I have basically copied all the replies from a forum thread started by JM Kasperg, a well-known modder.
Essentially, the latest update from Valve, has caused some mods to stop working. It’s the same for some mods in development. His original post explains things.
I’m creating this thread because I’m concerned with Valve’s latest Source Engine update.
The old HL2 engine has been replaced by the Orange Box one. The different logo (the bald guy with a valve in his head instead of the usual dude with the valve in his eye) was the first clue, but once you load HL2 (or any HL2-based mod), it is evident that the engine has been updated. Better lighting, more contrast, no anti-aliasing problems for Nvidia cards, better sprites for fire etc…
Sounds good, right?
Well, the Orange Box uses a different system for organizing scene files and subtitles thanks to its console version.
What does this mean?
It means that all mods based on non-Orange Box versions of the engine will no longer work properly.
You head correctly. Rock 24, Riot Act, Strider Mountain, The Citizen 1 etc are absolutely devoid of their voice acting and present serious incompatibilities due to missing model animations (probably discarded once they started working on the OB).
As you might have guessed, The Citizen Part 2 has ceased to work properly thanks to this update and I don’t know when (or if) it’ll be possible to fix in a satisfactory way.
In the unlikely case that this has only happened in my computer, I urge any and all of you who have one of those standard HL2 mods installed (not the Episode 2 ones) and check out if they work as they should.
Today is a sad day indeed.
Will check, did get an update message telling me that HL2 had been updated.
Thanks for the heads up!! I reinstalled Steam, cause I thought that was the problem!! I tried to run “The Citizen” and only got a blank screen(twice)!!!!!! So it was a GREAT fix! That’s a fine
I’m sure it’ll be fixed shortly or it will be easy to convert mods to OB versions. Because 2009 version of HL2 has everything that Vanilla HL2 has but also has additions too. Actually I checked out gcf files in steamapps folder and saw that we have a new “Half Life 2 2007 base content” folder as well as others. And yes according to what I saw they didn’t change the old HL2 files.
I think that means there will be an easy fix.
I have been running Strider Mountain with a view to seeing if there are any problems since Steam update of HL2. So far I have not encountered any problems, my version of SM was already loaded in steam before the update, are predicted issues related to subsequent inclusions of HL2 mods in Steam?
Predicted issues include all custom voice acting to fail (default voice acting *might* fail) in HL2 (AppID 220) based mods like the ones I listed before. Also possible is scripted sequences or particular character animations going missing (you’ll see the models revert to an arms-stretched-out idle pose).
I haven’t tried, but I guess these issues will have been fixed by Valve for HL2. They kind of forgot there were a buch of SP maps and mods that they would mess up in this process.
As for the conversion being easy, unfortunately that’s not the case. To give you an example:
I can’t build a scenes.image file (required for scene files to work with the Orange Box because of some X360/PS3 config thing) with the 2006 engine version because such an option doesn’t exist.
It exists in the 2007 version, but my mod won’t show up in the available list. It does show up when I select the 2009 version, but Faceposer always crashes in that instance.
Not a good start…
I know the engine fixes are all good (I was kind of hoping for the engine to get updated because of it) but the things it breaks for mods in progress and (as far as I know) ALL MAPS AND MODS made with that engine version is just not worth it. I’m amazed that Valve could’ve forgotten about the mod scene, which is what has been keeping HL2 alive these past 2 years, not their “episodic content” lie.
My Steam just had a massive 3 part update, now it works,BUT when I try to run “The Citizen”, at the start the Combine beat the cr*p out of me and I hear them talk, but after that I can walk around to each person, and NO voice action!!! Soooo now what?
Well, I can at least say Powerstation 17 runs fine.
I’m not entirely sure what changed from a mod perspective. Definitely HL2 itself is running on a newer engine. The water is vastly improved in the coastal stages, there is multicore support for rendering, and the nice blood effects from Ep. 2 were backported into HL2. It’s quite possibly the same level builds that were in the console versions of the Orange Box.
But in PS17, I don’t have all of these things as options. The water looks better and I can bump up the textures to Very High, but there’s no HDR support or anything. So I’m a little confused where these things have landed. Of course, being HL2, it never had an HDR version of the map to begin with, so maybe that’s the reason it’s not even an option? No idea.
Still, it’s nice to see these improvements rolled back into the previous games. May give a reason to playthrough HL2 again.
Would be nice if they updated HL2: DM though..
1) Gamepad support has been vastly improved: Analog tilt actually affects your in game movement speed properly, there’s no more mirrored joystick while driving, no more disabling of horizontal movement while using the crane, and there isn’t an issue with selecting a weapon causing you to fire a shot before actually switching weapons.
2) FOV can be set to 90 in HL2 and EP1 now. (this option has also been REactivated for Portal, which originally started with a FOV slider but lost it for a while)
3) HL2 and Ep1 looks like the game forgot haw to render shaded areas properly. Even the darkest caves don’t need the flashlight to navigate them anymore. Tunnels that should be pitch black are bright as day. Which is a curse with a blessing, since even though HL2 and Ep1 run in Orange Box now, for some reason that doesn’t include the flashlight battery being separate from sprint and oxygen.
4) I’ve noticed some minor framerate drops, but nothing too bad on my own computer. I’ve yet to see how this affects things on my dad’s computer, which isn’t strong enough to handle Portal or Ep2, but was still capable of running HL2 and Ep1. It’s going to be just a bit annoying if my dad isn’t able to play HL2 now, because I only just finished setting it up on his computer 2 weeks ago.
5) Of course, achievements are nice. I’m probably going to end up skipping Lambda Locator, but Zombie chopper and One Free Bullet ought to be tons of fun to get.
6) Even though I can run my textures at “very high”, since I’m running in DirectX 8.1 mode, I can only do shadows at medium. I was able to run them at high before, even with DirectX 8.1. Despite that, for some reason textures all seem to look LESS realistic and detailed than they did in the old engine, but right now I’m hoping that’s just the fullbright issue and that it will go back to looking normal once valve fixes the problem)
7) Mods have been seriously damaged. Provided there isn’t any custom scripting, models, or voice acting everything should likely be fine, but as people have pointed out The Citizen has been rendered unplayable (you can’t get past the first part where the guy demands you return his TV) and mods with more custom content get hit even harder. Eclipse, a full conversion is completely broken, the first level produces an engine error, the second level can be played, but no enemies show up, it plays in 1st person instead of 3rd person like it’s supposed to, and none of the powers work. The worst part is that it’s the older mods that will be hit the hardest by this, since many of them may not still have the original people working on them or simply may not have kept the files to be able to create an update to keep them working properly in the new engine. The new mods for Ep2 are least likely to be affected at all, but they’re the most likely to still have teams and files active to create the necessary updates.
This isn’t the first time that Valve has pushed something that was badly received at first. Hopefully they will show their usual strength of listening to users in order to fix as many problems as possible. Going by PlanetPhillip’s site stats, there are close to 450 mods for HL2 and Ep1.(not counting all the mods that don’t meet PP.com’s criteria) Expecting all those people to just recompile their maps for Orange Box engine cannot be considered feasible. There has to be something that can be done on Valve’s end to accommodate the mods that helped keep the HL2 series solvent for this long.
Well, it seems I’m not alone. This person in the Steam forums describes the exact same problem:
It’s a pity that after all their promises of a self-updating engine, Valve managed to create such an incredible mess with their different games, engine versions and platforms.