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This is just a quick update as I found out a side project I was involved with is being released tomorrow. Several months back I was asked to voice part of a commentary track for a community-made patch to Half-Life 2 giving it a graphics and bug fix overhaul. I haven't tried any of it myself, but from what I can tell, it just seems to make everything more polished:

 

Link to the update

 

Anyway, I had no involvement with writing the commentary track, I only voiced the parts I was asked to. So even though this is Half-Life, don't expect Freeman's Mind-style commentary, it's very much documentary-style. For one line, I actually remember informing the creator that Strife did some of the things he wrote about in Half-Life a few years prior. Anyway, it sounds like this will be the definitive version of the game if you want to check it out.

 

On another note, check back soon for more videos!

 

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I remember seeing this on Reddit a while back, and thought to myself that it would be cool (though unlikely) if you did something regarding voice acting. I'll be damned: You actually did.

 

I thought this was going to be a graphics overhaul as well, but it doesn't appear to be. Finally something to replace the god-awful Cinematic Mod.

 

Edit: Misread that thing about the commentary track.

Edited by Guest (see edit history)

Yeah, turn on all the mushrooms; I don't care about the power bill.

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I thought this was going to be a graphics overhaul as well, but it doesn't appear to be.

It uses Filip Victor's graphics mod... It's been updated since it's initial release.

 

Finally something to replace the god-awful Cinematic Mod.

There are some good, and some bad aspects to the Cinematic Mod, but to say it's "god-awful" is a massive depreciation of the author's [considerable] time and coding to try and bring the graphics of an old game into this decade. The Cinematic Mod also includes a utility so you can pick and choose what parts of the mod to enable... He included that because he knows that some people don't like his new trees, or character models, or weapon models, or etc., but that most would enjoy the other updated aspects of the mod. (like the combined maps to reduce loading screens, or the lighting overhaul, etc.)

bi ti ʤi ˈbulzaɪ

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I thought this was going to be a graphics overhaul as well, but it doesn't appear to be.

It uses Filip Victor's graphics mod... It's been updated since it's initial release.

 

Finally something to replace the god-awful Cinematic Mod.

There are some good, and some bad aspects to the Cinematic Mod, but to say it's "god-awful" is a massive depreciation of the author's [considerable] time and coding to try and bring the graphics of an old game into this decade. The Cinematic Mod also includes a utility so you can pick and choose what parts of the mod to enable... He included that because he knows that some people don't like his new trees, or character models, or weapon models, or etc., but that most would enjoy the other updated aspects of the mod. (like the combined maps to reduce loading screens, or the lighting overhaul, etc.)

 

He did a lot of work. I'll admit to that. Having played it, it's bad.

 

My main gripes are:

 

There's no new HD models of Alex that don't look terrible or make her look like a hooker

 

Many new character faces over-all look either gorilla-ish, or can be bugged to hell (Eli with his eyes going in different directions)

 

There are a few areas where he made progress impossible because it looked prettier (You can pass, but you have to cheat)

 

It's horribly optimized. Textures can be hundreds of megabytes, but he won't compress them, despite people telling him (correctly) that Source will just compress them, anyway. Then, he'll complain when people are bothered by the atrocious download size.

 

It ruins the atmosphere (I don't even think he made an attempt at keeping them the same)

 

He forces you to use the new, poorly composed music

 

All the meaningful graffiti becomes sex and penises

 

The developer is terrible about even the lightest of criticism. He constantly throws around "It's free! You can't complain!" because he doesn't like anybody questioning his work. Oh, and he's claimed before that criticism gives him a mental breakdown, then he'll say that he won't update the mod, and that he's quitting, and then will turn around and update the mod.

 

A lot of things are like that, too. I'll spoiler them, not sure if text falls under the NSFW zone here. If it does, remove it; I mean not to break the rules.

 

 

The dead corpse is an asian man with his dick hanging out. Alex has doube-g tits on most models. Her ass is massive, and IIRC Alyx is complimented by jiggle-physics. Her room in BM:E has a dildo in it. Not even hidden. The fast zombies were at one point just naked vampire women. Only women, too.

 

 

Oh, and I'm not really sure about this one, but didn't he steal a bunch of models?

Yeah, turn on all the mushrooms; I don't care about the power bill.

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Great to hear about your contribution.

 

As for the mod itself - and the aforementioned Cinematic mod - I kinda feel that HL2 doesn't really need it. Sure it's over a decade old, but it still looks fine enough to get immersed in.

