News Archive

Archive of all articles we've ever written.

Shaft Website Launched!

2017 - 07 - 21

by Magic Nipples

So, We finally got a website with content on it for the most part. Here you will find all the media from the mods past and anything in the future. Well, that is the current plan for the most part.

Some people have been asking for the current status of the mod, and I think putting the answer here will give a good incentive for people to visit the page. I guess to put it into simple terms, most of us here are focusing on our own projects currently to get them going. Now, I still plan on returning, along with everyone else to finish up Day One. Trust me when I say we haven't forgotten about y'all!

I don't have a whole bunch to say right now, but if you haven't already, I have linked down below some places where you can find the mod, and the team!

Join our Discord

Check out our ModDB Page

Thanks for reading!

Progress Update 3.5

Some of the dev team sits down an shows what we have been working on, or have had stored up for half a year in a nice really impromptu video!

2016 - 10 - 27

by Magic Nipples

Programming Progress 03 still isn't done yet, but we haven't been doing nothing over the past months... For the most part.

The video

We were playing Paint the Town Red when Brodie wanted us to talk about Shaft, and then this video was forcibly created against its will.

Behind the video

While the video is all over the place, we did show off some areas being worked on, and some of the new enemies that were going to feature in the next programming video. We also showed some of the models being worked by Brian, and Brodie, like the parasite, and CIA female soldier. I have a picture below to show those off in case you don't care to see this particular video:

We also have some mapping done by Jackathan, and you should see some screenshots later on the mod page.

Help Wanted

If the video doesn't show you the current state of our maps (or lack there of) this is where I will say we are lacking in the maps department. I originally was the mapper for the team, but then I became the programmer, and then became sort of a team lead for what plans to take, and dealing with other developer issues. I don't like having the lead badge since we are all important, but the main thing is I don't have the time I used to have to get the mapping done. That's why we are asking for one, maybe even two mappers to join the Freeze team. If anyone is at all interested then drop me a PM here, on Discord, or on Steam. We also have a few requirements to join the team so please read these bullets, and make sure you agree with them before sending a message.


Our Discord & conclusion

For those of you that may not know what Discord is, it's pretty much a Teamspeak, Skype, message board, mashup thing. We made a Discord for the team a while back, and never got around to really announcing it here. This is a good way to get in contact with any developer, or see any WIP stuff since we always post it there. I highly recommend if you are planning on joining to get the desktop app instead of using the in-browser app since the browser version is very unstable and many features don't work depending on your setup. Other than that I don't have much more to cover. I hope to see you all around for then next update. I promise it should be a good one! Anyways, I'll leave you with the links to the app, and our server.

Discord App: [HERE]

Freeze/Shaft Discord: [HERE]

Programming Progress 02

The next installment in the series of videos where I show you what I accomplish when I stay up to extreme hours of the night.

2016 - 01 - 20

by Magic Nipples

I was hoping to put a one month gap in between each video. Man, that worked out really well...

The video

I actually voiced this one so you wont have to read any subtitles this time. If you want a video without me blabbering on then let me know in the comments.

Behind the video

I'm making this section right now just to better clarify what you saw in the video that I didn't have the time to explain in depth. The first thing mentioned was the hud swapping. I actually had this feature implemented when the first programming video was made. It wasn't finished at the time, and I still wanted to get the 0.52 alpha hud in, but I seriously think the game is at a limit with how many sprites are being preached, and drawn on the client side. Now with the inventory in place, I think it's just not going to happen, but I'll still take a stab at it in the future just to make sure (if you all really want that hud to be featured in the mod).

The next thing was the overbrighting effect. I explained what was going on with that pretty well, so I'm not going to do that here. But instead I want to say that the effect was put in Xash's engine code, and I want to explain why we are using Xash over Steam in the first place. The main reason we are on Xash is that I can edit the engine to get features to work for the mod, and I can't do that on Steam Half-Life as of now. I have a plan on how it can be achieved, but It's going to be a big task, so for now we are sticking with Xash. On the bright side, I plan on releasing this version of Xash to the public as a custom build since it will include some new features, and a bunch of cosmetic fixes like the DSP effects which will be fixed to not sound terrible.

