MINERVA: Episodic, Single-Player Half-Life 2

Referencing City 44's Downfall, pt. 2 -

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Pyro-Dude's gravatar

1. Cold shapes in an environment of warm hostility

Posted by Pyro-Dude at 5:42PM, Wednesday December 12 2007

Glad to see Adam's been doing his homework

Columbus007's gravatar

2. What makes Minerva so darn awesome...

Posted by Columbus007 at 5:43PM, Wednesday December 12 2007

... is Adam's attention to detail.

Sortie's gravatar

3. ISBN's

Posted by Sortie at 7:32PM, Wednesday December 12 2007

Awesome, it seems as City 44 is a mix of:
* Industrial buildings
* Russian eastern european architechture
* Combine Survilance
* Chenobyal wastelands
* Early 20th century industry

Looking forward to screenshots of this in action.

Captain Planet!'s gravatar

4. Atmosphere

Posted by Captain Planet! at 10:47PM, Wednesday December 12 2007

What made Half-Life 2 so awesome for is the incredible world that is believably wrapped around any event in the game. Adam seems to have perfected this with the first MINERVA, and from the looks of these pictures, the second will not disappoint.


Campaignjunkie's gravatar

5. DUDE...

Posted by Campaignjunkie at 11:23PM, Wednesday December 12 2007

I want that Architecture of Authority book.

Yar Kramer's gravatar

6. Cool

Posted by Yar Kramer at 12:48AM, Thursday December 13 2007

That architecture is just plain badass.

Sirc's gravatar

7. Many Possibilities

Posted by Sirc at 7:41AM, Thursday December 13 2007

I notice there is more than one book that features a bridge on the cover (I think).

Now I can't stop thinking about reaching the end of the snow covered town to see the bridge raised (A La Picture 3) as the Citadel looms on the other side...

And then seeing the equivalent of 'To Be Continued...'

Anything you guys 'see' from these 'hints of the future'?

(I'm half tempted to hunt these books down now... lol)

fuzz's gravatar

8. ISBN's

Posted by fuzz at 5:29PM, Thursday December 13 2007

Dictionary of Architecture and Construction (4th Ed.) 978-0071452373
Basic Forms of Industrial Buildings 978-0500542996
Architecture of Authority 978-1597110525
La Hongrie Par L'image ASIN: B0000DX0OV (out of print 1952)
Zones of Exclusion: Pripyat and Chernobyl 978-3882439212
The Polish Avant Garde / Avant-garde polonaise: Urbanisme, architecture 978-2862821818
L'Architecture du XX.siecle 978-3822811634

Couldn't find that one about Leningrad, the title was a bit too generic (I'm assuming the cycrilic above also says Leningrad).

Bear in mind that most of these books will run you at least £20, and half of them are only available in France, your best bet is supporting your local library (which I'm guessing is what Adam did)
Hope that lot helps someone

Nesretep's gravatar

9. Re: DUDE

Posted by Nesretep at 6:14AM, Friday December 14 2007

I know what you mean. That title just sounds like it reeks of Combine.

Sanjuro357's gravatar

10. re: ISBNs

Posted by Sanjuro357 at 7:54AM, Friday December 14 2007

It does indeed say Leningrad in Cyrilic.

I have to agree with Sirc, the idea of a raised bridge at the end of the episode is a great idea....

Perhaps a series of progressively more complex physics puzzles to lower the bridge at the start of the next episode?

Adam was saying that he was gaining confidence in the fact that he didn't always need to have constant gunfights to make a game interesting. Perhaps that whole section could be done without seeing a single enemy?

Ace's gravatar

11. title

Posted by Ace at 8:33AM, Friday December 14 2007

I hereby nominate fuzz for official Minerva librarian. Excellent research!

The bridge made me think of using the airboat to get around on open water. Like could we use it to go to several small offshore islands or something?

