All Blog Posts

Memory of the Future

Ross Joseph Gardner on 5 April 2020.

Valve are very precious about their Half-Life IP. It’s a right they’ve earned by turning nearly every instalment into a candidate for one of the best games ever made. The purpose of a Half-Life instalment, it seemed, was to change the nature of the game - literally....

Alyx Vance and the Infinite Value of Empathy

Ross Joseph Gardner on 18 March 2020.

In our first encounter with the enemy, we get our asses kicked. Unarmed and vulnerable without the protective layers of the HEV suit, a small gang of metrocops are able to ambush and beat us to the floor. Given our last confrontation...

A Cosmic Spear, Fired from the Canon Itself...Boy, This Is One Awkward Title

Ross Joseph Gardner on 18 February 2020.

With Half-Life: Alyx on the horizon, now feels like a good time to talk about canon. Canon – that collection of ideas, characters, and events held to be ‘official’ and existing within the creators’ universe. Which is to say...

The Sounds of Half-Life: A Place in the West (or how I stopped caring & learned to love Moss)

Ross Joseph Gardner on 12 February 2020.

My involvement with Half-Life: A Place in the West started with some simple sound design – a cool sci-fi ambience for the original title screen of the app and some basic menu navigation sounds. It was a short but ...

Now You're John Hammond

Ross Joseph Gardner on 25 September 2019.

If you’re reading this blog post then you probably know we’re remaking Chapters 1 and 2 of Half-Life: A Place in the West – Following Portents and A Very Modern Major-General, respectively. The short reason for this is that they no longer meet our expectations for the comic. But on the off-chance...

Doctor Breen Is Dead

Ross Joseph Gardner on 1 September 2017.

I'd been awake only a few minutes when, lying in bed, I began to read former Half-Life writer Marc Laidlaw's Episode 3 synopsis, coyly titled “Epistle 3”. At first, I was inclined to doubt. The possibility that it was an authentic document seemed remote, and to think otherwise...

Steam and Digital Comics

Ross Joseph Gardner on 11 July 2017.

At the end of February 2016, we chose to launch the comic on Steam Greenlight. If you’re unfamiliar with Greenlight, it was a subsection of Valve’s digital distribution platform Steam that allowed content producers to submit their products for...

Why a Half-Life Comic?

Ross Joseph Gardner on 28 April 2017.

When Mike and I first decided to produce A Place in the West, we’d been thinking about comics on and off since 2009. We had previously been developing our own sprawling science-fiction saga that we (erroneously) believed...

A New Kind of Protagonist

Ross Joseph Gardner on 28 April 2017.

The way Albert Kempinski tells it, you’d think he was the only victim of the planet-wide catastrophe known to the world of Half-Life as the Black Mesa Incident. Kempinski is so consumed by grief and loss that he has blinded himself to a most pertinent existential truth: in the world...

On Hiring and Style

Michael Pelletier on 25 April 2017.

We first set out to hire artists to make the first issue of Half-Life: A Place in the West back in early 2014. As with most things on this journey, we knew almost nothing about it, flew by the seat of our pants, made it up as we went along, and got incredibly lucky. ...