This is part of a video series showing the gradual evolution of the Prison in Half-Life 2. It’s not intended to demonstrate gameplay, as most of these levels, in their original form, weren’t playable. Because of the number of levels to cover and the amount of time it takes to clean them up enough to be viewable, these will be kept as quick glances.

The level you’re seeing here is from a VMF named cafeteria, which appears to have been produced by David Sawyer; who was a designer at Valve, who produced most of the iterations of the Prison that we’re going to see.

This is a relatively small level, which seems to be an early version of a cafeteria portion of the Prison. The purpose of this level was likely to establish gameplay dynamics and general themes.

The control room is unusual, as it features a glass panel embedded in the floor, of which the player can look through. This was likely to show the result of pulling the switch but it’s difficult to tell.

There’s also a control room hidden in the middle section of the level, which isn’t accessible typically. It’s not clear why this is.

A few of the models and textures used in this level were missing and hence had to be replaced. Obviously this means that this isn’t 100% representative of what the levels may have looked like back when they were originally created, but it’s probably pretty darn close.

Music was produced by Chris Jensen as part of “Mishaps in the Reactor Chamber.” A collection of songs originally intended for Opposing Force that went unused.