Half-Life: Through The City is a fan-made sequel to Half-Life: Opposing Force. 20 years after the Black Mesa incident G-man awakes Adrian Shephard and sends him into City 17 during the first days of the Uprising. Throughout his journey Shephard is going to encounter a group of rebels that will aid him in completing his mission, furthermore he will even see the last living Race-X entity on earth

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Welcome everybody it’s Kajlo again!

It's been over a year since The Awoken Demo was released, and I’m finally coming back with some official news and without any unnecessary chaos. It feels like it’s been ages...

Where the hell you’ve been?

I’ve been working on this mod, it’s still in development and I continue making improvements since the original release “Overwatch Reinforcement”. However, this year was a bit tough for me...

Shephard Admires Wrench

The Awoken Demo And Its Unforeseen Consequences

First release of the new iteration. Compare to previous versions, this demo was less focused on the story and its main goal was to achieve a proper, more polished gameplay that mod didn’t have... but wait, it got a sudden unexpected popularity and hype surrounding it, what is happening?

top3


That one guy that calls fan-made mod


Being popular is usually associated with something good, and it felt like it at first, but then I became overwhelmed by it, I was hoping it was going to quickly end during Entropy Zero 2 hype but it didn’t... it kept going for far too long. There was a lot of praise but also a lot of criticism and more hate, to the point I started to worry about the mod.

It took me a while to get used to it, I've learned a lot since the release and made a lot of reconstructions and improvements, I try to list most of the accomplishments I did for the mod with my development team during this year of silence

Expansion Of The Team

Last time the team was just 4 people. Ronald as voice caster, Albuterol as the composer, Skwallie as a concept artist and then me who was doing most of the work. With an exception that I needed a programmer (because BaconDid left the team) it seemed to be enough for the standards I originally had (and it would probably go well). But after this hype happened, people now have high expectations and I need a bigger team and better help. The team currently consists of 13 people now (17 if we include 4 of them who left) and it will continue to expand.

Better Maps And Visuals

This is where a lot of experimenting happened, the maps and visuals had several different iterations, each time trying to add more and more to them. My original plan was to make them in the style of retail Half-Life 2, feel classic and simple as well as finish them faster (to get the mod done). I guess I did a great job, but it’s not something everyone wanted

Maps from The Awoken Demo July 2022

Old Trainstation Map

Old Industrial Map

Old Building Map

Old City Map

Old Canal Map

Old Canal Map

It all started as a simple overhaul, I decided to make areas feel darker because those maps looked too clean and bland, as well as trying to alter gameplay a bit in hopes of spicing it all up.

Maps from October – November 2022

Overhauled Trainstation

Overhauled Industrial

Overhauled Trainstation

Overhauled Canals

Overhauled Canals

At some point, I became skeptical of the “overhaul” and I genuinely had no hopes for it, many of the changes felt not even need it. Yeah, it’s cool that I overhauled it and I changed some gameplay bits with a chance that it might be better. But the question is... is it TRULY improving many flaws of this mod? I felt like whenever I tried to release this version I would deal the same consequences when I released The Awoken Demo, It did a decent job as an update to the original version but it doesn’t turn the chapter into a unique experience. If I need an improvement, I would need to understand something first...

So I continued to experiment with visuals - the lighting and textures sets the tone... what would be a generic empty HL2 room can turn into something more unique looking. The use of custom assets unseen in the retail game helps more in making areas feel fresh. For example, the canal map was one of the least interesting areas in the mod, so I added Xen flora that glows in different colors.

Maps from January – May 2023

Better Canal Map

Better Industrial Map

Better Combine Construction

Better Canal Map

Better Building Map

Better City Map

New Subway Map

New Combine Construction

New Canal Map

These maps started to look great but something still felt off to me... That's when I realized that their small size sabotages the most. Then I decided to make them bigger, have more room for details and maybe some interesting landscape to look at. This is what made the current result

Maps from July 2023

Cool Canal Map

Cool Canal Map

Cool Industrial Map

Cool Industrial Map

Cool Canal Map

Cool Canal Map

This here is what made me fully happy, obviously I will continue improving visuals but this is how I want the mod to look like. Then I realized... with such changes, this chapter will have to be made from scratch entirely – same story and same ideas, but if I want the gameplay to be better then I need to re-do how the entire thing plays out, and that’s how we get to the next point

Gameplay Improvements

Another thing that was being criticized a lot (just like the level design) was that weapons and night vision were nothing but just re-skins instead of being something innovative in the mod. Although you could spawn versions of weapons that had their modifications in the code, they didn’t work properly. This was due to the lack of programmers that was mentioned earlier so everything I could add was placeholders.

