Hello and welcome (back) to an update on HL:Enriched! If you're in a hurry, here's the download link to the newest alpha version containing the chapter 'Blast Pit'!
Or instead you could hear me moan about converting this chapter down below!
As you might have noticed, this update took a little longer to create than previous chapters. That's because Blast Pit is quite a large chapter and originally spans 9 BSPs but also because of the way it was created. Some mappers like to keep to the correct sizes of walls and brushes, using the background grid as reference to keep the design clean and well optimised. 'We've got Hostiles' is a great example of this.
And then there is the person who made 'Blast Pit" (and possibly 'Office Complex'). Don't get me wrong: I love this chapter and I think the design is great but boy... is it messy and difficult to work with.
As you might be aware, the inside of the Blast Silo is quite different from the external. There are some big extrusions like the control chamber and the room where the explosives (and Barney) are. I really wanted to merge this all into one BSP to get rid of the annoying level changes, so I had to change the design quite a bit but in a way where it doesn't take away much from the original aesthetics or gameplay.
While rearranging the Silo, I realised that the entire structure is slightly a-symetrical and thus full of small issues. It took me quite a while to correct all of these mistakes into something I can work with. Sometimes I had to delete portions and start from scratch. This also gave me the opportunity to add more detail to said structures, so in the end the work did pay off!
Just like in 'Office Complex' there are whole bits of map that were just covered with brushes. This could be because of laziness of the creator or maybe because parts of the map were cut from the original design. It's interesting to comb through these designs and imagine where rooms could have been. Let me be the first to coin the term 'Game Archeology'! Where's my Indiana Jones hat?
If you're going to give the new chapter a try, why not try it with your legacy copy of Half-Life on an appropriate Windows 9x system? You can grab the DLLs for Windows 95 and 98 (SE) from the files page or the link below! See the description for details.
Here's a screenshot from my Pentium II running Half-Life: Enriched! This is also the machine I had to build the DLLs on using Visual Studio 6. I've put together a nice build log of the machine on the Vogons forums, feel free to check it out here.
Thanks for reading and comments/feedback is much appreciated!