In a parallel universe, where Aperture Science and Black Mesa are non-existent, Future Affinity Laboratories has thrived as a scientific research corporation. However, just because this takes place in a parallel dimension, doesn't mean everything has changed. You are a test subject being prepared for solving puzzles using the brilliantly-manufactured "Future Affinity Handheld Wormhole Generator". GENIE, the "Generic Enforcement Network and Industrial Executive" will be assisting you through this adventure into brave new puzzles and equations yet to be solved by the human mind. It's perfect. Or is it? A lot can go wrong. And worst case scenario, you may end up being the facility's very last hope...
It has been 9 months since the last update. We have had two entire semesters and a few short school breaks. What progress have we made since last September?
Sadly, we haven't made a whole lot of progress on the game itself, but we have been seriously working on something that we think will seriously help PLH flow: ABSYNTHE!
"What is Absynthe?", you may ask, well it is our own heavily-modified and updated branch of Source 2013 that uses the Source Engine's source code to offer a more advanced SDK/Engine Branch. It utilizes many of the advanced lighting techniques seen within Alien Swarm. This is pretty much why we haven't made much progress in the way of gameplay. A few engine modifications will be implemented as well to ensure easier modding and yes, we will attempt to get it released onto Steam for free. For the making of Absynthe, we have officially teamed-up with some of the developers of Loreleine, another cool mod for Portal 1. Together, we're going to include a couple of mappacks/demos to showcase the engine, while at the same time, adding plot/story to PLH as a whole.
You may be asking, "Why do you need to make a new engine branch/SDK?" Well, we (both Cloud 6 and the Loreleine Team) are got sick and tired of having to build our own mod in Source SDK for every single thing we do. The Vanilla SDK/Branches are great and all, but seriously annoying at times.
As for the capabilities of Absynthe, we are able to do:
- Realtime advanced lighting calculation, much more powerful than what the Source SDK is capable of normally.
- Camera Bob and View-Model Animations.
- Compatibility with far more than just Bink video and Cinepac codec for startup videos and the content of the media folder.
- Little to no map porting required, just put the maps in and run them. All needed files will be generated on startup.
- Black Mesa Engine-style particle physics.
- Post-processing (Very similar to that of the Black Mesa-engine).
Currently, some additions we are working on are:
- Making the lighting more beautiful in other aspects.
- Projected Textures.
- Post Processing (or a low-quality version of it, at the very least).
So now you can see why we have been so quiet for so long. Engine programming is very time-consuming and very difficult most of the time. Hopefully, by the next update, we will have more to show so please bare with us!
Until next time,
-Gamer#1 - Storywriter
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