ModMatic: SP HL2 Map and Mod News

HL1 release: Paranoia -

We're already breaking that not-quite cast-iron 'Half-Life 2' rule by bringing news of an utterly unlikely mod for the original Half-Life. Yes, the game released over nine years ago. In internet terms, that's positively fossilised. But this? Read on!

Created by Mikhail "BuZZer" Kadikov and his team, Paranoia is a long walk (with plenty of shooting, sneaking and painkillers) through the Udarnik industrial complex, somewhere in Siberia.

  • New bits: brand new graphic rendering engine, icky zombie and mutant models, professional soundtrack, 8000 words of dialogue.
  • Gorgeous bits: murals in p_bunk4
  • Missing bits: Gordon Freeman, crowbar, headcrabs, snow.
  • Self-serving bits: my team did most of the mod's RU>EN localisation, making an unbiased review a little tricky. More writers needed!
  • Deletable bits: opengl32.dll if your rig is struggling with the OpenGL eye-candy.
  • Prohibited bit: "In post-Soviet Russia, Paranoia plays you."
  • Must-read bit: very important release notes

Edit 2007-12-13: Bonus screenshots from Trurl!

Download now!

Edit 2008-01-01: Patch for Version 1.1 released. P.S.: Happy New Year!

Article Comments (now closed)

Sortie's gravatar

1. Kinda review'ish commentary

Posted by Sortie at 4:14PM, Monday December 10 2007

Another great example that a monthly media release on every damn HL2 news website and a forum filled with morons and announcing the mod a week before the launch, IS NOT REQUIRED FOR NONEPISODIC SP MODS! *Cough*bms*cough*. Oh shit, rage.

It's really cool that some of the best HL1 mods are still in development and releasing just now, another example is Poke646: Vandetta. That mod looked just like Source but within the GoldSrc engine. I imagine that yet more great HL1 mods are in development and nobody told us!

Paranoia had a pretty rough start, with the VAC banish rumours. They should've contacted Valve about that issue and made them 'unban' their own opengl32.dll, eventually. But once people started deleting the damn file everything began to work even for me.
I had, however, trouble with getting the mod working. Because I didn't want to risk a VAC Ban at all, I used my own retail HL1 copy instead of Steam. Of course this was unsupported and it didn't tell me so. So I googled the error message and got almost no results but something telling me my HL1 copy was outdated.
I was tempted to go on a PATCH-HUNT but that's outdated, so I just used it with Steam.

Which worked! And soon I was playing the game. It adapted the note system from Poke646 but improved it heavily. Usually when modders make a game in another language, they suck at English, very hard, and the game is terribly translated, if at all! Contra wise I was impressed by the excellence of the writing relative to what I expected!
Looking back, I now know they got this 'Klapaucjusz' guys team to translate it. Eh. It just said above, but that Lockworks Translating Team trailer spoiled it. ;-)

Gameplay wise it was a slow start, very slow. I think they should have cut some of it and give the player better directions for where they should go. I'd REALLY loved a map like in Episode Two! I was lost a lot times. It seems like they caught some of these gameplay bugs though, when the guy follow you to the place you need to go.
*spoilers start here*
When the alarm sounded at the base, I got the idea I should return to the base I was at in the beginning, but it turned out I should go to a whole other place. Bad communication with the player I say.

Even though it was a "*fade* You are now at a new location" map transition it didn't fell too unnatural!
The team play was interesting and I really relied on the team, but I got disappointed when I discovered that they was no use and I had to do the "I go somewhere, do something, and they do something in the meantime" level design. I actually ran around at a whole map crounching because I expected enemies at each corner!

This is where it started to suck. Bugs. Crashes. More crashes. I was assaulted by a bunch of damn terrorists and every time I died, the game crashed. VERY annoying indeed. So I sadly had to let the game go and play something else.

If they release a patch or instructions on how to remove this crash, I'd love it! The game was really promising!

Sortie's gravatar

2. Followup to the review

Posted by Sortie at 6:51PM, Monday December 10 2007

I gave the game a second chance and played it through only to discover the crash has mysteriously disappeared. Nice!

Very original game in many ways, refreshing for the pool of available Single Player mods. I'd refer to this as the blend of Half-Life, Counter-Strike and a helluvalot Zombies.
I really like how you played together with some sort of team for a lot of the mods timespan. They wasn't useless! But appeared to have some sort of mental handicap forcing them to repeat the same sentences over and over again at every encounter. But that's probably why they joined the army in the first place, or was it because of the communistic propaganda?

Really cool to play a game with russian acting. Even though there wasn't put any feelings into it, but whatever it's FAR better than in such products such as Rock 24 and Riot Act and don't even mention City 7: Toronto Conflict.

Oh. Someone accidently knocked on our door claiming we called for pizza and requesting money in return. My brother appears to want me to eat this pizza thingy. I'll continue with my last points later.

