Former Valve scribe Chet Faliszek, best known for his work on the Portal and Left 4 Dead games, along with the Half-Life 2 episodic expansions, has joined Bossa Studios.
Some vintage 2007 frame-rate analysis...
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We may never get to play the long, long-awaited Half-Life 3, or Half-Life 2: Episode 3, or whatever Valve once had planned for the future of its legendary series. But we might now know how its story would have unfolded.
Chet Faliszek has brought his 12 year career at Valve Software to a close, our sister site GamesIndustry.biz has revealed.
There was once a plan to flesh out Half-Life 2 with multiple episodes. Valve itself created Episode One and Two. It announced a third. But this third episode, and others from other developers, failed to materialise as Half-Life 2 follow-ups were lost to the sands of time and became myth.
One of these non-Valve developed episodes was once in the works at Junction Point, the studio founded by legendary game maker Warren Spector (Deus Ex, System Shock). Spector has spoken of this before, telling Game Informer Junction Point was working on an episode "that would fill in one of the gaps in the Half-Life story".
Junction Point's episode involved a new tool called the Magnet Gun. Here's Spector:
People are using the new Steam Awards to remind Valve that, yes, pretty much everyone wants Half-Life 3.
A jury ruled in favour of defendant Valve on 2nd November 2017, finding the plaintiff was not discriminated against for transgender or disability reasons, nor dismissed for such.
On 22nd May 2006, Valve put out a press release promising an episodic trilogy for Half-Life 2. Eurogamer wrote a news story, authored by one Ellie Gibson, with the headline: "Half-Life Episode 3 confirmed."
Half-Life writer Marc Laidlaw has left Valve after 18 years at the company.
A new fan-made mod, Half-Life 2: Update, will be released for free on Steam tomorrow.
The Valve-blessed add-on brings improved lighting, effects, textures and bug fixes to the first-person shooter classic.
This will be the final version of Half-Life 2: Update, which was previously made available in earlier forms outside of Steam.
Adam Foster tells me he's "faintly terrified" by the response to his old Half-Life 2 mod Minerva being released on Steam. Tens of thousands have downloaded it in a couple of weeks and he didn't expect that, he insists. But then he also didn't expect the chain of events that unfolded after he first released Minerva back in 2005. Back then he worked for the European Railway Industry doing web development and programming. Today he talks to me from within the hallowed walls of Valve.
New screenshots of Dishonored developer Arkane Studios' Half-Life 2: Episode 4, aka Return to Ravenholm, have emerged.
Such is his influence on the world of videogames and computing that it's a wonder Gabe Newell hasn't been inducted into the prestigious Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame already. This coming February at the 2013 D.I.C.E. summit will be his moment.
Valve's definitely building wearable computer hardware, because a New York Times writer went inside the company's Seattle HQ, put on a pair of prototype gaming goggles and tested them for himself.
If there's one question Valve must be sick of hearing it's this: where is Episode 3? No-one's saying anything - not yet. But inquiring minds might find their own answers by playing through the preceding two episodes.
Valve Time - the term coined by fans to describe the seemingly endless development of the Half-Life maker's games.
As the wait for news on the next Half-Life game goes on, Valve boss Gabe Newell has explained the famed developer's current strategy on revealing new titles.
10,000 Valve fans logged on to play Half-Life 2 en-masse in an attempt to make their campaign for more Half-Life information heard.
A fan campaign designed to encourage more Half-Life information from developer Valve plans a mass gameplay session this Saturday.
Steam group A Call for Communication (Half-Life), which boasts more than than 29,500 members, has organised a huge Half-Life 2 play session this weekend, designed to raise awareness of its campaign by boosting the game up Steam's most-played list.
The fan collective aims to encourage information from Valve on when the Half-Life series might return, be that in the form of Half-Life 2: Episode 3 or a fully-fledged Half-Life 3.
More than 10,000 gamers have joined the Steam Group campaigning for more Half-Life communication from Valve.
Code possibly belonging to Half-Life 2: Episode 3 has been spotted in the leaked beta client for Dota 2.
Some vintage 2007 frame-rate analysis...
Steam today represents a billion-dollar operation staffed by hundreds. But has the platform's meteoric rise restricted Valve's capacity to actually create games?
On Valve's website sits a profile page, and on that profile page sits an entry for Left 4 Dead writer Chet Faliszek. It reads: "We are all still trying to figure out exactly what it is that Chet does at Valve, but at the very least he occupies office space on the 11th floor as self-proclaimed Mr. Awesome."
Valve has bundled a whopping Complete Pack of games together on Steam for a quite ridiculous discount price.
Valve has announced that Steam Cloud will launch this week.
