Featured Threads Archive
It's been a big week for Dota 2 and Half-Life fans, with the most recent Half-Life 3 finding arriving right in the middle of this year's New Bloom 2015 update! With GDC 2015 fast approaching, what does it all mean?
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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...
In this week's Round-Up, we're discussing the reveal of one of Valve's most ambitious projects to date - SteamVR, which will be shown off at GDC 2015 next week! We're also checking out a few recent updates for Dota 2, TF2, and CS:GO!
If you enjoyed this episode, don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel and to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and TwitchTV. Thanks for watching!
After over a decade of designing and shipping t-shirts, hats, and toys for many of Valve's beloved franchises, the company recently revealed they would be shutting down their own merchandise store to focus all eyes on a new partnership with long-time partner WeLoveFine. With their own store now closed, the primary place to get your hands on Valve-themed merchandise will be "www.valvestore.welovefine.com", with WeLoveFine themselves seemingly handling all of the paperwork, assets, and distribution.
Given the increasing popularity of third-party sites like WeLoveFine and a shifting focus towards community-created merchandise, this transition makes a lot of sense both for Valve as a business and for all of us as consumers. WeLoveFine should now be able to focus on providing even more merchandise than ever...
Michael Abrash might be a familiar name to you. For many reasons. Michael has worked at Microsoft, id Software, Microsoft again, then to Intel before eventually getting the job at Valve.
In a move not seen before at Valve, Michael has launched his own blog. In this blog he goes through his career and explains how he came to be working at Valve. It is a fascinating story. He talks in detail about Valve's (lack of) management structure, his early days at Valve and what he's working on now.
Ever since learning about Valve’s developer-only conference Steam Dev Days back in October 2013, the internet has wondered what interesting new revelations might come from the no-press-allowed event. Luckily for those of us not in the developer community, some attendees have been contributing to a slow drip-feed of news via Tweets and attached photos.
Gabe kicked off the event yesterday with a brief welcoming address, in which he stated Valve’s goal of breaking down the bottlenecks that make it difficult for developers to get their games on Steam. Ultimately, the goal is eliminate Steam Greenlight entirely in favor of more direct developer access to the...
Working with the SFM
The source filmmaker (SFM) is a movie-making tool built and used by Valve which was opened to an invitational beta last week. So far we've seen a few comic varients of 'Meet The Heavy' as well as some other good productions. I imagine some of the longer term projects will present some incredible work which we should all look forward to.
The must see video at the end of this article was directed by Jojje, a keen machinima producer who has been making videos for a few years. Although Jojje admits the animations aren't as crisp as he would like, it's incredible to think such a piece can be put together in roughly 20 hours he says. "It was faster than I'd thought", comparing the tool to the old way he made videos.
The teased Autumn sale has begun on the Steam Store, which sees the return of Daily Deals as well as Flash Deals. You all probably know the drill by now: Open Steam, buy games, run out of money.
Today's daily deals include:
- The Walking Dead: 50% Off
- Magic: The Gathering - Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013 - 50% Off
- XCOM: Enemy Unknown - 33% Off
- Darksiders II - 66% Off
- Age of Empires III: Complete Collection - 75% Off
- Terraria - 66% Off
The long awaited Source engine remake of Half-Life is finally due to see its first released on the 14th of September. The Black Mesa website has been replaced with a simple countdown timer with twelve days left on the clock. Clicking a fold at the top right of the page takes one to a copy of Gordon's conformation of employment letter from the original Half-Life manual, but with the signature altered from "LM" to "tb".
Vortigaunts, AKA "alien slaves", make their return as enemies.[/box]
The team leader, Carlos Montero, clarified on the forums that the team are still working hard on Xen and the multiplayer portion of the mod and that this release will be an approximately ten hour campaign spanning Gordon's Black Mesa commute all the way to the Lambda Core.
The full soundtrack has been...
In the third episode of ValveTime Top 5, we outline our Top 5 Unforgettable Narrative Sequences in Valve's game library! Got a personal Top 5 version of this list that differs from ours? We want to hear about it, let us know in the comments below!
All feedback on the this series is welcome, and don't forget to leave your ideas for future episodes in the comments as we might just like your idea and use it as inspiration! If we do pick your idea, we'll also feature you on that episode. Thanks for watching!
Join us in our first ever 60FPS video for the finale of Halloween Week! In our longest Database episode to date, we're spending over 18 minutes analysing the history and design for one of the most famous and well-loved locations in all of the Half-Life series, the zombified town of Ravenholm!
Be sure to check out our previous Halloween Week videos, which include spending A Minute With Left 4 Dead 2 and a review of the infamous Nexon spin-off, Counter-Strike Nexon: Zombies! Don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel, to follow us on...
As Valve fans we've come accustomed to these kind of interviews where much is said but you never really get solid cast answers you might hope from the questions posited. Nonetheless, an hour with Gabe Newell & Erik Johnson is worth listening to, just to get into the mindset of what is happening at Valve.
In episode 1 of Gameslice, Geoff Keighley asks about VR, Hardware, Source 2, Valve VR games & general game development and more.
Listen to episode one here. (Thanks to P.Stone)
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....
In their seemingly never ending efforts to experiment with Team Fortress 2, Valve have today revealed a collaboration with publisher Square Enix for the "Tomb Contest 2014", a new competition allowing the community to create and submit promotional cosmetic items for the upcoming Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris Tomb Raider title.
Now here's something we've been sat on for far too long!
After hitting a seemingly impenetrable barrier, we recently unearthed a number of never-before-seen screenshots showing strangely-detailed levels from Half-Life 2: Episode Four, aka “Return to Ravenholm”, a now long-dead project previously in development by Arkane Studios in collaboration with Valve.
As explained in the Spotlight video above, these new screenshots come to us via the personal portfolio of Robert Wilinski, a Senior Environment Artist at Arkane Studios between 2007 and 2008, who was likely an important component within the “Return to Ravenholm” and...
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...
Not quite as exciting as the Episode 3 concept art from last week but nonetheless interesting to see some old art cropping up online, showing the development stages of Half-life 2.
The art below is by Damarcus Holbrook, a 3D Artist / Concept artist who worked at Valve between 2003-2004, creating props and environments seen within Half-life 2 and Raising the Bar art book. Some of it may be familiar to you, for example the gas tanks and igniters found in Ravenholm, or the playground in Point Insertion.
You can find the full album on his portfolio website and check out a selection below, including the progression of the attic which you encounter in the chase scene near the start of Half-life 2.
We upload a weekly news round up every week. Very occasionally we even post it on the site on time. This is not one of those weeks.
Catch the latest video round up below, and be sure to Subscribe and check out our other videos.
Oh, and what do you think to the new music as featured on the latest news round up? This was created for us by the lovely Vegeta897.
Valve's going to next week's 2013 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, so we've compiled a list of known sessions that some of their developers will be participating in. Their developers Mike Morasky, Michael Abrash, Dirk Gregorious, and more will be covering topics like sound design, virtual reality, and game physics.
March 26Physics for Game Programmers with Dirk Gregorius and other developers from the industry
March 27G.A.N.G. Demo Derby: Sound Design with Mike Morasky and other designers from the industry
As part of our continued celebration of Half-Life 2's 10th Anniversary in November 2014, we're taking a close look at our Top 5 Best Moments from the game and explaining why we enjoy them so much. With so many amazing environments, set pieces, and events spread all throughout Half-Life 2, this really wasn't an easy topic for us to whittle down to just five choices, so take a look and let us know what you think!
Got a personal Top 5 version of this list that differs from ours? Let us know in the comments below! Don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel, to follow us on...
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