Half-Life 2: Capture the Flag

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Half-Life 2: Capture the Flag
Half-Life 2 Capture the Flag Logo
HL2:CTF Logo
Developer(s) the HL2:CTF team
Series Half-Life 2
Engine Source SDK
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
Linux
via the Steam Platform
Release date(s) December 8, 2011
Genre(s) Action
Mode(s) Multiplayer

Half-Life 2: Capture The Flag (acronym HL2CTF) is a multiplayer, team-based capture the flag mod developed around the computer game Half-Life 2 where the players are divided into two teams and try to steal the other team's flag from their base and return it to their own base to score a point. The public alpha version was released on February 12, 2005 and beta 1.0 was released on February 23, 2005. The latest version of the mod (referred to in its documentation as the final release) is version 2.1 which was released to the public on December 8, 2011. On October 16, 2013, HL2CTF was 'greenlit' on Steam (software) via Steam Greenlight [1]

Gameplay[edit]

The game features seven unique modes of play, each dividing the players into two teams: The Combine as Blue team and The Rebels as Orange team where the teams fight each other over the flag(s). Players are provided with thirteen weapons, seven unique power-ups (referred to as "Runes"), enhanced player movement features and a gravity gun to help accomplish the goal of capturing the other team's flag.

The overall gameplay in the mod attempts to mimic all of the traditional capture the flag features presented in other video games while providing features unique to itself. Gameplay features such as the ability to pass the flag long distances, wall jumping and use of the gravity gun to manipulate props as a weapon combine to expand upon the traditional capture the flag gameplay found in other action games with a capture the flag game mode.

Game Modes[edit]

There are seven modes of play for Half-Life 2: Capture The Flag: Capture the Flag (CTF), One-Flag (1F), Domination (DOM), Football (FB), Territorial Control (TC), Capture Point (CP) and Attackers versus Defenders (AVD).[2]

Capture the Flag[edit]

Standard Capture the Flag (CTF) mode is where the map contains one flag for each team usually located on opposite ends of the game map. The two teams fight to defend their own flag and steal that of the enemy. The opposing team's flag must be brought back to their own to score a team point. One team may only capture the other team's flag if their team's flag is back at their base. A flag carrier that is killed in the game will drop the flag allowing the enemy team to touch the dropped flag to return it to their base. The team with the most captures at the end of the round, or the team that reaches the score limit first (usually set to eight (8) captures), wins the match. In the event of a tie, a sudden death overtime round starts. The team to score first will then win the match. If no one scores in the allotted time, the match will end in a tie.

One-Flag[edit]

In one-flag CTF the map contains a single, neutral flag usually located in the middle of the map. Both teams must battle for the neutral flag and carry it through the opposite team's base to a capture point designated by an object or a team logo found in each team's base. If a carrier of the neutral flag is killed, the flag is dropped and either team can pickup the flag and continue on until a capture is achieved. The team that has captured the neutral flag the most within the time limit of the game or by being the first to reach the capture limit (usually set to eight (8) captures) wins the game. In the event of a tie, a sudden death round starts and the team to score first wins the match.

Domination[edit]

In domination CTF the map contains a single, neutral flag usually located in the middle of the map. Both teams must battle for the neutral flag and hold on to the flag as long as possible. If a carrier of the neutral flag is killed, the flag is dropped and either team can pickup the flag and continue to hold the flag for their team. If the neutral flag is not picked up it will reappear back in the middle of the map. The winner of the game is the team which has held the neutral flag the longest within the time limit of the game. If either team holds the flag for longer than half of the game's time limit that team automatically wins the match. A tie game in domination is extremely rare.

Football[edit]

In football CTF the map contains a football in the middle of a map instead of a flag. Maps are usually designed similar to that of a football field. Both teams battle to carry the football into the opposite end zone (capture zone) of the map to score. The winning team is the team that reaches the score limit first or has the highest score within the time limit of the game.

Territorial Control[edit]

In territorial control the map contains random flag capture points that a player can capture by standing near the flag. The more teammates that are near the flag, the faster they will capture the area. Once all of the areas (territories) are captured by one team they will gain a team point. The amount of points to win is up to the map author but is usually set to three (3) points to win. In the event of a tie where both teams have controlled all of the territories the same number of times as the timer runs out can settle the tie by totaling the individual player points displayed on the end game scoreboard.

Capture Point[edit]

In Capture Point the teams capture points in a linear fashion. Standing on a point for a set amount of time will capture the point. The more players on the same team standing on a point captures the point faster. Once a capture point has been captured, the team moves on to the next capture point in succession to the final capture point usually hidden deep within the enemy base. Teams must capture all of the points in order to win the round. The team to win three (3) rounds in a row wins the game. In the event of a tie where both teams have scored the same number of captures can settle the tie by totaling the individual player points displayed on the end game scoreboard.

Attackers Versus Defenders[edit]

In Attackers versus Defenders the game is played in timed rounds where each team plays on offense then on defense. If the defense can defend all of the capture points or hold the offense from capturing the final capture point, the defensive team will score a point. If the offense captures all the capture points then they will score a team point. Upon the success of either team to score by the end of the round the teams are then swapped giving both teams another chance to either successfully defend or capture all of the points. The team to win three (3) rounds in a row wins the game. In the event of a tie where both teams have scored the same number of captures can settle the tie by totaling the individual player points displayed on the end game scoreboard.

