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Good Old Games? Bad for Good New Games.

Posted on June 28, 2014 at 10:45 PM Comments comments (0)

GOG.com is a great platform for game purchases. They have an expansive selection of games that are almost impossible to find elsewhere, great sales, and a good community. However, they also sell newer games DRM-free. With the more fluid and changing state that modern games have taken, this can pose an issue. I have multiple examples of this in my GOG library. The first is Alan Wake. When I first purchased the game, it during a large sale, so I got the game and American Nightmare for a steal. I installed the two games right away, along with the latest patch available at the time, patch 1.05. Since that time, however, patch 1.06 has been released. On Steam, as we all know, this patch would automatically be installed without any hassle. However, the patch available through GOG isn't quite as hassle-free. In fact, because I installed patch 1.05, the installer for patch 1.06 says it's not compatible with the version of the game I have installed. Thus, because I installed patch 1.03, I have to uninstall the game entirely and re-install it in order to install patch 1.06, and if any further patches are released, I would likely have to do the same. My second example, an even greater mistake, is Postal 2 Complete. At the time I bought the game, it wasn't yet available on Steam, so I would have still considered it a good buy. That is of course, if RWS hadn't released the game on Steam soon after and starte updating that version regularly. Because of this, I've purchased Postal 2 twice. Luckily, I managed to get it on sale the second time, only spending a little more than a dollar. GOG is great if you're purchasing games that are done. No more patches, no more work, entirely and unquestionably done. However, if you suspect, even a little, that the developers might have something to do with it later, you're better off buying it somewhere else and saving yourself the frustration and possibly the money.

Customizable Flashlight for Garry's Mod Released

Posted on April 10, 2014 at 1:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Well, the flashlight is finally released. Actually, it was finally released... about nine days ago. But until now, I was working on fixing bugs that others reported with the weapon. That all seems to be sorted out, however. The light's color and appearance can be changed through a menu in the options tab. It comes with four lights to begin with, including the standard HL2 flashlight and the L4D flashlight, but more are being added occasionally, and you can also add more yourself in almost exactly the same way you'd add a texture for the lamp tool. So, without further rambling, here's the link.

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=244540803


SteamPipe and Half-Life: Source Part 2

Posted on September 26, 2013 at 1:45 AM Comments comments (0)

As of September 25, 2013, Half-Life: Source's Steampipe beta is fully functioning. An update was released which restored functionality to broken entities, thus allowing the game to be played with few minor flaws. Among these is the fact that spheremaps still do not properly work for models. They do appear to function properly on the world, however. Should this, for some reason, never be fixed, the spheremaps can be converted into cubemaps fairly easily. An option box to load content stored in the hl1_hd folder has also been added. It is listed under the video tab. All world textures from the High-Definition: Source pack have been removed, but updated model textures included with the pack are still present, including Stone's signature. It should be noted that in gameinfo.txt, the game_hd entry is listed under the custom folder but before anything else, meaning that any stray files placed into the hl1_hd folder will be loaded before anything else, making it very easy to place the HD models and textures of your choice into the game.

I also assume that with the engine update, features such as HDR, dynamic shadows and lightwarps and phongwarps will now be available in the game. For the time being, these are only assumptions, however. I cannot test dynamic shadows, as my graphics card isn't supported by the engine, but I will eventually test the other possible features.

SteamPipe and Half-Life: Source

Posted on September 19, 2013 at 2:45 PM Comments comments (0)

UPDATE SEPTEMBER 26, 2013: As of yesterday, Half-Life: Source's beta is fully functioning. Read more here: SteamPipe and Half-Life: Source Part 2

UPDATE SEPTEMBER 20, 2013: As of today, another beta update to Half-Life: Source was released. No fixes have been implemented yet, but an HD pack was added. As of yet it is not fully functioning. VTFs seem to be the only files loaded from the pack. No VMTs or models are loaded. The pack seems to be an official packaging of the unofficial High Definition: Source pack, including the unofficial texture recreations.

