December '98           back

Dec. 18, 1998

Valve's Jay Stelly Interview

VoodooExtreme posted an interview with Valve's Jay Stelly, who worked on the AI system and engine architecture on Half-life.
Saxs). What were the advantage/disadvantages by using the Quake engine? Did it cut the development time enough to pay the licensing fee?

Jay) The Quake engine provided a great base for building Half-Life. It allowed us to prototype from day one. It also allowed us to hire people already familiar with our engine. It didn't come with much support or documentation. So, we spent some time learning code that we would have spent writing code, but it was definitely a big benefit to Half-Life's development.

Riot Software's Brood TC

Riot Software made a lengthy update on their project: Brood TC

The title, "Brood", is going to mainly rely on the single player experience. At the moment, our focus is mainly this, from there we will fine tune the multiplayer enviroment also. With Brood, we are hoping to bring you the most fast paced, non-stop action, non-linear, heart pounding, nightmare inducing FP experience to date.

Seen that on PlanetHalflife

-Runabout - 11:12 A.M.   Got news? E-mail us

Dec. 17, 1998

Half-life Visual Guide Updated

Reverend's tweaks for Half-life's visual quality: Half-life Visual Guide, has a new cvar added "gl_polyoffset" and other small updates.

deCyber Half-life Recuiting

Michael Lohmann sent a word that deCyber Half-life needs 3 people for their level design team, heres the whole mail:

We have decided to get 3 new members on our mapbuilder team. Basically all builders on deCyber Halflife ( build alone and can make all the decisions they want. What we have seen on deCyber Unreal is that all our builders get rather famous and I know that also will happened on deCyber Halflife. We are only interested in making really good maps so the community get more fun. Right now there are a few really horrible maps out there and we wanna change that.

Michael Lohmann
deCyber Halflife

New Sites

Need prefabs for your maps? Get it here on Half-life Prefabs An editing site at Half-life Workshop.
And a site dedicated for the Tuxedo Dude here.

Reviews and More Reviews

More reviews are popping up, as I'm really tired of posting them as they all say the same thing =), and we already know that its the game to beat:

Action Extreme's posted their review of Half-life
Planet Riva Half-life review posted's review
Gamers Depot reviews Half-life
3D Gaming News review

CPR Extreme's Skin Pack

CPR Extreme just released their 1st skin-pack which includes the skins previously released online:

CPR HalfLife Skin Pack #1 was released today. This includes All New CPR2 (squared), Ninja, CPRGrunt, MadSci, and BiteMe in a nice 900k exe.

Half-life Level Editing Mailing List

Half-life Test Center's level editing mailing list is online for sign-up to all level designers.

Half-life Mods Update

There are a lot of TC/PC's popping out for Half-life, leaving behind other engines as they see their work is much easier with Valve's innovations:

Aerosoft closes its doors as an add-on developer. As its members are actively working with big game companies, the to be published Half-life add-on "Hypnosis" is no more.

Ultimation for Half-life TC, formerly for SiN.

Half-Chance a Partial Conversion for Half-life.

The Russian Front a Teamplay Mod for Half-life (needs help too)

StarCraft Total Conversion???? Yes, it is! Check out the blurb:

On behalf of Shadow Skill Software, the developers of the new and upcoming Half-Life --> Starcraft Total Conversion, I would like to announce a preview/signup page for the TC. We are in dire need of several jobs listed on the page, if you visit it, you can find out more information on the TC, and hopefully apply for a position. We are an exclusive project of the upcoming HL Site, Half-Life Center, on the MGO Network ( We will soon have an official site for the TC there. So, if any of you talented graphic artists, or sound artists, level designers or ANYTHING, are interested in some work. Please visit the preview page for the Half-Life SC Total Conversion at

UK LAN Party

The dude at The Playing Fields sent in a UK LAN Party which hosts a Q2 and Half-life free for all tournaments. With AMD Processors, Voodoo2 cards, and CD-R's as prizes. Register now at their site.

Kwejibo's Half-life Saved Games

Kwejibo's Half-life page sports a saved game repository for every level on Half-life.

These are games saved within a few seconds of the beggining of each stage of the game. Most of the save files begin with ample ammo since I'm kinda stingy with my ammo and use the hornet gun a lot :) These save games are taken on the Difficult setting.

GameSpy 2.06 Shareware Released

GameSpy version 2.06 was released-includes Half-life support previously enabled for registered users... Gamespy is a server browser tool that searches the fastest server for your game. (just an F.Y.I.)

Boomstick Guide

Boomstick has a Deathmatch guide for Half-life to give you tips and simple know-how in deathmatching and weapon use.

Multiplayer Tweaks at I.AM/Halflife

Experiencing lag? Poor DM scores thru the net? Check this article out for tweaking Half-life's Multiplayer play at I.AM/Halflife

VoodooExtremes Ken Birdwell Interview

VE posted their interview with Valve engineer Ken Birdwell, following suite is with Valve'c Jay Stelly in a week so check it out.

