Will Half-Life 3 Outlive Public Interest Because of Development Time?

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Will Half-Life 3 Outlive Public Interest Because of Development Time?

We assume Half-Life 3 is in development, but how long is too long to wait? Granted we could get a Team Fortress 2 and forgive delays, or we could get Duke Nukem Forever.

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Half Life 3 would be nice (though I feel as though the theory that it won't be developed until the Source Engine 2 is complete is true, as it would make sense to do so), but can we get Episode 3 already? It was announced already and even got a release date set for 2007. 8 years later still no episode 3. I don't care if it isn't some grand innovation, leave that for the main titles, but can't we just have some sense of closure with the last third of a game we've been waiting almost a decade for?

The idea that Half-Life 3 could genuienly end up like Duke Nukem Forever is a bit disheartening, but those last few paragraphs certainly make it seem like a possibility. Mechanically HL is still fine, but it's not exactly a super special thing to be a well-balanced shooter in the singleplayer department. Then there's the weak story.

I mean, do you want Half-Life 2's story style? Play BioShock, it's got the stronger story.

I'd just be happy with resolving the massive cliff-hanger Episode 2 left on.

I would still like an episode 3 to be made, and I get the impression that whatever they had for it got thrown into the trash. That said, I've been wondering the same thing: when HL3 comes out, will it be a case of too little, too late? I've been under the impression that Valve was waiting to use it as a showcase, too; and just like Yahtzee says I'm not sure there's anything left. Cynically, I'm worried that HL3 will just be used as a way to push sales of the steam boxes and controllers.

Kingdom Hearts III already lost me because it took nearly a decade longer to release than it should have, I'm really hoping half-life doesn't go down the same road.

Half Life 2 Episode 2 was just a bad idea from the start. It's clear they really had no plan with development and were flying by the seat of their pants.

I want to know who at Valve decided to cancel episode 3's development and what was so important at the time.

flying_whimsy:
Kingdom Hearts III already lost me because it took nearly a decade longer to release than it should have, I'm really hoping half-life doesn't go down the same road.

At least they've been making all sorts of other games in the mean time, as opposed to NOTHING.

But if that's the case, why do I always feel like I have to push myself to start the next session? Why do I feel relieved when daylight hits my eyes at the tunnel exit? Surely it can't be because I don't enjoy Ravenholm as a gameplay experience. What nonsense. I love getting lost in cramped, unintuitively laid out buildings and scrabbling around floor textures looking for a carelessly-flung sawblade. OH GOD FINE I admit it. I don't like Ravenholm much.

I've noticed a lot of games I play have "that level." Relevant at the moment is the Gutter in Dark Souls 2. Between the darkness, the constant threat of falling to your death, and the poison spitting statues, that level can fuck right off.

Anyway, if I was to put out my guess, I'd say that if they're ever going to make HL3, it's going to be after they've gotten used to making games for their upcoming Vive VR HMD.

I have a conspiracy theory that a/the creative director for the continuation of Half Life possibly experienced a form of mental breakdown, due to the stresses and criticisms of their work. Whereupon they burnt/destroyed/stole all the remaining script and designs for the series, prompting Valve to headhunt, torture for information of the documents, kill then dispose of said director's body. They use their virtual muscle to erase any evidence of this person, however they still fail to find or salvage any plans of Half Life's intended narrative direction. In fear of messing up the franchise, they lock it down until they can obtain the technology to sift through the dead guy's brain which they keep in an underground cryogenic lab.

Just a theory for now. Or that source 2 idea probably seems more likely

Well valve is big on the virtual reality thing now.
There's your new ground to break.
The design philosophies of "ego shooter" don't quite apply if you can turn your head and have depth perception.
You will notice the gun stapled to your cheek, your lack of body, the floating HUD and how does one even "aim" that way?

These days i find HL1 holds up better than HL2.

This made me wonder, did episodes 2.1 and 2.2 (which I haven't played) break any ground in the sense HL1 & HL2 did? Or where they just re-runs of HL2?

Honestly, my guess is that if nothing is announced when Source 2 and Vive are both just about ready to go or recently on market, it's never gonna happen. As you said, half-life is meant to showcase innovation, and nothing is going to turn heads in the direction of Source 2 and Vive more then the announcement that Half-Life 3(or Episode 3, though it definitely feels like that train has definitely left the station).

So Half Life is a tech demo? No wonder I didn't like it. Of course, it was already aged by the time I played it.

Frankly, I don't really give a shit at this point. Half-life can get a rhythm game for a sequel for all I care. They've taken so long to release it that I don't even care that Eli died. Not anymore, anyway.

Yeah, they will probably release it as the first game for their Vive thing, because that's the only innovation they have at this point. In gaming I mean, if they don't do that then the game better come with a free cure for muscular dystrophy.

