Episode 2, TF2 & Portal - Expected Summer 2007

Pi Mu Rho

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It's not disappointing to me personally.
 

Mr. Ed

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Episodic content=fail
This is what I was talking about when I said disappointing. It's not fair to write the whole thing off because of the delays, they're going to look at the way they've handled things and come up with methods of solving problems if the gaming industry will allow them the chance. Delayed or not I'm sure they'll sell plenty and I don't believe for a second that anyone is going to not buy the game just because it's late.
 

bbson john

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No matter how long they have delayed the game, surely you will buy the game at last.
 

dogboy73

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They could always cancel the package and sell them individually.
That wouldn't be a bad idea. After all we'll have to download them individually!

Valve have said that EP2, in it's current package, will cost more than EP1 did. So why not release EP2 when it's ready at the same price as EP1? In the mean time they can release Portal & TF2 when they are ready & we can just buy them seperately if we so choose.
 

doomed - uk

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http://www.uploadthis.co.uk/uploads/ZoFreX/timeversusmen.jpg
Thanks for the interesting diagram, ZoFrex. :D

That implies doubling the number of people but splitting them into two teams to work on two projects at the same time would be the best way to work instead of doubling the number of people working on one project.

As a Valve related example, one team works on Episode One and the other on Episode Two. I wonder if they did that...
 
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potatojenkins

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As a Valve related example, one team works on Episode One and the other on Episode Two. I wonder if they did that...
They did.

The team that worked on Episode 1 is now developing Episode 3. The development of Episode 2 was already busy during the development of Episode 1.
 

ZoFreX

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Thanks for the interesting diagram, ZoFrex. :D

That implies doubling the number of people but splitting them into two teams to work on two projects at the same time would be the best way to work instead of doubling the number of people working on one project.

As a Valve related example, one team works on Episode One and the other on Episode Two. I wonder if they did that...
It does imply that. However it's not wholly that simple as there would still need to be communication between those two teams - even though they're making different products, engine updates would affect both teams.

That diagram's from "The Mythical Man-Month" btw, anyone who is doing any kind of software project management should buy it.

theroadtonowhere: what Hypnosos said.
 

pistolero!

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Allright, more time for WoW:BC then.

(If you ever played or waited for a Blizzard game, you will LOVE Valve.)
 

Forceflow

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Sure, sure. I have respect for their quality work, but this pretty much disables the advantage of episodic content. I bet the simultanuous PS3/X360 release is behind this. Screw consoles, I want to play TF2 now.
 
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I'm not disappointed either.

Some of the smarter gamers have always been moaning "Oh my, if only developer X would've taken some more time to get it right.", as they usually want a great game and don't care so much about the release date. What does it matter if the game gets released months later, if the delay means a better game in the end. This is actually a welcome luxury, since publishers more often than not force developers to rush a game to market (EA, anyone? Self-proclaimed dominatrix of maintained release dates, no matter what).

The only thing that you can probably bitch about is that Valve spouts out release dates too early and makes it look as if they're set in stone already and that Valve decided to term new games in the Half-Life series 'episodes', which is a bit of a blunder what with people having rather strong assumptions about this term (i.e. releases come in shorter intervals).


Anyway, ZoFreX, I would've never expected that there would be a moment where someone on halflife2.net mentions The Mythical Man Month. I'm gasping in utter astonishment. It's not just required reading for project managers, it's the inofficial bible for any self-respecting programmer.
 

eklipse14x

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neither am i disappointed. the original CS is still hella popular today. if valve decided to delay that a year or two, who would have given a shit today. its not like i work at valve myself, and seeing that they're doing amazing work anyway, i dont care about any delay. tf2 is going to kick ass no matter what, regardless of 360/ps3/wii's pwning graphics, regardless of the release date.
 

Jintor

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"I'm seeing $30.00 at EB... and $30 on Steam... for HL2."


http://www.steampowered.com/v/index.php?area=package&SubId=36&

Half-Life 2, nothing else with it.. unless you count TLC, $29.95

Half-Life 2, Game of the year edition:
http://www.amazon.com/Electronic-Arts-71608-Half-Life-2/dp/B000AOE14M/sr=8-1/qid=1163337798/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/103-4071011-7609447?ie=UTF8&s=videogames
$35

Not to mention you can pretty much get that at walmart, or whatever other store for $30.
Really? Faaark...

