Half-Life: Nightwatch is a modification for Valve Software's award-winning video game title Half-Life. You'll be placed into the shoes of Sergeant William Archer, a high-clearance military security officer just about to go off-duty when everything goes to hell.
The story of Nightwatch runs parallel to that of Half-Life itself, and at some points does overlap with the other facets of the Half-Life timeline. For the most part, however, it is completely independent in both style and events, with new characters, new scripted sequences, and new locations.
Nightwatch will feature many improvements over Half-Life from both a technical and aesthetic point of view. Some of these will be explained below in the Technical section of this document. We've done our best to modernize the Half-Life experience with improved graphics, audio, code, effects, and more.
Gameplay in Nightwatch will give you, the player, free reign to choose the style which best suits your style. A true master of Half-Life? Love the fire fights? Run in with guns blazing and cut down those in your path. A timid player? Prefer to avoid combat and the mangling of your quickload key? Take some time to find the available side routes with lower enemy concentrations. Love stealth? Quietly sneak through the shadows right behind your foe.
Nightwatch will also offer more than just a run-and-gun grunt fest. The story will be slowly unveiled over the course of the game through computer terminals and an extensive custom script of dialogue and events. In addition, your own sense of purpose and direction will evolve with the story. What starts as a disoriented fight for your very survival gradually turns into a vengeful cohesive offensive against those who would have you and the other Black Mesa survivors dead.
We also hope to give the player a longer experience than most other SP episodes. Our current mapping assignments cover approximately 70 bsp files spread across 10 chapters. For reference, Half-Life, Opposing Force, and Blue Shift contained 96, 38, and 32, respectively. We'll get more accurate estimates as time goes on. Play time estimates will become more specific as development progresses.
You've seen Black Mesa, now see it like you've never seen before. Under an increased poly ceiling and with brand new versions of the Half-Life textures suited to today's mod texture standards, Nightwatch will thrust the player through a detailed and immersive set of levels including areas both familiar and completely new to Half-Life veterans.
In addition to the standard Black Mesa environments seen in Half-Life, expect to encounter the dark industrial bowels of Black Mesa, old nuclear missile silos, terrestrial environment labs, an off-site weapons research facility, a completely re-designed and re-defined Xen environment, and even an uncharted alien city-world. Keep an eye on the Level Media section for previews and updates on the in-game environments.
Nightwatch's immersion will be aided further by the inclusion of an original soundtrack composed by New York recording artist Frank Heiss, aka Tube.
At your disposal is an arsenal weapons most effective at cutting short the life of potential aggressors. Shoot, stab, maim, detonate, and disintegrate your way to victory with the following weapons - some familiar, some new:
- Fire Extinguisher: Standard safety equipment placed at numerous key locations throughout top-secret government facilities. Particularly effective at putting out fires, and bludgeoning enemies over the head.
- Zombie Arm: A most unsettling discovery, a single arm from a zombie that seems to have fallen off in some most horrific accident. Still quite useful. Extremely functional as a slightly longer-range melee attack.
- USP: Standard security-issue pistol. Relatively weak, but not to be taken lightly. Tactical light offers an illuminated target sight in dark corners. Optional silencer adds extra stealth to its offensive capabilities. 15 round clip. Can be fired as rapidly as you can squeeze the trigger, but be warned: the recoil adds up fast if you're not careful.
- MP7 PDW: Relatively inaccurate but highly compact sub-machine gun. The "D" in its title is for "Defense", but why waste such a wonderful weapon on self-defense alone? There's gotta be something that needs killing...
- SPAS-12: The only thing it does better than put holes in things is put twice as many holes in things. Extendable stock for added effectiveness. Functions in a similar manner to its Half-Life counterpart.
- M4A1: The M4 Assault Carbine is a relatively new design based on the M16A2. In addition to the rifle itself and the attached M203 grenade launcher, this puppy comes equipped with the Urban Warrior Night Vision system. Watch those headcrabs try to sneak up on you in a dark vent now.
- M249: It's a pain to reload, but then again, after firing off 100 bullets, you probably won't be in a hurry to open fire again.
- Hand Grenades: Pull the pin, throw, repeat. No, don't throw the pi-
- Satchels: You know the drill. Make sure your kids don't confuse this for their school backpack.
- LX15C PPR: The weapons division got into a bit of an argument as to whether to head in the direction of a particle rifle or a pulse rifle. It's most logical, then, that the resulting particle pulse rifle proves doubly potent compared to original specs.
- Additional Experimental Weapons: Visits to top-secret weapons research facilities are always Little Timmy's favorite field trips. Today it looks like Timmy's got his hands on - Oh no...
- Alien Weapons: They're pissed off and trying to kill you. You think they wouldn't bring some goods with them?
Character information pending.
Nightwatch's interpretation of the original Half-Life setting reaches far beyond the storyline, characters, and arsenal. Nightwatch also contains the following enhancements to further the experience:
- A fully functional particle system -- Watch steam waft out of a vent and drift off in an air current given off by a nearby fan as a nearby leaky pipe sends drips into a pool below, leaving small ripples on impact. Try not to burn yourself on the fire, either. Check out our particle demo video, either at 320x240 or 640x480. DivX Codec required.
- MP3/Ogg support will allow NightWatch's soundtrack a maximum quality at a minimal file size.
- Proper player illumination code ensures that enemies respond properly to the player's illumination level. Stay in the shadows, a normal human grunt won't see you, while a night-vision equipped female assassin will pin you to the wall just as quickly as usual.
- Enhanced monster AI will improve enemy reactions to certain situations. For example, a squad of marines near an explosive barrel will act normally until the barrel is hit - at which point they will scatter and try to reach a safe distance.
- Implementation of the VGUI system for in-game messages will allow the player to find and read vital documents at their own pace. No more waiting for the next bit of text to appear, just scroll through and click OK to exit.