Puzzle based modification for Source engine. Two world dimensions + two timelines, simple but unusual gameplay mechanics.

Report article RSS Feed Singing in the rain.

Learn about interdimensional travel with Gman. A new interactive game may grant you early access!

Posted by R_Yell on Mar 6th, 2010

Hi there, an entire month passed since the last post, a bit more than initially expected. There's a slight delay in my plans for closed alpha testing, but nothing serious, it's almost here. Next time I'll be announcing it along a news post focused in level design. The mod will be open progressively to more people, hopefully reaching the release stage when it's solid enough.


Two areas received most work during this time: gameplay without reality manipulator and improved visual differentiation (different lighting/fog/3dskybox for each dimension).

You may think this is another "Portal style" game where player defies physics laws while doing crazy stuff with a portable device, and certainly you aren't very wrong, but there's a bit more than that. Like Portal, a way to introduce players into new gameplay concepts was needed, so a few features were added: interdimensional gates/windows and scripted ‘interporting'. Using these new tools the game is simpler to understand, less possibilities, fewer chances to do the wrong thing. However, I felt like I could take this approach a bit further, and make actual gameplay for it, not only tutorials. "Singing in the rain" is about all of this:

Act I: The Avatar. Interdimensional gates are the main thing here. They connect both dimensions at some place, highlighting important areas and driving player towards objectives. There's also an interporting ball, similar to HL2 energy ball (bouncing) , it makes possible very interesting connections, far beyond you see here.

Act II: Looking through Gman. This is what I call an interdimensional window, you can look through it and no more. Any model or brush entity can be converted into a ‘window' to the parent dimension, at mapper's will. There's showcased an alternative way of playing using ‘scripted' dimensional travel. Player switches dimensions at certain times or when some requirements are meet. This leaves a wide door open to very rich and interesting game mechanics.

Act III: The Gatekeeper. You can see here a different approach to dimensional travel, a one way type. Player stays in the same dimension and enemies are interported. This is a kind of "last stand" mechanic where player must anticipate the attack and use the available resources accordingly. Here I use the ‘commander' mode implemented in HL2, however it's too rough and simple to manage complex situations, it should be expanded in a RTS-like way.

Get early access.

Previous contest was quite successful I think, so here's another chance to join the closed alpha when is ready. Well, 2 chances since this time there are at least 2 valid answers. First of all, watch the 3rd act, objective there is simple: get through the gate (antlion is guarding it) with Gman following you. It takes a while to open once the enemies are active, so you have to deal with them before trying to get in. There are multiple ways to achieve this so the level is quite open ended, those who find the best two solutions will win. A indispensable condition is no friendly NPC gets killed. Take in mind if antlion gets near a NPC that's an instakill. There's a slight hint shown during the video, not easy to catch probably. Hope you get fun and thanks for participating.

Post comment Comments
MrDev
MrDev Mar 7 2010, 1:11am says:

This is a great step in fps puzzle gaming, to rival even portals. I cant wait to see what comes forth in the full release.

Brilliant presentation.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Herasy
Herasy Mar 7 2010, 1:26am says:

I am really looking forward to this, all I can say really.

As for the early access challenge I would take all the NPC's up the ramp, put the box at the bottom of the ramp, leave turrets infront of the box and let the antlion guardian kill all the combine for me, then let the NPC's kill the antlion guardian.

Keep up the good work on this fantastic mod!

+1 vote     reply to comment
R_Yell Author
R_Yell Mar 7 2010, 5:44am replied:

I confirm this is one of the correct answers. Another one lefts :)

+1 vote   reply to comment
SolidFake
SolidFake Mar 7 2010, 1:12pm replied:

**** I wanted to say that too :3

+1 vote     reply to comment
cornfetish
cornfetish Mar 7 2010, 2:10am says:

I think I've found out the other way, go into one of the side hallways and block off the side with the antlion guard with the cube, then put the two turrets on the other side facing the combine, and bring the npcs into that hallway and wait

+1 vote     reply to comment
cornfetish
cornfetish Mar 7 2010, 3:31pm replied:

I'll take that as a no? :3

+1 vote     reply to comment
R_Yell Author
R_Yell Mar 7 2010, 4:18pm replied:

Indeed ^^ The other solution is better (IMO) because it takes advantage of the antlion guardian as it was a weapon. I only see another approach better than that, it requires a trick partially revealed in the video...

+1 vote   reply to comment
Murdouken
Murdouken Mar 7 2010, 2:56am says:

Hello. As I've said in your other news articles I cannot wait for this mod, I love this style of gameplay and it just looks fantastic. I also love the simple visual style.