I doubt they ever will release Half Life 2 episode 3 or even a Half Life 3 because it doesn't seem like it's gong to ever happen and people should just stop getting their hopes up...

I do think there's new ground to break in shooters. For instance, consequences. In a HL2 demo video, you could knock something over during a "cutscene"-esque part and Kleiner would stop what he was doing and say "careful with that Gordon". Half Life has a rich cast of characters, and in the first game you could control some of their movements, hear a bit from them, and guard them. In HL2, I thought that would be expanded, with a better set of ways of communicating with the other characters, making decisions that affected them, that sort of thing. Instead, when one character does predictable betrayal, you can't even stop them from escaping even though their in perfect gun range.

If games want to be more real, one gulf they have yet to even start crossing is more realistic interaction with the people in the games, ways to talk, influence, learn from and cooperate with. If Valve want us to to feel HL3 is more "real", they could start by making it so it actually feels we're part of a team with a common purpose, not just a guy standing around a stage while everyone recites their lines.

I think realistically HL3 has already outlived public interest. I think aside from the odd '1+2=3, half life 3 confirmed' joke no one really gives a shit about it any more. I know I was eager to play it after ep2, I was for about 3 years, but after that I just lost interest in it. even if they do release it now I doubt it'll be a full price purchase, I just don't care enough any more.

Johnny Novgorod:
This made me wonder, did episodes 2.1 and 2.2 (which I haven't played) break any ground in the sense HL1 & HL2 did? Or where they just re-runs of HL2?

2.1 felt like a re-run of HL2 in some ways (though I suppose they were breaking ground by trying out the episodic format). There was some minor new stuff co-oping with Alex's AI (one of you has a gun, the other has a torch. Can't remember which way around it was).

2.2 broke some open-world ground with the car, but even that only really came into its own at the end section. Also, I remember the Dev Commentary explained that they tried out a new way of coding the Striders, but it didn't seem to change much on the player end (especially since it was only for one cutscene-esque encounter). Alex felt like a constant co-op presence in 2.2, which worked somewhat well.

Honestly, I think they're missing a trick here. Release Half-life 3... and have Gordon acquire the portal gun in the first half-an-hour. Boom, FPS with portals. The Combine won't know what hit them... (I have to assume they've tried this, and that it didn't play well for some reason. Pity...)

Honestly everyone talks about HL3 not being able to live up to the hype, but I don't think there truly is much hype anymore, just exasperation. At least for me, all it needs to do is maintain the level of quality of Half-Life 2 and finish the story. Anything else on top of that is gravy.

Also, Ravenholm is one of my favorite levels.

Dannyjw:
These days i find HL1 holds up better than HL2.

Really? Even with those platforming bits, and the Xen levels, and the 500 scientists who all look and talk alike? I liked the original Half-Life, even though I first played it more than a decade past it's launch, but to me it'll always be a weird quirky game full of mechanics that would never get by today.

Half Life 2 is my favourite FPS of all time and it would probably be in my top 10 games of all time. But even I'm losing interest in Half Life 3. I wanted to see the end of the story, but its been so long that I can barely remember it. There was a time when the FPS genre as a whole was a massive disappointment to me, when every FPS was trying to copy Call of Duty. I had a massive desire for Valve to restore the fun and save the genre. But the last 2-3 years has seen lots of fantastic FPSes so that's not a factor either.

Honestly I don't think Valve care about making games anymore. They care about selling other developers' games, and they care about selling digital hats (which is hard to do in a singleplayer game).

Of course, if Half Life 3 came out tomorrow, I'd definately play it. But what I'm saying is I no longer care if it never happens.

Btw Yahtzee, that whole innovation thing you were talking about? AI. Enemy AI. NPC AI. Characters that react to the player's actions in believable ways. It can influence FPS tactics. It can influence RTS and TBS tactics. It can influence open world games and narrative driven games. But it also requires developers to drop their obsession with graphics so ... not holding my breath.

Actually, I remember GoldenEye as the first FPS game where the guns just sit on a flat surface instead of floating in mid-air. Then again, all the enemies' dead bodies disappeared and there was no jump button, so you couldn't say that was aiming for realism.

PMAvers:
I'd just be happy with resolving the massive cliff-hanger Episode 2 left on.

Agreed. With you and Yahtzee's point on how little room there is to innovate in anymore in FPS's. I mean, the only big change they could even think of doing for HL3 is [GASP!] having Gordon talk!

