A year after the Borealis Incident, the remaining rebel fighters struggle to find a hero to replace Gordon Freeman. Running low on options, they resort to creating one of their own. An original story set in the Half-Life 2 universe. Re worked weapons, enemies, and even suit functions make for a totally new way to experience the world of the Half-Life 2.

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2020 has been a productive year for Inhuman, with a big focus on new features and further improving the design of the mod. In this update we'll be covering our totally revamped soldier ai, new assets, and some new gameplay features.

New visuals and gameplay changes courtesy of Half-Life Alyx

With the release of Half-Life Alyx came a decent amount of ports of Combine Soldiers and their weapons. This inspired me to start expanding my enemy roster, so we got to work on making our own soldiers based on these models, for instance here's our new standard soldier using the Ordinal as a base.

soldierscreen6

One design choice I really enjoyed in Half-Life Alyx was making player and enemy inventory more separated, so I decided to lean into that myself, giving the Combine their own exclusive weapons. These weapons are not simply aesthetic changes, they are full fledged new weapons which gives me more control over difficulty scaling through out the game. Combine Grunts wield Pulse SMGS which aren't very accurate and are slower firing compared to the automatic rifles wielded by higher ranking soldiers. As an added detail, rather than simply fading away these guns now dissolve when you touch them!

With model ports of course came access to the new Combine variants such as the Suppressor, which give me room to finally pursue to my own Combine Heavy enemy.

This enemy is designed to be the most dangerous standard Combine enemy in terms of damage, forcing you to take cover to avoid damage. Unlike the Suppressor in HLA I've opted to make his gun fire a small but very damaging burst to make the threat of it very immediate. I'll soon be adding effects to show the small wind up for the attack and probably implementing his original sounds from HLA as well.

Combine Soldiers: Smarter and deadlier than ever!

soldierscreen7 1

Combine Soldier ai has been a huge focus of this mod for years and while I was definitely feeling good with my last showing on them, I still wasn't quite satisfied. I realized a key issue with Combine Soldiers is a lack of ways for level designers to control their behavior without scripting them. When a soldier hides, it's to get out of their enemy's vision, when they move to attack they simply find a shoot position on their enemy. While this sounds pretty functional what it results in is a lack of room for smart design decisions on how they actually do these things which is what prompted me to look to F.E.A.R for inspiration.

F.E.A.R's ai is often lauded for its intelligence but their actual end decision making is quite simple. They do not seek to flank you, they don't generally "team up" with other squadmates to do any action, nor do they make any big calculations on where you are or what you've recently done. What truly makes them work is they often do one simple thing that works at almost any moment: Move relative to cover. Replicas do not simply move to shoot the player, they move to a cover position to attack from. When they retreat, they don't simply find a spot out of your vision, they get behind a solid object. This simple repeatable behavior is what allows level designers to control their movement without scripting it. When a level designer places cover in F.E.A.R they know these are where enemies are going to be grouped up and depending on how this cover is placed, they can also figure out what will be a natural safe position for the player.

Although I lack the cool animations to sell some of this behavior, I replicated it by having soldiers lock in safe positions before moving to do anything. When a soldier in Inhuman moves to shoot, he looks for a position in sight of his cover and not too far from it. When he moves to advance, he looks for cover closer to his enemy. Combine this with simple min and max desired range values based on their weapon and you've got soldiers who advance when it makes sense to and hold position when they're at a comfortable range. Without having to code much new behavior this naturally has shotgunners getting closer and closer while soldier equipped with an AR2 will generally hang back.
To further lean into this new cover based behavior, soldiers have a few new actions to keep them busy while unable to attack you. Soldiers with no vision on your last seen positon can move to get a suppressing position and once there, they will lay down suppressing fire for a small while. I've also added an underhand grenade toss option which has the soldiers throwing grenades with a bit less speed, resulting in grenades which are generally more on target and thus more likely to flush you out of cover!

