Valve files hint at Source 2 engine, Episode 3

Last month, Valve released its Source Filmmaker application, allowing fans of Team Fortress 2 to create their own animated cut-scenes. Already, the Source Filmmaker YouTube page is brimming with community videos. Pretty cool, right?

Sure, but that may not be the most exciting part. Folks at the ValveTime forums say they’ve uncovered evidence of a successor to the Source engine inside the software’s config files. One line stored inside an obscure Python file apparently states:

”’Return an str with the current engine version. If key doesn’t doesn’t exist, assume ‘Source’, otherwise invalid — assume next-gen ‘Source 2’.”

There are other "Source 2" references in other Source Filmmaker files, ValveTime adds. Also, according to Kotaku, Valve updated the Source Engine blurb on its website last September with the words, "And it’s about to get even better." It doesn’t get much more obvious than that.

Even more tantalizingly, another file tucked away in the Source Filmmaker directory hints at the next chapter in the Half-Life series. Note the "ep3" at the start of the file path in the following line:

somePropPath = content() / ‘ep3/models/characters/alyx/maya/alyx_model.ma’

That’s a likely reference to Half-Life 2: Episode Three, which has been in the pipeline since 2007—and which Valve mysteriously stopped talking about several years ago. It’s starting to look like the company is quietly plugging away at the game using a next-gen version of the Source engine. It’s too early to tell what’s in store yet, but I hope next-gen graphics are in the mix.

Comments closed
    • HisDivineOrder
    • 8 years ago

    Valve does not make anything with a 3 in the title. I’m sorry. It does not happen. There is no Half-Life 3, no Episode 3, no Left 4 Dead 3, no Portal 3, no Team Fortress 3, no 3’s. It’s all a cover for Source 2. Which has a 2, not a 3. Never a 3.

    The 3 is a lie.

      • Airmantharp
      • 8 years ago

      This is the prevailing theory.

      They might call it Half-Life ‘something else’ though, instead of a sequential number, as that’s all the rage these days.

    • ltcommander.data
    • 8 years ago

    Given Valve is now supporting Windows, Mac, and Linux I wonder if Source Engine 2 will consolidate everything by being OpenGL based?

    • Bensam123
    • 8 years ago

    This is just silly. So we might see a new engine in the next three years? Probably coinciding with the release of next gen consoles just like every other engine in existence, which is inevitably being designed around them.

    8 years is a long time to milk a engine, sadly there doesn’t seem to be enough care at Valve to change this.

      • UltimateImperative
      • 8 years ago

      You do realize that most “new engines” are basically the devs saying “okay, let’s call that branch ‘3.0’”, and typing “[code<]git branch AwesomeEngine3[/code<]".

    • Krogoth
    • 8 years ago

    Gentlemen isn’t that obvious that Valve has been working on HL3 for quite some time? They probably started right after TF2 went gold.

    L4D, Portal and TF2 are just PR fronts to draw attention away from HL3. Valve even drop subtle hints for HL3 as easter eggs in TF2, Portal and L4D.

    HL2: EP3 was scarped and converted into a full blown sequel.

      • sweatshopking
      • 8 years ago

      THEY SCARPED IT?! HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE!?

    • sweatshopking
    • 8 years ago

    my biggest complaint in half life was all the talky talky interrupting the shooty shooty. let me skip all the story, and get back to mass murder so i can be happy. I can’t be the only one that skips EVERY ANNOYING CUTSCENE IN EVERY GAME EVER. Mass effect is like a 5 hour game if you take out all the dialogue. cut that padding, with the lame “story telling” and just back to clicking the mouse on the moving colors, so i can see the credits, so i can get the “I WON!!!” feeling and never touch the game again.

    Now, if you’re thinking i’m being silly, i’m not. that’s how i play games, and half life 2 annoyed the F out of me with all the sitting around crowbarring (usually alyxs face) for 45 minutes every 2 minutes of gameplay. fix that, let me ignore the story part of the game, and i’ll be a happier customer.

    IN FACT, I’ve beaten EVERY half life game, expansion, and episode, sat through ALL THAT TALKING and i seriously have no idea what the game is about. i know there are the combine, and that other guy in the suit (who’s name i can’t recall) but i don’t know anything else. And whats more, I DON’T CARE. I just want to win.

      • henfactor
      • 8 years ago

      You’re playing wrong.

        • sweatshopking
        • 8 years ago

        that’s what i thought people would say, but it’s about “fun” isn’t it? if i want to watch a badly written movie, i’ll talk to my wife and see what she wants to see.

          • henfactor
          • 8 years ago

          Wife chirps. Laugh out loud.

          • Bensam123
          • 8 years ago

          I believe the hallmark of HL is the good story… Sound like you weren’t listening and instead were crowbaring Alyx’s face to pass the time.

            • sweatshopking
            • 8 years ago

            exactly. now, why can’t they just let me skip the “story”, since it’s actually super tedious and cliche, and let me get back to killing? if it’s skippable you boring people can watch it, if you like, and us fun people can skip it. Everybody wins!

