After-Life 2

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After-Life 2
TypeSingle Player Modification
EngineSource Source
Based onHalf-Life 2 Half-Life 2


After-Life 2 is the story of a player moving through a world which is slowly deconstructing around them. It is a struggle for survival not just literally, but also metaphysically. In a first-person shooter, you (the player) inhabit the body of a character in the story of the game. What happens when the character you're playing knows they're being played? What is the role of the player as they inhabit a character in the story? Is it truly interactive if our actions are predetermined in the story? Are we, as players, just characters in a game?

When After-Life 2 begins, you are awakened by a woman in an abandoned building. She does not know who you are, and neither do you. You get out of the building and journey through an evacuated city, one that is under attack by unknown forces. As you fight through these forces with your mysterious companion, the reality around you begins to distort and deconstruct. The purpose of this project is to explore, critique, and parody the dynamics commonly found in first-person shooter video games.

This mod is being made by Cyle Gage and Galen Ellis of Emerson College for their Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees.


  • Utilization of "hidden" features and glitches of the Source Engine.
  • A nonlinear story told over a half-dozen levels, from subway stations to city streets to unknown randomness.
  • A voice cast consisting of two people to push the plot along.
  • Three unique endings, with the gameplay/story depending upon whether the mod has been beaten.



  • Cyle Gage: Director, level designer, co-writer, programmer
  • Galen Ellis: Modeling, texturing, co-writer
  • Full list of credits here


  • Finished, released, exhibited at CyberArtsBoston

External links