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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...
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We've been in touch with Paul who has provided us with the original screenshots from the magazine, along with two other unpublished screenshots.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...
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 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 based on the map.
At approximately 2:30PM GMT on Monday 6th March our Admin Control Panel was accessed by a user who had gained unauthorised access to an Admin account belonging to one of our members of staff. The unauthorised person logged in with the full username and password of this staff member which we currently believe has been obtained through another breach or security issue which is not related to ValveTime.net.
Once the unauthorised person gained access to the Admin CP, they attempted to lock out existing staff members, and delete content from the forum. After this, they started an automated process to send out emails to a number of our users.
Despite claims by the unauthorised person to the contrary, the user WAS NOT able to gain access to any passwords or create copies of our database. It is not possible to access the database directly from the Admin Control Panel or view user's passwords. All actions taken in the Admin Control Panel are logged and it is clear from reviewing these...
Former ValveTime staff members Ross Gardner and Michael Pelletier finally released the second chapter of their Half-Life fan comic, A Place in the West, as a paid downloadable content for the first chapter on Steam. The second chapter, titled "A Very Modern Major-General", features 50 new pages, and picks up where the first chapter left off. The team is currently working with volunteers to translate the comic to other languages.
Here is a summary of Gabe Newell's AMA, which took place on Reddit's r/The_Gaben on January 17, 2017.
On their new offices
Yes. We move into the new offices on July 22nd.
On Source 2
We are continuing to use Source 2 as our primary game development environment. Aside from moving Dota 2 to the engine recently, we are using it as the foundation of some unannounced products. We would like to have everyone working on games here at Valve to eventually be using the same engine. We also intend to continue to make the Source 2 engine work available to the broad developer community as we go, and to make it available free of charge....
In today's article, we're going to talk about the cut missions from Half-Life: Decay. We have brand new information to reveal thanks to the assistance of several former Gearbox developers. For those of you who may not be familiar with the game, let's begin with a brief overview.
Decay is an add-on included in the PlayStation 2 port of Half-Life which was developed by Gearbox Software and published in November of 2001. Unlike other Half-Life titles, this add-on was designed as a two-player co-operative game. The players take control of Doctors Gina Cross and Colette Green as they assist the science team in halting the alien invasion. They are required to work together to solve puzzles and progress. The game is not a continuous experience, but rather is broken up into a series of separate missions with their own objectives.
In early previews, Decay was announced to feature twelve missions. However, the final game shipped with only nine, not...
While no one from ValveTime.net was able to attend the event this year, that doesn't mean we still can't provide some summaries from Steam Dev Days.
There are no official live streams from the event's speeches and panels, so getting detailed information is difficult. Indeed, a lot of small information has leaked, and we leave you to read about most of those at SteamDB, but we wanted to just briefly cover the meatier bits for now.
The social media platforms have been abuzz with content on #SteamDevDays, and below is a summary of just a sliver of what we've learned from the event.
If we didn't cover something else you are excited about, let us know at @ValveTime or [email protected].
Following the announcement of the Boston Major tournament for Dota 2 earlier this week, Valve have released the Fall 2016 Battle Pass, which acts as both an event Compendium and additional gameplay incentives. For £5.99 / $7.99, the Fall 2016 Battle Pass features many of the same features and item types as the one used to fund The International, only with a smaller level cap and fewer rewards.
Returning features to the Battle Pass include leveling, quests, match wagering, achievements, the community Battle Cup, and event-specific items such as terrain types, taunts, wards, couriers, and cosmetic sets. With only 60 levels available in total, the Fall 2016 Battle Pass features four different treasure types and four courier styles, meaning there'll definitely be a lot...
Former Valve writer Marc Laidlaw recently published several never-before-seen documents from the development of the original Half-Life on his personal website. You can read the documents from the links below.
Marc retired from Valve early this year after working at the company for 18 years. For the past few months, as part of his post-retirement purge, he's been organizing his archives and looking for the occasional piece of information worth saving. Ending up with a stack of 3.5” floppy disks, he bought an external floppy drive and found several Half-Life development documents from 1998 on one of the disks.
While not mentioned on his website, Marc also revealed that, for a time, the last section of the game was to take place inside a gigantic alien organism.
Writing for Half-Life
Created on November 9, 1998.
Created on June 4, 1998 and last...
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...
Although not a conventionally busy week, the past seven days did see Valve crack down on two very different forms of exploitation and cheating! The first involved an update to the way Steam Reviews are managed and filtered, while the second caused over 11,000 users to be banned from Counter-Strike: Global Offensive for hacking!
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UPDATE 1 [09/15/2016]: As of right now, the number of accounts that have been banned has more than doubled since this post was first published; 11,000 have been affected so far. This number is likely to rise even further as more offenders log into their Steam accounts.
ORIGINAL: According to reports, one of the largest VAC ban waves in years has hit. A little more than 4,000 accounts may have been affected.
Graph showing number of bans over the last year - today's spike on very right
That number comes from VAC-Ban.com. To corroborate with that data, a thread on /r/GlobalOffensive references posts from a couple of cheat provider forums. Some posts show staff stating that their hacks have been detected, and others are from users themselves complaining about being VAC'd.
If anything else needs to be said,...
Valve has released an update to the Steam customer review system. Building off of what it released last May, today's update is looking to improve the filtering of recent game reviews.
To be specific, Valve has made two major changes: (1) a new sorting interface has been added, allowing users to fine-tune the types of reviews they see, and (2) a preventative measure to curb review system exploitation has been implemented, targeting reviews from users that obtained the game through Steam product keys (as opposed to direct Steam store purchases).
The new sorting interface isn't especially granular in its options, but it's a great start. You can filter by the review type, purchase type, and the language. By default, only helpful reviews in your target language are shown.
The largest change, the one that is attempting to curb the review system exploitation, is specifically targeting...
After taking a break from Round-Up episodes last week due to a lack of talking points, our weekly news show returns to discuss the lost Half-Life art intended to be used for Steam trading cards; a new update for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive that overhauled crouching animations; and new Warhammer-themed items for Dota 2!
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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...
Despite Valve's 20th anniversary passing us by this week, the company didn't really drop any big news outside of the promised release of Underlord, Dota 2's latest hero. To save us from solely talking about Underlord and the Dark Rift update here on the show, we also released some never-before-seen pre-release documents for Half-Life 1 for Valve's 20th anniversary, which feature insightful details regarding the game's design and ending.
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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...
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