Half-Life 2 – Grainger’s Point

Half-Life 2: Grainger’s Point | Personal Project | Hammer | 2022

This level was a personal project about designing a small contained space that facilitated player choice.

Level Design work

  • Collected reference, designed level layout and planned gameplay beats
  • Created level blockout inside the Hammer++ editor
  • Conceptualized combat, interactions & environmental storytelling

Gameplay beats

Gameplay & beats

  1. Player arrives at the station, verticality facilitates strategy
  2. Player chooses left path – collected scoped weapon
  3. Enemy encounter
  4. Player chooses right path – can collect weapon
  5. Player releases NPCs to allow for interesting combat
  6. Exit level


Fig.2 – Level layout

Design decisions


I decided to start the player up high to allow them to assess their options and choose a path. Using this approach allowed me to stimulate the players curiosity and explore the space. I triggered a helicopter flyover to signpost the way forward for the player.

Scripted A.I.

I created various scripted entities with associated patrol areas. The players relationship to the A.I. soldiers was controlled at various points in the level to give the players the illusion of stealth.


Affordance was used to allow the player to make / see the connection between the power line, the switch and energy wall.

Planning & Reference

The image gallery below shows some initial sketch work before block-out along with some reference imagery.

Gallery 1 – Initial sketches for the level’s layout

Fig.1 – Moodboard/concept reference