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Better Late Than Never
Posted by Andrew "KungFuSquirrel" Weldon on Monday 7th April at 07:35
Apologies for the delay. Dev Diary is now posted. Nothing spectacular, just a log of how evil I was on April 1st and a little log as to the progression of the "going retail" gag.

As for the delay, let's just say last week was... interesting.

The Real Story...
Posted by Andrew "KungFuSquirrel" Weldon on Tuesday 1st April at 20:20
Ok, as a number of people have correctly figured out despite all efforts on our part to the contrary...

WE ARE NOT PARTNERED OR AFFILIATED WITH VALVE! Today's press release was simply another of the rampant April Fool's jokes strewn across the internet today.

We originally had planned to announce our shift to a DragonBall-Z modification, but instead got the idea to feign retail status as we thought back to at least 6, maybe as many as 8-9 incidents where online discussion forums have talked about Nightwatch as a new Valve release. A number of these times, when anti-Valve ramblings became notably more angry and prominent, I even had to step in and say, "Look, guys, we're an independent project. As flattered as I am that you think we're official, there's no affiliation here."

That was what made this gag different than most... There was an element of believability to it. People already had that misconception about us, so why not take it a step further? :)

The press release was a re-written version of a Valve/NVidia press release from a year or two ago. I found it in the PHL archives and used it as a template to form our announcement. None of our team members are moving to Washington, nor have any been removed from service due to location or, in coil's case, pure lack of talent (hehe... He'll hate me for that...). Creme from Half-Life Rally was kind enough to play along with a news post of their own. Sadly, Flayra from Natural Selection had his own plans, but they were much funnier than ours. Also, big thanks to Comprox, Chips, Olpainless, MrBen, and everyone else who played along. We actually got some people who thought we were lying to switch sides, only to find out it was in fact a gag!

We'll leave the post up so people who haven't yet read it can still read it, and the relevant forum topics where our team is playing along will also remain. Just know that there is no factual information in today's events. Well, until now.

Partnered with Valve
Posted by Andrew "KungFuSquirrel" Weldon on Tuesday 1st April at 01:08
The Press Release:

VALVE SIGNS PARTNERSHIP WITH NIGHTWATCH

KIRKLAND, WA - MAR 31, 2003 - Valve Software today announced their acquisition of an independent single player episode to fill the next stage of the Half-Life saga. Half-Life: Nightwatch will be coming to retail shelves sometime in Q2 2004.

"We're all very excited by this partnership," said Gabe Newell, managing director of Valve. "It's been a while since we've been able to offer this sort of experience to our player base." Valve created the award-winning game, Half-Life, released in 1998, and has also aided in production and release of two single player add-ons and the immensely popular multiplayer title, Counter-Strike. Half-Life and its modifications and add-ons represent approximately 85% of the online action market. Nightwatch expands the single player component of Half-Life, presenting a story parallel to that of Half-Life. "Nightwatch does pose some challenges to blend into our Half-Life story, primarily due to some artistic license that the team had taken on a few topics," Newell said. He went on to state that the biggest hurdle will be team relocation to Valve's offices in Kirkland, WA. "Overseas team members and one American team member will not be included in this deal, unfortunately. The rest of the Nightwatch team will be relocating to our offices in the coming weeks and months."

Nightwatch will not be alone. As with previous retail releases, Valve will be bundling other independent modifications with Nightwatch to even further the gaming experience. Nightwatch will release with three such projects: Natural Selection, Half-Life Rally, and Poke646.

Nightwatch programmer Ryan Desgroseilliers, speaking on behalf of the Nightwatch team, echoed Newell's enthusiasm. "We're all extremely excited about the prospect of working with a company with the reputation and talent that Valve provides. We have no doubts that this partnership will prove very beneficial for both parties, both in the short-term and the long-term." Nightwatch team leader Andrew Weldon was unavailable for immediate comment.

Nightwatch will now be featured in the Vivendi/Sierra booth at E3 later this spring. More information about Nightwatch can be found at https://www.hl-nightwatch.net/. Valve's corporate web site is available at https://www.valvesoftware.com/.


I don't think words can express how exciting this is. I can't wait to get situated with the rest of the guys and start moving ahead full-steam in this new direction.

Dev Diary #14
Posted by Andrew "KungFuSquirrel" Weldon on Friday 28th March at 00:38
Crazy to think we've had this many of these things already.

Today's Development Diary comes from me and is a bitter rant about how everything I make for Nightwatch is horrible.

Despite the less-than-happy theme of my comments in the dev diary, though, other progress is going fairly well at the moment. We just snagged another NPC skinner (though unfortunately one of our other skinners had to step down - the company he works at runs some nasty clauses with their NDAs...) and he's already completed (mostly) the revised bullsquid and should be working on... something else... at the moment.

I'm really too tired to be making this update. I just didn't want to come back from class tomorrow to have to deal with the crazy UK time zone folks complaining about not having much Friday left for the dev diary to be posted. :) Until next time...

