Pick up the crowbar of research scientist Gordon Freeman, who finds himself on an alien-infested Earth being picked to the bone, its resources depleted, its populace dwindling. Freeman is thrust into the unenviable role of rescuing the world from the wrong he unleashed back at Black Mesa. And a lot of people, people he cares about, are counting on him.

Report article RSS Feed Spatial Fear Interview (Redux)

Since the Release of Half-Life 2, the leader of the Spatial Fear mod for HL2 resigned as leader and has given leadership to another. I take the privalege to interview the new leader and his stance on the mod.

Posted by UberSoldat on Dec 3rd, 2004
Interview

[page=Introduction]
1. Introduce yourself. Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Andrew Buchanan. I am the new project leader/lead programmer for
Spatial Fear 2. Alex left and I chose to keep the mod going.

2. Tell us a little bit about Spatial Fear

Spatial Fear 2 is a scifi mod created by Alex for UT. They decided to only
do the beginning of the mod so we are doing the whole mod in the source
engine.

Here is a teaser:

Long ago a ship carrying several dozen people headed off to a distant star
to study one of its planets. This particular planet was thought to be
habitable, which would greatly benefit the human race. The trip should have
taken only a couple of years (which wasn't an inconvenience since humans
lived for several hundred years by means of nano-tech). But upon reaching
their destination, they encountered a problem that threatened their mission.
A vital part of the ship had failed, and after the crew investigated
further, they realized that there was a chance they would not make it back
home.

At first the crew went about their duties and monitored and analyzed the
planet. Through a series of tests, they concluded that there was an 83% the
planet could successfully support human life. This news was then taken to
the ship AI, who was working with a few crewmembers on the problem of
returning home. Their news wasn't good either. The ship explained what had
happened and how there was a 62% of them making it back, though it was
contingent on many dynamic factors. The true % could much lower or higher.

Emotions ran high and arguments raged on for days. Both sides, those who
wanted to stay on board the ship and those who wanted to take their chances
on the planet, could not come to an agreement. Each side has presented
their case well, but it always came down to one thing: how do you choose
your death?

Essentially, that's how it was viewed. Did they want to take their chances
on a foreign planet or in the coldness of space? The crew was pretty much
evenly split: 23 were in favor of staying aboard and taking their chances
returning home; the other 27 were ready to take the shuttle and land on the
planet. On the fourth day of discussions, those who were chose to land on
the planet came forward and said their goodbyes. They explained to the
other crewmates that this was their decision and they were going to take
their chances. The other side argued but to no avail. In the end, everyone
said their goodbyes and parted ways. Those who had decided to stay on board
said they would wait until they received word of the safe landing of their
friends.

They agreed and parted ways. The "landers" loaded what supplies they had
into the shuttle and headed off to their new home.

It was nearly 30 hours later that the crew still aboard the ship received a
heavily garbled message. Because of the planet's peculiar atmosphere, it
was impossible to track the shuttle's landing. They had to rely solely on
radio communication. When they finally received the radio transmission, it
was indecipherable. There was only one small piece of the transmission that
may have been a word.

The crew stayed in orbit another two days going over the transmission,
analyzing planetary data, discussing it with the ship, etc. In the end, it
was decided they too would go to the planet and take their chances. The
ship objected to this the same way it had with the first landing. But it
could not change their minds. The 23 remaining crewmates packed the last 2
shuttles with anything and everything. They told the ship they would
communicate with it as soon as they were able to. The ship, knowing it
could not return without its crew, would remain in orbit until it had
received specific instructions.

With both shuttles loaded with supplies and crew, the ship opened its
docking bays doors and released its charge. The two shuttles eventually
reached the planet, though only one of them remained intact. Shuttle 2, the
one filled with the crew, touched down safely. But it was shuttle 3,
piloted by two crewmates and filled with supplies, which suffered a
different fate. Something had gone wrong during the entry and the shuttle
tore itself apart in the sky over a mountain range.

