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Half-Life: Alyx


Liamness
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So excited for this, haven't really got deep into a game world since Half life 2 and the episodes, and have recently been getting into VR with the quest so this is just perfect timing. So much so I've just ordered a new gaming laptop to play it on.... Oops.

 

Now just to wait till March! I really can't wait to be in city 17 with the immersion VR offers, and the fact it's a similar length to HL2 just makes it even better. 

 

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11 hours ago, matt0 said:

I'll probably only get to play this years in the future when we're a couple of VR hardware and GPU generations down the line and I can just get an old headset for whatever cheap PC setup I have then.

 

Looks like it'll be worth the wait though.

 

Same here unfortunately. 

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Just lazily screengrabbed from reddit but might be of interest.

 

I like this bit:

 

'Alyx was meant to have released with the Index in December of 2018, but the dev cycle took longer than anticipated even with re-use of assets of shelved HL3 attempts (the amount of developed assets, for example, is apparently the highest of any Valve game and twice that of Portal 2.'

 

Sounds like they did a lot of work on HL3 and this game will include some of that work.

 

 

Screen Shot 2019-11-28 at 22.59.53.png

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2 hours ago, James Lyon said:

They're thinking of roping in third party developers to put out Half-Life side games while they work on the main one. Why didn't they think of that ten years ago!?

 

Maybe because once they started getting involved in VR and hardware (2013 was it? Before?) they decided that anything Half Life related was going to be VR to add a fresh take?

 

VR is young and its future difficult to predict.

 

It doesn't sound like they've really been able to plan anything around their new HL direction until much more recently.

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2 hours ago, James Lyon said:

They're thinking of roping in third party developers to put out Half-Life side games while they work on the main one. Why didn't they think of that ten years ago!?

 

Unless I've misread your post, this is exactly what they tried to do, isn’t it? IIRC, Gearbox, Arkane and Junction Point were all working on Half Life 2 spinoffs at one point. 

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9 hours ago, Shook said:

 

Maybe because once they started getting involved in VR and hardware (2013 was it? Before?) they decided that anything Half Life related was going to be VR to add a fresh take?

 

That's fair. I've been extremely sceptical about VR and new Half-Life stuff, but the Alyx trailer is amazing, and it felt incredibly retro to be watching a game trailer and be excited and amazed about how cool what I'm seeing is. It feels like watching the Half-Life trailer.

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4 minutes ago, Broker said:

 

That's fair. I've been extremely sceptical about VR and new Half-Life stuff, but the Alyx trailer is amazing, and it felt incredibly retro to be watching a game trailer and be excited and amazed about how cool what I'm seeing is. It feels like watching the Half-Life trailer.

 

Have you watched the Final Hours clip? Top of page 2 in this thread.

 

The content is interesting but the overall vibe from the devs is really telling. They are/were shitting themselves. It confirms something many of us thought - that Half Life was not a popular conversation at Valve for a very long time due to staff not wanting to touch it with a barge pole. Too much pressure, too much anticipation, too much disappointment, too much of a wait.

 

They wanted to do a VR game. Portal made people too sick. Half Life fitted the bill.

 

They nicked the gloves from counter strike, picked up on player behaviour in HL2 VR test areas.

 

I think the feeling you mention is present because they've found a way to take the series forward organically, without opening a can full of number 3-shaped worms.

 

This is amazing news.

 

If this game turns out well and is warmly received by the small number who'll first play it, then an unimaginably big psychological hurdle (for Valve staff) has been cleared.

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It also feels for the first time in a few years like everyone is talking about VR. Trying to work out how to afford this game, imagining what it will be like.

 

I thought I’d be able to get away without investing in VR this time, and maybe grab a headset when they were cheap to try stuff out, assuming that this wave of VR was never really going to take off. This feels like it might change that trajectory.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Tested guys got an extended hands on and play with all available headsets, including the quest with link.

 

 

Good news is they all work well, and they said it's awesome fun so far! No real spoilers or in game footage other than some stuff on the screen in the background. Looks awesome! 

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 29/11/2019 at 20:33, Shook said:

It confirms something many of us thought - that Half Life was not a popular conversation at Valve for a very long time due to staff not wanting to touch it with a barge pole. Too much pressure, too much anticipation, too much disappointment, too much of a wait.

 

I think your last sentence is all true, but I really can't imagine creatives not wanting to have a bash at it, nerves or no. I've always felt that the main perceived risk — hence its no-show — is commercial, because Valve are still riding high on the reputation of the first two. A disappointing third game could shatter that perception, whereas doing nothing is viable until it's not, and we've yet to reach that point (after 15 years!).

 

But I'd say to look at how Rockstar, Bungie, Naughty Dog and From are all still doing fine despite losing their immaculate reps.

