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!
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After over a month of competition, the Meat vs. Match class war started with the Meet Your Match update for Team Fortress 2 back in early July suddenly came to a close earlier this evening. In a 56% to 44% split, the Pyro has beaten out the Heavy to become the first in line to receive the first of a whole new line-up of class themed updates.
The contents of the update and the balance changes set to be made within have yet to be properly be revealed, but new hats, weapons, and abilities are likely all on the table. A small reference linked in the Pyro's victory blog post appears to show Valve have taken notice of an open letter written by the community a while back. The letter, written largely by professional Team Fortress 2 players, outlines a series of major and long-standing concerns regarding inconsistencies and balance problems facing Pyro players. Given the extremely obvious reference to this letter, it would seem Valve has taken this feedback on board, and will begin targeting these issues directly in the upcoming unnamed Pyro update.
It'll probably be some time before we hear anything more out of the TF2 development team, so let's all just sit tight and relax while we wait for more news about everyone's favourite pyromaniac.
After over a week of competition in Seattle and months of build-up, this year's iteration of The International Dota 2 tournament has finally concluded following a 3:1 match-up between Digital Chaos and Wings Gaming at the Main Event. This makes the five Chinese players of Wings Gaming the most recent winners of The Aegis of Champions, taking home a total first place prize of $9,123,681.
Congratulations to the latest winners of The International!
The International is always the most exciting Dota 2 event of the year, and we're already looking forward to the next year of great content and competitions!
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