One thing you could possibly do, is position the cube a bit further back, so that when the rocket people are on top of the platform thing they can hit the guard much more regularly without people dying. You could also save one of the barrels and put it on the other side of the cube so that when the guard runs he will hit the barrel.

+1 vote     reply to comment
L34D
L34D Mar 7 2010, 3:03am says:

thats awesome.
like the puzzles because they differ a lot not like portal.

+1 vote     reply to comment
awesomepossum
awesomepossum Mar 7 2010, 3:30am says:

Love GMAN with the umbrella!

+2 votes     reply to comment
ciastoludek
ciastoludek Mar 7 2010, 6:07am says:

This mod is very original and beautiful!

+1 vote     reply to comment
gregfriis
gregfriis Mar 7 2010, 6:13am says:

I just want to say, I love the current aesthetics of this mod. It could use some more detail, but I see you're working on that. But overall it has a nice surreal and minimalistic look to it. I like it a lot. Gameplay looks fun too.

+2 votes     reply to comment
R_Yell Author
R_Yell Mar 7 2010, 9:47am replied:

It was supposed to be a temporal thing for these promotional videos only. However I'm considering to incorporate this style into the tutorial campaign.

+1 vote   reply to comment
pippy360
pippy360 Mar 7 2010, 6:50am says:

really impressed ,tracking

0 votes     reply to comment
KindredPhantom
KindredPhantom Mar 7 2010, 7:34am says:

I would herd the npc's to the hallway behind the turrets (the hallway where you stood when placing the turret in 3:09) put the block there and sit the turrets in front of the block and let the combine, the turrets and the antlion guardian duke it out then lead the npc's out of the other side of the hallway around the back of the combine.

+1 vote     reply to comment
cW#Ravenblood
cW#Ravenblood Mar 7 2010, 7:56am says:

...
x3

+1 vote     reply to comment
SelfieDK
SelfieDK Mar 7 2010, 8:09am says:

Yea.. This is a MATURE step in Half-Life Modding..
This is the greatest FPS Puzzle Concept seen in a long, long time..
GJ Guys ;)

+1 vote     reply to comment
XuXer
XuXer Mar 7 2010, 8:11am says:

I would place the box at the gaurdian end of the bridge (as you did)so it would stop him and then herd the npc's on to the bridge and then place the turrets on the other side of the bridge letting them kill the combine. When they have killed the combine I would herd the npc's to the combine side of the bridge then up the ramp letting them kill the gaurdian then I would remove the box when the gaurdian is dead and then let gman get across the bridge :)

0 votes     reply to comment
XuXer
XuXer Mar 7 2010, 8:20am replied:

(But I would still put the turrets ON the bridge)

+1 vote     reply to comment
R_Yell Author
R_Yell Mar 7 2010, 9:50am replied:

That's correct but pretty similar to the first solution posted.

+1 vote   reply to comment
XuXer
XuXer Mar 7 2010, 3:31pm replied:

yea but it is different than his :)

+1 vote     reply to comment
Gman366
Gman366 Mar 7 2010, 10:47am says:

One word... Awesome!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Kamikazi[Uk]
Kamikazi[Uk] Mar 7 2010, 11:00am says:

Amazing But Your Videos/Gameplay Mechanics always confuse the crap out of me lol.

0 votes     reply to comment
Icemaz
Icemaz Mar 7 2010, 11:03am says:

Looks great, I am glad I won the last competition :v

0 votes     reply to comment
Jack5500
Jack5500 Mar 7 2010, 11:24am says:

Very impressing

0 votes     reply to comment
Nebcake
Nebcake Mar 7 2010, 12:22pm says:

I want your coding skills now!

0 votes     reply to comment
jjbomberman
jjbomberman Mar 7 2010, 3:18pm says:

My try at the early acces contest:

Place the box in the corner of the ramp but leave some space so you can place all your allies in there. Than place the turrets in front of it so no one get's killed. i nearly forgot: i would block the antilion with 3 spare barrels form the fight before.

keep up the good work i haven't seen such a puzzle mod for hl2 in a long time

0 votes     reply to comment
Ark_
Ark_ Mar 7 2010, 3:42pm says:

Great work as always. Im liking the visual style nice, clean and to the point.

