On A Rail Uncut - Re-Adding Cut Areas/Scenes (Expansion Project)

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    • I thought of an interesting idea that I think is possible. You could have one map that branches off in several directions, allowing for multiple paths, but instead of coming together, they all just end in identical areas where there will be a level transition.

      Basically, every path is the right way. You can have that 'maze' of tunnels feeling, without getting lost or frustrated, as each way goes to the next level. You could also have an emergency door close behind you as you move on to prevent you from going back and exploring the other tunnels, which would break the illusion.
    • Wangman wrote:

      @Han
      The BM devs did no such thing to "set up" this gameplay element. The sniper scene in early ST was copied VERBATIM from HL ST, including the grenade ammo placement.

      @Strider
      Lol, you just contradicted yourself w/your post...the sniper IS what the level lacked. It can be added back to BMS C2A2C but that's not the only way to do it. An outdoor track segment themed like HL C2A2F-G would be a great place to put him.

      @Bloodshot (below)
      No. It's just a fidelity to the original HL thing (at least in spirit) but it's certainly more interesting than a headcrab. The sniper example was also meant to show that there's usually several workarounds to design probs.


      Sorry if I sounded dumb there, I just dident want anything done to C2A2C because that map was done perfectly. But yes adding an outdoor rail section would work for a sniper encounter.

      Also I was thinking of what dky.tehkingd.u said about the track switch controls being LEDs, hes right it would look out of place to have somthing that advanced in an old tunnel system.

      1. At the junction where the tracks need to be switched, instead of LEDs, use levers, like this model: Its much more realistic and traditional.

      2. You can also put the lever in a small station hut with a 2D lightup track swtichboard postioned over the levers.
      Images
      • d1_town_030003.jpeg

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      • Station.jpg

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      The post was edited 1 time, last by Strider397 ().

    • Just to throw in - On A Rail was my favourite chapter in Black Mesa. I haven't played the original Half-Life, but the way you've talked about designing a longer course with more set-pieces, while preserving the simplicity and sense of direction sounds great. Perhaps some cues could be taken from Half-Life 2 (and Episode 2) as well? It reminded me of the car bits quite a lot, and I think that's why I liked it. A lone man on a journey through the bowels of the complex, on a supposedly simple path that ends up littered with obstructions that mean he has to take detours. But unlike other levels, you always have to return to the main path, that continuity is nice. Anyway, I'm rambling now, just saying thanks for doing this :).
    • Hey, just stopping by to say I can't wait to see what you come up with for these maps, I didn't mind BM's truncated version of this chapter as I always found it a chore to get through in HL. But more of BM is only a good thing!

      Also wanted to add that i support Wangman's idea of including some of the music that was made for the community projects but were never added for whatever reason. After listening to them I reckon this song would act as a good replacement for this song that plays at the start of OaR, as they both seem to have the same tone and ambience.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by brokenfridgehinge ().

    • Mr. Someguy wrote:

      I thought of an interesting idea that I think is possible. You could have one map that branches off in several directions, allowing for multiple paths, but instead of coming together, they all just end in identical areas where there will be a level transition.

      Basically, every path is the right way. You can have that 'maze' of tunnels feeling, without getting lost or frustrated, as each way goes to the next level. You could also have an emergency door close behind you as you move on to prevent you from going back and exploring the other tunnels, which would break the illusion.

      This is actually a really really good idea. I'd love to see this implemented multiple times in OAR Uncut. Does hammer allow multiple endings for a map? I assume it does, I just have very little experience with it.
    • Mr. Someguy wrote:

      I thought of an interesting idea that I think is possible. You could have one map that branches off in several directions, allowing for multiple paths, but instead of coming together, they all just end in identical areas where there will be a level transition.

      Basically, every path is the right way. You can have that 'maze' of tunnels feeling, without getting lost or frustrated, as each way goes to the next level. You could also have an emergency door close behind you as you move on to prevent you from going back and exploring the other tunnels, which would break the illusion.


      Since several people are rooting for this, I'm gonna play devils advocate (though I actually believe this position): this is nothing more than a gimmick
      -Aside from the loop element of HL C2A2A and the occasional junction terminating in a nonfunctional dead end. There is nothing wrong w/the HL OaR layout.
      -Only a certain amount of information can be contained on 1 map. Your proposal WIDENS the map rather than lengthens it, forcing a choice and decreased the amount of linear travel, hence decreasing the journey element of the OaR redesign. Imagine redesigning ST w/the current number of sections in BMS ST such that it had multiple parallel paths...the chapter will feel much shorter.
      -Multiple branching paths are annoying for the curious player because they will have to backtrack even more to explore everything
      -Branching paths means cool elements will be missed, some of which are important for storytelling: cases in point 1) BMS C2A2A...you can skip most of that shit by slamming the accelerator on your tram 2) HL OaR: C2A2B2 is cool but often skipped entirely, hidden area of C2A2C is often missed, dynamite man is often missed.
      -This is an example of nonlinearity gone bad. It's done right at the end of EP2, where the player HAS to backtrack and see everything, which provides a developer showcase. Player doesn't need to do this on OaR.
    • Actually really great.

      Though the beginning of the song could stand to be made a higher pitch to emulate the HL1 version a little bit more.

      While I liked the BM OaR track and how it matched up with the chapter title, the original Sirens in the Distance and that remix fit much better IMO

      GordonFreeManz;438405 wrote:

      .... and how was the joke stupid? In my head, it was funny.... :(


      geekofalltrades;438449 wrote:

      And that puts the whole thing to bed, really.