The rest of the video was covering the new inventory that was implemented. I think I explained that well enough so I won't go on about that here, but if you have any questions on it then ask in the comments. Now, onto the inventory. Boy, what an exciting challenge that was! When I first saw the [image] I just didn't think I had the skills to get that working. I spent a bunch of time just examining comments left the code to see if I could find a way to set this up. I barely found anything at all, so I had to figure it out on my own. I decided to take a look on how the ammo and health get transferred over to the hud, and once I figured out how it worked I set up all the sprites for the hud. Implementing the actual items were much easier since the air tank, antidote, and rad suit were for the most part still around. After that I just had to iron out bugs which took about a week or more cause I kept running the game in a bunch or different scenarios to see if I could find any, and they kept popping up. The good thing is I'm confident all the bugs, are gone so you all shouldn't run into any problems when playing.


Well that's all I have for now. I'd like to thank the rest of the team for doing the work I just don't feel like doing. The next video should be on npc's, so you should be able to see what they've done with the models, and textures. As stated earlier if you have any questions or just want to leave some feedback, then drop a line in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!

Programming Progress 01 [Progress Update 3]

It's a long overdue update to show what major feats have been happening over the past 6 months. Featuring a new video, and me droning on about what we plan to do next!

2015 - 10 - 12

by Magic Nipples

I'm literally typing this while I'm at work there's nothing to do, and I brought my laptop with me. Let's do this!

Programming progress

This will pretty much be the only section for this update. I'll explain why after the video:

The plan for the next few updates will be videos showing the coding work being done for the mod. The reason for doing this is I started over with the programming for the mod (as seen in the last live stream). The previous builds of the mod used probably the most unstable bases of the Spirit of Half-Life code on the internet, and my contributions only made it worse. Not too long ago I got info on what version of SOHL I should be using, and now I have a much more stable build of the game. So, I can redo work I’ve previously done that now isn’t up to my current standards.

Another plan is to make tutorials for the features I program into Shaft, so people who want a new gun, enemy, or visual effect will be able to add it to their own mod. I also want to make tutorials for features that never had a proper tutorial for implementation done before. That or the tutorial is just terribly made, or the game was updated so the tutorial is no longer correct.

One last thing is asking if anyone wants to help me with programming for Shaft. While my skills have improved since I started working on this project. I'm still not perfect, and there are things I still can't do. For instance, I still can’t get the battery to draw properly. You would think it would be a simple fix, but I seem to be having a lot of trouble figuring it out. I could figure it out if I spent more time tinkering with it, but that will continue to slow everything else down. So, that's why I'm asking for a hand with some of the coding work. I can assure that you will be in the credits for your work, and I might even gift you a game on Steam for your hard work. If anyone is interested then drop me a PM either on Mod DB, or on Steam.

Everything else

Obviously more work has been done other than programming. The rest of the team has been working on models, and maps, and sounds that might not be that significant on their own, but as a whole make Shaft what it is. While I make 99% of the posts, this mod wouldn't be around if it wasn't for the rest of the Freeze Team and the excellent work they do!

Well, I ran out of things to say about this update article. Stay tuned for more videos, and other such media in the near future!

Shooting up monsters in 60fps!

New gameplay video in slick 60fps, and new menu backgrounds to admire while you adjust you adjust your game settings.

2015 - 03 - 19

by Magic Nipples

Found out I had another week to before my college assignments are due. So lets look at what my procrastination has done so far!

Gameplay video in 60fps

One of the pros of my new laptop is being able to record smooth, high-res video with little to no lag. YouTube also added a new feature that allows video to play as 60fps now, and I wanted to take advantage of that:

(remember when YouTube added support for 30fps video? good times...)

I've been working on that area on and off for almost a year now, and it has changed so much from what I originally started from. It was originally just going to be a remake of the alpha cafeteria, but complications with the atrium glass, and level changes forced me to trash that idea. I then thought about incorporating the area from the Half-Life box art into the game in some manner and this is how it turned out.

