MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM MMMMMMMMMiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiaMMMMMMMMMMMM MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiMM MMiiMMMM MMMMMMMMMMMM MMMMMMMMiiiiiiiiiiiM MM MiiiiMM MMMMMMMMMM MMMMMMiiiiiiiiMMMMMM MiiiiiMM MMMMMMMMM MMMMaiiiiiiMMMM MMiiiiiMM MMMaMMM MMMMiiiiiMMM MMMMiiiMM MMMMMMM MMMMMMMMM MMMMiiiMM MMMMMMiiaMM MMMiMMM MMMMMMiiMM MMMiiM MiiMM MMiMMM MMMMMMMiMMM MMMiMMMMMMMMMMiMMa MMiMMM MMaiMM MMaiiiiiiiiiiMMM MMMiMM MMiiMM MMiiiiiiiiiiMM MMMiMM MMiiMMM MMMiiiiiiiiMM MMiiMM MMMiiiMM MMiiiiiiiMMM MMiiM MMMiiiiMMM MMiiiiiiMMM MMiiiM MMMiiaaaiMMM MiiiiiiMM MMiiiM MMMiiMMMMiiMM MiiiiiMMM MMiiiM MMMiiMM MMiMMM MiiiiMMM iMiiiM MMMiMMM MMiiMMM MiiiiMM MaiiM MMMiMMM MMiiMM MiiiMM MMiiMM MMMiMMM MMiMMM MMiiMMM MMiiMM MMMiMMM MMMiMM M MMiMMM MMiMMM MMMiMMM MMiiMMMMMMM MMiiMM MMMiMM MMMiMMM MMMiMMMMMMMM MMiMMM MMMiMM MMMMMMM MMMMMMMMMMM MMiMMM MMMMMM MMMMMMM MMMMM MMiMMM MMMMMMM MMMMMMM MMMaMMM MMMiMMM MMMMMMMM MMMMMMMM MMMMMMMM MMMMMMMM MMMMMMMMMM MMMMMMMMMMM MMMMMMMMMMMMMM MMMMMMMMMMMMMM MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM http://www.somesingawful.com Half-Life 2: Lost Coast Guide by Grawl grawler (@t) gmail (d0t) com 10/31/05 - Version 0.1 ============================================================================== Donations ============================================================================== It seems thousands of players enjoy my guide, seeing the countless mails I receive. This makes me very happy, since it means my guide actually has some use ;p So I'm asking you, if you're enjoying this guide, could you perhaps donate some money? Heck, I'll be happy with your 2 bucks you were going to spent on a cheeseburger later ;p Thank you! http://donate.somesingawful.com ============================================================================== Introduction ============================================================================== 1) Don't steal anything from this guide. This guide is copyrighted according to the DMCA (http://www.copyright.gov/legislation/dmca.pdf) and stealing this guide and/or parts of this guide without my written permission will lead to a removal request. When this request doesn't get accepted within 48 hours, an official DMCA notice will follow. If this gets ignored, bigger steps will be taken. 2) Do you see someone use parts that look like parts of my guide? Please let me know. 3) If want this guide on your site, send a mail to me to ask permission. I have the right to reject or accept this request. I'll keep my own list of sites that are allowed to use our guide. If I find my guide on a site that's not allowed to host it, I'll ask to remove it. For more information see point 1. Once you are allowed to use the guide, you are only allowed to use this guide the way it can be found on www.grawl.nl. You're not allowed to ask money for the guide. 4) Donations are more than welcome. I need the money to buy the latest games, fix problems with my PC etc. If you enjoyed this guide, head to http://www.donategrawl.cjb.net and donate something. It's more than appreciated. 5) I have the right to answer a mail or not. Be sure you checked the latest version of the guide. You can find the latest version at http://www.grawl.nl. I won't reply when you're mailing about something obvious, something that's already covered, something that'll end up in the guide in later versions or when you're not able to write a proper mail. Use proper grammar and spelling. 6) Mailing me to tell how good the guide is, is appreciated ;p You can write in either English or Dutch. To make searching easier, I added search-codes in the TOC. Just press CTRL + F and enter the code to jump to that part immediately. ============================================================================== Table of Contents [HL.00.00] ============================================================================== * Table of Contents.................................................[HL.00.00] * History & Next Version............................................[HL.01.01] * Introduction......................................................[HL.02.01] * Walkthrough.......................................................[HL.03.01] * FAQ...............................................................[HL.04.01] * Conclusion........................................................