The Gildryte Chronicles Created 7 months ago2019-03-11 21:49:39 UTC by UrbaNebula UrbaNebula

Created 7 months ago2019-03-11 21:49:39 UTC by UrbaNebula UrbaNebula

Posted 7 months ago2019-03-11 21:49:39 UTC Post #342219

The Gildryte Chronicles

What is it?

The Gildryte Chronicles is a potential mod series that I intend to work on following the eventual release of The Core. I've decided to start documenting things here on TWHL as I would like to involve the community with the project as much as possible.

I've been doing various bits of research over the years, mostly via Twitter, to get a feel for what people look for in a Half-Life mod in terms of size, gameplay, narrative and of course release schedule. As is to be expected, most players are happy to wait longer for something that will keep them playing for an hour or more, rather than getting regular, bitesize maps or map packs. They also prefer a non invasive approach to storytelling, something that is delivered subtly if you care to seek it out and doesn't pin you down with lengthy sequences or walls of text. So basically, Half-Life players like Half-Life… Shocker!

The Universe

One key point is that this time I'll be building a mod series set entirely within my own universe. This is a big deal for me because it means it means I can introduce new mechanics or elements within the maps that are too outlandish for Black Mesa.

The bulk of the mods will take place in space, on starships or within colonies. The aesthetic I want to go for is retro sci-fi. The mods will be set in an alternate timeline where humanity became an interstellar space faring race in the 1970s, so think Alien's Nostromo and other such stuff.

The plot mainly revolves around two key elements, and I'm aware that the first is a hard science nightmare made entirely out of bullshit, so bear with me.

Gildryte: A crystalline material initially discovered during the Apollo 11 moon landing in a deep impact crater. It was quickly discovered to have massively valuable properties, specifically the ability to amplify an electrical current by a factor of hundreds of thousands. One researcher was quoted as saying, “I don’t want to get ahead of myself… but you could send a cruise liner to the furthest stars with nothing more than a car battery.”

After a decade of research, refinement, development and corporate espionage, it found its way into the public eye in the hands of one Dr. Sebastian Gildryte. In the coming years, more and more Gildryte was discovered on the moon's surface, as well as in the asteroid belt shortly afterwards. As more and more was brought back to Earth, Gildryte become a household name and by 1986 it is built into practically everything from radios, to cars and yes, interstellar cruise liners.

Tl;dr: Super crystal makey future machines.

The Vull: An mysterious alien race, discovered in deep space that is drawn to Gildryte. The Vull were first encountered by accident, during an incident which triggers the events which occur throughout the series. This incident will be the focus of the first mod in the potential series. From the outset, the only thing know about them is that they are extremely hostile to other lifeforms that may cross their path in their attempt to find and consume Gildryte.

Any progress yet?

Well, currently there is absolutely nothing besides this post and the ideas in my head. This hasn’t taken me away from The Core or anything like that and has purely been built up in my head based on the social media polls and ideas I have during whatever downtime I get. :P

What is the plan?

Ultimately, I want to tackle the mod on my own as much as possible. As mentioned previously, I would like to involve the community here at TWHL as much as possible. That includes everything from revising the story, creating textures to appear in the game (posters and wall art, computer screens and such) and I will definitely need support from people with coding experience.

I want the mod to FEEL different to Half-Life, which will mean tweaking enemies either by replacing their models or ideally adjusting some coding here and there. I know that ultimately it will still feel like a Half-Life mod, but I would like to give it something of an edge besides having new maps.

Probably the most drastic change will be the removal of hitscan weapons. I would like the player to be able to avoid all incoming attacks by moving around. Seeing as this will be a sci-fi themed mod, I would ultimately like bullet weapons to be replaced with laser projectiles.

So… not Source?

No. At this stage I think I will be sticking with GoldSource modding. I know the limitations, I can work with the tools and I just prefer it in general. So no, I will not be creating GC in Source. If others want to make mods based on this universe (for whatever reason…) I would gladly act as an advisor, but I don’t work with Source. :P

So what now?

Well, now I need to finish The Core. Sadly, this mod will have to be somewhat dormant until then. However, I would still be keen to continue getting things together in terms of the pre-production with input from you guys.

