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10 Years of Half-Life

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the wisely-done-mr.-freeman dept.

First Person Shooters (Games) 182

intenscia writes "After 10 years of Half-Life and dealing with its silent protagonist Gordon Freeman, ModDB looks back at everything that Valve made possible with the release of its first game. The freedom and flexibility the Gldsource platform gave modders resulted in a plethora of user-generated content such as Counter-Strike and Team Fortress. In this article they take a brief look at the mods that made the jump to retail as well as the top non-commercial mods that have become perennial classics." Planet Half-Life used the occasion to look back at the history of Valve. Valve is celebrating by offering the original Half-Life for less than a dollar on Steam.

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182 comments

That's awesome but... (1)

Corpuscavernosa (996139) | more than 5 years ago | (#25827853)

Valve is celebrating by offering the original Half-Life for less than a dollar on Steam.

Not trying to be smarmy or anything, but is there anyone out there who hasn't played this already? Didn't it sell like 400 million copies? Looks like they stand to pull in about $6 off the deal (yes I know that's not the point).

What I'm saying is just a testament to how incredibly awesome and groundbreaking this game was.

Re:That's awesome but... (1)

El Royo (907295) | more than 5 years ago | (#25828037)

I never bought it or played it. I'm thinking about plunking down the dollar to see what the hype was about.

Re:That's awesome but... (3, Insightful)

Physicser (1104279) | more than 5 years ago | (#25828149)

I never bought it or played it. I'm thinking about plunking down the dollar to see what the hype was about.

I would highly suggest it. I bought it on Steam within the past year and never regretted it.

Re:That's awesome but... (2, Insightful)

slaker (53818) | more than 5 years ago | (#25828617)

The only problem is, then the grandparent will have to play it through Steam. I will resent until my dying day the idea that my computer should have to connect to the internet even occasionally so that I can play a single player game, and even moreso that even when I bought Half Life 2, I couldn't play the copy I paid for until I got a non-dialup internet connection.

Valve should at least give people the option of not dealing with their content distribution shit. Let people permanently opt out of multiplayer. Whatever.

Re:That's awesome but... (5, Informative)

bignetbuy (1105123) | more than 5 years ago | (#25828981)

Wait a minute. You buy a game through Steam...an on-line marketplace...then bitch about having to connect to it every now and then? Seriously?

There is an off-line mode for playing Steam games for those times when your Internet connection is down/missing-in-action.

Re:That's awesome but... (3, Insightful)

slaker (53818) | more than 5 years ago | (#25829181)

The original Half Life was sold on a CD.

The second game was as well, but the disc was encrypted or something and needed to download gigabytes of crap from Steam before it could be played. Basically the copy of the game that one could purchase in the store was a giant trojan that put Steam on your PC.

Gigabytes of downloads aren't exactly compatible with dialup internet connections. There was no way to just put in the physical disc that I bought and play the game.

Steam has an off line mode. It makes you check in every couple weeks. That's not offline enough. Offline means "this works perfectly well on a computer with no network connection at all." Which is something that I expect of a single player game.

Yes, today I have six different ways to get on the internet from my apartment, but that doesn't mean all those methods will always be available. I've been the tech guy at LAN parties where a network issue with Steam has killed the evening for some or most of the people attending.

I can also rant about the fact that Steam delivers advertising and an unwanted startup processes on a PC.

I really think it's a tragedy that a lot of great games are locked up in Steam. I played through all the Half-Life add-on packs, but I resent the way Steam operates so much I've never seen more than the opening screens of Half-Life 2.

Re:That's awesome but... (4, Informative)

Perseid (660451) | more than 5 years ago | (#25829349)

If you install a Valve game from a CD it does not download the game. It will download updates, but those are a good thing.

Other PC games require you to insert the disc every time you boot the game. This could be considered equally atrocious as what Steam does. If you don't have a network connection no game for you versus no disc no game for you.

Steam only delivers ads for other Steam games. Not for Coca Cola or some crap. While it may install a startup agent(I don't remember honestly) it can easily be turned off. No steam code on startup on my system.

I hate DRM as much as the next guy, but Steam doesn't piss me off. It's acceptable to me. My biggest problem is that the Steam client itself performs like it was written in QuickBASIC.