[HL.05.01] ============================================================================== History & Next Version [HL.01.01] ============================================================================== Version 0.1 (10/31/05) - Everything is new. (22,4KB) ============================================================================== Introduction [HL.02.01] ============================================================================== Valve doesn't sit still. Nothing like that at all. They developed a new lightning technology called HDR, which is truly amazing. This level they released on Steam is not really much of a game to play, but more of a tech demo. Nevertheless, it's still great stuff, and the level design is simply brilliant. I just wished that they made Half-Life 2 like this. Can anyone play this? No. You need Half-Life 2 (any version will do, as long as it's legal)... and that's pretty much it. However, if you want to play this game with the new HDR function, your card needs to be able to handle HDR (I'm not sure which one do or don't). You can still play the level fine without it though. Furthermore, I'm not going in-depth on weapons, enemies etc. For that, I suggest you to read my Half-Life 2 guide, which can be found as an exclusive guide on IGN. If you want to have the most fun out of this, and don't want to be spoiled, turn off the commentary and play on hard. You'll have a blast. Then play again on easy, with commentary on, so you can enjoy the game and look around at your own speed. Also play around with the gravity gun, it's still fun ;) So once you ready, get the files of Steam and load the thing up (you may need to set up HRD manually though - I had to). Get ready to have some fun for the next half an hour or so. ============================================================================== Walkthrough [HL.03.01] ============================================================================== Right in front of you are several audio commentary balloons (if you enabled them, that is). Press the use button on them to hear them. #1: "[Gabe Newell] Welcome to the Lost Coast. In this tour, we're going to be talking about a new graphics technology we've been developing, called High Dynamic Range Lighting, or HDR. We'll also be giving the construction of the Lost Coast. First, a quick explanation of the commentary system. To listen to a commentary node, put your crosshair over the floating commentary symbol and press the +USE key. To stop the commentary, put your crosshair over the rotating node and press your +USE key again. Some commentary nodes may take control of the game for the purpose of showing something to you. In these cases, simply pressing your +USE key will stop the commentary." #2: "[Viktor Antonov] When the art team started to think about a location that would demonstrate the power of HDR, a beach was one of the first choices we made. The visual relationship between the sky, the water, and the rocks is something we could not achieve without HDR. In order for high dynamic range to correctly simulate the light's interaction with the surfaces around you, like these wet rocks, we needed more precise information about the surfaces than we've had in the past. So now, going forward, we're modelling textures in 3D packages to ensure that the physical information encoded in the texture allows HDR to correctly bounce light off the surface. We also design the colors and values of each surface to ensure they will be correct across all exposure levels." #3: "[Gary McTaggart] With conventional rendering, seen here on the left, if something on the screen is 20% reflective, like the wet stand, then the maximum reflected brightness could only be 20% of the maximum brightness of your monitor. HDR's more accurate simulation of light ensures that the sun's reflection on this wet sand appears as it would in the real world, which could potentially use 100% of the maximum monitor brightness. HDR uses bloom to simulate light that is beyond 100% of a monitor's maximum brightness." If you have HDR on, just take a look around. Notice how the sand reflects the sun in a beautiful way. If you're lucky enough to run with high textures, the rocks will look great too. I wasn't that lucky. Before walking to the fisherman, notice there is also an area behind the rocks to the left of your starting point. You'll find a wrecked ship here, and another text balloon. #4: "[Robin Walker] The remains of the ship in front of you where once part of a puzzle we cut out of the Lost Coast. The original design of the puzzle was based on the idea of the player and the fisherman co-operating together to solve something. This was a type of puzzle we'd always wanted to attempt in HL2. Unfortunately, as development on Lost Coast neared the end, and this puzzle still wasn't finished, we decided to cut it. It's always painful to remove work, so we've tried to evolve a process for making those kinds of decisions. For example, with this puzzle we asked ourselves 'Is this puzzle actually fun?','If not, how much work does it need to be fun?','Does this puzzle fit within the purpose of Lost Coast?','Would our customers appreciate this puzzle being finished more than they would appreciate, say, soldiers rappelling off the cliffside?'