Posts Tagged ‘Half-Life’

What Was Prospero, The Fantasy Game Valve Never Made?

By Graham Smith on July 21st, 2014.

The road not traveled is uninteresting to me when the road we are travelling is winding, densely populated and has no speed limit. (The road I’m talking about is videogames.) That didn’t stop me being intrigued to find out more about Prospero via the latest episode of Valve Time Database. Prospero was one of two game’s Valve were working on when the company was founded in 1996, and Valve Time Database is a series of short YouTube videos detailing elements of Valve’s universe of games.

Episode 3 contains previously unreleased screenshots of the never released game, along with quotes from Half-Life writer Marc Laidlaw. I think the information is new, but either way it’s entertaining and embedded below.

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Total Converts: Unpotting The History Of Half-Life Modding

By Graham Smith on May 8th, 2014.

Totally legit.

Total Converts is a new weekly column about mods, maps, models, and anything player-created which you can use to amend or append your games.

Modding used to suck.

Back in 1999, I became hooked on Half-Life. Hooked in the way only 14-year-olds can, with a pure, uncritical love. The problem I had – familiar to many today – was that Half-Life was finite and I had no idea if more would ever be made.

So in between rounds of laggy, 56k deathmatch with a friend, I turned to mods, custom maps, and anything else I could find which would allow me to wring more from my investment in Black Mesa. I hung out in IRC rooms, read map review sites and slowly downloaded files from Fileplanet. It felt like I was crawling through obscure corners of the internet, at a time when the internet seemed to inhabit a strange corner of the real world.

Imagine my surprise when I walked into a gift ship while on holiday in an English seaside town and found the CD pictured above. A collection of Half-Life add-ons for sale in the most ordinary place.

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On A High Speed Rail: Half-Life 1 Finished In 21 Minutes

By Graham Smith on April 14th, 2014.

These guys don't stand a chance.

Like any form of competition, speedrunning generates arguments over authenticity. Does a speedrun count if it relies on a bunny-hopping mod, in-game glitches and different runners tackling different parts of the game in short segments? I’m not sure I care either way. No matter the methods, Half-Life 1 being completed in 20 minutes and 41 seconds is an accomplishment of endurance, skill and effort. More importantly it’s a beautifully entertaining video, full of ingenuity and grace and physical comedy. The new record time is embedded below. You must watch it.

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Diary: Never Been Half-Lifed, Part Two

By Cara Ellison on December 12th, 2013.

Xen is totally rubbish you were all right YOU WERE ALL RIGHT
Readers. I crawled to the end. You warned me. After part one of the diary, you really did warn me.

At the beginning, I thought Half-Life was the best game I’d ever played. There were so many finely crafted moments; so many things I learned. I avoided reading the slightest thing on it. I wanted it unsullied. As time went on in Half-Life, I gradually realised that each level is a discrete little chocolate box of incidents, scripted events, little puzzles and touches. There is so much attention to detail in the way that everything is centred on the player’s experience, how to psyche you out, how to spook you, how to mess with you. And then, as each new level drags on, you begin to wonder what it is you’re aiming for. By the time you reach Xen, you’re done. By the time you get to gonad beast, you’re completely, oh so really, done. But wasn’t it something? But wasn’t it really something? Read the rest of this entry »

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Black Mesa Coming To Steam For Real Moneydollars

By Nathan Grayson on November 20th, 2013.

Spare some change? I'm just a poor, hardworking headcrab who's been let down by The System.

Halfy birthday, Hap-Life! Well, I guess it’s technically the day after your birthday now, but an upgraded version of Source-powered Half-Life tribute Black Mesa still counts as a gift, I think. You might remember that the free labor of time, love, and more time was greenlit a while back, but now it’s finally taking the Lab Facility Train Ride of Ultimate Auspiciousness over to Steam. Better still, Gabe and the knights of the Valve table have given it their blessing, allowing the Black Mesa team to earn some especially pretty pennies for their hard work. The Steam version will include new features too, but not Xen. That’s apparently still “a ways off,” sadly.

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So Very Many Happy Returns: Half-Life Is 15 Today

By RPS on November 19th, 2013.

Half-Life celebrates its 15th birthday today. Valve’s genre-exploding, literal game-changer first appeared on the 19th November 1998, taking the well-loved first-person shooter and crafting something extraordinary. It was considered a turning point. A new bar for games to beat. And one that was safely broken by, er, Half-Life 2 six years later. Below are some of RPS’s favourite memories of the old, old game.

