Lunar Descent is an action-adventure game, set on the Xterrier Lunar Colony. It mixes brutal combat, exploration and resource scavenging. To stay alive, players must be careful when dealing with enemies and ever mindful of their limited supplies.

Story:

When an insurgent strike throws lunar civilisation into chaos, Victor Redmond must fight not only to stay alive but also to protect the last bastion of humanity. However, it quickly becomes apparent that there is more at play than a dissatisfied band of thugs.

Lunar Descent takes place in a universe where humanity exists solely in a scattering of off-world colonies, run by the mega-corporation Xterrier. Players will be able to explore the economic capital of Xterrier's galactic empire, the Xterrier Lunar Colony, and dig deep into its history.

Key Features:

  • Exploration -- Lunar Descent rewards players who explore the open and expansive locations with more backstory and supplies.
  • Survival Gameplay -- Ammo is scarce, health is frequently low. Players will need to make every bullet and health point count, and scavenge for supplies in order to survive
  • Deadly Enemies -- A single enemy has the potential to kill the player if they are careless. The player is weak against bullets; but enemies are also weak against the player's.
  • Immersive Story -- Xterrier society is at risk from armed bandits intent on causing chaos. However, there are much bigger forces at work under the surface, which threaten humanity's existence.
  • Atmospheric Soundtrack -- Original soundtrack complements Lunar Descent's atmosphere.
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I released a small patch for Lunar Descent today, rebalancing the game's difficulty. The frustration with the last two levels surprised me, but the criticism of this section is fairly consistent. The patch makes the end sections MUCH easier when playing on Easy and Normal modes. Hard mode remains as difficult as it was; those who liked the hardcore nature of Hard should remain satisfied.

Lunar Descent v1.1 Patch (.zip)


It's been a month and a bit since Lunar Descent's release, and I can now reflect a little on the project.

Lunar Descent started serious development on September 2013. Between then and November 25th 2017, there were many distractions in my life, but the project remained in development for most of that time. It's the longest and hardest project I've ever worked on, and my feelings about the entire thing are incredibly mixed.

It's extremely difficult to make a game or mod. I didn't make it any easier for myself, admittedly; I decided to do everything myself (except music and voice acting). I wanted to make a game that looked visually striking, was challenging to play, and that featured a novel and exciting story. I elected – as I have in other mod projects – to be level designer, programmer, texture artist, story writer, and 3D modeller with minimal assistance.

It might seem like a bit of a mad undertaking – deciding to do everything myself meant juggling all kinds of tasks – but I had decided years ago that single-man projects were less risky. Back in 2006, I used to assemble medium-sized mod teams for my single-player mods. My only tasks were level design and programming. The trouble is... keeping yourself motivated on a hobby project with no financial return is one thing, keeping an entire team motivated I found nearly impossible. My one-man approach was entirely a practical decision. Still, I think Lunar Descent suffered as a result.

The mod's story direction – just to pick an example – came out extremely confused; most of the story was left for the player to discern from environmental clues, and there was a heavy reliance on narrative exposition from the protagonist. In many ways, the story-telling was a step backwards from Dissolution (though, I'd argue, every other aspect in Lunar Descent was superior to Dissolution).

The gameplay has been the most divisive aspect of all. I wanted to create a game where every enemy presented a serious threat to the player. Every single terrorist needed to be considered and approached carefully, or the player wouldn't survive the encounter. While feedback suggests the gameplay fell apart towards the end (I am hoping this patch will help rectify this a bit), I think the majority of the gameplay turned out as I originally envisioned. I'm very happy with most of the gameplay in Lunar Descent.

The art was, for once, widely appreciated. Most of my mods, no matter how much they were liked for their other attributes, were largely considered ugly and looking dated. Even those who disliked Lunar Descent mostly appreciated its art direction. I think this is one of the mod's most successful features. Considering how much time went into the art – I'd say easily 70%+ of development time – I'm glad it was well received.

One final thing I'd like to discuss is the download count. Dissolution achieved just over a thousand downloads in its first week of release, and that climbed to several thousand within a month or two of release. Lunar Descent, by comparison, has done extremely poorly.

At the time of writing, Lunar Descent received 756 downloads on ModDB. I ran a similar marketing campaign for Lunar Descent as I did Dissolution, so I believe a large factor in the reduced download count is the death of source modding – especially source single-player modding.

Modders have moved on to become game developers, using Unity and Unreal engines, and I think the mod players must've gone with them. This thought isn't a happy one, as some of my favourite gaming experiences have been had in Half-Life (1 & 2) single-player mods. I'd like to throw out a shout out to runthinkshootlive here – one of the few sites besides ModDB giving HL2 single-player projects good coverage. They put together an excellent profile for Lunar Descent, so be sure to check it out (https://www.runthinkshootlive.com/posts/lunar-descent/).

I'm happy I released Lunar Descent and it's a project I am mostly happy with. It suffers from over-ambition and, at times, confused direction; but I believe it achieved most of its gameplay and artistic ambitions. I might release more patches, but I am done with Half-Life 2 modding: I won't be making any new HL2 mods. Sadly, I think almost everybody is done with Half-Life 2 modding, too.

Thanks to everybody who played my various mods over the years.

-Aaron

Lunar Descent Released

Lunar Descent Released

News 9 comments

After 4 years of development I’m very happy to be able to announce that Lunar Descent is released!