 

Which is what concerns me with the now-possible prospect of Episode/Half Life 3. I'd be happy enough if it was as if they'd released it in 2008. Hoping the inevitably-upgraded graphics don't make it feel separate to the previous installments.

I USED TO DREAM ABOUT NUCLEAR WAR

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Can't stand the cinematic mod, especially the god-awful work that he's done to the characters. This one's pretty subtle, but there's some areas that look really good. Especially with the dynamic lighting.

 

The guy responsible for the cinematic mod seems to fit with all the other freaks in the modding scene. DarthVader from the Total War series, that freaky guy who did the Gold patch for Vampire: Bloodlines...

They have loads in common. There's the mass of "versions" with little real difference between them, there's the list of claims about making some kind of statement on how a game is supposed to be experienced, and of course, there's the inability to take criticism.

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I like the ambition of the mod's authors, but I don't think the difference is great enough to change the game in a meaningful way. Not to begrudge their efforts, but when you look at the comparison video, there's not an immense difference between the two. I don't think I'd ever have noticed it if they weren't shown side-by-side. A lot of this looks like stuff I wouldn't have paid much attention to in the first place.

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It is far more subtle than I was hoping, but I'll try it out just for kicks and because I enjoy commentary in games. It looks like the interior spaces are darker now, which may increase the creep factor in Ravenholm.

 

And I almost attempted the cinematic mod. But after getting stumped while trying to figure out who was supposed to be who in the screenshots, I decided there was no way in hell I was going to do it. I can't stand Hooker!Alyx, and poor Mossman looks even worse.

 

If Kingkolton is correct, I'm especially glad I didn't try it. Wow.

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I stopped following this mod right around the time I stopped following Half-Life in general besides FM. So, about two years ago. I'm glad it's out now, but I probably won't try it out for a long time. The commentary track sounds interesting though.

http://steamcommunity.com/id/Kaweebo/

 

"There are no good reasons. Only legal ones."

 

VALVE: "Sometimes bugs take more than eighteen years to fix."

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My main gripes are:

 

There's no new HD models of Alex that don't look terrible or make her look like a hooker

If you like Valve-style models, try grabbing from version 7 (I think) of the mod, as those have the latest HD versions of the Valve models. (HD default Alyx that isn't modeled after a softcore porn model) You may also have to replace some textures as well for the Alyx model to work right. (just something to bear in mind if you want to use it with the newer versions of the mod)

 

Many new character faces over-all look either gorilla-ish, or can be bugged to hell (Eli with his eyes going in different directions)

Then try other/older HD models, like I suggested with the Alyx model. If nothing else, go back to the defaults from the game. (they aren't hidden in any way, they're a very prominent choice in the Character Pimper)

 

It ruins the atmosphere (I don't even think he made an attempt at keeping them the same)

How so, and have you even tried to adjust the settings of the mod with the included utilities?

 

He forces you to use the new, poorly composed music

Not true at all. It's actually the first option on the top right of the Configurator utility, and is optional on initial install. It wasn't even a default on option when I installed it. (version 9 and newer)

 

All the meaningful graffiti becomes sex and penises

What? Can't handle real world graffiti in a game mod? (I have even personally seen some of them in areas I've lived)

 

He does have a good list of people that would like to have that stuff removed, but you can quite easily replace the graffiti with a graffiti mod. (there are plenty out there)

 

There are a few areas where he made progress impossible because it looked prettier (You can pass, but you have to cheat)

Which version did you last use, and where did you download it from? I don't recall any of this in version 9 or newer, (all of which I have played) or in any information about previous versions.

 

It's horribly optimized. Textures can be hundreds of megabytes, but he won't compress them, despite people telling him (correctly) that Source will just compress them, anyway. Then, he'll complain when people are bothered by the atrocious download size.

I don't know what you're talking about... They are all compressed into the installer pack, decompressed on install, and the modified HL2 doesn't do anything to the textures. The textures are so large because this is an HD pack, not a SD pack. If you don't want the size, don't get an HD pack. I'd get pissed too if people show up complaining about the (very reasonable considering the amount and type of alterations included) download size of an HD pack that I made and was giving away for free.

 

The developer is terrible about even the lightest of criticism. He constantly throws around "It's free! You can't complain!" because he doesn't like anybody questioning his work. Oh, and he's claimed before that criticism gives him a mental breakdown, then he'll say that he won't update the mod, and that he's quitting, and then will turn around and update the mod.

