Featured Threads Archive
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...
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...
While Half-Life is still one franchise Valve appears unwilling or unprepared to create an official comic series for, it would seem members of the community are jumping the gun and creating their own. Created by ex-ValveTime staff members Ross Gardner and Michael Pelletier, the recently announced "Half-Life: A Place in the West" takes place in the early few years following the Resonance Cascade and subsequent destruction of Black Mesa, placing it in the relatively unexplored period of time between both Half-Life and Half-Life 2.
The relatively brief synopsis provided on the website homepage describes how the six-part comic series will follow three individuals who are "drawn to a strange, half-destroyed American city called Franklin", meaning that, while the story is set in the same fictional...
In a recent blog post to the Dota 2 website, Valve have laid out their future plans for Dota 2, including revealing the game will be fully updated to the Source 2 engine in early 2015.
While it isn't specifically mentioned by name, the "new" version of Dota 2 is listed as a "major improvement" which will help users quickly create custom game modes, as is currently possible within the work-in-progress version of the Source 2 engine released earlier this year in the form of the "Dota 2 Workshop Tools Alpha". Other than the list of improvements we already know about, such as 64bit support, the blog post is deliberately tight-lipped regarding what other benefits the...
It's almost been a year since Valve predicted a 2015 release of their Steam Controller, and it looks like they're going to hit their mark. Is this the end of Valve Time? (Hint: no)
Speaking with GameSpot today at CES, Origin PC CEO Kevin Wasielewski revealed that we can expect to see Valve's final design of the Steam Controller at GDC this March.
"At GDC, they're going to have more information," Wasielewski said. "That's the official stuff we can say. They came out with the controller, then they got some user feedback, and they had to revamp it;...
Despite not being name dropped once in the previous two posts, the Source 2 engine has taken center stage for the final reveal of the "Dota 2 Reborn Beta".
The post, while not too in-depth regarding specific details, outlines a number of important ways the new engine will benefit Dota 2 players, including more responsive inputs, better system performance, higher quality audio across the entire game (including voice chat), improved rendering using Vulkan (OpenGL), and more realistic physics and cloth systems.
The "Tiled Map System" used for level design within the new Hammer Editor will also provide interesting benefits for players, allowing different players in the same game to use a different map theme (Default, Desert, Snow, etc) without any effect on gameplay. Source 2 also boasts improved...
I understand the demand for the next instalment of the Half-Life series. Not only has it been four years since we last saw Gordon and friends in-game, but it’s been four years since we saw them at all. The rest of Valve’s repertoire has seen comics, full-blown sequels, DLC, frying pans and golf clubs. But whilst that doesn’t strike me as fair for those anxiously awaiting the next chapter, the absence of Episode Three is something I find relieving. Now, I’ve been meaning to write this article for a very, very long time, and the only reason it has been slow in coming is simply that I’m lazy. But this (specifically: “when [in 2007] Valve decided to put their episodic efforts on hold”) rejuvenated my interest in writing the piece, and all the questions I’d wanted to explore regarding the episodic experiment came back to me. So, here I am, fresh from a return to Valve’s alien-ridden...
It's a day earlier than expected, but hardware manufacturer HTC have just announced the "HTC Vive", a virtual reality headset developed in a partnership between HTC and Valve. The headset, shown below, is fully compatible with Valve's SteamVR program and features hand and motion tracking in a 15 feet by 15 feet space through the use of a "base station" and a pair of ergonomic wireless controllers, one held in either hand.
According to the headset's official website, the device features a 90hz refresh rate, a 1200x1080 per eye resolution, 360 degree motion tracking, and a "room scale experience", allowing the user to freely move around while wearing the headset without feeling sick or tired over long periods of time. As usual with...
After several weeks of teasing, we're finally ready to release our next episode of ValveTime Database! In the first of two huge episodes looking at the Borealis, we're examining the past, present, and potential future of this infamous ship from the Half-Life series.
In order to catch the second part of our discussion, don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel and to follow us on Facebook and Twitter. While you wait, check out previous episodes of...
As with the last few designs, the most recent appearance of the Steam Controller has been unearthed from files contained within the latest Steam Client Beta update. The new design, shown below, appears largely similar to the previous iteration and features an analogue stick, four main buttons, and two touch pads.
The most striking change from previous designs is the appearance of a four-point directional guide on the left touch pad. It's not entirely clear just yet how the four-point guide will be used or what it's main purpose is, but we'd imagine the left pad may now be re-configurable to feature as a softer, more diverse alternative to the standard D-Pad by offering more directional input than just the standard four-points of motion.
While it has yet to be...
Rarely are we treated these days with many Half-life 2 mods worth writing home about, however Transmissions: Element 120 is certainly one worth your time if you're looking for a bit of Half-life to play.
