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

Post news Report content RSS feed Singing in the rain.

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

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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.

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MrDev
MrDev

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.

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Herasy
Herasy

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!

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R_Yell Author
R_Yell

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

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SolidFake
SolidFake

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

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cornfetish
cornfetish

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

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cornfetish
cornfetish

I'll take that as a no? :3

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R_Yell Author
R_Yell

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...

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Murdouken
Murdouken

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.

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L34D
L34D

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

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awesomepossum
awesomepossum

Love GMAN with the umbrella!

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ciastoludek
ciastoludek

This mod is very original and beautiful!

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gregfriis
gregfriis

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.

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R_Yell Author
R_Yell

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.

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pippy360
pippy360

really impressed ,tracking

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KindredPhantom
KindredPhantom

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.

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SelfieDK
SelfieDK

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 ;)

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XuXer
XuXer

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 :)

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XuXer
XuXer

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

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R_Yell Author
R_Yell

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

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XuXer
XuXer

yea but it is different than his :)

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Gman366
Gman366

One word... Awesome!

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Kamikazi[Uk]
Kamikazi[Uk]

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

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Icemaz
Icemaz

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

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Jack5500
Jack5500

Very impressing

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Nebcake
Nebcake

I want your coding skills now!

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jjbomberman
jjbomberman

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

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Ark_
Ark_

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

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hanging_rope
hanging_rope

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.

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R_Yell Author
R_Yell

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.

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Ark_
Ark_

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.

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mechtroid
mechtroid

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.

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R_Yell Author
R_Yell

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.

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iopzx
iopzx

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

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R_Yell Author
R_Yell

nice try ^^

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iopzx
iopzx

:0

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Herasy
Herasy

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.

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R_Yell Author
R_Yell

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.

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Herasy
Herasy

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

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hanging_rope
hanging_rope

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

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R_Yell Author
R_Yell

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

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KindredPhantom
KindredPhantom

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.

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iopzx
iopzx

R_Yell = Herasy

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R_Yell Author
R_Yell

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.

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