However, it didn’t take long for this to be changed, quickly after The Awoken Demo release Bacontsu (not to be confused with BaconDid, they are two different people) coded a fully working Pipe Wrench for the mod – as an addon. It was a bit of a surprise for me so I asked if they could work on the mod as its programmer, and they accepted the offer. After that Pipe Wrench was added to the mod – officially

The next move was making a Desert Eagle, with its laser sight and its two firing modes being a standard mode and the automatic mode.

A little later, Almix becomes the second programmer and adds some more unique stuff, one of the ideas was for the pistol to be able to push obstacles like prop physics, a mechanic similar to Return To Ravenholm (Episode 4) being able to punch enemies with the pistol.

One of the most interesting changes is the night vision, originally being just a green flashlight with a bigger FOV, it has finally turned into what it’s supposed to be. Before the current change, it was using a green texture over its screen

Previous Night Vision Change

Previous Night Vision

Previous Night Vision

Almix changed that so it uses color shaders instead, I’m happy with how that turned out.

Current Night Vision

New Night Vision

New Night Vision

There has been some work on a new HUD as well, it’s still currently a work in progress so it will look different in the future but I wanted to share some progress on it nonetheless. There is concept art of what I plan to make the HUD look like, it's supposed to resemble the Opposing Force one (and HUD that was in all HL1 games) since Shephard still wears the same PCV armor

HUD concept art

HUD concept art

The in game HUD doesn’t look much like the concept art yet... It still resembles more of the HL2 one but the result is still interesting!

HUD in game

Hud In Game

Some other gameplay features are being made behind the scenes but I’ll be showcasing them in the future articles, now moving on to the other changes.

Custom Animations For The Weapons

Through The City used to have custom animations in the older releases but they were very wonky. I got rid of them and took the easier route to just use the default HL2 animations, perhaps editing some parts of them if necessary.

Since people want the mod to be more unique, I decided to come back to custom animations and work on them again. At first, I tried to get a more experienced animator but I ended up with nothing so I decided to work on these myself.

Custom Animations Rendered

They were made back in December last year but before I implemented them, I went through multiple changes first so that the result is good enough

Custom Animations In Game

I can give a few tweaks and improvements in the future, but until I get a more experienced animator (or I’ll get more experienced) this is it, it’s what I want to keep in the mod.

Some New Custom Models

During this development, I also made a bunch of models and props for Through The City. One of them was already mentioned earlier which is the Xen props.

Xen Flora Props Untextured

Xen Props Untextured

I will come up with an explanation for their existence in the sewers, as the area in Chapter 1 will be a little more unique that has a bit of backstory to it

Xen Flora Props Textured

Xen Prop Textured


Xen Prop Textured

Xen Prop Textured


In addition to this, there is a reworked model of the Citadel, I experimented with it being less flat and having details on the walls but I wasn't sure about the result, it turned out to be a bit too messy so it’ll go through some more changes later

Citadel Model Render/In Game

Citadel Model Render

Citadel Model In Game

Weapons also received some new look, the original HL2 arsenal still uses Juniez models but the Pipe Wrench and Desert Eagle are getting some new ones! The Pipe Wrench is already remade and fully textured (Credits to Omer6)

Pipe Wrench Render/In-Game

Pipe Wrench Render

Pipe Wrench In Game

Desert Eagle is not only being remade but getting a new design. I don't think getting a Pipe Wrench like the Opposing Force one is out of place, I don't necessarily think so with Desert Eagle. Getting the same gun with the same color and laser sight mount seems rather forced by design, so I gave a twist to it.

Adrian gets Desert Eagle from one of the main characters named Ryan, it is one of the weapons that has saved him from many difficult situations, so I tried to make it look more special. I used the idea seen in Half-Life: Alyx that you can modify guns in Combine fabricators.

Desert Eagle Render Untextured

Ryan's Desert Eagle

Ryan's Desert Eagle

This is more of a cosmetic change, it will still work like the Desert Eagle in Opposing Force but it will have a fresh look, for now, it's just a mesh without textures but the team will be working on textures soon and hopefully we’ll see how it turns out.

