Students took trip to Valve

Discussion in 'Half-Life' started by PvtRyan, May 4, 2004.

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  1. PvtRyan

    PvtRyan Party Escort Bot

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    http://games.telenet.be/specials.php?act=one&rid=174

    The belgium games site games.telenet.be went on a trip to Valve. Too bad this is all in Dutch, I'll translate it later maybe.
    It shows lots of pictures, one of 'em shows a new type of headcrab, looks sweet. They also mention that they were working on the E3 presentation and they were shown it and it was awesome :)
    They were shown some other stuff too, and did an interview with Steam people. The Steam people mention something about the bandwidth being increased in the near future because new exclusive video's are being hosted.

    When asked about the releasedate, all they were told was 'we've got a few weeks left'. Valve is currently finalizing singeplayer maps and tweaking scripted sequences. All content is in. Something good too is that it mentions that Valve is working on high res models (presumably for normal mapping) sweet!

    Like I said, I'll fully translate it maybe sometime later.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] (concept on right, high res model for normal mapping on left)

    EDIT: credits for finding go to pokalapoketl of forum.gamer.nl ;)


    SideEDIT: English version:
    http://games.telenet.be/specials.php?act=one&rid=175
     
  2. TheWart

    TheWart Newbie

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    Awesome!!

    Those prototype game boxes look really cool.

    [Sleuthing]
    In screen number 20, on the whiteboard appears to be dates with goals on them. (Eli's acting, get final breen, etc).

    It goes through 6/3, so the game probably owont go gold before then
     
  3. Vegeta897

    Vegeta897 Banned as all fuck

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    'we've got a few weeks left'?

    D0000000000000000D!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1111five
    A few weeks!?!?!!??!?!?!!?!??!!?!?

    ACK *Dies*
     
  4. Dougy

    Dougy Newbie

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  5. Murray_H

    Murray_H Tank

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    Hmmm interesting....some of the boxs are thicker than the others......

    /me thinks special edition :D :D

    *edit* completely missed the first box, thats gotta hold something pretty special!
     
  6. Letters

    Letters Tank

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    Weeks... weeks is good...
     
  7. pieman

    pieman Newbie

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  8. PvtRyan

    PvtRyan Party Escort Bot

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  9. deathryuu

    deathryuu Newbie

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    when i saw this i came very close to falling out of my chair and having a heart attack...no joke.

    :cheers:

    edit: this calls for some Godsmack to celebrate :D
     
  10. Lobster

    Lobster The Freeman

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  11. PvtRyan

    PvtRyan Party Escort Bot

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    That was my rather *cough*loose*cough* translation, the proper one is "I only have a few weeks left to complete this" which is probably from a designer meeting his deadline. Hopefully that does point out to a release not too far away.

    EDIT: this was something the dutch version didn't mention:

    Deformable terrain? OMG *faints*

    EDIT2: Can a mod edit my first post? It doesn't mention the english version yet.
     
  12. figge

    figge Newbie

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    6/3 DISK... ? =o
     
  13. TheWart

    TheWart Newbie

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    Remember, this was done a about a week ago I would say (as they say "2 weeks until e3" or something similar).

    So hopefully by the end of the month or in the middle of next they can go gold.
     
  14. deathryuu

    deathryuu Newbie

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    omg noooooo....you killed my hype train!!! you know how hard it is to get that thing going again?!

    grr.....*keeps playing godmack anyway*
     
  15. Murray_H

    Murray_H Tank

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  16. ShadowFox

    ShadowFox Newbie

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    Could that 6/3 possibly say "Start distribution"?

    That would be nice.
     
  17. Gorgon

    Gorgon Newbie

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    Nice Pvtryan, Thanks.

    WoW, this is realy coool.

    the headcrab look awsome duuuuuuude.
     
  18. Gorgon

    Gorgon Newbie

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    These T-shirts are they for the Speical Edition HALFLIFE2 BOX.

    i am going to buy the Special Edition
     
  19. deathryuu

    deathryuu Newbie

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    thats what i was thinking....its possible.. :) :imu: :bounce:
     
  20. PvtRyan

    PvtRyan Party Escort Bot

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    Doubt that, the rest of the whiteboard mentions stuff from the game, I see parts that mention Eli and Citadel. And I think the telenet guys would have noticed such a thing.

