A Steam news note announces the arrival of an updated version of Valve's software development kit, which grants "support for Mac OS X and Linux to mod developers" and adds "the ability for virtual reality support in your mod." Yes, expect to see a wealth of Oculus Rift mods heading to a Source game near you. Ricochet with Oculus Rift support! The dream lives.
Half Life 2: Episode 2
In this week's Face Off debate, Tyler goes left, then right, then left again to dodge Evan's precisely timed barrage of attacks against traditional boss fights in modern games. Are they an outdated trope which should be reserved for arcade-style experiences? Is there some common ground, where boss fights and modern ideas can coexist?
The spies at ValveTime have unearthed some intel about a Half-Life 2: Episode 4 project that was being developed between Valve and Arkane Studios. An anonymous source provided the site with screenshots and animation tests for the now cancelled project - also known as Return to Ravenholm - showing new textures, locations and a curious new HUD element.
Remember the Slender Man game we mentioned a couple of weeks back? It's a terrifying indie horror based on the spooky Something Awful monster. You had to wander through a dark forest with a pale torch hunting for messages while trying not to look directly at the creature. It's scary as hell.
GOOD NEWS EVERYBODY, a different team are creating a version of Slender Man in Valve's Source engine. Fittingly, it's called Slender Source, and this one will let you avoid a horrifying death with friends. Yaay!
How many protestors would it take to get Half-Life 2: Episode 3 news? Newell: "If they'd like to come out we could find out."
Owen has been talking to Gabe Newell at Gamescom about a recent incident at Valve HQ, where two protesters turned up with cardboard signs asking for more news on Half Life 2: Episode 3. Newell went out to meet the protesters, gave them pizza and soda, and then invited them in for a tour of the studio. They ended up sitting down to test Dota 2 and didn't leave until two days later.
Newell was tight lipped when we asked him about Episode 3. "No, we don’t have anything," he said. "If the the protesters couldn’t get it out of us..."
Then how many protesters would it take to get some Episode 3 news?
"I don’t know," Newell replied, "but if they’d like to come out we could find out."
That sounds like a challenge to us. We also asked Gabe about Origin, EA's disappearing Steam games and Dota 2, a game he's played for 800 hours. You'll find a picture of Gabe Newell with the two protesters below, as seen on Kotaku. Half Life fans, you might need this.
Gabe Newell has said that Valve have moved past the episodic approach to creating games, and onto a "games as a service" model. This is geared towards quickly creating smaller updates for existing games. It's an approach best demonstrated by Team Fortress 2, which has received more than 200 updates since its launch in 2007. But what does this mean Portal 2, and what about Half Life 2: Episode 3?
As if a race against time to unlock Portal 2 early wasn't enough, Valve have been dropping cryptic hints that there's more to come from the ARG. A decrypted morse code message hidden in the latest Steamcast read "it's not over the others have been compromised." Later, a message from the mysterious "Doug" alludes to an Aperture Science Icebreaker Ship. The only one of those we know about is the Borealis. The Borealis was last seen seen at the end of Half Life 2: Episode 2. This is getting very exciting indeed.
Catch up with the latest clues below. We'll be updating this post with the latest info as it arrives.
A spectacular second trailer has been released for Beyond Black Mesa, a live action short film set in the Half Life universe. It's packed full of explosions and tense shoot outs with the Combine, and features the coolest holographic wrist display gadget ever. You'll find the video embedded below.