Thursday, 5 February 2009

Mini Mod

Toy Story tried to tell you that when you were out of the room, your toys talked to each other and were friends. They lied!

They wage war, and it's every toy for itself. Here in Mini Mod we give you a chance to take part.

From the original website (click at your own risk, freely hosted websites created over 3 hours in 2001 are pretty hideous...):

"Mini Mod is all about being small.

As well as just playing small, the maps are specially designed for small groups of people, and all the maps were tested with three or four players players so we think that they all cater for smaller MP matches. Our biggest maps, Guerilla Warfare Garage and Pooltable Panic will both fit eight players nicely.

Also, we've addressed a few things in vanilla Half-Life Death Match that got on our nerves a bit. The Shotgun and the the Assault Rifle are very slightly less accurate, the Crossbow has a longer delay between each shot in secondary fire (sniper mode), and most importantly in my opinion, the Egon/Gluon gun has been slightly toned down as well. Not overly so, but at least it's not an instant kill weapon..."

Fortunately thanks to Valve's diligence, Mini Mod is still playable with the latest version of the original Half Life! Instructions on downloading and installing can be found to the right.

As mentioned in the blurb above, we felt that most people wouldn't have access to an extensive LAN or a massive amount of players without resorting to hogging their net connections (a surefire way to piss off your flatmates during uni, believe me!).

My group of friends and I decided upon Mini Mod as a reason to create some maps and tweaks that would support smaller groups of players - playing 4 player DM on some of Valve's larger maps (and the inevitable community-created ones) was just no fun, and so few maps were being made to support what we saw as a large slice of the player base that we simply had to act!

Anyway, this led us to the idea of theme-ing the mod around the very core intent of 'small death match' - the maps were set in everyday locations from the perspective of toys and small animals, and we even ended up contacting character modellers to ask if we could pack their creations into our mod distributable. Playable characters like Cockroaches and Pokemon toys seemed to fit our requirements as good as anything else, so without a character artist and animator on board we were happy when they all agreed!

On a slightly down note, we didn't have the time nor people to create any textures and made do with a little creative texturing using the existing base (and occasionally ignoring rules about texel density) - the effect is blurry and not very polished but at least it got the maps done!

Also, we never did manage to get the lighting to compile properly. Looking back on it now, it was a completely silly mistake to make - we even got versions running that had been lighted by myself - but we lost them in a crash. Another rookie error, but one we learned from.

I'm seriously thinking about lighting them and re-launching them for kicks...