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View Full Version : New Mod: Half Life 2: Episode -1


a_new_error
10-25-2010, 06:35 PM
So I've been pondering the idea of doing this mod for a while, and have finally decided to see what other's think about it. My biggest reluctance concerns the amount of time and energy this mod will require, not to mention fleshing out all the details concerning storyline and overall content. Either way, I'm going to post this here to see what the community thinks about it.

Half Life 2: Episode -1

Overview:
This mod will add a completely different campaign to the Half Life trilogy. Taking place between the original Half Life and Half Life 2, Half Life 2: Episode -1 would chronicle humanity's time while Gordon is off in lala land with G-Man. Including weapon transitions from Half Life to Half Life 2, HL2:E-1 would be the ultimate link between the two games. To help ease the development and release of the mod, it will be split into four parts, although updates will be continually made to previously released parts.

Storyline:
PLEASE NOTE: THIS STORYLINE IS NOT PERMANENT IN ANY WAY. I'M CONFIDENT I OVERLOOKED MANY KEY EVENTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES THAT WILL IMPACT THE EVENTS OF THIS MOD. THIS IS WHY I AM POSTING THE STORYLINE HERE: FOR THE COMMUNITY TO HELP FLESH OUT!

Part 1
Main character, who's (temporary) name is Daniel Adams, is introduced as a ~34 year old police officer who wakes up to find the Combine invading the old City 17. Adams rushes to police station to assist. He is then ordered to the train station to help evacuate citizens. While there, attacks abruptly stop as news comes in that Wallace Breen has negotiated a "peace treaty." As combine officers begin to take over civil protection, Adams takes a few survivors to Ravenholm through the canal system where they hole up and begin to create a resistance. Clear Ravenholm of any combine. End with real peace treaty with Vortigaunts.

Part 2
Adams and other leaders decide to go back to City 17 in hopes of removing Wallace Breen from power. Rebels clear set out for City 17 through the canal system. EMPHASIS ON STEALTH RATHER THAN RUN AND GUN APPROACH. Rebels are easily stopped: bad planning and lack of support. Adams is captured and taken to Breen. Breen gives speech about good of humanity and is just about to shoot Adams when G-Man stops time and gives a speech telling Adams that he is still needed. End here.

Part 3
Being with flashes of what is happening during the 17 years after Adam's disappearance. i.e. Drastic changes in weaponry. Flash to Adams awakening at the gates from Ravenholm's graveyard. Re-introduction of Adams 17 years after his disappearance. Decision to plan another attack, this time on the Citadel. Bombing of Ravenholm with headcrabs. Adams escapes Ravenholm with large team to attempt to attack the Citadel. Father Gregory is left to lead the citizens against the headcrab infestation. Back through canal system. Arrival at train system. End part.

Part 4
Adams commandeers train to the Citadel. Striders and dropships attempt to stop the train, but the rebels succeed in getting to the Citadel. Rebels split into two groups, one to free prisoners, Adam's group to get to Breen. Halfway through the mission to get to Breen, the first group is attacked by an Advisor. Communication with that group is cut off. Adam's group continues. Advisor is waiting in Breen's office when Adam and crew arrives. Adam is captured, crew is taken elsewhere. Adams is then taken to Prospect Nova, where Breen attempts to use him against the rebels. This goes on for 3 years. Finally, Adams sees and opportunity to escape. He attempts to make it to the train system, but is stopped once he gets there. Breen gives speech about risks and prepares to shoot Adams. G-Man again stops time, but this time gives a speech about how Adams failed and that he has a better candidate. Fade to black as G-Man walks away and time resumes. Gunshot ends the scene and the episode.

Notes
Please let me know if you have any suggestions or comments. I probably won't start hardcore development for about a month, so any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. If would like to help or have other information or abilities that may be useful to me, you can send me an email at "sharp.ace@hotmail.com".

seseorang
10-26-2010, 12:59 AM
Get to work and show us a video of it.

ikar
10-26-2010, 02:24 AM
If you get to make your plans with the quality of Minerva: Metastasis, Riot Act, Awakening, Nightmare House 2, etc. - This will be the best mod in the past few years! Be of good cheer!
Alone do not do these things - otherwise, while we wait, Valve will have time to release Episode 3 :)

joppe38
10-26-2010, 09:24 AM
Great story! I'm looking forwards to this game.

DirectVic
10-26-2010, 10:59 AM
It's good, the only problem being that I really don't see Breen shooting anyone.

He's a man of knowledge and science, not of the sword.

He can barely hold the Gravity Gun.

Other than that, it seems like a good story.

a_new_error
10-26-2010, 03:48 PM
It's good, the only problem being that I really don't see Breen shooting anyone.

He's a man of knowledge and science, not of the sword.

He can barely hold the Gravity Gun.

Other than that, it seems like a good story.That's a good point. I think he would use other to take action rather than actually doing anything himself. I suppose he could just order the Combine to take care of the rest, and simply have G-Man enter there.

DirectVic
10-27-2010, 03:07 AM
That's a good point. I think he would use other to take action rather than actually doing anything himself. I suppose he could just order the Combine to take care of the rest, and simply have G-Man enter there.

