WC map pack

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The WC map pack, originally released under the title "anon-hl2-wcmaps",[1] is a pack that contains the maps that were created for Half-Life 2. It was leaked along with the game in early October of 2003.


[edit] Overview

The pack contains 1300 incomplete maps and several other files. These include demonstrations, prototypes, test maps, spread in around folders names by the developers who worked on them. These maps were already cut by the time of the leak. The resource files for some of the maps are either missing, or altered, making them impossible to view them in their original state.

[edit] Notable maps

[edit] "Hazard"

"Hazard" is a map created by Marc Laidlaw.[2] There are four versions available in the map pack. The following text is based on a version from November 7, 2001. The map takes places in a location that appears to be inspired by the Hazard Course from the original game. Isaac Kleiner (from a large screen) instructs Gordon Freeman to hit a crate target in an inaccessible room through a window with the supplied ammunition. When shot, the box explodes, which breaks a pipe and triggers an alarm. Kleiner tells Gordon to wait where he is and don't move until he returns. The player can climb up on the pipe to reach the back areas. Here, a ghostly image of the G-Man briefly appears and a muffled conversation[a] can be heard from behind the walls.

After the stairs, there are three inaccessible cells along a corridor. The first two contains a Zombie torso and a squashed Headcrab, the third one has an Alien Assassin standing behind a partially opened door. The windows close if the player gets too close. At the end of the corridor, the walls begin to shake and images and messages appear on the screen. The G-Man awaits behind a door in a pitch black room. He gives a brief speech and sends Gordon back to the course. The player shoots at the box again, but nothing happens this time. The map ends when the player proceeds to the next area.

According to Laidlaw, the text seen in the sequence was done when he was experimenting with trying to do surreal, subliminal visual experiments. He made the texture himself by pasting something from a scientific text. It was outside the scope of actual game story development so it wasn't intended to be taken seriously.[3]

The concept that Laidlaw was playing with at the time was that the player was in some kind induced coma, and had figured out how to break out of it. He wanted to do a lot of that sort of thing in the series but it never really worked out. Surrealism in a video game just seems as arbitrary as anything else, he adds. Ultimately, he didn't think they should suggest that Gordon was located in a physical kind of stasis at all. He regrets not having changed the texture to something that was actual nonsense, instead of something that looked like a clue.[3]

Gabe Newell liked the map and wanted to use it in promotions. An updated version of the dream-like sequence was used in a E3 2003 demonstration, "Psyche".[3]

[edit] Trivia

The oldest files in the pack are "randy/hyper.bat" and "randy/hyper_fog.bat", the batch files for compiling the maps of the Borealis. They were last modified on July 29, 1999, and are located in Randy Lundeen's folder. At that point in the development, the map compilation tools still had the Half-Life's GoldSrc engine executable file names and used its map source file format.

[edit] Notes

  1. The sounds are dated March 19, 2001. They can be heard in the back areas of the course. These include haz_pa01 (unused): "Where's the subject?", haz_pa02: "What's going on in there? Look at these readings, it seems to be...", and haz_pa03: "Get him back on course. We need reimmersion therapy now."

[edit] References

  1. anon-hl2-wcmaps.nfo (October 9, 2003)
  2. WC map pack (marc/hazard.vmf) (November 7, 2001)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Half-Life 2 Cut Content V2 on Facepunch (July 11, 2016)
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