Welcome back dear Half-Life fans and MODDB followers! Let me cut to the chase with the download link to the one of my favourite chapters: "We've got Hostiles!"
YOU CHANGED 'insert very minor thing here' AND RUINED HALFLIFE!1!1
First, let me thank you for your very kind feedback and constructive critism and second, let me tell you a bit more about what it is like CHANGING HALF-LIFE.
Most of the time I'm having fun working on this MOD and in general, the feedback I receive from the community is pleasant and useful. But when you're working with the gaming monument that is Half-Life, some people get extra flammable when you decide to change things. Some people don't know how to give feedback properly and only complain about minor stuff and others are only satisfied if I swap everything with anime stuff. What I'm trying to say is: you just can't please everyone and I'm certainly not aiming to. I'm changing Half-Life in a way that I think is right with what I think is enough to still preserve the original.
So what are you changing?
If you've seen the screenshots or played the alpha builds, you'll notice that I'm redoing all of the texturing and the lighting. Mostly I keep to the original placement of the lights but in some cases I remove or add light to compensate for the different lighting method I'm using, or to achieve a better looking effect. Generally, I'm giving Half-Life a slightly darker look than the original. Back in the late 90's the screen resolution was much lower (as low as 320x240!) so details were harder to spot and thus it was important for the maps to be well-lit. Today, this is no longer necessary and I can make Half-Life look sharper with more prominent shadows.
All the textures have been upscaled and realigned and almost always keeping to the original textures. In rare cases I completely go for a different texture, but only in small details. Most changes are done to the sometimes horrible overscaling and misalignments.
The layout of the maps is the one thing that I hardly touch. I'm not adding extra areas because I do not wish to add my own content to the world itself. The second reason is that there are many engine limits that make merging maps a tricky bussiness, so adding stuff would make this even harder. The only time I change the layout is when the map doesn't align in between level changes. This happens in quite a few cases, so sometimes I have to re-route ventilation ducts or mirror certain rooms to make it all fit again.
The only content I'm adding are higher detailed objects. I'm trying to make them resemble the original enough to be recognisable, but just to look somewhat better. In the same sense, I'm turning small objects into models because the grid size in the map editor doesn't allow for very small details. Because of models, I can make a coffee cup actually appear rounded.
Gameplay is what makes Half-Life feel like Half-Life and I'm not aiming to make any fundamental changes to its workings. I'm doing some work to fix minor oddities like the MP5 having 25 rounds instead of a full 50 round clip when being picked up. Or getting 5 handgrenades when you pick up 1.
Secondly, I'm trying to rebalance the game somewhat by removing some ammo here and adding some extra there. I'm removing healthchargers where there are too many after eachother (Chapter 3 and 4 have way too many of those!). When everything is done I'm organising a larger playtest to see if players can deal with these changes well enough to finish the game.
What I'm mostly chaning is the way triggering works. In Half-Life events always happen once a player touches a trigger field. This makes the game very predictable, especially if you know where the triggers are. Instead I'm adding small random delays to these triggers of 1, 2 or 3 seconds where appropriate. This means you know a monster may appear or event might occur but you will not always be in the exact same position when it happens. This will make the game a little less predictable.
I'm also giving monsters more scripted sequences so they will not just stand idle around the corner for the player to arrive. Once the player is near, they will be moving around, making them even less predictable.
Thanks for reading and enjoy the new chapter! Next time I'm going to write a bit more about the new lighting!