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Author Topic: [HL2SP SMOD] CSS SCI FI  (Read 11148 times)

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fitzroy_doll

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[HL2SP SMOD] CSS SCI FI
« on: January 19, 2007, 12:38:05 AM »



CSS SCI FI is a single player modification for SMOD which uses maps from Counter Strike: Source as the setting for classic Half Life 2 "Counter Combine" action. CSS SCI FI mixes random generation of enemies and resources with map-specific scripting to create a fully realised and readily replayable game. The scripts used to achieve this were originally conceived by the SMOD author and have been expanded and elaborated to create a new HL2 SMOD experience.

This is a project I’ve been working on for several months. By adapting code from the SMOD author’s mapadds, I’ve written custom lua/mapadd files for 15 of the standard CS:S maps. The mapadds combine randomness with specific scripting to provide a realistic but fun experience.

Part of the goal of the project was to ensure that all sounds, textures and materials in CS:S appear as expected, without breaking anything in HL2. In this the project is a success, right down to the ringing bells in Inferno.

The script files are designed for SMOD 38, HL2 and CS:S. They have not been tested with other SMOD meta mods such as SMOD: Tactical and SMOD Redux but I can't see why they would not work.

This project was also a test to see how much editing you can do outside Hammer, with only the two script files to work with. The information I gained from this is all posted on my website, below. If anyone finds solutions for the problems I encountered, please let me know.

I hope you will enjoy these files, and the site.

home page:
http://www.amphibian.myzen.co.uk/css_sci_fi/

download page:
http://www.amphibian.myzen.co.uk/css_sci_fi_download/
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Aydin

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Re: [HL2SP SMOD] CSS SCI FI
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2007, 04:46:24 AM »

completely awesome, a bit similar to smod tactical but i like this better
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ferdam

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Re: [HL2SP SMOD] CSS SCI FI
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2007, 09:10:55 PM »

I'm getting a error when I run the mod. :-\
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fitzroy_doll

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Re: [HL2SP SMOD] CSS SCI FI
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2007, 01:21:45 PM »

I'm getting a error when I run the mod. :-\

Try the light version. It includes fewer entities and may run better for you:

http://www.amphibian.myzen.co.uk/css_sci_fi_download/
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your evil twin

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Re: [HL2SP SMOD] CSS SCI FI
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2007, 08:55:33 PM »

Looks like great fun! Going to give it a try now.
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fitzroy_doll

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Re: [HL2SP SMOD] CSS SCI FI
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2007, 09:32:45 PM »

Looks like great fun! Going to give it a try now.

I just this minute uploaded a new version with clearer documentation, batch files to start each map, and configs not enabled by default (so you can use your own).

Hope you like it!
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your evil twin

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Re: [HL2SP SMOD] CSS SCI FI
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2007, 02:46:08 PM »

You mean "CSS SCI FI Full"? Yeah that's what I'm using.

First impressions... brilliant!

I have to say, found the game incredibly hard... until I went into the configs and re-enabled bullet time, and switched off the extra-tough coloured soldiers.

I'm no wuss - I beat HL2 and Episode Two in hard mode, and Half-Life and all of its expansions in hard mode, and my own "SMOD: Remastered" was quite notorious for overwhelming players with vast numbers of enemies in certain areas... but damn, it sure is easy to get killed in CSS SCI FI! You start off with the regular MP7 submachine gun, and then get confronted with swarms of super-tough red/blue soldiers and cloaked Combine armed with pulse rifles, laser guns, shotguns and SVDs. Ouch! And the NPC allies that you start off with don't last five seconds (especially as cloaked Combine are totally invisible to them, while one red/blue Combine soldier has enough health to eliminate five allies before getting killed).

Then again, maybe the reason I find it so tough is because I am trying to play through the maps without getting killed once. I read that props could vanish if you loaded a saved game, so I've been typing in the actual map name to restart it whenever I get killed, making the experience very much like Counterstrike. Except in Counterstrike you rarely have a situation of five versus twenty enemies, heh. Do you find yourself getting killed often and have to use quicksaves?

I am really impressed with the scripting and nodes and stuff you got into the mapadds. Both the Combine and the allies behave in a really intelligent way, and there's a great cat-and-mouse experience of trying to hunt the enemy down while they simtultaniously are trying to hunt you down. The thing that makes the Combine move to another area every once in a while is really clever - unlike in HL2 where you'll just come across soldiers guarding an area, these CSS SCI FI enemies roam around the map, making them seem more intelligent and simultating actual online counterstrike games.

I loved how the Combine helicopter turned up in de_inferno when I had killed most of the enemies. (Though I still haven't been able to blow up that helicopter, and I've used a ton of rockets. I seem to recall that Combine hunter-choppers take 20 rockets to be killed or some absurd number like that... would be good if you could lower that number slightly.) Was also cool how in de_nuke the Combine gunship flew overhead the building when I reached the big box of rocket ammo, and used its belly cannon.

