HL2 Mod?

HL2 Mod?

Postby tjmonk15 » Wed May 30, 2007 1:17 pm

Project
TBD a.k.a. To Be Determined

Description
Me, Bob and a few other are bored. So the HL2!

Technical Requirements
We need a more stable Source SDK!!!!(yea right...)

Possible Features/Discussion log (Last Update Date in MM/DD/YYYY Format)
-I have no clue

-Monk

P.S. This is just a shell(obviously) I'll fill it in later.
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Postby Bob » Wed May 30, 2007 2:46 pm

I guess I have to start everything. The plan is completely different from what I have tried to in the past, as in basically building this from the ground up. I am interested in pulling together a team of developers that are interested in a) helping out the community and b) creating a game that is playable. I have been working in and around HL2 for some time and watched its world falter and fall apart, so it should be of no surprise that I am fairly uncomfortable with it. None the less it happens to be the only engine that I can convince people to work on, no matter what the future is holding.

The way I see it our goal should be to hit an extreme and run with it. I’ve been toying with a couple ideas that I would like to see come to fruition. First and foremost I am tired of seeing Americas Army not moving. I think that we could pull together a new game of the same genre, Realistic Military Simulation, maybe based in the near future for some creative freedom.

A second idea is to move to the other extreme, do something that is completely artificial and pushes boundaries of acceptable use; blood and guts and bodies everywhere. For a demo of what I’m referring to go check out Rambo 4’s new trailer. We could mix this into a territorial conquest and make it more fun with the push points (that’s something that is seriously missing from HL2 is a good push game).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OR3hymRui5A

All and all, I will say that whatever we choose to do one concept that is absolutely unavoidable: Developer Transparency. I have posted on a number of forums and talked to a number of developers about opening their doors to the public, letting them see that the developers aren’t robots.
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Postby Wildfire » Sun Jun 03, 2007 6:40 pm

Why not try a mod that doesn't limit itself to one (or two, or just a few) gametypes?

As I was trying to decide what kind of mod could appeal to everyone, I realized that the key lies in gametypes. Some people are turned off by round based gameplay, where they have to wait before they can play, while others like the fact that you have one life which must be used wisely. Making a roundbased mod alienates the former people from playing your game, whereas a respawn mod will scare away the latter. That is only one example, the list of different things that determine whether certain people like a mod or not goes on and on.

Why you would want to alienate anyone from playing your mod is beyond me!


The solution? Let the mappers decide how the game plays!

Source is powerful enough that you can essentially make any sort of ingame event end a round (or map), whether it be destroying a key object, getting a certain player, npc, or physics object into a trigger brush, or some completely unexpected and original objective that some crazy yet ingenious mapper came up with while messing around in Hammer.

Why not make mod that has solid shooter mechanics and balanced, purposeful weapons to go with a base set of entities and gamerules that will come in handy for mappers to create gametypes of their own, whether it be good old fashioned CTF, plant the bomb, get the VIP outta there, or something entirely new and original.

Just a thought.
-Wild
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Postby Wildfire » Sun Jun 03, 2007 9:32 pm

Here's a potential (sample) map scenario I just came up with that would go with my mod idea above:

In a normal CS: S map, you'd have one team attack a (non-functioning) ammo cache by destroying it with a bomb, while the other team defends it.

Now a mod like my idea above could have that kind of map, AND it could also have a map where AI-controlled helicopter NPC's (for example, of course) came in and drops ammo caches around the map. The attackers have to kill the choppers, or, failing that, secure the dropped supplies before the defenders get to them.

Or better yet, why not combine the above two scenarios into the exact same map!

The attacking team has to bomb the ammo cache. Once they succeed, the map doesnt end yet; the helicopters come in and drop the supplies for the defenders. And I'm talking useable supplies, like say, boxes full of heavy machineguns and rocket propelled grenades to help the defenders out, since they're obviously not doing so well at this point in the game.

Hell, if its the attackers who aren't doing so well, and they don't manage to bomb the ammo cache in the timelimit, a different set of helicopters can come and drop those weapons into the attacker's base to help them out instead!



Sound cool? I think so. And the best part about it is that everything that I explained from that entire scenario could occur in a single map! And if that's what just one map will look like, think of the possibilities for the other maps!

Mappers will have the opportunity to get creative and come up with something that is totally original and plays completely different from all the other maps in the mod. In theory, someone who doesn't like the mod could just make their own map for it that they would like. A mod like this would appeal to everyone! And mappers are pretty creative folks. I'm certain a mod like this would spawn some ingenious game scenarios that have never occurred in video games before.