-Runabout - 11:24 A.M. Got news? E-mail us

Dec. 14, 1998

Contaminated Redesigned had a new look and a new name... PLANet Half-life, still the old URL forwards to the same new page. Go check it out!

Loonygames "GAME OF THE YEAR!!"

Loonygames gave Half-life as not the action title of the year but "GAME OF THE YEAR!!"

So why is Half-Life our game of the year? Because despite the fact that individual parts may be surpassed, the overall experience can’t even be approached. Half-Life’s revolutionary storytelling style, mind blowing AI, and spectacular level design make it a fantastic experience, and one that shouldn’t be missed.

Tweak3D's Autoexec Creator Updated

Tweak3D's Half-life Autoexec Creator was given a tweak and added some screenshots and other improvements for your visual pleasure and performance.


We got some downtime a few days ago and I couldn't update the site. Well, catching up is lazy so I'll rather give the latest news. =) More: I'm impressed with Contamin err... PLANetHalflife's design and I'm doing some things for The Daily Death, but still real life projects are creeping up on me. So I'll try to be as "daily" as possible. heh =)

-Runabout - 3:24 P.M. Got news? E-mail us

Dec. 12, 1998


Just to inform you that there is a FALSE UPGRADE PATCH that is floating down the net. Do not download hl1007beta.exe as it will steal your CD key! Check out I.AM/Halflife for more details.

Gravis Joystick Config

For you Gravis Exterminator users, Rahul sent in his config for use in Half-life:

Proportional Control Stick: Look/Turn
Other Control Pad: Movement Forward+Backward/Strafing
Throttle: Forward/Backward + Speed (Farther Left faster backward, Farther Right faster forward)
Rudder: Strafing
Other Buttons: Configure by user in custom controls

To Use: Place file in valve subdirectory.
Please direct replies to - Thank you.

joyname "Gravis Xterminator"
joyadvanced 1.0
joyadvaxisx 4
joyadvaxisy 2
joyadvaxisz 17
joyadvaxisr 0
joyadvaxisu 3
joyadvaxisv 0
joyforwardsensitivity -1.0
joysidesensitivity -1.0
joypitchsensitivity 1.0
joyyawsensitivity -1.0
joyforwardthreshold 0.15
joysidethreshold 0.15
joyyawthreshold 0.15
joypitchthreshold 0.15

Half-life Tournament

Geoff sent in the word for a Half-life Tournament at

WonSWAP Bugs Fixed's WonSWAP utility has been fixed, removing some bugs for Half-life. Here's some of the info they sent:

If you have a Half-Life map and want to upload it, go here and download the client and put your maps on our database and download some there.

To do a quick view of currently all the maps in our database click on here.

Any questions E-Mail

-Runabout - 8:45 P.M. Got news? E-mail us

Dec. 10, 1998

Hydra-SB Server Browser

There is a new server browser thingy around named Hydra-SB, read more here:

I'm dropping you a quick mail to tell you about a new game server browser for Quake, QW, Quake2, Sin and Half Life.... this new browser is called Hydra-SB. This is not like any other you have seen... this has the worlds first 100% graphical windows interface that can be resized, edited and much more.

Some outstanding features are:

Built in Fun Name editor for Qw
Full animated 3D model display for Q2 skins and models
Full graphic support for SIN models and Skins (that works)
Full graphical support for Half-Life Models and Skins, Spray paint and player color
Fully editable "client skins". Users can create there own window frames, dialog boxes and buttons for the client.

There is all the standard must have options for game server browsing and to many to mention here. We invite you and your staff to visit to get an overview of this revolutionary new gaming client. Please be sure to visit the "screenshots" area to get the full impact of why Hydra is like no other.

Thank you for your time

VP Red Mountain Software Inc.

-Runabout - 3:24 P.M. Got news? E-mail us

Dec. 9, 1998

WONswap Game File Utility

WON has released a beta of WONswap, a utility for gamers to download new maps, models and other Half-life files. Heres their e-mail to me blurb:

WONswap goes into beta!

On Wednesday, December 09, 1998 the file transferring and install utility for Half-Life enters into beta supporting Half-Life maps, with models soon to come.

WONswap ( is a new file transferring utility that will allow you to easily search, download and seamlessly install Half-Life maps (with models and logos soon to come) for Half-Life that are created by users. It eliminates the problems of knowing what directory the files go in and of putting them in the wrong place by accident. WONswap allows you to search for the most popular user created maps. It will give you a huge selection of user created files to choose from to liven up your multiplayer experience.

In order for WONswap to be successful however we want maps, maps and more maps. If you make maps for Half-Life, if you want your maps to be seen by the most people, if you want people to never have troubles installing your maps, then download the beta now and upload your maps. Listen to the voices that babble in head, upload your maps!

If you have any questions about WONswap check out our lovely WONswap message boards, or e-mail

To download WONswap go to: Download WONswap
To view the WONswap FAQ: WONswap FAQ
To view the WONswap home: WONswap

Ciao and thanks!,WONswap

Half-life Visual Document Update

Reverend's Half-life Visual Guide was given a sweet update including a config thingy and HTML'ized the document... no more .doc files! This is what you need to read for improving your Half-life experience or to speed up the game.

