Half-Life 2: Epistle 3 Fan Project Reaches Major Milestone, New Content Showcased (VIDEO)
Valve’s Half-Life 2: Episode 2 ended on quite the cliffhanger, leaving many hungry for what was to come. Unfortunately, 10 years later and there’s still no word on if and when the company will ever return to the franchise, however there may be a sliver of hope. Thanks to Mark Laidlaw‘s coded script titled Epistle 3 and a team full of passionate fans, a day may soon come when players are able to step into the suit of “Gertie Fremont” once again.
The ambitious undertaking of carrying on the vision of Laidlaw’s Epistle 3 is under the care of Project Borealis who have recently released a new update concerning the venture. Alongside some new footage showcasing some of the game’s in-engine progress, the team also announced that they’ve reached an important milestone by officially completing the game’s first story draft. The team also announced new positions that need to be filled for fans who might want to get in on the experience of working on a project of this scale.
Thanks to the efforts of the team working on the game’s mechanics, the level designers have been able to work diligently as well to provide the appropriate pacing and puzzle development. As far as gameplay progression goes, the team mentioned, “Steady progress continues to be made on the gameplay front, with Gordon now having access to several of his weapons complete with near-finished animations in-game. When animating our new weapon models, it was important for us to retain the timings of the originals while also introducing some subtle flair of our own. The end result are animations which match their Source counterparts in gameplay feel and general style, while also taking the opportunity to improve on those we felt could use a little more work. Special shoutout to our lead animator, RockingChair, who’s been doing a great job tackling all these iconic animations! Check out the video below for a WIP preview of the animations in action! Please note, final visual effects have yet to be implemented for any of the weapon fire modes.”
Below is a video showcasing a taste of the current progress on the environmental side of things, namely the lighting and texture systems:
On the gameplay side of things the team announced that they’ve reached a point in the progression where many of Gordon’s weapons now have “near-finished” animations within the game that look and feel as the ones within Half-Life 2: Episode 2. The team mentioned that there were some adjustments made to add a bit of Project Borealis flair but overall it will feel familiar.
With the addition of these animations, Gordon is now able to believably walk, jump, crouch, sprint, crouch jump, fire, and reload using the same animation timings as he did in Half-Life 2. At this stage of production, we’re feeling confident that Gordon’s player movement’s are nearing parity with the original, making it easier for the level design teams to get a good feel for pacing throughout the game’s various environments.”
Alongside the visual aspects of the project the team has also been hard at work on the story. While Laidlaw’s coded script was a good starting point the team needed to flesh it out and make it suitable for play. The team has completed the first draft of this script and have have begun working on the next draft utilising the constructive feedback given by the rest of the team.
The writing team has taken the plot points outlined in Marc Laidlaw’s Epistle 3 and fleshed out the details and gameplay elements into a full and engaging script. Since finishing this first draft, the rest of the team have had the opportunity to give constructive feedback, and the writing team is now working on incorporating some of those suggestions into a second draft. It’s important for an ambitious project such as this to have realistic expectations for what can and cannot be included for either pacing, thematic, or technical reasons.”
The team has made some major progress and with a few more talented folks perhaps they come even closer to the end goal. Project Borealis is currently looking for qualified persons willing to work on Epsitle 3, the following is a list of positions needing to be filled.
- 2D Environmental Artist
- 3D Hard Surface Artist
- Character Rigger (Animator)
- Unreal Engine VFX/Particle Artist
- Level Designer
- Gameplay Systems Programmer
- Editor Extension Developer
- Level Functionality Programmer
- Web Development
- Sound Designer
There’s a lot of cool concept art, screenshots, and updates concerning the project. If you’d like to see more be sure to check out the Project Borealis site for more. Let us know your thoughts on the Half-Life 2: Epistle 3 and more in the comments section below. As always don’t forget to follow Don’t Feed the Gamers on Twitter for 24/7 coverage of all things gaming and entertainment.
Chris Calles1558 Posts
Known as "Stash" or Yippee Calles. He's a student of everything, avid adrenaline junkie, and creator of random things. When he's not delving into a game, book, or movie - He's out teaching himself new things or taking part in some pretty epic adventures. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr.