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Topics - Ambient.Impact

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News / When I Delete You Maybe I'll Stop Feeling So Bad
« on: November 04, 2011, 06:40:57 AM »
The more astute among you may have noticed the complete lack of updates in recent months years time since dinosaurs roamed the earth with shotguns and zeppelins. Also, those even sharper will have taken note of our new adbot overlords on the forums. Holy [EXPLETIVE], they don't give up. Anywho, just wanted to say that I haven't succumbed to any sort of illness or gotten into an argument with a fast moving motor vehicle. My life in the past few years has been a mess and hasn't made it easy to work on what I love. Between that and trying to keep up with the freelance web development work I've been doing, I haven't had much mental energy to devote to HIT. The funny (or sad, take your pick) thing is that the will is still there. I'm always thinking of new ideas and concepts, taking reference photos with my phone of anything that looks at home in a decommissioned missile base, and more. And Half-Life still remains one of the few games that I can honestly say has changed the way I look at the games industry, and is still capable of making my imagination come to life after all these years. Maybe I'll be able to pull myself together in the new year. Only time will tell.

As for the massive amount of adbots: they need to go. I'll need a big shovel. I've started working (when I can) on porting the entire website to Drupal, including the forums. The good news is that it'll be better than it was before (faster, stronger...), but the bad news is that we'll need to start the forums from scratch, with new user accounts. I'll keep the old forums online for archive purposes, but they'll be locked down. It's the best I can do.

In the meanwhile, hang tight and watch this space. And remember to soar majestically like an eagle. Piloting a blimp.

Minor Updates / I'm not dead, honestly!
« on: August 16, 2010, 06:48:49 PM »
Hey everyone. I've been pretty busy for the last while, working on a website for a client in my spare time. Between that, working a dead-end job most days, and trying to have some semblance of a social life (so I don't go insane), I haven't had any time to work on any HIT stuff lately. That should change towards the end of September, though. I haven't even had time to play much of anything, as you can tell from my Steam profile (no, I won't add you, nothing personal). So, yeah.

News / Look at Me Still Talking, When There's Science to Do
« on: May 23, 2010, 11:36:16 PM »
Good news, everyone! We now have a presentable [force-local-link]About page[/force-local-link]. And even better, we also have a semi-useful [force-local-link]Downloads page[/force-local-link]. You'll notice that we've put together a copy of Half-Life: Uplink, just because. We've also updated the Half-Life menu theme with keyboard controls that are less 1998 and more 2008 (or 2010, but that doesn't rhyme). Now, if you don't mind, I have crawl back into my cave and get back to work.

News / I've Experiments to Run, There is Research to be Done
« on: March 19, 2010, 07:30:00 PM »
[float=left][/float]Hey everyone. We've been up to no good again. Our [force-local-link]website[/force-local-link] is now spiffier than ever. While we don't have anything major to show you, we've been building up the site so that we can easily show off new media and info. For example, take a look at the [force-local-link]Half-Life[/force-local-link] project.

If anyone sees anything wonky with the site, post it here and I'll see if I can fix it. Make sure you include your browser and version. If it happens to be Internet Explorer 6, I've already done all that I can for that broken mess.

I've also been busy setting up a blog for my good friend Jonas. Anyone interested in the intricacies of narrative design in games should definitely check out Playthroughline. If you thought to yourself that it'd be the best thing since sliced cat if someone would do something like The Editing Room's scripts, but for games, he's done that too.


When I decided to create something that resembled the Half-Life background art for the website, it was immediately obvious that it would be a multi-use sort of thing. Couple that with a menu theme that's been gathering dust on my hard drive for a while, and you've got a mini-release. We've replaced the dated green window scheme with a stylish slightly transparent grey. The theme and background are provided separately, and can be used with or without the other. To install, just point your ZIP program (such as WinZip, WinRAR, or 7-Zip) to your Half-Life directory (e.g. [code-inline]C:\Program Files\Valve\Steam\SteamApps\<USER NAME>\half-life[/code-inline]), and make sure you preserve the folder hierarchy stored in the ZIP file, or you'll just be dumping the files in the wrong place.

Part 1: Download the launcher menu theme (without background).

Part 2: Download and install the background that's closest to your Half-Life display resolution.

