General Xen Chit-Chat Thread


We know of a few of them do to leaks.

Though those few where shown in teh trailer. The Suicide houndeye and The concusion version.

Betting there will be atleast one bullsquid varrient and an A-grunt one.

Mostly as I want to see an A-grunt who acts like an LMG with twin hive hands… Though I also hope they weaponize snark nests for the A-grunts cause imagine one of them throwing a snark nest at you it explodes and suddenly you have 3-5 snarks on you.



My real question is will the Xen assets and maps be added to the SFM Black Mesa DLC?
I really would love to animate within this amazing world that Crowbar Collective have created, and every time I try to port a map that was excluded from the DLC, if breaks completely in SFM. I know that for the Xen maps, some HDR changes might have to be made for it to work in SFM, though surely it would be worth it for all of the fanart to be created in it!
Been trying to ask this question for a while yet havent gotten any response.

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This is really clever way of making better level Geometry giving a performance boost. Are all the Levels going to get this treatment? What a brilliant workaround though so clever.

I have seen some great animation done in Source Film Maker and was hoping for a few cut scenes to be implemented to create a more cinematic experience in places.

I really hope we get an update to the apprehension Cutscene where Freeman get’s knocked out… (we should see him being thrown off the edge into the trash compactor as rag doll) Basically there is scope to improve upon the game in terms of cinematics and animation in places.

I get the whole point of being done in game but where there is some opportunities I think it would be fantastic to expand upon the Game in 3rd Person Videos in some small parts. It seems we are getting a teleport animation sequence to xen which looks great.

For Instance if we take the Crystal Cart which set’s off the Resonance Cascade Pushing the Cart in to machine could be a animated video. I am all for seeing a bit of Gordon in 3rd Person. or first Person Animated cutscene. I remember after the Disaster Gordon put’s on his Glasses animation going from Blurred to Clear was a really amazing touch that has been done a few times now by various people.

Personally I think setting off triggers for animated Video Cutscenes is something that logically would have been done if Valve could have. People often complain about The Zombie in Office complex smashing through the Door is Missing… That scene is a perfect opportunity for a Video Cutscene to show this and not to be done in game engine. But many things should still remain in engine but the Obvious Video cutscenes and ways of expanding the Story or events that Happen are numerous and it would be very interesting to see a few scattered cinematics to set a more cinematic tone. A game that did this extremely well was Chronicles Of Riddick “Escape from Butcher Bay”.

With this also in mind introducing new enemy types with a non engine cinematic is also a good way to introduce a new gameplay element. Similar to how Resident Evil handled new enemy types on a first encounter.

But on the flipside of this when the Developers created the scene of Gordon Catching the Headcrab and throwing it off all in engine this felt like a great Cinematic moment in Engine so as you can see there are right times and wrong times for cinematics inside engine and outside of engine. Anyway I will sight the position where are think that animation of Gordon Catching the Headcrab should go again in link below.

In that room… But it only happens this once and it’s a shame that work has gone to waste on the catch and throw the Headcrab scene. (Headcrab Latch)

This was the Dream update but it will never Happen I guess.

Will They be better Looking though? I remember swapping the sprites out for ones on Game Banana and I wanted to Mod the Transition of the Teleport only to find that it was not working… A Fade into White and out From White would suffice (A flash) to punctuate the teleport which was absent from the Mod Version not sure it is fixed up in retail. But a Flash was Planned and should be implemented. It needs to Be a more Pronounced Flash than it currently is and less instantaneous about 2 seconds. The Flash effect is inconsistant and is sometimes not noticed or holds on a white screen but no Fades or Dissolve to Game.

Here was what I swapped the portal effect out for.

Mind you looking at the end Niahlinth Fight there is a dissolve in from a Green Flash so yeah something missing.



The reason why Half-Life (all of them) does not have cutscenes is so that the player is in control of Gordon at all times. A scripted cutscene in the middle of a level would break game flow (taking you out of the action), and having the cutscene be in third person perspective would be even worse because it would break immersion too. You experience the entire Half-Life series from Gordon’s perspective, in one continuous adventure, with no time jumps between chapters (or even games!). In Half-Life, you ARE Gordon. A cutscene seen through the lense of some floating camera would completely undermine that.

so yeah, no cutscenes please



It has 2 cutscenes the apprehension one is actually incomplete.

