Senin, 17 September 2012

Black Mesa Source Review

Hi, my name is Nik and today i am reviewing:

Black Mesa is a source mod, that completely re-imagines the original Half-Life.

You probably know the story of this classic, but for those who don't - a crash course. You play as  the Gordon Freeman, a theoretical physicist who works in Black Mesa. One of the experiments creates a resonance cascade, and aliens appear. Have fun escaping the facility.

As i pointed out Black Mesa is a re-imagines, not just a HD texture pack, that means that a lot of things are changed. The first changes become obvious, as soon as you start the game. The train ride is even cooler then before, showing a lot of the experiments happening in Black Masa. It takes exactly the same path, as far as i can tell, and its a feast for the eyes with all of the new HD textures.

The thing the really impressed me was the lobby. It had a lot more offices, and people who where just talking about physics, experiments, or just some small talk. This made the game much more immersive and believable.   

This is how the entire game is, all of the maps are based on the originals Half-Life, but some of the things are changed slightly.

Some of the game mechanics are also a bit different. The largest and most notable is running. Its the only change that cant be turned off, because you need it for some of the platforming sections. 
The changes also include Iron sight for some weapons, auto-aim (who even uses that?), and others, and they can be turned off, if you want a cleaned, simpler experience.

I found some minor bugs in the mod, but nothing game braking. For example some of the enemies, sometimes shoot threw wall and also you allies are total idiots, just like they where in 1998.

I left the best part for last - its FREE. All of that excellent content, new voice acting, HD textures, new animation and much more for free. I advice everyone to try it, because you have nothing to lose. You can find a guide of how to install it here.

To top it all off, Black Mesa Source is the best mod i have seen, and its perfect for people that are looking for experience an close to that of the original Half-Life.

I hope you liked my review of  Black Mesa Source .

If you did, comment, share with your friends, like me of facebook, or follow me on twitter.

My name is Nik and i hope you are having a nice day.

Apache Helicopter

Here's something close to my heart. Ever since doing the art for HeliAttack 2 and 3 back in 2003 and 2005 I fell in love with helicopters. They just make great game assets. 

Back then it was all pixeled and took what seemed like forever to create. In the game there were a few helicopters with limited variations. 

Creating a similar object in vectors allows for easier manipulation and variations. It also makes animations a lot easier and more flexible. 

This tutorial looks a little bit more complex than the previous posts - but I tried to break it down into easy steps and simple shapes. I hope it worked. 

As with all the tutorials prior I use squares and circles and deform them rather then 'hand-draw' the shapes. With the body of the Apache-style helicopter it might be easier to 'just draw' the shape with the straight lines tool rather than place squares and modify them later - but it takes a little more skill to get the shape right that way.  

Now you have a basic and recognizable helicopter. It's a good point to save and continue with a new file to give you a base shape to go back to when creating variations.

The next step is adding details (guns, missiles, rocket launchers, etc.) and then add depth to the helicopter by adding some highlights and shadows.

I use basic shapes in light and dark colours - in this case white and black - with transparency to shade the object. This allows for easy changes to the base colour (e.g. an army green or a bright red for an enemy object) without having to redo the shading. 

If you want softer shadows and lights use a more yellowish tone for the highlight and a dark brown or dark purple for the shadows. 

Here's a version scaled down  

to something resembling an 
iphone (lo-res) ingame size: 

I hope the complexity of helicopter didn't scare you off and you enjoyed the tutorial. In the end it's just another bunch of simple shapes combined to form something bigger. 

As promised another free bit of art to make up for the long time between posts. Enjoy!

Get the source art (svg file) of this tutorial for
Download inkscape SVG file in ZIP archive

Primbon Jawa