Half-Life Remnants is a fan-made restoration mod for Half-Life 2 developed by Team Vestige, seeking to revamp old unfinished maps from the Half-Life 2 beta. Remnants seeks to make certain maps from the beta not just playable, but completely overhauled with new additions and improvements.
Remnants began development in early 2022, and I was fortunate enough to join the project relatively early, and influenced the early progress of the mod’s development in the same year. I joined the project as a weapons programmer, which extended to NPC AI programmer later on. My first appearance with Remnants began with episode 4 of the project’s Devlog series on YouTube:
My main contributions included recreating a few of the iconic weapons from the Half-Life 2 beta, each with their slight adjustments and tweaks compared to the general roster of weapons found in the retail version of Half-Life 2.
The weapons recreated are as follows:
*NOTE* Due to the nature of the project still in development, not all content displayed is representative of the final mod, as bugs, errors and uncompleted level geometry and ripped placeholder assets are present.
Mp5K Sub-machine Gun
The Mp5k’s implementation was relatively an easy feat, considering it was essentially a modified SMG1 from retail Half-Life 2 with the grenade launcher removed and a smaller magazine. The only complicated addition was the inclusion of two different reload animation states, one for an empty magazine and one for at least one bullet remaining in the chamber, which retail Half-Life 2’s SMG1 counterpart did not include.
OICW Assault Rifle
The OICW was definitely a more sudden jump in difficulty as the shooting mechanics for this weapon were by far much more complicated than its Mp5K counterpart. For context, the OICW functions with a bullet spread mechanic where by consistent automatic fire increases the weapon spread to a wide limit, while also adding a strong upward recoil draw. Single fire shots kept the weapon accurate both at close and long ranged distances. The math for the weapon for such an implementation was complicated at first but the final result ended up better than expected.
Alongside the weapon recoil and bullet spread, Remnant’s version of the OICW does not include the scope zoom mechanic on its secondary attack that was present in the Half-Life 2 beta (even while the view model placeholder present in these video demonstrations has it) Instead, the scope was replaced with an under barrel grenade launcher, functioning exactly like retail Half-Life 2’s SMG1 secondary fire.
The Sniper Rifle’s main challenge was not mainly the single shot firing and reloading, but implementing the proper scope texture and zoom when the player presses their secondary attack key. The current texture utilized was ripped from Counter-Strike: Source as a placeholder, but will ultimately be replaced by a custom texture for Remnants.
Ultimately the process of recreating the Half-Life 2 beta weapons into Remnants was a very exhilarating experience, experimenting and getting better at weapons code in the Source engine.
Afterwards, the next request was a simple implementation of the Houndeye enemy type into Remnants, allowing the project to be at a constant and steady progressive state with enough custom content for proper development.
At first the Houndeye was super straightforward as its existing code was open to the public. Only issues present were proper rendering of its blast radius particle effects, and fixing some commented out dependencies that exist in the source code of Source SDK 2013 that prevented the Houndeye NPC from detecting the player in its AI Schedule states.
Overall, while Remnants recent development news has been slow as of the time of writing this page, there is no doubt that the implementations of these early mechanics has aided as a strong boost to the early development of Remnants. More experience in C++, more weapon coding experience, and best of all working with very swell and talented people who gave great and consistent feedback to my work!
Special thanks to Team Vestige, and Remnant’s development lead SCP GAMING and Kajlo for all their consistent feedback, input and testing!