      I have no hair on my balls,

      because hair doesn't grow on
      [COLOR="DarkRed"]STEEL[/COLOR]
    • @brokenfridgehinge:
      It works, but it's a bit too different. I like how On a Rail 1 conveyed the mood. I think lets look at Text's maps first. Just imagine dark, wet tunnels, flickering lights, dead BMRF staff, and a lot of blood. I think that it will look PERFECT with that song.

      Now, while we are on music, how about Apprehension (original). Besides the beginning of the song, it wasn't used in-game. And that definitely has mood to it. It's a beautiful piece.
      youtube.com/watch?v=XohPdHAW89k
      Just imagine it.
    • Alrighty, with the addition of the image gallery, the pitch bible is now complete. The first 8 images highlight some of the key elements missing from BMS OaR that should be included in the remake. It's sort of a "pitch bible lite." The most important images however are #9-#10, which represent my proposals for redesigning C2A2E and C2A2G, respectively.

      After a THOROUGH comparison of both HL OaR and BMS OaR, I'm of the opinion that:
      1) HL C2A2B1+C2A2C (the office complex) are VERY well designed maps and should be replicated closely.
      2) HL C2A2F is fairly well designed, making effective use of vertical space w/a simplified loop element showcasing the materials transport theme. The only flaw is that the loop can be bypassed entirely, which creates a little player frustration if he gets suckered into it. It should be made mandatory (like in BMS C2A2A) to give it a sense of purpose. This could easily be done by requiring the player to turn on a power generator or flipping the switch to a toll gate. From a dev standpoint, this will allow you to showcase ALL of your work in this chapter.

      This leaves C2A2E and C2A2G as the problem maps and hence my redesign schematics.

      3) The issue w/C2A2E is that the design of the rail system here can be a bit confusing, w/parallel tracks and turns that lead nowhere. In addition, several of the best scripts in the entire chapter are often missed entirely. My proposed redesign has several advantages, including eliminating the problematic rail elements while staying VERY close to the HL C2A2E layout, keeping ALL of the cool features, maintaining the sense of linear travel, providing lots of room for new encounters, working w/in the constraints of the BMS TOW launcher and creating two VIABLE paths, each with their own advantages/disadvantages, rather than a single best one (see pitch bible for explanation). In this case, you really CAN have your cake and eat it too. The one thing I should note is that the second gate (by the button) does not have to be there. In HL, pushing the button lifted both gates…the 2nd gate was meant as a visual cue, but this can easily be done by using a video monitor to show the 1st gate lifting. This gate is critical because the player could skip the giant vort battle otherwise.


      4) C2A2G is a little unusual in that the 1st ½ of the chapter has been cut along w/the quiet area. Since C2A2F is a small map, there’s a good chance that these missing sections could be included and expanded upon. My proposed schematic is really just a sketch, dividing this map into a materials transport section (underdeveloped in HL C2A2G) and an outdoor tram travel section (an extension of the quiet area). There’s lots of room for creativity here and this area should be a challenging but fun section to design. The claw could even make a late game appearance to break up the action. It could be used to move giant crates obstructing the exit to the outside.


      Since most of the conceptualizing is done (at least on my part), this should help expedite the mapping process.

      Also, I've FINALLY figured out how to do the "commandeer the HECU tram trick." It's in the C2A2E section of the pitch bible and there's a pretty cool picture of it in the image gallery.

      @Text
      Once you’ve had the chance to compare BMS and HL OaR more thoroughly, I’m pretty sure you’ll reach most of the same conclusions as me. W/regards to mapping, I’d recommend doing C2A2B1+C2A2C first followed by C2A2E, as these can be ported almost verbatim. This will also allow you to figure out how many maps you’ll really need as it’s unclear whether the office complex could be done justice w/a single map. By doing these maps first, you’ll have more time to think about C2A2F+C2A2G and generate more ideas. These sections will require the most creativity. Only when these are done should you consider adding a xenofauna section resembling C2A2B2 before BMS C2A2A, as this is the least important part of OaR.

      @Forum
      If you want to make design suggestions early in the development process, I HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend that you study BMS OaR and HL OaR carefully and/or reconcile it w/the pitch bible. The worst thing that could happen is to have an idea incorporated into the new maps only to find out much later that it is completely inconsistent w/HL or OaR.

      To chip in on the music discussion from our moderator, although the HL Sirens tune is heard in OaR, it’s actually the garg theme. You hear it at the beginning of Power Up and the end of ST. I would argue that Abrupt Awakening should be ported to the beginning of Power Up, as there’s currently no track there. It’s one thing to add stuff that the devs didn’t make, but it’s a bit inappropriate to REPLACE stuff that they did make, assuming it isn’t shit, like the garg. Joel Nielsen’s first track does fundamentally change the tone of OaR but I’d argue that it’s not better or worse…just different. In HL, OaR felt old and haunted. In BMS, OaR feels old and sad/lonely. I think that’s OK since Apprehension is a damn scary chapter, so this adds a little diversity. The Year of Death could perhaps skew BMS OaR to make it more ominous but the choice of ambient music would really need to wait till most of the new sections and content is finalized. It’s unclear what tone they would set.

      Final thought:
      While I initially had reservations about remaking OaR, they are completely gone now. After this remake, OaR will no longer be a boring old rail system that looks the same everywhere. It will be thematically diverse and exciting. The variety of enemy engagements and potential for scripted sequences is tremendous...this chapter could be EVEN BETTER than ST_Uncut.

      The post was edited 7 times, last by Wangman ().