Half-Life 2: Lost Coast! W00t!

Valve Software finally released the Lost Coast add-on level for Half-Life 2 today. It’s not terribly long, but at least it’s some new Half-Life 2 content! It’s really intended as a tech demo for their new HDR (High Dynamic Range) lighting technology, so the level (yes, just one level) is only about 15 minutes or so worth of gameplay. I found the optional developer commentary integrated into the level to be most interesting part of it, they go into information about the technical details of their HDR implementation (which was interesting) as well as explaining a bit of their design philosophy for levels themselves (which as even more interesting.)

As someone who’s been doing some level creation of his own using Valve’s SDK, it was very helpful to get a little insight into how Valve thinks about level design. These guys have created some of the best single player FPS levels ever, so who better to learn from? My own levels are very, very far from completion, but one of these days I’m going to have to at least unleash some work-in-progress screenshots, or something. *shrug*