Anyway, I was wondering if anything from STALKER looked familiar in that Pripyat and Chernobyl book?

wargamerROB's gravatar

12. Authority

Posted by wargamerROB at 9:29AM, Friday December 14 2007


How is Architecture of Authority? I've been eying it recently but the information available online is pretty limited. Additionally, I've noticed that you're big on Urb Ex. Do you have any formal training in architecture, or is it yet another hobby among many?

Sortie's gravatar

13. Snowy textures

Posted by Sortie at 3:24PM, Friday December 14 2007

Oh, I fell like creating snowy city environments too! Damn the image I've gotten myself of this city is so fucking awesome and original, that I really don't hope OOP will disappoint me. :P
Sadly there's not really many textures of snow available offically, so it's going to be a lot of custom content. Wait, wasn't there snow in some DoD:S maps?

And a request, make the levels seem open, very open, I'd love that with snowy environments! :D!

Cargo Cult's gravatar


Posted by Cargo Cult at 6:08PM, Saturday December 15 2007

Me: http://www.hylobatidae.org/minerva/

Auntie: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/romans/launch_gms_cdx.shtml

Note the character's name. (Un)fortunately, I'm out of the UK, so I can't actually see what they've made...

Yar Kramer's gravatar

15. XD

Posted by Yar Kramer at 8:45PM, Saturday December 15 2007

Methinks you should use your middle initial now, to differentiate yourself. Maybe.

Vahagn's gravatar

16. I got it!

Posted by Vahagn at 10:27PM, Saturday December 15 2007

Don't try to cheat us, Adam, I do know the truth: it is a fake site YOU made up, so to give us a CLEAR hint of who Minerva is, what the Land Beyond the portal is, how the next episode will be, and... (voices of sterile and awkward speculations fading in the background...)

...In case my ill-minded irony was not manifest... well it should be, by now :-)

Sortie's gravatar

17. Proximity

Posted by Sortie at 10:38PM, Saturday December 15 2007

Use a proxy from UK. It's IP are sure to fool such sites. Why the hell is there a block to non-UK'er anyway!

locworks's gravatar

18. CDX for those who chose to live on the Continent

Posted by locworks at 11:06PM, Saturday December 15 2007

Play it on http://cdx-thegame.com/ .
Do not overload the BBC Interweb, it might puncture...

Vahagn's gravatar

19. CDX

Posted by Vahagn at 12:26AM, Sunday December 16 2007

Nice! But it's definitely too late here to start playing a game that needs at least well-oiled synaptic connections...

BTW, I'm shivering about my irony... he has a macbook pro!

locworks's gravatar

20. Adam F. and the mac

Posted by locworks at 2:16AM, Sunday December 16 2007


SenatorPalpatine's gravatar

21. It's going to be sooooo good.

Posted by SenatorPalpatine at 4:06AM, Thursday December 20 2007

Adam: have you decided yet if you're going to release it in episodes or all at once, or is it too early in development for thinking about that?

Pyro-Dude's gravatar

22. Help me

Posted by Pyro-Dude at 5:39PM, Thursday December 20 2007

I've just tried to go to the forum and it's told me that I've been banned. Was it because of the joking threats about certain knee breakage?

Ace's gravatar

23. Help?

Posted by Ace at 9:44PM, Thursday December 27 2007

Has anyone helped Pyro-Dude? I see in his profile in the forums he's still banned. He's been a regular poster in the blog and the forums for some time and to my knowledge has always been a polite and productive acolyte. Whatever post got him in trouble seems to have been deleted so I can't comment directly, but I can easily imagine it was just a misunderstood joke, I am aware such things can happen. (I've never been a fan of offense by proxy myself.) Forgive me if I'm out of line, or flat wrong, I just think something has gone wrong here, and it's an unpleasant precedent.

Nesretep's gravatar

24. Re: Help

Posted by Nesretep at 2:27PM, Friday December 28 2007

Perhaps we should PM locworks on the forum to see if we can get more of an explanation as to what is going on exactly. Perhaps he'll even read these blog comments and make a general announcement (hint). At least that way we know if it was warranted or not and if we should be concerned.

