November '98           back

November 29, 1998 moves

The premier swedish site has moved to its own domain so all you swedish speaking fans out there, go check it out.

-Dann - 7:10 P.M. Got news? E-mail us

November 28, 1998

Spec maps

Interested in seeing how advance the AI is in Half-life? Torin "DutchBoY" Segstro has whipped up some spectator maps that he's made, showing a battle again the human grunts and the barneys. Check them out at his site.

Level 5

Radioactive developement has sent out an e-mail describing their progress and also their hiring needs. If you skilled and are looking for a place to put on your resumé, read below:

Okay, here is an important message to you guys, and the rest of the HL community;

We should be releasing some preliminary screenshots in 1-2 weeks (we don't want to release shots of non-quality work). These shots will be of the first level or two, and likely some shots from the new Firing Range training map we are adding in.

We're Hiring: We're looking for people that have worked on previous packs or mods, and are interested in working on a commercial expansion pack in order to get some serious exposure, and perhaps make some cash. We require at least 2 more modelers, 2 more mappers, and 2 more texture artists. All applicants are required to send samples of their work.

For the modeler and texture artist roles on the team send applications and resumes to

For the mapper positions, send mail to

Please distribute this information to other HL and gaming sites.

Sam "Samurai" Shahrani
Co-founder, Programmer, Artist
RadioActive Software

-Dann - 9:51 A.M. Got news? E-mail us

November 26, 1998

Worldcraft 2.0 FAQ

Wavelength posted a FAQ for setting up the editor and other things, while some people have trouble with using it.

More Reviews

More Half-life reviews are spawning up (well what could i say....everyone know that it rocks): GaGames Half-life Review and PC.IGN.COM's Half-life Review


Wooooo!!! 30k hits!! Thanks guys. I wont be updating the news a while, so a very nice friend will help out here. I going to concentrate a while on other things like a redesign and other web stuff(*wink*).

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

November 23, 1998

New Half-life Model

Along with the SDK Jr. released (cant mirror it here), the Barney deathmatch model was released. Get the local copy of the model here. And heres the blurb:

Howdy. Gabe mentioned in his letter yesterday that I'm the the Valve contact for folks who wish to do mods... Since that letter was posted, there's been a huge response that I've been sorting through, asking about source code availability and such, so I thought it would be a good idea to send you guys a quick note about what's going on.

We're putting together resources for the Half-Life Software Developer's Kit. It will have resources for modellers to learn how to build new characters and weapons for Half-Life, for mappers who want to learn how to use the more sophisticated Half-Life entities (that aren't covered in autolycus' excellent WorldCraft tutorial), for texture artists who wish to make new wads for the game, and for coders who wish to create new game DLLs for TCs and mods that require them.

Right now, there's a fair amount to do to get the entire SDK in shape for release. In the meantime, here are some resources that will allow modellers and mappers to start creating new content as soon as possible (sort of an SDK, Jr.) I will keep the news sites posted on future updates to the SDK when they become available.

Also attached is the Security Guard Deathmatch Model, in an installable .exe. Now you can play against your friends as Barney, the helpful Half-Life security guard.

Get the Mini-SDK at Bluesnews' c/o GamesNet FTP

Reviews and Others

More reviews of Valve's Half-life, Sharky Extreme reviews the "Game of the Year", Gamespots Final Hours of Half-life article-when crunch time comes to making and finishing the game. 3Fingers posted his timedemo for Half-life.

Userfriendly Review

The swanky comic strip about geeks, Userfriendly's Iliad wrote a review of the game, read it here. And has a Dust Puppy decal for use with Half-life.

MiniGL from Half-life Performance

MiniGL Benchmark page sports Half-life's MiniGL performance is boost Q2's around 10-12% increase.

Half-life Screens on Glide Shots

Glide Shots first batch of screens goes to Half-life, the site offers 3D accelerated screenshots from 3Dfx Voodoo 2 and Riva TNT accelerators.

Gabe Newell of Valve Update

Gabe Newell of Valve, sent a LARGE update to the community, including a new map "Frenzy" and other issues on Half-life:

I wanted to update the Half-Life community on a couple of things.

Additional Content
Doug Wood did a security guard multiplayer model, which we are going to be making available on-line. Dario Casali did a small 1:1 or 2:2 multiplayer map called Frenzy, which I've attached. Feel free to distribute.

We've been working with PC Gamer to distribute a multiplayer level called The Hill, which they are going to be distributing with their magazine. It's a very vertical level, and is pretty popular here at Valve (it's Marc Laidlaw's favorite multiplayer level right now). We've also been working with comic artist Shannon Wheeler to produce a multiplayer model of Too Much Coffee Man ( that PC Gamer will also be distributing.

This is just the beginning of the additional content that will be available from both Valve and third parties.

Speaking of third parties, Harry Teasley ( is working with people who are interested in building maps, models, add-ons, expansion products, etc... Two other resources are the Wavelength site at and Chris Bokitch's new page,

People interested in commercial publication should contact Scott Lynch,Sr. VP of Sierra Studios (

Server Info
The server situation is pretty good, with several hundred up at a time with good worldwide coverage. There were around 1,000 applicants to the Primary Server Program. This program will be ongoing, and is intended to reward people in the Half-Life community who are doing things which benefit the community as a whole (by hosting servers, running websites, and so on). Doug Lombardi at Sierra ( is the best contact for now if you have questions about this.

