MINERVA: Episodic, Single-Player Half-Life 2

Go Team! -

Now go buy the magazine, or something. Oh, and arch-rival PC Zone too - apparently there's an article about MINERVA in there at some point soon also.

My ego may well explode.

Article Comments (now closed)

Sortie's gravatar

1. First

Posted by Sortie at 2:23AM, Sunday December 2 2007

Ego: Latin for I.

vindow_viper's gravatar

2. congrats!

Posted by vindow_viper at 5:07AM, Sunday December 2 2007

Nice bit of well-deserved publicity!

*rushes to store to purchase PC Gamer*

Wex's gravatar

3. Nice

Posted by Wex at 5:22AM, Sunday December 2 2007


Now get working on the next chapter :P

Ace's gravatar

4. review & combine advisor spotting

Posted by Ace at 6:25AM, Sunday December 2 2007

Everyone seems to think the third and fourth parts were the best. I can see why, but I still liked carcinogenesis best, gameplay wise. Okay there weren't any fancy puzzles or enemy variety or fancy architecture, I just thought it was the most fun. Oh well, maybe just me.

Anyway, acting on a hot tip I discovered this interesting tidbit: near the end of Depth Charge just before you disable those 4 plasma stabilizers (or whatever they were), on the way up to those buttons that open the doors to the plasma stabilizers there's a couple monitors. If you look at one of them when you first get there you see a video feed from the portal chamber, and then 2 combine advisor pods go flying by! Hello!
I took a screenshot for those who can't be bothered.

(eh, unlike last time, this is not a prank. really!)

kast's gravatar

5. oops

Posted by kast at 8:24AM, Sunday December 2 2007

I saw this article over a week ago - perhaps I should have mentioned something :P Also, I believe this is the second time MINERVA has been given an length mention in PCG. They also regularly name-drop it in reference to top-notch modding.

Combine pods!? I mistook them for gunships! Good find.

Ace's gravatar

6. team

Posted by Ace at 9:24AM, Sunday December 2 2007

I just got the meaning of the title of this post. I'll graciously volunteer to consider myself part of the 'team' if you need help filling it out...


Sortie's gravatar

7. Spoiler-free review

Posted by Sortie at 11:28AM, Sunday December 2 2007

This review says a lot of nice things about the mod, but it doesn't mention what the mod is aobut. It just mentions Minerva, but doesn't go nowhere near the story/plot. That's pretty good for new players, but us old player wouldn't have anything against a spoiling review. I know I wouldn't.

And they thought this mod was done by a whole team. It seems as someone forgot to do a proper research. Amusing.

kast's gravatar

8. "team"

Posted by kast at 1:44PM, Sunday December 2 2007

Yes, something of a brain-fart there. Especially seeing that in their previous article, PCG joked about how the team was just one man. So they're clearly aware of the arrangement. Perculiar.

Cargo Cult's gravatar

9. Magazine appearances...

Posted by Cargo Cult at 4:34PM, Sunday December 2 2007

If MINERVA does appear in a magazine of any description, do let me know. I usually don't know about it - like that earlier PC Gamer appearance. Which I may just have forgotten about.

(Any chance of scans for my own private entertainment? ;-) )

Sortie's gravatar

10. Rude magazines

Posted by Sortie at 5:17PM, Sunday December 2 2007

I had the idea that magazines at least sended an email notice if they review a mod. Guess I was wrong, how rude.

kast's gravatar

11. previous appearance

Posted by kast at 5:34PM, Sunday December 2 2007

<center><img src="http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a75/kastanok/PCG161.jpg?t=1196613121"></center>

From PC Gamer 161 (May 2006). It's all I've been able to lay my hands on though I'm SURE I've seen another proper article. Alas, magazines have no search function.

Yar Kramer's gravatar

12. Re: previous appearance

Posted by Yar Kramer at 12:14AM, Monday December 3 2007

Yeah ... and they said "it's coming out on a regular basis."

kast's gravatar

13. PG Zone full page article

Posted by kast at 4:25PM, Sunday December 16 2007

Well this was a surprise. Was looking for some lunch in the local newspaper shop when I stumbled across a copy of PCZone on the shelves. Usually I wouldn't bother, being a PCGamer fanatic, but it came with a free copy of City of Heroes which I've been meaning to try.

Anyway, so I'm waiting for a 1.2Gb download so I can actually play the damn thing and flipping through the mag. (What a bloody copy-cat, it is!) and I notice a full page article about M:M3. I'd forgotten Adam had mentioned it was in here.

Pretty short article considering, and they don't consider MINERVA to be as good as H-L2 (heathens that they are) but at least they recognise it's a one-man mod.

HD scan: http://kastanok1.googlepages.com/PCZone189_original.jpg

Reasonably sized edit: http://kastanok1.googlepages.com/PCZone189_resized.jpg

Yar Kramer's gravatar

14. Re: "PG" Zone

Posted by Yar Kramer at 10:29PM, Sunday December 16 2007

Yeah, I also like how they said Valve should take notes from Adam.

