the tutorial for that game without dying repeatedly. My play style IS very conservative when I know that I’m gonna die right around the corner or if I keep hitting alt-fire and blowing myself up.

          When I do play a game that has too many health kits or too quick regen, it does cheapen the experience and makes play style sloppy, I do agree that overall a lot of games more recent than HL2’s episodes are falling in line with that idea. I don’t really think it’s too fair to blanket the market with the opinion that they suck – just that they have a different audience and are the natural evolution of what game companies and their *ownership* want to peddle to the most people for the most profit.

          After a while, there’s only so many times I can respawn in Borderlands Presequel and not just ragequit. After a while, there’s only so many times I can rez in a tube in Bioshock and not give a rat’s ass about how ‘dangerous’ the setting is. The *consequences* of death in most games is just not present any more – but some games do strike a good balance. As some folks might know from my deviantart presence I’m rather fond of the Fear game – where you can improve your ability to heal and your level of health, in addition to finding quick-fix bandaids here and there for rapid healing. At least they go as far as to explain WHY you’ve got that ability in that setting. Others like Borderlands, they just slap in respawning as a universe-accepted ‘thing’, costing money, and at worst slapping you back into an area you’ll have to navigate again.

          1. JG

            I’m actually a fan of the hybrid system, like what Wolfenstein: The New Order does, where you regen to a point – I think it’s 20%? Or maybe it’s the nearest factor of 20%?

            It is important to keep in mind that modern games, especially those with console roots, tend to lack quicksave/quickload as well as restoring from death without having the game reload the entire level. Which, when you’re coming from a DVD or Blu-Ray, can take a very long time. Heck, even on PC with game footprints getting larger every day, it’s not a trivial wait. And it breaks immersion and takes you right out of the experience.

            So, having a safety net that errs on the side of not dying isn’t terrible because it sidesteps a hardware annoyance. But, at the same time, it tends to remove the need for exploration and turns some games into frenzied, poorly paced affairs which lack downtime.

            There are also some games that are more about the experience than the challenge – I would argue BioShock is one of those. You don’t want to have to replay the same segment over and over again. You just want to be immersed (submerged?) in a strange, underwater city and learn what the heck happened there and interact with the colorful cast of survivors. The combat was pretty much a tertiary concern compared to exploration. One of the many things Infinite did wrong, in my opinion, was making combat the star of the show.

            Borderlands – well. In Borderlands 2 and the Pre-Sequel, the balance pretty much falls apart in single player and, over time, in cooperative as well as some skills don’t even scale properly. Why you need 500 bullets to kill a shirtless man and he needs to land 1 on you for an instant Fight For Your Life is beyond me. It certainly defeats the fundamental RPG concept of growing your character into an unstoppable badass.

            The original Borderlands benefit from the fact that so-called “Legendary” weapons were completely randomized. Starting in 2, there were many horribly tedious ways to farm them, which seemingly led Gearbox to balance the game around the idea that everyone would. At some point, it really stopped being fun. Pre-Sequel, especially, went out of its way to use blatantly trollish quest design that wastes the player’s time. Naturally, when combined with Borderlands 2’s existing issues, it made it that much less enjoyable.

  15. Unq

    Saw this post’s header image in my Poke 646 stream today. Phillip I think you weren’t around at the time.


  16. Please ignore this, I just wanted to know how if the spoiler tag created a box that expands or it hid the text behind a black line that you have to hover over. You can delete this comment afterwards. The spoiler tag doesn’t seem to work…

  17. This is a test. I believe the spoiler tag does work but not how you expect. To view the text below you must highlight with you mouse.

    Have you highlighted?

    1. Ahh well that explains what I was trying to find out. I was hoping it would create a box that can be expanded so I could use it to separate each entry in the citystreetsville competition and take up less space. That might be a good thing to add to the comments since it would encourage people to leave larger reviews I think, especially in competitions were there is a lot to talk about.

      Although I don’t seem to be able to use it. I wrapped this text in the ‘span’ tag but it just got ignored.

      1. I don’t believe having collapsible section would encourage people to leave larger comments. It may encourage people to read only the sections they want though.

        Did you use the SPOILER buttons on the bottom of the comment box?

        1. Yes I did use the button at the bottom. Even selecting everything I want to put in the spoiler tag and then pressing the button doesn’t seem to do anything.

          Just testing if other tags work.
          Just testing if other tags work.
          Is this hidden?

          1. Very strange. I can edit the spoiler in.

      2. Maybe there is some restriction on who can use the spoiler tag ? I say this because when I try to edit a comment the tag isn’t there any more. Doesn’t really affect me now since I’m not going to use it though.

        1. There’s no restriction. Have you tried a different browser?

      3. Doing this in IE. Is it hidden ?

        1. Anon_1388156

          This is Phillip, logged out and IE:
          Hidden text: HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

      4. Phillip Not Logged In

        This is Phillip again, using Maxthon:

        This should be bold
        This should be italic

        This is a quote

        Am I a heading?


  18. Okay, ity seems the headings and spoiler is being stripped out for everybody except me.

    I’ll look into it.

  19. Anon_1388163

    How about nmow?


  20. Anon_1388165

    Once more….


  21. Anon_1388166

    Another try using Opera.

    This is after editing FUNCTIONS and KSES.


    1. Zekiran

      I’m using Firefox 28 (not current) and … I can see every one of those hidden texts πŸ˜‰

      1. Yes, I know. The HTML tags are being removed and I can’t figure out why.

        1. I’m assuming you’re not the one building the site, just monitoring it. It makes sense for the server to outright remove any HTML tags, just in case some of them might break it. If for instance I were to submit a “script” tag in a comment with a bunch of code in it, any user viewing the page would run that code.

          The server should be the one creating the tags (within rules of course) instead of just accepting them. Unless of course the server is already set up to accept just these specific tags.

          1. It’s not the server that decides but the software that runs the site and I have told it to allow the DIV and SPAN, so it should work. I kinda built the site but it uses a paid for theme and I had lots of help from a coder.

            1. Testing tags:


              End of testing

              You should really check if there is a strip_tags or a preg_replace in functions.php which allows only some tags.

              1. Testing an idea:

                Strong class spoiler
                Em class spoiler

              2. I have tried special functions within the functions.php file and even editing the kses.php which makes no difference. Something strange is going on here.

  22. Phillip Not Logged In

    Okay, after more editing and testing, I think this should work. Fingers crossed…

    This text should be bold

    This text should be italic

    This text should be a link to the Combine Overwiki

    This should be styled as a quote

    This should be a heading

    and finally, this should be a spoiler.

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Comment Formatting Guide

Well formatted comments are much easier to read. Please copy and paste the HTML Tags to use in your comment

  • HEADER: <div class="fix"></div><div class="sbe3">TEXT HERE</div>
  • BOLD: <strong>TEXT HERE</strong>
  • ITALIC: <em>TEXT HERE</em>
  • SPOILER: <span class="spoiler">TEXT HERE</span>