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Half-Life 3 Referenced in Source Filmmaker Render Code

Discussion in 'News' started by Omnomnick, Mar 11, 2014.

  1. Omnomnick

    Omnomnick Lead Content Creator Staff Member

    While rummaging through some recently added code for the Source Filmmaker, we have been able to identify a trio of new scripting fragments which appear to directly reference Half-Life 3.

    The fragments, which were added around two months ago in early January 2014, appear as placeholder text written in the Python programming language, and are used to provide examples of possible file locations used internally by Valve for the company's render farms. Think of them as tool tips designed to help a user navigate various complex menus without getting confused. The three code fragments are available for your viewing pleasure below.

    The render farm code itself does not currently function in Source Filmmaker outside of Valve, as the public release of the software does not support render farms. The code fragments themselves are located in the following directory, should you want to check them out for yourself.

    Now, while it would be very easy to get hyped or overly excited for this kind of news, we should reiterate that this code does not actually function or relate to Half-Life 3 itself in any way, unlike code previously found relating to Source 2 and Half-Life 2: Episode Three. Since this code is designed as an example, it is highly unlikely that the reference to "dog_fight" is anything more than a simple call back to the Dog vs. Strider action set piece from Half-Life 2: Episode Two. What is interesting, however, is the notion that Valve are now officially referring to the project internally as part of other software development — in this case, the Source Filmmaker. Whether or not we will ever see any cutscenes or trailers for the game created within the Source Filmmaker is another question entirely.

    Some of you may also have noticed the reference to "sfm1" in the second code fragment. While this could very well be the first sign of a possible replacement or substantially updated version of Source Filmmaker -- in a manner to how "Source" is now officially referred to as "Source 1" -- it is extremely likely that this particular example is simply referencing a file location with multiple instances of folders dedicated specifically to Source Filmmaker content, hence the numerical naming convention.

    While this isn't the largest or most groundbreaking discussion of Half-Life 3 ever undertaken, we felt it was necessary to post the discovery before it was found and possibly blown outlandishly out of proportion by other individuals looking to speed up the inevitable hype train.

    As always, stay tuned to ValveTime and our social media pages for more information regarding any and all of Valve's future projects.

    Attached Files:

  2. Aizawa

    Aizawa Space Core

    always nice to see some new Half-Life 3 news, even if its actually nothing
  3. no, it is no longer easy to get hyped about hl3 news
  4. Zuul

    Zuul Medic

    I've been through 3 girls waiting for this ...not one of them wants to do anything with me now...HL3 ruined my life...so to speak.. ;)
  5. Wellwick

    Wellwick Medic

    More hype for the hype train! Ricochet 2 at next junction
  6. Ruined your life? ruine-Please leave.
  7. DEATH eVADER

    DEATH eVADER Space Core

    This.

    I am so juiced up every time Star Citizen reaches its new stretch goal that it takes up too much of my time. I no longer have time to be concerned with HL3.
  8. bluechirri

    bluechirri Hunter

    What's interesting to me is that the code was added only two months ago, yet still clearly has something named "hl3" in it... obviously there's a lot of code out there containing "hl3" that has nothing to do with Half Life 3, as I think Chet Faliszek pointed out once, but if it was something written recently you'd think they'd try to avoid using that particular combination of symbols for anything not connected to the game, since they know by now that people are going to find it and get excited about it even if it means nothing. The placing of "D:\\sfm\\staging\\game\\hl3_movies\\elements\\sessions\\dog_fight" also might mean that a folder called "hl3_movies" exists somewhere at Valve, which, again, at this point I doubt would be called that unless it actually had something to do with Half Life 3. So while it's definitely not anything to start yelling "HALF LIFE 3 CONFIRMED" over, and I understand the need to caution people against taking it as more than it is, I wouldn't say it necessarily means nothing.

    The real test is going to be whether or not this code gets quietly deleted over the next few days, or if a Valve employee makes a little statement about the code not meaning anything, one of which tends to happen whenever seemingly Half Life 3-related snippets of code are discovered in updates.

    Alternatively, maybe Valve is working on an update to Source Filmmaker that adds official models of characters from franchises other than TF2 - correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the TF2 characters are the only models native to SFM and any other models have to be imported? - and they're remaking the D0G/Strider fight in the program as part of a trailer for that.

    Or there's the third option, which is that because I'm a little sick and not really thinking clearly I might just be talking out of my ass.
  9. Marlamin

    Marlamin Headcrab

  10. Pikminiman

    Pikminiman Assistant Writer

    Not to add fuel to the flame of speculation, but Valve have said before that, with the Dota 2 community anyway, they actually use updates as a means of communicating information, since the community so reliably mines the update data. This and that are two very different things, but I think it'd be neat if Valve rested the official announcement of HL3 on the community discovering something like this, except much more significant.
  11. bluechirri

    bluechirri Hunter

    I dunno, after all these years and all this hype, I can't imagine they'd miss the chance to announce it on stage somewhere and watch everyone dissolve into tears and celebration. If you're sitting on one of the most highly anticipated and downright legendary titles in industry history, announcing it simply by slipping in proof in some random bit of code somewhere seems kind of like wasted potential.