[float=left]Menu Theme[/float][float=left]Fullscreen:
1024 x 768(4:3)
1280 x 960(4:3)
1280 x 1024(5:4)
1600 x 1200(4:3)
1280 x 720(16:9) (720p)
1280 x 800(16:10)
1680 x 1050(16:10)
1920 x 1080(16:9) (1080p)
1920 x 1200(16:10)
[/float][float-clear][warning]Installing this background will cause some mods to display it instead of their own. It's not on purpose - honest! Download the fix and unzip it to the specific mod directory to force it to use its own background instead of ours. For instance, to fix Poke646, unzip to [code-inline][...]\Steam\SteamApps\<USER NAME>\half-life\poke646[/code-inline][/warning]
Source files
If you want to use this background for something, we've got a plain version, and a titled version available as JPEGs. To seriously mess around with it, we recommend you grab the full, layered Photoshop files (151 MB). Just remember to give us credit or we'll come after you with a sharp stick.


News / I Think I Prefer to Stay Inside
« on: August 21, 2009, 04:09:52 AM »
So here we are again. You might notice it's been a while, even since our [force-local-link]last minor update[/force-local-link]. First off, if you've got any sanity about you, you should ignore my previous optimism about releasing stuff. Matt and I are unfortunately really busy with Real LifeTM, so we're operating under a highly dilated version of Valve time. I honestly wish I had more time to work on this stuff, because I still love Half-Life just about as much as I did a few years ago. We're still here, but things are going to be pretty slo-mo for quite a while, like I've said in [force-local-link]the first announcement[/force-local-link] in November. I'm hoping I'll have more time at some point, but I really can't say when.

So, with that out of the way, I think it's about time you guys had a look at a few things that are pretty much done:
[float=left]Ammo & Health Pickups[/float]
[float=left]Pop Cans[/float]
[float=left]HUD Elements[/float][/gallery]

A few notes:
  • The crowbar is pretty much final - it's unlikely to undergo any big changes. This our baby.
  • The ammo and health pickups are mostly final, but there are a few things I might be changing:
    • I'll be editing the RPG rocket to more closely resembling the original model, with this new realistic version being optional. Same goes for its ammo box.
    • I'm thinking of adding a few more details to the medkit faceplate so it's less boring.
  • Pop cans! Some of these are based on the original skins, and some are new. I've probably spent too much time already on this small model.
  • The HUD is meant for high screen resolutions, generally above 1024 by 768 pixels. We've done Half-Life, Opposing Force, and Blue Shift (which requires [force-local-link]Blue Shift: Unlocked[/force-local-link] because Valve's version won't load custom content...). They're as close to the originals as possible, with the exception of the Blue Shift suit, which now looks like the security armour (was the hazard suit).

If you guys have some constructive criticism on any of these, fire away.

Minor Updates / Still Alive, Part 2
« on: March 06, 2009, 05:08:53 PM »
Hey everyone. When I said that things would be slow, I didn't think they'd be this slow. Since the big surprise site launch, I've been busy working on our projects page, which is about 75% complete now, and a bunch of other parts of the site code which will make it easier for us to add functionality in the future. Boring web development geek stuff. Unfortunately, I've had a lot of working hours lately, so free time has been scarce. I may have more time later this month in April to get a few things rolling, and hopefully unveil a few small things we've got finished. And we'll post some screenshots of the crowbar, too.

We've set up this sub-board to post minor updates, to keep everyone in the loop. Major news such as releases, events, or site updates will still be posted on the main news board, but smaller announcements and the like will be posted here.

News / Still Alive
« on: November 19, 2008, 12:00:00 AM »
Hello everyone. This must be a bit of a shock to most of you. Yes, the Half-Life Improvement Team is still kicking. Sort of. Actually, it's more complicated than that. Work on our projects has been fairly slow for a long time, and most of the original people have moved on to bigger and greater things. So why is this [force-local-link]new site[/force-local-link] here? What's going on? I thought it was all dead? What's happened in the last few years of silence?

Here's what's happened in recent years. Work on [force-local-link]Half-Life: Enhanced[/force-local-link] has gone through some rollercoaster rides, sometimes coming off the rails. For the most part, little work was done. Once in a while Matt and I (Ambient.Impact) would check in some significant changes: little edits or silence, punctuated with points of activity. During this, Black Mesa was picking up speed. At first, we started to doubt there was any point anymore in continuing our projects. We were under-manned and would never attain their popularity or scale. And then a variety of other, external factors, such as real life, started to take time away from our projects, until things barely moved. This is where the silence really started, and continued for a long time. Then we reminded ourselves that, primarily, our projects (including HL:E), are, first and foremost, something that we want to pursue, regardless of whether or not we have a large following. It's more important that we work hard, and end up with something that we're proud of, rather than being popular. That is secondary to the goal, for us. That's not to say we don't appreciate feedback from you guys. In fact, it'll become much more important now that we're out in the open about where we are. So, where are we?