Ace's gravatar

15. "..[Adam] seems admirably aware of what's shit."

Posted by Ace at 10:54PM, Sunday December 16 2007

Congrats! Good find Kast. Decent, though brief review, even if the screenshots were rather unimaginative and their captions were groaners.

(Oh, and I was curious about the name "kastanok", it is a nifty sounding name. I tried googling it, but just seem to get you. Mind if I ask where you got it Kast? Did you just make it up? Sounds vaguely Tolkien-esque to me.)

kast's gravatar

16. "Kastanok"

Posted by kast at 3:03PM, Monday December 17 2007

Completely made up with no clear inspirations. Several years back I felt I needed a new gaming tag ("Rage Master" just didn't feel right anymore and was pretty melodramatic) and Kastanok just popped into my head.

A friend of mine once told me that I'd told them I'd taken it from a Klingon character in an episode of ST:Voyager. Now, I don't recall ever telling him that or having done so and I recently watched that episode again and there's no character with an even remotely similar name in it. So, no help there.

Ace's gravatar

17. Mr. Master

Posted by Ace at 10:34PM, Monday December 17 2007

Terribly sorry but I may just have to call you Rage Master from now on! Heh heh.

Cargo Cult's gravatar

18. Post-dated Acolyte of the Week...

Posted by Cargo Cult at 10:41PM, Monday January 14 2008

... goes to Kast, for his scan of the PC Zone article.

Hooray for copyright-ignoring sharing of data! ;-)

(For the record, I never received a copy of the magazine in the post, and my illustrious attempts at searching WHSmith's to actually purchase a copy when I was back for Christmas were in vain. So I shall appreciate this additional illicit, ego-boosting scan for evermore...)

Nesretep's gravatar

19. Wow...

Posted by Nesretep at 7:59PM, Tuesday January 15 2008

Post-dated is a bit of an understatement here, Adam. Considering that the last post was nearly a month ago, you're running a little behind on his Acolyte of the Week award. :)

Dennis "Denmon0728" Montonen's gravatar

20. Swedish PC gamer

Posted by Dennis "Denmon0728" Montonen at 7:06AM, Thursday January 17 2008

This same article was in the swedish PC gamer but translated to swedish ofcourse :)


Chris's gravatar

21. Valve

Posted by Chris at 6:52PM, Saturday January 19 2008

are you telling me that Valve STILL hasn't offered you a job yet?
I think, Valve are finally beginning to lose their minds, I believe the recent catastrophic update for gmod10 is only the beginning....

Yar Kramer's gravatar

22. Re: Chris

Posted by Yar Kramer at 12:57AM, Sunday January 20 2008

You sure Adam would accept even if they did offer him a job? As far as I can tell, he's fine where he is right now. And anyway, how would he be able to make the next MINERVA if he was busy with Valve full-time?

macc's gravatar

23. nooo

Posted by macc at 1:20PM, Sunday January 20 2008

then he would be creating maps for Left 4 Dead or something instead of 'rock your socks of' SP maps.

kast's gravatar

24. re: Valve

Posted by kast at 7:11PM, Sunday January 20 2008

Not wishing to speak for the man himself, but I understand that Adam doesn't wish to join Valve for whatever reason. Something about lack of freedom of direction crosses my mind.

It would be quite perculiar if Adam was hired. He'd have to move to work in one of the Valve offices -Bellevue or LA (Turtle Rock as was). It is unlikely he'd be able to work by himself primarily, Valve would wish for him to form a cabal. Suitable assortment would be a texture artist, an animator and a sound designer or something similiar.

As it is, I feel both Valve and Adam benefit enough from the current arrangement of just being good friends. Valve gets to be associated with Adam's imaginative and innovative level design and atmosphere (very different to Valve's own style) and Adam gets access to Valve's expert advice and experience.

Then again, we might all be surprised by news of Adam joining Valve at any time. Who knows? Not us, that's for sure.

Sortie's gravatar

25. Here's the deal.

Posted by Sortie at 3:33PM, Monday January 21 2008

In fact, Valve was so disappointed with the HL2 modding scene that they invented the fictional character Adam Foster and hired some guy from Bruxelles to 'act' like he was Adam Foster on the Internets. Of course this fictional person gets the credits of the released former scrapped maps of Valves or wherever the maps came from. (This part of the conspiracy aren't finished yet, don't destroy it with silly facts!)
Of course the fictional "Adam Foster" would deny the truth, this.

locworks's gravatar

26. These are what we call...

Posted by locworks at 4:52PM, Monday January 21 2008

the "Lone Mapper" and the "Magic Prefab" theories.

Vahagn's gravatar

27. world-wide-mod

Posted by Vahagn at 8:03PM, Tuesday January 22 2008

I'm proud to announce, M:M has also been praised in the italian magazine "Giochi per il mio computer" (games for my computer), addressed as "probably the best single player mod of the last season". Both the screenshots displayed however are the same as the ones on PC gamer...

