Plenty of people in the HL2 modding community have attempted to make the biggest and best HL2 mod pack, but either by credit and redistribution restrictions or just the sheer mass of the almost 20 years of content floating about, nobody has been able to bring us a proper, complete, ultimate combination of all the amazing work the HL2 modding community has produced over the years. The founding members of Slip Union decided to take on this challenge and combine their combinations of complex combat, combine combustion, and comfortable continuity into a comprehensive collection of commandeered content to form a true Amalgam Zenith, a mod pack to end all mod packs, an overhaul of overhauls, the endgame of source mods old and new.
We consider Amalgam Zenith to be much more than a mod pack. Although 75% of the included content is available partially or in some other form elsewhere, we have spent a significant amount of time bug fixing, tweaking, and merging assets that were originally completely incompatible. Our enhancements and hybridization make a lot of AZ's asset library unique. As for the remaining 25% of completely original work, we have created quite a few custom configs, scripts, sounds, textures, models, and more that can't be found anywhere else.
As we continue to round up the creators of the many great mods no pack is complete without, a much higher percentage of this mod will be made our own. We can't expect to get everyone on board however. We've been going so long that some of the assets we've incorporated from the internet were lost to time. AZ is an archive and a second chance for the many cancelled, deleted, broken, or perpetually on hold sourcemods scattered about. We will make sure nothing goes to waste.
(We are not associated with HL2: Amalgam or HL1: Absolute Zero)
AZ runs on MMod by default, though we are trying to convert some MMod exclusive features to be vanilla compatible for campaigns that don't support MMod. For MMod compatible campaigns, AZ pushes MMod's features to their limits, bringing back unused features to be used in new, unexpected ways.
Our focus was originally on Cinematic Mod maps but with so many unique sets of patches and overhauls in progress by other creators, we plan on fully supporting every major version of the main campaign. The vanilla campaign will include all available patches and tweaks that are not standalone overhauls.
Now, in a way. Let us give you some important details first.
AZ isn't ready for the public for many reasons, but the main issue is that we haven't asked everyone whose assets and ideas are included in AZ if its alright with them. "Why?" you may ask. "Shouldn't that be the easiest part?" No, no it is not. People are unpredictable and we can't expect everyone to respond well to a generic "can we put your stuff in a modpack" message. Some people couldn't care less what we do and others will respond with hostility and threats. This is why we've been writing personalized messages to each original source when we feel the time is right. Its slow and delicate work and will take a lot more time, way more than just adding a name to the credits list like we've also been doing every time we even touch a new creator's mod. This is why we aren't in open beta, out of respect to the people who made the many mods we rely on.
AZ is playable and enjoyable as it is right now, even if its far from polished. It will crash. A lot. And for a variety of reasons. But if you're ok with that, you're in luck! We are just about the nicest, least secretive and exclusive studio there is. If you want to play AZ right now, join our community discord and ask nicely. As long as you can give useful feedback we don't really care what you do with it. If you feel like waiting but want to help us out, there's no better way than telling any mod maker you know that we exist. Don't message people you don't know on our behalf though, we'll handle that. We hope to see you on our community discord!
For getting in contact with our team or other followers. Questions and requests can be handled much more quickly there.
For video demonstrations and showcases.
For all our standalone mods.
These people's accounts have been inactive for a long time. Help us find a way to make contact.
Mod Subcredits, Non-mod File Sources, Inspiration, & Special Thanks:
We're trying our best to make everyone happy by handling credits delicately, but this may mean that some credits are handled slowly. If your name is on this list:
If you've made an asset that in some form is being/has been used in screenshots, videos, or standalone mods and you have not yet received a permission request from us, one of the following may have happened:
We haven't shown any substantial updates to Amalgam Zenith in a while (almost 2 years now). Rest assured the project is very alive and well. We've been hard at work over the past years and made major strides. We plan on having more frequent public showcases but for now we'll give you a look at some of our more visual enhancements.