Zoid is working on the Linux port of the Half-Life dedicated server. Once he's finished with that he'll be addressing some console related features that people have asked for that should make the dedicated server easier to administer.

Yahn and Jay have been working with Tim and Jack at GameSpy to get Half-Life support working. Some people have posted messages on-line that imply that GameSpy will somehow bypass the authentication and validation of clients, but GameSpy fully supports the WON authentication process.

Pirate stuff
The pirates have been somewhat pesky. We started receiving fake authentication requests from a non-gold release candidate over a week before the product was in stores.
The WON guys have been watching pirates trying to steal keys by sending the authentication servers bogus authentication requests. So far they've been able to find about 6 valid keys this way (at a cost much higher in computer time and network bandwidth than just buying the game), and fortunately they are not keys that have gone out in boxes. To date, no one should have had a pirate using their key, at least if the pirate was looking for a key by talking to the WON servers.
The key generation software that was being sent around on the warez channels is pretty goofy, and never would have passed the WON authentication scrutiny, just the single player game check. We've had some pirates call up Sierra product support and complain about that.

The thing that is most annoying to me is that the bogus data they are generating makes it that much harder to assist people with legitimate support problems. Fixing the shared key between client and dedicated server problem (described below) probably took an extra day because of some bogus information that was posted by a pirate.

People who run dedicated servers and multiplayer clients at the same time
One thing we totally screwed up was sharing a key between the dedicated server and the user's client. Basically if you ran a dedicated server, you were locked out of playing multiplayer games with your client until you had stopped using the dedicated server for about 15 minutes. Ooops. We decided to implement a simple solution to this - all dedicated servers will share a single hardwired key. The update will patch this on the dedicated server. Since most people never run the dedicated server, or have even realized it was on their CD, it didn't cause too much of a problem, but it is still an embarrassing oversight on our part, and we apologize to the server operators that this inconvenienced.

This also means that the dedicated server and client can be in the same directory.

Viruses and Half-Life
To reiterate a point made in another piece of email, Half-Life essentially acts as a virus checker by checking to see if the game files on your machine match those of the current version. If you have a virus on your system and it infects your Half-Life files, you won't be able to be authenticated by the authentication servers. This is much, much, much more likely to be a source of failed authentication than a pirated key.

The reason we put the check in is to make sure that people have the latest version of Half-Life. To a lesser extent it also makes it more difficult for people to play with a hacked version of the game that would give them an unfair advantage (like the bogus player models people used on Quake 2 for a while). As a side effect of the check, it also catches the case where the hl.exe has been modified by a virus. The work around is simple - run a virus checker to detect and remove any viruses, uninstall and then reinstall Half-Life.

We're also putting out an update that should address some of the more frequent support problems. One problem that has confused some people is that they have CD-ROM drives that either can't play the music tracks (because their CD-ROM doesn't deal with music tracks that start after the data track) or they have disabled CD audio on that device. We've decided to disable the portion of the CD authentication that checked for the music tracks, since it was tripping up legitimate customers. Of course they still won't hear the music until they get their CD audio fixed, but they would have that with any game that uses CD music.

Here's a piece of e-mail that Ken Birdwell asked me to distribute to help people until they get the update:
It looks like most everyone who is being stuck with the "Could not validate Half-Life" error after being asked to "Please Insert the Half-Life CD" is being caught by one of three things:

1) The Half-life CD needs to be in the first CD-ROM drive.
2) Another application is actively using the CD Audio when Half-Life starts up.
3) CD Audio isn't enabled.

To fix the first problem, make sure the Half-Life CD is in your first CD-ROM drive. To fix the second, close other applications which may be accessing your CD-ROM drive, such as CD music players. If neither of these allows you to start a Half-Life game, run the application "CD Player" that comes standard with Windows, it's under Programs > Accessories > Multimedia. If that doesn't work, then check Control Panel > Multimedia > CD Music > CD ROM Selection, and make sure it's set to your first CD-ROM drive. If you're under NT, you may also want to check Control Panel > Devices > Cdaudio, and make sure it's not disabled. Once the first two requirements are met, and the "CD Player" application works, then Half-Life should "validate" without any problems.

Once people have the update, they will only have to do this to enable the music in the game - Half-Life will not look to see if the music tracks are present before validating the CD.

We're also going to tweak the default configuration for multiplayer to be more appropriate for people with lower speed modems or with high ping/bad packet loss. We had optimized them for more middle of the road connections.

We're going to make sure that the default rate for LAN games is now hardwired to 9999 so that people won't have to set that themselves, and we're also going to turn off the WON authentication attempts for LAN games. The theory behind that was that if servers were able to authenticate via WON, then they should be running an Internet game, but the timeout on the WON authentication was confusing people. Instead we'll limit LAN games to a single Class C sub-net. That should work a lot better for people running a home LAN or organizing a LAN party.

This update will be available on Wednesday, and will be available through the built-in autoupdate feature of Half-Life (or you can use the Sierra Utilities to install the update as well).

