Half-Life 2 World: Ravenholm.
I have been working in Source primarily as a level designer in Hammer for some time now, and I always have had a certain kind of project on my mind from the beginning. So here is the scope on the project as goes...Half-Life² World: Ravenholm
Ravenholm is a varied world that kept the player on his toes and in constant wonderment of what was next. The ultimate goal of this mod is to create a world that the player can sink down into, that keeps that same feeling. Horror should be a definite sub-goal to imply, but since this project supports the use of NPC allies by your side there is less personal focus on the feeling of being trapped and alone. This takes place story wise before the return of Gordon Freeman in HL 2, but this time we are in Ravenholm not so long after the assault upon it. The resistance fighters are scrambled and you (the player) along with your NPC allies must rally together in the makeshift base to regroup and make a final push out of the town. Gameplay
The main reason we call this simply "world" with the area title at the end is to explain a much less constricted environment. Basically a open world mod where the player has the ability to chose separate paths and accomplish different goals at his own pace. Since this is not a traditional perspective of HL 2 gameplay that is why I wanted to try it on a smaller scale. Still mission based, but less linear and more free feeling. With a good enough environment, and with solid objectives I think a small team that knows what they are doing can pull it off with the right information.Open World Design
For starters we will asume North, South, East and West for the joining maps to the starting base map. These maps will each have a specific goal that it is built around such as generators, ammo stash, medical supplies and lastly a communication outpost to contact the resistance. Other specific missions can be setup within these joint maps, but that is the structure for now. Since global entities can be used to throw triggers in the base map that is always the return route, power and explosive ammo can be the deciding factor to make other routes available. The only map that should be straight forward/linear is the base map, as it is the foundation for the rest of the mod's design. Here is a skeleton of how the mod should pan out...
Point A, our start.
The player awakens in the base map to the sound of gunfire as a resistance fighter beckons the player to come and fight off the small zombie wave that starts the game. Upon finishing the fight we want to make it obvious that aside from the secure design of the makeshift base the resistance fighters are losing slowly. With lack of medical supplies, ammo, and a way out it seems only hopeless.
We have our goals set for us now, in some brief dialogue a resistance fighter (the main voice in the game) tells us of a communications outpost, and that it is the only way to coordinate outside help for an escape. So he briefly eludes to each map and what is needed there, however he tells you nothing of what to expect aside that it is dangerous. This also leaves a possibility for a NPC squad that follows the player? NOTE: Would love to get some suggestions on lines for the main NPC that does most the talking.
Outside of the main base are our loading gates. The path to the generators is the first available path. Since we are basing this in a industrial mining town we can also reuse the hoisted hauling carts idea from the original town as means to move supplies back to the base, without having to carry it the whole way.
After activating the power you come back to see that the lights in the base work and the zombies notice too. So another larger zombie attack comes, and after this one some casualties come up as it becomes more frantic. So now that our gate options of ammo and health are available, we now provide a necessity for them. Lead NPC asks the player to find ammo and supplies, and now we are off to the next two maps of the game. Before you leave the facility though some of the survivors elude towards trap ideas, and some supplies that would help if they could find them (so in other words some side objectives to make the defending part easier). NOTE: So far traps consist of gas and electrical. The finding of the supplies needed could be some hose (for the gas trap), and some connectors/conductor prongs (for electrical) they could be put in as physics models that could be thrown into the cart when found. NOTE: Again some collaberation on the part of NPC lines would be great as I haven't come up with a script yet.
About our supplies stashes, these stashes should seem some what hidden and out of the way. The actual supplies itself could most likely be a prop the player can use that inherently works so that the player picks it up at the stash he can hit use on the cart and dump the supplies when he needs to send it back to the base. This can go for all kinds of supplies that are place holders for traps and events in the base map. Now what this will trigger back at the base are permanent ammo and health spawn stations (maybe even some medic NPCs?). Once this is accomplished with or without the found/added traps another zombie wave begins. It will be easier or harder depending on what the player found for traps, as well as what weapons he uses from the ammo stash now at the base. After this last bit of defense our lead NPC addresses the team at the base that we are moving out to finally escape at full strength. I mean hey who wouldn't think so when they got guns and a way out?
Lastly the player is told to head on over to the communications outpost and alert the rebels outside of Ravenholm that the group is headed out of the town to rejoin with them. Now that you got the message out the player can head on over to the other side of town to meet up with the group at the escape point. As a flare for the theatrical I myself would personally add a cart system that would take the player from South map/commstation all the way to the north map where the other rebels are moving out. Just a fun cart ride where you shoot at zombies along the way.
Point B, our final end. Now you and you allies have fully evacuated Ravenholm, and have thus succeeded in the mission at escaping the town. Why Am I Needed Then?
You may ask this since this is a relatively simple project, but really there are some gaps I am not able to fill and I will list them here... GUI/Hud Modder Filled By Fishshapedfish
. I don't have a great working knowledge of C++ so this is where I could use some help getting some things done for the objectives. What is expected in this part of the mod are mainly place holders for visual referance. Mainly when the player picks up props with the use button. A in-game hud icon is needed to apear some where in the corner of the screen to indicate that the supplies has been picked up. That is it for the GUI, but more ideas and hud options are always up for suggestions as this is the only real nessesity for the bare design.Prop Modeler Filled By MrBlackspoon
. Four props are needed so far, and here is the listings and descriptions...
-Ammo pile: This should be about the same size as a ammo crate in HL 2, but should not look like it is a ammo stock for any specific type of weapon as it is a all around ammo stash. It can just be a wood kind of crate with some guns and ammo showing through, or a metal box that is open with the supplies showing. This should be a prop_dynamic.
-Medical pile: A little smaller than the Ammo pile this should have a more plastic kind of container looking like it was snatched from a hospital or some thing. Again it can be open or closed depending on how well you think you are up to detailing all of the supplies on the inside. This should also be a prop_dynamic.
Both supply piles can be high poly, with good detail as only one of each prop is going to be used.
-Electric Conductor Box: So we need a kind of wooden frame with utility connectors inside it. It is mainly supposed to look like a spare set of conductors for repair on old equipment. The conductors should resemble the ones like... models\props_c17\utilityconnecter. The box however should not be all to large maybe about a foot in height, and a little less on the width so that we get a rectagular wooden box with the conductors inside. This should be a prop_physics.
-Gas Hose: This should be a wound up line of hose that looks to be about thirty feet total all rolled up. It can maybe have a cord or some small frame that gives the effect of keeping it wound up. The hose should resemble the firetrap propset... models\props_citizen_tech\firetrap_gashose. The hose set should be able to be carried by hand and should be about as big as the electric conductor box prop. This should also be a prop_physics.
So far those are the bare props needed to complete the mod as it stands. I am always up for more props, but I am not going to ask for a ton as I am doing my best at getting reasonable requests.Correography and NPC Animations Position Open
. This is maybe the most tasking part to request as the NPCs along with getting the simple scripts of voice acting together are done here. I have some knowledge with faceposer enough to know that I am not up to par with it yet for a project like this, so I need some one who can get some simple single NPC scenes together.
The scripts and lines as well as a voice actor are not yet available, but that is a part awaiting collaberation on the team's part.Our Conclusion
So this is the proposition to see how this kind of gameplay fairs in the world of HL 2. Would this have to really be the end? Well if it works fine and dandy then we can certianly make a larger more comprehensive mod that boasts more content and game length. So I am asking and explaining what I see that needs to be done, and where I need help in this project.
Other Resource Images in the concept map...