A redux of the cancelled mod from August 2016. Utilising content from developer repositories and some originally created parts, Half Life 2: Raising the Bar Redux will aim to recreate part of the vision the original developers had for the game, as well as developing our own. RTB:R centres around a thematic melding of the HL2 Alpha, Beta, and Retail concepts, as well as our own ideas, to create a unique and complete experience.

Report RSS Half Life 2: Raising the Bar REDUX: March 2019 Update

Half Life 2: Raising the Bar REDUX: March 2019 Update, including team updates, some map updates, model updates, and our third volume of music.

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Half Life 2: Raising the Bar REDUX: March 2019 Update

Hi, everyone. Welcome to our March 2019 update. This update’s less of a full-sized content dump and more of a small update on our activities over the last few months. As we announced in our anniversary update, we’re phasing out the format on ModDB and YouTube and limiting it to teasers, but smaller updates like this one might crop up here or there.

New Team Members

Firstly, I’d like to announce that the RTBR family has once again swelled in size since Christmas. We’ve gained a new composer, Ayra, whose work you’ll be hearing later in the update, as well as four new mappers: Lena, Trevor Baker, Alex_mmc, and Fodderstompf. We also have a new sound designer, Sl0th, two new modellers – Henri Dan and Jack Manley, and a new programmer, Spirrwell. Finally, we have a new voice actor – Samantha Ferrer. Samantha has a few words of introduction about the role she’ll be playing in the mod:

Samantha: Hi, everyone. My name’s Samantha Grullon Ferrer. I’ll be voice acting the character of Alyx Vance in Raising the Bar: Redux. My impression was chosen because it strikes a good middle ground between older versions of her voice and the final product as seen in Half-Life 2, and I’m looking forward to playing Alyx over the course of this project!

New APC Model

APC Render 1


APC Render 2


APC In-Game 1


APC In-Game 2


Most of this update will centre around model updates, so, to start off, I’d like to draw some attention to Saatvik’s APC model. We gave Saatvik the beta APC as a reference and he added lots of additional detail, upping the visual quality of the vehicle and giving a lot of maps the benefit of a good-looking prop for detail. We’ve made breakthroughs in our understanding of phong shading and material settings recently that have allowed us to get closer to the look we want for a lot of our models. More tweaking is done regularly, but the APC has benefitted a lot from these breakthroughs.

Construction Progress

Construction Site 1


Construction Site 2


The construction site, as we mentioned in last update, is currently being revamped by Fodder. He had some words to say on the subject:

Fodderstompf: For my revamp of the construction site I took inspiration from real photos of construction sites to add more realistic detail to the environment. I also did a lighting pass and extended the length of some sections to make sure the high points of the map last longer.

Fast Headcrab Variant

Fast Headcrab Render


Fast Headcrab In-Game


As part of our intent to add extra features and details to our creatures, we’ve been pursuing colour variants for our various headcrab species, based off of previous designs for them or based on Andy’s own ideas. This variant of the fast headcrab looks particularly noxious and we’re hoping to find an interesting way to implement it in an area where it works in tandem with poison headcrabs. Speaking of…

Poison Headcrab Variant

Poison Headcrab Render


Poison Headcrab In-Game


We on the team love Andy’s poison headcrab design, it being the personal favourite of many here. Its foreboding and threatening mandibles are one of the best parts of its design, and Andy has wisely decided to retain their prominence in this alternate skin for the creature. This particular skin is based off of the leak variant, which possessed more reddish hues than the solid black rendition released in retail.

Arcade Gameplay

A few days ago, we gave LambdaGeneration an exclusive sneak peek at the March update with a short gameplay snip pet of arcade gameplay. Taking into account some of the helpful feedback on the video (some of which wasn’t), we added some extra details and refined the gameplay clip for the full update. Take a look:

Volume Three: Equilibrium

One of the updates we’re proudest to show off today is the third completed volume of our OST, Equilibrium! Started by Cft before he departed to work on his own projects, our new composer Ayra has finished off the compilation with his own additions. These additions are very faithful to the music style we’ve established on the mod thus far and give us even more possibilities for our maps. You can listen to Volume Three by following this link: Soundcloud.com

New HEV Suit Model

HEV Suit Render


HEV Suit In-Game


Finally, we’d like to show off one of Andy’s greatest achievements on the mod so far – our new HEV suit model! As you can see, it’s based heavily off the HEV suit concept seen in HL2 pre-release art, though with some of Andy’s signature own ideas. Given there are limited views available for the suit, he filled in the blanks very well, and the details he provided look excellent in-game, too. We’re very pleased to have our own suit that is to our own design and specifications for use with our own viewmodels. Although the full suit will be seen only once, we think it’s important a strong impression is made when it is.

Finishing Up

That’s all for this update. Before ending, there’s two more roles we’re looking for right now:

  • A programmer to help support Spirrwell’s workload
  • A hard-surface prop modeller, ideally with some knowledge of source implementation

If these roles interest you, feel free to add me on Discord at Kralich#0901. Thanks for listening, and we hope to see you in the next update.

Comments
JanKaszanka
JanKaszanka

HEV looks odd.. besides that. Good job!

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Av3ris
Av3ris

Probably because the waist looks pretty thin, more suited for a woman. The details are pretty good though!

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Gleb_AA-Gun
Gleb_AA-Gun

Are there plans for the Combine SWAT Van or more importantly, the Ford F-250? Awesome work on the VAB APC!

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Kralich/Gonzo Author
Kralich/Gonzo

No definitive answer either way. We'd like to but we're not sure how to implement them right now.

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PowerMind
PowerMind

In my own taste, HEV looks pretty good but the one that stands out is the APC. Definitely.