But, who am I to come up with ambitious mod ideas? I'm just a lowly mapper who does what he's told.

Like I said... Just a thought.


"Make me a hostage map with a big warehouse."
*afterwards*
"Good, now make me a hostage map with a big warehouse, only this time, set at night. Come on Wild, you have to be original if you want people to play this, so set it at night!"
-Wild
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Postby Bob » Mon Jun 04, 2007 6:06 pm

I hear what you are saying but i think if thats a feature we are going to add it should be set up a little more elaborate. Allow the server to control how its played. Instead of designating bomb points or push points or flag locations, create a generic spot that would be replaced with what is chosen by the server administrator. The only catch is that HL2 isn't very supportive of this sort of tool. I have created a number of game types and each one has its special spots that need their code, whereas UT was native to such development with its scripting language. I'm not saying its impossible, just that i haven't seen it done and would love to.

This is a good addition to whatever we end up pulling off as the theme for the game in and of itself, but we really should be talking about what we are interested in pulling off so we can push some sort of boundary and possibly get some releases going.
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Postby Wildfire » Mon Jun 04, 2007 7:43 pm

Having the server admins pick the gameplay for each map actually sounds like an interesting idea as well. That way if you wanted to run an all CTF server for example, then you could configure all the maps to play CTF.

I see what you mean about each gameplay type needing its own code, but I would think that that issue would fix itself in a mod like the one I suggested above, where there are a bunch of generic "event entities" (like an endgame entity for example) that the mapper could set to trigger when something happens within the map.

The mapper could still make multiple gametypes for each map and let the admin use a configuration file (or perhaps add an argument after the map's name in the mapcycle.txt) to decide which gametype the server would run.


But taking a single theme and pushing the boundaries with it sounds fair enough to me. Personally I like the idea of a distinct, sort of over-the-top style gameplay.

I'm getting a bit tired of "realistic" shooters. Realism doesn't always equal fun, and Insurgency is coming out this month for all the realism fans anyway.

Regardless of where you decide to go with this, I'd love to lend my Hammer skills to this project, and maybe improve my C++ while I'm at it.
-Wild
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Postby Bob » Mon Jun 04, 2007 7:49 pm

I am only interested in doing a realism mod because its always been a dream of mine. I started playing AA because it boasted that and after a few patches fell short. I played fucking BF2 for nearly a year with a steady team and all that and would consider that a very well done realism game, although it died after patches started rolling out.

My stance on all of this is to create a game that shows off our talent at making things that others consider impossible or impractical and show that its all really much easier than expected. Doing a game based in realism may not be the funnest but i really don't know what i would rather do than get into a simulation and really battle it out with folks. I have had the same talk from ... everyone i have ever worked with about this. It's not an easy thing, and takes tons of effort to pull off correctly, but i see no downside to doing it.
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Postby dbecker » Thu Jun 07, 2007 10:08 am

You want to make a HL2 mod, and the only requirements are developer transparency and making a playable game?

Either something realistic or something extreme, push points, blood and guts...

That's not so much to go on, are you looking for ideas at this point, or what exactly? Are there any other requirements, limitations, or anything that might narrow down what you are looking to do?

EDIT: I bet you could do something realistic that would still be fun. I mean realism doesn't have to be here now, it could be realistic in an alternate universe or something.
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Postby Bob » Thu Jun 07, 2007 11:19 am

Hello beck-meister, welcome to the forums.

The requirements that I have are rooted in community interaction. The projects I have been a part of have been dramatically slow and have terrible community relations so I have that as my first and only priority. I developer transparency this as the developers being open and easy to contact by the community via blogs, mailing lists, galleries, a visible project management/bug tracker, and more than anything else lots of movement and or documentation that the community can see. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that this works for more than one way communication, it will also help the developers stay on top of each others progress and help drive their own. I would love it if the utopian dream of having 12 people come together and be completely open and truthful is realized here, but I don’t think that communication comes without practice.