Oh it is irritating that the player can't use the laser gun - not because I miss the laser gun that much, but because you think you see a pulse rifle on the ground, so you throw away your submachine gun, and then find you can't pick up the pulse rifle, because it is actually the laser gun. And then a Combine ace or something turns up and kills you while you are still floundering about trying to pick up the submachine gun again! I reckon you should either remove the laser gun from the game altogether, or at the very least give it a seperate model. (I know you are trying to keep the game as a tiny download with just scripts, but it is very confusing that the lasergun looks like the pulse rifle.)

Actually, perhaps the pulse rifle should be in the same weapons catagory as the shotgun and other rifles, because at the moment it is really risky swapping the submachine gun for the pulse rifle since the player is not likely to have much pulse rifle ammo. It is great that the shotgun and SVD and kar98 rifle all use the same weapon slot as it means the player has to choose what sort of "additional" weapon they want - a sniper rifle or a close range shotgun or whatever. Whichever the player picks up, it will only have a few shots, and then the player will have to switch back to the submachine gun. But with the pulse rifle, the player actually has to throw away the submachine gun to use it, meaning the player has no fall-back weapon once the 30 shots are used up. The pulse rifle should work as an "additional" weapon.

Oh, in chateau, are the two Combine APCs supposed to be indestructible? Threw loads of grenades at them but they never blew up.

Anyway, yeah this game is a fantastic experience. And now that I've re-enabled bullet time I've got an actual chance of completing the missions! Heh.
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fitzroy_doll

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Re: [HL2SP SMOD] CSS SCI FI
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2007, 03:35:27 PM »

Thanks for trying it out. Bizarrely, most of the forums that have taken this up have been in Hungarian, so I haven't been able to follow much user reaction. Nice to get feedback other than "it's great" or "it sucks". Though of course I'm always happy to hear that it's great.

The biggest problem by far was my ill-thought out decision to include the configs by default. Only after more than 550 downloads did I start to realise that my configs made things too hard. The "main" version ( that's this one: http://www.filecloud.com/files/file.php?user_file_id=360821 ) no longer includes these (they're still there, but zipped up where they won't hurt anyone), so I hope that players who found things too difficult will give it another go.

It's regrettable because the configs are not required to play the game at all. I had assumed people would know that they didn't have to use them if they didn't want to, but let's face it, most people only give things one shot. I wanted to force people to use iron sights, to fight in real time, and to have to fight hard. Despite my experience with design and modding I have fallen into that most simple of traps, the one where the designer thinks everyone thinks like him.

Now that I've seen the error of my ways, players should find the game much more doable. Some of the harshest criticism I've had came from people who only know SMOD through SMOD Tactical and had therefore never seen the "enemies_strong_gappoi 1" (the red and blue enemies), and were unpleasantly surprised. Also, without the configs, your citizen allies will be much more effective (especially if they are blessed with a kar98 or AK47).  You will also be able to use the lasergun, which should even the odds a bit. I understand what you mean about the lasergun being a confusing weapon, I may remove it from future releases (it hurts the player a great deal and is too powerful should he ever get his hands on it). As for the pulse rifle, moving it to "4" is not a bad idea. However I'm not sure I'll continue development of the config side of things.

Having said that, I suppose I could include an easy/moderate/hard config, along with instructions for each. Hmmm. Perhaps yet another change of files is in order.

You needn't worry about props disappearing. It only seems to happen in some maps (the only place I know I've seen it is in Inferno), and even then it's very minor things like glass bottles and so forth. I myself have never been able to play straight through a whole map so unless you cheat (no fun) then props will sometimes have to go.

The APCs, whenever they appear, can be destroyed with grenades. They have 750 health each (the default and unchangeable), so you need about 10 grenades depending on how close you can get them to the vehicles. I realise this is hard but you do have an unlimited quantity of grenades.

The helicopter in Inferno can be brought down, yes. I have altered it so that it takes less than half of the normal number of rockets. There are rockets all over the map (I did it that way to make the player move, but the helicopter will chase you!) and the helicopter is low and relatively slow (and actually does very little damage to you), so it should be doable. I can reduce its health further if you really think it's not in its present state.

Thanks again for your feedback, and I hope you are able to complete the missions. If you have any further problems let me know. It's supposed to be fun, and if it's not then I've messed up. There's lots more to come (next step is custom css maps), so I'd like to learn as much from players at this stage as possible.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2007, 08:40:08 PM by fitzroy_doll »
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fitzroy_doll

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Re: [HL2SP SMOD] CSS SCI FI
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2007, 08:49:05 PM »

Okay a new (and hopefully final) version is now up: http://www.amphibian.myzen.co.uk/css_sci_fi_download/

This includes three different skill settings, which you can choose from by making some minor edits to the autoexec. If you do not edit the autoexec, then no skill setting will be chosen (probably a better default solution than forcing people to play on my absurd difficulty level (which you can still access by selecting "hard"). Doing this allows me to condense all the releases into one, which is certainly less confusing.