Texture SDK

Valve's Harry Teasley released a little smoothie TextureSDK for texture creation, or WAD files to be exact. Includes tutorials and everything you need in making Half-life WADS.

Maps, maps and more maps!

Heh, more are spewing in by the day! ok, ok i'm catching up on the releases =) and mirrored some of the good maps:

PC Gamer/Valve's "The Hill"
xKinetiCx's "Bunker
Scary-one's "Manhunt"
ProMagnoN's "Moebius"
Cho Yan Wong's "Farewell"
Tiggers pre-Half-life Maps tghl01 and tghl02

-Runabout - 12:54 P.M. Got news? E-mail us

Dec. 7, 1998

Half-life Soundtrack

Hstapff sent a word that synSONIQ Records has released a CD mixes of Valve's Half-life:

Technical details ?
Single CD with 4 audio-tracks and a playtime of 21:53 minutes.
Release date: 1998

Tracklist ? 01. HALF-LIFE (domination mix edit)
02. HALF-LIFE (mindbomb remix)
03. HALF-LIFE (hypnotic mix)
04. HALF-LIFE (domination mix)  

More Tweaks

Check out these sites for more info. like console commands, walkthru and others:

I.AM/Halflife, Isotopia Mad Dog's config file that has optimized settings for DeathMatch and Single-Play. Get it here.

-Runabout - 10:24 A.M. Got news? E-mail us

Dec. 6, 1998

Half-life Tweaks

Half-life Visuals Guide:
A Visual Quality Guide for Half-life is up on Voodooextreme, with indepth explanation on the console commands used on 3Fingers's configs and others.

SLI Config for Half-life:
CPR Extreme has a config file for SLI and high end accelerators that shows high visual image quality for Half-life. Get it here.

Darkness Fix:
Seen this from, with some blurb on darkness tweak for Half-life:

I have been reading a lot of complaints on the net about Half Life darkness.

3 fingers and co. have all released there settings but all they do to improve brightness is to set gl_overbright to 1, which appears to leave everything very white/saturated. (especially on my Riva128)

There are 2 settings which you can use to get better results:

texgamma // how bright textures reflect light
lightgamma // how bright lights are

setting these both to about 1 will get you a bright Half Life which isnt as saturated (depending on your video card - I use 1 for my very dark Riva128)

The reason I am emailing you is that I see this darkness complaint a lot and I feel people should know that there is a better solution than gl_overbright, and by playing with theses 2 varaibles, in conjunction with gamma & brightness, you can get better results.

I thought if you could possibly post some info regarding these 2 settings than we could all get a better looking & brighter half life - and thats the world i want to live in :-)

3Finger's Half-life Tweaks: 3Fingers is having a good time while tweaking Half-life, right from timedemo files and image quality configs. Check his site on Voodooextreme. 3Fingers High Quality Config, Extreme Torture Benchmark, and other information on his Tid-Bits Page.


Thanks to Dann from Halflife@Far2cool for giving a hand with The Daily Death. Go check out his page, for some additional info. I have a lot to catch up with the news and files and stuff, but I'm still occupied with Real Life™ and others =(, ill need someone to cover my ass with the page, so applications are open to whom who have HTML and News updating experience(preferably a gaming site), e-mail me or mike.

-Runabout - 10:24 A.M. Got news? E-mail us

December 5, 1998

More PPM madness

A scientist in the HEV suit has been made into a plug-in model. you can download it here. As always, better to download in now, rather than let it lag your game later.


Russell Hayward sent word of his new DM map. It can be downloaded at his site here.

-Dann - 8:57 P.M. Got news? E-mail us

December 4, 1998

Got coffee

Too Much Coffee Man is now a half-life Plug-in model. Whether you use it or not, I'd suggest downloading it now, and save yourself from having to do it in the middle of a game.

-Dann - 8:42 P.M. Got news? E-mail us

New map from deCyber

Got an e-mail from Michael Lohmann from deCyber Halflife:

Hi...Michael Lohmann from deCyber Halflife here...

I think you wanna see these shots of our new official deCyber Halflife map. It's created by our builder Mark Austin and if everything goes well we can finally release it sunday or monday. But let me show you what we have created this time. A deathmatch map and you bet it will your Half-life.

Shot 1
Shot 2
Shot 3
Shot 4
This is just one map you'll see from us. We will release 30-40 official maps next year (I hope) and all my builders from deCyber Unreal will now start to build Half-life maps.
Guess you like to hear that :-)

Have a great weekend

Michael Lohmann
deCyber Halflife

December 3, 1998

Level 5 screens

Level 5 has updated with three screens, (all of the same place), so if you're the mod-buying type, go check them out.

Coders needed

Celeron of the RIYF army, is currently working and an all crowbar mod, which is going to be nice. But, he needs some coder, because that is the root of all mods. So gice him a ring if you're interested.

Scandinavia galore

A danish Half-life site opened up called It's in danish, so most probably won't be able to read it.

-Dann - 6:22 P.M. Got news? E-mail us