Half-Life 2 for Kids

for Half-Life 2

9th April 2010

I have been meaning to post this for about 3 years. Seriously. 3 years. Well, here it is. A collection of maps designed for younger people. In fact let me just quote from the homepage:

“HL2 For Kids was set up in response to an idea suggested by Wisemx (HL2 Source Mapping), on the Chatbear Mapping Forum to provide younger people (3 – 12) with a series of maps to play that are non-violent, accessible and fun. The central theme of the project is the fairground or amusement park. It is hoped that a full series of maps can be put together to provide a lot of entertainment for children (and those of us who are still children !)”

The project seems dead, but the files are still available.

I have taken the liberty of collecting the maps into one download, which is available from the RTSL Server.

Download to your HDD [34.80MB]

You can get more information from the homepage (the original homepage is dead, but the link is to the Internet Arcive’s Wayback machine copy).

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  1. Grey Acumen

    I had always wanted to see if it was possible to go through the entire half life 2 series and tone down all the mature elements to make it kid friendly without changing the base gameplay and trying to maintain at least an equivalent story and mood. Obviously the mood of the scary parts would need to be heavily modified, but I think it could be done by injecting a certain level of humor into the equation. Instead of zombies have them as goofy clowns, instead of shooting people with bullets, use water and nerf guns. Instead of the enemy combine dying, just have them drop to the floor complaining about how you’ve completely outclassed them. Instead of turning people into stalkers, they’ll make them work as mimes.

    The strider could be a giraffe carrying an elephant and it shoots water at you with its trunk, and instead of the strider beam disintegrating people, have it carry them off on bubbles. In order to beat it, the rocket launcher will be replaced with a weapon that fires watermelons propelled by water rockets, and the elephant will eat the watermelon and get stuffed, belch in the giraffe’s ear and cause the giraffe to stumble and get squished under the elephant in a comical fashion. The hunters, airships and helicopters could be similar in nature and thus also have similar reactions to having the watermellon fired at them. Grenades could be a can of soda that gets shaken so that it can be reacted to in a similar fashion.

    Crossbow bolts could be changed to hotdogs, instead of circular saw blades, you replace them with pies. a shotgun blast could be a confetti popper, etc.

    Ultimately things could follow the same general rules, but visually react in completely different ways, sort of like the one joke video of CS:S for kids, but actually done more completely and not just tongue in cheek.

    1. Yes, I’ve always thought the same. I hoped they would release three versions; the child’s, the normal and the dark. The dark would obviously be a little stronger in its portrayal of events, rather than just more violence and gore. I also wanted the visual style to be “darker” too.

      Anyway, this collection of maps is just set in a fair ground and the name is a little misleading.

    2. tosha96

      I think the clowns and mimes would be MUCH more scary than the zombies. I mean, what would you rather have chasing you down a dark alley: some dead people taken over by aliens or some murderous carnie-clowns ready to beat the ***** out of you?

  2. Drew

    I would want to play that game definitely, but I would never want my child to play it. you are joking about all that right?

    clown zombies, dude, seriously!?

    and what about the fast ones?

    phobia generator.

    1. Grey Acumen

      well, you would have the zombie aspects taken out when you replace them with clowns. You wouldn’t have the horrifying howls and instead of fast zombies wailing on you you’d have things like getting squirted with a trick flower and hit with rubber chickens and stuff.

      As I said, the horror elements would generally need to be replaced with more comical situations but otherwise the underlying story could remain greatly the same. The goal would be so that if you had all your actions exactly recorded in HL2, you could replay those exact same actions in teh kids version and it would have the same effect in terms of advancing through the game, but the appearance and sound would be completely different.

  3. Kyouryuu

    For an interesting example of a violent game “cleaned up” into a non-violent one, consider Doom and Chex Quest. Believe it or not, Chex Quest was a prize packaged in Chex cereal back in the 1990s that was a full Doom mod on CD-ROM. You ran around as this Chex-shaped superhero blasting green booger-like aliens who were… trying to destroy the delicious taste of Chex? I have no idea.

    A cool addendum is that a couple years back, the designer behind that mod actually decided to make a third Chex Quest and release it to the mod community. Now that’s dedication!

  4. I downloaded and ran a couple of the maps. Balloons and Wildmouse (Wildhouse?).
    I got errors when extracting the larger zips but based on those 2 I can see that children aged, say, 2 to 6 would enjoy them but might not replay them often.
    I rather prefer Grey Acumen’s ideas combined with Phillip’s reply. This would give them something to do rather than just going along for the ride.
    OK, I’ll admit it. I enjoyed knocking the cans over at the end of the ballon ride. Played 3 times! I’m 62 going on 3.1/2.

  5. Gradius

    I find this idea rather bizzare. HL is one of the worst possible games to turn into a homogenised, unoffensive kids game. The story is dark and mature (the body horror of the stalkers and post-op combine, the deliberate destruction of both the Earth’s ecosystem and natural resources). The game play is centered heavily around violence (you can dress it up but the end result is the same). The world is decaying and rotten and all in all scary. Nothing short of an entirely new game can change that. All of the textures, models and game mechnics are too rotten, scary, or violent to be suitable.

    To me this is like trying to make a PG version of Saw. It could happen but it probably shouldn’t.

  6. john

    oh god not a circus. what was that russian mod (black op’s maybe?) were you were stuck in the circus? I admired the excellent graphics and full functional rides and everything but man did it get old and getting out was impossible.
    course comic kid friendly use of the gravity gun could be fun. sucking in a banana from the monkeys cage and zapping it right in front of the zoo keeper and watching him slip. might be very funny. which leads one to many uses of monkey’s flinging poo and you flinging it back at them.
    well good luck. if something is made I will play it. only if we get to fling poo. hehe just kidding. good luck great idea…

    1. Grey Acumen

      The mod you’re thinking of, I believe, is Half Life redemption. It started you off in the himilayas fighting turrets, HECU, and assassins right off the bat.

      1. Grey Acumen

        sorry, the proper title of the game is “Absolute Redemption”

        you can find it here http://www.planetphillip.com/posts/absolute-redemption-half-life/

        I actually liked it because the carnival section gave you a breather after the absolute pummeling that the game gave you from fighting a bunch of assassins.

        1. Pyro

          Except that I could never get out of that dang carnival segment. It was awful…

  7. Pinky

    I’ve been meaning to try making a mod that makes Half-Life 2 more accessible to a younger audience. No gore, weaker enemies, no swearing, etc. would all be factors of it, but the biggest problem was weaker enemies. It seems like the only possible way to make this happen is by editing the source code or with sv_cheats. I’m no coder, so this project got abandoned. If anyone else wants to try this out, it would be great. The more Half-Life, the better.

    1. Grey Acumen

      dude… just adjust the amount of damage that your weapons do. there was even a section on it a couple months back. Phil had a 10 week challenge thing and one of the challenges was to adjust the difficulty a step higher, and if you were already on the highest difficulty, then increase the damage enemies do manually. You could use this same method to lower the damage.

      here’s the link to it: http://www.planetphillip.com/posts/challenge-series-2009-challenge-10/

  8. Nrmartins

    Well that would be a fair idea to introduce the HL universe/maps/gameplay to new players alike. I started playing when CS begun, and I was 12. No fun park there but it gets used to within time.

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  10. LopperUK

    kids dont want this, they want GORE!!!!

    1. Not 5-year old children. At least I hope not.

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