Crispy's gravatar

3. First impressions

Posted by Crispy at 2:16PM, Tuesday December 18 2007

Got halfway through this on the weekend and I was impressed with the localisation (although there are some minor tweaks that could be made to improve it, speaking as a native English languages graduate here). I'll keep this post to sheer general comment because the next post will contain a proper review.

The graphics are definitely a facelift from HL. They don't seem immediately jawdropping after HL2 (and -if you have had the eyegasmic pleasure- Bioshock, CoD 4, S.T.A.L.K.E.R., etc.), but considering the age of the engine, they definitely are an achievement in themselves.

Having allies following you around is a pretty good sensation, and their militaristic movements are scripted well to ramp up the perceptible authenticity that you are in the Spetznaz. Also I thought the base at the beginning (although poorly localised for English speakers/readers in terms of navigation), did help make the scenario more believable. I think there were more individual characters (i.e. NPCs with individual lines of dialogue specific to them) in the base than the whole of 'They Hunger'.

Anyway, I need to get to work so I'd better leave the detail for the next post! :P

P.S. Could AF work on some sort of 'spoiler tag' system for the comments? I think they're much-needed on a SP-centric site like this.

Klapaucjusz's gravatar

4. Paranoia patch - linguistic feedback and fixes wanted

Posted by Klapaucjusz at 6:54PM, Tuesday December 18 2007

Crispy (and all other kind typo-hunters) , if you have screenshots or other notes of the typos and other linguistic bugs you spotted in Paranoia v1.0, feel free to send them over this week to qa (at) locworks (dot) net. Mikhail and his team are working on a patch, which will give the LocWorks team the chance to release a better titles.txt along with the upcoming gameplay and model fixes.
And yes, you will be credited (if you wish) in the localization area.

Crispy's gravatar

5. "Poorly localised"

Posted by Crispy at 11:52AM, Wednesday December 19 2007

I feel I should explain: what I meant about the base being 'poorly localised' is that all of the locations you need to get to in the base have Russian signposts. Now, there's nothing wrong with this, but it would be a vast improvement if, for example, some English text came up when the player hovers the mouse over these, just so you have some understanding of where you're going.

I know most of the time there is only one open door to enter/exit, but before you realise this is how the game works, you find yourself trying every doorway you haven't been in to get to the next section, because you can't read the cyrillic text on the placards outside.


The rest was really minor stuff, like making something more colloquial. E.g. "smoke break" would be better as "cigarette break", when someone howls "I feel crap!", it could be better translated as the more emphatic "I feel like shit!". But I'll start the game again and make a note of these minor bugs if you like (gives me an excuse to restart the game on Hard mode since Normal is a bit of a cakewalk).

Klapaucjusz's gravatar

6. All your base are signposted in cyrillic

Posted by Klapaucjusz at 3:41PM, Wednesday December 19 2007

I wish someone came up with a way of displaying contextual text triggered by the player looking at a decal.
I'll see if we can hack the current decals, although Yankee signs in Siberia may look a bit out of ti... place.

Thanks for the notes. We may not have the time to get the troopers chit-chat up to Aliens-style level, but any feedback will be much appreciated.

Crispy's gravatar

7. An alternative...

Posted by Crispy at 8:16PM, Wednesday December 19 2007

...would be to have trigger_senses (or whatever they're called) to tell the player which area the player is entering in their native language. This way you keep the cyrillic signposts and uphold the authenticity of the place, but you help the player navigate.

Crispy's gravatar

8. trigger_proximity

Posted by Crispy at 12:41PM, Thursday December 20 2007

Turns out this is an HL2 entitity. Maybe there might be a way to port it into Paranoia?

Sortie's gravatar

9. Trigger_Look

Posted by Sortie at 11:08PM, Thursday December 20 2007

What about making a port of the Trigger_Look from Source, it pretty much suits the purpose. Or just by programming make the game see if the player is near a predefined decal point and is looking at it. Should be fairly simple. :D

Crispy's gravatar

10. Finished

Posted by Crispy at 4:43PM, Tuesday December 25 2007

Me and my brother took it in turns to play through Paranoia from start to finish last night. It has its ups and downs, but mostly ups. I'd give it a provisional 85% review score considering the engine and what other mods there have been on GoldSrc.

Expect a full review soonish. I'll also go through the text file and email the makers a list of suggestions for modifications to the English localisation, along with a report on a 100% reproducible crash bug (the only one in the game, I should note).

Klapaucjusz's gravatar

11. English

Posted by Klapaucjusz at 1:08PM, Wednesday December 26 2007

Crispy, it'd be simpler and quicker if you send me the suggestions regarding the localisation-related fixes, as I'm looking after this aspect of the game for Mikhail.

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