      • henfactor
      • 8 years ago

      But I will up-vote you cause’ you keep the comments phresh

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 8 years ago

      If you don’t like it stop playing it.

        • sweatshopking
        • 8 years ago

        i have to see the credits.

        • sweatshopking
        • 8 years ago

        i have to see the credits.

      • superjawes
      • 8 years ago

      The story is a fun part. If you don’t like it, go back to the latest CoD release.

        • sweatshopking
        • 8 years ago

        CoD has tons of story. all that crap about that soap guy. I think that’s his name, idk, i skipped it.

          • superjawes
          • 8 years ago

          CoD4 had a decent story, but mostly because no one had been so super srs about stuff since then, and [spoiler<]having one of the players characters die in a nuclear explosion[/spoiler<] reinforced that. Even since then, however, it's been more run & gun and exaggeration for shock effects. HL2, on the other hand, has a lot more about power struggles, selling out the human race, and general personalities.

      • evilpaul
      • 8 years ago

      Bioware only figured out how to do combat in the third Mass Effect and never figured out how to do Boss Fights. If you weren’t playing it for the story I’d suggest Quake Live or something.

      • Xenolith
      • 8 years ago

      Cut scenes make a game. Ms. Pacman, is a perfect example.

        • sweatshopking
        • 8 years ago

        Pacman is a solid game. likely one of the greatest ever made. I don’t see your point. it’s certainly a better game (measured by cultural impact, longevity, ingenuity) than l4d or most other games. Half life 1 was a solid improvement in gaming, and HL2 less than the first, but i think you’d be hard pressed to say that it’s a better game, once context is taken into consideration.

        HL2 added some stuff to an already pretty well treaded genre.

      • rrr
      • 8 years ago

      Play Painkiller, Unreal Tournament, Quake, Serous Sam, Warsow, Xonotic…

    • Guts_not_Dead
    • 8 years ago

    The question is, How does it compare to the Frostbite 2 engine? Is it gonna use the same old primitive mechanics and crappy graphics? I’m literally getting tired of how slowly the gaming industry has been advancing in the last decade or so. I means BF3 is a milestone in the gaming industry, are we gonna see a milestone from Valve anytime soon?

      • bthylafh
      • 8 years ago

      I’m literally sure you have no idea what “literally” means.

        • sweatshopking
        • 8 years ago

        no, he’s falling asleep ALL THE TIME BECAUSE THERE ARE NO NEW GAME ENGINES.

          • Guts_not_Dead
          • 8 years ago

          Those Valve fanboys make you laugh. I’m stating the obvious here. It’s about time to come up with something decent after all these years of using the Source engine. Is it a crime to complain about how shitty those games are? Why the hell do you get all worked up when someone bashes one of those companies? They’ve been making all the money they need and delivering nothing that meets even the minimum standards.

            • sweatshopking
            • 8 years ago

            i don’t disagree. i’m not a valve fanboy, in fact, i’m one of the top 3 here most critical of them, l33t and silus being the other two. it’s just that your use of “literal” was funny.

            • Guts_not_Dead
            • 8 years ago

            I thought it adds some passion to the rant. It still doesn’t look like a bad choice to me.

            Also, glad to know that there are some people here who are not blind Valve fans or Carmack worshipers.

            • sweatshopking
            • 8 years ago

            i don’t mind carmack. he is a programmer, and a good one.

            I don’t WORSHIP him, that would be stupid, but i’d listen to what he said, and then independently analyze it, and see if it sounds right to me.

            • A_Pickle
            • 8 years ago

            It’s not a crime at all, just… expect people to disagree with you. Like me, I like the Source engine. Sure, it isn’t the prettiest game engine out there, but… it runs. It runs smoothly. It runs on hardware that isn’t the latest and greatest, while generally delivering a pretty universally similar experience. Left 4 Dead 2 ran great on a 3.0 Ghz Pentium with a Radeon HD 4650 1 GB.

            I appreciate that. The market for the slickest graphics in first-person shooters is overwhelmingly saturated, and in my subjective opinion, rather bland. I enjoy Call of Duty… but I haven’t played it since CoD 4 due to their feature reductions, gameplay reductions, and increased prices. Crysis was the same deal, when it arrived… they were basically asking people to pay for a game that VERY few computers could run, for a pretty run-of-the-mill gaming experience.

    • Madman
    • 8 years ago

    Too bad, I can’t even remember what HL2 was about.

    I would be more interested in HL1 with a face-lift right now.

      • superjawes
      • 8 years ago

      You mean the Black Mesa mod? I haven’t looked at that in a long time, but there’s a Source remake for you.

        • Madman
        • 8 years ago

        From [url<]http://www.blackmesasource.com/[/url<] - "WHEN WILL BLACK MESA BE RELEASED? We have always gone for a "when it's done" approach." Is it done?