Oh well, no matters. The packs are good value still. :thumbs:
 

TheMastahC

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the original CS is still hella popular today. if valve decided to delay that a year or two, who would have given a shit today.
Original CS was made by Jess Cliffe and Minh Le as a mod for the original Half-Life, before it was bought by Valve and they started working for Valve.
 

gweedodogg69

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Summer of 07!! Good thing I just got WoW to pass the time. And good thing Vista finally came out as well. Sure Vista has had delays but...it's an OS. An OS does a bagillion things. C'mon Valve, stop coding noobish and code like a pro and move it! I was all excited for Episode Two cause of xmas...but pffffffffffffffffffffff. We got dumped on.
 

Ruubie

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Summer of 07!! Good thing I just got WoW to pass the time. And good thing Vista finally came out as well. Sure Vista has had delays but...it's an OS. An OS does a bagillion things. C'mon Valve, stop coding noobish and code like a pro and move it! I was all excited for Episode Two cause of xmas...but pffffffffffffffffffffff. We got dumped on.
You say Valve codes... noobish?! Who the hell are you to say that? And you think all the games Valve made are 'noob'? :|
 

99.vikram

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A good coder includes //OMGWTFHAX j00 sUx somewhere in the code.

That's why Valve is such a noob. :afro:
 

ZoFreX

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A good coder hits their deadlines. This has more to do with what deadlines are set in the first place than speed of coding.
 

Angel_Mapper

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I'm interested to see if Portal will be anything more than just a clever gimmick. Although I don't doubt that the art for the levels will be polished, is there going to be a story or reason behind the game?
 

Atomic_Piggy

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Allright, more time for WoW:BC then.
Yep, many late nights will be spent beyond the dark portal for me. :p

I'm interested to see if Portal will be anything more than just a clever gimmick. Although I don't doubt that the art for the levels will be polished, is there going to be a story or reason behind the game?
It will add to the Half-Life universe, give you headache, and beat the crap out of Prey. :rolling:
 
B

BWMathis

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Reason for delay? Simple... all the cool stuff they're doing requires more work than initially thought. Remember, they originally wanted to have HDR as a part of HL2, but because of the amount of work they were going to have to put into it to get it to the level they wanted, they had to relegate it to a future release.

As for this proving that episodic content fails? Hardly. Episodes coming out every year or two allows them to collect more feedback and tweak future releases. It allows them to provide timely updates to their technology, for free no less, much of which becomes retroactive. Rare is the company that gives you free stuff, and even makes it so your old stuff is improved by new
releases. Even so, they are producing more content faster than almost all of their competitors. They're also laying the groundwork, setting the standard, and taking the risk in episodic gameplay, because none of the "big dogs" are willing to risk money on innovation.

As for all the cool shit coming in Episode 2, Portal, and Team Fortress 2... it's quite impressive and quite a feat to pull off.

New dynamic lighting and shadowing system: A new dynamic lighting and shadow mapping system is being developed for Source, replacing the somewhat limp existing system. It will launch with the various other new Source features with Half-Life 2: Episode Two, expected to be released Q1 2007.

- Dynamic shadows in a map always react dynamically to every light source. (unconfirmed)
- Models can self-shadow and cast shadows onto the world and other objects.
- Dynamic shadows are more unified with static shadows and don't cast through models. (unconfirmed)
- Any object can cast multiple dynamic soft shadows.
- The player's flashlight casts shadows from models and world geometry.

Next-gen renderer: An upgraded rendering path is in development for future Source engine games on Xbox 360. PC and PlayStation 3 development is not confirmed, but extremely likely. No other details are known at this point. Possible features include support for the Shader Model 3.0 (Pixel Shaders) and DirectX 10.

Landscape and flora rendering: Large, open natural environments with heavy foliage, traditionally a weakness for the Source engine, will be supported as of Half-Life 2: Episode Two.

Soft-particle system: During the July 2006 Electronic Arts Summer Showcase press conference, Gabe Newell mentioned that a new soft-particle system will be introduced into the Source Engine in the upcoming title Half-Life 2: Episode Two. It was first demonstrated in the July 19 Team Fortress 2 teaser, which showed a remarkably realistic flamethrower in its closing moments.

Cinematic physics: During the July 2006 Electronic Arts Summer Showcase press conference, it was revealed that former Weta Digital employee Gray Horsfield, special effects destruction lead on The Return of the King and King Kong among other roles, is building a "Cinematic Physics" system for Source. GameSpy described the new system in their conference report:

The idea behind this is to give players the opportunity to experience in-game physics in action on a grander scale. As an example of Cinematic Physics in action, a clip from Half-Life 2: Episode Two was shown of a huge bridge collapsing across a vast ravine.

