Contact Established

Half-Life HL
Contact Established by fefor
Posted 7 months ago2023-09-04 23:34:12 UTC • Completed • Half-Life
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Name
Contact Established
By
fefor fefor
Type
Map
Engine
Goldsource
Game
Half-Life
Category
Completed
Included
BSP
Created
7 months ago2023-09-04 23:34:12 UTC
Updated
2 months ago2024-02-07 20:18:23 UTC
Views
1420
Downloads
274
Comments
9
Download (2.15mb)

A short singleplayer mini map-pack for Half-Life that takes place in Black Mesa.

This is my first attempt at mapping, go easy on me. :)

Includes:
-Four .bsp
-Two custom sounds

Average playtime is 10 minutes, story and proper credits in the readme file.

Please do not reupload this anywhere on the internet.

9 Comments

Commented 7 months ago2023-09-05 01:20:11 UTC Comment #105526
This is an actually very good mappack, it definitely has the look and feel of old school TWHL. My only complain is that the ending was a bit abrupt.
Commented 7 months ago2023-09-05 08:40:00 UTC Comment #105527
It's finally up, nice job. Like I said before, this is a pretty sweet and nicely polished mappack. It can pass as an early 2000s release and I say that as a big compliment :D

Be sure to upload it to ModDB also to get more publicity.
Commented 7 months ago2023-09-05 10:28:21 UTC Comment #105528
Thanks for the kind words both of you.

The ending is abrupt indeed, for my next project I'll try to make a longer experience, my workflow at the moment is very slow and I honestly just wanted to be done with it hah.

Other things I'd like to improve are: more verticality in the level design, varying depth/details on the walls and ceiling and better npc encounters since I feel the HL enemies really shine when there's more opportunities for them to ambush and flank you while as of now the arenas don't have any obstacles or things like pillars and they are just kind of standing still in open places.

On ModDB: for now I'd rather this to only remain hosted in TWHL.
Commented 7 months ago2023-09-05 23:36:12 UTC Comment #105529
A very nice little map pack. Short, sweet and channelling the feeling of the early map packs of the 2000s. I love the little details dotted throughout, though there are spots where things look a little bare. The cafeteria for example, with only a single table and no seating.

Combat encounters throughout are pretty nice and we fight quite a large selection of enemies from Half-Life's roster, including the alien grunts in the later sections.

It would be nice to see some more verticality as you have already said yourself, but it was nice to see some sections where you could catch the enemies by surprise, or the occasional spot where areas were repopulated with enemies for return trips. I will say that playing on medium, I didn't find it particularly challenging. I was practically tripping over health kits that I didn't need and I had plenty of suit power meaning if I ever did get hit the damage was negligible. Giving some enemies like the HECU more room to manoeuvrer and to get around the player and flank them, or perhaps just increasing the enemy count in some places would do wonders to upscale the difficulty a little.
Commented 7 months ago2023-09-06 00:59:16 UTC Comment #105530
Thank you for playing and taking the time to write a lengthy review, I really appreciate it. I'll go through some of the points you brought up.

The cafeteria: actually a few moments before I released this on the vault, PsyWarVeteran had just suggested me to include some chairs or another table since it felt empty and I do agree with both of you.
The reason I didn't include any more props in that area was because I didn't want them to interfer with the houndeyes path especially considering one of them sometimes randomly decides to stand still (still have no idea why this happens).
There are info_nodes in there but they can still be a bit unpredictable, anyways I also thought of placing the chairs next to the stairway or against the wall (was going to use the orange chairs that appear in the administrator office from the third map) but in the end I decided to leave it as it is and release it.

The difficulty: this is a tricky one, I wanted this to be an experience that could easily be completed by anyone who is new to Half-Life or doesn't play old shooters often (hence why the recommendations and hints section in the readme assume you aren't very used to the game). Also back when I started the project I mainly wanted my friends to play it (some of them have only played HL1 once) and when I got some playtesters they kept dying over and over, so I made sure to include enough HP and armor so that no one could possibly have trouble finishing it and so that they would focus on the atmosphere instead.
Problem is that experienced players would be finishing this without taking any damage at all (on normal at least), so I thought that maybe they could play it in Hard, then I quickly realized how difficult it was to balance healthkits, batteries and chargers placement for them to make sense and be balanced for both Normal and Hard. I don't know how other mappers do it :biggrin: but next time I'll try to make something for the experienced player.

Anyways I'm glad you got some enjoyment from it and that you liked the little details, I wonder if everyone was able to find the secret weapons or if they have spotted both of the gman sightings (so far some people spot the first gman but no one has spotted the second one)

Overall this experience has made me appreciate other mappers work way more than ever before, as now I realize how hard it is to make a level that has both good combat and good puzzles while at the same time looking pretty :o
Commented 7 months ago2023-09-10 10:54:08 UTC Comment #105554
Great maps ! I had fun, will you make more? :D
Commented 7 months ago2023-09-10 22:20:13 UTC Comment #105556
Thank you! I'm glad you had fun, yes I do plan on making more maps in the future. In my next effort I'll try to focus on verticality with the enemy placement and arenas where soldiers can flank the player.

Although I don't know when I'll get back to mapping, it could be in 6 months or in 2 years from now, I'm currently taking a break after having finished this project and I want to use this time to do other things.
Commented 7 months ago2023-09-11 21:06:11 UTC Comment #105558
Just made an update with a couple of minor changes:

-The cafeteria has an extra table and some seats
-The ending sequence has a new sound added into the mix

oh and I also corrected the actual start date of the project, since I found out my oldest .jmf file related to it was like a week older than the previous date
Commented 2 months ago2024-02-07 20:20:00 UTC Comment #105967
Sorry for the bump, I just edited the readme since it included a bunch of information that is no longer relevant after the 25th anniversary update and I didn't want to confuse anyone who might read it.

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