I have actually been doing a lot of thinking lately, since this thread started, about what I want to do and how I want it done. Similar to how my very first mod team came together I want this to be a place to throw our crazy, “no way we can do that,” type ideas so we have a pot to be able to come together in a few weeks or a month and cherry pick until we are all either satisfied that our game is crazy enough to be fun or... fucking nuts enough to be used as a demo of our capabilities. Yes please bring your ideas here and post them as much as you can. In fact, I’m going to go jump into my notes about my mod White and ill drop them in here as soon as I get them cleaned up and readable; maybe some of that would serve us well

I want to stress however that this is not just a charge for programmers. Game development is far more than code. I urge you all to help bring a crew together and have us work as a team to see what we can pull of. As a side note I would like to say that I got an email last week from a person I have to keep anonymous at this point in time offering to contribute to a pot that would be used to fund a venture into game development as long as I was leading the team. This is not going to be thousands of dollars, probably not even hundreds considering we aren’t even at the point that we can do anything together, but there is money out there and we can surely bring in some of it.

Above all else, I would like to say that in no way are we bound to the idea of keeping a game fun, we can do something totally fucking irritatingly detailed as well, that’s just more pressure on us to perform, and since I have worked with most everyone that has shown interest in this project and know what their quality of work is I am confident that not only can we pull it off, but that we can do so with bells on and look unscathed.
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Postby dbecker » Fri Jun 08, 2007 12:59 pm

Hey, thanks for the welcome.

I'm still not clear what you want in terms of the game design. I understand the academic portion of your plan, and I think it's great, but I don't see in which direction you are heading with the design itself.
Are you looking to create a simple design and then add features as you go or are you looking for a complete design to execute from start to finish?

I'm interested in helping to some extent, but only if I can figure out what exactly is going on. :-)
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Postby Bob » Fri Jun 08, 2007 1:53 pm

I dont know where the confusion is coming from. Bring on the ideas so we can come up with a mod/game design and move forward from there. the forums are a focal point for our development ideas to come together. I want to make it perfectly clear: there is no idea that is running any sort of gauntlet at this point in time, so we have no direction other than to work on a game together.
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Postby dbecker » Fri Jun 08, 2007 5:36 pm

Maybe trying to come up with the basic elements you want to appear in the game. I'm assuming multiplayer FPS with guns etc...

I'm sure good ideas could be thrown out here, but it usually helps to have a little direction before pitching ideas.

I personally would be very excited to see or work on a coop type game with a setting that isn't too overdone and a couple cool new gameplay elements. I would be for a game that moves away from the pray and spray and maybe more in the direction of the earlier versions of DoD combined with CoD iron sights etc. That style of gunplay in a different setting could be really cool. Another thing that would be nice to see is a very straight forward and seamless way for players to use some super natural powers or magic. The key is really to avoid rehashing the same shit over and over, there are great ideas out there and I think a mod team has the advantage in that they can try something new where more established dev teams may not be able to.
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Postby dbecker » Sun Jun 10, 2007 4:32 pm

Sorry to double post, but I had a question that might lead somewhere, assuming people are still interested in doing this open dev idea.

It would be good to know what sorts of things people are interested in doing if they have any preference at all.

For mappers, what kind of maps would you like to make (setting, single/multiplayer, etc.) for programmers what sort of coding interests you (ai, effects, etc.), Sound guys, types of sound effects or music genre...

If there is no preference at all then I suppose any game design will work, but if someone has a preference then maybe the game design could be tailored to that.

Hope that all makes sense, a little too much caffeine at the moment.
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Postby Wildfire » Sun Jun 10, 2007 11:10 pm

I would actually really like to see a Plan of Attack remake, but there probably isn't a whole lot of interest in a dead mod.

dbecker wrote:For mappers, what kind of maps would you like to make (setting, single/multiplayer, etc.) for programmers what sort of coding interests you (ai, effects, etc.), Sound guys, types of sound effects or music genre...

This is actually a nice idea.

I'm a mapper kind of guy, as most of you can probably tell. I like epic maps. Not necessarily large maps, but maps where epic infantry battle scenes and events occur, that kind of stuff.


Also, I don't like working on the same kinds of maps over and over again. I don't want to make a map, then next make a map that's exactly the same but with slightly varying routes and set at night to make it seem new.

And that of course ties in with me previous idea. I just think it sounds really cool: A mod where each mapchange brings a new experience that's completely different from the last map!


I mean seriously, what's wrong with letting each map be its own game within itself? Just have some basic entities and leave it to the mapper's imagination to decide what to do with them.

There could be a team manager entity, and the mapper chooses: Does this team have a certain number of lives or do they respawn right after dying until the end of the round? Does this team have to find weapons lying around the map, or do they choose their weapons from the start? Etc.

