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Valve has "good reasons" for Ep 3 delays

Valve has "good reasons" for Ep 3 delays

Valve isn't ready to talk about Half-Life 2: Episode 3 just yet, though hints at new Source Engine features in the future.

Valve founder Gabe Newell has claimed that the studio has very good reasons for not talking about Half-Life 2: Episode 3, much of which is likely to do with enhancing the technology that the Source engine will operate on.

"I get a ton of email every day saying why aren't you talking about Episode 3? And there are very good reasons why we're not talking about Episode 3, which I can't talk about yet, but I will," Newell said to G4.

Although Gabe adamantly refuses to talk about why exactly Half-Life 2: Episode 3 is taking so long to develop given that the episodic model should focus on a smaller game with a faster release, he hints that a major reason for the delays could be new features being added to the Source engine.

"We've been able to take steps forward in the technology. Left 4 Dead couldn't have shipped without Episode 1 and Episode 2, right?" he noted. The Source engine itself has been going since 2004, but Valve has been strapping new features to the original release ever since.

"[Those advances also] put us in a position to be able to do Portal and Team Fortress 2, and all of these products were enabled by moving to these shorter development cycles."

New features is all very well and good of course - but we'd still like to see just a little glimpse of what Valve has got planned for Episode 3. Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

48 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
liratheal 12th June 2009, 12:04 Quote
..Shorter development cycles?

Is Gabe back on the crack?
Javerh 12th June 2009, 12:09 Quote
I'm sure he means shorter development cycles for new features.
p3n 12th June 2009, 12:09 Quote
The TF2 content updates are on a pretty short cycle...

Im all for waiting for EP3 - the 'story' best take more than 3/4 hours this time - a story that changes depending on your actions would let Gabe'y poos off the hook entirely.
GFC 12th June 2009, 12:10 Quote
So basically he's not gonna talk about not talking.. ? Oh well, it's not like i'm a HL fan anyway..
RockVJ 12th June 2009, 12:21 Quote
Have Valve made a switch from waterfall based software development to agile all of a sudden?!
haddow64 12th June 2009, 12:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by RockVJ
Have Valve made a switch from waterfall based software development to agile all of a sudden?!

Thats what I was thinking, with the shorter development cycles. But surely the couldn't have been using waterfall for stuff like half life 2?
BigD79 12th June 2009, 13:06 Quote
I reckon they just forgot about it! Can believe they're still not at that sort of stage yet, i'm dying to find out what happens.
Spreadie 12th June 2009, 13:57 Quote
How about Valve just get their fingers out and release the damned thing?

Do we really need engine tweaks holding up the release? HL2 episodes have never been at the cutting edge from a graphical standpoint, but it hasn't stopped them selling well. Some of us just want the next piece of the story and nuts to an extra bit of bling.

/rant
Ape 12th June 2009, 14:03 Quote
The chatter from the Valve camp is coming thick and fast. This is a good sign.
D3s3rt_F0x 12th June 2009, 14:08 Quote
To be fair there releasing alot more games, alot more quickly than they used to I mean what was the gap between Half-Life and Half-Life 2, I'm more than willing for them to take as long as they need to devleop HL2:EP3 so long as its up to the standard of the previous 2.
DarkLord7854 12th June 2009, 14:39 Quote
Quote:
"[Those advances also] put us in a position to be able to do Portal and Team Fortress 2, and all of these products were enabled by moving to these shorter development cycles."


I think he means "longer" instead of shorter. Typical Valve to say "there's reasons.. but we can't say" so just don't say it and avoid coming off as a prat?
VaLkyR-Assassin 12th June 2009, 14:59 Quote
I had completely forgotten about Episode 3 until I read this. Considering when the last Episode came out, this development for what is a 3rd of a normal game is a bit of a joke. I was quite happy with the way the engine was/is.
chicorasia 12th June 2009, 15:31 Quote
Between the release of Ep 2 and today we've seen major developments of CUDA and the incorporation of PhysX into it - maybe they are taking the extra time to incorporate these changes into the source engine and future-proof it.