Afterwards, this will be where I post my updates, screenshots and other such stuff. Who knows when that'll start, but hopefully soon.
UrbaNebula UrbaNebulaGoldSourcerer
Posted 7 months ago2019-03-11 23:47:48 UTC Post #342221
1970s, so think Alien's Nostromo
Sold.
I would like the player to be able to avoid all incoming attacks by moving around.
Sold.
At this stage I think I will be sticking with GoldSource modding.
Sol...okiller is still making that Sharplife source-port/addon that ups the limits right? I guess Goldsource could work?
now I need to finish The Core.
Please do. ^_^

My goldsource days are long done, and after Peer Review I plan on jumping ship on Source as well, to the greener pastures of Unreal where I can easily script things instead of having to struggle with C++ compilers and don't have to worry about max_map_brushsides or other limitations, but I miiiiight be convinced to come back to contribute some art or something for a project like this when the time comes. A few elements are reminiscent of some of the things I regretted not doing with Colony 42 back in the day, as well. (Also don't think I didn't notice you going back to look at that for some reason - you left a comment! :P)
JeffMOD JeffMODCall 141.12
Posted 7 months ago2019-03-11 23:51:40 UTC Post #342222
You caught me... I forgot to list inspiration, but that's in there in some respects. :P
UrbaNebula UrbaNebulaGoldSourcerer
Posted 7 months ago2019-03-12 01:27:40 UTC Post #342223
This sounds pretty interesting! I'd like to assist with this mod if you're looking for extra hands.

So what kinda vibe are you going for with gameplay? Standard Half-Life survival horror while the character fights off the Vull, or is it gonna be more Starship Trooper-y with waves of grunts fighting alongside the player?

Are there any human enemies involved (i.e. the best part of Half-Life in general)?

What's gonna drive the main plot driver of the mod? Is there a villain? Is he separate from the Vull, and if so, what's he gonna do?
Dimbeak DimbeakRotten Bastard
Posted 7 months ago2019-03-12 02:03:33 UTC Post #342224
Another suggestion here for SharpLife, it still has a lot of stuff to be done from the looks of it but by the time you release The Core it'll probably be ready to use :P

If it was in C# I could probably help with coding! C++ makes me physically ill at this point, especially if it's Valve-style C++. Of course I can't predict if I can help with coding when you start work in 2043, so ask me then.

Also....
Mysterious prothean technology magic material found on mars the moon
Discovery allows space travel and advanced technology
Humans accidentally encounter an alien race
Alien race is hostile and a war begins
So when do they find the mass effect relay?
Penguinboy PenguinboyHaha, I died again!
Posted 7 months ago2019-03-12 02:19:35 UTC Post #342225
You caught me... I forgot to list inspiration, but that's in there in some respects. :P
I'm actually honoured that anyone would find anything to be inspiring in that old hunk of junk, so no worries there!
Of course, most of what I did USS Darkstar did first, but...
JeffMOD JeffMODCall 141.12
Posted 7 months ago2019-03-12 09:19:11 UTC Post #342226
Just going to echo JeffMOD's thoughts here:
1970s, so think Alien's Nostromo
Yes.
I would like the player to be able to avoid all incoming attacks by moving around.
Super yes.

Don't feel bad about rejecting Source. It's poop, and GoldSource has so much more charm. I'd gladly lend a hand if you needed it.
Strider StriderTuned to a dead channel.
Posted 7 months ago2019-03-12 10:35:14 UTC Post #342227
So what kinda vibe are you going for with gameplay?
Survival horror elements for when things kick off, but I'd like it to be a fast paced, arcade FPS similar to Doom or Quake.
Are there any human enemies involved?
Very much so. The initial mod will feature the Elite Security and Planetside Operations (ESPO) team. They will become hostile once things kick off, due to a combination of a volatile working relationship between them and the crew and having a sudden opportunity.
What's gonna drive the main plot driver of the mod? Is there a villain? Is he separate from the Vull, and if so, what's he gonna do?
Yes and I'm not telling you yet.
I can't predict if I can help with coding when you start work in 2043, so ask me then.
Thanks... and yeah, OK. I deserve that.
So when do they find the mass effect relay?
It only seems similar to Mass Effect because of everything. Other than that, its wildly different...
Don't feel bad about rejecting Source. It's poop, and GoldSource has so much more charm
I don't. It is. It does. :)
UrbaNebula UrbaNebulaGoldSourcerer
Posted 7 months ago2019-03-12 12:51:24 UTC Post #342228
Will it have more women in it than Half-Life does

