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 UniverseOne 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.
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.
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.