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Old 08-28-2005, 01:13 PM   #1
Varsity
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CGW issue unearths HL2 details

Hey, guess what! I've got more Valve news! Forum members at HL2.net have started to recieve their subscriber copies of Computer Gaming World magazine early, as happens for many mags. They've got a Valve bonanza, and some of it is interesting in the extreme.
  • Lost Coast and DODS 'should be avaliable as you read this'; it is currently less than 2 weeks to the issue's official release.
  • The director commentary in Lost Coast takes the form of in-game cues that you can walk up to an use to hear what the devs have to say.
  • Thirdly and finally for Lost Coast, it does in fact tie in with the story, explaining how Ravenholm became overrun with headcrabs.
  • Aftermath includes new AI for the Rebels and 'collaborative action'.
  • The Hydra, cut from the game since its demo at E3 2003, may well return in future titles.
  • Valve don't intend to deliberately shy away from new IPs - but only expect them in the form of episodes.
  • EA want to take a 'similar approach' to Steam in the near future. Uh oh.
  • Biggie no. 1: Valve want a new HL2 episode every 3 months and a seasonal box set of them for 56kers and philistines.
  • Biggie no. 2: Steam has been completely rearchitectured, and we are all 'running two versions of it': Steam 2.0 and 3.0 alongside each other. Presumably only parts, of course.
  • Biggie no. 3: The second episode, following Aftermath, focuses on vehicles. Aftermath focuses on character interaction, and Alyx is always with the player during it.
Gabe also wants to fight WOW (think Steam IMO, not a game), doesn't think Vista will solve any problems, and finds the 360 a pain because he 'can't rely on a hard drive'.

Infodump...complete. Props to Iced_Eagle for posting it all!

Last edited by Varsity; 08-28-2005 at 03:38 PM..
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Old 08-28-2005, 02:23 PM   #2
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Just read the article this morning. Here's the quote from Newell about Vista and the 360:

"Look, I spoke to some people at Microsoft, and as I said, I can't point to a single feature in Vista that I care about that solves problems for us. At all. And I had the same conversation with the Xbox 360 guys. It's like, Xbox 360 doesn't make my life any better, and in fact, it makes it a lot worse, as you're telling me I can't count on having a hard drive."

C'mon, Microsoft fanboys, tell us why Gabe should actually be happy!

In fairness, Newell slams Sony far worse than he does Microsoft.
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Old 08-28-2005, 02:34 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Varsity
[*]Biggie no. 1: Valve want a new HL2 episode every 3 months and a seasonal box set of them for 56kers and philistines.
Hasn't HL2 been out for almost a year now?
Quote:
[*]Biggie no. 2: Steam has been completely rearchitectured, and Valve are internally running Steam 2.0 and 3.0 alongside each other.
Good. It's a solid idea that needs some serious performance tweaking.
Quote:
Gabe also wants to fight WOW (think Steam IMO, not a game),
Zuh? As in, subscribe to Steam?
Quote:
doesn't think Vista will solve any problems,
What problems was he expecting Vista to solve, exactly.
Quote:
and finds the 360 a pain because he 'can't rely on a hard drive'.
Hahahaha, no shit. HL2 has more loading than a New York City pier. Without a hard drive, they'd probably have to put a game on the loading screen, like the original Ridge Racer
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Old 08-28-2005, 02:39 PM   #4
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Cool

Great bit of news.

Gabe shouldn't worry about the potential non hard drive systems, I think the majority of people that want to play a great new valve title that requires a harddrive will shell out for a HD or have one already.

I remember when Perfect Dark for the N64 came out, I was a fanboy enough to shell out for the memory expansion so I could play more than 4 player MP (or whatever it was), maybe games on the X360 that require the hard drive will have some kind of reduced functionality on core systems (or enhaned functionality on the premium bundle for the "glass-half-full types )
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Old 08-28-2005, 02:41 PM   #5
Klade
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Interesting that he would like to release new content every 3 months. I'd like to own a spaceship but thats not going to happen either ;-). Seriously valve isn't known for making deadlines or producing content quickly. I'm all for new content but I'm not holding out much hope for it arriving quickly.
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Old 08-28-2005, 02:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Zuh? As in, subscribe to Steam?
As in, provide the sort of community features WOW enjoys. I was wrong though - he's actually talking about how the WOW community make the story themselves. It's in a reply to the linked thread.
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Old 08-28-2005, 02:52 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Varsity
As in, provide the sort of community features WOW enjoys. I was wrong though - he's actually talking about how the WOW community make the story themselves. It's in a reply to the linked thread.
Hahahah... ok. I'll just say, as a fairly active member of the WoW community, there's very little story making going on.
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Old 08-28-2005, 02:57 PM   #8
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Hmm, too bad those quarterly episodes won't be free. Still if they're quality, at least 5 to 10 hours at a couple bucks a piece telling an on-going story or whatever I'd be on board with that. As far as the hard drive goes sure most people who know anything will just buy the $400 package, but that's not the audience that makes up the majority of the buisness anymore. If say 70% of the customers in the first six months skip the HDD and in the year after that it drops no lower then 60% how long until it goes the same way as the PS2 drive? Because Microsoft is deemphasizing it as a peripheral, let alone a core component, why will the average consumer buy it or the developer make special use of it? I hope it doesn't work out this way but it's hard to see it becoming much more then a massive memory card.
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Old 08-28-2005, 03:11 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Draft
Zuh? As in, subscribe to Steam?
I think he means them making money by selling episodic content over it. If the delivery service itself costs money, people will simply move elsewhere.
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Old 08-28-2005, 03:13 PM   #10
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Damn, with Lost Coast coming out, it's almost time for me to buy a new videocard.
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Old 08-28-2005, 03:32 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyrano
"Look, I spoke to some people at Microsoft, and as I said, I can't point to a single feature in Vista that I care about that solves problems for us. At all. And I had the same conversation with the Xbox 360 guys. It's like, Xbox 360 doesn't make my life any better, and in fact, it makes it a lot worse, as you're telling me I can't count on having a hard drive."
"So Gabe, what would make you happy?"



