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All Articles: Half-Life 3
Gabe Newell’s Reddit AMA: Valve is working on multiple single-player games and a new game in Half-Life/Portal universe
Gabe Newell, the famed CEO of Valve, answered a ton of questions during a Reddit AMA yesterday. While the developer didn’t want to talk about Half-Life 2: Episode 3/Half-Life 3 (“The number 3 must not be said,” he replied), he was very forthcoming about some of Valve’s other projects.
Newell was a big fan of short answers during his AMA, replying with “Yep” and “Yes” to the questions, “Any chance of a new IP that takes place in the half-life/portal universe?” and “Is Valve still working on any fully-fledged single player games?” Obviously, he didn’t reveal any specific details about these games (or how they connect to the existing Half-Life and Portal universe), but he did confirm that the Half-Life and Portal film adaptations from J.J. Abrams are still in the works.
However, Newell was a bit more verbose with his reply to a fan asking about the future of the Left 4 Dead franchise. The developer said that new technology often drives Valve’s projects and that a team interested in “shared narratives” would be one he’d steer towards a third Left 4 Dead game:
Products are usually the result of an intersection of technology that we think has traction, a group of people who want to work on that, and one of the game properties that feels like a natural playground for that set of technology and design challenges.
When we decided we needed to work on markets, free to play, and user generated content, Team Fortress seemed like the right place to do that. That work ended up informing everything we did in the multiplayer space.
Left 4 Dead is a good place for creating shared narratives.
But if you’ll notice, he never actually said “Yes” or “No” to the question of whether Left 4 Dead 3 is in development.
Newell gave many other interesting answers during his Reddit AMA, and if you’ve got the time, it’s worth it to read through the whole thread. You might even want to do it twice. But I wouldn’t recommend a third time.
Half-Life 3 and Left 4 Dead 3 rumors? By golly, this year’s E3 Expo must be right around the corner.
Minh “Gooseman” Le, the creator of Counter-Strike, recently sat down for an interview with goRGNtv (via NowGamer). In the course of the hour-long interview, Le dropped a pair of bombshells without even realizing it. First, the developer revealed that on a recent visit to Valve, he got a glimpse of some Half-Life 3 concept art:
“I guess I could say that I did see something that could be in the Half-Life universe. I mean it wouldn’t surprise anyone if I said yeah they’re working on it. To go out on a limb, I would say I did see some Half-Life 3 concept art.”
Le brushed the revelation off as “old news” and it’s hard to argue with him. We all know Valve is working on another game in the Half-Life franchise, but until we hear it direct from Gabe Newell, it may as well be as good as vaporware. Much more interesting was Le’s thoughts on Left 4 Dead 3, which remains officially unannounced even though it has appeared on several development documents that were purported to come from within Valve:
“It wouldn’t be any news if I said ‘yes, I saw it’ and it looks great,” said Minh. “I was really excited when I saw that, like ‘wow, this looks great’.”
So Half-Life 3 and Left 4 Dead 3 are in the works. Probably. And we’ll get to hear about them eventually. Maybe. I’m betting an E3 announcement is likely out of the question.
UPDATE: Nevermind, it was all a hoax.
ORIGINAL STORY: Oh boy, here we go again.
After pointedly NOT announcing Half-Life 3 during last week’s flurry of SteamOS/Steam Machines announcements, Valve has gone and applied for a “video game software” trademark for “Half-Life 3” with the Trade Marks and Designs Registration Office of the European Union. The application was filed on September 29 and it’s currently listed as “under examination.” While this doesn’t confirm that a third Half-Life game is in development, it is a good sign that Valve is finally moving forward on a new chapter in their most famous franchise.
On the other hand, a search for “Half-Life 3” through the US Patent and Trademark Office did not return any results.
John Patrick Lowrie is a voice actor who has lent his pipes to many of Valve’s recent games including Half-Life 2, Left 4 Dead, Team Fortress 2, and DOTA 2. He is also married to GLaDOS, or rather, Ellen McLain, the voice actress behind the popular Portal character. Needless to say, Lowrie has a pretty good “in” with the people at Valve. So when he talks about Half-Life 3 development on his blog, specifically, why it’s taking so long, we should listen.
According to Lowrie, the game’s long development cycle is due to Valve’s dislike of the current state of motion capture technology. Basically, the developer wants to do more with mo-cap than is currently possible. Lowrie writes on his blog:
Here is the biggest challenge with bringing out HL3: the big thing now with FPSs is motion capture, or mo-cap. One of the great things about HL2 is that all of the characters that you meet actually look at you when they talk to you no matter where you go or stand. With mo-cap you can’t do that, at least not yet. Once you film the actor doing something and capture that motion, that’s what the character is going to do. This works great in movies, but when you make something interactive it gets way less interactive with mo-cap. So that’s one of the things they’re working on.
But the actor doesn’t stop there. In attempting to clarify his remarks, he reveals that Valve isn’t even currently working on Half-Life 3:
As far as I know they are not developing HL3 now for several reasons, among them the mo-cap issue. Sorry for any confusion. What they might decide in the future depends on lots of different factors. I hope they do, personally, but it has to make sense for them.
I never thought about it before, but “Valve isn’t working on Half-Life 3” is probably the most logical answer to the question, “Why is Half-Life 3 taking so long?”
Valve’s big boss, Gabe Newell, joined Al Gore to deliver a keynote address at yesterday’s Games for Change Festival. In addition to big talk about where games can take society, Newell answered a few queries on where Valve itself plans to go.
Expectedly, Newell was asked about the status of Half-Life 2: Episode 3 and when it would be coming out. Instead of holding up a massive sign reading “When It’s Done,” Newell replied “If you know enough to ask the question, you know enough what the answer is.” A clever quip to be sure, but I still think Newell needs a giant sign with the words “When It’s Done” on it.
Valve’s fearless leader also talked a bit about the Wii U and even hinted that Nintendo’s next system may have a place in future Valve development:
“Wii U seems to be a lot more powerful than the previous generation. It sort of fits better into the scalability in terms of graphics performance and CPU performance, so I think it’ll be a lot easier for us to fit it into our scalability model.”
“We’ve always loved Nintendo. Now it’s a lot easier to look at Wii U and have it fit within that framework.”
So I guess the question is now, “When will Half-Life 2: Episode 3 be released on the Wii U?”