Re:That's awesome but... (2, Informative)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#25829545)

It downloads the final chunk needed to play the game, you simply cannot play HL2 without downloading a lot of stuff first even if you have the CD. On dialup even those megabytes can take too long and I've been on an uni connection once (student dorm) where Steam simply wouldn't work (nothing except HTTP and a few other things worked).

Re:That's awesome but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25829507)

There is a version that doesn't require those Steam annoyances. You will find it at The Pirate Bay.

Re:That's awesome but... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25829785)

yea but that requires an internet connection, which is obviously beyond the GP's grasp...

Re:That's awesome but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25829297)

I also bought it last year and was able to tolerate it for about 2 hours before being bored to death. I really don't understand what people find in this game.

Re:That's awesome but... (1)

sunami (751539) | more than 5 years ago | (#25829627)

I did too; played through it after playing Half Life 2, felt the same way. I see it that, in 1998, Half Life was a god damn masterpiece of storytelling in a game, when put up against FPSs from that time, but compared to current games (especially right after playing the sequel) it's sort of, bleh. I expect that if I had played Half Life way back when, I would feel differently about it.

Probably the same reason I couldn't get past the first quarter of System Shock 2 but can play Deus Ex over and over again.

Re:That's awesome but... (2, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 5 years ago | (#25828319)


Half Life was great. My first name is Gordon so when characters in the game would talk to me and use my real name it added more immersion than modern day fancy full screen anti-aliasing and 1080p every could have!

Re:That's awesome but... (1)

bignetbuy (1105123) | more than 5 years ago | (#25828995)

Same here. Having the same first name makes the game a little more fun. (Hello, Alyx)

Re:That's awesome but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25829857)

hmmm know any good games with a main character named Rob?

Re:That's awesome but... (1)

dintech (998802) | more than 5 years ago | (#25830309)

Yes, he must the most exciting Gordon yet! Except Flash Gordon, but that doesn't really count. :)

Re:That's awesome but... (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25828709)

I'll be a dollar well-spent. The game is very long, especially by today's standards, and despite its linearity, has great atmosphere and feeling to it.

Re:That's awesome but... (1)

Paradigm_Complex (968558) | more than 5 years ago | (#25828183)

I've got some friends who haven't played it. It's not so unheard of for people to miss classics and just never get the chance to go back to 'em, or for people to gain interest in gaming after Half Life's time has started to fade.

Re:That's awesome but... (1)

DanWS6 (1248650) | more than 5 years ago | (#25828341)

Tell them to skip buying the original and wait for Black Mesa Source [blackmesasource.com] to be released.

Re:That's awesome but... (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#25828443)

Not to be snarky, but the ETA on that seems to be just after DNF is released.

Re:That's awesome but... (1)

DanWS6 (1248650) | more than 5 years ago | (#25828489)

At least they released new media today. They also claim to be working on a trailer that will be out "soon".

Re:That's awesome but... (2, Interesting)

Paradigm_Complex (968558) | more than 5 years ago | (#25828453)

I've been waiting for and watching Black Mesa since it's inception, and with it's history of set backs and (relatively) slow progress I'll keep my original plan of recommending the original to my friend. If BM is even half as good as the original HL it'll be worth another go through anyways when it's released. I the BM team luck and mean them no offense, it's just they're no where near close enough to justify waiting for the original any longer.

Re:That's awesome but... (1)

DanWS6 (1248650) | more than 5 years ago | (#25828479)

Fair enough. I bought the original long ago and have it still. I was looking forward to playing through it again, except on the source engine and then I saw that Valve wanted $10 for it, with no new models or textures. :( Since I have plenty of other games to keep me busy I'm patiently waiting for Black Mesa.

Re:That's awesome but... (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25828721)

Then if it'll be still worth it to go through again, why not just plunk down the dollar to begin with? You can go without a cup of coffee for the day.

Haven't really played it (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 5 years ago | (#25829841)

I bet there are a fair number who bought the game and still haven't played it, and an even larger number who bought the game and just played the single player story for a few minutes.

What did they play instead? Counter-Strike...

Must be thousands of kids in cybercafes who just click the "Play Counter-Strike" shortcut on the desktop and don't even realize that Half-Life has a single player game :).

Re:That's awesome but... (0, Troll)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#25828415)

What I'm saying is just a testament to how incredibly awesome and groundbreaking this game was.

That's what everybody else said when it first came out. I didn't see it as much more than DOOM with puzzles and a more detailed story.

