Half-Life 2's Evolution : aaron/canals_01_15 (2002/12/12)
It’s been an incredibly long time since the last video, but the next one in the series is finally here.
Keep in mind that this ended up getting a little rushed in the end, as I wanted to get it out of the way so I could move onto other things. Turns out moving to Source Filmmaker ended up causing the video to take longer due to a few technical faults along the way, and then work got in the way, and it’s likely in future I’ll be producing these very differently to how I have been previously to save myself more time.
As usual, keep in mind that this series is solely focused on displaying the geometry of the levels rather than playing through each one individually. If you enjoyed this video and want to see more in the future then I highly recommend supporting me on Patreon, as this goes towards supporting the website, the archive and videos such as this.
This is part of a video series showing the gradual evolution of 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.
This level is produced from the VMF, canals_01_15. The level was likely created by Aaron Barber.
The original VMF can be downloaded here.
Dominant Species Patch
This is something I’d been meaning to post for a while now but unfortunately didn’t quite get round to it, primarily because I wasn’t entirely sure if its content was right for this website. Having thought about it, this is a step towards helping preserve an old game that many otherwise may not have heard of before so it makes perfect sense to post it here.
Dominant Species was a game that was released in 1998, and it seems to me like a game that was somewhat lost in time with very little attention given to it as far as I’m aware but seems like a unique game for its time. It certainly has a charm about it.
If you’re not familiar with the game, it was developed by Red Storm Entertainment. The same guys that have developed countless Tom Clancy games. And it’s a 3D RTS, which according to Red Storm themselves, was one of the first 3D RTS games as well which definitely makes it quite significant.
On a whim I came across the game online and ordered myself a copy but I guess to no surprise the game struggled running on modern operating systems (such as Windows 7/8/10), in particular it failed to initialise a fullscreen instance of the game and it also fails at detecting the CD properly.
After spending a while poking and prodding the game though, I not only found a list of launch arguments for the game that allowed it to run in a windowed state, which worked around the issue initialising it in fullscreen, but I also managed to track down where the game attempted to check for its CD to ensure you had a valid copy of the game and disable it through the wonders of reverse engineering.
I did also experiment with a wrapper to try and get the game running in fullscreen but after discovering the launch arguments I didn’t go any further with this. It’s something I’d like to return to though at some point in time as it would be a wonderful learning experience.
Keep in mind that I’ve only done this for the singleplayer at this time, so right now the multiplayer menu will still ask you to insert the CD.
I guess you could probably consider this a crack? Maybe when I have some time I’ll get round to doing the multiplayer as well but this should be relatively easy to do. Unfortunately it’s been a long time since I did this so I don’t have my notes available right now but if anyone else makes an update to this then be sure to let me know and I’ll be happy to mirror it here.
Unreal Technology Demo (September 2000)
At the European Computer Trade Show, on September 6th 2000, Epic Games unveiled a technology demonstration of the Unreal Engine, showing new features and capabilities they were introducing to the engine.
Let's Speculate! Half-Life 2 Lighting Zoo
The Lighting Zoo, otherwise known as ‘lightingzoo’, is a level included in the pack of development VMFs that was leaked with Half-Life 2 back in 2003. It’s one of the lesser interesting levels in the pack of levels, but we’ll be covering it anyway just to quickly get it out of the way. Obviously on this occasion I won’t be bothering to produce a video but expect a number of screenshots demonstrating the level.
The map is marked as being last modified on the 6th of May 2002 but it’s hard to be sure as to who the original author was but it was likely produced by someone within Valve who didn’t work primarily as a level designer, more likely the work of one of the programmers at Valve. We can pretty much conclude this as the map features incredibly simplistic geometry, though includes a few different sections that seem to test the capabilities of the lighting tool, VRAD, at the time; displacements, animated lights and normal maps are featured in the different sections of the level.Continue reading
Left 4 Dead 3 Models?