That's not a high bar
Jessie JessieLadytype
Posted 7 months ago2019-03-12 12:52:24 UTC Post #342229
Ever need a hand with textures, V/O, SFX, Music - give us a shout yo, sounds really interesting. When you say retro sci fi, are you meaning late 80s / early 90s stuff like Demolition Man, Escape From NY, Alien (in some ways DN3D) or we thinking more 70s / ""retro""
Instant Mix Instant MixTitle commitment issues
Posted 7 months ago2019-03-12 13:32:15 UTC Post #342230
Will it have more women in it than Half-Life does?
I would like to include female characters. Of course with that comes custom code, models, animation and voice recording. All things I would be fairly useless with currently.
When you say retro sci fi, are you meaning late 80s / early 90s stuff like Demolition Man, Escape From NY, Alien (in some ways DN3D) or we thinking more 70s / ""retro""
In terms of the aesthetics, it would be the kind of sci fi themes you would see in the 70s and 80s. Chunky machines, sharp angles, CRT screens and garish jumpsuits.
A lot of this.A lot of this.
In terms of the kind of stuff I would like from the community here, I would likely throw out the odd update here and there such as "OK, I want some posters for the recreational areas. Make your own ridiculous brands and products that you would flog to desperate colonist, hundreds of light years from home."

Obviously I would be thankful to anyone who wanted to pitch in with audio stuff, sound effects and music, even recycling stuff from your own projects that may or may not have seen the light of day. I would prefer to keep the mapping side of things to myself, but again, would welcome prefabs, entity setups, concepts to work from and anything else you think would be a cool addition to the levels.
UrbaNebula UrbaNebulaGoldSourcerer
Posted 7 months ago2019-03-12 16:41:51 UTC Post #342233
Yes. Moon is an excellent frame of reference, big fan. Gonna look fairly Natural Selection then!
Instant Mix Instant MixTitle commitment issues
Posted 7 months ago2019-03-12 18:16:06 UTC Post #342234
Gonna look fairly Natural Selection then!
...Suuure? (I have no idea 😅 )
UrbaNebula UrbaNebulaGoldSourcerer
Posted 6 months ago2019-03-21 14:28:31 UTC Post #342292
Here is a list of the planned enemies so far. Some of these are easy to implement and shouldn't require any coding (outside of .qc manipulation, skill.cfg and modelling). Some of the other points I would need to enlist a developer, or at least somebody to guide me on where to make the changes.

Bestiary (part 1)

Crew Member

Base: Scientist
Requirements: Reskin/Voice Acting
Implementation: Very easy. Behavior would not need to change at all.
Description: The run of the mill crew member. Unarmed walking plot device, target and/or meal.

Security Guard

Base: Barney.
Requirements: Reskin/Voice Acting/Coding
Implementation: Hard. Behavior would not need to change at all. Weapon would need to fire laser projectiles.
Description: Faithful security officer. Armed with a laser pistol, a can do attitude and security clearance that outranks the player’s.

ESPO Team

Base: HGrunt.
Requirements: Reskin/Voice Acting/Coding
Implementation: Hard. Behavior would not need to change at all. Weapon would need to fire laser projectiles.
Description: The Elite Security and Planetside Operations team are hot-headed and dim-witted. Months cooped up on a ship with nothing to shoot has driven them to near breaking point. With one order, they would willingly turn to the ship into a warzone.

Vull Rat

Base: Headcrab.
Requirements: Modelling.
Implementation: Very easy. This would simply be a new model, otherwise it would basically act like a standard headcrab.
Description: Offspring of an lab rat escapee, infected by the Vull. These creatures scuttle through the various pipes and ventilation shafts, spreading the alien plague to crew members.

Vull Afflicted

Base: Zombie.
Requirements: Modelling.
Implementation: Very easy. This would simply be a new model, otherwise it would basically act like a standard zombie. Alternate heads based on the model can easily be changed with minor .FGD changes. Blood would need changing to Human/Red.
Description: Having come into contact with the Vull, this individual has become corrupted. All traces of their humanity stripped away, they take up the nearest weapon they can get their hands on and bludgeon anything living they can find.
UrbaNebula UrbaNebulaGoldSourcerer
Posted 6 months ago2019-03-21 17:11:40 UTC Post #342293
You had me on space.
rufee rufeeSledge fanboy
Posted 6 months ago2019-03-22 13:34:41 UTC Post #342301
I will be sticking with GoldSource modding
SCORE! The more I try to mess with Source lately, the more it repels my approaches... GLDSRC for the win!!
I'd love to contribute models! I love the story as well. I have subscribed to this thread.