Support Resources
For specific support information, FAQ's, and so on, some useful resources are:

* Sierra Studios Half-Life Information
* Message board for server administrators
* Sierra's main support page
* Half-Life Tips n Tricks on WON
There's a new forum on WON for reporting and getting answers to support questions. People at Valve will be responding to people's questions and issues.
* Madwacker's Unofficial Half-Life support page
* Half-Life hints from Prima's strategy guide

3rd Party Support
We'll be releasing four-speaker support with Creative Labs shortly. It sounds very nice, and will be available as an automatic update.

On the video driver side, NVidia will be releasing new TNT drivers to address some of the problems people have been seeing there. Matrox is also updating their G200 drivers for better D3D Half-Life support. Mike Harrington has been working with S3 on support for their texture compression hardware, and as we get closer to releasing that, we'll let people know more about it.

International Versions
The localized versions of Half-Life should start appearing in stores shortly, with the International English, French and German appearingright away, followed by Italian and Spanish in a few weeks. Japanese will take a bit longer.

-Runabout - 1:55 P.M. Got news? E-mail us

November 24, 1998

Half-life Reactions Page on PC GAMER

PC Gamer Online has a reaction page on the game... Check out peoples impressions on Half-life for you skeptics out there, Thanks Borg.

Warzones Review

With Half-life out in the streets, more reviews are brewing up, check Warzone's Half-life review. Seen from Voodooextreme.

OGR Full-Review

OGR finally posted their follow up full review to Half-life, giving it a star studded 9.7 rating.

Starfighter TC

A total conversion for Half-life is announced called, Starfighter TC. Check their page for more info.

Authentication Fix

Gabe Newell of Valve sent a word out for some people who cannot authenticate the game on their systems, heres the blurb:

We've had a couple of reports that Half-Life wouldn't authenticate on people's systems because they had an out of date or corrupt version of the game that have turned out to be viruses (see below). It didn't occur to us that Half-Life would be a virus checker (we did the hash to make sure people had the latest version of the game, not detect viruses), but it's a nice side effect. This isn't the only reason people might get this error, but it's happening often enough that we thought it would help to spread the word.

Oh, to be clear, the virus isn't on the CD, it's on users systems already, and hl.exe gets infected the way any other binary would.

Entity List

Wavelength guy Harbringer compiled an Entity list for Half-life, so level makers out there: Start your Engines!

3D Now! Fix for Half-life

AMD Zone had a way to add support in Half-life:

Copy the 3dfxglam.dll (from the AMD Quake2 patch files) to the\Half-Life\gldrv directory. Then add the following line to the bottom of drvmap.txt (without quotes) "3dfxglam.dll 3DNow!/Voodoo2 MiniGL". This will add the "3DNow!/Voodoo2 MiniGL" line to the video option menu and add 10-15% performance on AMD-K6-2 systems (based on the 'cheat' timedemo). It's not great but it's a start.

When using the AMD3DNow drivers with Half Life, you must also use the command gl_flipmatrix 1 in the console. If you don't, you suffer from a floating cross hair that makes it impossible to shoot anything with

Need the files?? Go to Atomic Half-life, they posted the 3D Now files and some instructions.

Gamespy Tidbits

Gamespy's Jack Matthew and Tim Cook tells on Gamespy support and Half-life:

Basically, we (Valve and Spy Software) just figured out wtf was going on tonite or so :) In a nutshell, everyone took vacations, and not everyone knew :) After Half Life came out, we had gotten written about Half Life support from the Valve guys. However, at that same time, me and Tim were going on separate vacations leaving Joe to hold the fort, and I was in the process of moving (TEMPORARILY) to Dallas right before that. By the time we had tried to get back to the Valve guys about the specifics of support, THEY had gone on vacation. Joe, Tim, and Mark had come to the conclusion we were being ignored, I knew something was awry but couldn't write email (and was busy drinking in Tallahassee) and the Valve guys were doing god knows what in Mexico :). So there's your mixup. Fun huh?

If you're wondering why we didn't just reverse engineer support in there, it's because a) none of us had picked up the game yet, b) Tim was away, and c) We don't want to make guesses that make us release incremental updates four days in a row. GameSpy is used by millions of people, and we're really trying to put out solid product every release now.

As for how GameSpy got on the HL box, hell if we know :-)

About Half-life support.
Valve has neglected to send us any specs on the protocol used in Half-life despite repeated requests. We are working on it but we must do it the hard way. Also, two-thirds of the team (myself and Jack) are on vacation over Thanksgiving. This is a real shame too because I played Half-life at the beatdown this weekend and it is really good. Still can't find Half-life locally either.

Gamespy support will not require WON access. You should be able to set up your own servers, query other master servers, the gamemaster server at gamespy headquarters, others. Not quite sure how to set up the servers for this because I don't have halflife yet.


All Games Network has a review up of Half-life, read some of the juice:

Visually and aurally, HL is an amazing feat. A new graphical technique called "beam effects" allows Half-Life to create realistic electricity and energy rays that are quite stunning at times. Other enhancements to the Quake engine include the skeletal-animation system, which helps to make creatures look more life-life. Other nice touches include water that ripples up and down, realistic explosions and smoke, and transparency to simulate cloaking devices.
BTW, check out the revised review on Telefragged on Half-life, still, the review is kinda editorialized.

