403 Aurelius -- 100% Open-Dev Project

Hello BM Forumgoers. It is I, DKY from the PSR Digital team. You may know us as the dudes who recently released the long-awaited Black Mesa Hazard Course mod-of-a-mod for the BM Free Version. Yes, I know you’re all waiting for a Hazard Course port for the Steam version. We’ve gotten in touch with the Crowbar Collective about our woes, and although it won’t be nearly as easy as we once thought, BM Hazard Course Workshop Edition is definitely going to happen at some point in the future.

But that’s not what I wanted to talk about today. Today I wanted to let you guys know about a little experiment that we at PSR will be conducting over the next several months or so.

During the past few years, while we were busy developing the Hazard Course, we, like many other mod teams before us, have been assaulted by the incessant cries of “IZ MOD DEAD? Y/N” and “WHEN WILL HAZZERD CURSE BE RELESE” at relentless rates. Although we have always tried to be transparent about our work, some people just don’t seem to ever be satisfied with the amount of news and media we post. Faced with such impatience and greed for new mediaz by the ever-hungry public, at one point one of us joked, “We should just stream all our development work on Twitch to shut them all up.”

And then we stopped in our tracks. And then we thought to ourselves-- “Hey… what WOULD happen if we streamed all of our development work on Twitch?”

Introducing PSR Digital’s next project:[/size]

403 Aurelius is a mod project (and experiment) that the PSR team will be working on over the next several months (or more). The goal of this experiment? To see what happens when we develop a small mod behind absolutely no doors whatsoever.

Yep, you heard that right. No doors. Literally every last bit of development will be entirely visible to the public. Everything, from level design to programming to team discussion of mechanics, will be recorded and documented in a publicly-accessible space for all to see. The goal of this experiment is to show the public exactly why projects like ours take the amounts of time that they do, and to showcase the effort and processes behind them in full detail.

Heck, we’ll even be streaming our development work live to the public whenever we can (and post recordings of our work whenever we can’t). The entirety of the current state of the mod, from our (tentative) timelines to our bug report lists, will be available for everyone to look at. This way, there will be absolutely NO room to ask what the progress on the mod is: everyone will have access to all the information on the project that WE the developers have. You guys will be able to make the call for yourselves. Fair warning though: this does of course mean that the entire project will already be spoiled basically from day one. So if you hate spoilers with a burning passion, then perhaps this is not the project for you.

So… 403 Aurelius, eh? What’s the mod even about, anyway?[/size]

403 Aurelius will be a Total Conversion mod based on the Source Engine. Taking place in the year 2021, our nameless protagonist-- an investigative reporter-- acts on the instructions of a mysterious, anonymous tipster and infiltrates the headquarters of the Harland Broadcasting Corporation to expose a corporate scandal. Little does our protagonist know, the company has much darker secrets than insider trading…

The first half of the game will focus primarily on stealth and achieving objectives by infiltration. The player will need to gain access to secured areas of the HBC building, avoiding both surveillance systems and the night shift security guards patrolling the building. The player will need to collect information about the company conspiracy, as well as perform strange hacking tasks for the Mysterious Tipster. The second half of the game is anticipated to have more traditional, guns-blazing FPS gameplay after [email protected]# hits the fan.

As a mod that will be notably smaller in scope (in a probably vain attempt to limit the amount of time we’ll need to develop this project), the current development plan only calls for three weapons and two enemy types. As of right now, we plan to include 10 to 12 small maps, all of which take place in the HBC HQ building (located at 403 Aurelius Street in an unnamed city in the northern United States). By constraining the gameplay to a single building, we hope to limit the scope of this project to a reasonable size without devolving into a huge mega-mod.

So how far along are we right now? Great question! True to our word, we’re gonna show you EXACTLY how far along we are. We’ve already started pre-production over the past few weeks, and as of the time of posting, we already have a number of development recordings available for you to get bored of watch! Head on over to our development website to stay up-to-date with the current status of the project!

Development Videos[/size]

Here are some introduction videos in which we each introduce ourselves and explain our intentions with the project:[/size]


youtube.com/watch?v=aC9AEXj … HV&index=1


youtube.com/watch?v=zxC7jNv … e=youtu.be


youtube.com/watch?v=kYTd8rw … e=youtu.be

And here’s a sample of some of the past developer streams we’ve already recorded:[/size]

The Beginnings of Our Mod:[/size]

youtube.com/watch?v=zKV5FfU … pxLTwEk_HV

HUD Concept Art:[/size]


First Floor Layout:[/size]


First Floor Preliminary Orange Map:[/size]

youtube.com/watch?v=LLw3MWQ … pxLTwEk_HV

Taser Concept (Part 1):[/size]


Taser Model (Part 1):[/size]


For the full list of development recordings, check out this page of our wiki.

Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channels for live stream notifications and new video posts if you want to follow the project.

Also, make sure to like us on Facebook, so that you’ll be able to check out our streams immediately when we announce them:

ModDB page will come soon, so stay tuned for that too!