    Weird combine concept art:
     

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  21. Lobster

    Lobster The Freeman

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    if u look at the whole board, they seem to be stages of ingame scripted sequences
     
  22. DiSTuRbEd

    DiSTuRbEd Newbie

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    /me pets Limelight.
     
  23. DEATH eVADER

    DEATH eVADER Space Core

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    Ahhh, hairy headcrabs!
     
  24. Murray_H

    Murray_H Tank

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    Damn, i ran too fast into this one methinks. The supposed 'T' of the 'Dist' word is not a T at all. Look at the writing about Eli' Acting - the t there is a captial T and capitals are used throughout the board. The letter at the bottom is more than likely a C, and the letter following looks like an R......

    What could it all mean? :rolling:
     
  25. Shuzer

    Shuzer Newbie

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    Headcrabbed combine?
     
  26. figge

    figge Newbie

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    http://elev***.orebro.se/ru0347/figge/hl2.gif

    D Gman Info ?
    D Gman *****y ?
     
  27. Shuzer

    Shuzer Newbie

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    Looks like "intro" instead of "info" to me
     
  28. Lobster

    Lobster The Freeman

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    I think that says Gman Intro, not info..

    Anyway it sounds like there gonna upload the E3 demo straight away this year, cool cool
     
  29. DEATH eVADER

    DEATH eVADER Space Core

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  30. SidewinderX

    SidewinderX Newbie

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    very cool.... also,m edited to include the english thig
     
  31. Orange

    Orange Newbie

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    Wha?????????
    I'm ecstatic but I don't want to buy into it yet.
    Something might come up, never know.

    woo.
    I think the coolest box would be Gordan, Combine, gman top to bottom
     
  32. Gorgon

    Gorgon Newbie

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    IN English:
    Monday was finally there. Yesterday, after months and months of waiting, we arrived in Seattle, Washington. We left our college on Saturday with just over 100 senior students. Of those, 20 were really lucky bastards; they were the winners of 20 precious tickets, which gave them the exclusive rights to visit the offices of Valve Software, the makers of Half-Life and the soon to be Half-Life 2. And I am the lucky lector who can go with them :)

    On the bus, we came up with all sorts of schemes to try to take pictures. Little did we know Gabe Newell was going to tell us we could take pictures all we wanted to! After half an hour, we arrived at an impressive building: "The Bank of America". Valve Software owns a complete floor in this building. While the elevator goes up, so does the tension. Everybody's holding their breath. The doors open. We have arrived. We are in the offices of Valve.

    A friendly young secretary draws our attention. She did not understand why these 20 Belgium guys where taking pictures of the Valve plate at the entrance of the floor. 1 minute later, a jolly guy walks in. Everybody goes mute. There he was, standing 6 feet away from us, with a can of soda in his hand: Gabe Newell. "So, who's your leader", he asked, after which all the students looked at me. "Hi there, I'm Andy :)" I blurted.

    After some formalities we were split up in 2 groups. Gabe sent my group to the marketing dude. There were 10 flashes and we weren't even in yet. Within an hour, all batteries and flash cards would be depleted.

    It immediately became clear that the developers had been given permission to show us everything concerning Half-Life 2. The guy was working on the new E3 movie, to be shown for the first time within about 2 weeks. It was almost finished and he didn't really mind showing what he already got. After we picked up our jaws from the floor he also showed us the new Half-Life 2 website. Through this all, new Half-Life 2 t-shirts were hanging on the wall just waiting for us to get our claws on them.

    Our next stop was with the guy who's responsible for programming the interfaces. He transforms the requirements he gets from within the team into a usable user-interface. To show us his work, he fired up Half-Life 2. There were the flashes again. Half-Life 2 looks astonishing!

    Next stop, the Steam dude. We had already prepared a couple of Steam-related questions about the below-average performance Steam is giving to its European users. A short transcript follows.

