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[HL2EP2] Mod Aurora

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Hello everyone!

LINK TO MOD: http://www.moddb.com/mods/aurora-reinstated

Short introduction

I am a level design student at The Game Assembly in Malmö Sweden.

We were tasked to plan out 10 weeks to work on pieces for our portfolio, which should be launched on april 10th.

The reason for this is to meet with game companies from around the world to aquire an intership which extends over the course of ten months and then hopefully begin to work there after internship completion.

My plan was to make a small but well polished short campaign for Half-Life 2 : Episode Two. This because the HL-series if my favorite games of all times and because I feel comfortable to work in the Source engine.

Making a mod consisting of three unique maps in this short time is quite strenuous, but I want to prove my worth as a level designer but also do something that I find valuable and fun for myself.


The mod

I had some ideas before I started and the one that stuck with me goes as follows.

The protagonist in this mod is Adrian Shephard. He is reinstated in service by G-man at the arctic base where Dr. Judith Mossman is transmitting from, at the same time as the combine attack.

By some unknown order from "higher up" corporal shephards services are now needed.

Was the attack on the base an unforseen consequence or was it all planned?


The Plot

Being awoken right in the action Shephard will have no clue or notion about where he is, what the Combine are or what else have happened in the years following the Black Mesa Incident.

The only thing he will know is that he will have to escape from the place he is finding himself in.


The Setting

Corporal Shephard is finding himself in an underground arctic military facility. Perhaps this has something to do with the Borealis, or Aparture Sciences. 


The Theme

The theme I am going for is heavily inspired by Black Mesa. Most of it is underground and therefore it will be corridors, hangars and big warehouses. But it will also be in an outside environment.

Since the building is built underground and it is built vertically, some of the rooms are built very large with high ceilings.


The Maps

I am building three maps to show my level design thinking and try to include as much of my ideas as I can.

Without going in to spoilers to much the three maps will go as follows.

  • Map 01 - The player will be introduced to the setting and conflict with foreshadowing combat scenarios between the rebels and the Combine. The player will at this stage be helpless and unarmed. This to set a mood and force the player to focus on exploration and getting to know certain game mechanics as interacting with the environment as well as the basic movement controlls.


  • Map 02 - The player will be forced into conflice with the Combine. The first combat scenarios will be introduced as well as more difficult movement exploration puzzles. The player will also ascend closer to the surface as well as getting more insight into the complex he is finding himself in.


  • Map 03 - The player will be experience the crescendo with a fast paced map filled with combat. To break things up there will be a segment where the player will get a break and slow down to focus on environmental exploration. This is the last map so here the mod will end.



Somethings I have encountered that I want to adress but can't.

Some of the bigger ones are:

  • To have G-man introduce the player in the beginning with real conversation. 
  • To have a custom dialogue with rebels and Dr Judith Mossman.
  • Produce something epic within the seven week timeframe.




  • Name: Adrian Shephard.
  • Role: Helping Dr. Judith Mossman. (Wishlist)
  • Background: Former marine, was put in stasis by G-man at the end of the Black Mesa incident. (Opposing Force ending)


  • Location: The Arctic
  • Building keywords: Concrete & metal, military facility, merged/submerged in ice. Black Mesa.
  • Environment keywords: Corridors, industrial, complex, bunker.
  • Outside keywords: Open snowy areas, falling snow and restricted vision. Icebergs and ice walls blocking off the areas. Bunker/military base complex.
Edited by GRiNET
Added a link to my mod and reformatted the text to fit the others.

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i like the idea of your little mod and will be exciting to make, for you requirments of dialogue you'll need to use faceposer " a lil tut here

" but if you just want to have the npc's in a camera long shot you could get a way with trigger a set up of ambient_generic's playing your cstom .wav files ,, looking forward to playing this mod when its released :)

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UPDATE 2017-02-13

Things are progressing albeit a bit slowly due to a lot of things in school and at the same time having a cold.

The maps have been reworked quite a lot in this early phase and I have redrawn my topdowns to fit my new needs. 

A lot of the things I have been struggling with is the general space planning to make the environment feel right and be believable at the same time.

I have noticed several times when running around that the maps became too linear and/or too articifial. 

But, a solution is in the works! 

Below I will post some alpha-stage pictures off the maps under spoiler headers. 





Outside checkpoint


Way to first assembly


First assembly room


First assembly room


Second assembly room


Second assembly room


Second assembly room


Service lock



Comments and feedback are of course more than welcome to help me improve in my work. 

Remember, this is at an early alpha stage so this is the mere orangeboxing of the levels. 

I am going beta this week so everything will be changed more or less. 

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If I were you I would try some extrusions or a concave shape for the ceiling in the big room with the railings and bridge. Looking good insofar!

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UPDATE 2017-02-20

Right now I have done my first map to near completion. It is about 90% done.

Everything gameplay wise is there now and the gameplay is working flawlessly. 

I am very proud so far about the amount of work I have managed to do so far for this piece.

Under the spoiler tag there are pictures of the map in its almost final state.

Feedback is more than welcome.

























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UPDATE 2017-03-02

The second map is now finsihed. What remains are final tweaking of lighting, minor balancing with supplies vs combat encounter and more delicate sound cues. 

I have began to finalize map 3 and its heavily reworked from the original plan due to it not being fun or particularly interesting. 

Beneath are some screenshots from map 2 in its final state. Feedback is more than welcome, especially regarding the lighting. 














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UPDATE 2017-03-08

Hello everyone!

I am pleased to say that the mod is now finished. I have rebalanced and rebuilt a lot based on feedback and playtesting but now it is done and ready to be shipped.

The current release date is now on friday, march the 10th. 

Currently I am writing my documentation on how the mod was made and what workflow I used to complete it during these 6 weeks I worked on it. 

I hope you give it a go and tell me what you think. 

Here is the link to the page on MODDB where the mod will be uploaded and ready for download on friday. 


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