Two other things to note is the video isn't true 1080p. I recorded the gameplay at 720p, and only bumped up the video resolution because YouTube wouldn't render a 720p 60fps video for some reason. Also you can here Schism by Tool in the background. That was just me getting bored with having the standard Half-Life soundtrack in the backgrounds, and wanted something different. And I like Tool.

New menu backgrounds

If you had your eyes open for the first few seconds of the video, you can see what appears to be a hl2 style background map. Well if you guessed that then you are correct! Xash allows for map backgrounds for the menu. While it isn't chapter specific like hl2, the feature is very much appreciated, and we plan on taking full advantage of it in the mod.

Progress Update 2

More things have happened since the last one. Who would of thought.

2014 - 12 - 04

by Magic Nipples

Welp, it's time for me to improvise another one of these!

The move to Xash

For about as long as I was a part of this mod, We've have debated if we should use Steam or Xash. Both had a pretty equal amount of advantages, and disadvantages. But after a good old game breaking update from Valve, I could no longer get any build of shaft to play on Steam without the game randomly crashing. Now, good news is Shaft plays on Xash really well. The old won style menu system, the better rendering shadows, sprites, and hud make the game look much better. Now the weapons were broke to high hell, but copying the Xash weapon code over seems to have solved that issue.

The gameplay video

I'm just going to link you to it, and talk about it below the video.

I said about two months ago I would get a video for you showing a few minutes of gameplay. Well, when you have a job giving you near 45 hours a week, and college classes to worry about. You start to have less time with your personal projects. Also we had that move ove to the Xash thing in between all of this, and I wasn't going to show old footage of a game that just recently moved to another engine.

MOTY 2014

While I don't believe we have enough people to get us first place, having you guys vote for this mod would be highly appreciated! It might even help get this day one release out faster!

[lambda intensifies]

That's all I got for ya now.

Progress Update 1

A good ol' general update showing some progress you may have seen, and talking about the future because we are partly physic.

2014 - 08 - 29

by Magic Nipples

Let's get right on down to it because I'm writing most of this as it comes to mind.


So, first bit of news I want to cover is the code work being done. I have for you a good old image of a fully working HUD that compares to most early Half-Life photos I've seen.

I first attempted this feat back in May at the request of Zaxon and Harron. I looked at the code for the battery and tried to move it above the health. I broke it completely and that's about as far as it ever got. I then went to a few people looking for assistance. No one really could lend me a hand so I just gave up on it until about 2 days ago when I attempted it again. It was still a pain to do when you only have basic C++ knowledge, but it can be done!

Weapons, and Zombie Models

Just like the HUD, this was an ongoing event for a while. The weapons weren't that bad. Zaxon rigged a set of weapons to bare hands, then recently did it to the gloved hev. I don't believe I did much besides set up a few animations for the glock and shotgun. We've decided to use the gloved hev with gloves for any main releases, but Zaxon wants to release other packs later on. So don't worry if you thought you couldn't run around Black Mesa with bare hands flaying around!

We also recently got a hold of a zombie model kindly sent from Sappy. It was unrigged, and untextured, but the mesh was pretty damn good. Far better than another mesh we had that resembled a broken down car. Zaxon took care of rigging it.

I brought up the idea on making a Barney zombie since we can switch out models thanks to SoHL. Zaxon whipped up the model, and Harron provided the textures. Everything turned out excellent!

Everything Else!

I skipped mapping since I'm doing 90% of that, and I already kind of self promoted myself on the HUD, and none of what you are seeing, and will be seeing would of been possible without the team, and the brilliant minds helping us along the way! I want to say if anyone wants to help the project out in some way, give us a pm here on Mod DB. I hope to show some more updates on mapping, NPC's in the upcoming weeks. I also want to put out a game play video sometime as well. This all depends on work, college, and also just wanting to go hang out with friends, and not sit behind a computer most of the day.

I don't really have more to say at this point. If anything comes to mind that I forgotten, Ill post a small edit to this.

