General Xen Chit-Chat Thread


What was the deal with the barrel cactus, if I may ask?



And what all does the UI overhaul actually entail?



My understanding is it will scale better at 4k along with rearranging some of the graphics options while adding more of them.



When you type “Barrel Cactus Black Mesa” on Google, you’ll find a book called “Black Mesa Project: Environmental Impact Statement”, and it mentions barrel cactus. True story, it’s in Google Books. What are the odds?

Joking aside, it sounds like the final release is closer than it has ever been. But it also sounds like there is still a ton of work to achieve, so, is Q2 still on the table? I mean, take your time guys, I’d rather have a good and flawless game, but I also like to know where it’s going so I can be prepared :slight_smile:

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The entire standard Source UI framework (called VGUI) has been gutted and replaced with a system called QT Quick (from what I understand, it’s comparable to HTML5/CSS, which is what basically all modern titles use these days - it’s fast, responsive, and works with controllers).

Basically the entire interface is replaced.

That is a story for another day!

Q2 is still on track. Going to be tough, but we can do it.



Ok, that’s definately going into the Pre-Disaster documents, especially since I always assumed Black Mesa was built into an old mining facility to begin with.



I see dev team create alot caves in xen it would be perfect to add this creatures from Half-life 2 episode two antlion lerva i think it would be good ide becouse these all creatures come from xen.



Antlion_grub and these are cave creatures so this is why to be are good idea to add xen caves.

and how about this creature did we see this in xen. we all know that xen maps wuold be are large maps. I realea want to see new creatures in xen. And how about x race creatures in half life oporsing force we only see creatures in earth but how about on alien world it wuold be interesting learn about x race creatures life in alien world we know that x race are smarten.sadly we never see this in xen i think becouse this not hapen i think becouse dev team dont do this, but who knows maybe dev team suprise all us.



I go back to half life vikepedia read that x race come from diferent dimension so it could be posible that x race and xen creatures living in diference places so maybe these creatures not living together. I would be good idea that remake of Oporsing force dev team could create x race world becouse we know in oporsing force Andrian Shephard get teleportation weapon to let him in critical moment or anytime teleport in xen world but we see small flying land nothing more im talking about this map in oporsing force

. It would be interesting how looks these maps after realease oporsing force. We dont get any information about alienworld oporsing force. To operation black mesa team it would be good idea to create x race world in the future.



We’re not adding entirely new creatures or any cut stuff, or anything from HL2. We’re sticking to what’s already in our game, plus a few special variants.



And whoat are special variants you talking ?



I see xen trailer so i have queshion for you why xen portals is no longer green ? But in lamda portals have green color.



RE: Special variants; it’s a surprise!

RE: Xen portals; those are the same as in Lambda Core. Entrances orange, exits green.

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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.