Poll Question 243 – Are you more excited by mods inside or outside the HL universe?

1st October 2011

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

Not sure what makes me think this, but It seems there are more and more “Non-HL” mods being made. I suppose most are TCs (Total Conversions), but not huge new universes, just little adaptations of new ideas.

I am certainly not against these types of releases, but do admit to “Knowing what I like and liking what I know” mentality. My problem is one of time. Running the site leaves me little time to play new stuff, so when I have a choice I always go for HL FPS. Heck, I haven’t even played excellent mods like Titan XCIX and Stanely’s Parable.

New is great, but not just for “newnesses” sake. We all like a little “strange” every now and again but what if every day brought a new mod in a new style, would that be worse than the same old, same old?

What do you think?

The Poll


  1. Frohman11

    I basicaly like to check out both sides of the mirror.
    Mods in Hl2 universe have often a Hl2 based storyline but lack the custom contents.
    Outside the universe have sometimes a weaker story but they incluide a new story , maybe even some new models or materials.

    So you cant really decide over who wins.
    But if you would point a gun at my helmet and tell me to decide …
    … I would probably have to go with the Hl2 Universe mods since you dont need a load of backstory explaining.

  2. A very tough choice for me, but I am going to side with… outside…

    I struggled to come to a decision on this one because I prefer playing the majority of my mods with a HL background, but I always look for the ones outside of the HL universe mainly because of my favourite mods all being outside (Afraid of Monsters and Nightmare House 2 are two perfect examples) and that they usually have new content, something which I cannot resist in HL mods. The ones inside the HL universe have their upsides too, like the poster above me said you don’t need to have a big backstory in them, and as well as that they are generally a lot simpler then some of the outside ones.

    Tough choice, definitely, but I think outside just about wins for me.

  3. Dias

    Outside. I’m such a stickler for HL continuity that seeing something that deviates too much from HL’s plot, gameplay or even simply feel pretty much kills it for me. Even Human Error seemed too “off” for my liking.

    The Stanley Parable however I love, practically because they deliberately use unaltered HL2 content without being set in the universe. It doesn’t have any needless reskins & doesn’t use anything like headcrabs or metrocops that would be associated with HL.

    It’s also a really short game, so you could definitely see all the different endings in under a half-hour.

  4. A mod is a new experience in either the Half Life universe or outside it. This is what attracts me to mods in general.
    As for The Stanley Parable, this feels as though it’s in the HL realm but somewhere on the edge. it’s a fun, thought provoking mod to.
    TITAN XCIX is outside and classed as a total conversion, but I have found it still has a HL flavour, but very subtle, just a background whiff you could say. Familiar sounds bring the HL flavour alive in many a conversion regardless of look!

    I am so HL now I find it very difficult to adapt to different games like, STALKER, for example, so I feel much happier exploring the universe I know so well in mods. So Random 17 was like slipping on an ols pair of slippers, so familiar and comforting. But that did not stop it impressing me!

    I will give most mods a bash if I like the sound of them, or just to see how they play and look if it’s a conversion. I usually go on comments and ratings as a guide for both kinds of mod.

    A new mod every day would be a disaster! Familiarity breeds contempt. A new converted mod every day would be just Sparta! Sorry; I mean Madness!

  5. Mega Sean 45

    I like Half-Life’s story! It’s not mah favorite game series, but the game series is simply amazing! If you guys seen mah machinima on youtube called Combine Rampage, it’s a totally different storyline! Well…. actually it’s kinda the same, but lots of new content. Such as the Combine Wizards who are the leaders of the Overwatch on Earth. I know that’s most likely not true, but it’s mah point of view (oh I rhymed!). Combine Rampage is more like a mixture of Half-Life, Halo and Grand Theft Auto. Maybe you guys should see mah series one day.

    But mah point is: People who go outside the HL universe are the ones who have the most creative imaginations! The ones who stick inside still have creative imaginations, and they might just like the storyline so much, they want to stick with it, which is okay. I pick the outside one. I say we should try different stories. Or at least change the Rebel’s personalities from “Oh my god, it’s Gordon Freeman! You must do this, you must do that. Keep it moving! Goob job! Good-bye!” to “Have you gotten Gears of War 3 yet? Ow, that son-of-a-bitch hit me! I need to order a pizza.” Something like that, make the Rebels more intresting. I know they sometimes say funny stuff, but make ’em more funnier.