    You could still be on to something, though - by slipping in little bits of code like this here and there, they ensure people are still thinking and talking about the game when they do announce it. It keeps Half Life 3 relevant. I'd actually never heard that they use updates for communication with the Dota 2 community, that's interesting.

    I really just want the Half Life 3 announcement to be something in a form that I can watch years later and reminisce over, haha. Searching out the random forum post where coolweedguy69 identified the code that proved the game's existence wouldn't be the same, especially if I wasn't on said random thread when it happened.
  12. Omnomnick

    Omnomnick Lead Content Creator Staff Member

    I had no knowledge this post existed until about 5 minutes ago when someone showed it to me. I was actually given a hint about the code around two weeks ago, way before this message was posted to Facepunch.
  13. Marlamin

    Marlamin Headcrab

    Why not post it two weeks ago then, it's not major enough to contact Valve about before posting. The timing just seems a tad bit off seeing this has been in the files since January and two separate people manage to find it only 1 week apart months after the code shipped.
  14. Hectic Glenn

    Hectic Glenn Inexperienced Site Director Staff Member

    I actually said to Nick I didn't think this news worthy back 2 weeks ago, since people over hype half life 3 references, I often prefer us to not mention the really minor insignificant stuff.

    But hey it's been posted today, been a quiet'ish news week I guess and Nick has done a good job in suppressing the code's importance to what it really is.... nothing pretty much! Still don't really think it's news worthy but if most people reading this found it interesting then hands up, my mistake for making you wait.
  15. Omnomnick

    Omnomnick Lead Content Creator Staff Member

    I actually spoke to Chris about it the same night, and we agreed it's better for us to post it publicly in order to prevent some spin doctor elsewhere throwing the subject out of proportion without giving context.

    Basically it took me this long to get round to it because I've been busy, and it isn't particularly time sensitive given how long the code has existed for.
  16. LMMJ

    LMMJ Sandvich

    Valve is asking us to work on Half-life 3/episode 3 trailer :)
  17. Skyace65

    Skyace65 Hunter

    What i think is more interesting is that they think it will become powerfull enough to need render farms(possibly from source 2), or that productions will be made big enough that need render farms.

    Please be a sign of the J.J movie being animated...Please be animated...
  18. MuToiD_MaN

    MuToiD_MaN The Freeman

    Hey, even with my crap 10-second source video with no effects I can still recognize that having a render farm would be useful.
  19. SpotEnemyBoats

    SpotEnemyBoats Companion Cube

    It's kind of funny that there was once a time where Valve used "intros" within the engine rather than CGI SFM videos.
  20. Aizawa

    Aizawa Space Core


    Half-Life 3 will be a movie.
  21. Omnomnick

    Omnomnick Lead Content Creator Staff Member

    Please remind me of a time when they used CGI SFM videos instead of an in-game introduction? The only time they've ever broken from it would be the L4D games (which aren't even introductions, they're pre-release trailers), and the final sequence of Portal 2 (which, surprisingly so, also isn't an introduction).
  22. SpotEnemyBoats

    SpotEnemyBoats Companion Cube

    Actually it reminds me that Valve hasn't been using in-game stuff even more, Valve basically has moved to what most developers do now anways. Intros (L4d2's is a different kind of intro), outros and even trailers were done in SFM I think.

    The trailers in recent years have been SFM stuff, where as the HL2 era and before it were all done in Source and Goldsrc. Compare CSGO to the Episodic game trailers.
  23. Aizawa

    Aizawa Space Core

    I dont understand what you are trying to tell us, they use SFM now? And?
  24. SpotEnemyBoats

    SpotEnemyBoats Companion Cube

    Basically they're doing what Squeenix, Blizzard and even Bethesda do now. It's kinda disappointing too, I say to myself "wow, look at those graphics that will never be in this game!" I just want actual gameplay instead of prerendered CGI.
  25. MuToiD_MaN

    MuToiD_MaN The Freeman

    I'm not faulting Valve for using their own movie-making tool for making animations for their games (Meet The videos, trailers, etc.). I'm not even bummed about intros and outros being pre-rendered. Look at Portal 2. Take the warehouse scene in the beginning. They haven't lost their touch for using in-game "cutscenes" for storytelling.
  26. SpotEnemyBoats

    SpotEnemyBoats Companion Cube

    I think it depends, if there is another G-man intro (if HL3 hypothetically actually releases this millennia), will it be SFM based or in-game based? If it's the former I will kinda be disappointed. The beauty of HL1 and HL2 intro/outro was done all in Source/Goldsrc.
  27. Aizawa

    Aizawa Space Core

    .. of course hl3 "cutscenes" will be ingame. TF2 and CSGO are multiplayer and those SFM movies are not in the game itself anyway so what are we discussing here...

