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Project 17 Written Report #1 - Version 0.2.1 Release

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HatThing avatar HatThing
Level 54 : Grandmaster Button Pusher
Project 17 Written Report #1 - Version 0.2.1 Release
unrelated picture of Teddie

Greetings! Sentient Hat speaking,
Welcome to the first written report for my ongoing project! Over the last couple of months, I've always presented these updates in the form of a video. However, I found these reports to be quite restrictive as I've had to limit the amount of writing in them, namely for the sake of engagement. To solve this issue, I've decided to write these updates up instead - featuring some videos and images to remain engaging yet informative. While this marks the end of the "Status Report" series, however, I'll continue making video updates from time to time.

Boring stuff aside, let's get on with the update!

Introduction to Project 17
Project 17 Written Report #1 - Version 0.2.1 Release

Project 17 is a data pack that attempts to reimagine the arsenal of our fellow physicist, Gordon Freeman. Valve's highly-respected game, Half-Life 2, featured an iconic collection of weapons that supported its innovating gameplay. But now, it's time to re-experience this in a whole new medium.

Packed with fully animated 3D weapon models and enhanced visual aesthetics, prepare to take Minecraft's combat to the next level, with a whole new selection of weapons.

PART 1: Version 0.2.1 Pre-release
(NOTE: use for snapshots 21w08b - 21w18a)

After months and months of teasing, I've finally decided to create a stable version of the data pack that's ready for use! It improves on the previous preview release and it also introduces 4 new weapons into the arsenal, packed with unique characteristics and much more to be seen!

The video above serves as a preview for these weapons, as well as a place where you could get the download link. If you've downloaded the datapack, feel free to give your feedback through this survey! (your emails won't be recorded)

To complement the update, here are a few insights into what went behind the scenes of the data pack:

Project 17 Written Report #1 - Version 0.2.1 Release

Now for the main focus of the datapack: The weapons
Half-Life 2's combat isn't the same without its iconic arsenal of weapons; Whether it's the sheer power behind the Gravity Gun, the ludicrous logic behind an invisible grenade launcher, or the abnormal Shotgun that can shoot two shells at once, there's a fair share of moments to be remembered with these weapons, whether they're from trauma or satisfaction.

To commemorate these weapons, I've decided to give each weapon a 3D model to replicate their individual traits while deviating from a perfectly accurate approach. Namely to make them more unique in this recreation, and to improve on them based on the criticisms that Half-Life 2 has received over the years.

That said, here are the weapons so far, their models, traits and how I've personally approached them:

9mm Pistol

Cooldowns (measured in Minecraft ticks):
> Shooting - 3
> Drawing - 7
> Reload (normal) - 27
> Reload (dry) - 32

Range (blocks): 100
Spread: None
Fire-mode: Semi-automatic
> Minimum - 1
> Normal -1
> Maximum - 2

My personal favourite. Half-Life 2's pistol is based on Heckler & Koch's USP Match, featuring a slick, compact profile and an iconic barrel weight that adds to the pistol's appearance. This pistol holds a special place in my heart as I've had a long history of trying to recreate it, beginning with the first model that replaced the bow, moving to the model that had a lot of skins, and finally, ending with the current model.

In terms of gameplay, a couple of features have been changed from the source material to give it more purpose in the arsenal. Its shots are accurate to adapt for long-range shooting, and it has the fastest draw animation so it can serve as an efficient backup weapon. After all, switching to your secondary is faster than reloading...

The animations, having gone through many iterations, were inspired by several other animators: Some of the biggest inspirations would include Mr Brightside's depiction from HL2: Redux, Cliff's USP Match animations and Falco Blockland's own depiction of the USP 45 Match.

A final note here would be the recreated sounds made by mixing a couple of samples from a few royalty-free sites. A couple of sounds could be improved on, simply for how poor they sound ingame, but there were also a couple of sounds that were alright. Having said that, here's a brief summary of how I wanted to approach them:

Drawing - Slightly inspired by Insurgency, with a zipper sound and a sample from the current slide sound
Shooting - Probably the worst sound in the entire pack, Based on Guard Duty's Glock 17 sounds. Also wanted to add a mechanical sound to it, but that clearly didn't work well.
Reloading - Nothing much to be said here really. The main issue with the old sounds was that they sounded too much like a plastic toy. So I decided to make them a bit more visceral. The main inspiration is Guard Duty's sounds for the Desert Eagle.


