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Originally posted by samling
A thought occurred to me reading though this post, as far as creating an interactive representation goes.
It would require people to own Half-Life or Half-Life 2 (depending on what engine the simulation would be created on), but VALVe includes with both the full version of their level-designing program, the Hammer Editor. I used it a long time ago to make some maps for the original Half-Life (wasn't amazing at it by any stretch of the imagination), and it's a very intuitive program.
I'm sure someone with a decent knowledge of the editor would be able to create an Area 51 map that people could jump around in and explore and all that. It might have to be divvied up into sections, given the draw distances that would be required for such a huge base, but I'm sure the same would go for any program used to render it.
I'll mess around with the editor today and see if it's as easy to use as I remember it being. I think the original Half-Life even included some jet fighter models, which one could throw in for some authenticity.
Originally posted by Freezer
I use the Hammer editor for half Life 2, and so on. If you have any questions, I'd be glad to answer them. A good editor for this application would be the unreal editor for deus ex, which was a game about the Illuminati and the alien conspiracy. The textures and models would fit perfectly for this type of project. It even has grey alien models as well.
In school, I made a 3d model of area 51 with the use of a 3d program called studiotools. It took 6 months to complete, with a full animation of a f22 look-a-like fully modelled and rendered, coming out of the hangar and flying. I used satellite images, and built my buildings right over the images to get some sort of accuracy.
[edit on 1-2-2007 by Freezer]