NEOTOKYO° was a free Source-Engine total conversion: a standalone modification for Half-Life 2, which turned it into a team-versus-team tactical combat simulator, a Counter-Strike-like tactical shooter with sci-fi elements, heavily inspired by Ghost In The Shell

Originally developed as an Unreal Tournament 2004 mod by a team of volunteers (including designers from WETA Workshop, and multimedia artist PU5HB4K), the team would spend a few years migrating their work to Source so it could be enjoyed by more players. I found the game during early Source betas, and wrote a manual for it, which unintentionally kickstarted my career as a tech writer.

An image of a cyborg NSF Agent, a playable character in NEOTOKYO

I noticed how much time was spent trying to onboard new players, who were often unprepared for the pace and finality of the game's firefights. I wanted to see it reach a wider audience, and I found myself explaining the game's subtler mechanics over and over. So I decided to write a guide.

I did some testing and some reverse-engineering, drafted up a short manual block, and posted it on the forums to get some feedback. The response was excellent, and I received and integrated a ton of great feedback, refining it down to focus on beginners. The team then hosted the guide on the main Neotokyo site.

The game was available in beta for a long time with a small-but-dedicated community of testers. Ultimately, the game was not accepted onto Steam for a long time, which caused it to stumble in finding a wider audience, but it still has a cult following to this day.

This was my first technical writing project, and it put all my skills to use and sparked something I hadn't expected.