Development Diary Update
Posted by Andrew "KungFuSquirrel" Weldon on Friday 21st March at 10:42
We have a new Dev Diary today courtesy of Mohammad "BadMofo" Alavi, Nightwatch level designer. He recently attended the GDC and this week's dev diary is a quick glimpse at his experience there.

EDIT: Had some issues with the Hive Mind games link due to a character copying issue from Word. Link is fixed.

Stuff, Stuff, and Stuff.
Posted by Andrew "KungFuSquirrel" Weldon on Friday 14th March at 00:35
Quite a few things for you this fine... Well, I guess it's technically Friday by about 6 minutes now... First, we've got a new Development Diary, the first by Matt "Chalupamonk" Michelson. Be sure to give it a read.

I'd also like to remind the talented freelance types out there of our current job openings, particularly in the field of NPC and Player modeling. This spot is rather critical to the on-time completion of Nightwatch, so if you think you've got the skills to fill this or any other position, take a look at our current job descriptions.

Finally, we have a small media update for you today. Our weapon media section has been updated with a pair of renders each of the PDW and Spas-12 models. Both models were modeled by def_one and skinned by X-Convict. Here's a peek at one render of each:



Our level media section also has a minor update today, two shots from Ekaj's segment of Chapter 6. The shots are of the interior of a run-down security base on the outskirts of Black Mesa, and I must say they remind me of a somewhat darker Lambda Bunker feel.



Additionally, we have another update to the Story section which you may want to read to get a bit of background on the Black Mesa Security Forces.

In other news, I am officially free for spring break in 13 1/2 hours. Or should I call it... Nightwatch break...?

Level Design Week @ HL Italia
Posted by Andrew "KungFuSquirrel" Weldon on Monday 10th March at 09:29
Half-Life Italia has just posted the fifth and newest interview in their feature, Level Design Week. The newest interviewee is none other than Nightwatch level designer Nelson "manah" Ferryman.

Be sure to check out the remaining 3 interviews with other Nightwatch level designers in the next few days. BadMofo, Ken Banks, and I round out the final level designers featured. The interviews were conducted some time ago (right around Christmas, before manah even joined the team), but there should still be some various tidbits of interesting info.

I also recommend checking out the first 4 interviews as well, featuring Dave Johnston, Blazeer, Narby, and Crinity.

New Development Diary
Posted by Ryan "Professional Victim" Desgroseilliers on Friday 7th March at 15:55
Yep, this week's edition of the Dev Diary is up, as promised. This instance was written, directed, produced, and edited by yours truly, and deals with the topic of weapon balancing and the complications and difficulties arising from it. So go read it.

Media, Anyone?
Posted by Andrew "KungFuSquirrel" Weldon on Friday 28th February at 01:51
I have a confession to make.

Some of you may not have noticed, but we haven't posted any new media since our December site launch here at hl-nightwatch.net. Note that as of now, that is no longer the case.

There's a total of 17 new media items available for your viewing pleasure today. Two are some various level concept sketches, two show our first public weapon model, and thirteen showcase new areas throughout all of Nightwatch's first six chapters. Six to eight other level media shots should be making their rounds around the internet later today.

First we have our first tidbit of model media in the standard USP 9mm pistol that will be the standard sidearm of Black Mesa Security forces. The model is by def_one, and the skin was started by Jason Holtslander and finished by our newest team member, X-Convict, after Jason was forced to leave our team due to a series of real-life conflicts.



Our level media section now contains shots from six of Nightwatch's ten chapters and shots from seven of eight level designers. New shots are courtesy of WhoMe, tommyd, ken20banks, Ekaj, BadMofo, Ferret, and myself. Most notably are the Chapter 3 comms facility shots by tommyd, our most recent addition to the level design team. Tom joined us less than two weeks ago today and has already produced some fantastic work:



I'd also like to remind everyone of our expanded job openings listed in the Join section of the site. We currently have openings available for NPC/Player modelers, NPC/Player skinners, NPC/Player animators, Concept Artists, and Texture Artists. Further descriptions are available here.

Be sure to check the Level, Weapon, and Concept media galleries for all the available screenshots and images. Keep an eye on your favorite HL news sites for some addiional screenshots. As always, drop by the forums or our IRC channel if you have any comments or questions on the new media content or anything else Nightwatch-related. Also, expect more models next update. Keep coming back - this is still just the beginning...

Note: There will be no development diary this week due to the media blitz; one will be posted next Friday as per the usual routine.

Development Diary #10
Posted by Andrew "KungFuSquirrel" Weldon on Friday 21st February at 07:27
In this very special 10th edition of the Nightwatch Development Diaries, we learn that Ken Banks has been cheating on his level design partner, Zach Ford, with the always evil Deathwish. And the baby is-

Oh, wait...

This week Adam Foster tells us how he came to select his powerful digital camera and how this applies to Nightwatch texture creation. As always, give it a read!

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