-Runabout - 1:55 P.M. Got news? E-mail us

November 23, 1998

SpaceOrb 360 Config

There is an improved SpaceOrb 360 config at 3DAddiction for you SpaceOrb users, get it here. Seen from Blue.

Server Admin FAQ

Half-life Server Admin FAQ is up, check it on

Half-life Review

Telefragged posted a review of Half-life, heres some of the juice:

Like all games, gameplay is the most crucial part of it. Most companies tend to put graphics ahead of gameplay, but with Valve's Half-Life, it's obvious that they set out with gameplay in mind, graphics second, and it certainly shows.

Hypnosis Add-on

Voodooextreme got the word from Aerosoft of their add-on to Half-life, called Hypnosis. Heres some specs:

- 3 Different Genres
- 3 to 5 Classes Per Genre
- Each class contains 6 weapons, as well as special abilities
- 18 Brand New Death Match Maps!
- 9 Brand New Teamplay Maps!
- All New Textures, Models, Levels
- Many New 'extra' Features

Timedemo for Half-life

Folks at Tweak3d posted a timedemo for Half-life, and given some tweaks for brightness in the game:

Next, make sure you've enabled the console. Do so by adding the following to your command line: -console. So, if you wanted to make a new shortcut for Half-Life, you could right click your desktop, choose New Shortcut, browse for Half Life, then add to that command line (e.g. C:\halflife\hl.exe) so it says, for example,
C:\halflife\hl.exe -console

Now that the console is enabled, you can begin tweaking a bit. Start Half-Life. Enter your saved game or new game etc. At the console (hit ~ to get there), type brightness 2 to increase the brightness of the characters.

If you have a TNT, and there are problems with particles like blood and shrapnel, type gl_polyoffset 20

Also, make sure the gamma is all the way up, by hitting ESC, then choose CONFIGURATION, and go to VIDEO, then VIDEO OPTIONS. Don't change the GLARE value (this is what the command brightness increases

-Runabout - 1:55 P.M. Got news? E-mail us

November 21, 1998

Half-life Haven Multiplayer Review

The guys at Half-life Haven made a nice Multiplayer Review, go read it here.


Here are some fixes for your fixation on Half-life

-A3D Fix-
There is a fix for Half-life's A3D bug at Aureal 3D Central.

-Drop Dead stuff(from Atomic Half-life)-
If you create your own autoexec.cfg, joystick.cfg, opengl.cfg or d3d.cfg, please make sure you have a carriage return on the last line. Some of the problems people have reported (monsters die in one shot, NPCs die while walking around) are a direct result of this.

-Lan Stuff-
I was having a little trouble setting up Half-Life on my office LAN, apparently because HL was recognizing it as an internet game (we have a permanent connection) and didn't allow players with the same CD key to join. I emailed the fine Mr. Newell, who sent along this simple tip:

>>"If the server can authenticate via WON, it assumes that it is an Internet server and requires all of the clients to authenticate. You might try running with a -noip switch and using IPX to force it to be a LAN game."

-No CD Fix (blatantly ripped from
- Some of you have written in asking for help on the issue of Half-Life not recognising that the CD is loaded. Mango says it worked fine for him after running the setup.exe file located in C:\Sierra.

Isotopia Reopens/Half-life Post Opens/Krystal Klear Mods

Isotopia, a site hosted by reopens for Half-life walkthroughs and strategies.

Half-life Post opens to the public for daily news.

Krystal Klear Mods opens at Valveworld, they also needed some coders, mappers and such, check them out.

Half-life Times Mailing List

Mike Weber sent a word about a Half-life mailing list, heres the blurb:

The Half-life Times ( Mailing Lists have been put into gear. So far we have a general Half-life discussion group along with an editing list. Also listed is the announcements list which will contain news items and events going on at Half-life Times and in the community. In the future this may become some kind of Half-life newsletter. Sign up today!

sCary on Half-life Binds

sCary at the Shugashack posted somd key bindings that could help you customize the game to your preferences,(shamefully ripped from his sweet webby):

Q: How do I get to the console?
A: Launch HL with the HL.EXE -CONSOLE command line.
Q: How do I turn off blast decals?
Q: How do I bind keys directly to a weapon?
A: Here is the list of keys to bind:
bind weapon_357
bind weapon_9mmAR
bind weapon_9mmhandgun
bind weapon_crossbow
bind weapon_crowbar
bind weapon_egon
bind weapon_gauss
bind weapon_glock
bind weapon_handgrenade
bind weapon_hornetgun
bind weapon_mp5
bind weapon_python
bind weapon_rpg
bind weapon_satchel
bind weapon_shotgun
bind weapon_snark
bind weapon_tripmine

sCary also is experimenting some wicked configs for Half-life, he'll post it as soon as he find the best one.

Half-life Tips/Tricks

WON has a page up with Tips and Tricks for Half-life, for faster internet play. And WON's Half-life Game Detector, which finds a server for you to play on.