0 votes     reply to comment
hanging_rope
hanging_rope Mar 7 2010, 3:56pm says:

Contest Attempt:
I would get 2 Npc's following me.I would put one turret at the first end of the bridge along with the remaining Npcs. I would take the 2 NPCs I selected accross the bridge, then put the cube behind the turret on the first side of the bridge so they don't get distracted. I would leave the Npcs near the box to fire at the antlion from afar, while I would stand near the antlion Guard with the turret So I am shooting at it with my turret. I would then be able to get through the Exit as soon as it opened.
I hope you can understand what I am saying. (I'll include a diagram if you want.)

Oh, and there is something you should change at the beginning of Act 2. The Gaps of the First reality you are in are small enough to allow players to just Jump across.

+1 vote     reply to comment
R_Yell Author
R_Yell Mar 7 2010, 4:28pm replied:

Hmm that's not the solution I'm looking for :) Thx for the tip, the thing is gman cannot jump so the path still has to be walked the same, no shortcut possible.

+1 vote   reply to comment
Ark_
Ark_ Mar 7 2010, 5:49pm says:

What if you place the sentry's on top of the ramp facing the combine. Then herd the npcs to the ally way on the left (near where you placed the second sentry) and use the cube to lock them and yourself in there until the antlion guard kills the combine and then the sentry's take care of the antlion.

0 votes     reply to comment
mechtroid
mechtroid Mar 9 2010, 2:27pm says:

I would just run everyone across the bridge, behind the antlion, put the block between the antlion and us, and just wait. Perhaps use the turrets to distract the antlion.

0 votes     reply to comment
R_Yell Author
R_Yell Mar 9 2010, 5:04pm says:

I'm afraid nobody found the last solution. It's probably something too silly and/or unclear regarding how the game works in determinate situations. Thanks for trying :) I'll say what it was in the next news post.

0 votes   reply to comment
iopzx
iopzx Mar 9 2010, 11:29pm says:

Cilme on the box and wait till hell ends. I WIN!
MY ACCESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

+2 votes     reply to comment
R_Yell Author
R_Yell Mar 10 2010, 4:15am replied:

nice try ^^

+1 vote   reply to comment
iopzx
iopzx Mar 10 2010, 9:04pm replied:

:0

+1 vote     reply to comment
Herasy
Herasy Mar 10 2010, 3:01am says:

Well since no one has found the last solution, I'll give it another shot.
At the top of the ramp is a small ledge (you can see it at 3:15 on the video) Put all the NPC's on that ledge, arrange the turrets in any way you like, get the box and stand on the ledge with the NPCs and place the box at the beginning of the ledge so no one can get in or out. Wait there while the NPCs kill the guardian then go out and kill the combine. You win.

If that isn't it, then try placing the box where the Guardian is? I'm thinking he will appear inside the box and die. Just a random guess.

0 votes     reply to comment
R_Yell Author
R_Yell Mar 10 2010, 4:38am replied:

Oh yeah that is, I mean blocking the guardian. You may use the box or anything, just it won't be interported if there's no room. This may sound like cheating I guess heheh. I said it was shown partially in the video because the first turret I place blocks one of the soldiers, that's however pretty hard to notice.

This case also made me think there should be some kind of check to prevent, let's say, a very small object blocks something big like an antlion guardian. In that case the smaller object should be destroyed when interporting happens.

Well, you made it again Herasy :), so I'll be contacting you soon. The svn repository is ready, still some work lefts.

0 votes   reply to comment
Herasy
Herasy Mar 10 2010, 6:05am replied:

Guess I'm on a roll! I look forward to it. :)

0 votes     reply to comment
hanging_rope
hanging_rope Mar 11 2010, 2:37am replied:

Well done, but winning the competition twice means that you get to access the content twice as early, am I rite?

+1 vote     reply to comment
R_Yell Author
R_Yell Mar 11 2010, 6:36am replied:

Hmm as early as it's available :) He may invite someone if he wishes I guess.

+1 vote   reply to comment
KindredPhantom
KindredPhantom Mar 15 2010, 6:37pm replied:

Isn't this basically the first solution? In both solutions you put npc's at the top of the ramp, then the turrets and then the box. They both seem rather similar.

+1 vote     reply to comment
iopzx
iopzx Mar 15 2010, 8:38pm replied:

R_Yell = Herasy

+1 vote     reply to comment
R_Yell Author
R_Yell Mar 16 2010, 8:21am replied:

No, look at the second solution Herasy posted, that was the correct one:

"If that isn't it, then try placing the box where the Guardian is? I'm thinking he will appear inside the box and die. Just a random guess."

That's completely different from anything posted above.

+1 vote   reply to comment
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Released Aug 25, 2011
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