Pyro-Dude's gravatar

25. Thanks

Posted by Pyro-Dude at 3:51PM, Friday December 28 2007

Thanks for the help, I appreciate it.

Let me put a vague idea of the deleted post up here. Someone suggested as a joke a particular way that the MINERVA story could end. This particular idea is one plot device that is over used and an unsatisfying ending, so I jokingly suggested that if it did turn out that way, I would do something I regret involving a baseball bat and a certain mod makers knees.

Sortie's gravatar

26. Ow. Aw

Posted by Sortie at 5:56PM, Friday December 28 2007

Ow. Aw. That would hurt, I do understand why you did get banned, but a permanent ban would maybe be too much. Hmm. Remember that BBC Adam Foster game? He was in a wheelchair. Let's ban BBC as well. xD

Pyro-Dude's gravatar

27. Bah

Posted by Pyro-Dude at 6:00PM, Friday December 28 2007

I blame it on watching Get Shorty and other organised crime films recently

Cargo Cult's gravatar

28. Festive Delays

Posted by Cargo Cult at 7:26PM, Friday December 28 2007

I think all the moderators^WHorsemen of the Apocalypse have been busy enjoying Christmas and/or other appropriate holidays, I'm afraid.

Pyro-Dude: You've been unbanned - but the general proletariat should realise in future that seeming threats of violence, even if entirely in jest, don't necessarily translate well. Especially if a moderator's heard about some of the more ... enthusiastic fan-mail I've received.

Fun, topic-realigning stuff: the books illustrated are mine now - a fantastically generous Christmas present from my parents. I spent a day traipsing around Brussels and its second-hand (and new) bookshops with my dad, which may have included a minor stop-off at a certain Mort Subite. Hic.

The Architecture of Authority book is fascinating, and decidedly sinister. Thematically linked photos, from an oppressive kindergarten to a lethal injection suite, courtesy of the US penal system - by way of courtrooms, the UN, prison buildings, customs checkpoints and so on. It's definitely a photography book rather than an architectural guide - photos have just short descriptions rather than detailed notes. But it's inspiring for MINERVA stuff, if not for the human condition...

The Pripyat/Chernobyl book looks like a high-definition S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - and is an ideal coffee-table book for someone wanting to scare any visitors. Huge, fantastically detailed photographs - of an utterly destroyed, abandoned world. I've recognised a couple of buildings from the game in there - or is it the other way round?

Cargo Cult's gravatar

29. Oh, and before I forget...

Posted by Cargo Cult at 7:28PM, Friday December 28 2007

Vote for MEEEE!


Three and a half days left of voting. Do your thing for democracy!

Yar Kramer's gravatar

30. Re: Oh, and before I forget...

Posted by Yar Kramer at 5:58AM, Saturday December 29 2007

I voted! :D

On the HL1 front, I also voted for Afraid Of Monsters.

Nesretep's gravatar

31. I voted!

Posted by Nesretep at 7:45PM, Saturday December 29 2007

I made sure you got my vote Adam. I think MINERVA really deserves a win this year!

Ace's gravatar

32. Altered Transmission

Posted by Ace at 7:56PM, Saturday December 29 2007

Well, I guess 'the general proletariat' will have to be satisfied with that.

Sortie: I downloaded your bit-o-mod but I couldn't get it to work. I extracted the two folders from the zip file into my sourcemods folder, restarted steam, and it showed up in my games list. But when I click it, it says "preparing to launch Altered Transmission.." and then the screen resolution changes, like it's going to some default resolution, so far so good, but then a second later it goes back to my normal resolution and nothing happens. It won't launch. I have all orange box content, and everything is fine on my end as far as I know. I tried launching HL2 and ep1 and both work fine. Could I be missing something?

