I've watched with fascination as the speculation and enthusiasm around the maybe-possibly next installment in the Half-Life series has slowly grown to epic proportions. It's taken on the status of some kind of Internet meme crossed with Sasquatch lore. Now, an engrossing article in The Guardian has explored the strange and wonderful world of a game that doesn't exist.
All of the theories are covered, including the possibility that Valve is promoting HL3 with an alternate-reality game, leaking out morsels of info in coded form to entice the fan base into uncovering some hidden message.
I don't know what to make of it all, but I'll give you my own contribution to the lore, something we talked about on this week's podcast.
At GDC this past year, I was talking to the dev-rel guys from a major graphics vendor who shall remain nameless (but rhymes with chlamydia.) I mentioned to them how impressed I was with the graphics in Crysis 3, and we somehow got on the topic of the most capable game engine development teams in terms of graphics fidelity. They said the top tier was pretty clear and cited several members, including Crytek, Epic, id Software, perhaps another name or two, and—yep—Valve.
Now, I've seen Rage and Crysis 3 and a whole host of recent Unreal-engine games. I like the look of Portal 2, but I don't think it's in that class. My immediate thought was that these guys had seen something the wider world hasn't yet—something really good that's still in development.
Could it be Half-Life 3 on a new Source engine? I dunno, but something is going on over there that puts Valve into very select company.
That's my contribution to the HL3 frenzy for today. Shaky info? Sure, but I think it fits the theme here. Man, if this game is ever announced, the ensuing madness is gonna break the Internet.