My introduction to Half-life was unlike the majority of those found on this forum. I, being younger than 25, don't remember when Half-life came out, as I was only receiving my first introduction to computers, and the internet at home in lets say around 1997. I can't remember when I got my first computer actually, all I remember is that we had dialup internet and windows 97. All I had used before were AppleMacintosh's and Windows95 old rundown rigs at school (Granny's Garden FTW!!! [I have never been able to find that game since
I remember after becoming slightly acustomed to the computer, exploring Age of Empires 1, my stepdad would bring home PC magazines that were'nt sold at his work. They came with game demos and one of these CDs happened to contain demo copies of Half-life (Uplink) and Opposing Force. After playing these two games I immediately fell in love with them, amazed at this phenomenon I had never experienced before, I begged my parents to buy them for me. Being parents, and not understanding what the game was, they said no. So my dreams were shattered.......
UNTIL, a good 6 years later, I happened to be in the local mall, at EB Games, casually browsing, starting to get into games and computers alot more. I came across a multipack including HL, Op4, BShift, CS, TFC, and DMC! Instantly recognising these games as the ones that had been the ones tragically torn away from me all those years ago (CD's were thrown away, containing virus's), I insisted that the pack be bought. Costing approximately 50 to 75$ AU, I was rapt, installing the games as soon as I got home. Playing through the games countless times with WON, I eventually got bored (Nah I didn't.. who could get bored with HL???) and decided to search for more!
Experimenting with the multiplayer modes, I learnt that there were other people out there playing together. Cycling through the large list of active servers, I was excited at this idea which I had never come across. However I was struck down, finding that I could not join any of the servers because of my internet speed (I think). Again I had been let down, but I was provided with a slight snippet of fun, playing through the various multiplayer maps by myself on LAN, and then finding the Custom Games menu where I enjoyed early mods (Didn't know they mods were or what a mod was back then) such as Wanted, Redemption, and a few more. Years later I read somewhere something about the program steam and that you could use it to play against other people.
Still unaware of programs, downloading, steam, the power of google, etc, I was not sure how to obtain the fabled "Steam" program. The program Kazaa (Lol) was recommended by another such unaware person of the interwebs, and was dismissed.
Another year or so down the track, I happened to be at family friend's house, and he was playing CS:CZ which I fell in love with, and I recognised to be vaguely similar to Half-life. Upon leaving, he boasted obtaining CS:S within the week and promised to give me a copy. Later that week, I was given an illegall copy of CS:S which provided me with hours of 12player bot fun in LAN madness. Along with this CD however came Steam! It had finally arrived to my computer. Upon installing, (TOOK SO LONG) I figured out how to install the games I had already purchased (Bonus: The 6 CD's given in the HL Pack I purchased all have a different CD key, and each CD key unlocks every game in the pack, so I can have 6 Steam accounts with all the games given in that pack :D) and I was given Day of Defeat as a bonus.
Multiplayer was still shyed away from, as my still slow dialup connection provided pings inexcess of 700, causing unplayable lag and server kiking. It was not long however before broadband was installed in my household, allowing the multiplayer fun begin.
Wanting something even more to do with these games, now that I had become immersed in the online community, I soon discovered mapping. After reading excessive various tutorials, from CS mapping websites, mainly for source, I decided to download hammer. Inevitebly, being a n00b, I had no clue as to how to set it up, causing me to lose interest and do something else. Another try at setting up hammer ensued briefly afterwards, failing miserably again.
Years passed and I forgot about mapping, sometimes vaguely remembering the idea but thinking nothing of it. Earlier this year, the mapping fire inside of me flared and I decided that I would try and nothing would stop me this time! I downloaded hammer, to find that the new version was pre set up, hooray! Now to set about mapping, looking over many ancient sites, some still active, I found some good tutorials, but the best came from TWHL, which had great tutorials, as well as a recovery of the VERC, which I vaguely remember coming across from my great young internet travels, not to mention the active community and the ease of navigation of the website. And so now I'm here, with very basic skills in mapping, working on a mini project, trying to design something worth submitting to the map vault.
There you are, a highly detailed timeline of the history of Half-life and Me, as well as my experience with computers. I could write a book on it! Appologies if I wasted your couple of minutes reading this, I just thought I'd write about my amazement of the game and internet back in the 90s.