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Orpheus

Warning Signs. What would it take for you to know?

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Everyone seems to have a different opinion on the "Life" left in Half-Life. Some are certain its dead. Others are still as perky as we were back in 1999/2000.

My question isn't exactly to do with that.So please do not take up any imaginary gauntlets and go on a crusade trying to convince everyone that Half-Life is a live and well.

My question is: What would have to happen, or not happen to convince you that Half-Life is dying? I mean, what series of events would it take to convince you?

For me its 3 things. I will post them in order of importance,most serious first.

1) I look at maps today and think, "This is the best..." Notice, no question mark. No exclamation point. Just a sentence that ends abruptly. Maps today are IMO many levels less impressive than at the height of the HL1 series of editing. Its reached the point to where many of us who were around then either have to bite our tongues, in some cases pretty hard, or just not comment at all.

2) I remember getting 10 requests to critique a map a day. I'd be damned lucky to receive 1 request in ten days now. Mappers just do not seem all that interested in positive feedback. They seem much more interested in positive reinforcement. If you are not willing to stroke their ego's, they simply don't have time for you. Whats worse, manners has taken a serious nose dive. I used to be in every credits that I assisted on. I was used to seeing either "[DRS]Orpheus or simply Orpheus" I kinda like how my name is spelled in fact. So much so that misspelling it irks the s**t out of me. Spelling my name as "The Gang At Snarkpit" just won't cut it. I dedicated my time, the least they can do is dedicate enough time to proper spelling.

3) One would think that growing up would be the worse thing. This event would spell the doom of HL. The opposite is true. Growing up is definitely what many of todays mappers need. My concern however is that most of the mappers are "Growing Away" They have simply lost interest, or have commitments that supersede the idea of dedicating weeks or months to a map.

Anyway, these are the three warning signs that have me convinced that Half-Life has done exactly that. Its about halfway dead now. In a couple more cycles, there will not be a life worth mentioning.

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Half Life is jsut as dead as Q3 and UT. They're at least one generation ago (about to be two generations). Yeah, some development still goes on, but it's the long tail of the bell curve and will continue to diminish over time. HL has been dead the second HL2 came out. It's not a bad thing. It's not a good thing. It's just the natural progression of game technology. It's still a good starting off point for people to learn to design and code on a more simplistic level before jumping into the modern tech, but there hasn't been any serious development of mods for over a year and a half, and there is no reason to believe that will change. For HL loyalists, there is always the positive way to look at it in the sense that people still develop for Doom and Quake. So people will still probably continue to trickle out stuff for HL for some time. Whether people are around to play it is a different question.

Put it another way: If a level is released in the woods and there is no community around to notice, does it make a sound?

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A few days ago I was quite bored and I saw HL in my steam list so I decided to play it a little because it's been a long long time since I played it the last time.

Well I ended up finishing the whole game, finishing Opposing Force, finishing Blue Shift and I even downloaded the Uplink demo.

I don't wanna start a fanboyish glorification of HL1, but this game rocks. And yes, it's in many ways better than HL2 and better than most of these so called next-gen shooter.

As for HL1 editing, I guess except for some die-hard fans it's pretty dead by now. Most of the old mappers have a) switched to source b) gone pro and work for the industry c) given up their nerdy hobby.

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a) switched to source b) gone pro and work for the industry

Yeah, cause if you switch to source, you cant work in the industry. Ever. :P

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I still work with the game as it's much easier to pull things off over Source except for the obvious technological nacks and physics engine. As for it being 'dead', people are still churning out content for the game in small doses, Hell Quake/Quake 2 are still going, of course you hardly ever see anything come out but that could all change as I know several people polishing up some projects. Fuck, Kingpin still has a healthy fanbase as well, lots of new DM maps released on a regular basis. I don't believe you can ever call an engine dead, unpopular perhaps but not dead...

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Half Life is jsut as dead as Q3 and UT.

UT is far from dead yet. There are lots of singleplayer projects going on, and the mapping community is still huge.

Not compared to what is being put out for 2K3/2K4, which was my whole point. Game communities "die" when their heydey is over, but there will always be the long and steady stream of releases by the diehards.

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It's seriously time to cut your losses and move on to another engine D3. It's been almost two years since Half-Life 2 came out now.

Do you plan to work on stuff for completely obsolete engines for the rest of your life, always staying behind the pack? It seems really daft to me to waste time on an engine that is pretty much incapable of impressing anyone nowadays. Even Nightwatch's visuals paled in comparison to pretty much anything on Source, even if they were incredible by HL1's standards.

I mean I don't know if you're planning to work in the industry or anything D3, but spending all your time on an almost completely irrelevant engine doesn't seem like the best way to go about it.

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I still fool around with Quake 2, while working on building up skill in Source. I plan to start something with Quake 1 soon. I don't see why you can't try to get into the industry and map for the classics. It doesn't matter as long as you enjoyed it all in the end.

Not compared to what is being put out for 2K3/2K4, which was my whole point. Game communities "die" when their heydey is over, but there will always be the long and steady stream of releases by the diehards.

I guess it comes down to wether you consider yourself a diehard or not.

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Well, you won't be very likely to get picked up if ALL you map for is the classics - I think that was thrik's point. Sure, you can play around with them, release maps for them, whatever, but if you are only putting out maps for abandoned engines, you aren't likely to be proving your ability in making levels fit for today's engines.

But hey, if you aren't looking to score a job, then there's nothing wrong with it.

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