Half-Life 3, in my belief, will be a disappointment. The FPS genre is not going anywhere, so HL3 is going to already be bogged down by the fact that it's another FPS in an over-saturated market. But then you factor in how long it's been since the last game in the series was released (at the end of which it was basically confirmed that it was getting a sequel). Nearly a decade since Episode 2 came out and literally no news on HL3 has come to light. None. Absolutely nothing. People have probably long since forgotten about their desire to get their hands on a third installment. And any innovation they could possibly achieve would be a drop in the bucket. The entire industry is obsessed with innovation. That's all everyone is trying to do anymore. I'm really trying to think of something that would truly make a big splash in the current world of gaming and I'm drawing a blank.

I'm thinking that the only thing it will have going for it is that it's the long awaited sequel to HL2. Any success it finds will probably come from its infamous reputation for being that thing that was never released but finally is and nothing else.

Call me cynical but as much as I'd like to give them the benefit of the doubt I think they have just gotten lazy and complacent. Maybe that's because of how lazy and uncaring their handling of Steam has become, letting anyone throw up whatever trash they please regardless of quality so long as Valve gets a cut...only taking them down if the backlash gets loud enough. Maybe it's because after such a huge cliffhanger they have allowed so much time to pass without even so much as confirming that they are at least working on it. Whatever the reason myself personally have ceased to think of them as game devs and synonymous with shitty indie games. I've simply moved on from HL like any other game that has ended on a cliffhanger that will never be completed. If HL3 ever does come out of course I hope it will be good, but my excitement for it and investment in the story has long since been eroded away.

What has always impressed me with Valve is their attention to player experience. Lots of game devs (Order 1886 anyone?) seem to just want to make a movie. Valve has always tried to create game atmosphere. Being unarmed with your first headcrab bearing down on you was a design decision that a lot of people before and since didn't have the guts to make.

Valve knows good and damn well that they *could* have crapped out Ep3. in a year or two after Ep2., but that's not their style. When they make games; they make games people obsess about years after (Hell, we're still talking about HL3 despite no word or promises from Valve at all years hence -- If Dice shut down Battlefield tomorrow, would that still be the case?)

Unlike other studios, they don't put anything to the public that they're not proud of; which is the ONLY reason I'm sure HL3 (when and if it comes to market) WON'T be a great big pile of balls. Valve is a rare company that actually KNOWS the value of what it owns and won't cheapen it just to satisfy the baying fan boys.

Right now AI is left. As the last thing we havent started doing well...

STALKER tried. Valiant attempt, but no one has ever touched it since.

Also I like the way different levels have different tones. And gameplay. I just like it that way.

I don't care.

I don't care what the next big innovation is, I don't care what new gameplay it introduces.

For fuck's sake, I just want to see what happens next. Let Laidlaw toss it in a novel if a game is too much fucking trouble.

Scars Unseen:
[quote]I'd say that if they're ever going to make HL3, it's going to be after they've gotten used to making games for their upcoming Vive VR HMD.

What makes you think HL3 will not be the killer app for Valve's VR solution, poised and at the ready to blow Oculus out of the sky?

flying_whimsy:
Kingdom Hearts III already lost me because it took nearly a decade longer to release than it should have, I'm really hoping half-life doesn't go down the same road.

Given that Kingdom Hearts 3 can't possibly be a direct sequel to KH2, to my knowledge, since the various games that seemed like random spin offs on a million consoles are actually integral main series entries, I'm not sure why anyone who still cared about the series after KH2 would be waiting for KH3 to continue the story. I mean Christ, KH2 was almost impossible to even follow and it only had one game between the original and it. At this point I doubt anyone could play just KH1 and 2 and have a hope of ever understanding 3.

Safe to say Half-Life isn't headed down a road resembling KH at all.

Part of me wonders if this isn't an actual viable scenario, though I'd like to believe that someone at Valve understands "the perfect is the enemy of the good".

Charcharo:
Right now AI is left. As the last thing we havent started doing well...

STALKER tried. Valiant attempt, but no one has ever touched it since.

The problem is that better AI can't be shown off in a glossed-up screenshot the way photorealistic graphics can, so most devs aren't going to prioritize it.

The_Darkness:

Honestly, I think they're missing a trick here. Release Half-life 3... and have Gordon acquire the portal gun in the first half-an-hour. Boom, FPS with portals. The Combine won't know what hit them... (I have to assume they've tried this, and that it didn't play well for some reason. Pity...)

As cool as it sounds, I think the portal gun would make it way too easy. Unless we're fighting extremely mobile and agile versions of the turrets from Portal, exploiting normal enemies is going to be way too easy. This is assuming that you'd be able to use the gun on most surfaces seeing as if you couldn't, you'd run the risk of just turning it into a gimmick. From what I've experienced in most games, mobility trumps just about anything, and the portal gun his pretty much as mobile as you can get.

As far as my personal interest in HL3, I don't really care anymore. To be honest, I doubt it's ever coming out.

The Rogue Wolf:
Part of me wonders if this isn't an actual viable scenario, though I'd like to believe that someone at Valve understands "the perfect is the enemy of the good".

