Featured Threads Archive
In today's article, we're going to talk about Barking Dog Studios' contract work for and contributions towards Valve's titles. After the release of the original Half-Life, the Canadian studio soon entered a collaboration with Valve in which they worked on a number of projects including one of the early beta versions of Counter-Strike. To learn more about the company's collaboration, we contacted Barking Dog's co-founder and designer Chris Mair to answer our questions.
Team Fortress Classic
Barking Dog Studios worked on four maps for Valve's port of the popular team-based Quake mod Team Fortress, Team Fortress Classic. Of these levels, three were completed and released.
Mair states that their goal with these maps was to create new game ideas that broke away from the standard 2Fort-style of gameplay. The levels had proved popular in their internal playtests and those with Valve. While they were intended to be...
In a recent email conversation, the former writer of the Half-Life series Marc Laidlaw confirmed that the cancelled Junction Point Studios' Half-Life 2 episode and Arkane Studios' Return to Ravenholm were the same project. According to Laidlaw, Gabe Newell offered the idea to Warren Spector first. When they couldn't do it, it was passed along to Arkane Studios who started again from scratch. Neither of these attempts got far enough to develop a story.
In Half-Life 2, Ravenholm is depicted as a dark and dreary zombie-infested town with a series of claustrophobic streets, teetering buildings, and an oppressive sky. Before the events of the game, it was an old mining settlement inhabited by refugees from City 17 until the Combine discovered and bombarded it with Headcrab Shells. The only survivor of the attack is the pastor of the town's church, Father Grigori, who helps the player throughout the chapter....
Earlier today, Valve added eight new private videos to the taunts playlist on Team Fortress 2's official YouTube channel. Shortly after this discovery, one of our contacts, who wishes to remain anonymous, managed to extract the thumbnails of these videos and sent them to us.
October 9, 2017 -- Valve, creator of Steam and SteamVR, a leading platform for games and virtual reality (VR) applications, today announced the availability of new core components needed by VR hardware manufacturers to deliver best in class VR systems.
Complementing the existing free license for sub-millimeter room-scale tracking and input technology, today's news marks the addition of other critical pieces for developing state-of-the-art VR hardware: an advanced optical system, manufacturing and calibration tools, and the supporting software stack to unify the hardware into an optimal user experience.
"World class VR requires highly precise tracking, matched optics and display technologies, and a software stack that weaves together the interactions between these components," said Jeremy Selan of Valve. "For the first time, we're making all of these technologies available to anyone who wants to build a best in class VR system for the millions of Steam customers...
The Adventures of Dank and Scud was a fan comic series based around the game Quake created by Michael Houston. The sixth and the final issue, "It's a Wonderful Half-Life", featured Valve's Half-Life and was released on November 13, 1998. In the comic, the protagonist duo, Dank and Scud, find themselves back on Earth only to be caught in the middle of an experiment gone terribly wrong. Before the release of Half-Life, Houston was invited to Valve to create an issue based on the game. To commemorate the 20th anniversary, Houston created a new website and added audio commentary to his comics. In the commentary, Houston talks about how he was invited to Valve to work on the comic.
Valve artist Drew Wolf's new website reveals Team Fortress 2's female cast, a Dota 2 cartoon, and concept art for multiple projects. For more information and images, you can click on associated links under project names.
• Team Fortress 2 - Alternate Characters
• Dota 2 - Cartoon
• Dota 2 - The Last Castle (Comic)
• Dota 2 - Heroes
• Dota 2 - Hero Illustrations
• Dota 2 - Items
• Dota 2 - Aegis of Champions
• The Lab - Xortex
• Valve - Character Designs (Artifact)
• Valve - Graphic Illustrations
• Valve - Update Pages
• Untitled Fantasy Game - Characters (may or may not be a Valve project)
• Untitled Fantasy Game - Creatures (same as above)
Team Fortress 2 - Alternate Characters
An internal pitch project aimed to bring female characters to the cast of Team Fortress 2.
I was responsible for story, character development and visual...
Half-Life: C.A.G.E.D., a single-player modification for Half-Life by Future Games Select and former Valve designer Cayle George, is now available on Steam. George worked on games like Team Fortress 2 and Portal 2 at Valve. C.A.G.E.D. is a reimagining of his old map from Project: Quantum Leap, a community project which features 20 maps created by 15 authors. The project was released in June of 2002.
Linux and Mac versions are coming soon.
• Full single-player campaign.
