Half-Payne latest update focuses on presentation issues and better delivery for your pain relief. It also brings several new game modes and other improvements.
CUSTOM GAME MODES SELECTION MENU
Pretty sure you've seen it plenty of times on screenshots and videos. You can read more on implementation details in previous article.
Now most people shouldn't miss custom game modes because the menu is clearly there and you don't need to use console to launch them. Menu does more than just allowing to launch the game mode - it shows details about game mode, tracks your progress and personal bests.
While tracking progress is a good thing - I encourage you to not go for 100%, because in the next versions of Half-Payne your personal bests will not be compatible. That's because, unfortunately, I didn't get enough time to make record files future-proof.
Most of things regarding music playback that were described in previous article were implemented successfully. In this update:
- Music doesn't stop when transitioning to the next map.
- Music state is kept in the save file. That means you will retain music playback to the exact moment when loading save files.
- You can play the music in custom game modes by hooking triggers, which allows to arrange custom soundtrack.
- Formats of .wav, .mp3 and .ogg are supported, which can be stereo or have higher sampling rate.
- Music is affected by slowmotion: it has configurable lowpass effect, negative pitch, and time which defines how long these effects are applied.
- Main menu is no longer restricted to one soundtrack. Menu soundtrack also starts playing again when you disconnect from the game back into the menu. If you want your own music - just put it in half_payne/media/menu directory.
RANDOMLY CHANGING BACKGROUNDS
In previous article I was wondering if it's possible to achieve randomly changing backgrounds by overwriting background-related files each time you load the game. Turns out this is indeed possible, though I had to add a delay before making an overwrite, otherwise you see background changing into the other when loading the game.
Since it's now a thing, several new main menu backgrounds were added, made by Ninja_NUB and ZikShadow. If you make Half-Life & Max Payne crossover art that might be background worthy - contact me, and it may end up in next mod update!
Just out of nowhere, several weeks before release, I decided to implement subtitles because I realised it wasn't too hard to do, and it'd only help the presentation of the mod.
Subtitles are also powered by ImGUI, so they look pretty. Subtitles theirselves were taken from Half-Life subtitles mod. Subtitle dictionary is expendable and customizable.
In previous release you might have seen a file called:
_DISABLING HD MODELS IS RECOMMENDED FOR CONSISTENCY
If you had HD models, there were inconsistencies with world models being HD and view models staying non-HD. I asked Rara for assist with replacing hands on HD models with ones we already have - the problem is now solved.
NEW GAMEPLAY MODS AND SECTIONS FOR CUSTOM GAME MODE CONFIGS
Several new gameplay mods were added to tweak custom game modes even more. Most of them are auxiliary and only work well when combined with something else. Some of them were not even put in new custom game mode config files due to lack of ideas. Most notable and fun ones are highlighted:
Besides, several mods are now customizable even more. For example, there was bleeding gameplay mod that makes you lose health over time until it's down to 20%. Now you can change the threshold and also how fast you bleed. Check out README_GAME_MODES inside half_payne directory to find out more about available options on all gameplay mods.
More config sections were provided as avialable tools to implement new gameplay scenarios:
- [entity_random_spawner], which allows you to randomly spawn any monster and also specify how much of them should be spawned on map and how often.
- [intermission] - allows you to skip levels when going through map change or activating the trigger
- [entity_prevent] - former [sound_prevent], which besides preventing ambient_generic triggering, can also prevent other triggers from activating or prevent spawns.
- [sound], [max_commentary], [entity_prevent] and [entity_use] config file sections are no longer exclusive to map configs (defined in map_cfg directory)
- [music] section, which will utilise new music system to play the audio or music.
- [playlist] section, which will utilise new music system to keep playing the specified music.
Thanks to fury_161 for recorded lines.
You might remember them from Opposing Force, but they were locked down to multiplayer. Now with custom game modes you can replace snarks with penguins! By the way they are wandering around without grenades on their backs now, unless you activate snark_nuclear gameplay mod.
WHAT TO EXPECT NEXT
I already mentioned that I consider this update lackluster, but it's still an important one. There were plenty of improvements under the hood that now allow me to implement gameplay mods easier and faster. Several ideas that I have in mind would be more difficult and inconvenient to implement if I didn't lay out this foundation. I also want to believe that now people will 99% see the gameplay mods that were always there, and this will lead to new ideas and more exposure.
While working on custom game modes, I've got a sudden inspiration from Metal Gear Solid 2 VR Missions. They were really short and usually followed some kind of theme: elimination, sneaking, shooting ranges or weird variety missions. I really want to build plenty of such short scenarios to play, but I don't have the whole framework implemtened for that yet. With current version of Half-Payne, it's possible to end the scenario when going through certain level change, activating certain trigger or killing certain (mostly spawned by config) monster, but it's not enough. I'm yet to implement:
- GOAL marker that can be optionally activated and touched to end the scenario.
- Speedrunning game mode which will allow for personal bests or can restrict available time to complete the scenario.
- Maybe medal award system for more challenge?
- More tools to ease making of custom game mode configs.
Long time ago I planned that after this update, the focus should switch to new weapons only: we still don't have titular Ingrams, some Opposing Force weapons can be brought and I'd bring back Revolvers too and allow to dual wield them. But it's all model work first which is quite time-consuming atleast for me. There's a volunteer that suggested his help with modelling, I'll credit him and show the WIPs on Twitter or next article when time comes and if he actually delivers. If you want to help with weapon modelling work - contact me.
Because of how many ideas I have at bay apart from new weapons, most likely next update may have alittle bit of both: more new gameplay and a couple of weapons.
Each time update is released - I want to believe that I'm close to final version and can stop working on Half-Payne altogether, but flow of ideas just keep coming as you can see above. I find it alittle sad that there's little room for me to do more Max Payne content and I'm more into endless raw gameplay changes now. I guess only your help can bring things like new maps.
For now I'm taking a rest for maybe a week and then get back to work. During this time I may release patch if game breaking bugs will be found.
As usual, I'm always open to suggestions and support. If there's something you'd like to produce for the mod - contact me.