In Half-Life, everything is seen through the player's eyes, in first person view. But this wasn't always the case. The game was originally designed with third person cutscenes in mind.
During the development of the game, Valve was torn between using or removing cutscenes. In some cases, they couldn't figure out how to advance the story without them. They didn't have time and resources to do a good job with third person cinematics. These constraints forced them to make everything in first person. This gave the game its own unique identity.
For today's article, we remade one of the cutscenes using the leftover animations from the game. According to Marc Laidlaw, this sequence was to show Gordon Freeman being captured by the military from the view of a security camera. In the next scene, Gordon was to be seen being dragged to a trash compactor by soldiers.
Gordon Freeman gets captured by soldiers. Unfortunately, the last 33 frames of his animations are missing. Every other character's animations are 254 frames long.
Gordon Freeman is seen being dragged to a trash compactor by soldiers. The same animation was included in Half-Life: Blue Shift but was left unused.
Half-Life has a fully functional complex camera system that was created for the cutscenes. It was only used twice in the entire game. First, when Gordon is being dragged to a trash compactor by soldiers. Second, in the finale of the game, when the player accepts the G-Man's offer and steps into a teleporter.
For cutscenes, they used a variant of monster_generic named monster_player, a generic character entity that uses Gordon Freeman model.
The company wanted to use cutscenes for the tram ride, the disaster sequence and the finale.
Special thanks to Marc Laidlaw for answering my questions and Josh "Slartibarty" Dowell for recording the video.
In today's article, we're going to talk about Half-Life's lost feature, glowing textures. In Half-Life version 0.52, a pre-release build dated September 8, 1997, there are special types of textures that glow in the dark. These textures do not require another form of light to be lit up.
This is actually a more complex version of a technology that was present in id Software's Quake, the engine that Half-Life is based on. Unfortunately, this feature is only available in the software mode, which works if you set your computer's color depth to 16 bit from its display settings.
Half-Life uses 256 color images as textures. The last 32 colors, minus the last one, can be used as the glowing parts of the textures. In addition to this, the filenames must have the prefix used for either animated (+0~filename) or switchable textures (+a~filename). While this feature is not available in the final release of the game, the textures still carry the color data used for the glowing parts.
Special thanks to Tom Schumann for the help.
For today's article, we created a list of locations revisited in the Half-Life series.
Valve's Alden Kroll was at Indigo 2017 to talk about Steam and the changes they're working on. The talk covered the business side of Steam as well as some specific features available for game makers. The company wanted to meet developers face to face, answer questions, and hear feedback and suggestions as well.
Here are the slides from the conference.
Here is a compilation of tweets from the conference.
dutchgamegarden - June 30, 2017 - 01:35 AM
We kick off Indigo 2017 with a Steam Business Update from Valve!
ElineMuijres - June 30, 2017 - 01:39 AM
Localization, especially in Asian languages, will up your sales on Steam.
ElineMuijres - June 30, 2017 - 01:52 AM
Great news: Steam is gonna make it easier for developers to verify Curators.
MaliceDaFirenze - June 30, 2017 - 01:52 AM
Steam will soon have a built in system to verify influencers are who they say they are & send keys.
TheRedStareVR - June 30, 2017 - 03:12 AM
This talk on updates to Steam is very promising! For developers, players and curators alike.
In today's article, we're going to talk about Half-Life's lost feature, Timeline. In November of 1998, Valve released Half-Life along with Worldcraft, a level editor which was included on the game's disc to allow mod developers make their own custom levels. The same tool was used by the company to build the game. This release also included a guide by Chris Bokitch to help people learn how to use the editor.
In a pre-release version of this guide, dated March of 1998, there is an unusual screenshot of the Object Properties, a menu used for editing entities. In this image, the window has a fourth tab named Timeline, which is not available in any release of the editor.
According to the guide, this feature was created for Half-Life. It was to allow the user to specify an exact period in hours and minutes when the selected entity will be in the level. Like in the Fallout games, you could have a character only appear between selected hours in your map. It is unknown how the game was to keep track of the time. We contacted Bokitch for further information. He told us that he doesn't remember using the feature, or adding support for it to any game data file used by the editor.
While Half-Life never had a working time system like sandbox games, there were plans to implement dynamic levels that would change over time. In the early previews of the game, Gabe Newell talks about how the players could travel back to an area they've already been at and see changes. Moss would grow on the walls and alien creatures would breed during the player's absence. According to former writer of the series, Marc Laidlaw, this was when Newell was thinking of possibilities early in the development and were never added to the game.
The pre-release version of the help guide was included in the developer tools published for Sierra's SWAT 3. While the game does not use the Half-Life engine, its levels were made using Valve's Worldcraft.
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