Eleven days later, the ship got word that everyone was safe and together.
The former crew told the ship that this was their new home. Since the
shuttle wasn't specifically designed to travel back to the ship, it was very
unlikely they would return. For the humans, this was an acceptable destiny.
They still had their lives and each other, and the planet was hospitable
for the most part. As for the ship, however, this was difficult to accept.
The ship's top priority was the safety and preservation of its crew.

Now that the crew was out of the ship's reach, the ship had to fulfill its
duty with its eyes blindfolded and its hands bound. The ship's scanners had
difficulty pinpointing the exact whereabouts of the human settlement. And
its only line of communication was via the shuttle. The humans promised to
stay in contact with the ship, and the ship promised to stay in orbit.

In the beginning, the humans had regular contact with the ship. After a
while though, they communicated less and less with it. Soon, months turned
into years and the ship stopped hearing from them. Decades passed before
the ship received a transmission. The signal was weak and the message was
garbled; but the ship knew that the situation on the planet was beginning to
turn sour. The message stated that a civil war had started and the people
were divided. This would become the last message it would receive for the
next several hundred years.

As the ship watched from above, the years rolled along. Eventually decades
turned into centuries. After centuries of silence, the ship shut down all
non-vital systems. Except for its communication systems, the ship became a
sleeping god, slowly orbiting the planet, waiting for its "subjects" to
return. Every hundred years it would "wake up" and perform a full planetary
scan. With each new scan, the ship could see how the humans were spreading
out. If one were to look at the scanner screen, it would have looked like a
mass-less cloud spreading over a section of one of the continents. And with
each planetary scan, the ship got a clearer picture. The atmosphere was
slowly cleared of particular elements that made it difficult for the ship to
get an accurate scan. However laborious the process was though, the ship
knew that the early civil was not the end of the humans.

The humans had grown and spread, and thus communicated less and less with
the ship. As a result of this, the memory of how they came here, their
original mission, and the ship itself began to fade from their collective
conscience. The ship became less and less real to the people, until it had
become a myth, a story to tell grandchildren before putting them to bed.

This is how it continued for a thousand years. The ship orbited in silence,
quietly waiting for the humans to return. But the humans never did. They
grew and expanded and fought each other. They raised families, created new
beliefs, and grew old and died.

So the ship continued to wait.

Nearly 2400 years after the humans first landed, the ship received a
message. It was the first time in over 2000 years that the ship was
contacted. The ship accepted the communication and viewed the feed. The
image was of a young girl on her late teens. She was dressed in rags and
looked impoverished. After a few moments, the ship realized that the young
girl had accidentally initiated contact. The ship tried its best to
communicate with her. At first she was frightened and could not understand
who was speaking to her. They spent the better part of the day talking.
The ship explained what the shuttle was, how the two were communicating, and
other things to help put her at ease. She seemed to accept the answers,
though the ship wasn't convinced she fully understood.

She eventually fell asleep inside the shuttle in front of the terminal. The
next morning they talked again and the ship learned a lot about the girl's
life the world she lived in. Sadly, things had not gone well the humans.
During some point in there short history, the humans had split into two
major factions: those who believed in and relied on Technology (tech-lovers)
and those who didn't (tech-haters).

Because of this rift between the people, many lives were lost in wars and
conflicts. People spread across the main continent in order to control it
in the never-ending struggle for domination. The ship was not able to
detect any major advances in technology, so it assumed that the other
shuttles were not scrapped. The ship also learned that those who believed
in Tech were still searching for the other intact shuttle (the one the girl
was in). They also paid handsomely for the discovery of any LifeTech. The
ship eventually deduced that this "LifeTech" was actually the nano-tech that
was lost when the third shuttle went down.

Ironically, it was one of humankind's greatest achievements (nano-technology
and the ability to prolong life) that proved to be the downfall for them on
the planet. After the two factions formed (tech-lovers and tech-haters),
the tech-lovers went out and gathered all the technology they could find,
keeping it for themselves. They knew that nano-tech was the key to
prolonged life and securing the family line. When someone gave birth to a
child, some of the nano-tech from the parent was passed on to the child, but
it was minimal. Through experimentation, they discovered that the majority
of the life-prolonging "nanites" were from the mother. Soon after, a
patriarchal society began to take shape.

