With the impending collapse of the Citadel, two members of the Resistance are tasked with evacuating any citizens remaining. Little do they know that their mission sees them gaining critical information that puts the early fate of White Forest in their hands.

Report content RSS feed City17: Episode 1 | Holiday Update

Map updates, gameplay updates, music updates, technical updates, more info about Maxsi Distribution, and an exclusive interview with Planet Phillip all rolled up into one large Holiday update!

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Welcome to the City17: Episode 1 December Update! Because it's the holidays and because we're rapidly approaching our expected Q1-Q2 2010 release, this month is going to be a large update and we have a lot of content for you, including an exclusive interview with Planet Phillip!


Mapping


As always, we here at team Gear are constantly improving on our older work as we move forward. We update our work almost endlessly as new technologies or ideas emerge.



Programming


Screen Effects

City17 now has an assortment of screen effects, ranging from large amounts of smoke on the player's screen while in burning buildings, to water effects when coming out of the water and blur while looking down your weapon's sights.



Revamped Healing System

To help convey that the player is an everyday rebel, and not the indestructable and unstoppable Gordon Freeman, we've implemented a revamped healing system that we believe will add extra challenge and planning to gameplay, as well as give a use for those pesky spare medical supplies.

The system works by allowing players to carry up to 3 spare medkits. At any time, the player can use a medkit by pressing the heal button they have assigned to the keyboard. When this is done, a short but unskipable healing animation plays from the first person perspective. This healing animation could involve anything from bandaging a wound to pulling a bullet out of your body, depending on the damage you've taken since you last healed. Over the course of this relatively short animation, the player gradually heals up to 30 HP. Let us know how you feel about this system, either by comment or by email.


Particle Effects


Why the switch?

Particles allow us to create effects not previously possible. A particle effect can generally create anything, from Rain, to floating Gabe Newell's. We've slowly begun the process of converting much of the old Half Life 2 based client effects into the new particle systems present in the OrangeBox Engine. This allows:

  • Totally awesome explosions!


  • Water Impacts and splash effects, including falling water!

  • Impact based effects for weapons, based on different materials!


  • And a more organic feel for effects created in-game.

How does using more particle effects benefit my gameplay experience?

In City17 we've replaced much of the sprite based effects present in the stock Source Engine. Using the new particles, effects such as smoke, sparks, and water droplets are able to collide with the world around them, and even on the player.

From an art perspective, we're able to achive a much more damaged feeling for the entire city. Using smoke to convey burning buildings in the distance. Water to illustrate broken pipes, and even aid in gameplay. We've even gone as far as to create particle based muzzle flashes and bullet tracers, to create a more engaging and active experience for the player.

Are they expensive to run? Will they make my computer sweat?

Particle effects allow us to scale performance based on different types of hardware, and any GPU capable of DirectX 8 or above will be able to render them with relative ease. Particle effects also support multithreading, which gives them a big advantage over the older sprite based HL2 effects, which could only be processed in the client thread. Aside that we're able to control the amount of particles an entire system creates, allowing us to make even some of the prettiest effects cheap on almost any hardware.



Maxsi Distribution is an Open-Source Content Distribution Platform for Mods with features such as automatic updates, automatic crash reporting, statistics, achievements, and much more, without requiring a program running in the background. Developers using the free Maxsi Distribution SDK are able to easily implement Maxsi Distribution into their mods and easily release them to a wide audience. Maxsi Distribution is still in closed development and is not publicly available at this time.

City17: Episode 1 will use the Maxsi Distribution Content Distribution Platform along with the features such as Statistics, Achievements, and Automatic Crash Reporting.

To install a Maxsi Distribution enabled mod, users download a small and user-friendly installer that guides users through the installation process. The installer downloads the actual mod content from a wide range of content servers and ensures the installed version is up to date. Updating a mod is even easier, you just have to launch the mod and if any update exists the mod will be updated. (You can opt out, if you don't want automatic updating).

Besides the automatic updating, Maxsi Distribution also provides a wide range of optional features. Developers are able to track statistics using Maxsi Distribution, just like Valve does with Episode One and Two. This includes the highest map played, amount of deaths per map, total playing time, etc. The Maxsi Distribution SDK provides a clean and easy interface to track any statistics the developers want to track. At the same time, another interface is provided that allows the developers to grant users achievements.

