HALF-LIFE CUSTOM GAME COLLECTION HOT POOP SHEET

 

 

 

  1. This Half-Life custom game collection was compiled, modified, played and reviewed by the folks at VaughanTech. ( www.vaughantech.com ) All of these custom game mods were purloined in the fine American buccaneer tradition. Most were downloaded from links at the great sites of www.planethalflife.com and www.hangar16.com (Hangar 16 is the best site for Single Player Half-Life fanatics. Just the reviews are worth a visit !!) All the games have been converted to custom games by VaughanTech’s senior HL lunatic, Yamanenko. (yamaneko@centurytel.net). The primary beta tester, who has ham-fisted his way through all of the games at least once, those of which he had the intelligence to outwit, is an aging former iron ship builder who insists on playing everything in god mode (he’s a supervisor, what would you expect??) and has taken almost 3 years to start using mouse-look. The secondary beta tester would have had more input to the testing if he could keep his children’s fingers out of his cd-rom drawer.
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  3. On the first disk, included with the games, is the Half-Life MOD Toolbox program developed by Yamanenko. This program will allow you to do a bunch of fun stuff, like, of course, install a game, check out the game’s readme text, launch a game, change a version, etc. Of course, again, if you’re too stupid or lazy to take advantage of the installer, you can always just drag each or all of the games over from the disc’s files to your Sierra/Half-life folder and have at it, assuming you can find your way to the counsel and select a custom game. But that’s stupid. Do it our way. To install this masterpiece of work, all you have to do is run the setup program MT_SETUP.EXE. Just click OK when prompted and the installer will tell you when its finished. You will now have a link on your desktop to the Half-Life MOD Toolbox! (Once you’ve read how to install a MOD, and you have hard drive space, why don’tcha’ just load in ALL of the games! It just gives you a nice, warm, smug feeling that you’ve got over 2 gig of Half-Life games to play. Trust us. You’ll still love yourself in the morning). Why you ask did we develop The MOD toolbox? For one, it was created to help with all the add-on Modifications that we were acquiring for games like Half-life and Quake. We were finding that most Add-ons or MOD's where not standard in the way you launched them. Some came with there own DOS batch script, others you had to add parameters to the command line or console, where others came with elaborate install programs that put a launcher into your start menu. We were spending more time managing our MOD’s than playing them! We felt there had to be a better way to organize and use them. The second reason, well, it’s really none of your business, and we don’t feel like telling you.
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  5. The First Screen
  6. Once you start up the Half-Life MOD Toolbox, you will be presented with your main window.

    Figure 1

    BUTTONS :

    . Install New - Install a new MOD

    . Play - Play the selected MOD

    . Readme - View the MOD ToolBox readme text

    . UnInstall - Uninstall the selected MOD (Note this will delete the MOD to the

    Recycle bin)

    . Exit - Exit the MOD Toolbox

    SECTIONS:

    . Installed MOD’s - Listing of your currently installed MODs

    . Size - The size of the MOD

    . HL Version - The version the MOD was developed with.

    . Type - Type (Multiplayer or Single)

    . Start Map - Starting map for the MOD

    . Website - If the developer has a website for the MOD it will be listed

    . Readme area - If the MOD has documentation it will be shown in the right hand side text area.

    To install a New MOD. Put in one of the CDs and click on the Mod Toolbox icon on your desktop to bring up the main screen. Click the Install New button, or select Install from the MOD menu. You will see a new screen appear. Select your CD-ROM drive. This screen (Figure 2) will allow you to browse the MODs on the CD’s. (And other drives. The Toolbox recognizes any Half-Life Mod lurking anywhere in your computer). Once you select the MOD you wish to install, just click the Install button and the MOD will be installed in the correct place. You will notice that the main screen has now been updated and shows your newly installed MOD.

    To Play a MOD. Select a MOD in the Installed MOD’s section by clicking it with the mouse. You will notice that the info sections have now changed. Click the Play button to begin.