I only ever recall him saying he wasn't going to update the Valve-style models until the release of HL3. He did almost stop making the mod after v5 because of the negative feedback (and occasional death threats) being massively overwhelming compared to the good feedback... Fortunately he realized the old adage "you can't please all of the people all of the time" and started ignoring the negative people. He hasn't stopped updating, or threatened to do so since then. (at least to my knowledge he hasn't)

 

I also can't find a single location where HE said that you can't complain because it's free... I see plenty of places where others say that you shouldn't complain about a free mod that you aren't helping improve in any way. (this implies that constructive criticism is what you need instead, but most people are too stupid to do anything of the sort) I know that in a private e-mail exchange with him about certain issues I was having with aspects of the mod, he was extremely amicable, and said that he would consider permanently implementing some of the changes I suggested.

 

The dead corpse is an asian man with his dick hanging out. Alex has doube-g tits on most models. Her ass is massive, and IIRC Alyx is complimented by jiggle-physics. Her room in BM:E has a dildo in it. Not even hidden. The fast zombies were at one point just naked vampire women. Only women, too.

 

I don't recall either of those occurring on the official mods without a separate download of the XXX models and content, (e.g. Adult Pimper) and manual choice of the altered models either using the Character Pimper, or manually replacing the models. I do know that I downloaded the XXX pack just to see, and it only increased the skin shown, (variable levels) and mammary size on female models. (variable as well)

 

What version did you use, and where did you get it from?

 

I just checked; the full unaltered CM2013 pack has no models with mammaries that exceed B-cup, or contain nudity. (I don't have the earlier versions installed right now, but I don't recall them having anything close to that either)

 

 

Oh, and I'm not really sure about this one, but didn't he steal a bunch of models?

Not that I've been able to find. Last check all originated from him, or people that he got authorization from to include in his mod.

______________________________________________________

 

From what I can tell, you probly got your version of the mod from somewhere besides the official site, it had other alterations made to it before you got it, and you never even attempted to use the included utilities to customize the mod to your personal tastes. (you can make the thing look exactly like unmodified HL2 if you disable everything and use the default HL2 models, the only difference will be in the combined maps reducing load times, and a few other small fixes)

 

The reason I'm getting so into this is because I'm sick and tired of people hating on someones hard work without even attempting to find out if any of it is adjustable, and ignoring me when I tell them about the utilities.

bi ti ʤi ˈbulzaɪ

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constructive criticism is what you need instead, but most people are too stupid to do anything of the sort

 

This.

I USED TO DREAM ABOUT NUCLEAR WAR

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...I kinda feel that HL2 doesn't really need it. Sure it's over a decade old, but it still looks fine enough to get immersed in.

 

Which is what concerns me with the now-possible prospect of Episode/Half Life 3. I'd be happy enough if it was as if they'd released it in 2008. Hoping the inevitably-upgraded graphics don't make it feel separate to the previous installments.

 

This is exactly my sentiment too! To me, if a game looked OK when I first played it, it will look just as well in a 100 years time (if I were there to play it still). The look is a part of the atmosphere of the game and if you change that too much you just make it a different game because it loses the original spirit...

 

Regards

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Always nice to see new life breathed into an old game

 

Black Mesa did an amazing job on the original (And promises to be even better once it's fully released)

 

Definitely going to give it a look once it's released

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I'm eager to try it. I thought the graphics of HL2 held up pretty well, but I'm always up for a touch up. Especially if it's free.

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Downloading the update now but I won't get to it tonight. I may fiddle with it sometime tomorrow briefly but I'm so swamped right now it's not even funny.

 

Soon, I hope to hear Ross's non-comic chops. :D

The Official Accursed Farms Subtitles Compendium: https://goo.gl/aTBvzj

--

Project Manager for Ross's Movie

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I have it downloaded, but I have yet to play it... Gonna see if Nvidia drivers settings will allow me to use SSAO in it.

bi ti ʤi ˈbulzaɪ

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If you like Valve-style models, try grabbing from version 7 (I think) of the mod, as those have the latest HD versions of the Valve models. (HD default Alyx that isn't modeled after a softcore porn model) You may also have to replace some textures as well for the Alyx model to work right. (just something to bear in mind if you want to use it with the newer versions of the mod)

 

So I have to download multiple versions of a mod and combine them, and add a fix to keep the atmosphere? I'm sorry, but that's ridiculous. Not happening.