The women of the family line were given a heavy dose of nanites to help
prolong their lives and to pass it along to the progeny. The men of these
families were also given doses of nano-tech but in much smaller quantities.

There was a finite supply of the nano-tech and since creation of further
nanites was impossible without the proper components (which were scattered
and lost in the mountains when the shuttle crashed); inbreeding soon became
an acceptable practice. This continued under close scrutiny for many
generations. On occasion, the ruling family would go "outside normal
channels" and bring in someone of new blood in order to keep birth defects
to under control.

At the other end of the spectrum were those who rejected the technology of
their forefathers and all those who followed it. They feared that reliance
on technology could and would lead to the downfall of civilization. This
extreme view on life caused the faction's leaders to prohibit the use of any
technology. Though life was hard when they first split, they were able to
prosper and grow.

A third group arose from these two factions: the nomads. They rejected both
groups of zealots and wanted nothing to do with either with them. The
nomads were formed when people from both factions grew disgusted with the
way things were run. They only wanted to live their lives in peace and away
from the power struggle of the two factions. Traveling across the
continent, the nomads looked to themselves for a better future.

Since their allegiance was to themselves only, corruption within the ranks
soon started. They saw how easy it would be to play the two factions
against each other. After the first war broke out between the two factions,
members of the nomads set a plan in motion in order to insert themselves
into the societies of both factions. Secretly moving up the ranks and
gaining the trust of both sides, the situation became very lucrative and the
nomads slowly grew in power. They started small as to not draw attention.
Selling information to either side became the easiest way to make money and
gain allies. But this quickly turned into something more sinister and the
nomads put in motion a plan that would ultimately bring down both sides.

The nomads integrated themselves into the society and structure of both
factions. They spent decades earning their trust and moving up the social
and hierarchal ladder. They sacrificed their own without remorse. Nothing
was too sacred or off limits to them; morality was never an issue. Their
obsession with secrecy was only matched by their lust for power. The
nomad's subterfuge ran so deep they eventually lost sight of their original
goal.

The ship listened as the girl related the history of man on the foreign
planet. After analyzing the newfound data, the ship decided to do what it
could to help their plight. It still had their welfare as its highest
priority. The ship had also developed a special bond with the young girl,
unlike anything it had with the crew. In turn, the girl had come to trust
and rely on the ship for everything. The ship had shown the girl how to use
certain functions of the shuttle to benefit herself. The relationship they
shared eventually set in motion a plan that would forever change the course
of humanity.

The Emissary was a robot built by the ship and sent down to the planet via a
special capsule. The ship prepared and trained the girl to be a "prophet"
to the people. Understanding the patriarchal society that had developed
among the "tech-lovers", the ship decided to send the Emissary to them.

The ship had learned that a long-held belief of theirs was the return of
their "god from the stars." The girl would go forth and "predict" the
coming of the Emissary in order for the people to be ready. The girl did
this, and though she was mocked, humiliated, and eventually jailed, the
Emissary arrived. The ship made sure the Emissary took care of the girl.
She was eventually released and later accepted into the royal family. She
was even given nano-tech to help prolong her life.

This plan seemed to have a good effect on the people. News quickly spread
and tech-haters came to visit and see for themselves. As time went on,
tech-haters slowly started to accept tech into their lives. Though the
animosity was still great between the two factions, this was the first step
forward in over a thousand years.

Seeing their positions and all their work in jeopardy, the nomads destroyed
the Emissary and nearly killed the girl. It was made to look like defectors
from both factions were involved in the crime, and the few short years of
progress came to a grinding halt. The conflict between the two factions
renewed with a vicious zeal unlike anything ever seen. The nomads, filled
with greed and power, sunk deeper into their secrecy.

Before the Emissary was destroyed, the ship had unparallel access to their
society. But after the incident, the ship's eyes and ears were cut off. It
had to rely solely on the "prophetess" for information. As time went on,
the hatred between the two factions grew, and subsequently, the prophetess
communicated less and less with the ship. From time to time, the prophetess
would ask the ship to send another Emissary, but her request was denied each
time. The risk was too great.