Aliens, zombies, space marines, secret research facilities, laboratory accidents gone wrong? Half-life was hardly "groundbreaking" except for being the prettiest game in the genre. Disclaimer: I'm not a hardcore gamer and I haven't played any sequels or expansion packs etc.

Re:That's awesome but... (2, Interesting)

EvanED (569694) | more than 5 years ago | (#25828587)

I'm not a go-to guy on FPSs or games in general by any means, but my impression is that "I didn't see it as much more than DOOM with puzzles and a more detailed story" was pretty revolutionary for a FPS.

(Disclaimer: I haven't finished the original HL (I'm not that good at FPSs and actually stopped playing for a while when I first hit the marines and didn't get past them after about a dozen attempts), but I think HL2 and Episodes are great.)

Re:That's awesome but... (1)

Killjoy_NL (719667) | more than 5 years ago | (#25829905)

Try to get to the end anyway, it's really good :)
Even if only that you get to battle a giant nutsack alien boss :D

Re:That's awesome but... (4, Insightful)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25828777)

It was most notably how the story was told--first person, no cut scenes--that partially made the game so revolutionary. The atmosphere, AI, and sheer size of the game (it's pretty damn long for most people) are also pretty large points; for many situations you also had to develop a plan on how you were going to advance, rather than just figure out the best way to kill everyone in sight. The game isn't actually that similar to DOOM (which still is a great game to play that for some inexplicable reason has aged incredibly well, in my opinion) as DOOM is more oriented over killing the demons. In fact, to compare this game with DOOM seems to me that you either didn't play DOOM very much or you didn't play HL very much. Both are pretty different FPSes.

In addition, the game's friendliness to modifications leading to Counter-Strike and a host of other free mods has pretty much solidified its position as one of the greatest FPSes to come out.

Re:That's awesome but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25829479)

I always hear people going on about how the first person storytelling and silent protagonist were somehow "revolutionary", but I just don't see it. To me it seems more like lazy developers who didn't or couldn't put together cutscenes or provide a voice for the main character.

I know my opinion goes against the grain, but the one time I tried to play Half Life nearly bored me to madness. I found the story to be dull and shallow, the puzzles were nothing more than the standard "go here, flip this switch" and I didn't find any of the weapons, enemies, levels or characters to be interesting. At the time I was also playing Shogo, which I found to be a superior FPS to Half Life in every aspect.

Half Life revolutionary? I just don't see it that way. Maybe something like System Shock or Deus Ex, but not Half Life.

Re:That's awesome but... (1)

word_virus (838778) | more than 5 years ago | (#25828645)

I hadn't played it at all until about 3 weeks ago.

Built a new computer for the express purpose of playing games, having confined done my gaming to consoles previously (and that not since the Dreamcast), and the first thing I checked out was the Orange Box.

Loved me some Portal and Team Fortess 2. Tried out HL2 and felt like I was missing the story, so got the original Half Life from Steam (paid USD9.99 tho. Shoulda waited a week). Playing through it now.

Re:That's awesome but... (2, Interesting)

bignetbuy (1105123) | more than 5 years ago | (#25829017)

Wow. A virgin Orange Boxer. Hope you have a blast exploring PC games. This is a great year to become a PC gamer. FarCry2, Crysis:Warhead, STALKER:ClearSky, Fallout3, and CoD:4 are just a few of the games you should check out.

Re:That's awesome but... (0, Troll)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 5 years ago | (#25828723)

Not trying to be smarmy or anything, but is there anyone out there who hasn't played this already?

I never bothered. My primary machine has been a Mac for a long time and Valve is Mac-phobic. No great loss though, as there are plenty of FPS game makers like Id and Epic to fill the slack. Heck even MS owned companies port to the Mac within a year or so. It's also likely the reason it never made the top 5 best selling PC games of all time.

Re:That's awesome but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25828879)

Uh... what? Half-Life is the top-selling first person shooter of all time. I don't know how it ranks in PC games overall, but the only games I'm aware of that sold more are Starcraft and The Sims. The margin between HL and Starcraft is small enough (9.3M vs. 9.5M) that a Mac release might have pushed it above that, but...

Heck even MS owned companies port to the Mac within a year or so.

Yeah, how's Halo 2 treating you?

Re:That's awesome but... (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 5 years ago | (#25829321)

Uh... what? Half-Life is the top-selling first person shooter of all time. I don't know how it ranks in PC games overall, but the only games I'm aware of that sold more are Starcraft and The Sims.

