What is Project Borealis?

Project Borealis is a fan-made interpretation of the Half Life 2: Episode 3 story based upon the plot laid out by former lead Half Life 2 writer Marc Laidlaw. The goal is to provide the best representation of Marc’s conclusion to HL2’s episodic content in line with what has come to be expected from the HL series. The team aims to bring the Half Life universe into a modern development setting with improved graphics, while retaining the original style and feel of Half Life 2.

What engine are you using?

To keep up with modern technology and to make a more efficient pipeline for development, we have opted to use Unreal Engine 4. We understand this may be an issue to some, however, given the age of Source, and its clunkiness, we believe we can make a better game using UE4.

Can I join the team?

We have a lot of people asking us if we need them on the team, and the short answer is: Yes, well, maybe. At the start we had an initial burst of enthusiastic fans who wanted to help out, and then later on we had a major recruitment drive where we filled up a lot of required spots. This, however, does not mean that there is no hope. We know that over time, people come and go,and to reflect those changes, we will need to bring new members in to fill the empty role. Keep an eye out on the this website, our subreddit or our Discord server to find out what we have available.

I don’t have any experience in the gaming industry, can I still apply?

While the PM team is currently focused on bringing on senior team members to fit specific technical needs, we encourage everyone with similar skills in other fields of work or academic backgrounds to apply.

Are you starting from scratch/ why not use the Source assets?

We are starting from scratch, yes. We will be recreating the Source Engine “feel”, including the movement, physics and AI etc. We can’t really port this stuff from Source, however, our programmers are working on creating that feel that we’re all used to. Regarding the assets, with the majority of Epistle 3 being set in the Arctic, this means a lot of snowy assets will have to be made since very few exist in Source right now. Also, it’s been 10 years, and we think they’ve deserved a bit of sprucing up!

Where can I see your progress?

As you may have seen on the subreddit and now this website, we have posted an update including some art pieces, models and the early music tracks. This is the format in which we will be updating you on our progress. Check back occasionally to check out some cool new things!

How large is your team?

At the time of writing, the team currently has 60+ active developers, doing tasks all over the board. This includes Writers, Programmers, Level Designers, Game Designers, Artists and the Sound team.

How do you manage such a large team?

Barely. Just kidding! There is a team of 5 Project Managers’s who work to co-ordinate the team. They arrange meetings, assign team leads to ensure constant communication and sometimes get involved themselves. This makes sure absolutely everyone is up to speed with whats being done and what needs to be done.

What creative liberties will be taken?

The Epistle left a lot of room for us to add in certain things, or indeed remove some. We will be adding and taking away what we think is right for the story and to make things better. Do not worry, things won’t be changed and the story won’t be unrecognizable!

5 Project Managers?

Yes, 5! Since this is a fan project, a lot of our members are around the world from the rest, so to account for time zone differences, general online/offline redundancy and to pick up the workload, we’ve recruited 5 to make sure the needs are met.

Will there be new weapons and enemies?

Details on this will be released as development continues, however, don’t be worried, we won’t be going crazy with ideas, so don’t expect any rocket powered fists any time soon!

Will you be using the leaked content from Episode 3?

We’re constantly referring to, and looking at those pieces that were leaked, however, we’re also asking ourselves why they maybe weren’t included, and how can we improve on them. This doesn’t mean to say we’re throwing to the side outright, however, we’re learning from them.

How will the voice acting be done?

In an ideal world, we could recruit the original VA’s, all meet up at a bar and and record a few lines, shake hands and be done with it, however, this is not the case. Of course we’d love for the original VA’s to work with us, whether or not that will happen remains to be seen. We will be announcing more details in the future, including potential auditions for roles we can’t fill. Stay tuned!

What’s next?

As stated in our first update, we are currently making a demo for you guys to play, in order to get your feedback on how we’re doing in the new engine. Your feedback is important as it will help us steer in the right direction for the future! Be sure to check for updated regarding the demo, and anything else!

Closing Remarks

Overall the PB team is incredibly excited to be working on this project. We’ve seen a tremendous amount of support from the community which has led to an ever increasing number of industry professionals joining our endeavor. Stay tuned for more awesome news from Project Borealis!