Deep Resonance is a mod for Half Life 2 that bring you to the cold russian territory.
In 2018, a nuclear experiment gone wrong caused a new, violent war, between US and Russia
The world as we know it has been swept out, and people took refuge in giant high-tech fortress to survive the nuclear warfare.
In 2039 General Dorin Kasperiov, the only one who refused to continue this senseless fighting, suddenly disappeared with his powerful Unit during operation Liberty, that could have been the last strike to the corrupted power of the US and Russian governments.
The player is called into the shoes of Anya Kovalenko, a young mercenary grown up in the post-nuclear Moscow. She must rescue Dorin Kasperiov and prevent the ascent of his ruthless rival, Alexio Groznaji.
The mod features:
Mapping - 95% complete
Models - Done!
Textures - Done!
Coding - Done!
Behind the scenes, I thank those who gave me their support:
- Elan (AudioElan.com) as the voice actress
- Atis_star_tours as the male voice actor
- Fjahgo as mapper
- RetroXor as music artist
- Shtirlitz20 and Exar Kun as voice actors
Its here, finally. Well, it isnt what I had originally expected, and is nowhere near what I thought
I could accomplish.
It took 1 year and several months of work, but in the end I managed to complete it more or less.
Why am I saying so? For several reasons, but the one that I believe is the most important and frustrating of them all is, of course, the atrocious amount of bugs in every Steam update.
During DR's development, I wasnt dealing with complex coding or mapping issues, instead, I was constantly fighting the tools themselves, as they are infact complete garbage in my opinion.
I really hoped that I could say I had a pleasant modding experience, but no, it wasnt. Faceposer
continued to give problems, until it finally stopped working. Hammer was a mess, the 3D view was full of artifacts and several unknown issues made it crash so many times that I can hardly remember when I actually started to build up my levels in a decent way.
Other general Steam issues were the final slap on my face. So, at a certain point, I gave up to this unfortunate situation.
Reading this, someone might argue that I was more concentrated on fixing stupid bugs from Valve than on modding. Yes, that is the case.
So, after all that trouble, before Steam refused to accept even the mod itself, Deep Resonance was around 80% completed. This I give to you today, a game near the end of its development, but unfortunately also plagued with minor bugs and some really odd malfunction.
I'm honestly tired to try and find a shortcut to trick Steam's unspeakable "updates", therefore I'm forced
to quit the project.
I want to thank everyone out there for their support, and in particular all the voice actors, betatesters,
music artist and the members of Interlopers for their help and useful advices.
Deep Resonance 0.9b known issues and bugs:
- The game can be completed from start to finish, but you'll have to press the "Esc" key and quit manually at the end
- Some music tracks may not play correctly
- there's an odd bug with a trigger_changelevel not changing the level in the map escape_route_02. I have no idea of why it happens
- No lip-sync when the characters speak
- Some minor framerate issues on lake_02 and base_04 maps
- Cubemaps have to be rebuild with the console command "buildcubemaps" before playing
- HIDDEN WEAPON: the flamethrower - this hidden weapon wasnt planned for the final product. Therefore, you can only use it via console commands. If you want some extra fun burning things up, go ahead and try it.
Before I leave you to this unfinished project, I want to give some advices to those who decided to create a mod with decent content and plot for the first time, like me. These are all personal experiences that I had to face during the development of Deep Resonance. I hope you'll find them useful.
1 - NEVER TRY TO SIMPLIFY THE PLAYER'S PATH MORE THAN NECESSARY
I learned this lesson the hard way when I tried to simplify the route of the player in the map village_04.
I originally used a train entity with the shape of a destroyed cableway, which not only wasnt fun to ride, but was also extremely unrealistic. Try to focus on player's emotions when designing a believable path for his adventures.
2 - BUILD THE MAIN SHAPE FIRST
I tend to build levels directly, without focusing on the main shape. This caused my earlier levels to be
almost unplayable, because of size issues and rooms constantly colliding between eachother because I hadnt planned a scheme of the level before.
3 - SELECT YOUR ENGINE WISELY
Before even attempting to think about modelling, texturing and \ or coding, you have to select your engine of choice, the core of your own mod \ game. For DR I have chosen the Source Engine, but I realized later on that it wasnt the best engine to start modding with. It was already too late to switch to my beloved GoldSource, more flexible and easy to use, so I continued to develop on it. And this is partly the cause of DR's premature end. So, to make it shorter, start with a simple and \ or user-friendly engine, and inform on its issues before starting to develop on it.
4 - PRETTY DOESNT MEAN GOOD
The title says it all. I spent two weeks on a single room adding all sort of unnecessary stuff here and there, trying to make that place very good for screenshots. But after I started playing it, I realized it wasnt fun enough, and my betatesters were bored too. I had to replace some parts of it and create minor puzzles to bring in some interest, but it was still too eye-candy and less gameplay.
5 - IF ITS NOT NECESSARY, DISCARD IT
When I started to build Deep Resonance, I wanted to implement all sort of features. Most of them werent necessary to complete the game, and some of them required extra maps to be built for testing. Flying soldiers with flamethrowers, miniguns with flashlights attached to the soldier's shoulders, exploding enemies, Jetpacks... those were some of the experiments I had to discard. Before losing months and months over features you wont use, try to focus on what the player might find useful in his adventure. Will he be able to do this? Will he absolutely need to do that? Is this really necessary to advance in this point? Ask yourself these questions before trying anything new.
Well, that was it. If Valve ever fixes the annoying bugs that stop me from completing the mod, I could probably try to fix what is left. Until then, I'll focus on other engines worth of my attention.
Be sure to check The Whisper, my next project, soon to be revealed. Au revoir!