    Q: Why is it that the performance of Steam, in Europe, is (how to put this), below average?
    A: Is it really that bad? Ouch. Well, we actually are working on the bandwidth issue in general. Steam will be hosting some exclusive Half-Life 2 footage shortly, so expect this problem to be solved in the very near future.
    Q: Why does it look like all Steam updates are being released on Friday nights? This is a bad thing for lanparties because every gamer has to update his Steam through the internet connection at the lanparty. We don't really think it's a good idea, in general, to be updating in weekends; everybody's playing in the weekend!
    A: We are actually on a Wednesday release schedule at the moment. Sometimes we get behind and don't get to the deadline. We're only two guys doing Steam, but we're working on our schedule. We will be doing the best we can to update sooner.
    We are also working on a new kind of release-scheme for Half-Life 2. It would work like this:
    - a patch is released; all servers will be updated in a very short period after the patch.
    - after this, the clients will be, during a (for instance) 2 weeks timeframe, be updated randomly; the hybrid period.
    - after those 2 weeks the update will become mandatory and every client that hasn't been updated will have to do so then.
    Q: A possible quickfix would be to use caching. Have you ever thought about using the HTTP protocol to distribute Steam updates so users can benefit from their providers' proxies?
    A: Using the HTTP protocol is out of the question, it would mean a complete code-rewrite. Steam also uses its own authentification mechanics which would be quite impossible with the HTTP protocol. BUT, we are working on a distribution system which is aimed at cyber cafes. The owner would download the Steam updates on a distribution server. He can set up his clients so they update through that server instead of an Internet Steam server. This solution could be used at lanparties too.

    I think we asked a few interesting questions about Steam there. You can decide for yourself if your satisfied with the answers. We were satisfied enough to move to the next office.

    This next office had three people working in it; we arrived in the cave of the scripters, the ones responsible for all the animated ingame sequences. They translate the story to ingame videos. They showed us how they came to a complete scene, including storyboard and the likes. All scenes deserve the attention a short film would get, which is quite impressive.

    Next up: the level designers' office. While they were still working on a couple of Half-Life 2 levels, they took some time out for us to show us some of their favourite pieces of imaginary; the "car trap", the "fire trap" and the tool shed :). It was funny and a nice showcase of the physics engine. "Wow, ouch, damn" was about all you could hear during this 5 minute preview. We actually shot some movies there but we don't want to spoil anyone's fun so we're going to keep them for ourselves.

    While walking to the next office we came across a few interesting things. There was the aquarium with a real headcrab in it and there was the "console corner". When asked where the xbox was (there was a playstation2, a gamecube and a dreamcast) Gabe answered "Somebody probably took it home to play a game on his own :)". He did leave proof, there was 1 xbox controller still on the table.

    Our last stop was the office of the 2nd employee of Valve Software. He started at Valve in 1996 as a concept artist. Through experimentation and learning he learned to use several 3D modelling software programs. The result is his title being expanded with the title of "3D modeller". You can take a glance at his concept art in the picture gallery. He showed us how detailed a headcrab looks nowadays. In the 3D modelling program, with bones and without alpha-blending. And it still was impressive :) The detail of the movements is fantastic. He also showed us a rogue female character which he made to do show gymnastics; the man knows his job!

    Our visit to Valve Software ended with a last little word from Gabe after which we entered the same elevator again. While driving back to downtown Seattle, which took about 1 hour, we talked about nothing else but the things we saw at Valve Software. Of course we had asked for a release date but we hadn't been given one. "I only have a few weeks left to complete this" was about the only thing that was mentioned. The day after our visit PCGamer.DE announced a summer release for Half-Life 2; this would confirm what we've heard at Valve.

    Half-Life 2 looks magnificent; the game physics look phenomenal. As an example there was this chasing scene with a helicopter in an empty water reservoir. The bullets rippled the ample water still in the reservoir around your character. After a while the helicopter started shooting rockets, debris everywhere! The deformability of the terrain is massive! Half-Life 2 comes (for selected graphics cards) with high-res textures, which will make this seem even more beautiful.

    The code theft wasn't the reason behind the delay of the Half-Life 2 release, as shown in the PCGamer.DE interview with Gabe Newell. The engine is finished; as good as all monsters have been created. They are actually still working on some scripted ingame sequences, fine-tuning some single players maps (as is expected, we only want the best :) and creating some highres models. We're pretty confident they'll make the summer release.

