The Core is a classic retelling of the events surrounding the Resonance Cascade disaster from a new perspective. Featuring intense action, complex puzzles and believable narrative, through all-new locations within the Black Mesa Research Facility.

RSS The Cutting Room - Part 1

One thing that I simply cannot deny with regards to The Core's development is that it has been chock full of mistakes. Game mechanics have been pitched, coded and ultimately removed. Entire maps have been wiped from existence. Story elements and characters have been written, criticised, rewritten and dropped. On the one hand, this is time wasted. On the other, experience gained.

Posted by on

The Cutting Room - Part 1

One thing that I simply cannot deny with regards to The Core's development is that it has been chock full of mistakes. Game mechanics have been pitched, coded and ultimately removed. Entire maps have been wiped from existence. Story elements and characters have been written, criticised, rewritten and dropped. On the one hand, this is time wasted. On the other, experience gained.

cuttingroom1

The Core is set in the Half-Life universe which has been explored from every conceivable angle across hundreds of stories, both officially and by the community. For the last few years the Core has contained an introductory sequence. The player would descend in a lift, getting the usual Black Mesa commuter experience of massive concrete chasms filled with science team personnel and fantastical machines working away. A section of the mod that I truly enjoyed working on as a matter of fact.

The problem is what came immediately after. The lift doors slid open and the player was greeted by... me. Urby. One of the main NPCs in the mod, often seen alongside Archie during key story moments. The player would be chastised for their appearance and would then need to follow the slow moving NPC between a series of locked doors. All the while, Urby would continually vomit lore out of his mouth hole. Things that experienced Half-Life fans would already know, as well as the purpose of the central complex, the player character's role within it and so on. All the player could do was follow and listen, or not follow and not listen, running laps around dull grey corridors (see below) waiting for the next door to be unlocked.

A fresh start... (Cut Content)

In a word, it was obnoxious. You were going to listen to me babble about my story, whether you wanted to or not. It was the exact opposite of the "show, don't tell" rule. When the player finally reached their destination, it was another bland, grey room. Urby would note the lack of personnel and this would prompt him to take the role of instructor. He would then guide the player through a makeshift training course, introducing new game play mechanics in a way that was completely unnatural and yes, still spouting Core lore.

It is for these reasons, that the sections shown in this article have ultimately been ripped out of the mod. For the first time playing, it might have been only borderline unbearable. Repeat runs would have been simply infuriating. The first five minutes of the mod (after leaving the intro elevator) was set at a snail's pace while listening to Half-Life's Wikipedia entry, and then forcing the player to run through a discount version of the Hazard Course, which was always optional to begin with!

In its place, I am building a section more along the lines of what you would expect from the prologue chapter of a Half-Life title. The lore is still there, but only for those willing to look for it. Otherwise, you can just get the essential info and blitz through to get the action started. So, you're welcome. :)

Urby

Comments
Zorro_de_la_noche
Zorro_de_la_noche

Awesome, dude.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+10 votes
LeoJFC
LeoJFC

This is interesting!

Reply Good karma Bad karma+6 votes
Magic_Nipples
Magic_Nipples

The Core beta mod when?

Reply Good karma Bad karma+16 votes
The-Turkish-Man
The-Turkish-Man

Awesome!!!

Reply Good karma Bad karma+4 votes
Blue199
Blue199

So it was going to be like Half-Life 2, eh? ;P

Reply Good karma Bad karma+5 votes
neophus
neophus

Nice ! I like the idea to give the possibility to choose !

Reply Good karma Bad karma+2 votes
Hezus
Hezus

Nice article. Are you also back to mapping?

Reply Good karma Bad karma+3 votes
UrbaNebula Author
UrbaNebula

Yes, indeedy

Reply Good karma+3 votes
AlienGruntXT
AlienGruntXT

Ohhh... That's awesome! Can't say how it's cool, because my english is bad. Anyway - still waiting for this!

Reply Good karma Bad karma+2 votes
xcv2008
xcv2008

Urby the Exposition Spouter

Reply Good karma Bad karma+2 votes
Qwertyus
Qwertyus

Well, OK. But maybe it will be fun to see outtakes released too one day ;)

Reply Good karma Bad karma+2 votes
TheRenegadist
TheRenegadist

Good to hear from you guys!

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote
SabreXT
SabreXT

Sounds like the right call. One of the things that stops me enjoying repeat runs of Half-Life is the over long tram and intro section I've played dozens of times. Ditto with the various long, boring "unskipable cutscenes" in Half-Life 2. So much so I've been tempted to make maps that are one empty room with just a level transition to replace them. I'm reminded of the bridge scene in ep 2 where there's barrels blocking the way and that's enough to keep most first time players on track. That's a way better solution.

My mod might have had 30 seconds of non-story, but I had exposition guy easily be ran past on repeat playthroughs. Yeah, it's not "realistic", but having the player being able to ignore the story, be it by skipping cutscenes or running past everyone is more valuable than forcing them to sit through talking that they hate.

If the section is complete, why not record it and upload it somewhere?

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote
Post a comment
Sign in or join with:

Only registered members can share their thoughts. So come on! Join the community today (totally free - or sign in with your social account on the right) and join in the conversation.

Follow Profile
Icon
Half-Life
Game
Half-Life
Contact
Send Message
Release date
Mod watch
Follow
News
Browse
News
Share
Related Mods
Related Games
Half-Life
Half-Life First Person Shooter
Related Groups
Scotch & Coffee Studios
Scotch & Coffee Studios Developer & Publisher