Son of Ithaca

Son of Ithaca is a single player mod for Half-life 2 that brings the excitement of a hack-and-slash 3d platform game to a classic Greek setting. In this 5 month long team project for my final two terms at the Guildhall, I acted under the role of Lead Game Designer, creating the core gameplay concept, mechanics, and documentation.

In addition to creating the overall design of the game, I worked throughout the duration of the project to ensure consistency, quality, and balance within the game. I worked directly with the individual programmers, artists, and level designers, providing feedback and suggestions while leaving them freedom to express their own interpretation and ideas. There were many other roles during the project that I stepped up to fill during the duration, including sound design, coordination and direction with the voice acting, in-game cinematic design, and story/script writer.

This is Telemachus in action, fighting against two mermen in the third level. In the top left is the standard HUD life bar. Attached to this bar is a gem that glows brighter as the player gets longer chains. This is a subtle mechanic in the game, but the brightness of the gem means that Telemachus does more damage, up to 200%.
About Son of Ithaca

You are Telemachus, the son of the great Greek warrior, Odysseus, who has gone missing since the Trojan War. Mentor, a friend of Odysseus, approaches Telemachus to tell him that his father is alive but lost, held from returning home by the spiteful Poseidon, god of the seas. Mentor implores Telemachus to go out and search for his missing father, bestowing upon him the Athena Bracelet, an artifact that can call forth the weapons of his father and the skill to use them.

Telemachus, the hero of Son of Ithaca

The gameplay in Son of Ithaca revolves around simple, fast, visually interesting action. One of the key innovations for this is its chain system. Unlike other games which have a few pre-calculated combos that the character can execute in sequence, Telemachus has a large variety of moves which he can chain together, one after another, possibly indefinitely. This way, even if a player doesn't know what exactly they're doing, they can mash buttons and still look cool.

In addition, there are spectacular finishing moves that Telemachus can perform, which are both visually stunning and brutally effective. A player who learns the moves can effectively chain attacks together to take out even difficult foes.

Son of Ithaca has the following features:

  • Stylized 3d environments
  • Third-person control for running and jumping
  • Gamepad support for console-style action
  • Full 360° independent camera control
  • Chain attacks together seamlessly
  • Instantly switch between sword/shield and bow to chain ranged attacks
  • Over 15 different attacks possible
  • Four levels, including a climactic showdown with Poseidon

This game requires the full version of Half-Life 2 to play.S
Download the Son of Ithaca full installer (267 MB)
Download the Son of Ithaca game design document (6.68 MB)
Download miscelaneous design documentation for Son of Ithaca (210 kb)
Download the Son of Ithaca concept document (1.03 MB)

Copyright 2007 Zach Francks and the Guildhall at SMU. All rights reserved.