• Unlockable bonus content.
• Music from artist Lazerhawk.
• Developer commentary mode.
In today's article, we're going to talk about the G-Man's possible cut appearance in Half-Life.
In the chapter "We've Got Hostiles", there is a locked security booth at the beginning. Here, a panicked scientist pounds on the window of the booth and screams at the security guard inside to have him open the door to the silo complex, allowing them to escape. Before the guard can react, he's grabbed and killed by a zombie that emerged from an air duct behind him. Shocked, the scientist runs into a nearby laser mine and dies in the explosion. The player must find another way to get inside the booth and open the door.
In this scene, there is an entity manager named "beatglass" to trigger the scripted lines spoken by the scientist. This manager also triggers an entity named "gmanlook", which is not present in the map. The same entity name is used for a scripted sequence performed by the G-Man in another map. It is possible that the G-Man was intended to appear in the booth instead of a...
Half-Life: C.A.G.E.D. is an upcoming single-player modification for Half-Life by Future Games Select and Cayle George Games. It is coming to Steam for free on September 21, 2017.
Cayle George is a designer who worked on games like Team Fortress 2 and Portal 2 at Valve. C.A.G.E.D is a reimagining of his old map from Project: Quantum Leap, a community project which features 20 maps created by 15 authors. The project was released in June of 2002.
Half-Life: C.A.G.E.D. is locked and loaded to release for free on Steam coming September 21st 2017! This Single-Player modification for Half-Life comes from developer Cayle George. Featuring explosive prison-escape action and a soundtrack from outrun music legend Lazerhawk. Half-Life: C.A.G.E.D. is a return to the golden age of First Person...
We recently discovered a series of entities that reveal a cut appearance of Dr. Rosenberg, a scientist character who appears in the Half-Life expansions Blue Shift and Decay, both developed by Gearbox Software.
According to our findings, Rosenberg was to appear along with his friend Harold during Blue Shift's introduction. Harold is another scientist character who reveals to Barney Calhoun the plan he had formed with his colleagues to escape from Black Mesa before dying. He is also briefly mentioned by Rosenberg in Decay.
During the tram ride, the player can see two scientists in a cafeteria alongside the transit system's track. The internal entity names for these characters are "Rosenburg" and "Harold". When the player passes by, Harold walks to Rosenberg's table and initiates a short conversation.
Rosenberg uses a different character model and is completely unrecognizable. In addition, they use generic scientist lines by Harry S. Robins from the original game instead of newly...
The former writer of the Half-Life series, Marc Laidlaw, shared his ideas for Half-Life 2: Episode Three on his personal Twitter account. Laidlaw also revealed the plot for the game on his personal blog this week.
Marc Laidlaw - August 26, 2017 - 08:29 PM
Epistolary (Episode) Afterthoughts: The map is not the territory. A sketch is only a starting point. Everything changes as you try to make it real...
Marc Laidlaw - August 26, 2017 - 08:29 PM
Everyone who works on it will have ideas, and new opportunities will appear and change everything...
Marc Laidlaw - August 26, 2017 - 08:30 PM
But even on a story level, you will find as you get closer that some things just won't work. Would Alex (Alyx)...
The former writer of the Half-Life series, Marc Laidlaw, released Half-Life 2: Episode Three's plot on his personal website. We also included an edited version of the story by Gondile from Reddit.
I hope this letter finds you well. I can hear your complaint already, “Gertie Fremont, we have not heard from you in ages!” Well, if you care to hear excuses, I have plenty, the greatest of them being I’ve been in other dimensions and whatnot, unable to reach you by the usual means. This was the case until eighteen months ago, when I experienced a critical change in my circumstances, and was redeposited on these shores. In the time since, I have been able to think occasionally about how best to describe the intervening years, my years of silence. I do first apologize for the wait, and that done, hasten to finally...
Valve's Tom Giardino was at DevGAMM Seattle Summit 2017 to deliver a talk about Steam, as well as provide helpful insights and advice for developers who are distributing their games through the platform, or planning to do so in the future. The talk covered the replacement of Steam Greenlight, Steam Direct, a new system to publish games on Steam, trading card and gifting changes, Steam Curators update, and new upcoming features.
Here is a compilation of tweets from the conference.
DevGAMM - July 31, 2017 - 10:19 AM
Tom Giardino from Valve is opening a DevGAMM Summit with a keynote on Steam's Business Update.
italicpig - July 31, 2017 - 11:04 AM
Insight into localisation...
