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Half-Life 2 Mod Creation FAQ Released

simoniker posted more than 11 years ago | from the heady-hopper-and-crabby-winchell dept.

First Person Shooters (Games) 33

blue2k writes "The VERC website has released a new official FAQ containing plenty of new information pertaining to the forthcoming, eagerly awaited Half-Life 2 SDK, and development with the Source engine." The FAQ answers such questions as how to get lip-syncing working in your mod ("To start with, you'll need to author keyshapes, or morph targets for each of your characters. Our facial animation system uses 34 keyshapes, 14 of which are required for proper lip-sync animation."), and co-operative gameplay in Half-Life 2 ("..we aren't doing a co-operative mode, but the mod community.. [particularly] Sven Co-op has expressed great interest in this.")

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One thing I have yet to see answered (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6370281)

is if Source uses Direct3D or OpenGL.

Re:One thing I have yet to see answered (2, Informative)

2megs (8751) | more than 11 years ago | (#6370323)

It's using Direct3D.

Developers not finishing their job? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6370544)

Is it me, or does that seem really stupid that they're doing a half-assed job and expecting an (unpaid) 3rd party to implement co-op play for them?

Is this merely so they can say "yeah, we have co-op" when they don't out of the box. I mean, what gives?

If they'd planned for it in advance, cooperative play would have been easy. It's not like Doom 1, Doom 2, Quake, Quake 2 and even Duke Nukem didn't all have coop from day 1 - because they'd thought ahead and not artificially restricted themselves to single-player.

A single-player game gets played (most) of the way through once. A multiplayer game gets played repeatedly.

Re:Developers not finishing their job? (2, Interesting)

ChadN (21033) | more than 11 years ago | (#6370907)

Half Life, the original, was designed mainly as a single player experience. That is what the devleopers focused on. But they took great pains to ensure an active mod community could exist, and it did, and it helped make Half-life, and it's offshoots, the success that it was.

You could wait an extra three months while they add co-op play to Half-Life 2, or you can get it sooner, and in three months (or less), co-op play will exist from the mod community. The developers aren't saying they don't WANT co-op. Just that they know that they aren't necessarily the best ones to provide it. They want to provide (again) a ground breaking single player experience.

Re:Developers not finishing their job? (1)

aWalrus (239802) | more than 11 years ago | (#6371283)

It's just you trolling. Half Life 2 WILL have multiplayer implemented by Valve. They're just incredibly tight lipped about it. We know there will be a multiplayer thing supporting (as of the latest news) up to 32 players per server. Any other details are a complete mistery.

Re:Developers not finishing their job? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6372035)

A troll they may well be, but they are also correct. Valve are not implementing the co-op mode that many people love. It is apparently being implemented by a third party. Multiplayer does NOT automagically mean co-op.

Re:Developers not finishing their job? (1)

moonbender (547943) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372498)

If they'd planned for it in advance, cooperative play would have been easy.

What you're describing is not co-operative gameplay, it's two guns shooting instead of one. Even that is non-trivial to implement - should the monsters scale with the increased number of players to keep the difficulty normal?
Anyway, I have not yet seen any FPS implement truly co-operative gameplay, it's usually just running around together shooting stuff, you never really depend on the other person. Sven co-op has got this depending in some places - one guy pushing a button while the other uses a deployed machine gun to hold off the critters, or pushing two buttons at the same moment etc. Also, Raven Shield and other tactical shooters (including many multiplayer ones) have got it in the sense that each player has to specialise in one way - CQB, assault, recon, sniper and so on.

But I've yet to see any meaningful co-op FPS. Not surprisingly, since that takes a lot of extra work and is only of interest to a relatively small amount of people (compared to single player).

Re:Developers not finishing their job? (1)

mink (266117) | more than 11 years ago | (#6395664)

Try a 4 player game of Project Eden in first person mode.