Oh, and I got something much more exciting than books for Christmas this year, I got a couple of the recently released volumes of Looney Tunes cartoons on DVD! Woohoo! Best cartoon evar!!!!! eh, sorry.. maybe the coyote will finally catch that road runner in one of them.

Sortie's gravatar

33. Re: Altered Transmission

Posted by Sortie at 8:43PM, Saturday December 29 2007

I voted ( for BMS, kill me and) for MINERVA.

Ace: I'm sorry to hear you're experiencing trouble. This bug is rather annoying since it always has diferent causes so it is hard to troubleshoot it by this blog, but I'll try anyways.

First of all it is going to display my title video located within [SourceMods]/City 12_Shared/media/. Please validate if you can run this video at your computer or not. If it has trouble playing try delete it and then it should skip the title screen.
It is then going to display the Background Screen. I've discovered that if it fails to do so, it'll crash like what you saw. Open [SourceMods]/Altered Transmission/scripts/ChapterBackgrounds.txt and see if the content are equal too.

1 "background01"


If it is, then go and see if this file exists [SourceMods]/Altered Transmission/materials/console/background01.vtf. If it is missing you need to redownload the mod. Then it could be convenient if there was an easy way to determine if the file is invalid or not but I don't know one.

Then there is the custom binaries 'server.dll' and 'client.dll'. If they're broken or unsupported by your system it may be unable to work. They should work on all (newer) Windows Platforms. Linux on the other hand is not supported neither is Mac OS. (But may work!)

So is there the new Search Path system. The Gameinfo.txt was altered in quite a few new ways, so it can mount stuff from other mods. (City 12_Shared/)
It loads stuff from the City 12_Shared folder, however Source will not let me load random folders relatively to the Mod folder. It will however do it relatively to the Ep1 folder which lies within [Steam]/SteamApps/[Ace]/Half-Life 2 Episode One/Episodic/.

City 12_Shared should be located at [Steam]/SteamApps/[Ace]/Half-Life 2 Episode One/Episodic/../../SourceMods\City 12_Shared (.. means one folder back). If not then you must change the gameinfo.txt to point to the correct location, or copy the full content of City 12_Shared/ into Altered Transmission/ and then delete the line from gameinfo.txt

Game "..\..\SourceMods\City 12_Shared"

If all the folder are like they should be you can try launch the game using some special launch options. I'd try using another resolution, so add this to the launch options of my mod.

-width 1024 -height 768

That should work. Otherwise try -dxlevel 70 or something just to see if it is related to that. Try update your drivers and all that.

Finnaly just try redownload the mod.

Thank you for reading this issue of the UK MINERVIC TECH-SUPPORTIVE MAGAZINE. You'll be charged £3 at check out.

Ace's gravatar

34. Vexing Transmission

Posted by Ace at 9:58PM, Saturday December 29 2007

Yeah the path to city12_shared wasn't quite right, I had to add a ..\ so the line in gameinfo.txt became
Game "..\..\..\SourceMods\City 12_Shared"
and then it worked..
..I guess. In that first room you get to with the big red "error" sign (ha ha, that is not, in fact, an actual error, I'm pretty sure) there were I guess some missing textures, some of the columns were red and white patches, I guess indicating something missing. Also, I got stuck in that room, couldn't find any way out. Couldn't shoot the explosive barrels behind that door, couldn't stack milk crates to get up to that partial ladder. Maybe I'm missing something?

Sortie's gravatar

35. The Transmission wasn't haxed

Posted by Sortie at 12:49AM, Monday December 31 2007

The models in this room that generated the Error Signs are located inside the City 12_Shared folder. It appears the content aren't mounted correctly, I would be interested in figure out why this doesn't work at a later stage. (Worked for everyone else but you).

To fix it, simply copy all the content of City 12_Shared/ into Altered Transmission/. Then there should be no mounting trouble at all. But try redownloading it first.

Pyro-Dude's gravatar

36. .