Lunar Descent Release Date

Lunar Descent Release Date

News 9 comments

After several years of development, I can announce that Lunar Descent will be released in just under a fortnight, on the 25th November this year!

The Plan

The Plan

News 5 comments

A few folks on ModDB (and elsewhere) have been asking about the mod's progress. It's been long enough now that I'd like to give a quick update.

Devblog: Motivating Exploration

Devblog: Motivating Exploration

News 3 comments

In our first development blog update, I discuss the strategies we take to motivate players to explore the lunar colony.

RSS Files
Lunar Descent v1.1 Patch (.zip)

Lunar Descent v1.1 Patch (.zip)

Patch 4 comments

Difficulty re-balancing for Lunar Descent. Bomb timers relaxed... Easy: 80 seconds, Medium: 60 seconds, Hard: 34 seconds Evelyn easier in all non-hard...

Lunar Descent v1.0 (.zip)

Lunar Descent v1.0 (.zip)

Full Version 3 comments

Lunar Descent is an action-adventure game, set on the Xterrier Lunar Colony. It mixes brutal combat, exploration and resource scavenging. To stay alive...

Comments  (0 - 10 of 70)
SpookyTheCuteGhost
SpookyTheCuteGhost

Ya know, this whole universe of Lunar Descent is just so fascinating.

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skullkan6
skullkan6

Above all I think it was just kinda a flawed gem with an ending that left me wanting. You'll get flack but I give you credit for making all of the assets. That opening segment of fighting terrorists and getting out of your office was probably the best part of the game for me, and succeeded with what you were intending for every one being a threat.

I think with a bigger team you could've pulled off more as honestly, that was the impression I got from finishing the mod. Not terrible, but kinda disappointing.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+4 votes
8472 CreatorSubscriber
8472

You might be right, but I strongly suspect there might have been no release at all if there was a reliance on a large team. When I look at the HL2 single-player total conversions with full teams behind them, I see very few that have released.

Thanks for playing and commenting. :)

Reply Good karma+4 votes
naryanrobinson
naryanrobinson

Couldn't even finish this mod, and that's rare for me.
Just TOO poorly thought-out.
The flaws are just endless.

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Kshatria
Kshatria

overal good mod
but i REALLY HATE the last 2 map/mission
too little time and infinite respawn? kill me already

at least i've finished and not uninstalled it midway like other mod
the game rather shorter though

Reply Good karma Bad karma+2 votes
8472 CreatorSubscriber
8472

A patch re-balances the last segment, so maybe this might be of some interest to you? Thanks for playing and commenting.

Reply Good karma+1 vote
8472 CreatorSubscriber
8472

Thanks to all posting comments, making videos and, especially, those giving LD a MOTY vote. I intend to do a write up on Lunar Descent, its development and its future at some point but I thought I'd give a quick update here.

I am tentatively planning a patch sometime in 2018, to add -- at the very minimum -- subtitles. I'm also not ruling out creating some additional maps / mini-campaigns for LD in the new year. I am, however, not intending to create any more mods after this one. I'll go into more detail in a longer write up, but suffice to say that Lunar Descent has been a ridiculously exhausting project to work on.

Thanks again to all who have played and, if you liked it, do spread the word!

-Aaron

Reply Good karma+1 vote
Khatgami
Khatgami

This gets my Vote for MOTY! :3

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8472 CreatorSubscriber
8472

Thanks! :)

Reply Good karma+1 vote
DoItAll
DoItAll

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote
8472 CreatorSubscriber
8472

Thanks for posting -- I enjoyed watching these. It's nice to see the resource management working well and I'm glad you seemed to find the gun play fun (the most divisive part of Lunar Descent).

Reply Good karma+1 vote
DoItAll
DoItAll

I'm glad that you liked the video! I plan to play more in the near future, with much better audio quality as well. Keep up the good work, I look forward to playing any other projects you put out!

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Community Rating

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6.7

22 votes submitted.

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Ratings closed.

Highest Rated (2 agree) 7/10

I'd give it 7, but bomb defusing happened.
Edit: ok, with patch it deserved a better rating.

Nov 26 2017 by A-Shift

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Latest tweets from @lunardescentmod

Screenshot of Lunar Descent, science-fiction single-player HL2 mod released today! Moddb.comT.co

Nov 25 2017

T.co

Oct 11 2015

It's been a while -- so have some development screenshots! Mods.potatonet.info #indiegamedev

Oct 11 2015

Interested in testing a science-fiction first person shooter? Join the LD testing initiative! Mods.potatonet.info

Sep 19 2015

New Lunar Descent dev screenshots on the LD dev blog! Mods.potatonet.info #gamedev #screenshotsaturday T.co

Aug 8 2015

RT @ModDB: Operator Early Alpha Moddb.com A tactical shooter total conversion mod for Insurgency. @OperatorTheGame T.co

Aug 8 2015

A discussion on the use of colour in Lunar Descent Mods.potatonet.info #indiegamedev T.co

May 29 2015

Today's devblog: I discuss use of stats in learning from our playtesters Mods.potatonet.info #indiegamedev #gamedev #Devblog

Mar 28 2015

Devblog: Tools used in the development of LD Mods.potatonet.info #gamedev #indiedev #devblog

Feb 22 2015

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