Counter-strike (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6370573)

One has to ask, is there a definitive answer from the CS team as to them porting that mod to the new HL2 engine?

Re:Counter-strike (4, Informative)

TermAnnex (154514) | more than 11 years ago | (#6370597)

Not that I have heard of. They would be stupid not to.

Valve owns counter-strike now, remember. Valve will most likely port it.

I'd guess that the most work they would have to do with it, is making it behave very similarly to the old counter-strike.

Re:Counter-strike 2 using Source engine (4, Informative)

gumpish (682245) | more than 11 years ago | (#6370748)

One has to ask, is there a definitive answer from the CS team as to them porting that mod to the new HL2 engine?

CSNation [] reports that it will.

Re:Counter-strike (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6382957)

Counter-strike is coming to the Xbox. No idea if it is running on an enhance HL1 engine or the new one. I would assume the old one.

I DO IT WRONG!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6370606)

I do it wrong

Laying here in the shadows of my room, I squint up at my love. My Ms. Portman. I am sore and tired after fucking her for eight solid hours. My chapped and aching dick is soaking in grits to relieve the pain. She gets on her knees and starts lapping the grits up out of the bowl. She places her beautiful hands on my penis and starts to lick the grits off my achy piece.
Massaging my nutsack she....


Yanking my dick out of her mouth I throw her to the ground and shove it in to her gaping freshly fisted ass. []

"OH BIG ASS SPORK!! Fuck my ass, fuck my ass good. DEEPER, my stallion, deeper!! Make a Beowulf cluster of sperm on my back!!"

"Imagine a Beowulf cluster of this baby!"


I continue to hump her alabaster form. Glistening with beads of sweat, she bites her lip in delight as I tear her ass open with my engorged dick.

"Queen Amidala!!" I shreik as I near climax.

She looks up at me and screams, "You are so alive in me, unlike *BSD or VA Software!!! Fill me with seed!! Yes, Yes, Yess!!!!"

"For me you are calling, hhhmmm?"

"YODA?!? What the fuck, can't you see I am using the force here?"

He savagely kicks my Natalie aside, he pulls out his large green penis and impales me...


All your sporkz are belong to the dead homiez!!

This troll was reposted from the Troll Library without permission of the original author. If you object to this post, or if you wish to add your troll to the Troll Library, please reply to this message.

Player's body (1, Offtopic)

Kizzle (555439) | more than 11 years ago | (#6371222)

This isn't a HL2 question specifically, but I'll post it here since there is bound to be someone here that knows. Why has there never been a first person shooter where you can look down and see the rest of your body? Is there something in the bible about your character needing to be a floating head with an arm attached? When a game such as half life 2 is so incredibly realistic, it seems that being a floating head that can climb ladders while reloading would take away from it slightly. Is there some sort of problem game designers run into while trying to implement this?

Re:Player's body (1)

extropy (669666) | more than 11 years ago | (#6371273)

I was thinking the same thing today... I think it might have something to do with having to constantly do calculations for the legs and such to walk across varying elevations, and since youd be seeing it so closeup, it would have to be more precise than other npcs. Not to mention thats just more polys that have to be on the screen ALL THE TIME (well, when you look down moreso), and again, it being closeup means youd need more polys. If I made a game I'd definitely want to implement legs.

Re:Player's body (1)

s0rbix (629316) | more than 11 years ago | (#6371323)

The problem comes down to the hit on preformance that would occur from implementing that minor feature. If i remember right, the game that came closest to that was unreal, or maybe it was that dinosuar game... anyways you could look down and see your character's chest.

Re:Player's body (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6371509)

The game was Trespasser. The Jurassic Park game that ran best with Pentium II systems when most people had regular Pentiums.

Re:Player's body (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6374827)

Heh, good idea, but a pretty poor game.

Then again, hearing Minnie Driver's voice and staring down at that polygonal chest ( check my health meter...of course) was probably the most memorable part of the game. ;)

Re:Player's body (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6371443)

The original Duke Nukem 3D had it so you could see yourself in a mirror.

