The fan-made Half-Life themed graphic novel, Half-Life: A Place in the West, recently launched a Greenlight campaign to bring the comic to Steam as a standalone application.
Half-Life: A Place in the West, which was previously featured here on LambdaGeneration, is six-part illustrated graphic novel written by Half-Life enthusiasts Ross Gardner and Michael Pelletier.
The story follows a group of individuals who are attempting to survive the effects of the Black Mesa incident in North America, during the timeframe when Gordon Freeman is placed into stasis by the G-Man.
The comic itself features stunning illustrations, graphics and typography by comic book artists Heath Heil and Rachel Deering. The overall feel and quality is near to what you’d expect from a professional publication.
Last week, the team announced that they had plans to launch the series as a fully fledged application on Steam. To get there though, they need the community’s help to get them voted on Steam Greenlight. Here’s the trailer:
If successful, the application will launch with the 38-page chapter, ‘Following Portents‘, included as the first issue. Features include English and Russian language options, a fully-animated menu screen with sound, a behind-the-scenes video with commentary and a 3-page prologue about the Half-Life storyline.
Sneak peak at a possible menu screen
As stated in the campaign description it’s also important to note that this is not a game, despite it being listed as one on Greenlight:
It is very important to note that A Place in the West is not a game, and does not feature any gameplay whatsoever; it is purely a comic book. So, you might be asking, why Greenlight? The simple and most elegant answer is that Steam offers a variety of opportunities for content developers, and we don’t think the platform needs to be limited to games. There are several comics already available on Steam, as well as movies and software – our thinking was, basically, why not comics too? And so, we wanted to embrace this distribution platform in order to reach the widest possible audience.
In response to questions about pricing, co-writer Michael Pelletier stated in a Greenlight discussion thread that the first issue will be included for free, however the cost of future issues will be discussed if the campaign is successful. Pelletier also said that he wanted to be “completely clear” that the project is not intending to make a commercial profit as the comic is “very much a passion project”. In addition, he stated that the possibility of the comic being released for free in it’s entirety was also “completely acceptable”.
So far, the team has spent in region of $7000 on the first release of the comic, which was used to hire the artists and to create the website. If the future releases of A Place in the West are to come with a pricetag, the team intends to put all of the earnings back into the creation of the comic “mitigating some of the fees, hiring more artists, and seeing that the other issues are even better”.
Currently the first of the six planned chapters is out, you can read the story so far on the official website.