It's number 6. (Notice anything interesting about both the Sims and Starcraft, like oh say they released a Mac version at the same time as a PC version?)

Yeah, how's Halo 2 treating you?

Late to release, just like the PC version was. Not that I care, I gave up on Bungie after they lost all their good developers and started making crap, halfway through making the original Halo.

Re:That's awesome but... (1)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 5 years ago | (#25830069)

Id and Epic haven't made any games quite similar to Half-Life, unless you also think bumper cars are similar to roller coasters.

Re:That's awesome but... (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25828811)

Marketing technique. Get more people to download Steam, increase the chances that someone will buy other things off Steam.

Steam isn't the demon people say it is, although the DRM (having to have a recent internet connection to play games) can be annoying on the (rare, for me) times you haven't been able to get on the internet recently (like following a move w/o having an internet connection). Otherwise though I've had no trouble with it and being able to reinstall everything easily on multiple computers or following a reinstall really is a great convenience.

Re:That's awesome but... (1)

solraith (1203394) | more than 5 years ago | (#25828841)

I haven't played it because no one ever mentioned it to me. I had heard of it but never gave it a second thought until I purchased the Orange Box earlier this year, and realized that I actually DO enjoy FPS games. Half-Life 2 has since becomes one of my favorite games, and needless to say, I keep up on the gaming scene a lot more now than I used to.

That being said, I'm downloading Half-Life on Steam as we speak and can't wait to play it.

Re:That's awesome but... (1)

Sinryc (834433) | more than 5 years ago | (#25829157)

I never bought it. Played it for 10 minutes on a pirated copy once... but I lost interest. I figure this is the way I can play a lot of the mods and stuff. yay.

Re:That's awesome but... (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#25829587)

10 minutes isn't really past the intro. Or tutorial, in the case of the many people who never played a game with WASD before HL1.

Re:That's awesome but... (1)

SelrahCharleS (1126871) | more than 5 years ago | (#25829167)

Not trying to be smarmy or anything, but is there anyone out there who hasn't played this already?

I hadn't played it until today. The only computer games I really played until recently were Total Annihilation and Age of Empires II. I never really got into first person shooters and most of my gaming was done on a Playstation.

Left 4 Dead caught my eye so I downloaded steam to install the demo and found it to be a blast. I tried a few other demos on there and then noticed Half Life was only a dollar so I went for it. I'm happy I did.

Re:That's awesome but... (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 5 years ago | (#25830083)

Actually iirc it only sold about 9mill copies. The best selling FPS of all time are apparently Halo 2 on the XBox and Goldeneye on the N64 sitting at about 11 - 12mill copies. Certainly not what one would expect seeing as both these consoles are often thought of as the losers of their generations due to the enormous sales of the PS1 and PS2. That seems to be key in a way however, if your console is the loser of the generation one good game means it'll probably stand right out and everyone with that console will buy it whilst the selection of good games on a more popular console leaves you with more competition perhaps.

For some perspective, the Sims, the PC's top selling game shifted 16mill copies, that doesn't include expansions however.

Yeah (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25827873)

Proprietary software rules.

Late nite (3, Funny)

kvsnut (68323) | more than 5 years ago | (#25827919)

I was newly married and this game kept me up to all hours. My wife would come into the basement at 3 am and reprimand me.

I've notices hl2 for original xbox used at gamestop and I hesitate to buy it. It may take over my nights again - and i have three kids now.

Re:Late nite (1)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 5 years ago | (#25828009)

I think the original is still the more fun of the two. I've beaten it probably eight times, compared to maybe three times for HL2. The play was more linear, but the story seemed to be a bit better and a little less contrived. The enemies were also more varied instead of just more heavily armored.

And who can forget the covert ops girls dying and falling forward on their knees? :) You just don't get that with rag-doll physics.

A true innovator (5, Insightful)

StreetStealth (980200) | more than 5 years ago | (#25828325)

A lot of people forget how generally unprecedented it was at the time for an action game to begin with half an hour of context and tone establishment instead of throwing you right into the fire.

Traveling through the massive subterranean tram network, checking in at the desk and grabbing your equipment to start what would have been a normal day's work... As the tension is slowly built, something goes wrong, and then aliens show up out of that, the effect is something vastly more profound than jumping into Quake and shooting stroggs straight off the bat.

