Cat-Life GS

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Cat-Life for GoldSource is a Half-Life 1 mod that puts you into the mind and body of a cat named Newton.  Poor Newton was participating in his master’s latest biological and cybernetic tests as well as trying out a special E-HEV prototype in the Black Mesa Research Facility when the Resonance Cascade occurred.

Now with no one else to turn to, Newton must make use of his natural skills and the scientific upgrades he was testing to escape.

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Related Video Update Episodes

BWL Video Update #1

Video Update #2


Official Videos


Cat-Life Paw Beta

Cat-Life Current Coding

Cat-Life: Code


Special Videos

Cat-Life: A Look Back


Featured Fan Videos

Cat-Life Recruitment by Silverfang

Cat-Life Demo Gameplay by Nylaj9he

Keiri Plays: Cat-Life part 1 by Keiri

Keiri Plays: Cat-Life part 2 by Keiri

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Renders, Screen Shots, and Planning

Added: 02-11-2012
Description: Okay, first up… sorry this is taking so long, but I am basically the only person really working on this at the moment.  And I have been very, very bogged down in my many other projects recently.

Anyway, if you watched the A-Kon 23 RoadTrip video, then you saw a preview of these sketches.

In short, cats should look like cats.  A cat zombie has certain resemblances to a fast zombie from HL2. The premise here is that the science team has experimented on cats using the juvenile headcrab. This results in a sleeker, faster headcrab as they develop.  Basically, this is where fast headcrabs came from.

The code uses the headcrab model as a template for both so the models should have the same animation set and be around the same size.

Obviously, we still need everything for these concept.  We have someone volunteering to work on models but they can only make the meshes and haven’t really been in contact recently.

Any help would be good.


Added: 17-07-2010
Description: For Cat-Life GS… No further comment.


Added: 30-3-2011
Description: I need someone to make a player model of this.  It is Newton in the E-HEV alpha mock-up / testing prototype HEV suit.  I also need some monster models and props.

I could take the time to finish this up by adding color, but I’m pretty busy now and need to get back to mapping, making our videos, and tweaking our various comic projects.

Anyway, the colors are…
Fur: Black
Eyes: Gold
Suit: Black and Grey w/ Chrome Trim
Suit Markings / Gamma Logo: Orange

If I remember correctly, the cat is supposed to be about 36 units tall, 16 units wide, and 32 units deep… as a rough measure.

Click the Image for a higher resolution look at this.

I used the HEV Mark IV and some of the cat armors on the following page for inspiration…


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Overhaul This

In order to explain the Overhaul project, I need to explain the reasoning behind it.

Cat-Life has been in development for about seven years now.  In that time, very little was done with the project except for the very earliest days in 2003 and the past 3 years.  Worse, however, this past year has seen a complete drop in productivity.

The team has basically disbanded.

Moreover, I have spent a fair amount of time responding to criticisms by many different people including SysOp, a respected programmer at ModDB.  Among the issues addressed are that we don’t have any maps and that we don’t have enough sounds, models, etc.  Basic accusations that we don’t have anything except some code changes and the original HL campaign.

I have defended these accusations vigilantly and often pointed out that we had new models, sounds, and maps.  In fact, the mod is a full mod now instead of the “mini-mod” originally created in CL O.

However, on examining the mod itself and the source files BiGToM posted, I was shocked to learn that the mod is much more incomplete then even I as administrator had been told.  I have learned that the secrets and hidden worlds and gags and Easter eggs were scrapped because the team had started to disband and completing them would have proven to difficult.

I’m not even sure how much of the custom content is still intact.  And though I had hoped to release Cat-Life GS soon and move on to CLS… I cannot.  The project, as I have seen it, has disappointed me.

I cannot put the BWL logo and mantra of epic awesomeness on Cat-Life as it stands.

So… I have decided to take over the project.  I’ll be using Dark Shadow’s original story as a base for my Overhaul and will mix in elements of the CLS project such that we can treat this new version of Cat-Life as a sort of proof of concept as well as a completed mod for Half-Life.

Unfortunately, this does mean a bigger delay in the start of CLS official development.  But such is the need at this time.  I have started mapping a little already, but not much.

I will be seeking specialty models and voice acting in the future.

And you can expect a fairly decent plot and adventure.  Cat-Life GS is taking more of my focus now and will continue to do so until it is ready for release.  I now consider the demo v1.0 of this mod.

At this point in the overhaul, I am working on v1.1  The final release will be closer to v2.0 beta.