    To uninstall a MOD. Select a MOD in the Installed MOD’s section of the main window and click the UnInstall button. A confirmation screen will pop up checking your sanity. If you really must proceed, click OK, and the MOD will be removed. (Note: for extra redundancy and idiot proofing, the MOD will be sent to the recycle bin )

    Figure2

    To configure the HL.exe. Select the Tools->Configure option under the menu. A small form will be presented. (Figure 3) This form contains target options that you can send to the Half-Life executable. The default options are already selected.

    . Add Console - Allows you to use the console (The ~ key)

    . Enable cheats - Why would you want this?

    . Add –Dev - Really only for maniacal developers

    . Start in Window - Does not start full screen, starts in a small window

    . Start Full - Duh

    Figure 3

    To switch versions of the HL.exe. Select the Tools->Switch Version option under the menu. If this is the first time you have selected this option, the Versions directory will be created for you and it will ask you to backup the currently installed version. See the section below on how to setup your Versions directory so you can use this feature.

    Figure 4

    A small form will pop up. This will show you the current version of your Half-Life executable.

    Select the version you want to switch too and then click "Switch"

    Figure 5

  7. Now do whatever the hell you want. Start a new game, load a game in progress, or whatever. Just play, dammit! There are a couple of games with no readme text, so don’t be puzzled at the blank page. (Check the game’s files for cryptic readme text names). Also included is a listing of all the games on the disks, their size, the version that will open the game, and a rating system. The rating system is a 1 to 4 * evaluation developed by (and for the most part, unsolicited) from out senior tester, HamFist. As a general word of caution, his grading judgement isn’t necessarily a shared opinion with the rest of the group, as a thoughtful, problem solving exercised is usually rated with disdain, while limbs that explode off at a great distance or scantily clad female forms receive the higher marks. Keyboard electrical shortages caused by excessive drooling are among many of his challenges that preclude a timely completion of a game. And, lastly, the HOT POOP sheet is on this disk, which, we assume you may have already figured out as you are reading this and you would have had to put this disk in and then select…never mind.

Setting up your Versions Directory

So you have this cool MOD and you can’t play it because of some feature Valve has added and its crashing it or just won’t start? Wish you had a way to switch to an earlier version without having to unistall and then reinstall up to that old version? Well look no farther. This section will tell you how to set up the MOD Toolbox to do Version Switching with the click of a button! Sound too good to be true? Is this just some Half-Life snake-oil? Nope, this is the real deal! Trust us.

Lets get down to setting up the Versions Directory and populating it with old versions.

First start up the MOD Toolbox and select Tools->Switch Version. Since nothing is set up, the MOD Toolbox will as if its ok to create a Version Directory. Click OK. Next it will ask if it’s ok to backup your current version. This is not a trick question. Click OK. Now you should have a window in front of you that looks like Figure 5 (see above) Wait you say, it kinda looks like it but the only version I have there is the one I am currently running! That’s because we need to populate it with old versions. There are two ways to do this. One, re-install Half-Life and at each patch run the version switching tool. Two, if you don’t want to mess with your currently installed version, install Half-Life in another directory and copy the files by hand. If you use the version-switching option, which is our recommended way, follow these steps.

  1. Uninstall Half-Life
  2. Do a clean install of HL from the original CD (This will be version 1005)
  3. After you enter in your CD key run the MOD Toolbox.
  4. Go to Tools->Switch Version
  5. If this is your first time running the Switch Version utility, it will ask to make the versions directory. (If you read the above paragraph and did as you were told, it won’t ask you) The Version utility will save your current version. Click OK
  6. Install the next patch version you want (IE: 1106) and repeat steps 4 and 5
  7. That’s it! The MOD-Toolbox is all set up to switch between versions.

 

 

 

If you want to set up the versions directory by hand, follow these steps.

