Витой
30 Nov 2017, 19:34:37 by Витой
Views: 118 | Comments: 0

Since the beginning, the Beta community always believed there were 7 maps in the old version of the City 17 chapter from early 2001: 6 maps with the "c17_" prefix and "subt" (later known as d1_steam_01). However, recent evidence has come to light that indicates that there were not only 7 maps, but 9!
Bun, aka bw1119, has found some very interesting details in the arcade05.vmf file found in the WC Map Pack. In this vmf, the radio tower building leads to an air duct with a "trigger_changelevel" inside of it, which leads to a c17_07 map.
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We only knew of the existence of the c17_06 map, which isn't in the WC Map Pack, from a trigger_changelevel on an older Manhack Arcade VMF - c17_05.
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Another interesting thing about that older version of the radio tower is that the entrance to the underground area is hidden behind a bookshelf, which the player was supposed push in order to proceed. In addition to this, the light on the stairs was out and we were to manually turn it on. You can watch both of these of these events below:
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Another interesting thing is the name of a map - subt_1, which gives us a clue there could also be subt_2. And since we are talking about an older version of the subt maps, we can show you what's left of it on the original subt.vmf from the WC mappack in the hidden vis groups:
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And if all of a sudden you wish to try and restore the older versions of these maps, we prepared a vmf for you, with all the known parts of them in it.

Витой
05 Nov 2017, 19:28:44 by Витой
Views: 292 | Comments: 9

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For several reasons, our staff is unable to give as much free time and energy to support HL2 Project Beta. Our staff is getting older, attendance is dropping, and there has been a lack in our free time.
After all, we have been in the beta community for over the years, and we have started to grow weary of the Beta community. Take note; this does not mean that we will leave the site and never return, and it also does not mean that we will never provide our support as necessary. We have just decided that is is about time that we should find some fresh blood; people who can revitalize the Beta community, continue our business, and develop what we have set in stone for over a decade. Someone who shares our passion with the Beta and cut content. Someone who is prepared to take up the reins.

Of course, we cannot give our administrator authority to the first person who declares that they want it. We are looking for some specific criteria:
  • Loves beta content and is well-versed in the cut content of Half-Life.
  • Must be literate in English – you do not need a degree in English studies, but you must be able to write well enough that it looks neat and is easy to understand.
  • Ready to give enough time to our site and its affiliates.

If you think that you are suitable and would like to join us post in the comments section to this news post, or contact us in our Discord or Steam chat and we will consider your candidacy.

Jar of Flies
20 Oct 2017, 19:33:33 by Jar of Flies
Views: 228 | Comments: 4

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The authors of the mod Dark Interval have finally released their newest version. The plot of this mod is based on the earliest drafts of the plot of Half-Life 2, but the authors have chosen not to use the HL2 WC Maps that we know very well - instead, the authors make all of their maps from scratch, thus not limiting themselves in creativity.

In this release, you will see the earliest chapters of the mod, from Gordon's arrival in City 17 via the Borealis, and travel through City 17's industrial zones and residential areas to reach Kleiner's lab. You can even play the infamous "Hackman" arcade game - and some others - in the Manhack arcade.

Download the mod and find instructions on how to install it in the Downloads area of our site, or on the mod's ModDB Page.

Jar of Flies
13 Oct 2017, 23:58:36 by Jar of Flies
Views: 171 | Comments: 1

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Marc Laidlaw speaks out on answering Valve Software related questions

Hello everyone, Jar of Flies here.

Recently, our good admin and avid community member Витой contacted Marc Laidlaw via email regarding some of the prototype coast maps. His email is copied verbatim below:

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Hello again, mr. Laidlaw!
Recently I was looking into some of old prototypes Valve made for E3 2003 and there were few maps that look like prototypes for "Coast" demo you showed on that conference.
What is interesting there is that the jeep you drive had a monitor attached that was to show Eli Vance talking to player, commenting his actions.
The scenes and voice acting for them are missing, but it looks like they were made by you. Do you by any chance remember what they were about?

Marc Laidlaw’s answer was pretty much average at first, detailing Valve’s intentions with the maps and going into some detail about the gameplay mechanics therein:

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They weren’t “about” anything and that map was not prepared for E3, it was just a test map to see what it would be like if we could have a character talking to the player continually as they drove around. If Eli said anything, it would have been along the lines of “Go over there!” The idea was to break up long stretches of the player being alone and make them feel connected to others. But when we made the driving sections linear, it was easy enough to station events along the route. At that point we were wondering if we could get away with a big driving sandbox area (we determined that we couldn’t…it was too hard to make a big open space interesting and full of events).

However, the last line is troubling. Marc stated that fans of the Half-Life franchise should “be directing these questions to Valve from now on… I’m going to have to start cutting back on time I spend answering questions about Valve products. I can no longer be a spokesman for the company.”
This news is troubling, because Marc was a key source of information; he had been working with Valve extensively during Half-Life and Half-Life 2’s development, and he was open to answering questions from the community. His answers have been pivotal sources of information for many people, and this news doubtless comes as a great shock.

However, I believe that this news is easy to understand from Marc’s perspective; Laidlaw has officially retired from the video game industry, choosing instead to work on his own science fiction writing. It is certainly fair to say that Marc wants to get on with his own life, and he perhaps does not have time to answer Valve related questions.

Therefore, I believe that, for the foreseeable future, we should not ask Marc any more questions related to Half-Life’s development. Marc has given us so much; speculation about the Beta that has been the backbone for mods, insider information about Valve’s internal machinery, and he has even released plot information about Episode 3. We owe Marc much more than we give him credit for, but now it is time that we leave Marc to his own devices.

Perhaps the closing words that Marc gave in Epistle 3, his musings on the fate of Half-Life 2: Episode 3 are relevant here too – “Expect no further correspondence from me regarding these matters; this is my final epistle.”




Jar of Flies
23 Sep 2017, 22:30:55 by Jar of Flies
Views: 185 | Comments: 0

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A few days before the official release date of Half-Life 2: Episode One, Valve let the people who had pre-ordered a digital copy of the game to preload it to prevent the Steam servers from collapsing during the actual release. The files were encrypted, but a few of the modders did manage to dig up some info about the then-upcoming game.

Many of those files were later removed from the game with the updates, but recently fans from the VCC Discord group managed to get a few cut G-man voice lines. It seems these dialogue files were to be used during the introductory sequence.

Here is a transcripted list:

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gman_05.wav - So nice to have you with us, Mr. Freeman!
gman_12b.wav - Get back where you belong and forget about all this...
gman_12c.wav - We meet...
gman_12d.wav - Again...
gman_12d02.wav - Again... (alternate pronunciation)
gman_comebacknow.wav - Oh no, Freeman... come back, come back here now.
gman_getbackhere.wav - Get back here...
gman_inhale.wav - (inhale sound)
gman_laugh01.wav - (laughter sound)
gman_notforlong.wav - Not for long...
gman_notthistime.wav - Not this time.
gman_snarl01.wav - (snarl sound)
gman_wellseeaboutthat.wav - We'll see about that.
gman_wellsh.wav - Well... well, shit.

You can download the preload files from our site.

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