Cooldowns (measured in Minecraft ticks):
> Shooting - 1 (3 ticks from the 3-round burst but with a 4-tick cooldown)
> Shooting (grenade) - 20

> Drawing - 9
> Reload (normal) - 30
> Reload (dry) - 40

Range (blocks): 75
Spread: Small
Fire-mode: 3-round bursts (sorry)
> Minimum - 1
> Normal -1
> Maximum - 2

Yet another great firearm from Heckler & Koch. Based on the MP7, Half-Life 2's depiction is known for being a reliable damage dealer (before the AR2) and its invisible grenade launcher. Not as satisfying as Half-Life 1's MP5, but I eventually grew to appreciate this weapon more as time went on.

Development was quite difficult at first as I've never made an automatic gun before: The best solution I could find was from thebradqq's gun datapack, where the automatic weapons fired in bursts for a higher rate of fire. While this 3-burst fire mode isn't true to the original model, it was the best I could do.

Another challenge was the grenade launcher, developed thanks to Timber Forge's tutorial on launching entities. The current version still has a couple of issues, but these will be polished further in later versions.

I wasn't quite fond of the animations they used on Half-Life 2, so I decided to look for other animations. The drawing animation was heavily inspired by MMOD's own depiction of HL2's SMG, whereas the reload animations were influenced by Medal of Honor's version of the MP7, a bit of MMOD's own animations and, surprisingly, Falco Blockland's reload animation of the USP Match.

Personally, I feel like out of all the weapons so far, the SMG has the weakest animations yet, so perhaps I'll think about re-animating it someday.

.357 Magnum

Cooldowns (measured in Minecraft ticks):
> Shooting - 20
> Drawing - 12
> Reload - 70

Range (blocks): 150
Spread: None
Fire-mode: Semi-automatic
> Minimum - 7
> Normal -10
> Maximum - 20

A classic. Half-Life 2's version of the .357 Magnum is based on the Colt Python, a revolver that was loaded in .357 Magnum (wow).

Long story short, I hated making the model for this: The grip was difficult to get used to and the cylinder... well, yeah. Texturing could be improved on, but overall I'm alright with the final product.

Other than my bitterness for this model, there's nothing much to really say about it: The Magnum remains a powerful weapon for long-range, and its damage is enough to kill some enemies in one shot. The animations were mostly based on MMOD's animations of course.

Fun Fact: I wasn't planning to animate a cylinder spin in the reload, but it became a necessary touch later on.

A hellish journey, but one that's proved it's worth later on.


Cooldowns (measured in Minecraft ticks):
> Shooting (single) - 25
> Shooting (double) - 40

> Drawing - 15
> Reload:
- Transition to reload - 11
- Individual shells - 15
- Returning to initial position - 10
- Extra pump if dry - 7

Range (blocks): 50
Spread: Medium (single) / High (double)
Fire-mode: Pump-action
Damage (per buckshot):
> Minimum - 2
> Normal - 4
> Maximum - 5

Clever girl...

My second favourite weapon from this entire arsenal. Based on the Franchi SPAS-12, this firearm is known for being a powerhouse in video games, firing in both semi-auto and pump-action. Similar to the pistol, I've also had several attempts in trying to recreate this model since back then, instead of moving to the SMG after finishing up the pistol, I went straight to the shotgun for how much I loved its ingame depiction.

I honestly had the most fun making this weapon, starting with the model and ending with the final code. It's wonderful by design, and even better when used ingame (definitely no bias here). The gameplay is pretty similar to the first version I used in 1.16, with the exception of the double-shot feature of course.

I've stayed pretty true to the ingame depiction from Half-Life 2 (except for the reload, which we'll get to in a moment). The drawing animation was based on Half-Life 2's own animation, though I was a bit reluctant to use it. However, I based the shooting animations on hyper's SPAS-12 animations and, once again, a bit of MMOD's. I initially wanted to make an alternate pump animation for the double shot, but I was probably too lazy to do it.

The reload animation was the most interesting part of this weapon's development: I decided against using Half-Life 2's vanilla reload for how inaccurate it was (not to say it was necessarily bad of course, just that I wanted to experiment a bit.) As so, I decided to base the reload animation on these animations.

HUD Improvements

Difficult, but pretty rewarding

For the HUD, I wanted to replicate Half-Life 2's version as much as possible, which was only achieved through custom characters and the help of AmberWat's Negative Spaces font, which helped greatly with making the backdrops for the icons, something that my previous versions lacked.