Finding new ways to make combat more satisfying

As the game design for this project has taken shape I've desired more and more ways to reflect these changes in the hud. One big addition that's really helping to sell the way guns feel is the addition of a dynamic crosshair.


I've done my best to try and get the spread of the gun accurately represented by the crosshair, as well as adding a little extra oomph to shooting.

On top of finding more ways to mess with the hud I've also continued to tweak weapon balance. One feature that never really quite sat right with me was the SMG's alt fire. For the longest time I simply had it removed but that never felt super great either, so I decided to give it a more unique twist. The SMG's grenade is back, but with a new angle to look a bit more natural. More importantly though, is its functionality is now totally changed. Rather than simply doing a big chunk of damage, it sets enemies on fire! While being less able to kill soldiers outright, this gives the player a way to get direct control of a fight when they're in a bad position. Plus I think lighting enemies on fire and shooting them is pretty satisying!

You can get a glimpse at all these new features in this video:



The map presented here isn't my own for the record, it's an edit of Year Long Alarm, a superb work I highly recommend you go check out. You can download it here: Store.steampowered.com

That pretty much wraps it up for this update, in the future I'll probably be doing a more technical post on how I've been programming my ai to help others try this stuff out in the future. If you've got any questions or suggestions feel free to sound off in the comments and if you wanna see smaller updates over time on this game be sure to follow me on youtube or twitter.
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January Progress Update

January Progress Update

News 5 comments

It's 2020, the year of Inhuman! We've got new media, an updated hud, and more!

Development Progress 11/12/2019

Development Progress 11/12/2019

News 3 comments

Redesigned guns! Redesigned AI! Redesigned... everything! (Not actually everything tho)

The art of rebalancing Half-Life 2

The art of rebalancing Half-Life 2

News 4 comments

Valve has made quite a few game wide balance decisions through out HL2 and in this mod I seek to destroy most of them.

The AI design of Inhuman

The AI design of Inhuman

News 11 comments

One of the biggest priorities of this mod since day 1 has been improving how npc's in Half Life 2 act in combat. Soldiers are smarter, hunters are more...

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HEV Chapter 1 Demo

HEV Chapter 1 Demo

Demo 11 comments

After many manhours of hard work a demo is finally playable!

Comments  (0 - 10 of 40)
ToVacCorp
ToVacCorp

Looks cool. Cant wait for the release

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oneandonly_MarkZer0
oneandonly_MarkZer0

Can't wait for the release

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Definrick
Definrick

this mod is looking quite inhuman xD, for real its looking so awesome

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asterixer
asterixer

Game crashes under hev_chapter1_01 after pressing a last button.
For the rest no problems under Linux

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ComfortJones Creator
ComfortJones

That's just the way it closes because CJ had no grasp on any kind of presentation back when the project was called HEV haha.

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woody
woody

oh man, throw back time

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Pinket
Pinket

The latest videos of Inhuman's progress have left me very impressed and excited. Especially for the combat demo on the Year of Alarm map.

  My question to see that is the next: are you thinking of creating your own complement, type MMod?

To play HL2 and Episodes with this improved combat system, which looks epic. And other excellent quality mods like Entropy Zero, Dark Interval,Mission Improbable, for example.
Although the first two use custom code, so I'm not sure if it's possible.

Anyway, I wish you good luck and hope for the best for this Mod.

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ComfortJones Creator
ComfortJones

Thanks for the kind words! So basically Inhuman should in theory work with at least EP2, but due to how much more of an overt rework it is I can't say it would definitely be balanced. In the case of YLA the map sources are available so I was able to edit those. Also anything using custom code would 100% not be able to work.

So atm I'm definitely not prioritizing something like that BUT I plan on making the mod freely open source shortly after it's released so people will be free to make maps with it, add my ai to their mods, etc. so it's definitely not impossible that someone makes a sort of Inhuman take on MMod.

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Guest
Guest

is the working continues?

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ComfortJones Creator
ComfortJones

Nah

Reply Good karma+1 vote
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