Player message entity: Can display a message to all players, all the players on one team, or only players within a target brush. Also can optionally display additional HUD info, like a countdown timer for example.

End game entity: Can be triggered by any other entity to end the game with a specified winner. Optionally choose whether the map changes, or it switches sides and begins the next round, etc.

And so on and so forth. Whatever would make the mod flexible enough to recreate any existing (or as of yet non-existent) gametypes, or string multiple gametypes into a single map depending on the events that the players trigger in-game.

The potential for bringing epic maps that play on a singleplayer campaign scale to multiplayer is there. And like I said, each map change would bring with it a new experience. Sounds exciting to me, definitely something I would want to play!
-Wild
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Postby dbecker » Mon Jun 11, 2007 3:47 am

I'm just going to do a quick reply to the dynamic maps idea.

I think your idea of a map that has sort of a randomized gameplay is a pretty good idea, but I would like to suggest that it limiting the scope of the dynamic changes would be a good idea. Instead of having core gameplay elements change (weapon buying, respawns) have the changes be more goal oriented.

Let's take an example map, put it in a large semi futuristic city where the center piece is a large office building filled with badies. We'll also say that this map has two versions, we'll call one assassination, and the other escape. In the assassination version you start outside the building with the goal of killing a single target somewhere near the top of the building, you can choose your loadout, choose how you will make the kill and so on. When you or your team dies you have to try again, and if you or your team kills the target you win the round. The other version, escape, places you with only a simple weapon somewhere inside the building. Your goal is now to simply escape from the building, if you die you restart if you make it you win.

So basically you make one map with some dynamic elements that dictate the gameplay of the map.

I think creating a system like this would be both a mapping and coding challenge, but I think the idea of being able to use a single map location for multiple types of gameplay would be pretty cool. Another interesting approach would be to have a map with a series of storyline events. It's essentially the same thing except you experience each game type in a certain order. First you go in to assassinate, then you have to escape.

Obviously the examples here are kept simple, but adding more possible gameplay types and tailoring the idea for multiplayer, singleplayer, or even coop are good places to start thinking about how to take the idea further.

p.s. One little note on epic battles maps. I like extended and complicated firefights, and I think that things like that can be worked into a great majority of map and game types. With the use of dynamic gameplay on a map you could even have some versions be geared towards all out major conflicts and other versions more heavily based on stealth or speed.

more: Other gameplay types in the future city vein: Data theft, Explosives, Stealth, Time sensitive, escort, etc.. etc...
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Re: HL2 Mod?

Postby Baer » Thu Jul 05, 2007 6:52 am

I got a couple of ideas for a mod. Maybe a water based mod, waterguns and waterballoons maybe? WaterWars for hl1 was using waterguns, I was a coder for it for a while. I believe something like this could work, if done right. Of course I am not a shader coder. It orta be pretty simple to do though. Or maybe a medievel/dragon style mod, you can fight off the back of a dragon, controlling the spells and such, or fight from the ground off the back of a horse with sword?
Those are just a couple of ideas.
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Re: HL2 Mod?

Postby Bob » Thu Jul 05, 2007 11:04 am

I am a bit confused. What is the purpose of a water gun based mod? How do things play out and why would i want to play that versus something that puts an M16 into my hands and lets me blast my friends to hell, versus making them wet. I am just kinda confused about the draw of a mod based around water guns when you don't have a pumper and no need to refill the tank and that you cant get super wet or anything.

in regards to the second idea, i'm definitely not feeling that. I am not a big fan of the whole magic theme and would find it very difficult to bring together the crew to make it happen, but more over i think it would be nearly impossible to find the crowd to play it. The arguments i heard about the military simulation revolved around finding people to play it because its not fun, and i would argue the same is true for this idea too.

On the up side, we really need to pull some of these ideas together and kick some of these other light ideas out of the troop. I have been doing some thinking and posting my own ideas. I really want to see some shit moving together and possibly even make a decision so we can get this rolling.
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Re: HL2 Mod?

Postby Baer » Thu Jul 05, 2007 2:07 pm

With the watergun idea, you could have them modified, one that will freeze your opponent, one with acid, one with hotwater, the grenades you could do hallucination or acid, or freeze, you would also have a crowbar or something similar to hit them with to kill them. There are any number of things you could do to make water kill or maim.
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Re: HL2 Mod?

Postby Bob » Tue Jul 17, 2007 1:03 pm

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