Our research has shown that people often have feedback to mods, but are simply too lazy to send it to the developers. Maxsi Distribution ships with a Feedback Form that pops up once the mod quits that allows people to send their thoughts on the mods directly to the developers. This really helps developers improve their mods.

Maxsi Distribution (MD in short) will be available to the public under the GNU Lesser General Public License (Version 3 or later). This includes all components of Maxsi Distribution, including the PHP scripts required to run Master and Content Servers. This way, people are allowed to expand on the system and aid with development, but also have the freedom to become service providers not related to Maxsi Software. The Maxsi Distribution SDK is provided under a modified permissive BSD-style license.

Maxsi Distribution is developed by Maxsi Software, a one man programming team and is written in native C++ and PHP for the server scripts. While Gear is involved in Maxsi Distribution's development, development is largely done outside of Gear. Maxsi Software is currently seeking experienced C++ and PHP Software Engineers to do volunteer work on Maxsi Distribution. Please see Maxsi.dk for more information. If you have useful suggestions, ideas for features, or would like more information, please feel free to contact Maxsi Software by emailing Distribution [at] Maxsi.dk.

Maxsi Distribution is not publicly available yet; however Maxsi Distribution is currently in active development, and while most features are working, some features are still not completed in the latest development build. This includes the download systems, which had to be completely redesigned. The older download systems were too buggy and often halted halfway through the installation, which was unacceptable.

While right now Maxsi Distribution is at a stage where some features lack, a proof of concept build was launched a year ago and worked perfectly. However, due to technical errors, we had to shut down our service for the time being. We hope to re-launch our service within a few months. Initially, Maxsi Distribution will only be available to smaller mod teams that help with development. But once the service is stable and ready, it will be publicly available under the GNU Lesser General License.


Music


City17: Episode 1 is a full conversion in spirit, and as such we've been working on our own soundtrack in the stillings of Valve's, with a few twists in a new direction. In order to achieve our goal of excellent custom music, Gear has taken on 2 new artists, and made use of one we've had doing other jobs. Below is a small sample from two of our songs. If you would like the full download, or to listen to more of the music we've completed so far, head to PlanetPhillip.com for the exclusive download.

Here's a small sample from two of our current songs. For the full versions of these two songs, and a song not demoed here, check our page on PlanetPhillip.com over the next five days for the exclusive Album download, and a ton of exclusive media.



Modeling and Texturing


Work in Progress USP Model


Normally, we wouldn't display a render of a WIP model, however we at Team Gear believe that any changes to the weapon models require close scrutiny from not only us, but the community as a whole. Our current train of thought is that the HL2 weapon models are beginning to show their age (2003). They're low poly and very low quality models, which only becomes more evident with ironsights. We're currently in the process of re-modeling most of the weapons, as well as creating new sounds and possibly re-animating them in the hope of bringing them up to modern levels of quality. If you believe we're wrong with this decision, or have any suggestions for this pistol model here, please let us know. We would be grateful to get some feedback on this decision. Just keep in mind that these weapon models would not slow down the release of the mod in any way, as the people we've tasked with doing them generally aren't busy in the first place.

Modeled and Textured Hands


Concept Art


Abandoned Concept for AR3

Originally, the AR3 was envisioned as a prototype Combine weapon the player would be awarded toward the end of the game. Very early on in it's development, the team decided that this method of giving the player a new weapon would clash with Half-Life's story, as it created a character with a permanent weapon equal to or surpassing the Super Gravity Gun. DISCLAIMER: The AR3 is still in our game. We simply did not use this concept.


PlanetPhillip.com


Join PlanetPhillip.com for their five day City17: Episode 1 media update. Phillip will be releasing a bit of exclusive media each and every day for the next five days! The monday update is out right now, and it's an exclusive interview with a few of the people behind Team Gear and City17! Be sure to check that out!


That's it for our December Update! But we'll have plenty more updates in the coming months as we approach our Q1-Q2 2010 release date. Happy Holidays everyone!

City17: Episode 1
Comments
.kave
.kave

It looks really awesome! Good job! :D

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MrtwovideoCards Creator
MrtwovideoCards

Thanks!

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PierreOfTheFrench
PierreOfTheFrench

Very cool, everything looks great.

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MrtwovideoCards Creator
MrtwovideoCards

Glad you like it!