Charcharo:
Right now AI is left. As the last thing we havent started doing well...

STALKER tried. Valiant attempt, but no one has ever touched it since.

The problem is that better AI can't be shown off in a glossed-up screenshot the way photorealistic graphics can, so most devs aren't going to prioritize it.

Too true.

So we should demand it :P. There is a reason i whine so much about AI.

Even if Half Life 3 came out today, I don't think I would care. Its been too long since I've played the older games to remember what was going in the story, and I wouldn't want to go back and replay them since half the shooters that have come out since then have copied the gameplay.

RedDeadFred:

The_Darkness:

Honestly, I think they're missing a trick here. Release Half-life 3... and have Gordon acquire the portal gun in the first half-an-hour. Boom, FPS with portals. The Combine won't know what hit them... (I have to assume they've tried this, and that it didn't play well for some reason. Pity...)

As cool as it sounds, I think the portal gun would make it way too easy. Unless we're fighting extremely mobile and agile versions of the turrets from Portal, exploiting normal enemies is going to be way too easy. This is assuming that you'd be able to use the gun on most surfaces seeing as if you couldn't, you'd run the risk of just turning it into a gimmick. From what I've experienced in most games, mobility trumps just about anything, and the portal gun his pretty much as mobile as you can get.

As far as my personal interest in HL3, I don't really care anymore. To be honest, I doubt it's ever coming out.

What can they do with a Portal gun though? After writing a way for it to make portals anywhere and not just on moons what will you do? Use it to fall out of the world? Kill every enemy by teleporting them to high places? I think it would be very hard to kill enemies with it honestly, especially in tight hallways and when guns are a faster easier way to go about it. Since that is out of the picture they could just have the player solve puzzles with it or something. Except the game Portal already exists and exploited those gameplay possibilities for all they're worth back in 2011. Damn.

G00N3R7883:

Btw Yahtzee, that whole innovation thing you were talking about? AI. Enemy AI. NPC AI. Characters that react to the player's actions in believable ways. It can influence FPS tactics. It can influence RTS and TBS tactics. It can influence open world games and narrative driven games. But it also requires developers to drop their obsession with graphics so ... not holding my breath.

But if they did that the gameplay would be so different why bother making it a Half Life game? Half Life is an FPS and its innovations made the FPS genre better. What you are talking about it making a new genre or possibly just mixing genres. It would be like innovating Star Fox by making it more like Armored Core and Cooking Mama. At that point they would rather sell that as a new IP instead of as an FPS. Thats why the Portal games weren't Half Life games even though they were in the same world. Basically there isn't much you can do with the gameplay of FPS that would wow people the way the first two games did and thus no matter what they do it will either be disappointing or it will be Half Life game that feels and plays nothing like Half Life. I'm pretty sure that cliff hanger ending must be one of Valves biggest regrets now because of that.

The Rogue Wolf:
The problem is that better AI can't be shown off in a glossed-up screenshot the way photorealistic graphics can, so most devs aren't going to prioritize it.

It can be showcased though. Bethesda did so in their demo for Oblivion to showcase the game's Radiant AI. Granted, it turned out to be nowhere nearly as good as they made it out to be, but the demo did have people hyped up, so you can't say there wasn't merit in trying to put AI in as a killer feature. You see the same thing when space sim developers start talking about procedurally generated universes. You just have to find the right audience to pitch to.

thanatos388:

What can they do with a Portal gun though? After writing a way for it to make portals anywhere and not just on moons what will you do? Use it to fall out of the world? Kill every enemy by teleporting them to high places? I think it would be very hard to kill enemies with it honestly, especially in tight hallways and when guns are a faster easier way to go about it. Since that is out of the picture they could just have the player solve puzzles with it or something. Except the game Portal already exists and exploited those gameplay possibilities for all they're worth back in 2011. Damn.

The first thing that comes to mind is adding co-op with Gordon wielding the physics gun and Chell manning the portal gun. Then suddenly you can have Gordon throwing portal surfaces, Gordon throwing Chell at portal surfaces and so on and so forth. Granted, you'd either have to have a separate campaign for people that don't want to do co-op or at least have multiple paths depending on whether or not you were playing by yourself. Still, there's lots of possibilities besides just Portal+Bullets.

Im sorry but you have to be the biggest idiot in the world to believe they are still developing this game. All companies have budgets and not even Valve would just give a blank cheque and zero development time limit to make a game. Its a business and the longer a game takes the more money it costs. I really dont understand why people are not pissed that Valve screwed every one over by selling 2 parts of a 3 part game. They already said they are not making HL2 Episode 3 yet people still think they are making it. lol. Personally dont care if they release HL3 or not. Would like a Portal 3 though.

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