Post news RSS Half-Life: Enriched - Apprehension

New alpha containing the 'Apprehension' chapter of Half-Life and a look at the new detail textures!

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Hi everyone! Ready to play the new chapter, click that link! Or hang around and read on!

Half-Life: Enriched - Alpha version 0.45

alpha 0.45

'Apprehension' is a short but very interesting part of Half-Life. It's the only time where Valve broke with their philosophy of giving total control to the player. In previous games, developers often laid out the personality of the main character and controlled their actions through cut-scenes. Valve didn't want any of that and therefore Half-Life's protagonist Gordon Freeman doesn't speak and the game doesn't take your control away with cutscenes. Except for one rare instance in 'Apprehension'. Gordon gets captured by the HECU and loses all his weapons and there is no way to avoid this.

Half-Life: Enriched - Apprehension

This might seem unfair at some level but (from a gameplay perspective) it's a good decision. At the time you start this chapter, you've already gathered quite the armory and gear. From this point on, developers would have to throw more and more intense battles at you to keep you challenged. This can lead to a thing called 'combat fatigue' where players get tired (or bored) of combat encounters. Taking your weapons out of the equasion resets the game into a slower pace and opens up the way for more puzzle/exploration-oriented gameplay, which the next chapter 'Residue Processing' is all about.

Half-Life: Enriched - Apprehension

For me, 'Apprehension' was a very pleasant chapter to work on. The original brushwork was clean and the entity work efficient and logical enough. The only real issue was the lighting. In Half-Life, light often appears out of nowhere. Especially in the underwater sections there is light that's not coming from any visible light source but is instead generated by invisible brushes casting the light there. I really did not want to replicate this, so instead I came up with these coloured glow sticks that guide the player through the underwater section. You could imagine the HECU or the BMRF staff using those when they made their way through the drowned complex.

Half-Life: Enriched - Apprehension

Detail textures

If you take a good look at some of the screenshots, you might feel that there is some sort of increased shaprness going on.

Half-Life: Enriched - Apprehension

This is all thanks to a feature that was introduced to Half-Life even back in it's WON days: detail textures. These are higher resolution overlays rendered on top of the original texture. For this project, I'm creating a new set of these detail textures as 512x512 pixel 24 bit TGA. For reference, most Half-Life textures are 128x128 8 bit BMPs. Here are some examples of the extra detail those textures can provide.



The detail textures give the scene a lot of extra sharpness and depth, a bit like a fake bump mapping effect, so its definitely a feature I'd like to include in the final version of the MOD. Adding them is quite a job, though. Next to having to make the texture, it has to be loaded through a text file, in which I have to specifiy which texture requires which detail texture. And now imagine that the WAD currently has 3500 unique textures. That's why so far, only the 'Apprehension' chapter has support for them. I'm planning to gradually catch up the older chapters, but it will take a while and also take a lot of my patience doing so.

So, how to get these textures working? Make sure you've enabled console support for your copy of Half-Life and type r_detailtextures 1 in the console. I try my best to keep the MOD playable for period authentic hardware, so for old systems that can't handle these high resolution textures, you can disable them with r_detailtextures 0.

Half-Life: Enriched - Apprehension

That's it for today! I hope you enjoyed this article and the new alpha version. Make sure to leave your feedback below and have a great day!

Vyolette13 - - 220 comments

Ohohohohoo! I love your level work, these touch ups are appreciated

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wmf776759 - - 472 comments

Ohhhhhhhhh. Let's, go.

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fresco - - 140 comments

Detail textures are a cool feature of GoldSrc. Such a pity that it's a huge effort to add them. Condition Zero had it as well, but in my opinion they did a very simple job with it. Your comparisons look great btw :)

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Neftall - - 176 comments

Yeah!, Here we go!

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Daburubareru - - 738 comments

Awesome work!

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Ballowers - - 8 comments

Question, will this mod ever be put up on Steam so I can download it from Steam?

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Hezus Author
Hezus - - 563 comments

Not sure yet. I'll have to look into the restrictions and requirements for that first.

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