Dark Interval is a restoration/revision mod that lets you play Half-Life 2 as it could have been. Using Valve's early concepts, we're creating new maps, models, textures, and custom dialogue. The mod is released in episodes, the most recent being Dark Interval: Part I - an intro chapter to the bigger story.
Around the New Year’s, we took a break to recuperate from Dark Interval burn-out, and participated in Map Labs 19 - Eye Candy 2. Our entry, Idyllic, won the first place!
The comp is very worth checking out - download it here.
Below are some screenshots from the entry. Open in a new tab for full size (3840x3240).
For Idyllic we’ve made over three dozen new props, many of which can be reused in DI as background elements.
And now, back to Dark Interval news.
Let’s go over a few things in this video.
I. New HUD elements
The Radial Indicator. This was added in response to the closed playtesting conducted last year. We saw that the players couldn’t always tell where the attacks were coming from on our maps, and HL2’s own damage indicator wasn’t good enough (it doesn’t even show up if the damage came from in front of you).
So we added a custom one that’s more responsive and detailed.
The Damage Tiles. It’s the triangular icons that show above your health and tell you the type of damage you’re receiving (ignoring common ones like bullets or scratches). This is a feature returning from Half-Life, and we remade the icons in larger resolution, plus added a couple of new ones. There are nine icons overall, and in the video you can see the indications of Heat, Chemical, and Biohazard damage.
II. Grenade Cooking
Another returning Half-Life feature coupled with HL2 timing.This implementation is very straightforward - taking the pin out starts the countdown and the familiar ticking.
III. Healthkits and Battery changes
Healthkits now can be partially depleted! If you’re almost full on health, stepping on a kit (or vial) won’t consume it all - only what’s needed to get you to 100. You can come back to it again and again as long as there’s health left inside. As usual, kits store 25 health and vials store 10. Once you’ve exhausted the item’s reserve, it disappears (it was decided to be more efficient than leaving the empty model behind). In a way, this works the same way that weapons with ammo in them already work in HL2.
Batteries can now overcharge you, but only if you’re below 100 charge when you use them. In other words, up to 99/100 charge, you can use the battery, and potentially bring yourself to 99 + 15 = 114 max charge.
The HEV suit will announce the exact charge value upon pickup; if you go overboard, it’ll acknowledge that with a glitched message.
Barnacles no longer mean the doom of non-player characters. Just as you can free yourself from their grab by dealing enough damage, you can free others - something that’s been missing from HL2 for years. The citizen AI has been tweaked to call out to you when they’re in trouble, and thank you for the rescue.
We use radio chatter picked up by the HEV suit to add narrative context when needed.
In Half-Life 2's Entanglement chapter you have a bit where Alyx talks to you through the suit radio. We are expanding on that with the semi-malfunctioning HEV now able to pick up Combine radio chatter to provide additional story context throughout Part 2.
Here, the Hunter-Chopper patrolling the canals reports on its activity, making it feel less random, and allowing to gauge the Combine’s awareness of Freeman.
Open in new tab for full size (2516x1440).
There are a few unused Combine props buried in the files of the 2003 HL2 leak. We’ve unwrapped and textured them from scratch to fit in with existing assets. Below is the comparison of textured props versus their 2003 appearance.
While the 2003 leak doesn’t include female citizen models, it does have unused face textures for them, named Linda, Laura, and Tamm. A while ago high resolution sources for all citizen faces were discovered. This fueled our attempt to restore some of what was lost, and we made Linda’s head model from scratch.
Linda started as a ZBrush sculpt to match the existing texture. After building the game-ready version, she was added to the common citizen pool, as female citizen #5.
As for remaining missing citizens (Laura, Tamm, and male Travis), while we hope to recreate them some day, it is out of scope for Part 2.
A little teaser to wrap up this media update.
Unpack into \sourcemods\, overwrite existing files. This patch is cumulative - in includes changes from DI Hotfix #00. Patch info: - Added autosave triggers...
An extra quick hotfix for the English version. Fixes missing chapter title in the bonus chapter and missing dialogue captions in the Terminal.