Neogaf user "CBOAT" (crazy buttocks on a train) recently posted a thread highlighting a confidential PowerPoint presentation from Valve showing off the company's next-gen Source 2 engine using an updated Left 4 Dead 2 prototype. While we regularly don't post about idle speculation or rumours, CBOAT is well known for leaking confidential information to the public, and we believe it is very possible this presentation and the screenshots contained within it are official and are worth consideration.
The first slide, shown above, features an updated version of the the Plantation level from Left 4 Dead 2 and highlights the significant increase in detail possible on the Source 2 engine, with noticeably enhanced foliage, large amounts of high quality destruction, and improved lighting and shadow effects. We have also been sent a high resolution copy of one of the screenshots shown in a separate slide, which you can check out below.
While this slide alone is very interesting, the presentation actually features a total of 20 slides. Unfortunately, 13 of these slides remain obscured from view, so we're not entirely sure what they may be discussing.
However, the other slides we can see discuss the improved technical improvements of the Source 2 engine. The following pair of slides highlight the enhanced lighting and detail shots from a distance, showing the significant improvement in detail over the old Source engine. The next two slides also focus on enhanced detail, showing a comparison between a porch in Left 4 Dead 2 in comparison to the unreleased Source 2 prototype. While Slide 19 appears to feature little more than the Valve logo, a partially obscured Slide 20 does provide some details about the "Redesigned Tools & Workflow" available with Source 2. This slide in particular is certain to get the mapping community excited.
Only the first four lines of the slide are visible, which you can check out in the quotation box below.
While we unfortunately cannot make out the rest of those lines, the mention of a graphic user interface and the improved compiler alone should be enough to excite fans (and enemies) of the Hammer Editor. This isn't quite the reveal of Left 4 Dead 3 or Half-Life 3, but we should stress that this build of Left 4 Dead 2 is most likely simply a test bed for Valve to work on developing additional functionality for their new engine. Regardless, it is certainly interesting to get our first look at Valve's next-generation engine, even if it is widely believed to be three years old. Since the initial leak, sources claim the PowerPoint presentation was actually made in 2011, which means this sneak peak is likely to be far older and less of a good representation than we originally thought. Still, colour us excited.
As always, we'll keep you posted on all the latest Source 2 news as it comes in.