At this point, our team consists of Matt and me, and the tireless forum team, who shovel the crap into the sewer on a regular basis. We'll add more people as time goes on, but not too soon, unless plans change. And it's all about planning. (My segways suck, I know) We're starting to lay out a plan that involves everything, from our upgrade content (models, sprites, etc. for existing games, starting with [force-local-link]Half-Life[/force-local-link]), to an updated version of [force-local-link]Blue Shift: Unlocked[/force-local-link], to eventually getting Half-Life: Enhanced going again. Without proper planning, even relatively simple projects can go horribly wrong. That's what happened with HL:E, everyone we brought on had their own ideas of what the project should be about, and started adding stuff in that clashed with the rest. There was no real central plan as to what our goals were, and everything was fairly vague. That won't be the case this time around. I've taken on the responsibility of planning and managing our projects. We're serious this time.

So, what are you going to see in the near future? Well, first and foremost, this site is incomplete at best. Hell, you can't even view anything on our current projects. That'll be the first priority: fixing this puppy up all nice and proper. Then, we'll start to release a few bits of content (models, sprites) as time goes on, along with a much-needed update to Blue Shift: Unlocked. We'll probably be making some inroads on Half-Life: Enhanced in the meanwhile, but I should stress that work on that will be slow for a good while, as we get our bearings, work on internal planning, and organise ourselves.

A giant cookie to those of you that know the significance of today's date.

Now then, to answer what's certainly going to be an avalanche of questions:

Who's behind all this? Who's in charge now?
Matt and Ambient.Impact are currently the only ones involved. For the time being we're not going to add anyone else to the team. When we will, it'll be only to fill a position neither of us can carry out, as less people means less cats to herd. And I mean that in the nicest possible way.

Who created the website? Why doesn't it look very good in ancient browsers? The fancy animations are choppy and are slowing my poor computer down!
I (Ambient.Impact) created the website. This site has been a work in progress for several years, and has gone through several major revisions. Old browsers, like Internet Explorer 6 aren't capable of rendering some of the advanced features used in this website, and that's all there is to it. You'll need a modern browser, such as Firefox (or another Mozilla browser), Opera, Safari, Google Chrome, or a recent version of Internet Explorer. If the site is running slowly for you, try turning off the title animation. You can also switch over to the HIT Classic theme, which looks very much like the original site and is fairly light on the visual effects.

Is that crowbar on the main page a real model? Can I have it? Who created it?
Yes, it is, and not yet - patience, young grasshopper. It was fully modelled and textured by me (Ambient.Impact) this summer (2008). It'll be released at some point soon, once we create a new HEV hand model to go with it.

Conversation / Blue Shift: Unlocked 1.1 Released! (Don't Bump-report)
« on: October 25, 2005, 11:43:33 PM »
Please post all comments, bug reports, and general flaming of our 1.1 release in this thread.

If you're wondering what I'm talking about, check the main page: Link

Half-Life: Enhanced / ModDb Entry
« on: June 20, 2005, 11:56:01 PM »
In case anyone wants a look, we've got a ModDb entry for Half-Life:Enhanced.


Gold Source Tutorials / Illegal Parent Bones - Common Fix
« on: June 11, 2005, 08:09:50 AM »
Just paste this at the top of your QC file, before any $body, $bodygroup, or $sequence commands. This won't solve all your bone name problems, but it handles the most common ones.

Code: [Select]
$renamebone "Hands biped" "Bip01"
$renamebone "Bip01 L Arm" "Bip01 L Clavicle"
$renamebone "Bip01 L Arm1" "Bip01 L UpperArm"
$renamebone "Bip01 L Arm2" "Bip01 L Forearm"
$renamebone "Bip01 R Arm" "Bip01 R Clavicle"
$renamebone "Bip01 R Arm1" "Bip01 R UpperArm"
$renamebone "Bip01 R Arm2" "Bip01 R Forearm"
$renamebone "Bip01 L Leg" "Bip01 L Thigh"
$renamebone "Bip01 L Leg1" "Bip01 L Calf"
$renamebone "Bip01 R Leg" "Bip01 R Thigh"
$renamebone "Bip01 R Leg1" "Bip01 R Calf"

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