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The Gravity Gun Is The Best Thing From Two Months Ago

By John Walker on November 9th, 2013.

I’m not sure how I missed this back in August, but it’s splendid enough to warrant a belated post on a Saturday. The two men of Corridor Digital have been creating extraordinary movie shorts for years (one of my all-time favourites being The Glitch), primarily based on videogames, featuring extraordinary special effects that rival those of big budget Hollywood studios. Certainly their profile is a lot larger in recent times, and their work is now very often paid for by the publishers of the games they’re recreating. (This live action video of Rayman Legends (no, really) being one of the most bizarre.) However, they still create projects for their own entertainment, and their origin story for the Gravity Gun is absolutely stellar.

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Diary: Never Been Half-Lifed, Part One

By Cara Ellison on November 7th, 2013.

what a terrible person

In the depths of late night despair you might sometimes lie awake thinking about how you are a life-long PC gamer and have never played through the original 1998 PC darling Half-Life. The thought lingers on you like some grotesque bug with the ability to whisper: ‘You are an impostor. You are fake. You are phoney.’ Well even if you don’t have terrible self-esteem, I do. I’m like Drew Barrymore in Never Been Kissed. Except the kiss is Half-Life. And Gordon Freeman is that guy from Alias that ends up kissing Drew Barrymore awkwardly on a baseball pitch.

Or whatever.

Here’s my first time with Half-Life, documented in badly made videos recorded whilst I was travelling Europe.

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Sven Co-Op & The 7 Most Beautiful Words In The World

By Alec Meer on July 4th, 2013.

“Added breakable functionality to all door types.”

Well, first-person shooters, it only took you 21 years, but you’ve finally cracked it. Our ultimate foe has at last been defeated.

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Jump Scare City: Cry Of Fear

By Adam Smith on April 30th, 2013.

Maybe there’s more to Half Life 1 mod Cry of Fear than screaming, gibbering faces and jump scares – the trailers have shooting, conversations and chainsaws – but my nerves, frayed rather than reinforced by years of vacationing in Silent Hill, failed to survive the opening scenes when I played last night. There’s something about the look and feel of the dated engine that unnerves me far more than something draped in bells and whistles ever would, although I’ve just conjured the image of a jester at a rave and that’s as petrifying as it is ridiculous. The Half Life engine has taken on the quality of a museum or funhouse packed with animatronics, and it’s perhaps that aspect that is most troubling. Well, that and the jump scares. Here’s how I got on.

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Worlds Collide: Valve And JJ Abrams Working On Movie

By Nathan Grayson on February 6th, 2013.

I’m off in the strange, far-away land of Las Vegas right now, and I just got done watching Gabe Newell and JJ “Warring Trek of the Stars” Abrams chat each other up on stage. I’ll have more from the talk for you soon, but here’s the big take-away: Valve and Abrams are officially collaborating. “What we’re actually doing here,” Newell said at the talk’s conclusion, “is recapitulating a series of conversations that have been going on [between Abrams and I]. This is what happens when game and movie people get together. And we sort of reached the point where we decided that we needed to do more than talk. So we’re gonna try and figure out if we can make a Portal movie or a Half-Life movie together.” Meanwhile, Abrams added: “And we have a game idea we’d like to work with Valve on.” Finally, Gabe wrapped it up: “It’s time for our industries to stop talking about potential and really execute on it.”

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Timey Wimey: Lots Of Footage Of The Half-Life Alpha

By Craig Pearson on January 9th, 2013.

His eyes NEVER change.
Way back in time, when the world was in 8-bit and we all paid for our cholera gruel with children’s teeth, Valve were working on Half-Life. It wasn’t very good, and Valve took the decision to rewrite most of the game. Somewhere in the multiverse there’s a universe where that version of Half-Life was released. The first difference between universes is that the 1997 alpha wasn’t improved. Valve and Steam are no more, and SiN is the game we all remember fondly. Games For Windows Live is the main digital distribution channel. We clearly have the better universe, but if you want a glimpse into the world that could have been, then I have videos of the original Half-Life alpha for you.
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Wot I Think: Black Mesa

By Alec Meer on September 21st, 2012.

he's probably not a problem, probably

Half-Life is back. Back in Black Mesa, the fan-made, Source-powered remake that’s been years in the making. It was never going to happen, and then suddenly it did. After all that, is it a polished recreation of Valve’s beloved shooter, or an awkward perversion? I’ll be waiting for you, in the word chamber.
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