Steam Cloud, announced at the end of May, centralises configuration data online so that you can access your controller and multiplayer settings (like spraypaint images for Counter-Strike) from any computer.
In future, Valve intends to centralise save-game data - the idea being that you could delete a Steam game and all its files and still be able to pick it up from the same spot, on any computer, years later.
EA has sneakily released a beefy patch to address problems with The Orange Box on PS3.
The 1.10 update is 128 MB, and unhelpfully has no associated documentation to outline the changes.
Early reports suggest friends not appearing on lists and certain accounts not connecting to the EA servers should no longer be a problem.
Valve has said it will be releasing the separate components of The Orange Box in shops from 11th April.
Valve may specialise in cracking games, but it's not doing badly with heart-lifting cuddly merchandise either - and Half-Life 2: Episode Two's Hunter is the latest addition.
On a recent trip to Germany to see Left 4 Dead, of which more soon, we sat down with Valve's VP of marketing Doug Lombardi to talk about things. Things like Portal, and whether we'll see an Orange Box 2. Like everyone at Valve, Doug's job title is a bit misleading; he does a broad range of things across the company, and has even - as he points out here - dabbled in development to some extent. He also plays Team Fortress 2 and Left 4 Dead with us when we fly over to see Valve, which is nice of him (it's nice of him to let us win all the time, too). Anyway, enough being nice about Doug - here are a few selected excerpts from our discussion, with more to come when we're allowed to talk about what the developer was actually in Germany to show off...
Electronic Arts has announced it plans to make the components of The Orange Box available separately.
Google "Valve's Gabe Newell and PS3" and you'll see why I approached this review with some trepidation.
Valve's Gabe Newell comes down hard on PS3
Valve: PS3 a "total disaster on so many levels"
We all had fun pouring ourselves over the new Steam hardware survey results last week, but accompanying those were also some Steam stats for Half-Life 2: Episode Two.
Gamers based in the USA who bought Orange Box product keys from an online retailer in Thailand are having their copies of the game deactivated, and they're not happy about it.
Those of you with brains like computers will probably have worked out that you can use your Portal gun in other Source-powered games like Half-Life 2 and its pair of episodes.
Valve has finally released The Orange Box on Steam!
Episode Two kicks off with Gordon Freeman climbing out of the twisted metal of a smoking train wreck. Is that a metaphor for Episode One? It's been both fun and slightly disappointing to rib Valve for the way in which its bold episodic experiment 'hit the buffers' as soon as it began in May of last year. 'Fun' in that it's oh-so-typical of Valve to be so far off with its release date predictions for the follow-up again that you can't help but give them a cheeky wink every time a new date emerges. It's disappointing because, well, we really wanted to believe that they could do what no other FPS developer had ever done and turn out three episodes of a triple-A game in the space of a year, as was the original plan.
But when, over Tacos, you hear Robin Walker's admission that the reason Episode Two slipped was simply because "it wasn't good enough", delaying it was clearly the right thing to do.
Maybe, deep down, the reaction to Episode One was just as significant in the decision to move the goal-posts. "Too short!" said some people. "Too constrained!" said others. "Not epic enough!" said another made up person. For the first time in the company's history it released a headline product with an average review score outside of the '90s, and its own online stat tracking system on Steam found that a worrying proportion of its devoted audience switched off long before the end. For a game as short as Episode One, that's a slap in the face.
Valve has started to pump up the volume along with the stereo and pre-load files for Half-Life 2: Episode Two and Portal.
Valve has made The Orange Box available to pre-order on Steam ahead of what is now a 10th October activation date - and those who pre-order will be able to play the Team Fortress 2 beta from 17th September.
Orange Box will sell for USD 49.95 on Steam, and pre-purchases will get a 10 percent discount on that price, as well as a free copy of Peggle Extreme.
The compilation release - which consists of Half-Life 2: Episode Two, Team Fortress 2 and Portal - is also being produced for Xbox 360 and PS3. The 360 version will launch at the same time (at European retail 12th October) while the PS3 version is due a few weeks later.
In light of recent chatter about Stranglehold having cost USD 30 million to make, we thought we'd ask Valve's Gabe Newell how much Orange Box ran to. "I don't know," he told us at Games Convention. "We don't track that."
Gosh! It seems like only 3 months and 8 days ago that we last sat down for half an hour with Valve co-founder Gabe Newell, which is probably because that was when we last sat down with him. He said lots of things back then, so for our Games Convention chat this past week we were able to skip some of the pleasantries and talk in more depth about Orange Box, Steam, Wii controls and which is better PlayStations or Xboxes. Only kidding. Sort of. Plus we talked about those excellent TF2 movie shorts - have you watched the Soldier one yet? Read on also for Gabe using a swearword, which we think is an exclusive. Enjoy.
Word on the vine of grapes is that Valve has narrowed down Half-Life 2: Episode Two, Team Fortress 2 and Portal's cluster-release to 9th October.
The date comes courtesy of Shacknews, who spoke to Valve about it yesterday. When we popped over last month they were saying October, so it would seem to tally with that.
If the games do emerge on 9th October on Steam and at US retail though, we'd anticipate a wait of a few days before they emerge in UK shops, which traditionally toss out new games on Fridays.
Originally published on GamesIndustry.biz, today's wide-ranging interview with Valve co-founder Gabe Newell touches on everything from the decision to extend Half-Life 2 episodically and introduce advertising to online multiplayer game Counter-Strike, to the future of the Steam business and what to expect from the next five years of gaming hardware. It also offers an insight into how Valve is structured, and why the developer believes listening to its customers is paramount to its success.
By now you'll have read our extensive hands-on report on Half-Life 2: Episode Two. Well, hopefully. Having spent an hour working through each of the six sections Valve prepared for us to play, we sat down with programmer David Speyrer, designer Gautam Babbar and Valve's ever-present marketing director Doug Lombardi and talked about the development of Episode Two, the release date issue, and where things might be going in Episode Three.
Valve's legion of fans can start drawing whacking great circles around October, according to marketing director Doug Lombardi.
Having teased us mercilessly last week about the possibility of more Team Fortress 2 information in the coming weeks, Valve has chosen the Whip MIT Grad - the new vehicle introduced in Half-Life 2: Episode 2 - as the subject of this week's torment.
Half-Life 2: Episode 2 today moved one step closer to completion as EA announced a winter (2007/2008) release date for the retail version of the game (last we heard it was summer).
Half-Life 2: Episode Two is now down for "summer 2007" according to Valve's Doug Lombardi.
As you'll know if you've been keeping score, Valve has released a trio of new gameplay videos showing off the sorts of things you'll be getting up to in Half-Life 2: Episode Two next year.
GC: Valve opens up in Leipzig
Valve's trio of new titles - Episode Two, Team Fortress 2 and Portal - will be shown in real-time at the Leipzig Games Convention.
"We'll have a real-time demo of the games behind closed doors," Valve marketing director Doug Lombardi told Eurogamer last night.
"It will not be playable, but will be new, never-before-seen items."
Valve Software is planning to show off Half-Life 2: Episode Two along with bonus add-ons Team Fortress 2 and Portal at the Leipzig Games Convention.
Valve's released a trailer showing off some of the stuff you'll be doing in Half-Life 2: Episode Two, due out later this year on PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.
In a really rather exciting presentation at EA's Studio Showcase in San Francisco, Valve has announced that Half-Life 2: Episode 2 will launch on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC simultaneously - and that's only the start of it.
Studio founder Gabe Newell was on hand to deliver the news, and to inform the audience that the console version will come complete with the original HL2 and Ep 1 for "the entire Half-Life experience."
Newell also revealed that Ep 2 will ship with a brand new FPS game called Portal. Set in the Half-Life universe, it sees you armed with some kind of crazy gun which allows you to create, well, portals. You can use them to transport yourself across rooms, or to teleport an object from one place to another - perhaps so that it falls out of the portal you've created to land smack bang on an enemy's head, for example.
New details have been revealed of Half-Life 2: Episode 2 - and if you don't want to spoil any surprises, you'd best stop reading right now.
According to the latest issue of PC Gamer US, as detailed on the Steam forums, Alyx is still alive and well in Ep 2. She's joining Dr. Freeman on his mission to deliver the combine packet to Eli and Kleiner, who have set up a base in the missile silo.
You can expect as many different environments as those found in Ep 1, including a mine shaft, and an upgrade for the Gravity Gun. There's also a brand new weapon called the Strider Buster, plus a ramming vehicle which can be used to blast through waves of Mini Striders. We'll get to learn more about the mysterious Vortigaunts, and even the G Man himself.
Despite the massive acclaim and the shower of awards thrust upon Valve in the wake of Half-Life 2's release in November 2004, the developer listened more than ever to the feedback from the community, meticulously cataloguing thousands of hours of playtesting feedback from hundreds of playtesters and setting about to continue the Half-Life 2 story episodically, but while also fixing many of the niggling issues that fans had with the game.
After spectacularly 'raising the bar' (with a gravity gun) of the FPS genre in 2004, Valve last week turned its attention to extending the Half-Life 2 universe episodically with the release of the first in a trilogy of episodes that finally reveals what happened to Gordon and Alyx after the destruction of the Citadel.