Please, I need encouragement and support.  I am going to be working very hard on this and need the support more then I do loads of help or old team members to return.

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From The Administrator:

BWL Administration
The Wildcat, Administrator

As you know, Team Leader BiGToM took special pains to release the Cat-Life temporary demo back in November of 2009.  This was a greatly needed step since this version of Cat-Life has been in development since 2007.

However, the demo was sadly more of a half-step.  The original plans had been to release the mod in a beta form.  Up to that time, there had not been any source code and BiGToM was ready to move on to other matters.  Even real life issues have again entangled Team Cat-Life’s fearless leader.

And at the same time, I myself had started considering improvements to our original plans and how much this mod could benefit from Source.

BiGToM’s plans thus called for the demo to be released while he debugged the maps and bluefire debugged the source code and added new features.  But over the course of the past eight months I have grown concerned.

As development for CLS has advanced, we have seen less then expected from Team Cat-Life.  And I have since learned that, for the most part, the team has disbanded once again.  Further, as I have been restructuring BWL for better projects and more completions, I started taking a more direct role in Cat-Life’s development.

Most recently, a very busy BiGToM uploaded the various source files to a new shared team file service at my request.  His real life issues have become too great and he has lost contact with pretty much everyone.  And the debugging has been very slow as a result.

I had requested the upload of the source files that other members of the creativity team, or even I myself might help debug the maps.  Unfortunately, I was disappointed by what I have seen since then.

The maps, though some are good, can basically be lumped into the “extra maps” category.  The story has not really held together.  And a great deal of the original planning was scrapped because we had no programming for so long and because the secrets and gags would have lengthened the duration of development.

It is with a great deal of hope that I now inform you of my intentions.  It is never a good idea to disappoint Mr Wildcat.  Although I had hoped to end development of GoldSource Cat-Life with a map release and possible code update, I now believe that this plan is no longer feasible.

As of today, the 17th day of July, I officially assume command of all these projects for the duration of the Great Overhaul.

In summation, I have now divided Cat-Life into three projects.  All failed work pre-2007 is now considered Cat-Life O (original).  This GoldSource project is now Cat-Life GS.  And with it I intend to lead the way in overhauling CL GS to make a better mod of it.  Details of that endeavor will follow.  And the third project is Cat-Life for Source which will continue to be planned behind closed doors until such time as CL GS is formally released.

Upon release of the overhauled CL GS, the development on the mod will end and my original development plans for CLS will resume.

That is all… for now.

The Wildcat

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Cat-Life GS begins it’s history where CL O ended.  On the 11th of October, 2007, BiGToM formally announced that he had stepped into the leadership role once occupied by Friendly Garg and a handful of short-term leaders.

In his first post on the BWL Forums, BiGToM revealed that he had already made several maps and was working single-handed to make sure that some form of the original mini-mod of Cat-Life would be finished.  Starting from scratch, he began recruiting and updating the mod.

Although he has not posted news items as often as previous leaders, he has done something they could not.  He made serious progress.

Officially, the internal beta began in January of 2008.  But without a coder, this “beta” was mostly testing of the maps as a regular player at best.

By March, I had been approached to handle the news posts and we began the naming process once more.  This time, it was more structured.  Name suggestions were taken on the forums and a special poll was installed on BWL specifically for the cat name poll.

Despite some attempts to cheat the poll, attempts that were noted and removed, the cat finally had a new name.  On the 27th of March 2008, Newton was born.

In May, a similar process was repeated to select the official Cat-Life logo.  The winning entry was made by Radu Iceman who later joined the team to make textures, icons, and other art.

2008 was a busy year for Cat-Life GS.  Most months had at least one news update.  Topics ranged from new videos and screen shots, to programmer recruitment requests.  The team even went so far as to offer a cash reward of fifteen to twenty US dollars for a coder that could alter the player POV and make other changes.

Sadly, there were no takers.

December of 2008 brought another important moment in Cat-Life history.  PC Gamer UK learned of the mod and created a full page article detailing our plans and hopes for the future.

After that, however, the project began to slow down considerably.  The lack of a coder was proving difficult.  And proper beta testing had to be sidelined. Eventually, the team was forced to look for alternatives including the use of a map hull file, map programming, and the use of monster clips to keep the NPC’s from falling through the floor.

News updates only occurred once every other month or so, with little new progress to report.  The work around methods used were functional, but made the game buggy.  Again on the first of May, 2009, the team offered a reward with a formal job request on ModDB.  By then, the reward was variable depending on how much could be accomplished, up to sixty US dollars.