In Half-Life, everything is seen through the player's eyes, in first person view. But this wasn't always the case. The game was originally designed with third person cutscenes in mind.
During the development of the game, Valve was torn between using or removing cutscenes. In some cases, they couldn't figure out how to advance the story without them. They didn't have time and resources to do a good job with third person cinematics. These constraints forced them to make everything in first person. This gave the game its own unique identity.
For today's article, we remade one of the cutscenes using the leftover animations from the game. According to Marc Laidlaw, this sequence was to show Gordon Freeman being captured by the military from the view of a security camera. In the next scene, Gordon was to be seen being dragged to a trash compactor by soldiers.
Gordon Freeman gets captured by...
In today's article, we're going to talk about Half-Life's lost feature, glowing textures. In Half-Life version 0.52, a pre-release build dated September 8, 1997, there are special types of textures that glow in the dark. These textures do not require another form of light to be lit up.
This is actually a more complex version of a technology that was present in id Software's Quake, the engine that Half-Life is based on. Unfortunately, this feature is only available in the software mode, which works if you set your computer's color depth to 16 bit from its display settings.
Half-Life uses 256 color images as textures. The last 32 colors, minus the last one, can be used as the glowing parts of the textures. In addition to this, the filenames must have the prefix used for either animated (+0~filename) or switchable textures (+a~filename). While this feature is not available in the final release of the game, the textures still carry the color data used for the glowing parts....
For today's article, we created a list of locations revisited in the Half-Life series.
• Half-Life, Hazard Course (t0a0)
• Half-Life: Opposing Force, We Are Not Alone (of3a2)
• Half-Life: Blue Shift, Hazard Course (ba_hazard1)
• Half-Life: Decay, Hazardous Course (ht02hazard)
The Black Mesa Training Facility.
• Half-Life, Black Mesa Inbound (c0a0)
• Half-Life: Blue Shift, Insecurity (ba_security1)
The Black Mesa Transit System.
• Half-Life, Black Mesa Inbound (c0a0c)
• Half-Life: Opposing Force, Welcome to Black Mesa (of1a4)
The Black Mesa Transit System.
• Half-Life, Black Mesa Inbound (c0a0d)
• Half-Life: Opposing Force, Welcome to Black Mesa (of1a4b)
Valve's Alden Kroll was at Indigo 2017 to talk about Steam and the changes they're working on. The talk covered the business side of Steam as well as some specific features available for game makers. The company wanted to meet developers face to face, answer questions, and hear feedback and suggestions as well.
Here are the slides from the conference.
In today's article, we're going to talk about Half-Life's lost feature, Timeline. In November of 1998, Valve released Half-Life along with Worldcraft, a level editor which was included on the game's disc to allow mod developers make their own custom levels. The same tool was used by the company to build the game. This release also included a guide by Chris Bokitch to help people learn how to use the editor.
In a pre-release version of this guide, dated March of 1998, there is an unusual screenshot of the Object Properties, a menu used for editing entities. In this image, the window has a fourth tab named Timeline, which is not available in any release of the editor.
According to the guide, this feature was created for Half-Life. It was to allow the user to specify an exact period in hours and minutes when the selected entity will be in the level. Like in the Fallout games, you could have a character only appear between selected hours in your map. It is unknown how the game was to...
According to a series of reports on the internet, Technical Illusions, a company formed by former Valve developers Jeri Ellsworth and Rick Johnson, has been shut down. The reports claim that the company's primary source of funding was cut. Left with no other option, the company was forced to shut down and lay off their staff.
Ellsworth was let go from the company in February of 2013 during a "great cleansing" as described by her. She was given permission to take the research that she had done for the company with her. Johnson left the company to join Ellsworth. The duo formed Technical Illusions to continue their research and work on castAR, an Augmented Reality device.
In 2011, a photo of a mysterious Combine Soldier artwork appeared on the internet. The photo was taken by an unknown person when he or she visited Valve's office. Some fans claimed that the image was created for a possible new Half-Life title in development even though it contradicted with style rules set for Half-Life 2 by former company artist Ted Backman.
In reality, it was part of a series of fan images created by artist Manny Llamas, who also worked at the company many years ago. It was placed on walls with other fan creations in the company's office. Llamas published two of these images on his personal website for a short time. The other images were also available on unlisted pages of his website.
The images were done when Llamas was employed at LucasArts Entertainment, so it is possible that he created them to apply for a job at the company the second time. We...
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