    A great thank you goes out to Seauton, Rik (my colleague and founder of the mctgoesusa project) and ofcourse Valve Software for making this an unforgettable day for all of us. This will be the story we tell to our grandchildren when Valve releases yet another big game.
    You can read the complete diary of the mctgoesusa travel to Seattle at the website of WTV. It’s in Dutch, sorry about that :)

    http://games.telenet.be/specials.php?act=one&rid=175
     
  33. MultiVaC

    MultiVaC Tank

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    It looks like the board says "6/3 - Start disco"
     
  34. Lobster

    Lobster The Freeman

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    Book? there all game boxes, the one at the very end was the very first release box of Half-life, before they slapped PC Gamer all over it lol.
     
  35. figge

    figge Newbie

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    Now i know what the board says (i don't really know, but i thinks that it looks like:)


    DATE?# ACTION #TIMEUNIT/FRAMES/ORSOMETHING
    4/15 BLANK (ERASED?) 15
    Etc...
     
  36. Murray_H

    Murray_H Tank

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  37. Lobster

    Lobster The Freeman

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    Lol i wouldnt analyse the board to much, there sequence timelines, u might spoil some essential plot ! lol
     
  38. Scunna

    Scunna Newbie

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    Heres the whole article

    Monday was the finally so far. After a lot of months exciting watches we are gotten by yesterday in Seattle, Washinghton. With something more than 100 last one years students MCT its we Saturday from the PIH left. Only 20 of these 100 students have yet neat something more luck of then their colleagues. They may namely entire excluding to the pantries of Valve Software, the makers of Half-Life and the soon to be Half-Life 2. And natural am I one of the happy companions that also with may:)

    After a busrit where in abundance plan were forged photographs can take come we at by an impressive building: "The Bank or America”. Valve Software has broaden here a complete to disposition. While the elevator to above zooms, is the tension to cut. If the door of the elevator opens, holds everybody its breath in. This is it. This are the offices of Valve.

    At the stretch a kind young lady that us pleasantly greet enter. She understood not about which that 20 Belgians that so enormous enthousiastic photographs took of the plate at the door. After 1 minute came there suddenly a pleasant fellow binnengewandeld and became it just quiet as a mouse. Gabe Newell stood there, 2 meters for us, with a can soda in the hand. "So, who's your leader" on which all students looked at me. "Hi there, I' m Andy :)".

    After a small exchange of formalities, we were split up in 2 groups. Gabe brought one half of us to the marketing dude of Valve. Gabe had us yet told that we photographs might make so much we wanted. Yet but just we were within or there had already 4 flashes him dazzles. This effect would have each next performance on us.

    Immediately became clear that Gabe permission had given us everything to let see. With everything, we mean naturally everything over Half-Life 2! The man was film busy at the new E3 in Premiere; it was almost finished and he did object not to the us justing let see. After we the room mopped had got we also the brand-new Half-Life 2 website to see. Meanwhile we were dazzled also a little bit by the prototype HL2 T-shirts that hung at the wall: -)

    Our next stopper was at the fellow that responsibly is for the making of the interfaces. He set all requirements that he gets from in the team round in a workable user-interface. He wanted to see doodleuk Half-Life 2 on us these to let! There the cameras went them to me again: -)

    Next stop, the Steam dude. Naturally must we here a few ask discharge over it not so performante Steam that we in Europe to see get.

    Q: About which is the performance of Steam in Europe only zozo? A: Is that as? Well, our tie width in Europe indeed must become expanded. We are here on this moment with busy. Steam will namely very shortly a number exclusive HL2 video’s baled through which we everywhere our tie width must upgraden. Q: About which resemble the Steam releases always friday night out to come? This is nefast for lanparties. In any case this has not been see plays according to us the ideal day Steam updates to do almost everybody friday night well just. A: On this moment, we do actual Steam updates on wednesday evening (thursday morning thus in Europe, 9hr times difference). These walk indeed sometimes from to Thursday. We are with 2 programmers for Steam. We remove us best the releases more on time to bring. For HL2 is it the intention that we to a new kind of release plan change., . It will there on come down that the servers firstly become upgedate via an automatic update trial and that then the clients within 2 weeks after the release all plain fizzy drink to that be brought instead of all tezelfdertijd. After that two weeks becomes the patch obliged and everybody that then not yet has upgedate (very little men in a normal scenario) must then yet even updaten. Q: A solution for the present problem of updaten would be able to be caching. Is about it already on thought possible the HTTP protocol to use Steam users so the possibilities of a cache of to offer? A: It has been excluded the HTTP protocol to use because this a complete rewrite would mean. Also we use something surplus authenticatie with Steam the HTTP protocol to use. Self are we however busy with software that intended is for cybercafés. The uitbater would have to download serve unique the Steam update on a distribution. He can its clients then so start that they updaten via that serve instead of via our Steam servers. This principle is going natural perfectly by to lanparties.

