After a routine experiment goes catastrophically wrong, Dr. Gina Cross and Dr. Colette Green must fight to survive the aftermath of the Black Mesa Incident.
Peer Review is a reboot of Half-Life's third and final expansion, Half-Life: Decay. Return to the Black Mesa Research Facility and relive the chaos from the perspectives of Dr. Cross and Dr. Green. With all missions from the original game and fully functional co-op, Peer Review aims to give a fresh take on classic Half-Life that you can enjoy with a friend.
We’ve made it through half of 2023, and all in all Peer Review has been doing pretty darn good throughout. Our levels are inching closer and closer to having all the gameplay fundamentals completed, we’re making good headway in the art department, and overall while the finish line may not be in sight just yet, we’re definitely keeping a steady pace of development. Of course, as is tradition, that also means we’ve got some new stuff for everyone to check out, along with a peek into our internal progress.
While moving to bi-yearly as opposed to quarterly updates does give us more time to get stuff ready for updates, it also has the added benefit of allowing us more time to focus on the less glamorous but nonetheless important things. A lot of the recent work on Peer Review has been on stuff that’s not quite something that’ll make for good media releases but is still a critical part of the game. And on that internal front we’ve made some remarkably good progress. As of this article, 5 of our 9 levels are playable front to back; all the areas are connected, all the combat sequences have been implemented, and all the puzzles are working. Crossfire and Intensity are in the home stretch, and just need a little more work before they’re over the line. And once we've sufficiently completed our current area of focus, we'll finally be ready to break ground on Dual Access and Rift. We want to make sure we have a proper opening and closing to the game, and by saving these two for last we aim to do just that. Of course, none of the fully playable levels are set in stone- there’s still a lot of tweaking to do to all sorts of things before we’re ready to consider them finalized. On top of that, this doesn’t mean the levels have received art passes either, but it does mean we’re one step closer to being at a stage where we can make that happen. We’re just as eager as you are to start showing off our levels in action, and we’re confident that when we’re finally ready, you’ll be in for a treat!
While pretty much every level in Peer Review has been heavily overhauled, Resonance is one of the levels that’s seen the most change. As such, we figured it would only make sense to give it an art direction overhaul as well. We felt that the art in the original Resonance could have been fleshed out a lot more, and that’s what we aimed to do in our reimagining. What we came up with draws at least some inspiration from the original, but can also firmly stand on its own.
In the Level 3 Dormitories, you’ll always feel at home, even when you’re almost 100 feet under the surface of the Earth! We saw the dorms as a perfect opportunity to give a glimpse into the lives of the staff of Black Mesa, and wanted to make them feel a lot more lived in compared to the originals. This meant we got to come up with all sorts of little details to help give that little extra sense of personalization. It has all the institutional drabness that comes with any government blacksite housing, but with marginally less black mold!
We got off to a great start with 2023, and we hope to keep that energy up throughout the year and finish it off strong. There’s undoubtedly a lot of neat stuff on the horizon that we’re drawing closer to slowly but surely, and in the process we’re getting that much closer to having a finished product on our hands. Want to get access to more frequent updates, get a chance to talk with the devs, and maybe even catch a development stream or two? Join our Discord! Or, if you want to roll up your sleeves and help us make this project a reality, check out our application form! We’re currently hiring almost all positions, with the exception of writing, music, and sound design.
So long, and we'll see you in December!
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