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Old 08-28-2005, 03:37 PM   #12
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I've added a few corrections now I've got my hands on the article. Steam 3.0 isn't just running at Valve - it's also taken over some unspecified client duties. EA are also planning a 'similar approach' to Steam 'soon'. Whatever it means, I have a nasty feeling about it.

Last edited by Varsity; 08-29-2005 at 12:45 AM..
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Old 08-28-2005, 03:43 PM   #13
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Well I'm not getting any of the new consoles as I still don't see enough worth for my money, especially since I'm starting University in a month, but I will say this: Newell hates Next - gen. Any format. He will dive on any negativity about it. Everything he has said about it has been negative from the word go. Other dev's have just got on with it.

With regards to the WOW thing, when he was asked about next gen, he was harping on about how WOW was the target/benchmark for games, in terms of polish, hours played no. of users e.t.c. I don't feel like he can relate that game to steam easily.

If there are lots of episodic things on steam for quite cheap that would be fantastic as there will always be a flow of new games! Well I don't know if the HL episodes will be so often, its taken them months for 1 level. HDR you say? It was put into Far Cry by the dev's quickly, but wasn't really cleaned up, its a bit crap in places, but I don't think it would have taken Valve this long. Personally I think they have great art direction but the guys like Newell arren't actually too hot. Regardless of the amount polish, they take just too damn long.

I don't know about Aftermath. The recent trailer looked quite good, but the more I hear..... the "character interaction" was quite irritating in HL2, as you just sit there and listen too acting thats not great enough to be great (like System Shock) and not bad enough to be funny. Those rebel teams just generally got in your way and died too, very irritating as lots of the time you are going into small rooms and hallways and can't run back/out easily as they are there. The vehicles in HL2 were ok, a little crappy though, but my biggest complaint was how long the sections were. Now Valve want to charge for an episode thats mainly based on vehicles? I don't know. They still have time to improve and nothings in stone yet. Guess I'll have to wait and see.
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Old 08-28-2005, 04:10 PM   #14
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Quote:
I don't know about Aftermath. The recent trailer looked quite good, but the more I hear..... the "character interaction" was quite irritating in HL2, as you just sit there and listen too acting thats not great enough to be great (like System Shock) and not bad enough to be funny. Those rebel teams just generally got in your way and died too, very irritating as lots of the time you are going into small rooms and hallways and can't run back/out easily as they are there. The vehicles in HL2 were ok, a little crappy though, but my biggest complaint was how long the sections were. Now Valve want to charge for an episode thats mainly based on vehicles? I don't know. They still have time to improve and nothings in stone yet. Guess I'll have to wait and see.
The whole idea is that Valve take something they (it) reckon(s) could be done better, and focus on improving it. So reading the article, they discuss how having Alyx alongside the players all the time led to all sorts of design issues, and mention how the Rebel AI has had huge improvements.
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Old 08-28-2005, 04:27 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Varsity
I've added a few corrections now I've got my hands on the article. Steam 3.0 isn't just running at Valve - it's also taken over some unsepecified client duties. EA are also planning a 'similar approach' to Steam 'soon'. Whatever it means, I have a nasty feeling about it.
Yeah, here's what they do:

You buy their game, and then you receive a third of it every 2 months. Also, instead of expansion packs, they simply take $20 from your credit card and stream whatever they want to your HD.
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Old 08-28-2005, 05:18 PM   #16
Liquidize105
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So is there an option to turn off HDR lighting in lost coast, did he say? I wouldn't wanna miss it just because my setup isn't bleeding edge.

Gabe Newell = Peta Griffin, say something funny Gabe!
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Old 08-28-2005, 05:29 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Varsity
[*]Aftermath includes new AI for the Rebels and 'collaborative action'.
[/i]
I seem to remember them trying to tout this in the pre-release hype. The AI in half-life 2, on both sides, was pretty dissapointing. The enemies in particular were nowhere near as tough as in Half-Life and the game was only just challenging on the highest difficulty setting. You'd just wait for the combine soldiers to step out from behind their cover. I thought they were going to be based on the PoD_Bots from CS.

The rebel AI was atrocious, if they could get through a door and not stop my grenades from going through and killing the lot of us it was a good thing. In the end I'd just let them run through and get cut to ribbons

Nonetheless, this does certainly warrant a new video card
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Old 08-28-2005, 05:46 PM   #18
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I don't know....I just don't put Valve on a pedestool like I used to. They are like..somewhere in between 3D Realms and Blizzard...closer to 3d Realms, when they used to be closer to Blizzard.

I'm not quite sure what he wants the OS to do to make his life easier....I mean...?
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Old 08-28-2005, 05:48 PM   #19
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HL2 AI? ELL OH ELL.
HL2 Plot? AR OH EFF ELL EM AEY OH

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Old 08-28-2005, 06:06 PM   #20
earthworm48
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Yeah, it only has HDR if your PC supports it.

I hate the way you can't open up a PC games mag nowadays without seeing the writers now being Valve's gimps.
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