          • Chrispy_
          • 8 years ago

          The source engine is so old that even the mod makes HL1 look a bit dated.
          I was really hyped about this mod when I first heard about it, but now parts of it look old enough that I’m wondering just how bad the original half-life looked.

          I can remember that I was running my first 3DFX card and a P133 with 32MB so I’m relying on nostalgia to give my HL1 memories a warm, fuzzy coating. I’m sure it actually looks like ass but I’m not going to ruin it and find screenshots.

            • Vasilyfav
            • 8 years ago

            Half-Life 1 looks BAD. It hasn’t aged well at all. Hell, HL1 wasn’t even praised for its graphics at the time of its release (1998, I believe), so now you’d be looking at something that didn’t even look good a decade ago.

            You’re better off not ruining it for yourself.

            • Madman
            • 8 years ago

            Sometimes BAD engines age better than good engines. They might look awful, but they are fun, and don’t throw ugly pixels in your face.

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 8 years ago

            Half-Life was on a modified Quake 2 engine, and it came out about the same time as Quake 3. It was not pretty by any means.

    • Jingles
    • 8 years ago

    The cake is a lie…

    • grantmeaname
    • 8 years ago

    Somebody snuck it into the comments of the code to troll the entire valve fan community.

    • henfactor
    • 8 years ago

    Prediction: Source 2 debuts with Halflife 3.

    Timeframe: hopefully in this millennia.

      • Deanjo
      • 8 years ago

      I’m not sure why people get hung up on an engine number. Just because an engine does not slap on a new major version number with every release does not mean it is not the same old tech that it was years ago. You can also do a rolling release which overtime can look extremely different then the original release. For example, our company has 1 version of it’s software but yet receives multiple updates per week which addresses everything from bugs to new features to refactoring to even complete switchovers of the various toolkits and such. To take a look at the system requirements, features etc that were present 20 years ago to what they are now you would never guess that it is the same application.

        • travbrad
        • 8 years ago

        Whatever number you give to it, the Source engine is looking somewhat dated now, even with all the little updates they’ve made over the years. Of course the benefit of this is that they can reach a huge potential customer base who can actually run the games.

        Gameplay is what’s most important anyway though in my opinion. BF3 has amazing graphics, but I’ve still played L4D2 5x as much, all because of the gameplay and teamwork.

    • kvndoom
    • 8 years ago

    I think I’ll hold off getting a new video card right away when I rebuild my computer… just in case…

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 8 years ago

      I doubt Source 2 pushes the envelope. Valve isn’t concerned with having the shiniest gizmos, and seems content to shoot for “good enough.”

      If they do push any envelopes, I expect it to be more on the physics/interactive environment side of things.

        • oMa
        • 8 years ago

        Didn’t source look really good in 2004? I’m sure they want something that looks decent 5-15 years after its release, like source.

          • BobbinThreadbare
          • 8 years ago

          Yes it was considered with Doom3 to be the best looking games that came out.

          My point is 2004 was 8 years ago, and Valve has shown little inclination to improve graphical fidelity since then.

            • khands
            • 8 years ago

            They want their engines to last a long time, I don’t think it’s too far out of left field to say it should be pretty pretty.

    • Sahrin
    • 8 years ago

    Good luck releasing it on Linux.

    • ALiLPinkMonster
    • 8 years ago

    I’ll believe it when I see something official.

      • willmore
      • 8 years ago

      Im not sure I will even then.

    • BobbinThreadbare
    • 8 years ago

    Don’t forget the concept art that got leaked recently.

    [url<]http://www.valvetime.net/threads/exclusive-half-life-2-episode-3-concept-art.206815/[/url<]

      • burntham77
      • 8 years ago

      How did I miss these pictures up until now? Thanks for the link. This is great stuff.

      • MixedPower
      • 8 years ago

      [quote<]These fantastic images have been sent in by an anonymous visitor to the site from an unknown source. Despite that, we have no reason to believe they aren't real.[/quote<] So despite the complete lack of credibility, these images are credible?

    • superjawes
    • 8 years ago

    No. I refuse to get excited. You will not toy with my emotions, Valve!

    ::shakes fist::

    • Forge
    • 8 years ago

    Valve, where trolling your customers is every bit as important as [s<]missing[/s<]hitting your deadlines.

      • Rand
      • 8 years ago

      Valve practically has it made, their fan base actively likes and enjoys being trolled.

    • yogibbear
    • 8 years ago

    Probably just random comment crap in the code put in to future proof it if required. Not really a hint. And I doubt anyone didn’t think they weren’t working on a new engine at some point. But engines can take 5+++ years. So… I guess that means Half Life 3 comes out tomorrow? *Hits refresh on steam store page* F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5

    • Sargent Duck
    • 8 years ago

    Don’t tease me Valve. It’s not April Fools and it’s Monday morning.

    Don’t do this to me Valve. I had given up all hope, don’t play with my emotions.

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