Besides, though I haven't played the full version of L4D, i've found the AI Director quite an interesting idea, and there's no reason not to expect Valve to rethink some portions of Ep 3 in order to take full advantage of it.

I don't mind the delay (though I'm dying to know the rest of the story). I'm sure that when it finally comes out, it will be awesome.
DarkLord7854 12th June 2009, 15:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by chicorasia
Between the release of Ep 2 and today we've seen major developments of CUDA and the incorporation of PhysX into it - maybe they are taking the extra time to incorporate these changes into the source engine and future-proof it.

Besides, though I haven't played the full version of L4D, i've found the AI Director quite an interesting idea, and there's no reason not to expect Valve to rethink some portions of Ep 3 in order to take full advantage of it.

I don't mind the delay (though I'm dying to know the rest of the story). I'm sure that when it finally comes out, it will be awesome.


Source runs off Havoc physics, I don't see why they would change that as it would really screw things up for mods (like gmod).
steveo_mcg 12th June 2009, 16:12 Quote
Though the AI director could make ep3 more interesting.
CardJoe 12th June 2009, 16:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkLord7854
Source runs off Havoc physics, I don't see why they would change that as it would really screw things up for mods (like gmod).

Only if GMod updates to the latest version of the engine - and it won't. GMod is currently using the version of the Source Engine that shipped with The Orange Box and hasn't even updated to the L4D version. In fact, Garry's said he won't push it to the next version of the engine again because of the hardware requirements - Orange Box version can run on DirectX 7 upwards, but L4D require DirectX 9 or upwards, IIRC. Apparently he doesn't want to lose that portion of the market when he could move on to new projects instead.
Blademrk 12th June 2009, 16:16 Quote
still haven't played through either episode 1 or 2 despite having them on both the 360 and (after the last Steam sale) PC. Haven't finished HL2 either if it comes to that.
aggies11 12th June 2009, 16:40 Quote
"Shorter" is still a relative term for Valve. The 1-2yr release cycle is shorter to the "5-8"yr one they would have been on had they kept up their usual pace. (Valve = slow).

By breaking their "Big game" into smaller chunks, their engine development can hit regular milestones that act as "platforms" for other games/projects. Instead of having to chose between either Source HL2, or wait for Source HL3, you get a period set of in between choices that while not as advanced, happen much more regularly and are thus flexible.

Even more focused "engine" people like Epic, still usually require a software release (game) to "cement" each iteration of their engine tech. (See the issues companies had with Unreal Engine 3 and having to "wait" until Gears of War came out so that it was "done").

The irony of Valve switching to "Shorter" release cycles, is that it merely brings them in line with other developers "regular" schedules. So to the actual consumers/gamers, we get these games no real faster then most other titles anyhow.
DarkLord7854 12th June 2009, 16:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by CardJoe
Only if GMod updates to the latest version of the engine - and it won't. GMod is currently using the version of the Source Engine that shipped with The Orange Box and hasn't even updated to the L4D version. In fact, Garry's said he won't push it to the next version of the engine again because of the hardware requirements - Orange Box version can run on DirectX 7 upwards, but L4D require DirectX 9 or upwards, IIRC. Apparently he doesn't want to lose that portion of the market when he could move on to new projects instead.

Was just an example off the top of my head :p


And yea, I read about that, shame, oh well.
Psy-UK 12th June 2009, 19:39 Quote
Source is old tat. Sure, some games look nice but it's horrible to develop for with it's archaic often text-based workflow and is probably one of the factors which causes such slow development within Valve.
Rocket_Knight64 12th June 2009, 20:16 Quote
As much as I'd like to see Ep3, I trust in them that the wait is only going to make it more awesome. I'd imagine this has only come to the fore due to the L4D'2' outrage.

The question I'd like answered is just how much longer can they drag Source out for? As nice as some of it (like AI director), its really starting to get a bit long in the tooth. Most of the current Source games rely on fantastic vision rather then graphics:

http://www.bit-tech.net/blog/2009/02/23/presentation-versus-graphics/

Not a bad thing but having both would be very very nice. :D
Faulk_Wulf 12th June 2009, 21:02 Quote
Really, I think the Episodes took place of the rather cool expansions that showed other characters points of view from the first one.