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Armageddon104
Armageddon104

Awesome media guys! :D

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Bites
Bites

I made tat WIP pistol :3

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.kave
.kave

AR3 looks like it was made in Combine+ApertureScience style. :)

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MrtwovideoCards Creator
MrtwovideoCards

Kinda does now that I think about that.

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Croco15
Croco15

Holy bajesus! That's AMAZING!

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cheesemoo0
cheesemoo0

Looking good. I always like to see this teams updates. Keep it up. ^_^

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chris_sloany
chris_sloany

everything looks amzing!! nice job!

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Khalus
Khalus

badass excellence, I love it :)

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Rukus_
Rukus_

"There is NO SUCH THING! Get out of here or I won't continue the lesson!"

Rebel Soldier on the AR3 :D

I love the concept for the AR3, but you got its backstory wrong.

Originally there were 5 primary weapons, two for each side. The rebels had the MP5k and the Ak47. The combine had the OICW, the Objective Personal Defense Weapon, and the Incendiary Rifle. After they found many of the weapons too similar they removed all the above and combined certain aspects of each to create the MP7 and the OSIPR. The AR1 was the Ak, AR2 was originally the IRifle, but the AR2 became the OSIPR. So now the IRifle is referred to as the AR3.

A few fun facts. The OICW's third person reload animation uses the OICW's original reload animation, and the OSIPR uses the IRifles' model.

The IRifle originally worked like the Incendiary rounds in Left 4 Dead 2.

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QuarterLife Author
QuarterLife

None of that is canon. It's all removed content.

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MrtwovideoCards Creator
MrtwovideoCards

We just call it the Ar3, but it's not exactly an AR3. The rebels however will likely call it that.

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ghostings
ghostings

Upon hearing the support offered to low end pc's... THIS IS SO ******* TRACKED

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QuarterLife Author
QuarterLife

Tell me your PC's specs! I'll let you know if City 17 will run and how well it will run RIGHT NOW!

Reply Good karma+5 votes
zonbie
zonbie

This is a well-written news post. Keep it up boys.

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Keptron
Keptron

Holy ****, I loved the news and the screenshots of the effects! Very awesome

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awesomepossum
awesomepossum

Quite a nice big update ya have here

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Jesternz08
Jesternz08

Solid Update, keep it up

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TKAzA Staff
TKAzA

got my watch

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Kys
Kys

Just AWESOME!

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Jay-Jay34
Jay-Jay34

This is insane stuff. Loving it. :) watching :)

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RustySpannerz
RustySpannerz

This is a really nice update. Thaks for this. :D

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Silverfisk
Silverfisk

Gerat update!
I love the puddles and I like the idea of Maxsi, looking forward to more!

*tracked*

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VovaS500
VovaS500

Great UPDATE! =)

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Gamerman12
Gamerman12

Floating Gabe Newell's FTW

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Visorak06
Visorak06

Oncegain you guys have validated my respect for you all. Awesome update, keep up the great work!

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SteveUK
SteveUK

Good work showing that Source can still hit the graphical mark

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Ark_
Ark_

Great work. Its looking like a great single player mod, retail worthy from what i nave seen so far.

Also Maxsi sounds like a great idea, it seems as if its only geared toward source mods atm, is there any plans maybe later to let it function for other engine based mods or will it be up to those teams to modify the source to suit their engine/needs?

I have been playing around with a similar idea on a basic level for my current project but nothing on your scale (im only learning php) so in other words good luck :) .

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MrtwovideoCards Creator
MrtwovideoCards

Yeah there are. The idea i to provide content almost for anything. Left 4 Dead map packs, Portal, Team Fortress 2 content. It can really install anything.

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Sortie Creator
Sortie

It's open source and written in C++ - Any engines that let you mod using C++ Sources can support most of it.

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emetalce
emetalce

I love you guys.

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MrtwovideoCards Creator
MrtwovideoCards

We love you too.

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LopperUK
LopperUK

f***ing awesome :D

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RedTiki
RedTiki

originallity, breaking what doesnt need fixing is what makes stable income

also trackd 4 teh lovely lovely awsome which i am digensting, i thank you.

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MrtwovideoCards Creator
MrtwovideoCards

Very philosophical there!

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Jike
Jike

I love you guys!

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MrtwovideoCards Creator
MrtwovideoCards

I love you too.

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Myloman
Myloman

Yet another amazing update! So much visual lovings! :P You guys are blitzing it, keep that crazy shiz coming.

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