-Runabout - 7:55 A.M. Got news? E-mail us

November 20, 1998

Gamespot Reviews Half-life

Gamespot reviews Half-life, giving it a sweet 9.4 out of 10, heres a blurby:

Half-Life is an exceptional single-player game and a solid multiplayer game (though the upcoming Team Fortress add-on may make it even better). It takes the tried-and-true one step further but ends up leaps and bounds ahead of the rest.

International Half-life Versions Gold

Gabe Newell of Valve fired up an e-mail regarding other versions of Half-life gone gold:

Half-Life has gone gold in the UK and in France. The release candidates for Italian and Spanish will be burned on Tuesday.

EGN2 with Half-life Support

EGN2, a server browser proggy, supports Half-life. Heres more info.:

Brainscan Software announced today that EGN 2, their gaming & communication program, now features support for Sierra's First-Person Shooter Half-Life.EGN combines communication and gaming features, with a complete contact management system. Users can send each other messages, chat sessions, or launch their favorite multiplayer game.

Features Include:

Built in contact management -- keep lists of your gaming buddies! Chat/message features (including voice communication) Complete customization, Users can change the client interface. Easy game launching Support for a number of popular games, including Heretic 2, Hexen2, Hexenworld, Quake, Quake 2, Quakeworld, Shogo, Sin, Unreal and Half-Life. Download the latest version here. Find out more about EGN 2 here.

WarZone Online Gaming MagazineHosting Manager

Gamelinks Review

The dudes at Gamelinks posted their review of err.....(SiN??) Half-life, dummy!


Gameaholic posted some cheats for Half-life here.

TechTank Half-life DM Review

The guys at Tech Tank sports a review of Half-life deathmatch and some screens.

Sierra Studios Half-life Support Page

Sierra's Half-life Support Page is up with some issues and other workarounds that occur with Half-life.

Pingtool Server browser

Pingtool beta 2.4 is out with Half-life support. What is pingtool? Its a game server browser for finding games on the internet.

Next-Generation Review

Next-Generation Online's review of Half-life is up, heres some piece of the pie:

Half-Life is an astonishing game - not because it has mind boggling technology, not because it has an earth shatteringly good story, not because the AI is superior to anything ever released, not because the level design is superior to any game we've ever seen. It is simply astonishing because - well, because they bothered to think about everything.

-Runabout - 10:47 A.M. Got news? E-mail us

November 19, 1998

Half-life Editing Resource Center Opens

Half-life Editing Resource Center by autolycus is open for your public consumption, this is where all editing information you need on Half-life.

Half-life in Stores

Well, a lot of e-mails tells me that the game is in stores, turn off than damn 'puter for a while and run off to your nearest (insert your fav. store w/ dumb clerks here)

Gamespot UK's Review

Gamespot UK posted up their review of the game, read the thingy here.

-Runabout - 9:55 P.M. Got news? E-mail us

November 18, 1998

Ken Birdwell on Gamespot

Gamespot's interview with Ken Birdwell, titled "Half-Life Tech Master Gives Away Secrets" discusses about his work on the animation system on Half-life

Half-life Reviews

Online Gaming Review's mini-review of Half-life is up. Gamecenter's review of Half-life, giving the game 5 out of 5 stars! Way to go Valve! =) Seen that on Blue's Reviewboard mag posted up their review oh Half-life, with 9 out of 10 rating. From

Continuum Entertainment Party

Ken Simkins sent a word about a Half-life Premiere Party:

As we all wait to get our grubby fingers on a brand spanking new copy of Half-Life, here's some news that should interest you. Continuum Entertainment, located in Bellevue WA, will be hosting a premier party that will blow your socks off. Come on in and experience Half-Life via one of our 16 "PODS," immersive gaming at its best. Each of these pods features full stereo surround sound, seat rumblers, a 31 inch monitor and every controller you need to experience any game to its fullest. For your multiplayer fix our network boasts a T1 connection to the net for battles with the outside world, as well as a 4-channel COM system for team play, communicating with the control room for help, and cursing one another as gibs fly across the screen. With 20 kick-ass machines total, this is hardcore gaming at its best.

This party will be held on Thanksgiving weekend (23rd - 25th) and the doors will be open for anyone who drops in. We hope to get some serious multiplayer mayhem going along with the single player so the more the merrier. VALVe has been nice enough to give us a few Half-Life hats to give out as well! Reservations are suggested (We don't want you sitting out in the rain) We are located at:

14125 NE 20th Bellevue, WA
Phone: (425) 603-1766
Fax: (425) 603-1677

Hope to see you there! Visit our website for more info at

Wavelength Tutorials

Contaminated's hosted Half-life editing site Wavelength posted some new tutorials for Worldcraft (still in Q2, guys-just to let you get a hang on making levels), and some updated decal tutorials. Check them out.
I know that i posted this thingy before, oh well....


Well, there is a preview of id softwares's baby Quake3:Arena at Techs Network. And Raven's Heretic II gone GOLD!!! WHOOHOOOOOO!!! Another game to kick my butt on!

