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Lost Story: The Last Days of Earth
Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux
Languages: English, Russian
Players: Single-player
Aug 31, 2012 @ 1:00am
Aug 19 @ 10:56am
Recent Announcements View All (14)
Lost Story Dev.Log #4 - Part One
Dear friends and fans of the Half-Life universe!

Winter is finally stepping back and spring is taking over, which means that we are happy to present our new Dev.Log! Initially the topic for this article was supposed to be a part of Dev.Log №3 prepared for the «Indie DB - 2015 Indie of the Year Awards» contest, but due to numeral reasons we couldn't talk about it in our previous Dev.Log. But as a saying goes - everything is happening for a reason. Now we have more time and a small remark has grown into a full developer's diary so big that we had to split it into two parts!

As for the topic of the diary, we've already given you a hint in our question to you: «What common is there between a foggy day and a 15 sm. wood screw?». Surprisingly we've received a lot of different answers: silly ones, funny ones, strange ones and deadly serious ones of course. Unfortunately none of you were right, even though some of you were very-very close. :)

And now, drumroll please… What common is there between a foggy day and a 15 sm. wood screw? The correct answer is - both of them help in creating a soft dissipated color used in creating of a photogrammetry. As you may have already guessed, the photogrammetry, or specifically content created with it, will be our current topic. The first part will be dedicated to model creation while the second part will be about the materials.

But first of all, let's start with theory for those who has never come across such a term before. Photogrammetry is a scientific-technical discipline that reflects shapes, sizes and locations of certain objects based on their photo-imagery. There are two basic types of photogrammetry: Earth mapping (also applies to other space objects) based on the photo images (photo-topography) and solving applied problems in architecture, construction, medicine, criminalistics, etc. (ground, applied photogrammetry).

In case of 3D graphics this term usually means a process of creating a 3D model of an object and information of the color of it's dissipated reflection (simply put - color of the object) based on various photos of said object from different angles. Usually the process is automated and takes several steps with the help of special programs, but the quality of the final product mostly relies on how well made were the initial photos.

Why the photogrammetry?
At least because it's interesting :) We've already conducted several experiments on photogrammetry of some objects and got some experience in this field of work and now we would like to put the potential in good use.

We'll tell more about the main reason. Lost Story will take place in various vast locations where the player will have to travel dozens of kilometers and it was quite obvious for us from the beginning that most of the time the player will traverse through open landscapes out of cities.

The appearance of natural locations is based on three basic factors: sky texture above the player, ground texture under the player and models of animate and inanimate nature surrounding the player. And here we've stumbled upon a problem: how can a small team realize these factors and get the highest quality possible during the release of the game? We'll talk about the sky in later Dev.Logs, right now we would like to focus on the other factors.

So we've began to go through possible variants. Creating usual low poly models and phototextures is a quick way, but the result is in poor quality, especially on natural objects. Creating handmade high poly models for each tree stump, rock or bush makes a fine quality products, but it is nearly impossible for a small team to make it in a short period of time. It will take dozens of models to custom craft.

As a result we've decided to conduct an experiment - to use photogrammetry for creating natural textures and models and to find out about possible problems with such method. Another reason for such experiment was to check if it really can be helpful in creating high quality content with using minimal team resources.


Lost Story Dev.Log #3 (Part 2)
Dear friends and fans of the Half-Life universe!

Today we will tell you about our new system of controlling friendly NPCs!

Perhaps, not everyone remembers the old system from Half-Life 2, so we'll start with talking about it. During the game the protagonist was always accompanied with two types of companions. The first type was the unkillable story characters that always were following the protagonist and sometimes were involved in scripted scenes, even if they were overwhelmed by enemies. The second type was the faceless dummies from the Resistance that were dying as fast as they were appearing. Both types of the followers were constantly jumping in front of the enemy's bullets and mostly couldn't navigate right during the level, and players couldn't even control them. The squad could recognize only two commands: «follow the player» and «go to a certain point». It was a very simple and thus a convenient system that has brought some diversity into the gameplay. However, knowing that the AI was not perfect and had it's fair share of problems at the time (we've already covered these problems), we couldn't leave the AI as it was. Another factor of the uselessness of the AI companions was that they were no more than the cannon fodder.

The new command system
Taking everything said into account, we are ready to present You the advanced AI control system! With it's help you'll be able to give commands to specific squad members individually. This system will be useful for solving puzzles, taking the tactical advantage over the battlefield, lockpicking doors, safes, Combine consoles and much, much more. Thus said, Your companions will no longer be mere «cannon fodder», but Your comrades and squad mates. They will help You and do Your bidding and not just mindlessly run around You without minding the enemies and blowing up on their mines and dying by their bullets.

The system was initially created for controlling the dog follower. The main aspect of such system is solving puzzles by giving specific commands to Your allies to interact with certain objects on the level. After activating such «tactical mode» time would slow down and intractable objects would highlight for You. The system is context-based. To give an order for Your companion, simply aim at the specific object and click the LMB. The command mode would end automatically and Your companion will interact with selected object. For instance, if You'll choose the closed door, the companions will open in. If You'll choose the ladder, the companions will use it to climb up or down. If the companions are able to interact with certain objects in more than one way, then by clicking on the object a specific wheel menu with choices of action will appear. We liked the concept so much that we've decided to spread it for use on other friendly NPCs as well.