The woman argued that the two factions would destroy themselves if left to
their own devices. Nevertheless, the ship could not go against its own
protocol: to protect humans.

Sometime later, with the woman up in her years, she came to the shuttle to
speak with the ship. She explained how her health was failing and this may
be the last time they spoke. She thanked the ship for everything it had
done for her and the people. She told it she had no regrets. She said her
goodbyes and waited for a response. The ship did not respond. The woman
turned to walk away and as she did, the terminal came to life. The woman
stopped and stared at the screen. The ship thanked her for everything she
had done, and asked her for one more favor.

The woman returned to her quarters and thought about the request. She sat
on her bed, health and vitality slipping away, and wondered what it meant.
What would it mean to her? To her people? To the tech-haters and the
nomads? What would their future hold?

The woman gathered together all the queens, her advisors, and other
important people, and told them what the ship told her. There was a lot of
planning and work ahead of them and they were to start as soon as possible.
Progress was slow and difficult with the Conflict still using the majority
of their time and resources. Within a few short months though, their plans
were coming together. The prophetess was feeling better than she had in
recent years. And though the Conflict raged on, it felt like they weren't
losing as many lives.

However the months dragged on and they were rapidly approaching the one-year
mark since the ship had told her the news. The prophetess tried speaking to
the ship on several occasions but was only met with silence. The woman was
becoming concerned, the queens growing anxious, and all the while the nomads
were frantic. They heard the news about the prophetess and were not happy.
If another Emissary were to arrive, the Conflict could be halted again.
Both sides would take extra caution and the Emissary would be guarded at all
times. The nomads had considered themselves lucky they were not exposed the
first time. They lost several well-placed individuals to interrogations and
public executions when both sides investigated the matter. In the end, both
factions blamed the other for the destruction of the Emissary.

With the tech-lovers and tech-haters locked in battle, and the shadowy
nomads secretly manipulating both sides, the prophetess sat at her window
and thought about what the ship had said. She wondered if she had
understood it correctly, or if there was some vital piece of information she
missed or had forgotten.

Nevertheless, something had to be done. The two factions were locked in an
endless struggle with no sign of reaching an agreement. The woman had lived
a long life as a supporter of the tech-lovers. She reflected on how it was
a miracle she went from being an orphan girl living in the slums in poverty
to becoming the second-most powerful and respected person among the
tech-lovers. For that she owed the ship her gratitude and life.

She couldn't help but second-guess herself when she thought about what the
ship had said 338 days previously.

"There will be another!"
3. What is the deal with new leadership?

Alex, the previous mod leader decided that he couldn't continue to lead the
mod at this point in his life so he decided to leave. I am taking over from
where he left off.

4. What would you be doing that may improve spatial fear than what the
original leader would have done?

I will create a better planned mod with many other features that I cannot
reveal to you at this time.
5. What do you plan to add to Spatial Fear that you didn't add in the
original Spatial Fear?

We plan to continue the story with a new hud and improved weapons, physics,
and puzzles.
6. With all the new features in Half-Life 2, what do you think is an
advantage of Spatial Fear from all of the new features you get?

We plan to take advantage of the new physics engine along with bigger maps
and better models and graphics.

7. Do you plan to have any vehicles this time around?

We plan to have many vehicles this time around.

8. What sort of vehicles will be in Spatial Fear? Will vehicles effect the
plot/story in any way?

There will be cranes but I'm afraid I cannot reveal anything further, other
than that it will involve a very large ship.
9. What will make Spatial Fear different from all the other Sci-Fi space
modifications?

There will be a very unique storyline and gameplay, along with great models
and programming.

10. What goal do you have for Spatial Fear this time?

My main goal is better programming.

11. Are you in need of any help? As in 3d modeling, mapping, etc.

Yes we are in need of just about every job.
12. Since Half-Life 2 is out, when would you plan to release a demo of some
sort?

We plan to release a demo of the first level on July, 2005.
13. Do you have any last words before we wrap up this interview?

I would just like to say all of you fans who have been waiting 2+ years will
not be dissapointed.

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Half-Life 2
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Valve
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Released Nov 15, 2004
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