Re:A true innovator (2, Funny)

Elsan (914644) | more than 5 years ago | (#25828931)

Thanks for ruining the start of the game for me, you insensitive clod!

Re:A true innovator (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#25829597)

I was pretty disappointed that after all the hype that you play as a scientists instead of a soldier your character was still heavily armored and a perfect shot.

Re:Late nite (1)

Hawkeye05 (1056362) | more than 5 years ago | (#25829011)

I originally played Half Life 1 about two years ago, i never actually finished it, i got to about the third xen level and after about 30 deaths i gave up. Now about 2 months ago i bought The Orange Box off of Steam, i beat HL2 and I'm on EP1 now, i really do think 2 is better. The pacing is better, and I've never really been a fan of the dungeon shooter style that 1 had some strong elements of, I've always liked large open environments where you can move around and choose the best approach on an enemy and 2 really uses that.

Re:Late nite (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 5 years ago | (#25830005)

I've always liked large open environments where you can move around and choose the best approach on an enemy and 2 really uses that.

You're gonna love (most of) EP2, then.

Re:Late nite (2, Interesting)

IorDMUX (870522) | more than 5 years ago | (#25828365)

Indeed.

I received Half Life 2 for Christmas, a few years back, and had it completely finished by December 28th. I did the same when Ep. 1 came out, and then again for Ep. 2--which is not to say that I was done with the game when I completed it. I'm currently in my 3rd(?) replay of the entire series (HL1, Opposing Force, Blue Shift, ..., Portal, Ep. 2) [I'm on PC, so no HL:Decay], and have played HL1 and HL2 themselves more times than I can remember. Even though I can quote Dr. Breen word for word, the game remains interesting--I discover a bit more that I missed each time through.

And I'm close to getting my wife to play Portal. That will be a triumph; a huge success, indeed.

Re:Late nite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25828685)

Someone ported decay fairly recently.
http://decay.half-lifecreations.com/

Re:Late nite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25829543)

It's not totally up to them, even if they wanted to open source the engines. Half-Life used a extensively modified Quake engine, and eventually migrated to the Quake 2 engine when they realized the first's limitations. I doubt id would have a problem with releasing their (modified) engine under an open source license, but those weren't the terms under which Valve's license was granted. Valve could potentially "renegotiate" the license agreement, but nobody but nerds care about open source software. A cheap video game is better P.R. than a promise of a free one, eventually, once programmers get interested enough to build it and create new artwork and so on.

Re:Late nite (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 5 years ago | (#25829991)

I've notices hl2 for original xbox used at gamestop and I hesitate to buy it.

It's much better on PC, as are all FPSs.

However, I can sort-of recommend buying the original Half-Life for PS2, because it has a platform-exclusive co-op mode.

Open up the engine (5, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#25827983)

When a new Quake comes out, they open up the old engine. The original Half Life was OpenGL if I recall, and could be ported by the community to Mac, Linux, etc. etc. etc. Selling the game for $1 is a nice move. Opening the engine (a decade old engine that won't hurt Valve in the least) would be a better move.

Re:Open up the engine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25828111)

Maybe they would open up the engine, however a lot of people still plays mods for HL. And wouldn't opening up the engine expose any potential hacks for cheaters to take advantage of?

Re:Open up the engine (1)

Forrest Kyle (955623) | more than 5 years ago | (#25828187)

I think Slashdot is not the best place to make the argument that open sourcing leads to security vulnerabilities.

I don't know all that much about online gaming though, so I could be wrong.

Re:Open up the engine (2, Interesting)

lmnfrs (829146) | more than 5 years ago | (#25828449)

For reference, people made all kinds of fun toys after gaining knowledge of the insides of the engine and netcode. They then fixed so much that they released their own versions of the server, and eventually used that as a great line on their resume to get hired into the game coding biz.
I think Slashdot would be glad to hear those details :)

Re:Open up the engine (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#25829733)

It's a game though, those things can't be secured traditionally because you also want to prevent things like aimbots that use perfectly valid moves but automate them in a way that hurts the game.

Re:Open up the engine (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#25828117)

However, given the original engine is actually Quake I with heavy modifications, even though a version of the Quake engine has been opened, it might not be their call on opening it.

Re:Open up the engine (2, Interesting)

barzok (26681) | more than 5 years ago | (#25828125)

IIRC, a hybrid Quake1/2 engine was the basis for Half-Life's engine. Their license with id Software may not allow them to release the source, even though the Q1&2 sources were released quite a few years ago.

