I just finished it, you might want to check out the original thread (http://www.halflife2.net/forums/showthread.php?t=23350) for the discussion. It took alot of work and my english skills were heavily tested, but now I'm finally done. Enjoy! :cheers: Visiting Valve By Petter Engelin Translation by CrazyHarij Petter travelled to Seattle, as the only Scandinavian journalist that'd get to play Half-Life 2 and got himself a long conversation with Gabe Newell.. You've probably already rushed to nearest gamestore and picked up our latest issue, and read Petters incredible impression of Half-Life 2 and the meeting with Valves big strong man Gabe Newell. But if we'd compare the articles in the magazine with a medium grilled, well spiced steak, we're now handing you the totally unprepared and naked raw beef. The complete print of Petters interview with Gabe Newell. Without editing or exaggerating. Raw and uncut! I'm meeting a joyful Gabe Newell in the lobby to Valves office complex in Bellevue, right outside Seattle. It's past morning, wednesday and the usual halfwarm rain is showering outside Seattle. The place where the demonstration, my own playtest of Half-Life 2 and the interview will take place is a conference room decorated with various framed cropped magazine pages with Half-Life as the main subject. On the floor around the conference table there are full-scale steel replica's of all the weapons Gordon had in his first adventure. I'm asking Gabe about these which prove to be extremely heavy, he replies that they were made by a fan that made them and mailed them one by one to Valve. "We were very happy", he says. The PR-responsible Doug Lombardi joins the table and the interview starts. I do the only right thing to do and starts with the most asked question by the users at Gamereactor.se: What will be the minimum-specs to be able to play Half-Life 2? "The Source-engine makes it possible to play with relatively old hardware. We're aiming for the game to work flawless on medium-machines with ATI 9600 and 128 megabytes of RAM. More on this once we're closing in on the release and make the engine behind the game even more effective." There has been alot of talk on the system for facial animation, can you describe it a little more? "We've gathered resource results that have been done for an anatomical and medicinal purpose to develope 35 separate muscles in the characters faces to convey emotions. This means eyebrows, chinmuscles, cheekmuscles and forehead moves while the characters in Half-Life 2 talk, something that has made it easy for us to create immersion in the moments we want. Half-Life 2 will contain the same kind of satirical humor the first game had, that's why this has been extra important to us. Our animators have also used lots of filmed sequences that we've made when they have animated the characters in the game, to make all the animations as smooth and believable as possible." Will the system for facial animation be available for the modscene? "Absolutely! Everything will be available to the modscene. We're very well aware of what all the hobby programmers and their mods have meant for the incomparable success the first game had, that's why we think it's very important to create a game engine and tools that will give the audience even bigger possibilities to make their own mods." Will the modscene be able to put Half-Life stuff in Half-Life 2? "Yes, we've put a huge amount of work into to making it easy and smooth to transfer stuff you've made in the Half-Life engine. We've also worked hard on developing the most simple and userfriendly tools without dragging down on the more technical challenging parts that we are certain that many people will want to work with. We will, as a part of E3 have a couple of seminaries for the modscene where we'll offer courses in the tools we've made, everyone is welcome!" What did really happen when you got hacked and the sourcecode for the game was stolen? "We won't go on the technical details on how it exactly happened, but I'll tell you that we've on Valve have never felt as bad as we did after the game was stolen. It was morally hard and of course there were those that didn't want to continue working on the game after this. The creativity basically just gets flushed away from you. We've reworked certain parts of the game and we're aiming on releasing the game during summer." Why did you told us that the game would be released in september last year, we all know that it'd never be possible? "The date was completely wrong, simple as that. We were too optimistic." What were the thoughts during the creation of the sequel to the best game ever, tell us? "The first thing we said was that we wanted to give as much as humanly possible to the audience. Give the gamebuyers exactly what they want and that way show our gratitude to all of those who bought the first game. We've made alot of money on Half-Life, now we've invested those money in Half-Life 2 and have hopefully made a game that our audience will love as much as they did with Half-Life. On the games story and how we wanted Gordons nightmare to continue was pretty much thought out and done after we finished the first game. Our scriptwriter Marc Laidlaw is still, ever since we started the work with Half-Life, having a clear picture of the world he wants to tell us about and Gordon as a character." What were the main parts you wanted to make better when you sat down to discuss the plans for Half-Life 2? "We started the work on Half-Life 2 already at spring 1999 and of course we had tons of stuff we had been forced to leave out of the first game that we wanted to include in our next game. The first thing we wanted to do was to create a more dynamic physics system that the player could interact with in a way that had never been done before. At the time there was only one real physics imitating game, Dreamworks' game Trespasser. This was more of a physics demonstration than a real game and we realised that we would have to wait for better techniques to be able to create the game we wanted. We also wanted to convey different feelings and offer a deeper and more touching story. This together with smart storytelling and lots of heavy action was our goal with HL2, something I today definitely think we've accomplished." What's happened to Gordon since the last time we met him? "It's been more than ten years since the last game and Gordon is today another man than he once was. There is now a relation with the G-Man and there is a major problem Gordon must solve. We won't tell you more than that , risking to spoil the story for those who have waited 5 years for this sequel." But why is Gordon in City-17 and where is the G-Man? "I can't answer that. I can however tell you that the player has to find Gordons friends, establish new contacts and he'll also meet some familiar faces. I cannot tell you more than that. Can you reveal if we'll get to visit any other planets than Earth this time? "Yeah, I guess I can do that (Gabe looks questioning on Doug Lombardi, who nods). Gordon will not leave Earth this time, partly because we don't think it fits into the whole story and partly because we got some heavy critique on the Xen-part in the first game." Who is Alyx and where does she come from? "Alyx's mother was one of the scientists that died on Black Mesa. She is a sort of side kick in the game and will accompany Gordon very often. She is a revolutionary person and she wears a t-shirt with the Black Mesa-logo. " Is Half-Life 2 about revolution, since it looks alot like an opressed Eastern Europe, with the Combine-troopers similarities with the Nazi SS-soldiers and what you said about Alyx? "Both yes and no (laughter). Marc Laidlaw wrote a 1000-pages thick bible on the Half-Life universe after the first game and as I said earlier there is lots and lots to tell." The artificial intelligence was one of Half-Life's strengths, what have you done with this in Half-Life 2? "Smart AI is of course a huge part of the gameplay in Half-Life 2. The enemy soldiers seek for cover, help eachother and act tactical, just like in Half-Life. The allies Gordon will meet during the adventure will react different depending on how the player solve different situations and they will also handle scenarios differently depending on the behaviour of other allies. There may erupt conflicts within the group if Gordon for instance orders three friends to attack a group of 10 Combine-soldiers from the front without any fire support. They may also refuse to do what Gordon tells them to. We've also written certain things in the system for the AI that have never been done before. It'll be extremely interesting to hear the buyer and the press response to this."