  6. HiroProtagonist

    Well the main mods I’m looking forward to are Ivan’s Secrets, Tension, Lost Hope and the continuation of Titan99. I’d have to say outside, they’re more radical, that being said I love all the GuildHall stuff.

  7. CoRuJa

    I wish that could be more questions in this poll to choose instead of only two, so i’m not going to vote it.

    For me, it doesn’t really matter if a source mod is set inside or outside of Half-Life universe. It depends on various factors that contribute to the gamer’s excitement to download & play a mod.

  8. Zekiran

    I chose Inside, because I’m a big fan of alternate-history/alternate-universe ideas. I like seeing how people interpret events or take stories in different directions – though only when they’re really done WELL.

    I’ll play outside, I enjoy those too, but it’s a lot of fun for me to see how other folks interpret what happened in the HL universe.

  9. s.anchev

    The two most recent out-HL mod’s, Stanley Parable and Titan XCIX, have risen the bar so high that I dunno what to think.

    IF an out-HL mod is awesome, then I will be interested. And want more and more.

    If you take a mod like the Forgotten Ones… It’s just bad as bad… And I won’t give a damn about this universe.

    Besides, “the best” HL mod’s, IMHO, are mostly out-HL : Nightmare House 2, Get a Life, Underhell, Titan, Stanley Parable…..

  10. Hec

    interesting Poll dear Phillip, actually I think the reason because we’re seeing an incresing number of non HL universe mods, is because is kind of natural, I mean I think the same bias, happened with the original HL1, that peaked in topics reffering the HL1 Universe, and then that spark started to go down and we see many different lines of develop, which is particularly ok, because we have more variety, and that allways is cool for the options we have as gamers, and I concibe or imagiine myself as a normal gamer giving his oppinions about this great community, so I voted that I am really more excited by the things that happens in HL Universe of course, why not to be if really great projects as BM Source or OPF2 are just coming up!!, but I also like to play different stuff once in a while, and that’s why I like the variety of options in this HL community, and specially for the Source engine.

  11. Cyo

    I enjoy HL quite a lot, but I also love to hear other’s stories. While having mod’s take place in HL’s univerese is nice, I unfortunately can never actually take them seriously, mostly becuase a grand chunk of them have no actual story to it beyond get from point A to point B. And often those that do have story, they take place completely outside of the realm of the HL one. There are few good ones that do it well, but only a few.

    In fact, I can say that I actually enjoy mods that take place outside of HL’s universe. Afriad of Monsters was good and scary, Get a Life was an awesome mod, Old School was what it said on the box, and it did it well, tho it did end oddly, The Great Forever Tomorrow was as quirky as it was fun, Poke646 was a prime example of how to make a memorable game, and They Hunger is a great way to do a good, fun horror mod.

    I love it when people make custom mods, because they become entirely new games, and often results in me forgetting that it is built on HL’s engine, which is remarkable, in my opinion.

  12. Kasperg

    Both are fine as long as they are done well. It’s a matter of balance.
    Rebellion is a mod set outside the HL2 universe but with very little visual change.
    Strider Mountain has a HL-based story but uses a lot more custom content and seems closer to what a total conversion would be.

    As long as the new elements aren’t distracting (think of the new story, new weapons, new mechanics, new textures…) then I don’t think I have a problem with a mod being set in a different universe.

    1. There’s no suggestion that one is intrinsically better than the other, I was just curious which type players are currently more interested in in a general sense.

  13. Alex

    I love the Half Life series, but unfortunately, I am usually repulsed by a mod that is in the HL universe for some strange reason, unless it’s really really good. :-/

    My biggest thing with mods is I like them to feel like a completely new game. I love seeing new hud, new weapons, new characters, etc, because in essence, it’s like your getting an entirely new game for free!

Leave a Reply

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>