Recently, a beta for Half-Life: Source has become available. It converts the game to SteamPipe and also seems to move the game to the newest version of the Source engine. While this seems great, and eventually it will be, for the time being, it isn't. As of this writing, the beta does not include functioning multi_manager entities. The multi_manager is the precursor to modern multi-output entities and to the logic_relay entity. As Half-Life: Source is a direct port of Half-Life, all inputs and outputs are run through multi_manager entities. The fact that these aren't working means the game is currently unplayable. On a less important note, spheremaps aren't working anymore, either, leaving some reflective objects, such as the crowbar, looking fairly ugly.

SteamPipe and Background Maps

Posted on August 19, 2013 at 5:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Many of you may have noticed some issues with Half-Life mods since the SteamPipe update a short while back. Any mod based on the games has ceased to function. Generally, these broken mods can be fixed by changing the contents of the GameInfo.txt file in the root folder of the mod. Some mods, however, don't make it that easy. Lets say you change the contents of GameInfo.txt, and now the game boots, but you're met with a new problem: Once the game starts loading the background map, the game crashes with the message that it's failed to precache either some model or an asterisk with a number after it. What do you do now? Well, after messing around with the mod CUBE, a great mod plagued by this issue, I figured out how to remedy this issue. Simply put, the background map can't replace any other map. In CUBE, for instance, the background map was named background01.bsp. This is the same file name as the first Half-Life 2 background, thus the issue arrises. To fix it seems easy enough, change the name of the background. It is a little more complicated, however. Here is how.

First of all, you're going to want to know what to rename. In the maps folder, if there's a file named backgroundXX.bsp, the XX being a pair of numbers from 01 to 07, that's going to be the offending file. If you've found this file, you know what your looking for. Assuming the map is named background01.bsp, you're going to want to rename the following files: (When doing this, you may want to make sure you keep the same number of characters)


*MOD*/maps/background01.bsp

*MOD*/materials/console/background01.vmt

*MOD*/materials/console/background01_widescreen.vmt

 

In the console folder, you'll also find .vtf files with the same names. Don't change these unless you intend on editing the .vmt files. Once these files are renamed, you're going to want to go to the scripts folder and find ChapterBackgrounds.txt. Open that in a text editor and replace the old name of the background map with the new name. Now, changing the name of the map may break the env maps built in the map. If this is the case, the background will be... very, very ugly. If this has happened, you're going to have to edit the .bsp file some. This is where it's important that you kept the same number of characters as the original file. Open the map file in a text editing program such as Notepad++ and search through for the original name of the map. There will be multiple entries containing the name of the map. These entries all represent folders and the contents of files within the .bsp. Generally, they'll look something like this:


materials/maps/background01/tile/tileroof004a_-120_-2040_52.vmt


What you're going to want to do is look through for the original map name and replace it with the new map name. If the map has cubemaps, there will be many, many entries, so I recommend using a powerful editor capable of doing it all at once, and all quickly. When doing this, I prefer to search for a bit more than just the map name. For instance, I would search for maps/background01/ and replace it with maps/newbackgrn01/.

Mesa - Fallback Update Pack

Posted on January 14, 2013 at 11:55 AM Comments comments (0)

For a while I've had a mod installed titled Mesa - Fallback. It's a mod that takes you back to Black Mesa during the Resonance Cascade in the world of the source engine. You play as a member of the HECU forces, and in this, get to experience the transition from fighting against Black Mesa personnel to fighting alongside them. The mod, however, is severely lacking in some areas, such as model quality and in some cases, map quality. Many maps have leaks or are poorly optimized, and many models are either low-quality re-skins of existing models, or ports of the Dreamcast models. It's for this reason that I am putting together an update pack for the mod. This pack will introduce new models and textures, and aims to eventually repair all the maps. For the time being, only a few maps will be changed. I will make a page for this project soon.