The system appears to add the following features to Source's physics simulator:

- Deforming objects — before, physics models could not be modified except through animation
- Dynamic crumbling of brush geometry — before, lines of separation had to be specified by the mapper

Cinematic Physics supports a keyframe system, but its exact nature is currently unclear. It could be that an animator creates a largely complete but low-detail sequence which then sees details added by the physics system, or it could be that an animator creates a handful of single-frame states which are then used as motion targets for the ensuing simulation (in a manner not dissimilar to the Endorphin NaturalMotion technology).

Either method results in a drastic reduction of developer input, thus allowing the creation of far more complex scenes than before with the same budget. It is currently unclear both whether or not keyframes are strictly required, and what number are needed to create a scene as complex as the bridge collapse demonstration.

Multiprocessor optimizations: As a part of the Source engine's transition to next-generation consoles, multiprocessor optimizations have been added, resulting in faster processing on PC hardware with dual or quad core systems and the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles. Gabe Newell:

Yes. We definitely think that content needs to move forward. For example, one of the things we're reacting to is the speed at which microprocessors are coming out. So, Intel has very aggressively moved up delivery of desktop processors with four different cores; we'll have support for that in Episode Two, and we'll definitely go back to affect, you know, Episode One or Half-Life 2 or Counter-Strike Source, so they can take advantage of that. We'll definitely try to keep the existing games - especially the multiplayer games - current as technology evolves.

Valve has demonstrated the new multi core optimizations which use a multi-threading style they dub "hybrid threading." A Source multi-threading update and benchmark are expect to be released before Half-Life 2: Episode Two, though a date for either, or the content of the benchmark is currently unknown.
 

Scotsman

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A lot of the ****tards on this board forget that Valve is releasing three goddamn games in one.
 

gweedodogg69

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ok I overreacted to saying "noobish" coding since I myself hate coding because it's so much stuff. Anydangway, Valve I'm sure is making a lot of phat cash so why not invest in a few more employees? You'd think Gabe would know when more help is needed since he used to work for Microsoft which pumps out a lot of software. I think they are investing more time into Steam since I'm always reading "Ohh...this game was added to Steam. And this game was added to Steam" and so on. Gabe...we are your customers. Valve is the only company I haven't pirated something from because I love your games. Vamanos!:bounce:
 

ZoFreX

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I think you missed the part where I pointed out that adding more coders would increase the delay. Who knows, maybe so many people told them to hire more coders that's what they did, causing the delay?
 

lammmbda

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that "episodic release" isnt working so well now is it
they cant justify one year waiting time for an "expansion pack" that has only 4-5 hours of game play..... like HL2-E1

i think they need better management teams :rolleyes:
 

COALslaw

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**** valve. Having to even pay for this crap is one thing but delaying it is yet another. I'm ****ing fed up with those lazy shits.
 
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There's a sweet spot regarding the optimal number of people on a project and it is different for every project. It has a lot to do with the number of communication channels and not just the number of programmers on a project.

Why the heck are you guys fixating on programmers being the problem, anyway? Valve hasn't revealed what has caused the delay and you're chronically second-guessing as to what caused it. Idle speculation is futile.
 

TheMastahC

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**** valve. Having to even pay for this crap is one thing but delaying it is yet another. I'm ****ing fed up with those lazy shits.
The only thing you did there was show everyone how retarded you are.
 

ríomhaire

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**** valve. Having to even pay for this crap is one thing but delaying it is yet another. I'm ****ing fed up with those lazy shits.
  1. Valve are not forcing you to pay for anything
  2. If they game is crap, why buy it?
  3. If you can't wait to be forced to pay for crap hack Valve's computers and steal the game
 
X

xcession

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For god's sakes.

The community has got to be less lenient with Valve. We've shown them infinite patience with the delays on every single title they've done in the last few years, because "at least they aren't EA", but this is becoming more and more of a double standard.

Valve are resting on their laurels, knowing full well that the community will cut them slack with this latest delay. The strong foundation of regular updates and honesty about progress, that they've tried so hard to build, is crumbling and looking more and more like taking advange.

EA may suck, but it doesn't mean Valve don't by posting a few updates, being 'honest' and nervously throwing release dates around with unprofessional abandon.
 
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