Game Mode Modifications[edit]

The game also provides the player a number of game mode modifications referred to as overlay modes which can be applied to the standard game modes. These overlay modes add yet another layer of unique features to the overall gameplay. The overlay modes in HL2CTF are: Excessive, Instagib, Arena Mode and Match Mode.

Excessive Mode[edit]

Excessive mode is a particularly chaotic game mode which gives the player 300 health and suit along with unlimited ammo fired at twice the normal rate. All weapons and ammo are given to the player when they spawn.

Instagib[edit]

Instagib mode is a one-shot kill mode. Players only have to hit an enemy player once to take them out of the game. The default weapon for this mode is the game's Railgun but can also be set to use any of the thirteen weapons in the game.

Arena Mode[edit]

Arena mode gives the player access to all of the weapons in the game with full ammo when the player spawns in the game. The weapon damage values and ammo amounts are normal.

Match Mode[edit]

Match mode is intended for organized competition. This mode forces all of the players to "Ready Up" before the game begins a count-down to start the match. At the end of the game the mod saves a screen shot of the score board for proof of a player's score and the team's win.

Development History[edit]

The co-founders of the "Half-Life 2: Capture the Flag Project" are Andrew Blevins and Patrick Flanagan who produced the popular game mod for Quake III Arena called Q3 Gridiron which is a chaotic game mod based on American Football and referred to as "Football with Rocket Launchers." After the successful release of the Q3 Gridiron game modification, the two built a second game mod for Quake 3 named xCTF which was never completed as they decided to build a capture the flag mod on the then (2004) newly released Half-Life 2 Source SDK which ultimately was released as Half-Life 2: Capture the Flag.

Since the original beta development of the mod, many other players, designers and programmers have come forward to contribute to the project. Many of the developers have gone on to work in their respective disciplines for large gaming companies and other game modification projects. The full list of developers, play testers and the full history of the mod can be found in the HL2CTF_readme.txt included in the game mod installation file.[3]

The game mod project has been an effort spanning seven (7) years with significant release dates[4] as follows:

  • HL2:CTF Internal Alpha Release - December 2, 2004 (Built on the Half-Life 2 Multiplayer SDK Base)
  • HL2:CTF Beta 1.0 - February 23, 2005
  • HL2:CTF Beta 1.1 - March 2, 2005
  • HL2:CTF Beta 1.2 - March 16, 2005
  • HL2:CTF Beta 1.3 - April 4, 2005
  • HL2:CTF Beta 1.4 - May 13, 2005
  • HL2:CTF Beta 1.41 - May 19, 2005
  • HL2:CTF Beta 1.5 - July 22, 2005
  • HL2:CTF Beta 1.6 - December 14, 2005 (First Valve Match Version)
  • HL2:CTF Beta 1.61 - December 29, 2005
  • HL2:CTF Beta 1.7 - January 31, 2006 (Second Valve Match Version)
  • HL2:CTF Beta 1.71 - June 1, 2007 (Tournament edition)
  • HL2:CTF Version 2.0 - October 20, 2011 (Pre-final version redesigned to run on the free 2006 Source SDK Base)
  • HL2:CTF Version 2.1 - December 8, 2011 (Final)

Official Valve Matches[edit]

During the course of Half-Life 2: Capture the Flag's development two public matches have been organized with the development team of HL2:CTF competing against Valve, the matches being viewable by owners of Half-Life 2 through Valve's Half-Life TV. The competition was announced by Valve through their Steam service. The original telecast match ended with a draw for both teams which prompted the Valve team to ask for a rematch to be played at a later date.

The second match was organized via e-mail and announced over Steam.[5] Several Valve developers, including Robin Walker (one of the Team Fortress and Team Fortress 2 designers) attended to compete in the match versus the HL2:CTF development team. The Valve team told the Half-Life 2: Capture the Flag development team that the match must be hosted on one of Valve's own servers and that they wished to see a copy of the mod's source code to ensure a fair match. The Half-Life 2: Capture the Flag development team obliged and sent them a copy of the source code and agreed to meet on a server hosted by Valve. It was revealed later, that Valve had apparently included their very own cheats into the mod's code specifically for the second match:[6]

Reception[edit]

Half-Life 2: Capture the Flag met with positive reviews upon release. Several gaming websites and print media gave the game praise.

  • PC Gamer published an article in the July 2005 edition of the magazine and included an early version of the mod on the attached game demo disk for that month.[7]
  • ModDB called HL2:CTF "The best multiplayer Half-Life 2 experience you are going to run across. Period." [8]
  • Planet Half-Life states that HL2:CTF "Provides an incredibly fun, action-packed experience for players of all levels of skill." [9]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Steam Workshop :: October 16th Batch of Greenlight Titles". Steam Workshop :: October 16th Batch of Greenlight Titles. Retrieved October 23, 2013. 
  2. ^ "HL2CTF Player's Guide". Half-Life 2: Capture The Flag Player's Guide. Retrieved March 15, 2013. 
  3. ^ "HL2CTF Read Me". HL2CTF Documentation. Retrieved March 15, 2013. 
  4. ^ "HL2CTF Change Log". HL2CTF Change Log. Retrieved March 15, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Steam Update Service". Steam Updates announcement Jan 27, 2006. Retrieved January 22, 2008. 
  6. ^ "Valve Hack CTF Game?". 2009-09-09. Retrieved 2009-09-10. 
  7. ^ PC Gamer, July 2005 Civilization IV Cover issue
  8. ^ "Mod Database Article". 2005-12-10. Retrieved 2009-09-10. 
  9. ^ "Planet Half-Life Article". Retrieved 2009-09-10.