A couple of improvements have also been added since the pistol release: The new HUD includes more appealing icons, a more transparent backdrop to closely match the original game, a few indicators show whenever a player's low on ammo, health, or using a different fire mode, a dynamic damage indicator that appears whenever you get hurt, and a red vignette that appears when the player is low on health. I initially wanted to add a normal vignette for the player, but all it did was ruin the display, especially in the daytime (worked pretty nicely in the night though)

(From left to right: Pulse Rifle, Crossbow, Crowbar, Grenade)
PART 2: Future Weapons

If you've been following my wall posts for a bit, you might have seen this preview that I made for future weapons. I'm still pretty satisfied with how these turned out, despite the challenges that came with them (looking at you Pulse Rifle),

For these models, I decided to take a different approach for texturing, focusing on a more handmade style instead of blurring shadows, which, while it sounds lazy, actually worked in some of the previous models. This allowed for more defined textures and it's given me more control over where colours should belong, defining contrast, material and much more.

Here's a little comparison between the 9mm Pistol, where I blurred the textures, and the Crossbow, which has handmade textures:

Whether I'll decide to retexture all the other models still depends on how motivated I am. I believe the current textures are alright, but I'm interested to see how different the older models will be should I remake their textures.

On a side note, you can view these models ingame through the preview models option in the beginning prompt: They don't work at all, but they do make for some good screenshots.

PART 3: Closing Words

Thank you so much for reading through this little article of mine. I do apologise for my appalling grammar, but hopefully, this blog has remained interesting all throughout. I'll be making more of these written reports as each version passes by, specifically to go over a couple of stuff that I want to share, even if they're chunks of text.

For the people who came here for the datapack, I hope you have fun with it! And don't forget to give feedback through this survey
And for the others who have read through the entire post, I hope you've learned something new today!

EXTRA: Special credits and shoutouts

- Valve - Original game, some sound and visual assets

- Team Citadel for testing, support and being epic:
> Main inspiration + Modelling support - Bloxz
> Build team for the potential campaign - Terminant canday
> Testers - Chabilulu DragonsDungeon kodayne SAgamerIvan Nashii
> Special shoutout - niceboat_

- Commands & Technical boogaloo
> AmberWat - Negative Spaces Font for the HUD
> Cloud Wolf & Timber Forge - Tutorials that helped with commands

> Choca_13 - Shaders
> Ratchet_97 - Fancy Skies

- Sound Credits:
> Valve (Half-Life 2), DICE (Battlefield series), New World Interactive (Insurgency), soundsnap, freesound, soundfxcenter

CreditSuper Mario Bros 2. for animation help

1 Update Logs

Update #1 : by HatThing 05/23/2021 7:39:41 amMay 23rd, 2021

> Fixed a couple of grammatical issues
> Added a version notice due to recent updates

On another note, thank you all for the support that you've given over the past few days!

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05/21/2021 7:22 pmhistory
Level 45 : Master Fisherman
kodayne avatar
what is it like being famous again

05/22/2021 4:02 am
Level 54 : Grandmaster Button Pusher
HatThing avatar
pretty cool ig
05/19/2021 1:49 pm
Level 1 : New Miner
SaphireRio123 avatar
I want a server with these guns and gear
05/19/2021 1:47 pm
Level 1 : New Miner
SaphireRio123 avatar
What version of minecraft can I use this on 1.16.5?
05/19/2021 2:51 pm
Level 54 : Grandmaster Button Pusher
HatThing avatar
At the moment you can only use this on the latest 1.17 snapshots. I tried moving it to 1.16.5 at some point but that didn't work well.
05/17/2021 11:11 am
Level 50 : Grandmaster Dragon
niceboat_ avatar
aww hattt duuude kdjklfsaljksakl
05/16/2021 3:31 pm
Level 64 : High Grandmaster Theorist
Chabilulu avatar
hell ye!
05/16/2021 2:51 pm
Level 62 : High Grandmaster Engineer
panR4IN avatar
We're getting dangerously close to a Half-Life 2 remake in MC, we have the pack (Half-Life 2 ported textures) which is amazing, and now this. HL2 in MC map when??
05/16/2021 3:04 pm
Level 54 : Grandmaster Button Pusher
HatThing avatar
Fortunately, we've already got a HL2 MC map!. The next thing is a proper adventure map ;)
05/16/2021 4:09 pm
Level 62 : High Grandmaster Engineer
panR4IN avatar
Oh yeah I know about the city recreation, but yeah I was talking about more of a real gameplay recreation. It's pretty much possible if this gun arsenal will ever get completed (or at least mostly). The pistol and smg is already a solid base on its own! Making a proper gravity gun will probably be quite tricky though.
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