    People really bitch about EVERYTHING ...
  28. Lobster

    Lobster The Freeman

    I was extremely disappointed when I discovered that one of the updates to Team Fortress 2 didn't REALLY contain interactive heart surgery like that heinous Meet the Medic "bullshot" had promised me. I wrote several angry letters to Valve demanding an explanation, and all they did was send me a stupid VHS tape.

    On a more serious note: While the trailers and pre-menu videos don't bother me in the slightest, I do kinda see where you're coming from on the Portal 2 ending. The Half-Life series has made a big deal of keeping things interactive in the past, so I understand the fear that they might shift away from that. Personally I don't see it happening though.
  29. Aizawa

    Aizawa Space Core

    one think he could be right though. They could do everything ingame, but a Gman scene could be done in SFM, but those werent interactive anyway, I just hope they do it so that it isnt obvious like in most other games where the pre rendered scenes are 720p which is stupid
  30. Omnomnick

    Omnomnick Lead Content Creator Staff Member

    Let's be honest, playing a Gman scene out as a pre-rendered SFM scene is hardly worth even arguing about. The scene from Episode 2 might as well be SFM anyway, for the sake of efficiency if nothing else.
  31. Lobster

    Lobster The Freeman

    Yeah that kinda thing annoys the hell out of me. The director's cut of Human Revolution springs to mind.
  32. Aizawa

    Aizawa Space Core

    yeeeah or max payne 3 which had millions of cutscenes and the first cutscenes when a new chapter began was always pre rendered and 720p and so long and looked ugly :S
  33. SpotEnemyBoats

    SpotEnemyBoats Companion Cube


    SFM has post processing and lighting effects that wouldn't be possible in real-time, I would prefer the older methods with everything in the game being done in the engine (especially with how it blends well with the rest of the game). At that point we just might as well put every other "cut scene" in pre-rendered CGI because it saves time, right?

    For me, it doesn't bother me that TF2 and other MP games have it because: A) It fits the art style of some of those games. B) Older Source games can only render one dynamic light on screen, so it made perfect sense for TF2 and and DoD to have SFM movies.

    That reminds me of TR2013, and its 720p prerendered intro. The lighting, models and post processing effects looked great but it was held back because of console resolution. I could count the video artifacts.
  34. Pikminiman

    Pikminiman Assistant Writer

    I will say is this: Some of the coolest art styles in the history of gaming sprung out of the fact that nobody had the polygon counts to do anything photorealistic. In other words, a lack of resources inspired game devs to be visually creative in a different way, which is something I really value about stylistically-driven games.

    As for Valve games, I don't mind the use of SFM videos in-game if the scenes weren't meant to be interactive in the first place, but there is still one huge advantage to having cut-scenes render in-game and in-engine: future-proofing. Take video footage of the Gman scene in Episode Two that was captured back in 2007 and compare it to the 1080p+ stuff we have now. As computers have gotten better, our old Half-Life cutscenes have effectively progressed with them. Granted there's a lid on how much new hardware can improve the look of an old cut-scene, it's worth noting that higher resolutions will always look sharper. Food for thought: that ending scene in Portal 2 probably could not have been rendered in-game on a great many computers, but it will also never look any better than it does now.
  35. Schru

    Schru Vortigaunt

    If I remember correctly, the turret opera was created by the animation team who finished their work early. Since it wasn't planned in advance, I think Valve simply didn't have time to implement it as an ‘interactive’ part of the ending.
  36. Pikminiman

    Pikminiman Assistant Writer

    That sounds interesting. Where did you hear that? I'd like to learn more.
  37. kiel

    kiel Sandvich

    If I remember correctly, the turret opera was created by the animation team who finished their work early​
  38. Krynn72

    Krynn72 The Freeman

    If I remember correctly, the turret opera was created by the animation team
  39. Omnomnick

    Omnomnick Lead Content Creator Staff Member

    If I remember correctly, the turrets performed an opera.
  40. Schru

    Schru Vortigaunt

    I'm glad kiel and Krynn came forward to corroborate my recollection, that should do it, then.

    Seriously though, I think I read or heard that it one of the interviews from 2011, but there are so many that it's hard to verify it. I may be wrong about this, but I think it may have been Mr Morasky or Mrs McLain who said something along those lines.

    I'll make another post if I find it.

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