Ok you perhaps don’t quite understand what I am saying… Let’s take the crystal cart scene for instance…

Although it would be nice to see Gordons Hands on the Cart this could perhaps be accomplished by Use rather than a push we still end up no matter what with the player and the cart being in the same spot and the resonance cascade occurs.

At the point the crystal enters the anti mass spectrometer would you rather just run around like nothing happened and did not effect you? Or would you rather get blown off your feet backwards like in that fake half life trailer and still be able to look about but Gordons arm is shielding his eyes from the Bright Green Flashes until he get’s zapped.

The thing is If you are running around that room you might actually miss what is going on looking for a way out where there is none… But if the player is constrained to a spot can look about still and is complemented with an animation it creates more immersion and steers the player to not miss what has happened it also put’s gordon in the same spot in which he get’s zapped and which he wakes up possibly also complemented with the Blurred vision put’s on his glasses now I can see momment. All these things are better than being able to run around the room in a panic.

I also Saw this

The dialogue is exactly the same as in game… But the Meaning to it is far greater than what is in the game as it is not scripted to compliment the dialogue enough and there are no constraints for the story and the dialogue.

what I would conclude is that the Game is Faster than the Story here; the story is out of Pace on this part compared with the Gameplay it and does not allow for Barneys Part to play out as it could.

It’s not a huge big deal but I really think enforcing a slower Pace for this part would compliment the script. It could be done in engine but would needs some constraints. But it does work as it is now but I think it could work a bit better with scripted events.

You could also use the same thinking when gordon Put’s on the suit… It would be better on use to see Gordons finger Push the Button via Video and enforce the Image of the Chamber opening with steam and so on via cutscene. Putting on the suit is fine via engine and is complemented via animation. It is about having some constraint so you don’t miss the good stuff nothing wrong with being free but constraint to appreciate an event is good.

Another thought I had was in the Locker Room having a mirror Gordon in scientist Uniform upon intial entrance to the room Viewmodel after donning the Suit you can see the Suit Viewmodel through the mirror. The Mirror thing is possible in Source also and would be a nice touch indeed. It always felt a bit strange walking into the suit and doing a 180 degree turn yourself anyway just show the Suit and start up animation and facing the right way out the chamber.

I would certainly Vouch for some FPS Scripted animation in places for events perhaps not 3rd Person apart from Gordon Being Flung off into the trash compacter. Taking away movement but allowing look would be the way to go.

Also when waiting to go into the test Chamber somone did another Source Film maker With Gordon Donning the Helmet and the Doors opening this was also impressive cinematically there is nothing else for the player to do at this point he also used a nice overlay of the Helmet with cracked Glass after the accident. It’s interesting to see things from different angles and the possibilities are visually more impressive than being able to wander off course. It could be interesting to See the Vortigaunts remove Gordons Cracked Helmet so they can get a good look at him? It’s not an argument it’s more a case of how much better would it be to enforce some constraint in places to allow for a more cinematic experience. Just saying “no cut scenes” Is writing off potentially good things.

Thankfully at least we are getting a proper transition to xen :slight_smile:

I wondered if this deleted scene first animation seen below was meant to be Barney Initial Introduction?

When Gordon Comes up out the Elevator Was Barney Meant to shoot the Zombie and Both Animated NPC’s Ragdoll?



Ok first That isn’t cut scenes those are scripted encounters. Big difference.

Second… wonder what the happened to those random defense moves. I mean I would love to see them. I would also love to see that zombie kill a scientist scene somewhere… hell replace the secientist with an HECU grunt and you have an encounter for ST:U area, I can think of two places where it could happen.



Yeah Scripted Animation… But after looking at the HEV Chamber opening up I kinda think that could use a revamp with smoke and there new dynamic light system even if not done in a cutscene and in engine… It’s nice to have a dig about for stuff and It’s a shame stuff get’s worked on then left out but it happens on every creative project or game but when you see something good like you say darkone no harm in appreciating it. God knows how many things changed about xen that we no nothing about.

I feel a bit weird sort of leaving these forums for quite some time and then posting a bit… I can’t say that I even really play games at all these days… Although I will get this soon after it drops. I need a new PC anyway so It might be a natural thing to do after this releases.

