MINERVA: Episodic, Single-Player Half-Life 2

¹³⁷Cs → ¹³⁷Ba + e⁻ + ν̅ₑ -

Having finally finished the much-punctuated S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl the other evening, I'm interested to note that there's a sequel, sorry, prequel in development - entitled S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky. With an estimated release date of 'Q1 2008', no less.

Will these fantastically underestimated Ukrainians manage to make their own, self-imposed deadline? Who knows (and to be honest, I'd be happy for them to miss it) - the first game was a grimy, broken, but fascinating experience, and I’d love to get back to wandering around the Zone again.

The idea that in-game architecture can just exist without any gameplay-oriented purpose rather intrigues me - the game is designed around the world, rather than the world being designed around the game. But for the sake of MINERVA: Out of Time, I think I may just do my designing-both-simultaneously thing. I don't think you'd want to wait until approximate 2013 for a release!

Oh, and why doesn't Unicode appear to have a subscript e? Myself, and the world of physics, are most disappointed.

Edit 2008-01-27: Acolyte of the Week award for cypher543, for finding that elusive subscript e! ... We shall now return to gaming discussions.

Article Comments (now closed)

cypher543's gravatar

1. Is this what you're looking for?

Posted by cypher543 at 6:23AM, Sunday January 27 2008

Is this the subscript e you are looking for?


macc's gravatar

2. the east

Posted by macc at 12:48PM, Sunday January 27 2008

Yeah these Eastern Europeans know how to tell a story. You should also try The Witcher, als from that region. Ok, it's more like real time RPG, but it's awesome nonetheless.

cypher543's gravatar

3. S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

Posted by cypher543 at 7:22PM, Sunday January 27 2008

I haven't actually played it. Although, I very much enjoy everything relating to Chernobyl.

Is a majority of the game about mutants? I was a little disappointed to find that such a fine game idea would include something so cliche.

I like as much realism as possible. ;)

kast's gravatar

4. Mutants

Posted by kast at 7:41PM, Sunday January 27 2008

Mutants are fairly few and far between. You might come across a gaggle of cloaking humanoids in some places or a key semi-scripted pyrogheist. Each occurance is sensible and fitting.

The most common creature by far is the human.

Yar Kramer's gravatar

5. Stalker

Posted by Yar Kramer at 10:00PM, Sunday January 27 2008

I'm intrigued by Stalker. I just may have to get my hands on it at some point ...

Vahagn's gravatar

6. Re:The East

Posted by Vahagn at 9:17AM, Monday January 28 2008

@ macc:
Yes, I also played "the witcher", and it was definitely an immersive and fascinating gaming experience. If you all say Stalker can keep up with it, I might give it a try!

(aw, and please don't blame me for posting under IE... it's not my computer!)

Darkcraft's gravatar

7. physics

Posted by Darkcraft at 12:08PM, Monday January 28 2008

The emission of beta radiation by an atom of Caesium 137 into a stable Barion atom? Emitted were an election and a mysterious neutrino :O

Caesium 137 has nothing to do with the nuclear power industry, I think you chose the wrong isotope :P

parm's gravatar

8. physics

Posted by parm at 5:20PM, Monday January 28 2008

Darkcraft: Have a look at the subject of the post, then a look at the title, and then see if you can figure out how they're related :)

SenatorPalpatine's gravatar

9. Acolyte of the Week

Posted by SenatorPalpatine at 3:01AM, Tuesday January 29 2008

to Cypher453, congrats.

I'll have to look into S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

Mercer's gravatar

10. Want to take up Stalking

Posted by Mercer at 8:57AM, Tuesday January 29 2008

I'll get around to playing that game some time this side of 2050...

Nesretep's gravatar

11. Things that make you go hmmm...

Posted by Nesretep at 2:24PM, Tuesday January 29 2008

Any ideas as to why some of the characters in the title for this blog entry, including the subscript e from Cypher453, show only as little squares?

locworks's gravatar

12. View >

Posted by locworks at 2:48PM, Tuesday January 29 2008

Character encoding

UTF-8 should be checked.

Cargo Cult's gravatar

13. U+FFFD

Posted by Cargo Cult at 3:29PM, Tuesday January 29 2008

Also, make sure you have all suitably overpowered international fonts installed.