Also I don't think your implementation of laser projectiles would be difficult... Pretty sure we can steal the crossbow code for that.
Tetsu0 Tetsu0Original Cowboy
Posted 6 months ago2019-03-22 14:45:57 UTC Post #342304
Also I don't think your implementation of laser projectiles would be difficult... Pretty sure we can steal the crossbow code for that.
That was my thought too. That or the hivehand secondary fire.
UrbaNebula UrbaNebulaGoldSourcerer
Posted 6 months ago2019-04-04 08:00:56 UTC Post #342397
So I put a poll out on Twitter, but in the interest of getting the input from TWHL peeps, I will put the question here as well.

Should this become a series with more than one entry, what would be your preferred approach to the protagonist(s).

Different protagonist each time
Your adventures among the stars are short lived and often involve you becoming stranded or killed. Each new release follows the story of a different individual, with occasional references to previous fallen heroes.

Same protagonist (legendary)
Following your first contact with the Vull, you become something of a legend. Friendly NPCs will adore you and your enemies will be very wary you. NPCs will use you to solve any and all problems they face, and will announce your presence to strike fear into the hearts of the opposition.

Same protagonist (bad omen)
You have a reputation for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Despite your ability to take on the Vull and survive, the trail of bodies you leave in your wake leads people to find ways of getting rid of you. Friendly NPCs are often on edge in your presence, and quick to blame you when the shit hits the fan. Your enemies see you as something of a bargaining chip, encouraging your friends to give you up so that they can be spared.

Same protagonist (nobody)
Despite your legendary acts of heroism in the past, nobody seems to recall your face or name. People will speak of the incredible things you have done, misty eyed and full of adoration. However, when dealing with you, they will doubt your capabilities and often mockingly compare you to... yourself. Same goes for your enemies.
UrbaNebula UrbaNebulaGoldSourcerer
Posted 6 months ago2019-04-04 09:40:51 UTC Post #342398
A new protagonist each time sounds interesting to me. I'm a fan of semi-anthology sci-fi like the Foundation series. Stuff that's all connected by one overall theme or threat, but offers many points of view. Plus I imagine it gets tiring writing for the same character, and you'd get to branch out and have more fun.
Strider StriderTuned to a dead channel.
Posted 6 months ago2019-04-04 10:14:15 UTC Post #342399
... Are you making a Heat Signature mod

... Because you should.
Jessie JessieLadytype
Posted 6 months ago2019-04-04 15:14:52 UTC Post #342400
I like the idea of a different protagonist but dislike the idea of ending in death; as that sort of adds a "well what was the point of playing the game w/o dying if I just die at the end". Different ways for the player to wrap up their arc is a good shout though, like being absorbed into an AI that's later referenced or seen in a later game, being put into stasis, etc.
Instant Mix Instant MixTitle commitment issues
Posted 6 months ago2019-04-04 15:29:28 UTC Post #342401
Don't count this as a vote, because I participated in the Twitter poll too, but I like the Same Protagonist (Nobody) option. Having the same protagonist helps keep a connection going between the player and the character they're playing as, IMO, and I quite prefer the way, as an example, HL1 treated you over the way HL2 did. People are counting on you, some appreciate your actions, but most don't really know who you are and nobody treats you like some kind of god.

The bad omen idea is also pretty interesting, though... Perhaps you could have a deuteragonist system going where there are a couple/few player characters whose paths never directly cross but whose previous actions impact what's going on in the current episode? That could also play into the stranded/killed endings eventually... Maybe you often play as someone entirely new but occasionally end up back in the boots of someone who survived their episode(s)?
JeffMOD JeffMODCall 141.12
Posted 6 months ago2019-04-05 08:06:53 UTC Post #342406
The Twitter poll agrees that a new protagonist each time would be best.