-Runabout - 9:49 A.M. Got news? E-mail us

November 17, 1998

Half-life Primary Server Program Closed

With more than a thousand applications for Half-life's Primary Server Program, they are no longer accepting applications for this. As of now there are a lot of servers you could play the game on. (if you have the game already =) ) Here's the beef:

Bellevue, WA (November 17, 1998) - On the heels of Sunday's announcement from Sierra Studios when the Primary Server program for their upcoming game Half-Life was launched, the company announced today that they are closing the program due to the overwhelming number of applicants in the pool.

"We had over 1,000 people apply to be server hosts from around the world," said Doug Lombardi, product manager for Sierra Studios. "The reaction has been fantastic. Our goal was to have 500 by launch and within 24 hours we were blown away with the response."

-Runabout - 3:46 P.M. Got news? E-mail us

Worldcraft 2.0 Screens

I was fumbling around with my browser and spotted some WC 2.0 screenshots from the guys at Far2cool. I dunno if anyone seen them yet, but get ur fix.

Half-life Console Commands

This site has posted the console commands for Half-life, as you could do this by typing this at the command line "hp.exe -console" (w/o the quotes). Seen from Voodooextreme

-Runabout - 3:35 A.M. PST Got news? E-mail us

November 15, 1998

Preview on Gameslink

There is a preview of Half-life on Gameslink, get the juice here.

Halflife@Far2cool Log

The guys at Halflife@Far2cool has an edited log posted from the #valve chat in a Q & A format.

Valveworld Redesigned

Valveworld has a new look, along with it is a preview of Half-life and a #valve chat log. Screens posted some multiplayer screenshots of Half-life, check them out here and here.


LevelAlpha reopens again with a new spiffy look and a lot of features to hold.

-Runabout - 3:35 A.M. PST Got news? E-mail us

November 14, 1998

Half-life Primary Servers

WON -World Opponent Network announced that the Primary Server application for Valve's Half-life is up and ready for you. Apply here (Only for those with cable modem or higher speeds).

-Runabout - 9:35 A.M. EST Got news? E-mail us

November 14, 1998

Teamfortress 2 Preview

Check out an overview of the Teamfortress 2 add-on for Half-life. Seen on

Half-life Screens

More Half-life screenshots are posted on FiringSquad, with more deathmatch screens and some sweet spots, see them here.

Ben on New Level Editor

Ben Morris checked out with some Q & A with Rust on his new project: (Blatantly ripped sneak and the guys from

Rust scored a short Q & A with Ben Morris (look under November 9th) talking about his new level editor which will include Unreal-engine and may include Quake-engine support (including Half-Life). For those of you who may not now, Ben Morris was the father of the original WorldCraft and worked at Valve for several months. He left to work on a great new level editor expected to be released early next year.

3D Map Realm

3D Map Realm opens, hosted by Rust, offers single player map reviews, along with it is a Half-life OEM review, which you could read about here.

-Runabout - 4:45 A.M. PST Got news? E-mail us

Half-life Client/Server Info

Blue spotted a small Q & A about the client/server feature on Half-life on/or internet and LAN (dedicated server thingy) play:
Question: Having a LAN party for the release of Half Life, about 16 people or so, and I believe some of these people won't have half life by the time of the party. But 3/4 of the people should. My question is can a CD be used for multiple mutliplayer installs for the remaining people, just for LAN play? Don't know what your guys policy or security is on this, and I want to plan ahead for this contingency.

Gabe: If your Half-Life server doesn't authenticate (in other words it doesn't have an IP connection to WON's authentication servers), you can play up to 5 clients sharing a single CD key. If the server can authenticate itself via WON, then it insists that all of the clients have a unique CD key. This basically differentiates LAN games from Internet games.

Question: And second, I read in the chat, that you guys were releasing the server software early. how can someone get this? We have a box sitting on a partial T3 just ready to run a dedicated server.

Gabe: The details of the server program will get announced tomorrow. There will be a qualifying questionnaire, and once you get a server up that can be connected to, you'll be sent a multiplayer client and a CD key. There will be a limited number of people who can participate in the program.

Rust Mailing List

Rust now offers subscription to their Half-life Editing list, by mailing and on the body insert "subscribe halflife_editing". You can get more info on their mailing list page.

-Runabout - 9:35 A.M. EST Got news? E-mail us

November 13, 1998

#Valve IRC Party Log

If you missed the IRC party a few hours ago, check out the log for the Q & A with Gabe Newell and the Valve team. Well, the IRC party went a little rough (IMHO) but, cool enough for the Valve guys to show up for the best game ever! =) Read the log here. I could post the "unedited" log later or tomorrow....

Half-life IRC Party

Join the people in IRC on Undernet, channel #valve, for Half-life GOLD party. Chat and partying with the tender-loving men and women on Half-life with guests from Valve Software. Q & A sessions on and all about Half-life and other topics you wanted to ask and tell =).

Beatdown on Half-life

Bastard's Beatdown a lanparty hosted by the p1mps at PlanetQuake, offers the "First Half-life Tournament" along with some preview of a new 3d spacey game. Half-life will be one of their suite of games along with Quake and Quake 2 tourneys, ROCK!!!

Computer Games Online

Computer Games Online has some article up about Half-life. Read it here.

