Hey folks! I've got a nice big update for you today. Most of this stuff will be covered in the stream I'm hoping to host next weekend (Sat. 15th).

Let's start with EZ2. The team surprised me last night, with a plethora of things they have been working on! I can't show you any of this stuff directly right this moment because it contains mega chapter 3 spoilers, but I can outline some of these awesome additions.

The first massive change right off the bat; Blixibon has put together an NPC for Wilson. He comes with an entire response context system of his own - which to us creators is INSANE! This gives us immense power over interactions with Wilson and will pave the way we move forward with the mod.

The Will-E NPC can respond automatically to events occurring in the world, he gestures when conversing, can call out to the player to warn him of impending danger, remind the player to reload (Much to the chagrin of Bad Cop) - and more. Pretty much any scenario in which you'd employ a response context, we can use for Will-E to tailor a gameplay experience that will unique EVERY TIME YOU PLAY! Mind blowing. Blixibon has done some tremendous work with this and I can't wait to show it off.

We have to be a bit careful with demonstration as a lot of the Will-E dialogue does divulge some pretty huge spoilers. Regardless, we will find a way to show him off. I have no doubts that players will be thinking twice before throwing him into a crevasse.

If you tip Wilson over he will exclaim "Oh!" and flap about.

We're planning to roll out EZ2 complete with developer commentary, because this has been quite a journey so far. To compliment that, Blixibon has gone ahead and made us some custom commentary bubbles. These won't be appearing for a while obviously, but I think they look really neat.

Should we do one for Bad Cop?

Blixibon has also done some work on Combine Soldiers. Specifically, he has gifted them with free head movement and the ability to deploy manhacks! Check it out!!!

We will be able to specify if soldiers are carrying hacks in the editor. You may have noticed also the free head movement. Soldiers will look around now, which stops them appearing so stiff!

Another change that Blixibon has added is the ability to specify if certain NPCs are 'hacked' or not in the editor. This will come in handy later on in development.

We're hoping to have enemies killed by rollers to twitch and spark like the ragdolls seen at the end of HL2!

There are some other changes, too! But we gotta be careful talking about those as they could spoil things. Some new entities have been added to streamline working with one of our new NPCs. These additions will make the implementation process simpler (the new npc is already in and functions but there are better ways to approach it) and these go hand in hand with some potential AI changes to improve upon this further.

I'm so excited about all of this stuff. We're also arming future mappers by building these things into the game at this stage. Mappers will be able to drop Wilson into their own maps and he should react and comment with minimal work. There's so much potential here!

Chapter 4 is coming along well. I've got the first map fleshed out start to end and we can finally hop into the APC and DRIVE, BABY!


*Arctic wind noises*

Yeah, that's my ride out there.

All alpha right now obviously, but it's coming together well. FACT: That's the fastest map I've put together for EZ2 from start to end. Took me two days.

Got a lot to do with the map now. There's an Advisor sequence I'm working on right now, some stuff with Hunters and then there's all the detail work I have to do to bring the map up to standard. APC isn't fully functional yet in that we can't shoot with it - but we'll sort it out. It's gonna be great - stay tuned!

The EZ1 patch entered testing yesterday on Steam. We're testing the build internally right now and I don't think we'll be pushing a test build to the public.

We will be sharing a full changelog closer to the time but I just wanted to quickly run through some core changes that you're gonna want to know about.

We have some new effects from EZ2 that we've brought over. Gunshot sparks are more animated and bullets will kick up more dust when they hit the dirt. Gunfights can get a bit more chaotic now, especially when coupled with...

Blasting through Dead Tenant

...the new AI! Which is awesome. 1upD has done some extensive work on not only bringing across the new Rebel AI from EZ2, but improving it throughout EZ1. Rebels REALLY push now. The AI changes are very noticeable and we feel as though the fit they mod well enough not to completely change it, but rather to build on the original experience.

There have been some sweeping map changes to address various known bugs and we've tweaked things here and there. We're being careful not to touch too much as we don't want to re-create the mod, so most of it is just fixes.

Other changes include some nerfs, namely changes to CFLU, nerfs to fast zombie damage, a nerf to the final bosses health and a rebel accuracy nerf that has come about as part of the new AI changes.

We also have some new achievements in the works. Players will be awarded depending on what difficulty they completed the mod. We're also looking at a 'No Deaths' achievement.

One of our core aims with patch 3.0 is to boost the replay value with the mod through use of the new rebel AI, whilst making it a teeny bit more approachable to players who didn't get on so well with the high incoming damage.

Don't get me wrong - EZ1 will continue to be a challenging mod, but we're doing more now than just upping damage values.

You're definitely gonna want to check out EZ1 again after the patch drops!

Whew! That was a huge update. We've been extremely busy.

Thanks for following and hopefully you can catch us at the weekend with another stream!

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Oh boy!

With just a few minor things left to bring Chapter 3 up to full alpha, I've started working on Chapter 4. Some of you stopped by last week to check out my mapping stream and will have seen the very first rooms being put together. If you missed that stream, you can catch it again here.

I ran into some issues towards the end with an incorrect colour correction setup - but that's all resolved now :D

You'll be seeing more of Chapter 4 very soon. I'm not going to be hiding much about this part of the mod so expect regular updates.

Chapter 4 is titled 'Venture Ghost'. We hop into the seat of an APC and travel to Arbeit #2, a second facility located a tad further North. If all goes to plan, this chapter should be likened to Highway 17 in Half-Life 2 - except this time we're the bad guy. And we're in the arctic. Somewhere.

Stay tuned!

Swing by ModDB this week if you can and vote for EZ1 or EZ2 for mod appreciation week! I'd be so grateful if I got some votes!

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Sometimes it can be hard to estimate exactly how long these things are going to take. Right now we're sitting at the very end of Chapter 3 sorting out the final geometry, playing with sounds and music and also implementing a bunch of code updates and fixes. It's a long winded process, but we're all very eager to get it done so we can finally move on to the next chapter.

I'm aware there has been a bit of a content drought over the last few weeks as we don't really want to spoil things that are happening with this chapter, we haven't been sharing nearly as much as we would like. I may be firing a little early on this, but I don't really mind at this point! Here's another look at the bits we can show you from Chapter 3. There are some new bits in there!


I wonder what happens in here?!

It's pretty toasty beneath Arbeit.

Some familiar cubes!

How did THESE THINGS get here, anyway?!

Hope you enjoyed that! This will probably be the last big media update we do for Chapter 3 for now.

Check out our new team section on the site! It made sense to give our followers some context as to who they're listening to during streams. Check it out!

Speaking of the team:

We are looking for two animators - specifically a character animator and a viewmodel animator. If you think you're up to the job, come and visit us on the Discord and chat to one of the team.

More details can be found here!

That's all for now but stay tuned. You'll be seeing a lot more from us just as soon as we start with Chapter 4. I cannot wait!

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