Just over a year ago, we released the second public version of Modular Combat, v1.04 – named simply for the fact that it was revision 104 in our development area. Quite a bit has happened since then – and I’d like to take a few moments to tell you a bit about what was happening back then.
Modules Then: 14 / Now: 47
When I released v1.04, my partner (Andy “FTWinston” Watkins) was traveling abroad. Modular Combat (originally called “HEV Mark VI: Modular Combat”) only really took off when Andy came onboard, and we had decided to wait until we had something with viable gameplay before we started PR and released.
We decided this because I knew Modular Combat was originally going to be all gameplay changes – and very little custom assets (we actually had none). While Andy was away, I continued working on the mod and got it to a point where I felt it was ready for a release. I put together what eventually became v1.02 (revision 102) and then released. I had just finished up the bug fixes and what not with v1.04 when Andy came home to a whole new ballgame.
We know had a small community growing around the mod, and an enthusiastic one. At this time, we were working with a HL2 clan called c3gaming, who were our main beta testers. Seeing their reaction to the mod was one of the biggest motivations to keep going. We hiredTexfrom the clan to do some off the BoSS voiceover work – and she did admirably.
Work for the Month Afterwards
We really started getting busy in July. Although v1.04 came with all spawned monsters as red and minions as normal colors, we quickly switched that up and started rebalancing things. A lot of we had to do was even out the game. Our monsters became too strong too quickly, and example comes from Andy in this actual note in revision 112:
“lowered vortigaunt health (took me 46 hits with crowbar to kill a level 20 ... that's not good for something that can one-shot you from the other side of a room!)”
This is also where we started realizing that we were doing things that Valve had never intended us to do with the Source engine, such as randomly spawning monsters in Deathmatch games. We were struggling with a few network issues that was causing lag on the servers.
We also had run out of monsters we thought we could put in the game. We had Antlion Workers and Hunters set up (still do), but they required a model that is not distributed with the regular Half-Life 2 installation. In order to avoid players having tomountEpisode2, we decided to reskin the original Antlion model with an off-white skin to signify the difference.
Mounting Half-Life 2: Episode 2
One of the biggest problems we are met with is not having enough monsters. We solved this problem internally by mounting the Episode 2 content, which gave us access to the new Hunter and Antlion Worker models. This solution was not a viable one – as not everybody owns Half-Life 2: Episode 2. So we sadly removed the requirement for the content and the Hunter monster.
That wraps up the first post for “One Year Ago” in Modular Combat. If this post is well-received, I’ll be sure to do another one, so let us know in the comments below! I’m also leaving you with a few questions:
- In order to get more monsters into Modular Combat easily, we’d have to mount Episode 2 content, meaning that you’d have to have Episode 2 content installed to avoid any errors. Is this something you, as a player, be OK with?
- When did you first hear of Modular Combat?
- What is your favorite combination of modules?
Thanks for reading, and don’t worry! We’ll soon be releasing v1.75 of Modular Combat! (More news on that very soon!)