I have removed the laserguns. I'm sorry to reduce the variability of the available weapons, but it seems a better solution than to leave them lying around, as noted above. I did not move the pulse rifle in the end. The powerful alt fire makes up for the lack of ammo (in my opinion), and if you play on moderate setting (which most people probably will) then you get 2 weapons per category, so you'll have a backup. Okay, perhaps not. You can do this, but only by providing a second weapon_category.txt. Asking people to trade around weapon_category.txt files probably isn't going to work. So moderate now only gets one weapon too (change already made in uploaded file).

I have also made the helicopter in Inferno slightly easier to kill (you now need to get it down to 60% health rather than 50% as before).
« Last Edit: February 06, 2007, 09:23:13 PM by fitzroy_doll »
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your evil twin

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Re: [HL2SP SMOD] CSS SCI FI
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2007, 09:05:54 PM »

Ah, brilliant. Yeah, that scalable difficulty system should definately make a difference. It's also amusing that I was trying to complete missions in one go without saving, when even the mod's creator isn't capable of it!

I reckon my own personal difficulty level is inbetween moderate and hard - I can cope without a crosshair and one weapon per catagory, but not with red & blue extreme soldiers and no bullet time.

I didn't even know it was possible to make the weapon limiting thing have any figure other than one per catagory... 2 weapons per catagory should be interesting to try out.
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fitzroy_doll

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Re: [HL2SP SMOD] CSS SCI FI
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2007, 09:46:39 PM »


I didn't even know it was possible to make the weapon limiting thing have any figure other than one per catagory... 2 weapons per catagory should be interesting to try out.

It's not, through the engine commands. You can sort of hack it by doctoring up your weapon_category.txt, in order to give the effect of 2 per category. However, this would mean making users move around their weapon_category.txt files along with adjusting their skill. No one is going to want to do that, so in the end I decided not to do this, and have left moderate at 1 per category.
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your evil twin

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Re: [HL2SP SMOD] CSS SCI FI
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2007, 10:17:14 PM »

Huh? How come in the moderate config file I see "weapon_limitcategory 2" then? I'm guessing you discovered that doesn't work, heh.
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fitzroy_doll

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Re: [HL2SP SMOD] CSS SCI FI
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2007, 10:50:52 PM »

Huh? How come in the moderate config file I see "weapon_limitcategory 2" then? I'm guessing you discovered that doesn't work, heh.

Errr...yes. I thought I had that working but then right after I published the file I realised that the way I'd done it before was with the weapon_category.txt, not the engine commands.  But it's all fixed now. I saw one download go through before I fixed it - I guess that was you!

60% on the chopper is easier (just gave it a whirl) but you'll still have to find nearly all the rockets before you get through it. At least in this case no one can accuse the designer of having an advantage by knowing where things are!
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fitzroy_doll

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Re: [HL2SP SMOD] CSS SCI FI
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2007, 10:28:29 AM »

Version 1.2 is now up:

http://www.amphibian.myzen.co.uk/css_sci_fi_download/

Changelog:

1.2
Fixed a problem in Port that could lead to endlessly spawning reinforcements.
Fixed a problem in Nuke that prevented the end from being triggered.
Removed mines from the tunnels in Chateau.

1.1
Rewrote configs and introduced variable skill system. Players can now set skill level using the autoexec.
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your evil twin

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Re: [HL2SP SMOD] CSS SCI FI
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2007, 11:15:37 AM »

Great stuff!

Oh, you should put smod_override_classname 0 into your config files, because that setting carries over from any previously played mods such as SMOD Tactical. I had NPCs shooting green zaps of energy at each other, and hand grenades not working. (Would do the throwing animation, ammo would decrease, but no grenade would fly through the air.) I installed SMOD Tactical since playing the first version of CSS SCI FI (Tactical can be installed in a seperate directory to the normal SMOD folder, quite a clever SMOD feature), but now many of Tactical's settings are showing up in CSS SCI FI because the game is remembering the settings from the last time I played.

EDIT: You also need the command smod_player_legmodel "models\weapons\v_kick.mdl" because otherwise a huge red error model will appear above the player's head if they've ever used a custom kick model in the past, such as the one from Tactical.

EDIT AGAIN (lol): In fact there's a whole ton of variables which will carry over from any previous SMOD mod that is played. Gah! I've attached Tactical's cfg file so you can see all the variables that might interfere with CSS SCI FI's normal gamplay.

[File not found]
« Last Edit: February 11, 2007, 11:44:57 AM by your evil twin »
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