Half-Life 1: MMod - Version 2 Update!
Hey everyone, It's been a while since last update, time to break the silence.
It's been roughly 9 months since the last update and I've been plenty busy with other projects of mine, including some personal matters regarding health, but that doesn't mean I've been slacking with development of HL1MMod, quite the contrary, it's pretty much ready to enter end of development stage, where I will focus mostly on polish, rather than adding something brand new.
However that doesn't mean that HL1MMod is an unpolished mess, I've spent countless hours polishing every aspect of the mod since last update, refactoring massive amount of code to simplify and speed things up to ensure stability and smooth gameplay and hunting down and fixing every single bug I have encountered during countless playtesting sessions.
Besides that there's been plenty of brand new additions, one of the biggest one is proper material system for all textures in the game: if it looks like wood/metal/glass/dirt then it emits appropriate impact effects and sounds, I've also went extra mile and added detail textures ( which you can toggle in-game ) for every texture in the game, helping to add necessary detail to an aging game.
I've spent some time working on making HEV suit more verbose, printing out warnings for getting low on ammo/reloading. HEV suit now reports weapon pickups and ammo pickups to the player, making it seem a tiny bit more advanced and noticeable to the player, all of these suit additions are optional just in case.
Not sure if I've mentioned this before, but HL1MMod has bootleg chapter selection thing, akin to Half-Life: Source, except much less fancy, botleggedness of it stems from it not displaying properly on lower resolutions, there's not a lot I can do about it because of how limiting engine is.
Now regarding main focus of this project - weapons, gunplay and weapon feedback. let's get into the details.
-I've managed to implement "first time pickup system". Whenever you pickup weapon for the first time it will play unique pickup animation where player would inspect/load ammo/fidget with the gun for a bit, akin to Black Mesa when you pick up guns for the first time, making every weapon feel a bit more fully fledged and giving Gordon a bit more character. Fooltaurus was in charge of the animations for them, I coded them in and made a sound foley pass, you can check out these animations in Item Testing Range video bellow.
-Crossbow got a total overhaul in terms of visual feedback, now it properly displays arrows in the magazine and has two reload animations, one when there's no ammo left and one where you still have ammo loaded. I've also made its arrows behave similarly to Half-Life 2 crossbow arrows, adding a bit of gravity to them and, most importantly, making them ricochet under certain angles. I've also added fancy scope overlay to it and made it optional just in case.
-There's been to changes to Projectile Bullets ( physical bullets with travel time ), I've managed to make them ricochet too, with a very random chance, except .357, which ricochets on every shot to encourage creative kills.
-MP5 got a complete makeover and makes sense now, Fooltaurus remade all of its animations and added brand new set of animations for grenade launcher, added charging blot and full reload animation. Grenade launcher no longer magically reloads, instead player puts in grenade manually, making whole thing a bit more immersive at a cost of lower fire rate.
-.357 gone through an overhaul with a brand new weapon function, by default .357 is a fast firing high spread type weapon, in situations where you need to deal with multiple foes in close quarters, but if you attach a laser scope it resembles vanilla .357, while having it attached and pressing secondary fire you'll get into sniper mode where .357 acts like a makeshift sniper rifle with a laser sight and pinpoint accuracy&low fire rate. In simpler terms it's a mix between op4 deagle and hl1 .357.Check Item Test Range video for more info.
-Crowbar got a smack function, which behaves similarly to Opposing Force wrench secondary fire.
-Grenade - you can now toss them on a short distance, making them a bit easier to use in close quarters and around the corners.
-Hivehand got special weapon function where it spews bunch of hornets in a small sack, which deals small damage to anything caught in a blast while also releasing swarm of hornets into every direction, very useful for ambush and distraction attacks. Hivehand hornets have wider FOV, making them more efficient in tracking targets, hivehand itself recharges twice as fast too, making it a viable weapons.
-Snarks are now hostile towards everything, making it a viable weapon against alien opponents.
Now let's talk about general monster/entity/AI improvements.
-Every monster AI got a major boost to their reaction time, eliminating awkward situations where monsters would just stand around and glance at their enemy instead of continuing attacking them, they also react to a lot more things now, like player footsteps or distant gunfire and even smells. Overall monster AI feels a little bit more lively now.
-A bunch of monsters in the game got glow in the dark model parts, mostly eyes, they're are also fully animated too, blinking while alive and closed ( or partially closed ) on death, making monsters feel much more alive or dead.
-Bullsquid finally got some justice in terms of its effects overhaul, making spit much more noticeable and in-line with other effects.
-Zombie variants are no longer just generic reskins, Zombie Guards allows Zombie to take more shots to the chest, while Zombie Grunts can take more shots in general. In future I plan to add one more zombie variant for couple of sections in the game, hopefully it'll happen.
- Some items ( HealthKits and HEV Batteries ) got fancy glow in the dark animated screen/energy on them.
There's also plenty of visual improvements!
-Besides aforementioned material system overhaul and detail texture for every texture in the game I've also added unique impact effects for almost every material, that includes unique sounds for them. If it looks like wood - it will splinter like wood, if it looks like alien flesh - it will sound and spew blood and flesh bits on damage. It might sound like a very minor change, but it took me over a week to sort every texture in the game and fully realize this system while keeping in mind very draconian limitations of the engine.
-I have added "Classic" option for Blood/Explosion Trails/Muzzle Flash effects, making them resemble the look of original effects, making them blend in better to vanilla art style of the game, just in case you don't like the "HD" look of new effects.
-Both Classic and Modern style of blood effects were overhauled to provide much better visual feedback, headcrabs also got their unique gibbing effect, with much smaller bloodsplosion and assortment of gibs.
-This is a bit of under the hood change, but a lot of previous effects were re-coded and re-optimized to factor in very draconian limitations of the engine, they should also perform better on very slow pc's.
Yet again, this is just a tip of the iceberg, there's been humongous amount of under the hood changes and game fixes, including fixes for the original game itself thanks to community contributions on Valve's GitHub page. I also can't remember everything I've been adding, even my gitlab logs consist of inane ramblings because most of the work for HL1MMod been done during countless sleepless nights between 10PM-7AM.
Now, I won't bore you with words anymore, so let's get straight to the media!
First video showing off slightly edited Unforeseen Consequences chapter, which strives to make it more atmospheric by adding more ambient sounds, scripted sequences, new enemy spawns and overall detail.
Second video is meant to show off weapons in their current state, including first pickup animations, spread, recoil, sounds, foley. I've also put an effort into making a small showcase map for them.
Here's couple of fancy looking .gif's to show off couple of things mentioned above.
Well, that's about it for time being, I'm going to switch back to working on other project of mine, so it'll be a while til the next update, which probably be release related.
If you're enjoyign what you're seeing, please, consider supporting my work on Patreon, I don't provide any special perks apart from being put into mod/video credits because I refuse to paywall my work, but it helps to speed up developlemt process greatly.