- Hybrid HEV Hands v2
Half-Life 2's default arms served us well for years with a fresh coat of paint known as HHH V1. With some recent additions to the team, we thought it was about time we got just as ambitious in the model department as we did our textures. Combining Fewes' arms and HL:A's Gordon Gloves has been done before, but with our revisions we bring fully uncompressed textures, more accurate HL:A to HL2 color correction, and all the features of HHH V1 like episodic dirt and damage and brightness reactive arm lights seen here:
- New Texture enhancements for Pistol, SMG, and .357:
We're working on texture enhancements for all Juniez's weapons but have three we are ready to show. They incorporate changes from Shadow_RUN, Lambdafox, and Jerson Gaming along with AZ's regular set of AI assisted and manual tuning. Here's a look at the updated weapons:
- Citizen & Rebel Remake
With this newly revived contribution from Lambdafox, AZ will be attempting to have HLA/HL2 consistent citizen models that won't seem out of place compared to the HLA ports we already have. They're still far from finished but it's definitely something worth getting excited about. We plan on experimenting with texture based pseudo model RNG for the various armor sets so that each rebel's appearance can tell a story of their prior battles more in depth than a few blood stains and a different shirt ever could.
- True Night Vision (Animated Immersive Helmet v6 update)
As we continue to improve our Animated Immersive Helmet script, we've decided to get creative with some alternate behaviors that can be brought about by holding shift and performing certain actions. We started by turning shift-crouch-jumps into true long jumps and now we've made shift-flashlight into a true night vision mode, not using fullbright and with a superior effect than that of the Entropy : Zero series.
This improved Night Vision effect will be applied as standard behavior in mods that use night vision like Entropy : Zero.
- The Big Beautiful Bastard Breen ( + Enhanced HL:A G-Man)
Breen is looking stylish like never before! Breen and G-Man now use similar advanced skin detail and lighting effects.
- Enhanced Gluon Gun
We've reworked our existing Beta Physgun Gluon model to use MMod animations and HHH V2 as well as a second hand for high FOV support. The texture has received some slight reworks and will receive updated normals in the future.
- New Gravity Gun Effects:
Have you ever noticed how some sprites have a near invisible halo of compression artifacts or end sharply when they should have a gradual fade out? Is it a little too obvious that a light is sometimes no more than a static image? Did it ever seem a bit strange that a beam is just a wiggly tape of a repeating texture? We noticed, and we fixed it.
We've been experimenting with some of the more exotic features available for source's sprites, and decided to start with the gravity gun. Watch as the core glow dances with exotic energy, no longer just a static image, but the result of the interference between multiple chaotically generated effects. Watch the lighting twist and morph, traveling towards your target with purpose and weight unlike the simple arc of orange tape that came before. Watch as your punt distorts the air with as much force as your projectile. Zero point energy has never looked so good. No custom particle programming here. Its all in the texture, and we plan on doing a lot more textures.
> Enhanced JersonGaming mods:
- Fixed & Improved HEV Suit Remake
JersonGaming's/T-braze's HEV Remake is a phenomenal model, but unfortunately it came with some pretty bad normals, making the suit look like it was dipped in oil. We fixed the normals and continued with the textures, decompressing, upscaling, and color correcting to resemble the official art as much as possible, the same exact colors we referenced on our new arms. We plan on eventually putting the new viewmodel arms on the suit model, along with a helmet if we can find a good model.
- RNG Animated Items for Health & Charger Pick-ups:
Jerson Gaming's famous Health and Ammo models now use some of the most complex texture effects ever seen on a single model, with RNG blinking lights, RNG glow effects, RNG scrolling and pulsing gel, and many more that are hard to describe and even harder to notice! No two will ever behave the same with up to 9 random behavior numbers generated per item.
- Pressure Rifle Crossbow (W.I.P):
With the recent addition of LIL-PIF, we started work on some brand new animations for the pressure rifle for use in EP2. The original animation was fairly simple and got the job done, but we wanted to go a bit further to maintain consistency with MMod's style of animations.
And here are some extras!
- New Menu Graphics!
- New HL:A and RA model ports:
> New Combine Tower
> Generator Recolor and Animated Lights
> Enhanced HL:A Prisoner Pods
> Enhanced HL:A Striders with Animated Glow:
Video Demonstration: Youtu.be
And that's all for now! We have many more less polished reworks we could show off, but we'll wrap it up here. A new showcase video for smaller details is in the works. As always, you can join our Community Discord to get updates as they happen and contribute your ideas to the effort. Discord.gg
In the meantime... this is where I get off.