If you’re in the world-record setting speedrun business, your job got a little bit harder this weekend. On Saturday, the evil geniuses at SourceRuns posted a new world record speedrun video of Half-Life 2 completed in 1:27:51.09.
Dinosaurs were essentially nature's mechs: big stompy giants with shoulder-mounted missile... wait, no. Just big and stompy. But still cool, making it surprising that we don't see more of them in games and that, the few times they do show up, they've a tendency to be rubbish. So fingers crossed for Jurassic Life, a Half-Life 2 mod that's currently in development and has just released this splendid trailer.
Making your own engine is no frivolous decision for a developer to make. It’s a guaranteed investment of years of your life. Already a year or two into creating Natural Selection 2, Unknown Worlds dropped Source in 2008 and began creating their own technology, a proprietary engine called Spark.
It’s certainly prolonged development of Natural Selection 2, which was announced in October of 2006. But one of the payoffs to this, says Hugh Jeremy, Outreach Manager at the studio, is that Unknown Worlds has produced what he believes is one of the most open and moddable games ever.
“I’m definitely not saying ‘Source is not moddable,’” he says.
“Right, of course. That would be crazy,” I say.
For an engine that feels like it's been around for half of my life, Valve's Half-Life-2-powering Source Engine could be doing a whole hell of a lot worse. Even so, the likes of Portal 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive probably aren't pushing your PC to take up a part-time job as a very large, angular stove top.
Point being, Source is past its prime, and gamers want to see what magical crowbar-rendering tech Valve can pull out of its hat next. According to Chet Faliszek, however, Valve's in no rush to make another big leap any time soon.
Back in 2004, Garry's Mod turned Valve's Source Engine into a toybox. Its intuitive UI, straightforward controls and building tools removed the programming barriers needed to be creative with Source. Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have used the mod to attach rockets to the G-Man's head, build a giant robots or mess around with the physics system. The community has created hundreds of new game modes, mods and machinima using the tools.
Today, developer Garry Newman posts on his his site to announce that Garry's Mod has now sold more than a million copies since its launch on Steam in 2007.
Yesterday, Epic rounded off the two day Unreal University event in London, offering a day of free seminars to students and enthusiasts looking to make new games using the free Unreal Development Kit. We sat down with with technical artist and level designer Alan Willard and Epic's European territory manager, Mike Gamble for a chat about the popularity of the UDK among fledgeling developers, and how it stacks up against popular competitors like Valve's Source SDK. Their verdict: Source is "long in the tooth."