But I am very impressed with the xen reveal and I really like the game so I am in for the desert :slight_smile:

There is zero chance End game being like Half life 1’s end game… I reckon it will be more like Half life 2 G-man scenes but it will obviously be very similar also especially the choice.

Also whoever did the Xen Mod those teleport orbs are accompanied by the “green flashes” so how ever that works? Might be env_fade or something but also it obviously meant to be like any xen life swaning in with the tendrils of light I suppose.



So @TextFAMGUY1 I know it’s been a while since you gave us an update on the progress on each Xen map, I’ll ask what’s the current status of each one now? I’m not getting impatient or anything like that but I wanted to ask how much progress went since back in February.



The Kingpins I don’t think are an enemy. I see them as the Slavedrivers and servents.

I would vouch for their inclusion merely to show them using a whip lash laser type attack on vortigaunts to show how oppressed they are.

Kingpins being Slave drivers makes total sense. They are sort of needed to explain vorts are slaves and being whipped to work.

They do not have to be an enemy the player should fight more of a story device than anything else is why they are required as otherwise there is nothing to remotely suggest vorts are slaves and need liberating from slavery.

They are there to show the vorts are enslaved that is all. He is similar to the combine advisor. He is undefeatable but he will teleport away when attacked, he just goes about attacking vorts and they do not retaliate until… the vorts kill the Kingpin

I would imagine after shotting a few times at Kingpin whilst he is punishing vorts and him teleporting away eventually he comes after you and the vorts repay the favour and save you and themselves. then it is on to the finale.

But Half life messed this up pretty badly so much so it is not clear at all the vorts are slaves big plot point missing.



I guess it makes more sense for the vorts to be enslaved telepathically or so. I don’t think they need slave drivers present to be enslaved, or they would stop following orders as soon as they appear on earth where no kingpins are present.

Also I don’t think it makes sense to portrait the vorts as slaves too much. We are supposed to kill them throughout most of the game and honestly, the hierarchy or suppression between the aliens shouldn’t concern Freeman at this point.

And at the end, it would make more sense for the alien controllers to be the slave drivers. They appear to be mini-Nihilants and are possibly able to telepathy control the vorts and they also can fly so they’re able wo watch large abounts of slaves relatively easily.



Yeah it was a different version of Half life… If you look at the Mod “Shaft” they recreate the kingpin it’s behavior traits… If you also look back at the Boot Camp from Surface Tension the Kingpin was to be uour ally and you had to save him from HECU.

I hope Black Mesa can fill in the plot for Xen though somehow. It is a bit abstract to say under psychic control but as you say the role may have fallen to the “Controllers” rather than a the “Kingpin”

But I can’t see how you can make controllers unbeatable and only the vorts can rise up against the undefeatable and liberate themselves… “Controllers” are generic the Kinhpin was not it was just a plot device.

But I find “Shaft” mod and “absolute zero” mod quite informative about how Half life was revised and changed.



so how about that xen yo



Well we are in Q2 now…



Your calender is working.



Could be anytime between now and the start of July, so don’t stop being patient quite yet.



you guys are all waiting for Xen, meanwhile im just waiting for the next dev update on Xen lol. January News Update was like 68 days ago



Exactly, I was hoping for some “1st April News update” which would serve both April fools purpose and also small peak on dev process.



Maybe the devs are in the very final stage of Xen development, and they are so close to finishing the game, they’d rather polish what’s left to polish instead of giving news. So maybe the silence is a good sign! :slight_smile:
I’m currently waiting for news for Warcraft III Reforged AND Black Mesa, it’s just killing me :stuck_out_tongue: But news will come eventually, we just need a little more patience.



Whatever the update, hopefully a straight forward, no-bullshit release date is dropped cause it’s already getting into the year very fast and they were supposed to be primarily workshopping and polishing completed stuff, but it’s nothing new.

And bro, I’m also dying for some Warcraft 3 Reforged content to drop; that game is gonna be my obsession for so damn long, I just know it.



I’d not expect‘t it until xmas, I‘m just glad to know that Xen will be great. We all have waited so long now, a couple of month more or less to wait who cares?