 

Then try other/older HD models, like I suggested with the Alyx model. If nothing else, go back to the defaults from the game. (they aren't hidden in any way, they're a very prominent choice in the Character Pimper)

 

I did use the defaults during my playthrough, although when playing their age shows. Barney I used the updated models for, because he actually tried to make hjim look good. The citizens, Judith, Eli, Kleiner and breen all look awful.

 

How so, and have you even tried to adjust the settings of the mod with the included utilities?

 

Many areas have dramatically changed lighting (In fact, that's kind of the point), the game now has a definite setting when playing the CM mod (There's Lativa maps and logos everywhere), the coast is at night, apparently trees can grow in war-torn, polluted, resource drained City 17 and the different look of all the rebels to name a few. Yes, I have used it, but most of those are post-processing things from what I can tell. The rest are for models, which either lets you have garbage HD models in a rather-pretty looking area, or old LD models which don't fit into the new area.

 

Not true at all. It's actually the first option on the top right of the Configurator utility, and is optional on initial install. It wasn't even a default on option when I installed it. (version 9 and newer)

 

You're right, I was wrong on that one. Still, there's a problem: The music, if you choose to use it, is thrown at you constantly. So for those that like the music, it gets old quick because it just repeats too much.

 

What? Can't handle real world graffiti in a game mod? (I have even personally seen some of them in areas I've lived)

 

He does have a good list of people that would like to have that stuff removed, but you can quite easily replace the graffiti with a graffiti mod. (there are plenty out there)

 

I really shouldn't have to, and again, that doesn't really excuse it. This is Half Life, not the real world. Graffiti is one example of atmosphere in this game that he ruined. The graffiti had meaning and a reason to be there. It showed what resistance members and rebels felt as they followed a path like yours.

 

Besides, there's no sex pre-citadel collapse. Now, if he added bits and pieces after the citadel collapse, here and there, to show how people are dealing with their new feelings. GTA doesn't have graffiti like this because they couldn't give it an M rating. They'd have to give it an AO rating. I'm not complaining because "I can't handle it," I'm complaining because it doesn't belong in Half Life, continually or reasonably.

 

Which version did you last use, and where did you download it from? I don't recall any of this in version 9 or newer, (all of which I have played) or in any information about previous versions.

 

Couldn't tell you which one it was in, but it was downloaded from his website. I believe it was after version 9, though.

 

I don't know what you're talking about... They are all compressed into the installer pack, decompressed on install, and the modified HL2 doesn't do anything to the textures. The textures are so large because this is an HD pack, not a SD pack. If you don't want the size, don't get an HD pack. I'd get pissed too if people show up complaining about the (very reasonable considering the amount and type of alterations included) download size of an HD pack that I made and was giving away for free.

 

I understand this is an HD pack. However, you can have 4k by 4k textures that are not 100 megabytes. It's called compression. Source can use more than .bmp files for .vtfs. While they are compressed for downloading, they can be compressed more, but in a different way. The source engine supports compression for "normal" images. A 4k texture can be reduced from 75MB to... ~10. Not to mention that source will just spend time compressing the actual textures anyway, because the largest textures in hammer are nowhere NEAR 100+ megabytes. It's not reasonable. They don't need to be that big, and if I recall the max source can use anyway is 2048x2048 textures, although any power of 2 can be used, it just won't be displayed.

 

CS:GO uses 512x512 textures. FF seems to think it's all about the texture size. It's not; it's how you use them. For things like walls, floors/any other big thing that can use a tiling texture, you certainly don't need a 4k texture. It makes things repeat less, which is good for things that don't tile well. For things that are far away, like mountains, hills, unreachable areas, etc, the texture doesn't need to be that big. You actually want smaller textures for those because 4k detail doesn't really matter at such distances. All of this is a part of map optimization, which FF is kind of bad at.

Just because it's free, doesn't mean it gets a free pass.

 

I only ever recall him saying he wasn't going to update the Valve-style models until the release of HL3. He did almost stop making the mod after v5 because of the negative feedback (and occasional death threats) being massively overwhelming compared to the good feedback... Fortunately he realized the old adage "you can't please all of the people all of the time" and started ignoring the negative people. He hasn't stopped updating, or threatened to do so since then. (at least to my knowledge he hasn't)

 

If you're getting a lot of bad feedback, harsh or not...Yeah, it's probably for a reason. And if you're making a mod, instead of being headstrong and doing the same damn thing that gets bad feedback time and time again, you should, uh, change what you're doing. There was the one in 05, and I do know of one in 2012. I wouldn't be surprised (read: I'm kind of expecting) more. It does say on his website that he plans to do a valve style model of Alyx, but is instead waiting for Episode 3. Instead, he's going to redo his Jamil Mullen style Alyx. If he did more shit like this, people would be less angry at him all the damn time.