In addition, there have been some slight improvements made to the view models, while the hand models have been updated to eliminate any clipping issues. The guns have a new added glow effect that is more than the simple bright dots.

Original Pistol Model

Updated Pistol Model

Original SMG Model

Updated SMG Model

New Tracks

Albuterol left the team after being TTC's composer for so long, so I had to look for new ones. I have several of them now: This Lad, Simplexityy, and Asoforic. They are divided into creating ambient music and action music. Asoforic’s tracks are already public on YouTube, so feel free to check them out!

Final Thoughts

Ever since the second article I’ve been consistently releasing them in more extensive periods and making them unnecessarily big, after The Awoken Demo release, this was the most silent I have ever been for the project, and that hurt me since I like sharing the progress of this mod, therefore I’m planning to return to more frequent and more minor update releases.

The current focus for the mod is the gameplay, I’ll be redoing maps entirely and trying to make their new counterparts more unique and better in gameplay. There will be more focus on storytelling and better pacing, Darkidile4860 will be writing dialogues for the mod since he is a more experienced writer and a Half-Life lore nerd, you can expect an increase in quality.

Through The City New Background

I also wanted to note, I’m planning to change the title somewhere in the future, this sounds like a crazy idea, but I really find the title “Through The City” to be quite old now, not fitting, and just a little too silly. It comes from an old forgotten past, so I want to bring a fresh new identity to the mod that fits more the tone it’s going for.

As always, I’m going to give a link to our Discord server, I show the progress more frequently there so if anyone wants to see continuous updates this is the right place – Through The City Discord Server

Demo Update Article

Demo Update Article

News 5 comments

Through The City Demo Release Article. Concept Arts. Voice Actors role reprisal and chapter 1 release.

End Of The Year Article

End Of The Year Article

News 7 comments

Through The City End Of The Year Article. Future plans, what happened with Overwatch Reinforcement and more!

Second Overwatch Reinforcement Article

Second Overwatch Reinforcement Article

News 4 comments

Article Update for the new release, future and plans.

Overwatch Reinforcement Article Update

Overwatch Reinforcement Article Update

News 2 comments

Article Update for the new release, future and plans.

RSS Files
Desert Eagle that holds 8 rounds and not 6 (aka .44 cal version irl)

Desert Eagle that holds 8 rounds and not 6 (aka .44 cal version irl)

Patch 1 comment

Improves the Desert Eagle's ammo capacity to 8, much like the .44 Magnum variant in real life. A minor patch for the mod, but an optional one (don't overwrite...

Half-Life: Through The City: The Awoken Release Slovak Patch

Half-Life: Through The City: The Awoken Release Slovak Patch

Patch 4 comments

Slovak translation for Through The City Demo - The Awoken.

Half-Life: Through The City: The Awoken Release Schinese Patch

Half-Life: Through The City: The Awoken Release Schinese Patch

Patch 3 comments

Warning: This patch is for the Chinese player, don't download it if your native language is not Chinese

Half-Life: Through The City: The Awoken Release 1.0

Half-Life: Through The City: The Awoken Release 1.0

Demo 89 comments

The Awoken Release features first 20 - 40 minutes of the mod, contains 4 playable maps and translation for Russian language.

Half-Life: Through the City: Overwatch Reinforcement Director's Cut (OBSOLETE)

Half-Life: Through the City: Overwatch Reinforcement Director's Cut (OBSOLETE)

Demo 3 comments

Overwatch Reinforcement Director's Cut Version is a cancelled release for Through The City. It was meant to be a second release for the mod improving...

Half-Life 2: Through the City: The Awoken Release 1.1 (OBSOLETE)

Half-Life 2: Through the City: The Awoken Release 1.1 (OBSOLETE)

Patch 13 comments

The Awoken Release is a Final version of chapter 1, Although it can still have a bug and it's not fully made, It won't gonna have that drastic changes...

Comments  (0 - 10 of 147)
Dovah27
Dovah27

How did you did the custom CP voice lines???

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oofi_fritzmnt
oofi_fritzmnt

if i dont see otis im not playing this mod

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Kajlo Creator
Kajlo

why do you even expect him to show up

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oofi_fritzmnt
oofi_fritzmnt

because he was in opposing force

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dementiagaming
dementiagaming

where is the download button i cant seem to find it also i love the game keep up the good work

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hen1698981614
hen1698981614

how do i download is i keep getting errors when i extract it

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Avery5000
Avery5000

I really enjoyed the demo, is there a release date for this mod yet?

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