Stay Shafty!

It's About To Go Critical This Summer!

We've been working our bums off, so expect a release new sometime this summer.

2014 - 03 - 22

by Brian

The Shaft team has been changing plans and everything is going how it's meant to go. Before we were a cluster-duck and the mod was a chitty batch of scrambled eggs as well was the team. We soon said to our selves, "What a wonderful world." Just kidding. We changed our perspective and we are making what Valve originally REALLY wanted to make. Therefore, the mod stepped up it's game and really saw what cannot be unseen.

"Freeze!" - Don Knotts 1996

To the point, we all worked hard on code (Thanks AMD!), characters, weapons, and especially maps. You do not know how hard it is get everything PERFECT. This team is very committed to bringing some good to the community. We hope you are satisfied with what is to come. (new features valve cut!) We love you, Valve, Fellow modders, and all you other mothers. If you want an exact time range for the summer, I'd say mid-July? Thanks again everyone for your support and all that. ( MOST OF ALL YOU, BARNZ! THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT!)

Like us on Facebook, once we reach 10'000, I'll give a free sneak peak at something I've been working on.


Shaft and Arrowhead merged, sharing content, open source, scratching each others backs, textures, map(s) hopefully coming soon, more to release later, still hard at work, won't update for a while, new discoveries!

2013 - 10 - 13

by Brian

FIRST OFF, Team Shaft has merged with Arrowhead and we are now going open source. For those who do not know what open source means this means we are sharing content with each other and the public.


You can find just about all map textures from both us and Barnz(the great guy making Arrowhead [BIG CREDIT TO THIS GUY]) on that thread. If you don't want to go there here are the links to the map textures and Shaft's map textures will be uploaded on the page as well.

CREDITS TO BARNZ FOR THE LINKS: Arrowhead textures: (30 MB)
Arrowhead maps: (26mb) Shaft: (36 MB)

There won't be many updates for a while, but no worries, for we are still hard at work and figuring things out. We have also made a few new discoveries which you will see in both mod's development. Which if you haven't noticed ,the maps and code in the alpha and beta versions are a lot more complex, so this is gonna take some time. Maps will come in the future. Anomalous Materials is still a WIP right now and that's where TheCyberSoldier's at. He's doing an amazing job and working his butt off for us all.

Anomalous Materials has basically stayed the same yet more complex in the alpha and beta versions.
Thanks to TheCyberSoldier for the screenshot.

Come help out SHAFT!

Shaft is still 50% done. We are lacking members and especially a somebody who can code in AI and custom weapons. Also anyone else who wants to contribute come join our forum.

2013 - 08 - 18

by Brian

So far, we are still about half way done. We are in critical need of some body who can code in AI and custom weapons.

The Chumtoad or Chubtoad is a neutral enemy used as bait to get out of sticky situations which when you throw the lil' guy Alien Grunts and Vortigaunts get lured for a Chumtoad snack while you sneak away while they eat.

You will also be able to use the Heavy's minigun.


We will be re-creating an earlier version based sometime in the late-alpha version.

Shaft's Late Alpha Shotty

^ Example Pic Not Shafts ^

In conclusion, we've got a forum so go ahead sign up to keep track of progress and all, and if you want to help out and submit your ideas and/or skins if you would like to help out.

If you would like to apply and join us just email me at or just pm me.

Latest News: Quarantine Alpha: BIG CHANGES

2013 - 05 - 08

by Brian

Quarantine Alpha is going threw huge plot changes such as:
No Black Mesa.
Setting is now a gun factory in Texas while the the world ends.
No Gordon.
Douglas stays, but is now a police officer.
Xen creatures stay, but not all and vortigaunts are friendly.
Ivan's gonna look like Arnold Schwarzenegger with a beard.
No scientists.
There will be Civilians/Citizens whatever.
More Evil/Satanic things.

This is all getting pushed away for later.

In it's place, I bring you....SHAFT! The BETA mod based off the EARLY-98 BETA! Screenies to show off the HUD. (HUGE thanks to OsiriusGodoftheDead)