The mod is pretty short but you should get a good hour out of it, all in the faithful Half-life 2 aesthetic, with some excellent mapping which has clearly been thought out and strives to mirror Valve's standards. Like Research & Development, Transmissions has it's own quirky gameplay hook in a super gravity gun which essentially gives the player the ability to rocket jump when firing the gravity gun at the ground and jumping. Naturally, the mod's creator, Skokunin has been clever here and expanded this mechanic for use in other puzzles, including the two big combat arena sequences.
The early part of the mod does...
The past week was relatively quiet as far as official news goes, as Valve's development team was taking some much deserved time off in Hawaii for the company's annual break. That said, we still managed to find plenty of Half-Life news to talk about in this week's episode, including brand new details regarding the Black Mesa Multiplayer mode and a record-breaking speedrun of Half-Life 2 completed in a mind blowing 1:31:01!
If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to check out our other video content, to...
One of the longest running controversies for both Valve and Steam is finally dead! As of today, Steam users can contact the "help.steampowered.com" support page to receive full refunds for purchased games and downloadable content; so long as the title was purchased within the past two weeks and has been played for less than two hours. Even if a purchased game or piece of downloadable content falls outside of these parameters, the Steam Refunds page promises Valve will "take a look" regardless. Movies and Gifts are currently not supported by Steam Refunds.
We recently discovered concept art from a space marine-themed Valve game that did not ship. These images were created by Harry Teasley who worked at Valve as an artist and designer until his departure in June of 2002.
The images show the character designs for an alien assassin, a marine with a powered exoskeleton, and other generic human and alien soldiers. One of the images mentions a campaign mode, so it is possible that the game was to feature a single-player mode. The appearance of the characters was to change throughout the campaign based on the player's direction as they gained more experience.
The character designs slightly resemble the space-themed iteration of Team Fortress 2 that was in development around the same time. Harry mentions that he did concept drawing, character design, and texture work for the early versions of Team Fortress 2 on his resume. It should be noted that the alien creatures are wearing what resembles human military gear, something that can also be...
Each week we will be giving away CS:GO Beta keys! This week our competition involves designing taglines for our site, ValveTime.net.
We’re looking to add 3 new taglines to our rotation, with each winning tagline grabbing a beta key for CS:GO. Feel free to poke fun and humour at the Valve Time concept or be informative about ValveTime.net as a hub for all Valve and community news. The choice is yours!
You can enter by posting your tagline in the comments below. We’re also accepting entries via our Facebook & Twitter. You may enter only once on each of our accepted entry methods. Competition closes 6th April at 23:59pm GMT. Good luck!
Update (March 7, 2014):
Even though the AMA never officially ended -- Gabe said he was going away for a bit, and that he would return after more questions had been upvoted -- it's been three full days since the AMA was left hanging, so we're assuming that it's over at this point. As such, click here for the finished, nicely-formatted PDF containing all of the questions that Gabe answered.
Original Story (March 3, 2014):
Earlier today, Gabe Newell made true on his word to hold an "Ask Me Anything" on Reddit if the"Heart of Racing" charity effort reached a donation goal of $500,000. Even if it was...
Hot off the press! Valve has just announced their plans for next week's GDC 2015.
In a press release from Doug Lombardi, he states that Valve will be demonstrating "Steam Machines with the final Steam Controller, new living room devices, and a previously-unannounced SteamVR hardware system."
Click to read the entire press release:
VALVE TO ANNOUNCE NEW HARDWARE PRODUCTS
Leading Entertainment Platform Surpasses 125 Million
February 23, 2015 - Valve will show a family of new Steam devices at next week's Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco, CA. Products being demonstrated at GDC include Steam Machines with the final Steam Controller, new living room devices, and a previously-unannounced SteamVR hardware system.
Developers and publishers interested in experiencing the new SteamVR hardware may request to schedule a GDC demo at http://www.steampowered.com/universe.
GDC 2015 will...
At last year's GDC event, we learned of a mysterious project within Valve known as "Rubikon" and heard talk of Source 2 during a pair of physics programming talks. In celebration of GDC 2015 this week, we think it's time to look back to last year's event and ask the question: "What is Rubikon" while also trying to work out exactly how it relates to Source 2 and the development of Valve's future games, including Left 4 Dead and Half-Life!
If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to check out our previous episodes of ValveTime Spotlight as we're sure you'll find something interesting. Don't forget to...
As part of a press release distributed just moments ago, Valve have officially announced Source 2, the company's next generation video game engine. According to the press release, the engine, like its predecessor, will be free to use for content developers, helping to continue the PC's "dominance as the premiere content authoring platform" thanks to recent announcements regarding Unreal Engine 4 and Unity 5. As expected, Source 2 will focus on increasing creator productivity and user generated content by making it easier than ever. No release date has currently been announced.
As we speculated, a Vulkan-compatible...
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