Thursday, August 2, 2018


Ordinarily I wouldn't be posting something this early in development but I wanted to ensure that anyone checking in on the mod won't be scared that no progress is being made. I'm doing my first serious pass at Superstructure, and it's easily going to be one of my more ambitious creations for the mod thus far. Trying to nail the megastructure look is difficult enough, but I have to make up a lot of this stuff as I go.

The big difference between Superstructure and a more traditional Combine style building from retail is that the mod's structures have to look good under a variety of lighting conditions. In HL2 we mostly only saw the Citadel with extremely low key, dark lighting in many places, which obscured much of the actual architecture since it was so massive it stretched up into un-illuminated zones on the ceiling. Five was originally designed with a time of day system in mind, and as a result the maps needed to look good with multiple sky settings and different lights active to illuminate the map during the night.

The mod at this time does not still retain a time of day system, but I'm open to adding one along with free-roam maps after the full release of the game or if I get many more people helping me work on the project. However at this time it's looking unlikely if I ever want this to be a playable product that I can put into the public's hands. Keeping it with one critical path in mind for now, but pushing the limits of my zones to try and do things differently and better than vanilla, with more varied level design, a good sense of place, and an interesting tale to tell.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018


Hello, interested parties!

I've landed a fairly physically demanding job, so progress has slowed substantially on the mod for the last week or so. However, finances on my end will certainly improve, so perhaps I could secure additional tools or possibly look into getting help with the mod's codebase transfer off of Episode Two.

With any luck, I'll be able to keep working during my off days. Will post screenshots of new content as it is polished to an acceptable standard.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Prison optimization updates! This should significantly boost framerates in the busiest parts of the map. Just a little taste of what's in the coming version of Prison. With any luck this version, once uploaded, will be the last update until the first pack of maps for the mod is available.

Thursday, June 7, 2018


Hello, everyone!

I managed to finish my degree, so I should have more time on my hands to work on the mod. I've also taken on a side project of sorts in a Counter Strike: Global Offensive map. The design of the level may tangentially benefit Five, as one of the areas of the game will potentially have a multiplayer map's structure, so I may back-port some of the ideas if they apply to the mod.

Not dead, never will be. Not until this mod is done. Will post more screenshots as I have more.

...Speaking of which...

These are captures from Docks of my most recent work on the mod. I've been nailing down the aesthetic of the raised layer and elements that will go into Superstructure, which will help accelerate the first map release of the mod if I can get that map going.

My tentative plans for the first release of the mod are releasing the mod in chunks- map packs, linked together, of perhaps 4-5 areas. (Five areas. Heh. See what I did there?)With any luck, I'll have something playable by the end of the year, but this is of course subject to change based on playtesting and design progress.

Another big issue to tackle is moving the mod off Episode Two onto it's own code. This brings several benefits:

1.) It's less of a pain in the ass for people to try my mod, as all of the assets they need would be contained in the mod codebase instead of needing to install three separate games to have everything.

2.) It opens up the game to allow code changes and new content additions.

3.) It ultimately will be beneficial for development in the long run in terms of speed and stability to have everything unified in this way.

However, there's some hurdles to tackle with a unified codebase:

1.)  A major mechanic of the game- the weapon vaporizer that prevents soldiers from dropping weapons - is a HL2 specific env_global state, and unless that specific state is able to load, the map balance will be adversely affected and the game will become too easy.

2.) Since the mod uses three games worth of assets in a mix, lots of content will have to be mounted.

3.) My personal knowledge of C++ is rather limited. I took some classes on it recently which will help, but I may need to bring in an outside person to do things like adding the SLAM mine from HL2 Deathmatch or making other such changes. Even just debugging SDK 2013 to work properly with the content I have already may be difficult.

Since much of this is up in the air at the moment, I'm considering my options while refining my levels. Hopefully I'll have a definitive plan on this sooner rather than later, but working on the mod completely solo may no longer be an option due to the features I want to include. But ultimately, I want whatever I produce to be at the highest possible quality I can muster, so resolving this situation will be a high priority going forward.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

UPDATE for March 2018

I finally got my development rig back, so I plan to work on my content as often as possible. When I have something good, I'll post screens here as I always have.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Update for January 2018


I don't have much in the way of new screenshots this month due to my primary development computer still being out of commission. However, I've been doing some "under the hood" work on Prison to improve optimization, the AI navmesh, and other small visual tweaks. Once I have a stable version playtested, I will push the changes, but one of the big issues remains a certain point on the map where framerates tank very hard due to engine constraints.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Happy 10th Anniversary, Half-Life 2: Episode Two!

Since Valve isn't releasing anything today, I decided I would.

I also officially opened the mod on ModDB, and will have a version of this .ZIP archive active there when the mods of the site okay it.