Marketing Director for Valve, Doug Lombardi, revealed that the release date of the new episodic content for Half Life 2 has slipped back to May 31st, will take around 7 hours to complete and will cost $19.95.
The interview, which you can read in its entirety here
, covered a lot of issues. Most interestingly, the storyline was discussed with Gabe Newell revealing what the primary focus of the game will be:
“You’re on top of an exploding building, okay, so how do you not all die. It answers a bunch of those questions. It also raises some questions about what the G-Man’s real role is in the Half-Life universe, so there are some surprises there for people.”
The guys from Valve also revealed that Episode 2 was already in development and talked about why digital distribution and episodic content are the future:
“Some of the reason why we are going episodic is our experience in multiplayer. Counter-Strike has arguably been episodically developed over the years. After six years of building Half-Life 2 and watching Counter-Strike parallel from the other side of our office, you know, the light bulb starts going off at some point.”
They described digital distribution as the key to success for both Microsoft and Sony’s new consoles. This was backed up with talk about the huge success of their Day of Defeat free weekend trial and the promise that 1 or 2 titles will be released through Steam every month till the end of the year. Despite all this talk of next generation consoles the Valve boys distanced themselves from console development, revealing their surprise at the massive retail losses that were made on the release of Half Life 2 for the Xbox.
In a rather stinging criticism of rival graphics engines Gabe Newell had this to say about Havok and Aegia amongst others:
“The stuff that is being shown by Nvidia right now, the latencies are too high. Their physics is essentially to make prettier pictures. It’s like you can have a bunch of different things bouncing around so long as they don’t actually touch anything that matters. If you don’t actually have to read the data out – if your AI system ever needed to know about whether or not one of those objects had collided with something else it would run slower by running on the GPU than having it run on the main CPU. So physics that matter is different than physics that makes pretty pictures.”
Annoyed with the delayed release date? Agree with Valve’s analysis of the rival games engines? Let us know your views on this interview over in the forums.