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!

Posted by QuarterLife on Dec 8th, 2009

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!


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.


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.


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.


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
Post comment Comments
.kave Dec 8 2009 says:

It looks really awesome! Good job! :D

+7 votes     reply to comment
MrtwovideoCards Creator
MrtwovideoCards Dec 8 2009 replied:


+4 votes   reply to comment
PierreOfTheFrench Dec 8 2009 says:

Very cool, everything looks great.

+6 votes     reply to comment
MrtwovideoCards Creator
MrtwovideoCards Dec 8 2009 replied:

Glad you like it!

+2 votes   reply to comment
Armageddon104 Dec 8 2009 says:

Awesome media guys! :D

+5 votes     reply to comment
Bites Dec 8 2009 says:

I made tat WIP pistol :3

+8 votes     reply to comment
.kave Dec 8 2009 says:

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

+2 votes     reply to comment
MrtwovideoCards Creator
MrtwovideoCards Dec 8 2009 replied:

Kinda does now that I think about that.

+1 vote   reply to comment
Croco15 Dec 8 2009 says:

Holy bajesus! That's AMAZING!

+3 votes     reply to comment
cheesemoo0 Dec 8 2009 says:

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

+3 votes     reply to comment
chris_sloany Dec 8 2009 says:

everything looks amzing!! nice job!

+3 votes     reply to comment
Khalus Dec 8 2009 says:

badass excellence, I love it :)

+2 votes     reply to comment
Rukus_ Dec 8 2009 says:

"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.

+3 votes     reply to comment
QuarterLife Author
QuarterLife Dec 8 2009 replied:

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

+2 votes   reply to comment
MrtwovideoCards Creator
MrtwovideoCards Dec 8 2009 replied:

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

+2 votes   reply to comment
ghostings Dec 8 2009 says:

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

+8 votes     reply to comment
QuarterLife Author
QuarterLife Dec 8 2009 replied:

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

+5 votes   reply to comment
zonbie Dec 8 2009 says:

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

+1 vote     reply to comment
Keptron Dec 8 2009 says:

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

+1 vote     reply to comment
awesomepossum Dec 9 2009 says:

Quite a nice big update ya have here

+1 vote     reply to comment
Jesternz08 Dec 9 2009 says:

Solid Update, keep it up

+1 vote     reply to comment
TKAzA Staff
TKAzA Dec 9 2009 says:

got my watch

+1 vote   reply to comment
Kys Dec 9 2009 says:


+2 votes     reply to comment
Jay-Jay34 Dec 9 2009 says:

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

+2 votes     reply to comment
RustySpannerz Dec 9 2009 says:

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

+2 votes     reply to comment
Silverfisk Dec 9 2009 says:

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


+2 votes     reply to comment
VovaS500 Dec 9 2009 says:

Great UPDATE! =)

+1 vote     reply to comment
Gamerman12 Dec 9 2009 says:

Floating Gabe Newell's FTW

+5 votes     reply to comment
Visorak06 Dec 9 2009 says:

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

+1 vote     reply to comment
SteveUK Dec 9 2009 says:

Good work showing that Source can still hit the graphical mark

+1 vote     reply to comment
Ark_ Dec 9 2009 says:

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 :) .

+1 vote     reply to comment
MrtwovideoCards Creator
MrtwovideoCards Dec 9 2009 replied:

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.

+1 vote   reply to comment
Sortie Creator
Sortie Dec 9 2009 replied:

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

+1 vote   reply to comment
emetalce Dec 9 2009 says:

I love you guys.

+4 votes     reply to comment
MrtwovideoCards Creator
MrtwovideoCards Dec 9 2009 replied:

We love you too.

+5 votes   reply to comment
LopperUK Dec 9 2009 says:

f***ing awesome :D

+3 votes     reply to comment
RedTiki Dec 9 2009 says:

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.

+2 votes     reply to comment
MrtwovideoCards Creator
MrtwovideoCards Dec 9 2009 replied:

Very philosophical there!

+3 votes   reply to comment
Jike Dec 11 2009 says:

I love you guys!

+1 vote     reply to comment
MrtwovideoCards Creator
MrtwovideoCards Dec 11 2009 replied:

I love you too.

+1 vote   reply to comment
Myloman Dec 12 2009 says:

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

+1 vote     reply to comment
Post a comment

You are not logged in, your comment will be anonymous unless you join the community. Or sign in with your social account:

Half-Life 2
Send Message
Release date
Mod watch
Start tracking
Related Games
Half-Life 2
Half-Life 2 First Person Shooter
Related Groups
Gear Developer & Publisher with 9 members