Sometimes our research and investigation for proposed articles can lead nowhere. We consider these "Cold Cases" that have reached a dead end and are subsequently canned as articles. Sometimes, these investigations can hinge on us contacting individuals who may be associated with the subject matter of the article. Some can refuse to speak to us, while others may have signed a legally binding contract that prevents them from disclosing information.
Cold Case #1 surrounds October Moore, an actress and voice actress who is perhaps best known as the voice of the female Wii Fit Trainer in the US localization of Nintendo's titles. In 2013, our researchers came across posts from May of 2010 made by Moore's brother on a public forum where he claims that his sister may be the face and voice of an in-development Valve title.
He went on to say that she was legally not allowed to say what game it was, but speculated that she might be in Portal 2 (which had previously been announced just a few short months before his earliest posts) as that was being actively developed at the time.
Some further research unearthed that October Moore had had public connections with Valve developers as far back as January of 2010. We reached out to her for comment, but she did not (or could not) respond to our email. Despite our best efforts, we couldn't find out what the project was and the decision came to archive the research.
What role in Portal 2 was she to take, if Portal was even the game? Tell us your thoughts or theories or help us fill in the gaps if you know more on Cold Case #1.
The latest issue of Retro Gamer magazine features "The Making of Half-Life 2" - an article by Paul Walker-Emig, including interviews from Valve veterans, David Speyrer and Viktor Antonov. The piece includes exclusive screenshots from the game's development and it is a fantastic insight for any Half-Life fan. You can buy the magazine from My Favourite Magazine.
We've been in touch with Paul who has provided us with the original screenshots from the magazine, along with two other unpublished screenshots. We'd like to thank Paul and Retro Gamer for their help.
Screenshot #1 (borealis_full_010000)
The engine room of the famous icebreaker Borealis when it was present in the game. The player is equipped with an ice axe, a cut melee weapon.
Screenshot #2 (Danger Ted)
During the game's development, there was a time when the player was able to glue physics objects together. This gave birth to the "Danger Ted Construction Set". They had the Citizen model based on former Valve artist Ted Backman in the middle of a desert level, and there was nothing but cars, canisters, and other miscellaneous objects. The developers used Backman's body in humorous physics experiments. This map can be found in the leaked WC map pack, inside David Sawyer's folder. David Speyrer uses a cropped version of the screenshot as his profile picture on Steam Community.
Screenshot #3 (d1_town_040062)
The church area in Ravenholm with the early incarnation of Fast Zombies. The background looks different.
Screenshot #4 (seafloor0000)
You may remember this map from the E3 2003 demonstration Coastline. The demo begins near a wreck of a submarine, a railway, and a lighthouse on a dried up seafloor. They appear to be taken from the wasteland themed map with the Depot, as seen in "Danger Ted" above. The player drives the buggy through the docks area from the final game.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive began when Hidden Path Entertainment attempted to port Counter-Strike: Source to consoles until Valve decided to turn it into a full game. The game was internally known as Counter-Strike 1.5 (not to be confused with the beta release of the original mod for Half-Life with the same title) until it was renamed. These images, published by Hidden Path Entertainment artist Mark Forrer, show us the early user interface prototypes and Valve's original ideas for the game.
The game was to have a full character customization system which included selectable character gender, head type, skin tone, eye color, and camo face paint. In addition to that, there were cosmetic items that could be equipped including selectable helmet or hats, clothes for the upper and lower body, and an insignia. The final game features only weapon and glove skin customization. The images also show a split screen mode, the original names for the weapons, early versions of the maps, and unused character artwork. While left unused, some of these menu images were included in the files of the final game.
In 1998, due to the content restrictions in Germany, Half-Life was added to a list of media that is prohibited from being sold. Valve had to create a special censored version of the game in order to release it in the country. You can read and learn more about the censorship on our wiki. According to German news website, Schnittberichte, 19 years after the game's release, Germany removed Half-Life from their list. This means Valve is now allowed to release the uncensored version of the game on their platform, Steam.
We recently discovered that we have screenshots of unpublished Counter-Strike: Global Offensive map, Balkan, in our archives. We previously posted images of a car model from the map on our social media profiles. These images were published by former Hidden Path Entertainment artist Aubrey Pullman in 2014. He recently updated his portfolio with two new screenshots of the map.
Balkan was a remake of Marc Schröder's Vostok, which was originally created for Gearbox Software's incarnation of Counter-Strike: Condition Zero. It was included in the final release of the game by Turtle Rock Studios. It also appears in the Xbox release of Counter-Strike, and in Ritual Entertainment’s Deleted Scenes as Building Recon, a single player mission.
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