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'MINERVA: Metastasis'

Articles tagged with 'MINERVA: Metastasis'

Parallel Universes: 15 Years of Half-Life Modding

Half-Life

The year is 1998. A previously unknown group of game developers known as Valve Software has just released Half-Life. Of course it becomes an instant hit, entertaining a generation of gamers worldwide. But beyond that, buried away on the CD-ROM inside that ridiculously big cardboard game box is a program called “Worldcraft”. According to a note at the back of the instruction manual (remember those?) this program would allow fans to “create a replica of their garage or a fantastic alien world”. And create they did. With this tool, now known as Hammer, at their disposal, the possibilities have been almost endless. From Counter-Strike to Ricochet, from Black Mesa to deep space to World War II France, the community created a tidal wave of new adventures, far beyond what anyone might have anticipated. Fifteen years later, we show no sign of stopping.

“MINERVA: Metastasis” Finally Polished Up, Re-Metastasized And Re-Released For Free Via Steamworks

Half-Life

The year was 2005 (you know it’s gotten bad when even 2005 has a quaint and nostalgic ring to it), and the first episode of a little Half-Life 2 mod series charmingly titled MINERVA: Metastasis was released. Metastasis itself only represented the first chapter in a planned MINERVA trilogy (the next chapter, Out of Time, never materialized, though creator Adam Foster isn’t afraid to hint at a possible return in the future), and it was a sequel to Foster’s earlier Half-Life 1 release, Someplace Else. Through exceptional level design, an intriguing narrative and remarkably well-paced gameplay, MINERVA was universally acclaimed and praised not just within the Half-Life community, but all around the greater gaming world.

The Metastasis “trilogy within a trilogy” concluded with the release of the last two episodes in October of 2007, and a year later, Foster began working at Valve, on a strange little game we used to call Half-Life 2: Episode Three. Since then, he’s done significant design work on Portal 2 (and god knows what that means about the aforementioned title), and presumably neglected little old MINERVA, which like many other HL2 mods, did not survive Valve’s May 2010 update for Mac support. Neglected, that is… until now!

Jack “Gauss” Monahan’s “Valve Portfolio”: Fantastical Visions Of The Half-Life Continuum

Half-Life

To call Jack “Gauss” Monahan a mapper or a modeller would be doing him and his skillset a grave injustice. He’s an artist, a game designer, and I can only assume, a few others. He occasionally posts his thoughts on his blog, Gausswerks: Design Reboot (as well as the Gausswerks forums), and his very own Twitter. Back in 2009, he served as the level design lead for the time-travelling cult hit Darkest of Days, and at the moment he’s cranking away on Animal Memory, an indie shooter of his own design, built on the Unreal engine.

He’s also a Valve enthusiast. He once did an excellent dissection of Left 4 Dead and TF2′s character designs, and long ago he created a delightful little design reboot of Half-Life, titled: ”Doctor Ivan Just Won’t Die”. But we’re going to take a look at something he once cooked up way back in 2005 – a gallery of artwork and game designs based on the Half-Life 2 universe. These constitute his early “Valve Portfolio”, which represented a section of a larger job application he sent to Valve.

As you can tell from the enticing feature image, it looks really good. Well, let’s take a closer look, shall we?