Half-Life: Guard Duty is a love letter to Half-Life: Blue Shift dedicated to re-imagining the game in the art-style featured in Half-Life builds from early to mid 1998. Our goal is to integrate into the expansion various elements cut from HL1 and restore content cut from the expansion itself while also staying true to Gearbox's vision for the expansion.
Hi everyone, Vasiavasiavasia95 here!
2022 sure was a wild year, wasn't it? So wild in fact that I ended up missing every single update deadline I tried to set.
I apologise for being really quiet for so long. Real life makes it very hard to work on anything sometimes so I figured it would be better to just slowly work on the mod and release a new article whenever the right opportunity comes up.
But let's not focus too much on the boring stuff and move on to what's have been happening behind the scenes.
Although this time we don't have any fancy features to showcase, there are a few things worth mentioning.
In December 2022 I abandoned Steam Goldsrc in favour of Xash3D.
Over the years of working on this project, I became very frustrated with how broken the engine is.
Not only Xash fixes most of Goldsrc issues, having full control over the engine finally allows me to do things I couldn't before though it did lead to a few setbacks.
Despite how close Xash got to replicating Goldsrc, there were some minor differences I had to fix.
The current implementation of chapter selection had to be scrapped as it worked using Steam specific VGUI2 system. But I'm already working on a new version that fits in with the old WON UI.
The monster AI system got a big overhaul based on changes and improvements Valve did throughout HL2 development. I always found jarring how janky monsters are in Half-Life due to simple oversights and wanted to do something about it. And who knows that system better than it's creators :)
Numerous small or game-breaking bugs were fixed making AI perform better now.
A lot of progress was achieved in model department as well.
With the help of my friends at Freeze, I was able to overhaul some of the existing models and even got my hands on a few of their new remakes as well!
As a demonstration, here are some crappy renders for the main cast of the expansion:
As always, most of the progress has been focused on the maps.
I've been working a lot on refining levels to fit in the artstyle of pre-release Half-Life, ranging from minor edits to redesign of the entire areas.
In addition to that, many broken detail and mischelaneous issues were fixed which I think can enhance the experience in an interesting way.
Here are some WIP shots of the levels I've been working on:
This development year helped a lot to clear up my goals and vision for the project.
When I first started, I would come up with a lot of random ideas without any real vision of what I want to achieve with Guard Duty. I was learning modding tools and HL1 beta stuff so working on this was always really interesting for me.
Soon enough, I realised this isn't going to work if I want the mod to actually see the light of day.
I went throught the entire project filtering out what didn't work and don't benefit the project in any way. The current experience tries to be faithful to original vision behind Blue Shift while also adding new elements into the game, re-introducing content cut from the expansion along with carefully integrating stuff from HL1 beta as well.
The progress is slow, but I'm getting somewhere.
At this point the entire pre-distaster sequnce is recreated ( besides the beginning of tram ride ). The rest of the campaign is far from being even 50% done but I find current progress on it promising as well.
After all, having to recreate all the Blue Shift maps before even being able to edit anything isn't really an easy task.
With that said, Guard Duty is looking for experienced mappers who would like to help out...
If you have good understanding of level design and the Worldcraft/Hammer editor, feel free to DM me.
I'm currently the only mapper on the project so any help would be appreciated.
In case you didn't know, Half-Life: Guard Duty also has an official Discord server.
If you are interested in this silly project, you can join to discuss everything related to the mod and see a lot of behind the scenes media that never makes it to ModDB.
Thanks for reading and see you soon in the future updates!
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