Aside from interacting with objects during the puzzles, Your comrades will be able to interact with the environment during the combat, for example You'll be able to mark cover points for Your companions or activate deadly traps for Your enemies. The standard HL2 commands remain here the same: «follow me», «go there» and «cancel last command». We really hope that this feature will expand the gameplay possibilities for the game universe as a whole. One thing we all should agree on is that companions are more memorable when they are useful and don't constantly jump in front of the bullets. :)

Here's a link to the demo video which depicts the command system on the test map:

As You can see, we've made a huge success in developing such mechanic despite such feature being unique for mods and games for the Half-Life universe. Of course similar systems exist in other games and they've been there for a long time already. We are studying the work of the other developers but we do not deny that we may have missed something. This is why we will be happy to know Your opinions and remarks concerning our work and additional actions that could be implemented in our system. :)

Conclusion & main menu meditation video
In conclusion we would like to bring You another exciting piece of news. We've prepared a small surprise for You! Specifically: a small video from the main menu of our game. You can also hear the main theme composed by our Alexey Khem (aka Alex Package). Rain makes everything better, enjoy Your meditation! :)

Next time we will share some information concerning a particular interesting topic which will be supported by an unusual for our format media-content. We hope that You'll enjoy our surprise. :)

And that is all for today! Don't forget to share Your opinion concerning our Dev.Logs and the development of the project. Your opinion is very valuable for us and motivates us!

And don't forget to vote for us on IOTY 2015! (:

Your cold hedgehogs in shades from
Rock Path Collective

Release date: At same time as Steam Release. Steam Release: Earlier than Half-Life 3
Game Overview

Lost Story: The Last Days of Earth - is a sci-fi action adventure first person shooter set in the Half-Life universe, which allows you to witness the events between Half-Life and Half-Life 2.

You will be struggling through the time where an organized rebellion was not yet formed, and anti-Combine citizens were forced to flee their home cities to live in small settlement-groups avoiding any contact with the Combine. It will be telling you a story of one of such people. A story of a man named Jack Trevor, a witness to the fall of the humanity against the forces of the Combine.

This is a lost story. A story of the last days of Earth.

Key features:
  • A new storyline in the Half-Life universe. As a regular citizen, become a witness of the events taking place during the portal storms, long before Gordon Freeman's return.
  • New companion control system. The players can easily issue commands to their allies for more interaction with the world.
  • New combat system. The players will not be able to carry only a limited amount of weapons, but should also take into consideration the usage of the equipment found in the game world. Shooting from the hip is not always the best option.
  • The absence of the H.E.V. suit should definitely be noticed. The players will be encountering more difficult combat situations and using the environment for their advantage.
  • Stealth gameplay options. Most parts of the game can be completed in two ways: stealthily or guns blazing. Use environment for your advantage to stay hidden as well as using a new radio locator for locating enemies.
  • New enemies. Aside from the Combine troops encounter the remains of the military groups sent to the suburban areas during the Seven-hour war. These people are calling themselves "The Rebels". But these are not the kind of rebels we were used to in Half-Life 2. Their motto is simple. "You're either with us or against us".
  • A vast interactive world that will always show the players something new during the gameplay.

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Popular Discussions View All (9)
Mar 29 @ 3:48am
Source CatE
Oct 1 @ 8:56pm
Source CatE
Nov 15, 2014 @ 6:19am
This looks amazing
< >
bog5651 Oct 10 @ 3:09am 
Ясно спасибо
Source CatE  [author] Oct 8 @ 10:20am 
@bog5651, мы лично не видим в ней особого скрытого смысла. Учитывая то, что она в первую очередь предназначена для потенциальных партнёров, которые хотят вложиться в проект и быть уверенными, что вкладываются не во второсортный игровой проект :)
bog5651 Oct 8 @ 8:24am 
а вообще есть смысл от демки? или лучше все же ждать релиза, чтоб не портилось впечатление от демки? нет? ладно пойду поем =)
bog5651 Oct 1 @ 8:36pm 
Блин, обидно, давно уже слежу за проектом, а из посмотреть только картинки ;(
Source CatE  [author] Oct 1 @ 10:46am 
@tehswordninja, the demo is currently available for a selected group of people and is used during showcases (game conventions).
tehswordninja Oct 1 @ 9:27am 
how does one get into the demo? or is it impossible right now?
Source CatE  [author] Oct 1 @ 9:02am 
@bog5651, демка пока что доступна только ограниченному кругу лиц и используется для демонстрации игры на шоукейсах (игровых выставках).
uPdip Oct 1 @ 7:43am 
Нет. Демки нету. Она есть толкьо для ограниченного круга людей.
bog5651 Oct 1 @ 4:56am 
яб поиграл. Есть демка?
Odddude21 Sep 28 @ 7:52pm 
ive been looking forward to it for a while now
I hope it comes out soon