With great regret I have to lay this mod to rest.
It was something none of us wanted to see happen but yet here it is.
While I know it may be disappoint most of you to see another mod kick the bucket, I cant help but feel some people are cashing in bets on Hazard Team not seeing the light of day. However let's review our life together to this point.
In the beginning...
Hazard Team has always had a shaky development, the idea hatched with two high schoolers talking in their digital design class wanting to get a foot into the modding world. With the love for Half-Life in place and the dream of modding taking form the two high schoolers looked at a seemingly forgotten chapter of Half-Life, Half-Life: Decay. With that the idea of Anomalous Materials started, only to meet with unforeseen consequences.
After talk about ideas and how to map out levels, one of the two developers just dropped every idea and left. Leaving the idea to one developer and no idea where to start, the page for Anomalous Materials was then made on moddb to claim the spot for the recreation of Half-Life: Decay. With one modder for every point of a mod, development was slow and laughable. Around this time a voice actor applied, this voice actor would change everything.
Dr. Doozer and the spring board of modding
While at this time Anomalous Materials was in no where near the need of voice acting, this didn't prevent Dr. Doozer from applying for a spot in voice work. With him he brought many things to the table without him realizing. While his idea was just to record lines for a security guard in the mod. He brought the mod to the attention of his friends and brought Crazyb2000 to the table, and at which point development team of three started.
Birth at a funeral
While with a team of three and ideas aplenty, none of the developers were experts in their own field. However this was the point of modding, to do something that they enjoyed and to get better at it over time. This point seemingly to be forgotten by fans and critics much throughout the life cycle. With no media they felt was worth showing for five months the idea of the mod dieing started to spread with the handful of watchers it had. At which point one fan took it upon themselves to take matters into their own hands, this person was, FrEEmAn.
A new face
After a minor dispute between the two teams a merge was made, with the edition of two mapping modders to Anomalous Materials. With mappers working a media release was formed and the new face of the mod appeared, Hazard Team. With work looking of Black Mesa's early work interest started to spike in the idea of Hazard Team, while skepticism always remained. Development moved forward, one of the two merged team members left, and the introduction of another was made at that FrEEmAn brought Cacojo to the team.
Get ready for a long shift...
At this point a texture artist contacted us but in no means was interested in just joining us, he wanted to merge us with a mod he worked on. With the introduction of the Hazard Team dev team we met with Mr.Sugar thanks to the texture artist ReX. Explaining they really had nothing to bring to the table but ideas to Guard Duty but would love the help, they each continued on their own separate paths. A few months later ReX tried again, and in many ways forced a merge between the two teams. From then on the awkward tango of Guard Duty and Hazard Team began.
Conflict of interests
While by no means the developers really dislike each other but each team continued to work in the own separate "worlds." With no real ideas written out on how the teams should work together and the firing of the member that organized this merge the two teams were at a lose of how to work together. This continued for around the time of a year or two, at which point Hazard Team and Guard Duty parted ways.
The good the bad, the unfortunate
While the time with Guard Duty was "interesting" to say the least much of the team learned new skills while working together. While merged we were able to create an alpha AI for every NPC present and wishing to be added to Hazard Team. However at the same time we lost both mappers we had, leaving two shells of levels and the core three team back into place. Development at this time slowed to a crawl again as each member tried to tackle different fields to learn to keep Hazard Team alive.
So an Englishmen and a Scott walk into a pub...
With skills increasing slowly and a media release made public, the ebb and flow of interest continued as always. However the planets aligned and the blue moon showed, we got an application. The application was from a Mr. Afterwars a beginning mapper of a month. At this point Hazard Team was on the verge of death when Afterwars showed up, Crazyb and I discussed his mapping skills, while not the best, we saw real potential. We accepted shortly into his test map, being a pleasant fellow and with a drive to get better he fit into the team well. Shortly after Afterwars joined he talked a friend of his into applying, BloodraptorSKA, with that we got two mappers at once.
At this point you may be looking for an image of Blood's you can stop now, because the media release devoted to showing off his work fell between the cracks, we'll get to that later.
Level up; Skills +2; Depression +1
Time passed and ever developer again got better in the field he was focusing on while learning more. At this time Crazyb2000 had begun tabling in working with organic modeling more seriously. With it seeming Crazyb2000 could tackle anything he set his mind to and Afterwars and BloodraptorSKA pumping out beautiful maps, this left myself once again feeling useless and holding everyone back, while hard surface modeling had improved dramatically since the creation of Anomalous Materials, work often felt weak compared to others, depression hit several times in this time. Organic modeling was almost out of the question for the quality of which we were asking for Hazard Team, and my mapping skills were poor but ideas flowed. We kept working, and continued to enjoy each other working on a mod together.