Half-Life 1, Opposing Force, Blue Shift. (With Team Fortress and Counter-Strike in there too.)

This time though we get:

Half-Life 2, Ep1, Ep2, Ep3. (With Team Fortress 2, Portal)

I would have preferred to see the return of Shepard. Despite G-Man pretty much banishing him forever, I could see him bringing him back in 'desperation'. (Like when the Volg-wtfe's keep Gordon and the G-Man apart.)

And Barney isn't around you 24/7, so it wouldn't be hard to work him into an expansion.

I loved the story from HL2/Ep1-2 so far, but it doesn't mean the alternate perspectives weren't cool.
general22 13th June 2009, 04:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by CardJoe
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkLord7854
Source runs off Havoc physics, I don't see why they would change that as it would really screw things up for mods (like gmod).

Only if GMod updates to the latest version of the engine - and it won't. GMod is currently using the version of the Source Engine that shipped with The Orange Box and hasn't even updated to the L4D version. In fact, Garry's said he won't push it to the next version of the engine again because of the hardware requirements - Orange Box version can run on DirectX 7 upwards, but L4D require DirectX 9 or upwards, IIRC. Apparently he doesn't want to lose that portion of the market when he could move on to new projects instead.

Orange Box version only runs on DX 8 and upwards. Then they dropped DX8 support in the L4D version.
HourBeforeDawn 13th June 2009, 04:46 Quote
Valve is the only company that I dont mind waiting for something because everytime I have I was not dssapointed so I dont mind waiting because I know I will love it when it comes out
ssj12 13th June 2009, 06:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by liratheal
..Shorter development cycles?

Is Gabe back on the crack?

do we have to go over Valve time? shorter development just means not 3 years.
HourBeforeDawn 13th June 2009, 06:52 Quote
its a never ending cycle, people complain when a game is made quickly but the quality is crap and then when people get a quality game they complain it took to long... come on people really... just stop your bitching and be grateful or how about get a few other activities other then just video games to fill your time while you wait for the next game to come out.
knuck 13th June 2009, 08:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by HourBeforeDawn
its a never ending cycle, people complain when a game is made quickly but the quality is crap and then when people get a quality game they complain it took to long... come on people really... just stop your bitching and be grateful or how about get a few other activities other then just video games to fill your time while you wait for the next game to come out.

agreed. However we always have the right to bitch when the game is of sub par quality because we paid for it
liratheal 13th June 2009, 10:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssj12
do we have to go over Valve time? shorter development just means not 3 years.

Touché
DarkLord7854 13th June 2009, 18:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssj12
do we have to go over Valve time? shorter development just means not 3 years.

Actually, it's almost been 2 years, so assuming they announcing something before Christmas, by the time they actually release it, it'll have been 3 years.
knuck 13th June 2009, 21:39 Quote
maybe they'll make a huge announcement this fall and use the buzz to release the game a month later, most probably in november as usual. Maybe they'd rather concentrate on TF3 ? :D
DarkLord7854 13th June 2009, 21:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghys
maybe they'll make a huge announcement this fall and use the buzz to release the game a month later, most probably in november as usual. Maybe they'd rather concentrate on TF3 ? :D

Release a month later?

If they even announce that, it'll get at least 3 delays pushing it back a good 6 to 8 months like it always happens :)
knuck 13th June 2009, 22:05 Quote
don't burst my bubble of hope
FatMikel 13th June 2009, 22:18 Quote
I love Gabe Newell so so much.
WARHAMSTER 13th June 2009, 22:32 Quote
What's Half Life?
EnglishLion 13th June 2009, 22:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by WARHAMSTER
What's Half Life?