Unicode at its finest is around 100,000 separate characters...

kast's gravatar

14. ModDB results!

Posted by kast at 3:53PM, Tuesday January 29 2008

Congratulations, Adam! MINERVA has been awarded 5th place in Player's Choice Released catagory :D <a href="http://www.moddb.com/events/2007-mod-of-the-year-awards/features/25910/players-choice-winners-showcase#readarticle">Link</a>

We have yet to see the Editor's Choice results but I'm sure MINERVA will feature in those, too.

fuzz's gravatar

15. ModDB

Posted by fuzz at 4:01PM, Tuesday January 29 2008

Congrats Adam, well deserved!

(Minerva footage around the 12 minute mark of the video awards: http://www.moddb.com/events/2007-mod-of-the-year-awards/videos/79970/players-choice-winners-showcase)

Cargo Cult's gravatar

16. Not quite high-definition...

Posted by Cargo Cult at 4:43PM, Tuesday January 29 2008

My first ever attempt at video editing, where I was more concerned with the whole thing *working* than any actual artistic vision.


Expect this to die after a couple of downloads, unless I manage to get some mirrors up.


fuzz's gravatar

17. vid

Posted by fuzz at 4:46PM, Tuesday January 29 2008

I can upload it as a torrent when I get home in a couple of hours if that's ok? (home broadband > work connection, how nice :D )

Cargo Cult's gravatar

18. Got a mirror up now...

Posted by Cargo Cult at 4:50PM, Tuesday January 29 2008

Loadsa bandwidth. Download away!

(I've uploaded a copy to ModDB too, but I don't think it's been authorised yet...)

kast's gravatar

19. trailer

Posted by kast at 4:51PM, Tuesday January 29 2008

artistic vision would have been nice :P maybe next time. though the final shot of the dead soldiers on the beach was good.

personally, I would have gone with starting at first descending the lift and a few minutes of various quiet, tense, atmospheric areas. the soldiers thundering over the gantry. a headcrab chittering in the shadows. then all hell breaks loose and we show various examples thick and furious gunplay. a visual and audio assault on the senses. Finally, the combat dies and we see a long shot of the facilty's insides and there's the sound of a transmisson from MINERVA. Text reads "Infiltrate. Observe. Reveal. Destroy."

I think that would capture the atmosphere of MINERVA very well.

Sortie's gravatar

20. Congratulations!

Posted by Sortie at 4:56PM, Tuesday January 29 2008

Congratulations on the ModDB place 5! As there's no better SP mods in the released list, MINERVA is the best SP mod of 2007. :D
I was pretty much surprised at the Unreleased catagory though, who'd tought there were so many half-life 1 era games remakes!

Oh and downloading that trailer at an impressive speed of 161kb/s.

Sortie's gravatar

21. Trailer Issues.

Posted by Sortie at 5:22PM, Tuesday January 29 2008

I can't view the MP4 player in quicktime, it wont play it as a video and. Windows Media player can't find the codec and such...
Anyone got a hint?

Cargo Cult's gravatar

22. VLC?

Posted by Cargo Cult at 5:28PM, Tuesday January 29 2008


It's a 960x540 video, encoded in H.264 with an AAC soundtrack. So technologically speaking, pretty modern. You'll need a recent version of Quicktime to open it - and honestly, Quicktime is far, far nicer on Mac OS X. Apologies to you poor Windows persons!

Sortie's gravatar

23. Excellent but not really trailer'ish

Posted by Sortie at 7:02PM, Tuesday January 29 2008

Thanks! That filthy GPL program of yours actually worked! Really well in fact. :D
I liked the trailer, but it was more like a walkthrough the game than an actual trailer. It'd be nice if you released such a trailer for OOT when we get there, but just with a few less spoilers! :P
Oh and if I was a new player, I'd not play it, the start simply had too many combines in it!

And you were running it in the Ep2 engine! Shadows and fire effects!

Pace's gravatar

24. Well, not bad..

Posted by Pace at 7:54PM, Tuesday January 29 2008

Congrats on making the list! Of course Minerva should've been higher though! I noticed that among the top 5 released mods Minerva has the highest rating and the most votes in their 'community rating' section so not sure why it didn't move up a bit. Anyway hopefully the editors choice will display better taste??

The trailer made me really notice the custom music. When playing I was usually a tad too distracted by trying not to die to appreciate it. It was very well done I thought. Also, in contrast to Sortie, I thought you were trying to avoid spoilers in the video? There was really only footage from the first half. A laudable artistic decision perhaps, as you probably could've made a slightly flashier preview using the whole game.