In walks Murphy for a 10 year anniversary
While the two mappers often fought over maps and both competed over a map, this lead to new ideas and shared content between the two. As far as we were concerned it was fine because new sections of the map were being finished and worked on. However around this time we were able to contact Cacojo into returning to finish off his map, as we could find no one that could keep his style and finish it. He was able to touch up a bit of his map, complete the ending portion of the level, and add some amazing ideas to the original area. Then we lost him again, he once again lost interest and left us with a nearly complete map. Around this time as well Crazyb2000 having finished most of his coding and beginning work on his pet project again, "left" the team to work on his own skills and mod. To make our sorrow bitter sweet, at this point much of BloodraptorSKA's work was lost due to a hard drive failure and we lost months of progress.
Before the darkness there is light...
With a family like attitude we were able to keep Blood on the team and we worked through the loss helping him regain every file we could that he lost. We continued working and had several redesigns on levels and about had a rough draft of every original level in Half-Life: Decay. With things looking up for the development team we continued to work through our hardships, but each member felt a slight pull at their heart know months of work had left them with no return.
Murphy returns for a family reunion...
At this point we felt things we were going well for us, we had maps being made, and models started. With Crazyb2000 to help crack the mystery of custom heads for Half-Life 2 lip sync we feel we gained a level of professionalism. At the same time we felt we could ask a friend to help with some models for us since he worked quickly and made impressive models. So we requested a few models be made from him and we'd show it off for our summer media release showing off the work of Blood, however life stuck our friend and he slowed to a crawl on working on the models we requested. We waited for him to finish the models to show off with the rest of the media, quickly the summer left us as soon as it started. At this point I got accepted into college for Computer Science to start gaining skills in programming, so I could finally move forward with my passion of game design. However as a gift for college my hard drive with all my models and work I've made over the past 10 years of my life decided to lock its data inside its iron shell. Enter crippling depression.
Where we are now?
We have now reached about the time of now, and as much as I don't want to say it, nor any other of the developers we have left, Hazard Team is officially dead. It's a shame it had to go this way, we all had so much planned for Hazard Team, taking on a darker style Half-Life there is just too much that went wrong too quickly. Most times we had a development team of two and you would not believe how low moral gets when two people are working to remake and improve an entire game. While we have pulled through before, this hole is too deep for many reasons. With a lack of spare time to work, lack of popularity, and every developer in college.
Q: So some questions may be asked, will we release what we have to the public for completion or playing?
A: While it may sound heartless, we're not sure on this, we don't want to show how much work still had to be finished, how much ironing of levels, and bug testing needed to be done. Plus, this gives another team the chance to make their version of "Hazard Team" to the way they see fit, and to their own vision.
Q: Will you let Black Mesa, or Tripmine Studio finish what you have?
A: Short answer, no.
Long answer: Black Mesa has no interest in picking up this project seeing as their goal was to remake Half life, and they're far to busy working on the final chapters of their own mod. On the note of Tripmine Studios, still no, personally I have a lot of friends working on both Operation Black Mesa and Guard Duty, I rather I didn't bother them with Hazard Team again, and I honestly don't want them to work on it. Something I liked when we each had our own mod was each mod had a distinct style to it. Each mod had a different direction on how they took the models from half life and a different look for each map. This to me was wonderful, each one being different then the other, artists showing off what they could do and how they could stand apart from the others, having a different code to control each enemy thus creating a different enemy in a sense in each mod. But, apparently I share this view with few people seeing as most of the fans I've talked to want the same thing, the same models, the same maps, and the same code to run everything.
Q: Will you ever come back?
A: Its unlikely at this point, and I'm slightly interested to see if any other teams wanted to pick up the remake of Half-Life: Decay.
Q: Are you done with modding?
A: No none of us are done with modding, each of us still enjoy what we do, and that is making art for people to enjoy.
Q: What was the most devs you had at one point?
A: 5 people, treated them all as family.
Q: Will you show off the final update that we missed?
A: If you don't mind me not putting in the before shots, we might dump them all in as a parting gift.
Q: Any final thoughts?
A: Love what you do, it will get you through so much. Save early, save often. Update the SVN with your work. Talk with your team even about what's happening in your life, they'd take a bullet for you because after while you become family. Try to stay positive and get through any problems you have. Please do not hate us or any future mod/game we work on because of this.
Luigis #1, Dr. Doozer, Crazyb2000, Afterwars, BloodraptorSKA
FrEEmAn, Cacojo, and any forgotten member however short you stayed with us.