Half-Life (Windows) 1998
Next step in 3D - first skeletal system animation, face mimics animation, first random non-player character speech and 'interaction' in an otherwise straightforward action game
pictures from manuals
Review (Arcade) (1999-01)
Magazine commercial - Computer Game Entertainment (1998)
Magazine preview - Gamers Republic (1998)
Magazine review - Computer and videogames (1999)
1) Designed for Windows, the game's engine, GoldSrc, was a heavily modified version of id Software's Quake game engine with code portions from the id Tech 2 engine.a developer stated in a PC Accelerator magazine preview that seventy percent of the engine code was rewritten.
2) Gameplay influenced the design of First-person shooters for years after its release, and it is widely considered to be one of the greatest games of all time.
3) Compared to most First-person shooters of the time, which relied on cut-scene intermissions to detail their plotlines, Half-Life's story is told entirely by means of scripted sequences.
4) Most of the game is set in a remote desert area of New Mexico in the Black Mesa Research Facility, a fictional complex that bears many similarities to both the Los Alamos National Laboratory and Area 51, at some point during the 2000s.
5) The game's plot was originally inspired by the video games Doom, Quake (both PC games produced by id Software), and Resident Evil (published by Capcom), , Stephen King's short story/novella The Mist, and an episode of The Outer Limits called "The Borderland".
6) Apparently, Valve had written a part for Gordon's wife, Gina, to appear in the game, this idea got scrapped but she still made it to the game, her model was the one used for the holographic trainer.
7) Half-Life was one of the first games to utilize a software-driven environmental sound engine. Effects are applied in context of room size and surfaces of reflection. Reverb effects are calculated in realtime and applied on the fly as sounds are triggered.
8) One of Quentin Tarantino's favourite computer games. He has stated he wishes someday to make a film adaptation of it.
9) Several of the security doors in the game have the writing "Security 7G". Homer Simpson of The Simpsons is Safety Inspector for Sector 7-G of the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant.
10) Skeletal animation is a technique in computer animation in which a character is represented in two parts: a surface representation used to draw the character (called skin or mesh) and a hierarchical set of interconnected bones (called the skeleton or rig) used to animate (pose and keyframe) the mesh. While this technique is often used to animate humans or more generally for organic modeling, it only serves to make the animation process more intuitive and the same technique can be used to control the deformation of any object — a door, a spoon, a building, or a galaxy. When the animated object is more general than for example a humanoid character the set of bones may not be hierarchical or interconnected, but it just represents a higher level description of the motion of the part of mesh or skin it is influencing.That was revolutionary in 1998.("sound has been marvelously recorded and is very high quality. Another great thing is that the mouths of the characters actually move in time with the words so it looks like the words are actually coming out of the characters mouth and it doesn't look like some poorly dubbed, low quality game". - from old review)
11) Game Vortex (1998) - "Certainly one of the most impressive aspects of HL is its skeletal animation system, which gives each main entity an extremely lifelike appearance using a structure of individually animated 'skeletons' to move every part of the model. When a scientist talks to you, you actually see his head turn as you walk around him, and his lips move with every syllable he speaks. Amazing stuff."
12) Electric Games (1999)- "The beginning sequence of the game is one of the most innovative. There's no combat, and you are simply a man on his way to work. Of course, work in an
underground lab is not typical, but the first half-hour of the game or so involves no combat at all. You begin on a train that moves towards your lab. A voice on the train P.A. system gives you
some information on the lab. It's all very smooth, and none of the information feels forced. Upon arrival, a number of co-workers talk to you and help you along. Security guards allow you access
to certain locked office doors, and scientists allow access to the high-security labs.
Sound effects are wonderful, everything from the gunshots to footsteps retain a realistic quality without going overboard. The alien screams and calls are imaginative done very well. Even the voice acting is superb, something I'd expect from an adventure game, not from a 3D shooter"
13) Non playable characters interactions was revolutionay in 1998.
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