Tribes 2. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6371814)

Tribes 2 had this, it worked great. It was a real anchor into the sensation of "being there", I was overjoyed when I first discovered that they'd done this, look down, see your legs & torso. It was especially cool when you landed after a jump / firing the jetpack.

A visible legs & torso were just one of the many things that made Tribes 2 one of the greatest multiplayer games ever. Now I'm playing Planetside regularly I miss that feature. :(

I think the very first instance of this was the game "Trespasser", but that was a very weak game and the less said about the "health meter" the better.

(Oh alright, the "health meter" was a red heart-shaped tatoo on the breast of your [female] character, that you had to look down to see.)

Re:Player's body (1)

moonbender (547943) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372246)

There've been a number of games that had this, apart from the two mentioned above. Personally, I don't think it's a big deal. You don't look down very often, so it doesn't make any difference most of the time. And it's really just part of the bigger complex of stuff that's normal in real life while not being properly implemented in shooters.
For instance, I think Raven Shield's been the first shooter to at least start to implement something like a fluid stance, ie more than stand, crouch or prone (even prone is somewhat of a recent feature many current FPS lack). Not that I really used fluid stance in Raven Shield, I don't think the interface is very handy (I suppose some people do use it, though). In a similar vein, I think Splinter Cell has been the first PC FPS to implement somewhat analogue control over running speed. Actually, I just realized that's not true, I remember having that as early as in Quake 1 - using an analogue joystick as a controller. Splinter Cell used the mouse-wheel, which worked, but was awkward/non-intuitive. The keyboard the problem, the whole issue is easier to work with on the analogue pads the consoles have.
Running direction was still digital in Splinter Cell, ie limited to 8 directions, forward, forward-right, right and so on. That's pretty ridiculous if you think about it, especially since the plain strafing is extremely awkward in real-life, as has been implemented in Raven Shield by the very slow plain strafing.

And so on and so on. Sorry for ranting. In short, FPS are still a long way from being anything like realistic, and not being able to see your legs is really a relatively minor thing. IMHO.

Splinter Cell isn't an FPS (1)

gumpish (682245) | more than 11 years ago | (#6374532)

In a similar vein, I think Splinter Cell has been the first PC FPS to implement somewhat analogue control over running speed.
FPS = First Person Shooter

Splinter Cell has a 3rd person playing perspective, ergo it is not an FPS.

Re:Splinter Cell isn't an FPS (1)

erasmus_ (119185) | more than 11 years ago | (#6374954)

Not to argue over silly semantics, but when you go into aim mode in that game, you're in 1st person view, although you're in 3rd person when Sam Fischer is just running around. Therefore, it's at least a part-time FPS.

Re:Splinter Cell isn't an FPS (1)

moonbender (547943) | more than 11 years ago | (#6376320)

A bit anal-retentive? Substitute "FPS" for "shooter", then, that sentence is universal to both. What a waste of time.

Still the C++... (1)

teamonkey (553487) | more than 11 years ago | (#6371879)

Shame they're not using a scripting language. I'm no stranger to C++, but it's a hell of a lot easier to mod a game with scripts. The best, IMO, was Jedi Knight's COG language.

Still, looks great! Can't wait to play with the SDK!

the half life2 left me wondering (2, Interesting)

imr (106517) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372003)

here are a few things that stayed on my mind after watching the 650 megs video, which i found incredible at the moment:

-it will work on a pIII800.
ok, this one didnt leave me wondering. I just laughed. I have a pIII600 and the radar map in ennemy territory makes my computer crawls, just because there is a lot of grass. Can you imagine the same on a pIII800 with LOTS of shaders, physics and ai as they showed in the video? That is a joke.

