From the archives: Revisiting my early-2000s Half-Life levels

When I was a younger, before I discovered programming, I was really into level design. Specifically: I was really into designing Half-Life levels. Over the years I made dozens of small maps, but the only ones I released were three popular maps for the Sven Co-op mod. All three were included in official releases of the mod, and remained so for many years.

However: time passed, and in later versions the maps were removed to make way for newer levels. So, in the interest of preserving these files, I’ve decided today to re-release them in one handy archive: Click here to download it!

All the maps require to run is a copy of Half-Life (Update: I’ve now been informed you don’t even need Half-Life! Though you really should own the best PC game ever made) and the free Sven Co-op mod. Both of these are available on Steam, and there’s step-by-step installation instructions inside the zip file.

Working on these maps was some of the most fun I’ve ever had working on games, and it inspired me to seek out a career in the industry. If you enjoy playing them just 1% as much as I did making them back in the day, then they’ll be well worth your time. If you try the maps and have any feedback or thoughts, or just want to reminisce about early-2000s modding,  I’d love to hear from you!

ComputerCraft is now Open Source

As promised in my last post, ComputerCraft (the popular Minecraft mod I’ve been working on since 2011) is now open source! Here’s a link to the complete source code on GitHub:

https://github.com/dan200/ComputerCraft

With the source code available, people other than myself can now work on updates, fix bugs, and add new features. I’ll still be reviewing pull requests and making releases, so this could mean ComputerCraft is updated more regularly and with more features than it has been in years. I’m looking forward to seeing what people come up with!

Life Update

Hello everyone! It’s been a while since I launched this blog, so it’s time for a life update! (This an elongated version of a series of posts I made on Twitter last month)

A month ago I started work at Frontier Developments, working as a Senior Programmer on a very exciting unannounced project. After three years as a full-time Indie, scraping by financially and making everything by myself, it’s nice to be part of a team making something big again.

Obviously, with a full-time job, I now have less free time to devote to my own projects, so here’s how I’ll be splitting my time between them:

Firstly: I’m currently putting the finishing touches on a new version of Redirection for Android and iOS. At the time of writing, it’s almost complete, and I should be able to announce a release date soon. The game works really nicely with touch controls and a lot of people have requested a mobile version, so I’m hoping it does well!

Alongside Redirection, I’m also devoting more time to my next, still-untitled game. I’ve teased this a bit on twitter over the last year or so, but the only thing concrete I’m ready to say at the moment is that this is the spiritual successor to ComputerCraft you’ve all been waiting for.

As for ComputerCraft itself: with less free time, something had to go, so after five years working on the mod alone, I’ve decided to hand development over to the community. Working on ComputerCraft has been an incredible life-changing experience, but five years is a long time to devote to one thing, and it’s time to hang up the pickaxe. The complete source code will be posted on GitHub soon.

Finally: I’d like to thank everyone who supported me and my work during the 3 years I worked as an indie developer. It’s easy to look at returning to employment after being your own boss as “giving up”, but I don’t see it that way at all: I’m really proud of the projects I worked on, and that hasn’t changed just because they didn’t prove successful financially. I would still recommend to any game developer interested in making their own games to give it a try if they have the means: it teaches you so much about your craft, and there’s no feeling like seeing a game you made sitting on your Steam list and knowing players are enjoying it. If I had the chance, I’d do it again for sure, though I might not release a puzzle game into a crowded market this time!

Hello World!

Welcome to my new portfolio website! I’ve been meaning to set one of these up for a while, and now that Redirection is released I’ve finally had the time to do so!

The primary purpose of this website is to provide a central place to showcase my portfolio of games and mods I’ve worked on over the years. I also intend to use it to post longer articles and announcements that aren’t appropriate for computercraft.info and would get lost on twitter.

The other reason for setting up this site is that I’m currently on the lookout for freelance work. So if you have a project that you think I’d be a good fit for, check out my portfolio and  get in touch!