"The half-life of a quantity whose value decreases with time is the interval required for the quantity to decay to half of its initial value."

as taken from wikipedia!
knuck 14th June 2009, 00:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkLord7854
http://www.tech-burrow.com/example/ghys.jpg

ROFL

*screenshoted

+rep
bogie170 14th June 2009, 05:12 Quote
How about they update Source to DirectX 10.1 and 11?
HourBeforeDawn 14th June 2009, 05:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by bogie170
How about they update Source to DirectX 10.1 and 11?

they probably will have a new source for DX11
naokaji 14th June 2009, 09:32 Quote
Good reasons for Ep3 delays?

50% of Valve empoyees are busy counting the money made with L4D.
The other 50% are busy thinking of a marketing campaign to justify L4D2.
knuck 14th June 2009, 18:19 Quote
They made way more money with other games they made.
What's with the sudden Valve bashing trend ?
fargo 14th June 2009, 20:56 Quote
gabe is making poor excuses just to address complaints but if you think these complaints will improve the release date forget it. valve works at its own pace no matter what, when your flush with money thats how it is!!
BLC 15th June 2009, 09:36 Quote
They're as bad as Blizzard with StarCraft II (seriously, HOW long has that been in development?!).....

Basically you can have it when they tell you that you can have it...

EDIT: Although both will probably be awesome games that will more than justify the extended time spent in development...
DarkLord7854 15th June 2009, 09:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by BLC
They're as bad as Blizzard with StarCraft II (seriously, HOW long has that been in development?!).....

Basically you can have it when they tell you that you can have it...

EDIT: Although both will probably be awesome games that will more than justify the extended time spent in development...

At least Blizzard let a trickle of constant info out... With Valve, you hear about once in a blue moon if you're lucky
[USRF]Obiwan 15th June 2009, 10:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghys
Quote:
Originally Posted by HourBeforeDawn
its a never ending cycle, people complain when a game is made quickly but the quality is crap and then when people get a quality game they complain it took to long... come on people really... just stop your bitching and be grateful or how about get a few other activities other then just video games to fill your time while you wait for the next game to come out.

agreed. However we always have the right to bitch when the game is of sub par quality because we paid for it

Not agreed. I think that after almost 10 years of source engine. Don't you guys think the 'Valve people' can design map levels blindfolded by now? Besides that, the source engine get bloated with all those extensions. Better design a new and better source engine. ( SE2 ? )

A SE2 sounds more logical to me. Besides that Halve Life always was the one that brought the engine improvements or a new engine HL1 -> HL2.
liratheal 15th June 2009, 10:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by [USRF]Obiwan
Not agreed. I think that after almost 10 years of source engine. Don't you guys think the 'Valve people' can design map levels blindfolded by now? Besides that, the source engine get bloated with all those extensions. Better design a new and better source engine. ( SE2 ? )

A SE2 sounds more logical to me. Besides that Halve Life always was the one that brought the engine improvements or a new engine HL1 -> HL2.

Anyone with access to Hammer and half a brain for route planning can design maps using the source engine these days.

SE2 might be more logical, and overdue, but at this stage? Unlikely.
CardJoe 15th June 2009, 11:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by [USRF]Obiwan
Not agreed. I think that after almost 10 years of source engine. Don't you guys think the 'Valve people' can design map levels blindfolded by now? Besides that, the source engine get bloated with all those extensions. Better design a new and better source engine. ( SE2 ? )

A SE2 sounds more logical to me. Besides that Halve Life always was the one that brought the engine improvements or a new engine HL1 -> HL2.

Somehow I doubt they'd do an entirely new engine just for an Episode (unless they have other, bigger plans for The Orange Box 2). Besides, they've spent ages making portal tech work with the current version and we know that they're going to use it until the end of this year at least (for L4D2), so a new engine is still going to be a year or two off at least IMHO.

Maybe for Half-Life 4.
liratheal 15th June 2009, 11:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by CardJoe
Somehow I doubt they'd do an entirely new engine just for an Episode (unless they have other, bigger plans for The Orange Box 2). Besides, they've spent ages making portal tech work with the current version and we know that they're going to use it until the end of this year at least (for L4D2), so a new engine is still going to be a year or two off at least IMHO.

Maybe for Half-Life 4.

..So 2020?
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