Noclip Half-Life Documentary / Project Borealis

// Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Noclip documentary for Half-Life’s anniversary is now online! I also have some news as to why this is relevant to post here.


I probably spend a little more than is healthy on various Kickstarters and Patreons these days. This is mostly because I am hungry for high quality content, and it’s nice to support independent creators. I also secretly hope that I’m buying karma. If I keep doing this, one day one of my own products will make some money, right?

Noclip is a superb example of content worth supporting. If you aren’t aware of Danny O’Dwyer’s YouTube series, then check out the “DOOM Resurrected” documentary. It’s a three part series, that offers a detailed look at the development highs and lows of the new DOOM game. It’s just a super insightful, top-tier production and well worth every penny I chip in to the Patreon.

Obviously, the subject isn’t always to my taste; video games are a sprawling medium, covering numerous genres and themes. However, the production quality and interview format tends to make for an interesting story. For example, I have no interest in playing Rocket League, but I’ve watched the Noclip documentary multiple times now. There is a documentary, however, that is right up my street…

And what has prompted me to link to this particular Half-Life Noclip documentary? I’m working on Project Borealis!

Project Borealis

That’s right, because I clearly have too much time on my hands, I joined the Project Borealis team as a level designer. It’s early days yet, so I don’t have anything to show, but I can share some media from the project for those that might have missed it.

So you might be wondering why I’ve decided to join a fan project, despite being a professional developer. I feel like I should explain my reasons.

Firstly, I love Half-Life. I love the games, the lore, the development history, the community – the whole package. And despite this, I’ve never built levels for vanilla Half-Life or Half-Life 2. Back in the day, I always felt that my time was best spent providing unique levels and content for total conversions (mostly The Opera). Therefore, by working on Project Borealis, I feel that I’ll finally get the chance to contribute towards this universe in some way.

Secondly, I feel the need to get back into pure level design. In my professional career, I lead a team of level designers, so my day-to-day work is split between management and content creation. It’s a role that requires a broader view of a project. You could argue that my personal projects, provide a solution to this. However, with every side project I work on, I am responsible for the entire game. Project Borealis lets me just focus on the level design and allow me to noodle away, making it the best it can be.

And finally, Project Borealis gives me a chance to see how another team handles Unreal Engine 4 and meet new, passionate people with experience in that technology. It’s an excellent opportunity for me to learn from others as well as share my own knowledge.

I hope my enthusiasm comes through here. Project Borealis already has some good momentum. I look forward to sharing more on the project soon!

Further Reading…