Hope you guys like what you see! :slight_smile:

A depature from Black Mesa, eh? Oh well, I guess everyone should stay away from science at some point. Nice work so far! And what a neat decision to show everything behind-the-scenes!

I can’t imagine a context that we (as a team) would make another mod for Black Mesa (though some individual members have plans). We got our Hazard Course in, I think we’re ready to try something with less restrictions.

Hopefully people are actually somewhat interested in the experiment part of this project, as that’s the whole reason we’re doing it. I’m not sure if any other mod has tried anything nearly as open as this. We think it’ll be an interesting dynamic (assuming it goes anywhere, which it hopefully will).

This seems like a VERY interesting project AND experiment.

In a past part of my work life I was in the IT/programming field so I understand (mostly) completely the project process ie. design, deadlines, tearing out of hair, frustration, changes, “WHAT WHY DOES THAT NOT WORK???”"",“WHEN IZ IT GONNA BE DONE” and all of the complexitites that go along with it.

I survived Y2K at a global company with a very diverse set of computing environments.

Subbed to all Youtube channels, can’t wait to see this thing develop!
Good luck, everyone at PSR!

Let it be known that JeffMOD is currently streaming more of his work on the Taser model:


(I probably won’t post these livestream updates often, but hey. I may as well do it occasionally.)

Ooh! This looks interesting!

Oh, here’s a (very short) video I recorded shortly before posting this thread, where I prepare the custom Facebook logo for use in the OP. This one is narrated, for once!

youtube.com/watch?v=3-Sdjxq … V&index=13

Oh, is that legitimately illegal or is that just a “do dis and we bans u” thing? I’ve never heard of such harsh laws regarding modifying a logo, esp. when it’s just a bunch of nerds and their non-profit project. I feel like “they made our logo look 3D” is a silly/flimsy legal case.

Also you shit on me like 3 times in 5 minutes for the quality of the 50 second concept :'c

I’m not sure about the strict legal status, but it certainly isn’t kosher. Facebook owns the “f” logo-- it’s their trademark and copyright. They own the rights to its image, so they dictate the terms under which people are allowed to use it. It’s called “copyright” because they control the absolute right to make, distribute, and use copies of it. Since I’ve ignored the terms under which they agree to allow others to use the image, it’s plausible that I might have violated the terms of their copyright.

On the other hand, the guidelines didn’t seem to be written in a legally binding way, it wasn’t clear how they’d enforce the rules, and let’s face it-- practically everyone modifies the Facebook logo in some way that technically violates the guidelines, even big corporate sites. So honestly I don’t think it would be worth it to them to go after us, especially since we can’t even legally make money off of the project. So I’m not convinced that it’s practically enforceable or even really all that wrong, and I’d say the chances of them actually sending lawyers after us is pretty slim.

If I’m wrong, then hopefully the worst case is we just stop using it.

Well, that’s a hell of an idea to take the development to the public.
I am interested in this, although i think everyone has a hunch on what the final result of the experiment will be.
A mod with more influence from the public.

On one side:

  • All the development footage is available to anyone to watch
  • The public can immediately say what they think about the work and currently created content
  • The experiment should prove that by openly developing the mod, it can greatly improve the mod itself

On the other:

  • The main and obvious reason of the experiment is to prevent huge tsunami waves of internet questions about the mod development
  • Developing takes time, streaming and recording takes more of that needed time
  • The questions like “IZ MOD DEAD? Y/N” and “WHEN WILL HAZZERD CURSE BE RELESE” will just transform into questions like “DON’T STOP WORKING NOW!” or “DON’T MAKE IT YELLOW, MAKE IT PINK WITH YELLOW PONY PATTERNS!”

Anyway i think your experiment is a fantastic idea guys, and surely will get noticed in the future.
Hell, why you might even consider patenting this if it gets popular.

It is hard enough making a game with a small group of dedicated, knowledgeable developers. I’m not sure how opening up development to the world of armchair, cheesy poof eating wannabees is going to bring you anything but more grief.
Like “Y R U mudding fakebok ,U need 2 b wUrk3n on HAZZERD CURSE MOAR ???”
Good Luck

Shitposts come with the internet, we’re not worried about it.

Yeah honestly despite my colorful phrasing in the OP, we were mostly concerned with the people who think they could do the same in a shorter amount of time, with higher quality. The vast majority of people don’t seem to understand just how much work and attention to detail that goes into projects like these, and take for granted the fact that they just seem to magically appear out of thin air. We’re mostly aiming to remove the “magically appear out of thin air” part. And if people learn some new techniques from this (or even teach us new techniques too), that’s another thing I think would make it worth it as well.

As for shitposts, I tend to stream without my control panel page open, so I don’t even have to worry about seeing the chat.

…I might have to revise that when we get more followers so I can answer questions periodically.

I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on this. Looks like it could be a very valuable resource for aspiring developers.

what is this?

An Open Development project.

This page has more information: 403 Aurelius – 100% Open-Dev Project

I’m curious to see how far this project will go on. Hopefully this time you will get less toxic comments from the depths of Internet and more fun developing without them. :slight_smile: