In May of 2013, Valve introduced a Trading Cards system to Steam that allowed games to have a set of virtual cards, badges, emoticons, and profile backgrounds attached to them. Among the first games supported was Half-Life 2. However, its predecessor, the original Half-Life, has long gone without the same treatment, but that wasn't always intended to be the case. Today, we'll be delving into the unused materials that would have comprised Half-Life's trading cards on Steam.
In July of 2013, Valve hired Seattle-based artist David Thany to create trading cards, emoticons, and badges for big title games such as Half-Life and Hotline Miami to be released with that year's Steam Summer Sale. However, to date, the Half-Life artwork to remains unused. Contacting Thany to learn the story behind these pictures, he believes the reason why they weren't used was because his artwork brought a more updated look to the first game, making them feel like they belong to Half-Life 2 instead. The art for the original game was said to be a bit more crude in comparison to its sequel.
Despite the consistency issues (and the lack of Adrian Shephard), we think the pictures look great, so we wish to present them as a look into what may have been:
Gordon Freeman as a trading card.
The G-Man as a trading card.
A Zombie as a trading card.
A Vortigaunt as a trading card.
A group of Houndeyes on Xen as a trading card.
A Bullsquid on Xen as a trading card.
Steam Community emoticons.
Steam Community badges.
Rikki "Marphy Black" D'Angelo
Despite Valve's 20th anniversary passing us by this week, the company didn't really drop any big news outside of the promised release of Underlord, Dota 2's latest hero. To save us from solely talking about Underlord and the Dark Rift update here on the show, we also released some never-before-seen pre-release documents for Half-Life 1 for Valve's 20th anniversary, which feature insightful details regarding the game's design and ending.
Don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel and to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest Valve-themed news! Thanks for watching!
Hello, and welcome to ValveTime Articles. Today is August 24, 2016. On this same date twenty years ago, August 24, 1996, Gabe Newell and Mike Harrington founded Valve. To celebrate this special anniversary, we’re going to talk about two never-before-seen documents from the development of the original Half-Life.
Half-Life Alpha version .61 notes
This is a help document that was created for the Half-Life Alpha version .61 and is dated August 26, 1998, three months before the game’s release. We received it from an individual who worked at Sierra’s UK division. It was meant for employees at Sierra, then publisher for Valve, providing information on how to market and advertise the game. The file includes an overview, a walkthrough, description of locations, weapons, items, enemies, technologies, and other behind the scenes information, as well as information collected from various internet sources. You might recognize some of the sections from the Alpha version 0.52 which was made public on January 8, 2013.
Click here to download the file.
Marc Laidlaw’s unused proposal for the ending
This is an early draft for the conclusion chapter of the game. In this version, rather than traveling through multiple locations on Xen, Gordon Freeman was to teleport to a human administrative setting after defeating the Nihilanth. High windows along one wall allowed a glimpse of a terrestrial sky, revealing he was back on Earth. Along the other side of the room was a line of locked doors, The noises of the waiting alien creatures could be heard from the outside hallway. The G-Man would walk towards the player and address him. His dialog is identical to the final version.
After his speech, the G-Man was to open his briefcase and summon a dimensional gate from within. As in the final game, the player could accept his offer by stepping into the portal. If declined, the G-Man was to shut his case, go translucent, and disappear completely. As soon as he vanishes, the doors would open and the last alien survivors would swarm the player.
Click here to download the file.
We contacted Marc Laidlaw, the former writer of the series, to learn his thoughts. According to him, it was easier to build the train interior used in the finished scene, and this setting presented a suitable parallel with the opening. The environment described in his script was just a suggestion as the final decision would have been left to the level designer. Laidlaw believes that the train was ultimately the better idea.
He says they used to joke that the G-Man might have a teleporter in his briefcase and would open it up and step into it himself. However, they couldn’t figure out a way to actually get a teleporter in there, leaving the concept to go unrealized. At one point, one of the modelers had placed a cheese sandwich inside the case as a joke.
Anonymous former Sierra employee
Rikki "Marphy Black" D'Angelo
As promised during the All-Star match back at The International 2016, this evening has seen Valve release a new major patch for Dota 2. Dubbed "Dark Rift", the update introduces the long-awaited Underlord hero, who uses his powerful area of effect spells to devastate team fights while also being able to teleport himself and multiple allies across the map to a friendly unit's location. As the last hero to be ported from Dota: All Stars, Underlord's arrival is well overdue, and his abilities will undoubtedly shake up the Dota 2 scene rather substantially.
Also promised in the interim between Underlord's reveal and today's update is the arrival of a new post-game summary. The summary, as shown in the Dark Rift update announcement page, features three distinct pages showing varying levels of detail and statistics regarding the chosen game. These include "Overview", which shows heroes played, basic scores, and overall playstyle; "Scoreboard", which features in-depth stats from kills and deaths to gold and experience gained per minute; and "Graphs", which shows visual representations of game-wide trends regarding how a match and players progressed.
Even though there isn't really a whole lot more to this update than those two changes, they are definitely sizable enough to warrant their own themed update, and we're extremely happy to see Underlord finally make his arrival in Dota 2. Next up: Monkey King and the New Journey!
Suuure, we might have let our Round-Up schedule slip once again, but it's not like we haven't been busy - just check out our front page! The past few weeks have seen Valve announce major new talking points for all of their currently active projects and hardware. News featured in this week's Round-Up includes Valve's upcoming studio move, the conclusion of The International 2016, the announcement of two new Dota 2 heroes, the end of Team Fortress 2's latest class-war, and much more!
Don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel and to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest Valve-themed news and goodness! Thanks for watching!
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