Worldcraft 2.0 screens

Dark Portal Map Database got hold a screenshot of Worldcraft 2.0. What is WC 2.0 anyway? (for all of you living under a rock) Worldcraft 2.0 is a level editor that is included with the release of Half-life, as it is used by Valve Software themselves in creating the immersive worlds in the game.

-Runabout - 9:35 A.M. EST Got news? E-mail us

November 10, 1998

Half-life Press Release

With the game going gold yesterday, Sierra and Valve issued the official press release:

Bellevue, WA (November 10, 1998) - Sierra Studios announced today that Half-Life, one of the most anticipated games for the holiday season, has gone gold and will be in stores before Thanksgiving weekend. Developed by Valve Software, this first-person 3D action shooter has been getting a lot of attention in the last couple of months since the release of the 250mg OEM demo.

The game has already won plenty of praise, including "Best PC Game" and "Best Action Game" at this year's Electronic Entertainment Exposition from Unified Gamer's Online, Best of E3 Show Awards. The same group, represented by 30 different gaming Web sites, recently announced the UGO Holiday Games "Best Buy" Awards, where Half-Life scooped up awards in the Best Action category and Best PC game category.

"The buzz has been so fantastic from the press, the sales team, the retailers and the consumers that we are proud to say we are off to market," said Jim Veevaert, director of marketing for Sierra Studios.

PC.IGN.COM Multiplayer Preview

PC.IGN.COM has a multiplayer review on Half-life sporting some spiffy screenshots of deathmatch action and player models, along with some weapon info., regional damage and others. Read the preview here.


With Half-life Gold, all we have to do is wait beside the retail oulets and prepare to snag a fresh copy of Half-life! Be sure to bring some tents and food for our vigil... =) And be sure to read the preview of the game at FiringSquad (*plug*) with a lengthy (i mean LENGTHY!) preview of the game, by Thresh (Who's this guy anyway?? =) ), which contains a lot of info. and to get the feel of Half-life.
And btw, we could hear more of Clan ULV on Half-life....

-Runabout - 9:43 A.M. EST Got news? E-mail us

November 9, 1998

Half-life is GOLDEN!!!!

Half-life is Gold guys!!! heres the e-mail from Gabe Newell, founder of Valve Software!!

Half-Life has gone gold, and is in manufacturing.

I'd like to say how extraordinarily grateful all of us here at Valve are for the support and enthusiasm you have shown Half-Life over the last two years. We are very proud of the product, and hope it lives up to your expectations.

Sierra will be sending out a media alert tomorrow giving more details on the street date.

Thresh's Hardware Site and Half-life Preview

Dennis "Thresh" Fong sent me an e-mail of their new site called : Thresh's Firingsquad, along with a preview of Half-life!!! Heres the whole blurb:
I wanted to pass along word that I'll be launching a new site at around noon EST today called "Thresh's FiringSquad" (Who'd have thought? :)) It's a site focused mainly on hardware and game reviews. The lil' twist we give it is that for every product we review, we'll have two perspectives - One, from a gamer's perspective (myself), and the other from a hardware-techie perspective (Kenn). We've always felt (and as evidenced by the constant references by Tom's Hardware and Anand to gaming) that hardware and gaming are very inter-related.

The site will launch with a few reviews (one being a huge Half-Life Preview since we had the opportunity to spend several days at Valve playtesting Half-Life before it went gold) and a weekly debate (this week's being on the recently hip topic: USB vs. PS/2 mice). While a mention on your page would be great, I would also appreciate it if you had the time to take a look around the site and gave some feedback on what you like and dislike about it. The site is at:

-Runabout - 3:01 P.M. EST Got news? E-mail us

Half-life Review

Clan ULV a Quake 2 clan, posted a "review"" of Half-life. Warning spoilers are included as some screens shows some of the weapons in the game.


Apologies to Clan Ulvheim, for the previous post. As he clarified to me some details on the review and how he beat us up on the review. =)

-Runabout - 10:43 A.M. EST Got news? E-mail us

November 7, 1998

Gamespots Hands On: Half-Life Multiplayer

Gamespot was given the oppurtunity of experiencing Half-life multiplayer and some of the weapons. Read Gamespot News

Sins Easter Egg

Well, to all of you SiN owners/players there, check this Easter Egg! Seen on

Dead Software

Dead Software is a new team aimed to develop mods for Valve's Half-life, Check them out, here.

-Runabout - 10:04 A.M. EST Got news? E-mail us

November 5, 1998

"Top Ten Reasons Half-Life Isn't Gold Yet!"

Waiting for the Game? Read this top ten list on why it hasn't come out yet:

10. So many games have gone gold recently that the company that manufactures gold CDs is on back order. Valve should get theirs in "winter 1998/9."

9. Valve completed the game, but just when they were getting ready to burn the CD, an intense sense of loss and loneliness set into the employees. Going gold has been suspended until all Valve employees undergo intense psychotherapy to help them find a new purpose in life.

8. The game did go gold and was manufactured, but the original order to Santa Claus depleted the stock. Unfortunately, Santa's check bounced and they've no more money to press CDs.

7. In order to accommodate those with low end computers, Valve decided to dump CDs put all 450 megs of the game out on 1.44 inch floppy disks.

