Is it really that time again? Indeed it is. It has been a while, we’re sorry we have kept you waiting. Hopefully this will make it even.
We have a bit of ground to cover, so let’s get started!
This article will be divided into two main sections:
- New Content
- Clearing up misconceptions and some of our changes
1) New content
- Art passing
- Calm Office – Video preview
- Additions to BEC
- Progress Update
The Metrozombie is now a fully working NPC! A huge thank you goes to 1upD for developing this NPC as a contribution as well as to Tacarish and CW3D for lending some sounds.
The Metrozombie has quite a few unique features. We thought the best way to show them would be in their in-game introduction:
Metrozombies are similar to Zombines, but they have four different methods to attack, which are either assigned randomly or chosen by the level designer. These variants are as follows:
- No weapon - just melee
When a Manhack-Metrozombie dies, it releases the manhack, which then goes rogue. These manhacks will attack anything, even you…
The code is now also accessible to anyone using the EZ1 mapbase code from the Entropy : Zero GitHub (assets are not included).
We decided to release a few tracks from our soundtrack, which includes some original pieces as well as edited ones from the Half-Life series. You can check out the playlist here:
Additionally, here's the first track of the released OST:
Tell us what you think! We will gladly expand the playlist in the future.
Since Kralich left the team, we took art-passing into our own hands. It is currently not our main focus, but we do polish some of the maps up from time to time. Below are a few screenshots of how that can look:
Calm Office - Video Preview:
If you're following us closely, you might have already seen this. We published this video a few months ago to show we're still alive and kicking. In it, you can see locations from a map of the second chapter. It's an office with an uneasy, yet calm ambience. Enjoy!
Additions to BEC:
Bec's response system is now fully working. Here's a small presentation of his responses, as well as an updated gameplay showcase. Enjoy!
Since we're on Mapbase now, Bec is able to use dynamic interactions, similar to Alyx.
Additionally, his personality has seen a few changes, which you can read about in the second section of this article.
As of writing, chapters 1 to 3 are fully playable, with chapter 3a coming well on its way. Episode 1 features five chapters (chapter 3a included), which means we are more than halfway through already!
Please note that this does not mean the episode will be released once it is playable from start to finish. Even though reaching that stage would be a huge milestone, the long road of polishing would still lie ahead.
Currently, the map progress looks like this:
- Chapter 1: 4 maps
- Chapter 2: 5 maps
- Chapter 3: 4 maps
- Chapter 3a: 1 map (2 remaining)
- Chapter 4: 1 maps (2 remaining)
We are currently running our third playtests and the feedback has been very enlightening thus far.
2) Clearing up misconceptions and some of our changes
Our first article was released more than a year ago. At that time, we had completely different goals and a different scope for this project. Because of that, what we said about the project in the past might contradict what the project is today.
What has changed?
Back then, we were planning to cover the entire time span from between the beginning of the Uprising to the destruction of the Dark Energy Reactor (seen at the end of Half-Life 2). This would have been too long and too big for us to take on, which is why we reduced the scope drastically. We also settled for a different release method, instead of one big modification, we chose an episodic model, similar to that of Valve’s for the Half-Life 2 series.
There were a few reasons in favor of that decision. For one, it reduces our scope and development cycle, while also allowing us to collect feedback from players more often. Secondly, an episodic model is more enjoyable and accessible to most players, as it splits the mod into several smaller (albeit still relatively long) chunks, thus making playthroughs less lengthy. Thirdly, we eventually want to use Entropy : Zero 2 as a mod base, seen as there are several features and assets that we could benefit from. However, transitioning from Entropy : Zero to Entropy : Zero 2 would be time consuming, which is why we are planning to keep Episode 1 on EZ1, while Episode 2 will be on EZ2 from the get-go.
We are planning to release the mod in two to three episodes. The first episode will cover the first and second day of the Uprising, while the second one will (according to our current plans) cover the time around Gordon’s reappearance in City 17. There will be a time skip, but we found a decent way to include it into the storyline.
When looking at our page critically, we noticed that an outsider probably has no idea who is on our team and why. If you’re curious, you can check out this quick article on our developer page where each member of the team introduces themselves!
The player character:
While our past articles went into great depths describing our gameplay features, we never really discussed the player character. We don’t want to give it away, but we can provide some context. In Uprising, you step in the boots of a Civil Protection Unit, internally referred to as UpCop, who is troubled by something he has done in the past.
The events surrounding him are causing these bad memories to reappear, whether he will embrace or forget them is up to the player to decide.
UpCop is not as vocal as Bad Cop, he only gets a relatively brief characterization. We hope that this will allow players to insert themselves into his shoes. The player will also be able to affect the outcome of the first Episode, which is why it makes sense to create this connection between the player and the player character.
While a lot of time and effort went into showing the progression of the war in Entropy : Zero - Uprising, the conflict itself is not at the forefront. You, the player, are thrown into it and now have to deal with having to fight for the wrong side.
Changes to BEC's character:
Bec is the main player companion throughout Uprising and could almost be considered the protagonist of the story. Originally, he was a very cliche “bad ass” metrocop character. We fleshed out his personality a lot more since then - Bec is supposed to be a real character and not just a shallow NPC. We wanted to make him more likable and empathetic, which is why we decided to move away from a totally loyalist character. Bec is smart, he would neither fight for the combine if it meant losing his own life nor would he sacrifice everything for them. He still fights for their side, but he retains a professional attitude throughout.
Seriously, it is really hard to give a good estimation. Maybe we’ll reach full playability this year, maybe we won’t. But even then it is hard to guess a release date.
We don’t want to rush, we hope you can understand that.
Anyhow, thank you for reading and being patient. It means a lot to us! We hope to see you in the next one (whenever that may be)!