I've decided to do this self article because I want to share with the Watchers of YS an insight into how I work and how I think and I wanted to just give some other modders something to think about. None of this is edited and is what comes to my mind.
One of the things I felt hardest about making Yellow-Shift is keeping it fresh. The thing about doing an expansion styled mod is that you got to keep it similar to the original. But at the same time you gotta make your mod its self with its own identity. When you work with your own original game/mod this is pretty easy, anything goes as it's your work. But with something like Yellow-Shift a lot of ideas I want to do are never done because they don't fit the original Half-Life in terms of gameplay or style.
When you design a mod, you think about what ideas are cool and which aren't cool, you continuously narrow down ideas that don't appeal to you and you move on from there, you remove ideas that don't fit the game ideals or style, you conform to community feedback. With a mod like Yellow-Shift or Black-Mesa (Source) this isn't as easy. You're allowed to take some artistic liberty, but at the same time you got to keep it feeling like the original. You got to keep it feeling like an expansion/remake and not like an entirely new game.
There was a lot of cool ideas I've thrown around over the years for Yellow-Shift, some of these included Full-body, realistic ladder climbing and loads of other stuff. Most of that will never make it; why? Not because I don't like it, and not because it wouldn't fit (I would love a survival style BM mod) but the thing is, Half-Life never had those, when you design something to be like an extension of something original you have to keep it feeling like the roots while making it your own.
I've taken a lot of liberties with Yellow-Shift, I've added lots of content the original never had or changed. Along with the help of my friends Devin (Kadv/Awkook) and Andre (Hunk-Guerrius) I hope that when this is finished, we'll make something that feels like Half-Life but is still it self, a lot like Opposing-Force was it self but had that distinctive Half-Life feeling to it.
I've gotten pretty off-track with that but my point is, designing a mod isn't easy, it's even less easy with you design a mod that is meant to be a branch of the original game. You really limit your self and can't do a lot of your own personal ideas. I've had a lot of more original ideas in my mind but I've never done them because they don't fit YS. That's just how “Expansion” modding is, it's limiting but has it's freedoms.
It's not a kind of modding you should try unless you're willing to compromise your own style and ideas with the original's. You want to keep it fresh but you don't want to keep it totally new. That's really the whole purpose of a remake/expansion. Is to keep it fresh but still with that same familiar atmosphere.
I leave you with those hopefully insightful words and a few pictures of Yellow-Shift's evolution of the Glock 9mm handgun. From HD M9 with WIP silencer to humble HL styled Glock we all know and love. The reality of modding is harsh eh?
THESE ARE NOT IN ORDER OF MAKE BUT SHOW A FEW OF THE MANY ATTEMPTS AT THE GLOCK/M9
If you like this Article and these insights into my opinions on mod design and Yellow-Shift, please tell me. I might do more of these.