Sortie's gravatar

28. Re: world-wide-mod

Posted by Sortie at 9:27PM, Tuesday January 22 2008

Yeah, and yet no magazine used the beatifully taken shots available at this very blog. What's up with that?

kast's gravatar

29. shots

Posted by kast at 10:46PM, Tuesday January 22 2008

Might you be referring to the collection I took a while back? Unless someone else took some that have slipped my mind?

It'd be fun to dive back in and take a load more from the newer levels. Might do that this week.

Aside from simply not having seen them (I'll put the link at the bottom for those who don't know what I'm talking about), there are the matters of copyright and professional pride to consider. Besides they're not of the greatest resolution - I'm sure professional gaming reviewers will have access to much better rigs than my own mid-range machine.



Sortie's gravatar

30. Re: alcoholic shots

Posted by Sortie at 10:57PM, Tuesday January 22 2008

Sadly no, I refered to the Entirely gratuitous screenshots article available at http://www.hylobatidae.org/minerva/blogsheep.php?action=articleinfo&id=61 . :D

kast's gravatar

31. Re: Shots, shots all aroun

Posted by kast at 11:14PM, Tuesday January 22 2008

Of course, yes. I have this tragic affliction of thinking everything is about me.

And yes it is surprising that they haven't taken the oppertunity to use those. Cerainly more attractive than the dessicated corpse in the chair.

Vahagn's gravatar

32. shot missed

Posted by Vahagn at 9:32PM, Wednesday January 23 2008

Actually, I wonder who of them really had a look at the blog beast... Not everyone dares to look behind the curtain!

Pace's gravatar

33. Re: re: Valve

Posted by Pace at 12:51AM, Thursday January 24 2008

If I were to guess, I'd think if anything for the next chapter of Minerva Adam might try to inquire about a deal like Garry got for GMod. Garry still owns the game, and didn't have to move to the US to work for Valve, they just agreed to sell it and split the income.

I know Adam has said he isn't trying to make money on Minerva, or something of that sort, but of course he can't sell it without going through Valve, and of course they're going to be rather selective about what mods they turn into official games. Chapter 1 of Minerva functions sort of like the preview, the proof of concept, like GMod v. 1-9. Get some favorable reviews, a large group of people exposed to it and willing to pay for more. I'm not suggesting that was the plan from the beginning, but with the way things have gone, I'd be quite surprised if the idea hadn't crossed Adam's mind. Perhaps he's already discussed the idea with Valve? I mean as long as it doesn't add more work than he's comfortable with, then it's basically doing the same thing he would be doing, except this way there'd be a pile of cash attached. Who'd turn that down? I wonder though if it would be the sort of thing Valve would be interested in? I'm not aware of any other single-player mods anything like this being turned commercial. Or maybe Adam has no ambitions of the sort, who knows.

Sortie's gravatar

34. Re: Re: re: Valve

Posted by Sortie at 8:22AM, Thursday January 24 2008

Dude, I think Adam is a Open Source guy, he even released his map sources so people doesn't has to decompile them. Surprisingly noone really used them, I decompiled the maps anyways! ;-)
Oh and Open Source doesn't do Commericial releases.

Pace's gravatar

35. irresistable multiplication

Posted by Pace at 10:00AM, Thursday January 24 2008

Yeah well who knows, just a thought. I can't help but make some estimates though, if he were able to get a similar arrangement to Gmod, then say it sells for $10 and he gets half of that. I have no idea what a reasonable number of sales may be, but let's say it gets some publicity from Valve of some sort and sells 20,000 worldwide. Doesn't seem unreasonable to me. That's $100,000! Even at today's exchange rates that should at least get him a nice pair of shoes or something. I think he'd be a little mad not to consider it, especially since he still seems to be planning to make the second chapter anyway. Of course Valve may not be interested, or he may be allergic to money. Or maybe the associated hassles would be too much. But I'd be surprised if some sort of altruistic belief in free mods or open source stuff is able to overcome the possibility of big bucks. But, I clearly don't know what I'm talking about. Again, just a thought.

Sortie's gravatar

36. Technical Limitations? Pfft

Posted by Sortie at 4:26PM, Thursday January 24 2008

I've been using my blogbeastic account on several computers for quite some time. Through observation and research I've determined the blogbeastic php scripts do the following: Bind the autologin function to a specific Ip and/or cookie something.
Meaning if I log in on one computer. Logs on to the second, the first does no longer autologin. Of course this is for security reasons and some other open source blather, but It could be a nice feature if it was possible to bind multiple computers on one account. :D

J Allen's gravatar


Posted by J Allen at 12:34AM, Tuesday February 5 2008

I thought this game was done very well. Thanks for taking the time to make it.

I would also like to say that I personally found it more enjoyable than Episode 2 ..and it's FREE!

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