Indeed.

TheBogStandardU
10-30-2010, 04:54 PM
why would city 17 be called city 17 pre combine invasion?

mes_gots_its
11-03-2010, 04:33 PM
I see three main probelms with the mod's story and gameplay, mostly Combine-related. I also have provided possible solutions / workarounds.

1) The Seven-Hour War was so brutal and sudden that I don't see any kind of local law-enforcement (e.g. police officers) able to keep any kind of order, let alone organize a train evacuation. City 17 isn't being attacked by your run-of-the-mill Combine soldiers, rather an overwhelming amount of alien Synths heavily modified for combat and shock-and-awe tactics. Any attempt at all to resist them would meet with a quick death. Also note that there probably no trains whatsoever leaving the city, as years earlier the Portal Storms and the aliens they brought with them forced all of Earth's population into urban areas. Any attempt to leave the city would result in a bloody death by Headcrabs, Bullsquids, and the like, so I imagine that any transportation systems were confined to within the city. To work around this, perhaps have a different method of evacuation (e.g. Get to the canals! They lead out of the City!) or a different goal entirely (running around randomly while shooting things isn't very compelling). I think the canal idea would work, since it would allow Dan to get to Ravenholm to continue the story, as well as it being a good way to isolate him from the inevitable chaos going on in the main streets of the city (All sorts of Synths that would be difficult to implement as combatable foes early on). Perhaps have a few views of the war going on above him as well as lots of believable soundscapes (distant gunshots, screams, Strider cries etc.). For enemies, basic things like zombies, Barnacles, and even the occasional Hunter would do nicely.

2) Civil Protection officers and Combine Soldiers weren't and aren't part of the original Combine forces to invade Earth; they were added to the Combine military some time after the defeat of the human race. Rather, as mentioned earlier, the main force attacking City 17 would probably be Hunters, Striders, Gunships, Dropships (carrying Striders and Hunters, most likely) and perhaps those mysterious Synths Gordan saw in the Citadel on the conveyor belts near the end of HL2. So as tempting as it is, I wouldn't have Overwatch forces be a combatable foe until the later parts (at least part 2 and onward depending on the gap between the 1st and 2nd parts). Also note that Overwatch vehicles such as the APC, Hunter-Chopper, and Turrets were not introduced until the Overwatch was.

3) As far as I know, Advisors don't come out of their pods while on Earth until after their evacuation from the Citadel at the end of EP1. Additionally, it has been proven multiple times that getting Advisors to follow scripted events, as well as a lack of native AI, makes them a difficult and risky choice to include in HL2 maps. However, if you think it'd be cool and improve the mod, by all means go for it.

4) As stated before, Breen shooting anything seems implausible. I'd rather have him order his guards to do it for him (they dramatically raise their guns when BAM! Gman pops outta nowhere).

As a final note, remember that it's always okay to forgo a bit of canon in order to make the mod better. Fun gameplay should always be a priority over story, that is, the story should complement the gameplay, not the other way around.

Sorry 'bout the little rant there, but I'm just offering my two cents on how this mod would be made best. You said you wanted community feedback, and by golly, I gave some! :D

Anyway, I wish you best of luck on the mod, and I hope it turns out awesome!:)

Edit: lol, I said "the gameplay should complement the gameplay." I meant the story should complement the gameplay. Silly grammar, why must you be so picky?

arisaka
11-03-2010, 09:35 PM
I will download this the instant it comes out.

a_new_error
11-13-2010, 02:27 AM
(condensed)
Thank you so much for this post. Excellent points. I'd love to run the storyline by you as it develops more since you seem to be very knowledgeable as far as HL canon goes. I completely agree with your assessments and I think they would greatly help the overall storyline.

Just a little update, but I'm developing a trial game, slowly but surely. It will be very basic, probably the basic level design, game play, and storyline, but it will be something. Unfortunately my expertise doesn't extend into audio very much, so that will probably be very minimalist until I find a good voice actor(s). I'll post the trial as soon as it's ready.

mes_gots_its
11-17-2010, 03:52 PM
Thank you so much for this post. Excellent points. I'd love to run the storyline by you as it develops more since you seem to be very knowledgeable as far as HL canon goes. I completely agree with your assessments and I think they would greatly help the overall storyline.

Just a little update, but I'm developing a trial game, slowly but surely. It will be very basic, probably the basic level design, game play, and storyline, but it will be something. Unfortunately my expertise doesn't extend into audio very much, so that will probably be very minimalist until I find a good voice actor(s). I'll post the trial as soon as it's ready.

Hey, no prob. :) Also, there are multiple other users on these forums that are very knowledgable of the HL story, most of them 5-star users like gorpie, Solarmech, and MADDOGGE (just a few off the top of my head). Apparently not many of them viewed this thread. I'd run the story by them too to get their perspective.

Just PM me or any of them if you've got any story specific questions down the road.
(Although note that I haven't the slightest clue about the first thing about mod development itself)

Again, I wish you luck (in all of your future endeavers). ;)