. In the end, it made the most sense to put this problem on the shelf with other interesting ideas, and come back to it later." Get back to the previous area, and have a look at the text balloon in front of the fisherman. #5: "[Randy Lundeen] The process of building characters in Half-Life 2 taught us many things. By the end, we believed we'd figured out a more effective process for designing and constructing characters. This fisherman is the first character we've guilt using that process. Design-wise, the fisherman was focused on showcasing HDR, and the way light falls on human skin. The highlights on his forehead and nose are good examples of specularity on human skin. You can see how the wrinkles on his cheeks, and around his eyes, are an example of how we can use normal maps to add depth. Production-wise, the fisherman was built using a similar process to the rocks you saw on the beach. We model the 3D character at a very high detail, then extract much of the physical information and store it in the textures." The fisherman will ask if you're the real Gordon Friedman (or something), and then open the gate for you. We're almost ready for some action. Let's first check the next balloon. #6: "[Gary McTaggart] Water presents us with a lot of rendering challenges. In fact, we have to render the scene 3 times. Once for the refraction of what's under the water, once for the reflection of everything above the water, and once from the player's view. You can see the reflection $ refraction scenes in the two small windows onscreen. In the refraction, we calculate, per-pixel, how much water you're looking through to do a volumetric underwater fog, to simulate particulate matter. For our full HDR solution, we had to go through the entire engine and modify every bit of code that calculated light and color. For example, these water reflection & refraction renderings had to be improved to support the full range of contrast values." So, enough listening/reading, eh? Walk up the path, and you can start fragging the Combines. They're coming from everywhere, so watch out for that. The path isn't too big either, so don't fall of the cliff when going sideward. After some shooting, you'll notice you can't go any further. Turn around, and jump on the cliff. There is another text balloon here. #7: "[Robin Walker] The area you're currently entering is called the cliffside arena. We were particularly happy with the vertical cliffside in Half-Life 1, and regretted that we didn't iterate further on that concept in Half-Life 2. Vertical space allows us to force the player to deal with threats from above and below. We find that player focus their view on the direction they're travelling, so by using a cliffside, and having the player ascend it, we ensure the player will look up and be prepared for enemies. If the player's path was to move past the bottom of the cliffside, it would be unlikely he would notice the soldiers rappelling down from above. Dying from unknown threats never feels fair, and certainly isn't fun." Sure Robin, that's why a bit later on, you get attacked by soldier on roofs. Makes perfect sense. Anyway, continue up the cliff, and kill the Combines. After a short while you'll reach a small hall with another text balloon. #8: "[Chris Green] One of the features of our HDR solution is dynamic tonemapping. The easiest way to think about dynamic tonemapping is that it is a method of simulating the way the human eye reacts to light. In the real world, you've probably walked into a dark room and noticed your eye adjusting to the darkness, letting you see better after some time. Or you've walked into a bright day, and been blinded by the sun, only to have your eye adjust and allow you to see normally. Your iris is adjusting itself in response to the amount of light hitting your eye. Dynamic tonemapping simulates this, by automatically adjusting the exposure of the scene to mimic the behavior of your iris. You can see this as the view moves from the dark tunnel to the bright sun, and back again. Here you can see the way we calculate the amount of light hitting the player's eyes. We take a snapshot of the scene, and extract the brightness levels to get the average level of light. Additionally, we consider light at the center of the screen more important than that at the edges, to better simulate the geometry of the eye." Once you move a bit more forward, you enter up in a courtyard. The doors behind you close. Relax for the moment, though. Follow the path up into the church, reading and listening to the balloons. #9: "[Robin Walker] The courtyard in front of you is a space we call an Arena. Arenas are built to hold the player for a period of time, and usually contain combat or some other challenge. They often have multiple entry-points for enemies, along with a gate of some kind to prevent the player moving on, until the challenge has been completed. In this case, the arena is free of enemies until the player solves a puzzle, and triggers an alarm. This is a method that allows the player to explore the arena, and get a sense of its space before being forced to fight in it. It adds a sense of uneasiness to the player, who's expecting to be attacked now that they've reached the goal set for them at the start of the map. The break in action here is also a crucial part of the level's aching. It allows the player to recover and explore the world a little, after being attacked on the way up the cliffside." #10: "[Chris Green] The Source engine supports a wide variety of shaders. The refraction shader on the window here requires us to copy the scene to a texture, refract it, and then apply it to the window surface. To fully support HDR, every