I'm not saying that every single one would be killed or stranded, but it's an option. And it's not as if they just die at the hands of an enemy, maybe they sacrifice themselves for the greater good and so on.
UrbaNebula UrbaNebulaGoldSourcerer
Posted 6 months ago2019-04-05 22:10:08 UTC Post #342414
Now I'm blissfully unaware of how much effort creating an NPC and a model etc may or may not be, but considering the options at hand, I thought it might be kinda cool to have a protagonist from an earlier installment re-appear later... a space Barney, if you will. Say, Vol. 1 protagonist's story ends going into cryo stasis after being stranded or left behind, and Vol. 2 protagonist is someone completely different, no mention of #1, and Vol. 3 protagonist encounters a group of people led by #1 dude who was, while the player was busy being other people, rescued and is regarded somewhat of a hero.... yknow? Similar to how in Blue Shift, Barney is a no name gun for hire security staff dude and in Half-Life², he's all rebel brass...
CPripyatUit CPripyatUitshe/her, they/them
Posted 6 months ago2019-04-05 22:43:13 UTC Post #342416
You'd probably run into the fact that you'll probably never see the protagonists. Not to say they couldn't reappear, just that you'd need to make it clear who they were through dialogue. Which in turn may seem out of place if there aren't NPC's that are as prominent... I'm sure Urby can work all this out though!
Jessie JessieLadytype
Posted 6 months ago2019-04-07 14:05:22 UTC Post #342426
Depending on how many 'advancements' are being added maybe mirrors could be implemented that show a player model? Probably too much work for so little gain but I seem to recall seeing a few mods years ago that implemented realtime reflective surfaces.
JeffMOD JeffMODCall 141.12
Posted 6 months ago2019-04-08 13:05:49 UTC Post #342433
Well, the idea is that humanity is largely spread throughout the galaxy by the time of the first mod, so it's likely that in the following mods you would hear about the previous protagonists rather than actively bumping into them.

That said, I'm not ruling it out entirely by any means.
UrbaNebula UrbaNebulaGoldSourcerer
Posted 6 months ago2019-04-08 13:59:00 UTC Post #342434
What weapons would the player have other than the standard arsenal? (pistol/shotgun/smg) What custom weapons are planned? Also, would they be bullet weapons or lasers?
Dimbeak DimbeakRotten Bastard
Posted 6 months ago2019-04-08 14:30:46 UTC Post #342435
'Blasters' of some kind, I assume, since Urby mentioned wanting to get rid of hitscan weapons so the player can dodge fire (A scientifically accurate laser would be even more of a hitscan weapon than a firearm, though that's maybe being a bit pedantic for a video game)
JeffMOD JeffMODCall 141.12
Posted 6 months ago2019-04-08 16:18:53 UTC Post #342436
The player would indeed get the usual array of pistols, rifles and explosives, but as JeffMOD correctly pointed out, no bullets. The player might get their hands on a classic handgun of some kind, but this would be a powerful one off pickup with very limited ammo.

Something else I thought up yesterday was a poster for lab grown food stuffs.

"From Hydroponics Lab 3, the people who brought you Basically Beef and Practically Pork."

"It's FUNDAMENTALLY FISH!"

"Everything tastes better when you don't think about it!"

Should give you an idea of the kind of tone the series would go for.
UrbaNebula UrbaNebulaGoldSourcerer
Posted 6 months ago2019-04-08 17:29:39 UTC Post #342437
Should give you an idea of the kind of tone the series would go for.
The kinda world that makes you glad you'll be long dead when the future happens? xD
CPripyatUit CPripyatUitshe/her, they/them
Posted 6 months ago2019-04-09 08:20:09 UTC Post #342440
That's the one.
UrbaNebula UrbaNebulaGoldSourcerer
Posted 2 months ago2019-07-23 13:13:07 UTC Post #342899
Since The Core is such a massive project that has spanned years, I've recently been thinking that rather than immediately starting a massive new project, the first few installments of GC would be much smaller in scale.

I would like the originals to include some of the custom coding I want in order to build up a base template of sorts, but essentially the first release would be the equivalent of id's Wolfenstein 3D and its expansions, before stepping up to Doom and then Quake.

For the record, I'm not saying that GC would in any way worthy of id's ground breaking library of games, just that I would start relatively simple with the initial release before stepping things up with each subsequent release. This all hinges on my coding ability (or access to somebody with such ability) and not getting bored with the whole thing...
UrbaNebula UrbaNebulaGoldSourcerer
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