6. The game is done, but Valve forgot to actually tell someone to make the gold CD and everyone left on vacation to celebrate. Game will go gold as soon as someone figures this out.

5. Valve is co-operating with a WSU grad student on a dissertation to study gaming communities. The research question is: "How many times can a gaming company take a dump on its fans before they give up and go buy something else?"

4. In a complex covert operation to boost the sales of sIn, Ritual stole the HL gold CD, burnt the Valve offices down, and wiped out every beta copy of Half Life they could find. Valve now has to rebuild the game starting at the end of Half Life Day One.

3. Sierra bureaucrats and Valve employees are so angry with each other over the release date that they've stopped working, preferring instead to spend all day fighting in the halls with broomsticks and baseball bats.

2. Around June, Valve got so angry with impatient fans that they secretly dumped the whole project. They will "act" like the game will come out in "just a couple of weeks" every day for the next year just to get revenge.

And the number 1 reason Half-Life isn't gold yet:

1. Valve hired Epic MegaGames to do their Internet code. After getting it back last week, Half of Valve committed suicide. The other half will commit suicide once they figure out they are watching multiplayer and not looking at screenshots.

Seen this from Atomic Half-life. BTW, posted there are more screenshots on Half-life: Day One OEM.

PC Gamer Online's Interactive Interview on Gabe Newell

PC Gamer Online had posted their interactive interview with Valve founder, Gabe Newell. Read the interview here.

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

November 3, 1998

Gamecenters Sneak Peek on Half-life

Ken Feinstein from Cnet sent a word up on Gamecenters Sneak Preview on Half-life which reviews the latest build of Half-life and info on multiplay/weapons. Click!

Harry Teasley on Third Party Add-ons

Harry Teasley of Valve gave some info on third party Add-ons for Half-life:

We're really excited to see such a high level of interest in Half-Life from the mod community. While we haven't announced any authorized expansion packs yet, we're really looking forward to seeing what people come up with and want to support them as best we can.

Half-Life is a really flexible platform for development, and an add-on using the Half-Life engine doesn't have to look anything like the game we've created with it. From the sound of the projects I've read about, I expect that folks will have a lot of new and exciting games to play in the months after Half-Life hits the shelves. If a team develops an add-on that they would like to publish, they should contact me at, and I can advise them about Sierra's policies regarding commercial add-ons for Half-Life.

Seen that from Voodoo Extreme


Other than Half-life, id's next generation FPS, Q3:Arena tidbits are spawning up! Go to Bluenews or Redwoods for their peek at id's baby.

-Runabout - 10:41 A.M. EST Got news? E-mail us

November 2, 1998

Sierra's Half-life Site Relauched

Sierra Studios relaunched the "Official Half-life Website". All with new screens and the recently released mpgs. Check it out! (click)

Half-life Box Scans posted their scans of the retail box of Half-life.

Half-life Review

Valveworld's Mindphlux finished his review of the OEM release, which was the continuation of his preview posted on

Info on RadioActive Software's Half-life Add-on

RadioActive Software posted more info on their "Unofficial Add-on" for Half-life:

Single Player Features

Half-Life: Level 5 is a single player add on pack that allows the player to experience the events of Half-Life from a different perspective.

New Weapons: There will be new weapons...

Multiplay Features

Everyone digs single-player... but everyone LOVES multiplay. So what is HL:L5 gonna offer?

Frag the Scientist: Oh sure, playing against opponents that shoot back is great, but what about fragging scientists?! In this game, players are divided into two teams: Soldiers and Scientists. The soldiers goal is to waste the scientists in the level, while the scientists goal is to make a break for the exits, and get out of the area. Sounds easy, right? The scientists are fodder, and the Soldiers will eat them alive...unless the scientist get the HEV suits on. Then it's assbeating time.

Betterhalf Redesigned

The Betterhalf a Half-life dedicated site posing their new spiffy redesign.

5th Element TC

The guys at 5th Element Total Conversion switched engines from Q2 engine to the Half-life Engine.

-Runabout - 9:49 A.M. EST Got news? E-mail us

November 1, 1998

Add-ons for Half-life

Aerotic Software's website is up, promoting a commercial add-on to Half-life.
RadioActive Software offers an expansion to Half-life, here's part of the press release:

Bloomington, Indiana- RadioActive Software is proud to announce this Halloween, that we have begun work on a Half-Life expansion, tentatively titled "Half Life: Level 5".

In Level 5, you play Sara Wilson, a British-born Pathogen/Toxin expert, trained by the U.S. army to contain and identify possible threats to soldiers.


Just forgot to post this up! Ritual Entertainment's first person shooter SiN has gone gold a few days ago and we'll expect it in shelves around a week.

Next-Generation on Half-life Gold Date

Next-Generation has a news bit on Half-life's release from the people at Sierra, which states that it will go gold today! Read the article here.


Happy Halloween! Monolith's Blood2 Demo was released yesterday!! What could i say??? Its too slow!!! Choppy on everyones machine including my friends PII 300!!! And there are a lot of Trick o' Treatin' Bugs too. Didn't like the first game, surely this one too. Still if ya like gore, blood, and more blood and gore? Check out

-Runabout - 4:49 A.M. EST Got news? E-mail us