  1. Make sure the directory c:\VTMT\versions exists, if not create it.
  2. Reinstall Half-Life in a another directory (or computer)
  3. Create a folder in the versions directory with the name of the current version.
  4. IE c:\VTMT\versions\1005

  5. Save these files to it

Hl.exe

Hl_res.dll

Hlds.exe

Hw.dll

Sw.dll

valve\cl_dlls\client.dll

valve\dlls\hl.dll

Make sure your create the folders "valve" "cl_dlls" and "dlls"

5. That’s all, repeat steps 3 and 4 for each version that you want saved.

(Tip: If you don’t know or remember which version you just installed, you can right click over the hl.exe file and go to properties. Click the tab "version" to see which version it is.)

 

FAQ

. The following is just a list of Answers that explain a few things but not everything. Some things you just have to figure out for yourself. One motto of VaughanTech (and we have many, but we’ll probably only share the obnoxious ones), is the John Wayne observation: "Life is tough. It’s tougher if you’re stupid." (HamFist, our historian for useless and uninvited moldy anecdotes, could not recall whether Wayne, in this particular movie, was addressing his horse, or his leading lady. No doubt, very few care).

Q. What is the versions listing?

  1. The Half-life version noted in the listings means that that's the version the game will load and open with. Most of them can be played with version 1108. (We've found updates). Most of the games were played/tested with version 1101/1104. The Mod Toolbox contains a version switcher that allows you to switch to an older version that supports play. The five games that require this seem to be OK with version 1015, but a newer or older version may be better due to video card/computer system issues. At any rate, somewhere in this document Yameneko will bend your mind a little with the directions for using the version switcher.

Q. What if you have a MOD that has multiple endings?

A When you have a game that has two endings, and you don’t feel like playing the whole schmaltz over again just to get to the other ending, try this. At the point in the game where you have the choice to go forth to two different endings, save. Get out of the game and go to the Half-life files for that game. Open up a new folder and name it. (Oh, we don’t know…….. name it after your brother-in law……. like dickhead). Copy the game’s save files over to the new folder. Now go back to the game. When you finish that ending and want to go for the second, go back to the game’s save files, delete the whole folder, and rename the new folder (dickhead?) to Save. Go back to the game now and load. Why should I go through all this shit, you ask, when Half-life saves my place anyway?? Beats us. Although all the saves are in the save file, it seems you can only access 5 of them (or so) from the ‘Load Game’ console command. SSSSOOoooooo, if you save more than 5 times as you’re bashing your way through the 1st ending, and then return to the oldest save to start the second ending, you could be halfway through the first ending. You could, we suppose, from that point, meander backward through the levels, wasting valuable time that could be spent bathing or unplugging the toilet, and find the spot where the 2nd ending begins. But that’s stupid. Do it our way.

 

 

Q. What’s with the Read Me text file?

A. It’s prudent to check out each game’s "Read Me" text (If it has one) and the game’s files. Sometimes there are some neat hints, maybe even a walk-through. For instance, ‘Sweet Half-Life’ has 2 endings to choose from and has a helpful walk-through. Usually the game’s author’s home page is listed and you can go there for more info. Also, there could be warnings, as in the game ‘Wanted’, where you’re told that you can’t use the 3dfx setting, but rather direct cd except when reading messages. It will play OK with 3dfx, but it will crash when trying to read the message. And as long as we’re talking about game files, we’ve removed each game’s config.cfg file so when you boot up the game, your established configuration is used.

Q.

What is Cheating Death and Punkbuster? I see those when I go to play Counter-Strike.

  1. If you have Counter-Strike installed and you select it, you will notice two extra options presented on the main window. ‘Activate Punkbuster’ and ‘Cheating Death’. If you have Punkbuster or Cheating Death installed, check one of the boxes and they will get started for you when you go to play Counter-Strike. If you do not know what Punkbuster or Counter-Strike is you can ignore this.

Q.

I keep getting the message "Bogus list type in woncomm.lst" when I go to start up a MOD with a version older than 1109.

A.

This message can safely be ignored. Click OK and the MOD will continue to load. When I get some time, I will look into this more.