 

I also can't find a single location where HE said that you can't complain because it's free... I see plenty of places where others say that you shouldn't complain about a free mod that you aren't helping improve in any way. (this implies that constructive criticism is what you need instead, but most people are too stupid to do anything of the sort) I know that in a private e-mail exchange with him about certain issues I was having with aspects of the mod, he was extremely amicable, and said that he would consider permanently implementing some of the changes I suggested.

 

http://cinematicmod.com/cinematic_mod_2013.php, right at the top: "It's free, so don't complain: If you don't like the mod, you can delete it and play something else."

 

What were these "certain issues?"

 

I don't recall either of those occurring on the official mods without a separate download of the XXX models and content, (e.g. Adult Pimper) and manual choice of the altered models either using the Character Pimper, or manually replacing the models. I do know that I downloaded the XXX pack just to see, and it only increased the skin shown, (variable levels) and mammary size on female models. (variable as well)

 

What version did you use, and where did you get it from?

 

They were screenshots I saw which were discussed by the photographer(?). Supposedly, the zombies were from an earlier version, but the asian man was from a more recent version (2009, perhaps). No mention of an adult pimper was made, which I don't see on his website. Anywhere.

 

I just checked; the full unaltered CM2013 pack has no models with mammaries that exceed B-cup, or contain nudity. (I don't have the earlier versions installed right now, but I don't recall them having anything close to that either)

 

Not that I've been able to find. Last check all originated from him, or people that he got authorization from to include in his mod.

 

Actually, he totally did: More research has confirmed that he has stolen muzzle flashes from TheVman, with NO CREDIT being made to the author and the models are taken from Poser sites (More than just the people).

______________________________________________________

 

From what I can tell, you probly got your version of the mod from somewhere besides the official site, it had other alterations made to it before you got it, and you never even attempted to use the included utilities to customize the mod to your personal tastes. (you can make the thing look exactly like unmodified HL2 if you disable everything and use the default HL2 models, the only difference will be in the combined maps reducing load times, and a few other small fixes)

 

I got it from his website. I made no alterations to it. The first thing I did was use the included utilities, which doesn't excuse all the sex everywhere, because no, you cannot make it look just like Half Life 2. The graffiti stays in, I still have to download those damn models on my connection because there's no "lite" version for the 2013 mod, he changes too much of the atmosphere, and I've had my fair share of crashes and bugs with CM.

 

The reason I'm getting so into this is because I'm sick and tired of people hating on someones hard work without even attempting to find out if any of it is adjustable, and ignoring me when I tell them about the utilities.

 

Just because it's hard work doesn't mean it deserves praise. If my job is to dig a 20ft by 20ft ditch and I do 10ft by 10ft and tell my supervisor I'm done, I'm gonna get screamed at. If I tell him "You can just bring in someone with heavy-duty equipment to finish the job off," he's going to yell at me. And possibly can my ass. If I then ran to the CEO (somehow) and complained that my supervisor was harsh, I'm going to get laughed at. Wanna know why they ignore you? Because that doesn't make the mod any better. They know they can configure everything, but the problem is that the mod is still bad and that they shouldn't have to. FF needs to stop acting like a child, and listen to what people tell him, even if it's harsh. Otherwise, if he cannot stand the heat, he needs to stay out of the kitchen. End of story. Every time CM is brought up somewhere I see 2 kinds of people: Those that despise it (the vast majority), and valiant white knights who defends its every detail. FF needs to listen to the majority if he wants them to shut up.

 

 

Edit: Spoilered as requested (extremely long). Also, I realized I come off as extremely...Condescending? Not sure if that's the word. Sorry, BTG, but I get touchy about this mod as well, just in the opposite way.

Edited by Guest (see edit history)

Yeah, turn on all the mushrooms; I don't care about the power bill.

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I see 2 kinds of people: Those that despise it (the vast majority), and valiant white knights who defends its every detail.

 

And then there's me who never heard of it until now.

 

Also recommend editing the quote text so as not to make things an unnecessary scrollfest. :thumbup:

I USED TO DREAM ABOUT NUCLEAR WAR

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I played this version a bit. The lighting is very nice and the textures noticeably enhanced. The commentary is also great but the familiar voices probably assist with that. I'm happy with it, especially since it was free. If Ross does decide to do Freemans Mind in HL2, this is the version he should play.

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