But there were still no takers.

Finally, though, BiGToM was given some improvements to the previous map scripting.  With said improvements, and tiring of the delays for a programmer to step forward, BiGToM announced a beta release date of November 2009.

Unfortunately, he posted the news himself and had not warned BWL of his intentions.  The resulting post, which spoke of his desires to see the next version of Cat-Life move into the Source engine once again, confused some of our fans into thinking that we were going to stop development and start porting the project to Source.

The “official” press release was made on the 6th of September and offered a little clarification and another cry for help for a coder.

This was followed by an interview with Podcast17 on the 22nd of September.   And I said BiGToM was Dutch… which he isn’t… he’s Swedish… *sigh*

Shortly thereafter, I began work on the source code myself.  Using old tutorials and working quickly to refresh my rusty programming skills, I hammered out some functional source code modifications.  I wrapped up my code work and prepared a video demonstration by the 23rd of November.

Disappointingly, the beta turned into a demo.  With two variations of my code, one of which that re-sized hulls and could be used with the hull files already in use.  The other, and ultimately the code that we used only adjusted the hulls to grant the user the POV of a cat.  The hulls themselves are still human size.

BiGToM’s plan was to release as much of the mod as possible in the demo and then debug the maps and release those at a later time.  Unfortunately, the demo contains too many files.  It is my opinion that some of them aren’t needed or should not be a part of the mod.

Also, much of the custom content that had been promised including the cat food models and alien suit seem to be missing.  In the end, the demo turned out to be the original maps BiGToM had been developing in 2007, plus a few extra maps that could not be fit into the plot.

Curiously missing as well were all of the Easter eggs and secret area’s with hidden gags.

No further news was released until the 14th of June, 2010.  The last time we had a delay that long the mod had fallen into hiatus due to the lack of a team.  And that is exactly what has happened.

By June, I had already made my disappointment in the demo clear.  And in secret I had started making plans to develop a source version of the mod based around a story of my own.  The news I posted was an announcement to that effect and a link to the first BWL Video Update Episode and the related “From the Chatroom” audio cast.

In the background, I had started to take more of a hands-on role in the project as it seemed strange that the mod was taking so long to debug.  bluefire40 had joined the team and started working on my source code, debugging it and adding new features.  And kenners had joined the site as a coder for the source version I had started planning.

As the administrator of this site, I had grown tired of seeing the project stall.  My goal was to release Cat-Life GS as soon as maps were debugged and then shift our focus to CLS.  But that has again changed.

In the background, during June of 2010 and after I posted the first video update, I set up a new file share for our teams and began merging the two project teams to help finish up CL GS.  It was then, during a chat with BiGToM, I learned that he had lost contact with most of the team and had even actually lost contact with BWL for a time.  He had been having some major real life issues that was getting in the way and he had made very little progress on the map debugging.

I asked him to upload the files to our file share such that other team members could help debug.  On the 13th of June, he completed the upload.  Less then a week later, I had the chance to look over the files and talk to him again.

After that, I felt fairly disappointed.  There is more wrong here then just needing some map debugging.  And I am through watching this mod as just the administrator.  It might never be finished at this rate and what we receive will be little better then the demo.

This is not to criticize or condemn any specific member of the team.  But rather, this is to say that as of today, the 17th day of July, 2010, I am assuming a leadership role in an overhaul of all Cat-Life projects and efforts.

And this… dear friends… is where Cat-Life GS becomes more then a demo.

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Team GS

Team Leader: BiGToM
Programmer: The Wildcat
Overhual Project Leader: The Wildcat
2nd Programmer: bluefire40
Limited Coder: Jan1024188
Story: bigtom, Dark Shadow
3D Artists/Improvement: Bodyhun, Radu Iceman
Level Design: BiGToM, Simbl, JKBlackNinja, CXX.LIU
Mappers: BiGToM, Dark Shadow, Andreas Wikber [AKA Erty], d3mon, CXX.LIU
Music Composer: Tosse, Wizey!
Beta Tester: Djquick, JKBlackNinja
Voice Actor: Cyberiano
Original Concept: Friendly Garg, The Fans of Cat-Life

I’d like to take a moment to thank wavelength for its tutorials and to thank omega, Corvidae, X-Out, XWJ, Badger, Prefect, and BigGuy for their helpful tutorials as they have made editing this source code much easier.  I’d also like to thank :SysOp: and Minuit for their support and info regarding the locations of  important hull definitions and the like.

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