-the physics system:
look closely at the video.
In the physics part of the video, the melon breaks some time after having been shot.
In the gameplay part (with the booby traps), when the player destroys the wooden logs barring a door, they break before he actually hits them.
In the same part, look at the huge swinging iron bar, it stays swinging and it's in no way slowed down by hitting things or just by time. It looked like a scripted event in fact.
I have some doubts that the explosion which hurls the car is also scripted and not a "physics" event.

-multiplayer aspect of the game:
Watching the video made me shivers at the thought of the multiplayer games that can be made. But then, what can of connection can handle this.
Look at the "physics" scene, when the barrels come down and the wooden logs are being shot, now imagine 32 players doing the same, throwing fumes and hurling objects at the same time. What can of connection can handle this amount of datas flow? internet2?
If we're talking about degrading the size of the data flow, then we're talking about "killing" the physics system, then we come back to the regular old type of game.

-the mod scene:
If all i wonder above is in fact true, and they found a way to actually make all this work on a pIII800 and on regular dsl connection. Who is going to be able to actually make mods? Apart from a few really big and very well organised pro-like mod teams?
The models look like killers to do. And the map will need a terrible amount of work. Right now, some quake3 maps, which are quite simpler to do in terms of textures or modelling, take one year of work to their authors.
Look at the people who did q3f (and some of them did ennemy territory afterwards, if i'm not mistaken), they could do wonders with such an engine. But look at the time between the releases and now imagine that with an engine such as what they showed in the video. Can you say a lot of years between releases?
(*cough* team fortress2 *cough* has probably been in development for years and they are the authors of the engine)
Or maybe we're talking about mods not using this engine in its entire scope? Which would be a change since mods usually go beyong the engines they are built upon.

Re:the half life2 left me wondering (1)

Acts of Attrition (635948) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372110)

Regarding physics in the multiplayer, this is in the FAQ: How do physics behaviors work in multiplayer? The simple answer is that there are client-side and server-side physics behaviors. You use client-side when maintaining cross-client coherence isn't important. This cuts down the network traffic while maintaining the appearance of physical simulation throughout the world. It's definable per-object, so exactly what is client-side and what is server-side is tunable by the designer.

Re:the half life2 left me wondering (1)

imr (106517) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372504)

yes, i read that.
It is different from the way they presented it through the video. They presented it like a "real" physics system, tied to the material, now we have a bunch of behavior wich are either server side or client side and tied to the object.
It doesnt change much my wonderings:

If the gameplay in multiplayer is changed by the "physics" system, it means a lot of it will go in the server side. So we go down to the connection problem.
If a lot of it goes into client side, it means it wont affect that much the multiplayer gameplay (since i assume gameplay == important cross-client coherence), it's just eye candy for the client, and therefore it means a not so different gameplay.
Do you see what i mean?

What is for sure, in both case it means more work for the modders, since you have to choose server or client side for your objcts, and test everything, etc etc
So here we go to the "how will modders team do to cope with all that work" question.

Re:the half life2 left me wondering (2, Funny)

nunofgs (636910) | more than 11 years ago | (#6373099)

it will work on a pIII800
I think they meant, it will work on a pIII 800, for extremely high values of 800

Re:the half life2 left me wondering (1)

analog_line (465182) | more than 11 years ago | (#6377213)

"It will work" doesn't mean "It will look exactly like you see here". Quake 3 works on a range of systems, but it doesn't look the same across all those systems.

Great mod site (1)

Morgahastu (522162) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372418)

The Wavelength [] . Been arround since the beginning of half-life 1 and lead the community in modding! No doubt they will continue the tradition with HL2.

Petition for a linux port of Half-Life 2 (1, Interesting)

nunofgs (636910) | more than 11 years ago | (#6372797)

Although it seems very unlikely to happen, a petition [] to get Half-Life2 ported to linux has been started. Please sign it!

The creator wants to reach 5000 signatures before he sends it off to Valve.

I'm sick of waiting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6374003)

Valve doesn't say anything about Team Fortress 2? Guess I'll have to develop it
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