shader in the engine needed to be updated, so this refraction shader was improved to support the full range of contrasts." Use the door of the church to enter it. If you don't feel like it yet, you can also wander around and exploring stuff. You'll find some supplies, weapons and ammo around. Inside the church are more text balloons. #11: "[Viktor Antonov] We wanted the transition from a bright, wide-open space into a tighter, closed one to showcase HDR's dynamic tonemapping. We also like to focus on contrasting elements in our settings, like ancient human architecture and futuristic combine technology. A monastery fit these requirements perfectly. Monastery's are generally isolated, unlit, and built ages ago. They provide a great backdrop for the contrasting combine technology. When we build fictional settings, we try to ground them by basing them off a real-world location. We use this location as a design constraint that forces a logical consistency behind the art choices." #12: "[Viktor Antonov] Churches are great dramatic spaces. They're often lit naturally with extremes of darkness and brightness, which makes them a great showcase for HDR. Gothic churches are the sober, monochromatic spaces that you've been in almost every horror movie or game. Byzantine churches, on the other hand, are very colourful and have a large variety of materials. We wanted that color & material variety to show off our HDR reflections." #13: "[Robin Walker] Our games are filled with things we call "gates", which are essentially just challenges that the player must overcome to drive the experience forward. We used a puzzle here, since the player has been through combat and exploration recently. When we design challenges, we try to ensure that the player's goal and the action required by the player are both fun. It's not hard to create interesting goals for the player, like stopping this machine from shelling the nearby village. But the action required by the player to solve the challenge needs to be fun as well. So instead of something menial, such as hitting an off switch, the player gets to use physics to jam the gun's mechanism and cause it to break." So, let's listen to mister Walker. Grab your gravity gun, and shoot the plates of the machine. When the machine is going up (to shoot a shell), put something between it, doesn't matter what. Once you did this, the alarm will go off. First a few Black Headcrabs will pop in. After that Combines will rush in, and a chopper will go around. I suggest to just wait till most Combines came in. That way you can easily pop them. Head outside after that, kill the remaining Combines, and hide. After a short while, the gate will be crushed open. Move on, for a chopper fight. If you want an easy fight, you can just enable the balloon, and the chopper will stop moving. Don't be so lame though ;) Shoot the chopper down with the rocket launcher, and enable the final commentary. #14: "[Gabe Newell] This marks the end of the Lost Coast tour. This has been an experiment on our part to see if our community would find it interesting to learn more about our development process. As always, we're interested in your feedback. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. If people like this, we'll keep producing the kind of content for all of our games going forward. Thanks for listening!" So, that's it? Not quite. The chopper will crash into the platform, and some Combines will start shooting from above (see? told you!). Frag them down. Now all you need to do, is go down. However, the way back is blocked. Use your gravity gun to shoot down the wooden planks that are loose. This will reveal a path below. Go there, and crawl your way to the cabin. Enter it, and head to the fisherman. He'll thank you and that ends the level. ============================================================================== FAQ [HL.04.01] ============================================================================== Q: Why did you even do this guide? A: Good question... *whistles* Q: When i re-load my game, all the Combines resurrected... as dolls... A: Yea, it's a bug. As long as they don't shoot, it's fine with me ;p Q: Are there any ways to reach the parts of the level you can't reach? A: Yes, with the use of cheats. In the options menu, find the option to use the development console (~). Press ~ in-game, use the command sv_cheats 1 and then noclip 1. You can now fly there. ============================================================================== Conclusion [HL.05.01] ============================================================================== I hope you enjoyed my guide, since I put a lot of work in it. If you encounter problems, feel free to mail me. Also suggestions, feedback, comment etc. are accepted, the mail addy is on top of this file. Thanks-list: Stephen Ng And especially you, for reading this. For other guides, you can check this link: http://www.grawl.nl http://www.gamefaqs.com/features/recognition/13739.html ============================================================================== Copyright (c) 2005 by Grawl. All rights reserved.