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33 minutes ago, Escaped said:

 

I think your last sentence is all true, but I really can't imagine creatives not wanting to have a bash at it, nerves or no. I've always felt that the main perceived risk — hence its no-show — is commercial, because Valve are still riding high on the reputation of the first two. A disappointing third game could shatter that perception, whereas doing nothing is viable until it's not, and we've yet to reach that point (after 15 years!).

 

But I'd say to look at how Rockstar, Bungie, Naughty Dog and From are all still doing fine despite losing their immaculate reps.

 

I think the creatives did have plenty of bashes at it though (re-used assets are mentioned iirc). I think the bashes gave increasingly diminishing returns as the time, and hence pressure, grew. Add in that Valve were increasingly investing effort in hardware and money-making systems (something the devs you mention don't do) and the picture becomes clearer. 

 

Anyway, here we are. 

 

I just wish this was a  'normal', non-VR release too. 

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59 minutes ago, Escaped said:

But I'd say to look at how Rockstar, Bungie, Naughty Dog and From are all still doing fine despite losing their immaculate reps.

I'll give you Bungie (and even that's debatable), but how have the other three lost their reputations?

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12 hours ago, Shook said:

Add in that Valve were increasingly investing effort in hardware and money-making systems (something the devs you mention don't do) and the picture becomes clearer.

 

Yeah, Steam's a much bigger name than Valve these days. Commercially you'd think that that gives Half-Life 3 a clear run, but is Newell's ego in the way? That's what I've always suspected.

 

12 hours ago, Thor said:

I'll give you Bungie (and even that's debatable), but how have the other three lost their reputations?

 

For the most part they haven't, but on the fringes (such as here) it's hard to find people who still feel they've perfect records. From's a real edge case in fairness, where Dark Souls II, III and Sekiro aren't as widely praised as the other three, but they haven't made a game that many regard as bad in the past ten years.

 

Bungie had fantastic PR in the Halo 2 days, when they talked about their afterwork multiplayer and whatnot. But after Halo 3 they started losing players to apathy.

 

Rockstar had a glorious run on the PS2 with the three GTAs and Manhunt, and most of us had faith when they said they wouldn't number the next GTA until it warranted it. IV was then hamstrung by dated mechanics that persist in V, and for many of us the PS2 games were just a lot more fun.

 

Naughty Dog peaked with Uncharted 2 and The Last of Us, promising just one more sequel for the former and none for the latter. Once again it's quite rare to find someone who thinks they've made a bad game, but there's been some worry about The Last of Us 2 over its violence, and it doesn't have multiplayer (my favourite part).

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I don't know much about how VR has progressed in terms of uptake over the past few years but watching that video above is offputting (save for the game itself). All that equipment! It looks like a lot of bother to me. The preserve of enthusiasts.

 

Top VR tech still looks like something you'd go somewhere to experience rather than have in your home.

 

I just want to play on a console with my mates.

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26 minutes ago, Shook said:

I don't know much about how VR has progressed in terms of uptake over the past few years but watching that video above is offputting (save for the game itself). All that equipment! It looks like a lot of bother to me. The preserve of enthusiasts.

 

Top VR tech still looks like something you'd go somewhere to experience rather than have in your home.

 

I just want to play on a console with my mates.

The Oculus setup is the most home friendly. No need for external cameras/sensors, and built in sound. It's literally the headset, the controllers, and a PC.

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4 hours ago, Shook said:

I don't know much about how VR has progressed in terms of uptake over the past few years but watching that video above is offputting (save for the game itself). All that equipment! It looks like a lot of bother to me. The preserve of enthusiasts.

 

Top VR tech still looks like something you'd go somewhere to experience rather than have in your home.

 

I just want to play on a console with my mates.


I’m glad this game is in Vr.  I think to take the game to a new direction VR is needed.  A flat screen version of this will not be possible or lose at lot in the port (I’m sure a modded may attempt this)

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5 hours ago, Rumspringa said:

 

Things are definitely moving in the right direction, not quite there yet but looks like we'll get there. https://www.engadget.com/2020/01/09/panasonic-vr-glasses/

255469b0-332f-11ea-9bf7-0d9b86524856


While that looks decent, and the screens are nice, it’s currently only 3DoF, and has no inside out or outside in tracking, or hand presence.

 

More akin to an Oculus Go than a Quest. All that proper VR stuff will likely change the look and weight a lot.

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3 hours ago, simms said:


I’m glad this game is in Vr.  I think to take the game to a new direction VR is needed.  A flat screen version of this will not be possible or lose at lot in the port (I’m sure a modded may attempt this)


Yeah I’m sure it’ll be cutting edge and spectacular. No way this is coming to flatscreen. 
 

Just been waiting a long time for a new HL game and can’t see myself investing in what is needed for this. 

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Worth noting that if you have an Oculus Quest the news above means that you can play the original Half Life in VR for free. Just need to sideload Lambda1VR and the requisite files from the steam install of Half Life. Obviously not going to be quite up there techincally with HL: Alyx but tis a lot of fun and more interesting than playing it through on a flat screen again.

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