    I think that we here surely a number ask have can fire that about everybody in Europe self puts over Steam. You may self constitute how satisfied you are with the answer, we were in every case satisfied enough to the following desk to walk.

    3 men sat was there in the following desk, that thus also a to pieces larger then the previous. We were arrived in the hole of the men responsibly for the scripted sequences in the game, the visualisatie of the story thus. They let us see how they till a complete scene came and how this were worked out. Each scene earns the attention of a short film what actual well impressive is.

    Next stopper: the level designers! Yet in abundance busy with the further works at a few Half-Life 2 levels showed they us a few of theirs 's favorite to pieces; the "cartrap", the "firetrap" and the toolshed. Funny én it showed also at the same time the physics of the game; "wow, ouch, damn" were used about the only words during this short show. There its films of but we made want nobody its gameplezier spoilen, consequently we hold that for us self.

    During the walking to the following desk came we yet a number of interesting things against below which the consolecorner., . When I already laughing at Gabe early where the Xbox was (there was a GameCube, PLAYSTATION2 and a DreamCast only no Xbox) said he that someone that probably with to house had taken: -) There lay them to me indeed yet 1 Xbox controller next to the TV. Also an aquarium with a échte headcrab was not missing.

    Our last one stopper was at the second employee of Valve Software; since 1996 works he it as draft artist. Meanwhile he has worked in itself also complete in the world of the 3D animatie packages, through which its position extended has with the title of 3D model. Its draft art can you admire between the photographs. He let us just see how detailed a headcrab it these days looks forward. In the 3D package, with the coupon at and without alphablending naturally. The detail of movement is nicely: -) A kind of rogue woman that yet no skin had let he also just turnen; the man know clear where he with busy is!

    The visit at Valve ended back at the same time a word of Gabe after which we with us twenty in the elevator walked still under the impression to outside to walk. During the 1 hour lasting busrit that followed became there over nothing else spoken then Half-Life 2. A release that had we naturally also asked, but that have we not marriage gotten. "A few weeks time I have had been dropped off became yet" it some that by chance. The day after our visit became there on PCGamer. DE said that Half-Life 2 in the summer ready will be; that appears them to me indeed to to knock with what we thus heard them to me have them to me.

    Half-Life 2 sees from it beautifully; the physics of the game its phenomenal; as was on it a helicopter persecutions scene in empty water beak; the bullets flew around the head of the player, the water splashed along all sides; when the helicopter rockets began finished to fire was it totally get. Fragments along all sides: -) Half-Life 2 becomes natural also foresee of highres textures, that this make more attractive will everything yet.

    As meanwhile on that in the PCGamer interview with Gabe Newell was the theft of the source also not the reason of the postponing of the game. The engine of the game is have been made now complete off, all monsters. There is well yet work at scripted ingame sequences, finish of single single player files and the making of highres models. We are there of convinced that the zomerrelease 100% in order want to come.

    Our thanks goes once again from to Seauton, wanted to tell prevent comes out (my colleague and organizer of mctgoesusa) and Valve Software this unforgettable visit possible to make; certainly something later on at our grandchildren to can, as a Valve Software with a megagame! You can read the complete diary of the trip on the website of WTV.
     
  39. Gorgon

    Gorgon Newbie

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    Scuna look four posts up. :D
     
  40. Spiffae

    Spiffae Newbie

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    Whiteboard transcription (as much as i can see)

    here it is.
     

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