Cargo Cult's gravatar


Posted by Cargo Cult at 4:04PM, Wednesday January 30 2008


Sortie's gravatar


Posted by Sortie at 8:29PM, Wednesday January 30 2008

I wonder whom supplied the real Borealis ship with shower curtains! This made my day!

Yar Kramer's gravatar

27. XD

Posted by Yar Kramer at 10:18PM, Wednesday January 30 2008

Now watch it suffer a Spontaneous Massive Existence Failure ... no, wait, that was the Starship Titanic.

Pyro-Dude's gravatar


Posted by Pyro-Dude at 9:17AM, Thursday January 31 2008

Now how long until it vanishes suddenly in the dock?

That would be an interesting launch. Swing the champagne bottle and suddenly *poof* a big hole where a boat used to be

fuzz's gravatar

29. Borealis

Posted by fuzz at 1:32PM, Thursday January 31 2008

I'm intrigued by the arrow marked "Science Capability" (which is pretty sinister in and of it's self) pointing blandly to the bows.
Is that where the portal generator is fitted?

Pyro-Dude's gravatar

30. Hmmm

Posted by Pyro-Dude at 5:12PM, Thursday January 31 2008

That drilling platform looks just about the right size to hold a particular malevolent AI

Tom's gravatar

31. Ep2 engine?

Posted by Tom at 11:46PM, Wednesday February 6 2008

That was being rendered by the Ep2 engine wasn't it?

Pace's gravatar

32. ep2 patch?

Posted by Pace at 2:56AM, Thursday February 7 2008

Yeah, he mentioned that in a comment here http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/?p=1007 as well as the fact that a patch would be made available, I guess so that we can play it as an ep2 mod?

TempusRob's gravatar

33. Video

Posted by TempusRob at 4:34AM, Wednesday February 20 2008

Stage6 is perfect for this kind of thing :)

Sortie's gravatar

34. Re: bob

Posted by Sortie at 4:45PM, Thursday February 21 2008

That's the new MINERVA release? Adam is certainly taking a new direction this time.

Sortie's gravatar

35. Anti-Spam suggestions

Posted by Sortie at 8:22PM, Monday March 24 2008

I think it is time to improve some spam systems. What about not allowing links in the first post an user writes? Alternatively you could force the user to write what 2 + 2 is when signing up, for asking for which color a white horse has. But spambots will figure out how to handle that over time.
You could use that write-this-number-here system that is included in the phpBB software too, however I don't know if spambots can figure that out these days.

You could also ban some Ips and stuff, but proxies and such does make that a bad idea.

Holy Socks's gravatar

36. Damn Bots

Posted by Holy Socks at 11:46PM, Tuesday April 1 2008

Is it possible to prevent posts having the same name as the user that posted them? That might cut down on some of spaming that we seem to be getting here....not that i know anything about coding or anything like that.

Sortie's gravatar

37. Sortie

Posted by Sortie at 6:16PM, Wednesday April 2 2008

Easily, just a matter of simple programming effort from Adam. ;)

Sortie's gravatar

38. HOW TO GET RID OF THE BOTS.. ehm. caps lock

Posted by Sortie at 4:35PM, Thursday April 10 2008

Of some reasons the bots only know how to comment in this very blog post. If it got locked the bots would no longer be able to post and thus no spam.

Cargo Cult's gravatar

39. Actually...

Posted by Cargo Cult at 12:36PM, Friday April 11 2008

... articles automatically close themselves for commenting something like two weeks after the last comment was posted. There isn't actually a way of closing 'em manually - I haven't got round to writing that bit yet.

So, erm... Sortie's accidentally been doing a good job of keeping this article open to the spammers. Sorry. ;-)

Cargo Cult (not logged in)'s gravatar

40. Testing, testing...

Posted by Cargo Cult (not logged in) at 11:47AM, Monday April 14 2008

Does this fancy reCAPTCHA thingy work?

Logged in users won't see it - I'm assuming they're all human... ;-)

Nesretep's gravatar

41. What should I be seeing?

Posted by Nesretep at 2:17PM, Tuesday April 15 2008

How do I know if it is working? I looked at your post both logged in and not; I didn't see any difference. I probably looking in the wrong place though, eh?

Nesretep's gravatar

42. NEVERMIND... :)

Posted by Nesretep at 2:19PM, Tuesday April 15 2008

see title...sorry for the double post!

macc's gravatar

43. STALKER: Clear Sky dx10 Tech trailer!

Posted by macc at 2:25PM, Tuesday April 22 2008

Very nice indeed!


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