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Cvoxalury
Cvoxalury

Is there gonna be an HEV helmet to go with the suit?

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Kralich/Gonzo Author
Kralich/Gonzo

Most likely, no - though we have ideas about it, even so.

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☢AlieN☢
☢AlieN☢

You better do it if you are planning on having gas-mask citizen

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Blue199
Blue199

The back of the HEV suit reminds me of Buzz Lightyear's suit, but hey, at least it's not completely flat like the vanilla HEV :D

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Blue199
Blue199

btw, you might wanna check that poison headcrab's leg :/

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Kralich/Gonzo Author
Kralich/Gonzo

I noticed that last night as I was preparing the in-game shot. It'll be fixed by the next time we show off the poison headcrab, but it would have delayed the update by at least a day and we already had to delay the update because I was horribly ill last weekend. I felt it better to just get the update out and fix it in future.

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drunkenheadcrab
drunkenheadcrab

epical

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Zorro_de_la_noche
Zorro_de_la_noche

The new design of the HEV suit looks great and the design of those headcrabs look great too. Everything else also looks great so I do not have problems with that. Keep up, you really are doing a very good job.

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neophus
neophus

Very good work ! good luck !

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Cvoxalury
Cvoxalury

Alright, so.

As a mapper, the first thing I'm going to comment is the updated Construction Site.

IT GOT A LOT BETTER. Already. Let there be more pics from that, please.
The morning lighting not only makes sense because passage of time (I take it we arrive at night, like before).

It works better on the surfaces, the shapes, easier to see stuff, not nauseating like it was before.

So please keep away from that bad contrast of bluish shadows and dark sky and vivid orange lighitng. Aka the former, pre-revamp Construction Site.

The other mapping screenshot, well, I can't say it's too impressive strictly on how much of a screenshot it is? That is to say, it's a picture of a corridor. Alright, I guess.

The VAB.
The render suffers from blur and noise. If you're showing it, why cover like half of it, in noise pixels. I mean. Make it crisp. Or at least just a straight image.

I'd make the phong exponent lower and boost higher? Because high exponent looks more plastic-y. And with those settings, the in-game shots make it look almost more like leather. Also, the tires appear almost cel-shaded because of their black lines.

Other than that, well, it is a step up from what we saw before.

The headcrabs. Maybe I'm growing more accustomed but also they're becoming more and more appropriate, but I'd say there's still work to be done.

One thing I'd look into is how you approach colour blending on the fast headcrab. It's claws are bluish and they're immediately separated from neighbouring colour, the pink of the leg; that's good; compare to the classic headcrab whose claws are darker and there's a pronounced border between the dark claw and the lighter skin. But its skin itself is more granular, and even though it's lowres by today's standards, it's still a well defined texture of a creature's skin.

Compare that with yours. Its carapace is more blending together of colours, with no borders between the zones, the darker pink is blending into lighter pink and there's some darkening, so even though the texture is higher res, it looks more like a blurred blob of flesh. Maybe that's what you're going for anyway, but I'd suggest maybe making the colour zones separate more, with some granularity to the borders of each zone.

Same with the venomous bulbous things on the poison version. The violet rim of the bulb is evenly blended into the yellow sack, instead of any granularity or some other patterned edge.

Basically, you know what blend modulate textures are to displacements? when the blending of two basetextures is masked by another texture. Used in Ep2, in antlion caves. That's the idea. (you can't use it in models but I mean how you approach drawing your creature textures altogether). It's $blendmodulatetexture, look it up.

The suit.
The anatomy is kinda weird. The shoulders are too far apart and even then they're extended outwards and downward with those um... flexible parts. What looks like Bender's arms, from Futurama. If you push the shoulder area together, make it more narrow, it would get a whole lot more believeable, that there can be a normal human inside of it and be able to operate his limbs.

The hips, on the contrary, are a bit too narrow for a healthy body? It's like he wouldn't have any hip bone, the legs just grow straight outta the lower torso.

But then the thighs are thick again.

Just look at the original; it's more tightly packed together yet it's still anatomical. There's no "armpit arch" (it gets really uncomfortable if you mentally strip it of the armour and material thickness and imagine human skeleton pressed inside of it). And the upper chest/clavicles/shoulder/neck part doesn't bulk over the rest of it. Yours kinda look more like HL1 version, which is inherently semi-cartoonish.

It's not as weird as that one HL1 promo concept with Gordon holding a shotgun, where he got ULTRA slim stomach and none of his joints can bend, but. It's just kinda uncanny and toy-looking.

The most fine part of it are the forearms, the boots... the orange+black combo is alright if you're going for that older reddish style.

I guess since it's not a third person game and we won't see it on a person, it could work anyway, but still. Wanted to voice my suggestions.

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fooparistics
fooparistics

the H.E.V suit legs looks a little bland maybe a bit more detail on the shins. construction site 2 could use some more lighting. the APC looks amazing though, defiantly very beta combine looking.

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sumbum21
sumbum21

Idk about the colour scheme for the headcrabs. they seem...off...like they don't fit the headcrab species. The HEV looks very sci-fi but the top looks a bit too bulky. the apc and new maps, however, look pretty good.

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Tezmatic
Tezmatic

The Poison Headcrab looks kinda like a gonarch but good job on the models.

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TheJones
TheJones

The HEV suit... Interesting. I kinda like it. Some parts of it remind me of Mass Effect.

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lost_acs
lost_acs

Interesting take on the HEV suit, I like the longer boots / leg portion.

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franrc124
franrc124

The HEV looks like a dream come true. One quick question, will we have the option to choose the red HEV viewmodels?

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hillionliat
hillionliat

I really like the cast you chose for Alyx Vance and the models is really on point

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