Posted by Pyro-Dude at 11:23PM, Tuesday January 1 2008

Sorry to be even more of a hassle, given that I've just threatened you with physical violence Adam, but as far as I can tell (emphasis on that), I still haven't been unbanned. However, I'm sure it's due to some fault on my part, but I still wanted to make sure.

Also, happy new digit to everyone here.

Sortie's gravatar

37. <3

Posted by Sortie at 11:43PM, Tuesday January 1 2008

ModMatic link on the buttom of this very page.

RenK's gravatar

38. awesome.

Posted by RenK at 10:06PM, Friday January 4 2008

I just downloaded and played Minerva and i already can't wait to see more. There is just something about it that really drew me in within seconds of starting the game... something i haven't felt in quite a while. Didn't even have to hesitate when voting ;)

Pyro-Dude's gravatar

39. Sorry

Posted by Pyro-Dude at 5:46PM, Sunday January 6 2008

Sorry to be more trouble, but while I can actually view the forum, when I try to log in, it tells me I have specified an incorrect or inactive username, or an invalid password, and when I try to get my password sent to me, it tells me my password cannot be retrieved because your account is currently inactive.

Is this just me forgetting to do something, or is the account still in some form banned?

Cargo Cult's gravatar

40. "A diseased, abhorrent carbuncle of pseudo-code"

Posted by Cargo Cult at 8:37PM, Sunday January 6 2008

I think it's fixed-fixed now - the last fix was broken. Or something. I think. If it's still now working, let me know.

(Don't necessarily attribute to malice what can also be explained by incompetence!)

Pyro-Dude's gravatar

41. Yup

Posted by Pyro-Dude at 10:38PM, Sunday January 6 2008

Yep, it's all working fine now, and no, I didn't think I was still banned out of anything than a code mishap, I know everyone here is too nice for that.

And again I apologise again for threats against your person ;)

Nesretep's gravatar

42. Just wondering...

Posted by Nesretep at 4:38PM, Tuesday January 15 2008

Might we soon get even a tid bit more about the upcoming MINERVA:OOT? We know so very little not only about the maps in general, but our new protagonist as well. The dearth of info tends to strangle the conversations about the upcoming episode.

Nesretep's gravatar

43. Sorry to double post...

Posted by Nesretep at 8:15PM, Tuesday January 15 2008

But I think we have a "broken" blog entry, Adam. Your Skype phone entry from back in 2006 has decided it needed more face time and redated itself to 2007. I'm thinking that this was *obviously* nothing to do with anything you did...it must just be the nasty blog entry... :-)

Cargo Cult's gravatar

44. It's ALIVE!

Posted by Cargo Cult at 9:06PM, Tuesday January 15 2008

... Oops. Please excuse the mobility of that article - obviously the blog-beast has an issue regarding posting dates of stuff in the past. Namely:

{html_select_date time=$input_article_record.postdate prefix='' field_array='input_article_record[postdate]' field_order='DMY' start_year='-1' end_year='+5'}

I have fixed, and any other sneaky posting-links-to-new-firmware edits shall continue to go unnoticed in future. Everything else seems at risk of breaking here, but no longer the dates - witness the hosting issues for a start...

keightdee's gravatar

45. Suggestions for future reading !

Posted by keightdee at 8:56AM, Friday January 18 2008

I found both Archaeologies of the Future (Poetics of Social Forms) by Fredric Jameson and Taryn Simon: An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar by Elisabeth Sussman absolutely fascinating and they seem like they would be right up Adam's alley ..

Konstantin's gravatar

46. Pics of Urban Decay

Posted by Konstantin at 11:29PM, Tuesday January 29 2008

Dear Adam!, First, let me use the opportunity and thank you for what you have already done so far about Minerva. Second, this link contains 72 picturesof urban decay in St. Petersburg including the destroyed St Anne church. I hope they will add to your inspiration.
Ah, the link:

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