MINERVA: Episodic, Single-Player Half-Life 2

Yeah, so you've looked behind the curtain, only to discover the whole world is a carefully manufactured lie. But to what ends?

Well, I'm Adam Foster, and these are my experiments in Half-Life 2 mapping!

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The Problem with Celebrity Playtesters -

I think you all successfully figured out I've been to Valve again - I'd love to contribute to all of your more paranoid and obscure conspiracy theories, but the reality is that it was for some kind of Source Developers' Conference. Which, erm, had been rather rapidly postponed until next year. Leaving me with air tickets already booked, and nothing to go to.

Fortunately Valve let me in, and even more fortunately let me play their games. ALL OF THEM! MWUHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

... Ahem.

So it might have been a one-man mod conference, but I still had great fun. And my avoiding-waiting-in-airports-for-connecting-flights technique of stopping for a few nights in San Francisco and Boston was also a bonus. Although I did spot another Combine citadel. How long have they been on this planet? I saw another last year, remember...

So, that MINERVA thing? Well, both Marc Laidlaw and Robin Walker kindly played through my latest version, and uncovered various issues, problems and bugbears which I'm busy fixing. For instance, providing sufficient clues so that people like Mr. Laidlaw no longer miss the Big Apparently Obvious Door To (Partial) Freedom and run headlong into unstoppable Combine reinforcements; additional clues so that people like Mr. Laidlaw no longer run entirely the wrong direction down a particular corridor; and finally more *DELETED* and *REDACTED* to make sure people like Mr. Laidlaw cackle even more evilly during a certain section of gameplay. Oh, and a *REMOVED* to stop a Mr. Walker from getting bored and jumping from a great height during a Very Important Plot Moment.

So huge thanks to Valve for letting me in the building, allowing me to playtest their games, and in turn playtesting my own little game.

Yes, you must all be thoroughly annoyed with the endless delays, procrastination, illness and so on (I'd tell you about the lovely new cold virus I inadvertently brought back from the USA, but that's gone now...) but rest assured, MINERVA shouldn't take too much longer.

I hope!

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GAME ENDINGS EXPRESSED SOLELY WITH EMOTICONS -

GAME (a):

:'-(

GAME (b):

B-D

FINAL THOUGHTS:

I <3 my cube. :-(

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Orthomyxoviridae -

Please excuse the recent silence - it appears that my pathetic, feeble frame of meat and bone has been subverted once again by another crude bundle of nucleic material. And lo, the virus did go forth and multiply, reprogramming my cellular protein manufacturing systems towards its own, mindless schemes...

Yep, I'm using the "sorry, I'm ill" excuse again. I'd cough up another nice lump of phlegm to illustrate its reality, but you'd probably all complain.

So instead, in the spirit of ARGs and digital archaeology, I've produced an intriguing little file which you dear Acolytes might love to get your teeth into. A little owl tells me that it might contain actual high-quality screenshots of publicly unseen parts of MINERVA - although time and incompetence has rendered them into a truly archaic format.

So, ladies, gentlemen and undecideds, please ready your hex editors - and have fun!

Oh, and this merry little wild goose chase took about half an hour to make, so no complaining about me getting distracted... ;-)

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Ну что, соскучились? -

...

Edit 2007-04-03: Spanish and Russian language packs uploaded - once again, thanks to the Sarmatia Project!

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Only doing this to annoy you -

Have a moon:

Handy hint - when travelling home around 400 miles with camera, to encounter spectacularly clear weather and the best lunar eclipse in decades, remember to take your tripod with you.

All these shots were completely hand-held. Gyroscopically stabilised lenses are great, but not great enough to out-do the same lens without stabilisation, but with the aforementioned sodding tripod. Astronomy likes long exposures, 'cause there's bugger-all light. Duh.

Have an animation, running at a thousand times real-time:

Enjoy!

And the forum? I'll let the oft-maligned free will take its course. When the timer reaches zero, please exercise your democratic rights...

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