Re:Open up the engine (4, Informative)

lmnfrs (829146) | more than 5 years ago | (#25828417)

The Quake engine was the basis for both the Half-Life engine and the Quake2 engine, so they are related but there was no 'hybrid' per se. The Quake and Quake2 engines were released under the GPL. If the Half-Life engine source isn't available, it's likely due to it being a pre-GPL fork of the Quake engine (or something like that).

Uncle AC wonders if releasing code will expose vulnerabilities. Since so much of the engine has been available for years (since 1999, IIRC), there is relatively little risk. There was when the source for Quake was released. All kinds of hacks and cheats flooded around (for all Quake-engine games).. But that was long ago; perhaps people have forgotten.

Re:Open up the engine (1)

AbRASiON (589899) | more than 5 years ago | (#25829735)

They can't open the engine, they purchased the engine from id software, sure it's heavily modified chunks of Q1 and Q2 code but none the less it's not theirs to sell.
Not every business can run the way carmack does, Valve still support developers very well anyhow.

Furthermore there's 2 versions of HL on steam now anyhow, the original with the old id / valve code and the new one with fairly fresh source engine code - again something they wouldn't want to give away.

/salute (4, Interesting)

duckInferno (1275100) | more than 5 years ago | (#25828053)

Half-Life wasn't the first FPS game to capture my attention but it was the first to enthrall me to such a degree that I went out and bought the damn thing. Years of Counter-Strike, Natural Selection, Rocket Crowbar and other various interesting mods later, I'm damn glad I did. I garnered a metric fuckton of fun from that game and it feels like it's been a lot longer than 10 years since its release.

But then I guess that's what one can expect from a Valve game. Blizzard has a nice attitude: "when it's ready". Valve goes one further: "when it ready and only if it's fun". When HL2 was delayed by a year or so there was a lot of complaining... but nobody was complaining when that thing was released.

Here's to one of the best games ever released!

/salute

Re:/salute (3, Informative)

JonTurner (178845) | more than 5 years ago | (#25828545)

>>but nobody was complaining when that thing (HL2) was released.

Wha? I guess you've forgotten the Great Steam Activation Debacle where millions of geeks were all trying to activate HL2 on the brand-new Steam network, overwhelming the servers with a giant self-induced DDOS. It took me two days to activate. Others, on dialup, much longer.

People were complaining bitterly -- not about the game quality (I agree with you -- GREAT game) but instead due the inability to play the game they just plunked down fifty dollars for. What a mess that was.

Re:/salute (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25829255)

The best memory of my last job was the 16 player counter-strike sessions we would have after-hours. We'd be there until 9pm most nights.

Re:/salute (1)

incognito84 (903401) | more than 5 years ago | (#25829363)

I payed $130 dollars for Half-Life when it first came out. I remember the exact price, because I was in Middle School at the time and I starved myself at lunch every single day for months in order to save up that much dough ($2 a day).

I went to Radioshack and bought it, mainly because I was a fourteen year old geek and PCGamer said it was excellent.

For $130 I got hundreds upon hundreds of hours of game time completely outside of the core content. I played every mod religiously, made custom maps, joined mod teams and clans and checked out the IRC chatrooms of all my favourite mods.

Ten years later, I'm playing Half-Life 2 (got it for $29.99 I believe) which was released years ago and isn't even close to it's death yet. Great game, great mods, and great community.

Best purchases I've ever made!

Grr... (4, Informative)

Tickenest (544722) | more than 5 years ago | (#25828093)

The freedom and flexibility the Gldsource platform gave modders resulted in a plethora of user-generated content such as Counter-Strike and Team Fortress.

User-generated? I don't think so. The original TF mod for Quake was made by TFS, which was just a group of players at the outset, but they were hired by Valve. Team Fortress Classic was a Valve product.

Re:Grr... (1)

REJOSU (759953) | more than 5 years ago | (#25828199)

I believe Robin Walker and John Cook were the two who really implemented the mod, however... and they were hired by Valve.

Side Note: Robin Walker answers e-mails... I've sent him multiple since I was a kid playing the original TF and he is extremely kind and helpful.

Team Fortress? (3, Informative)

davisk (664811) | more than 5 years ago | (#25828105)

Quake 1 gave us Team Fortress, not Valve, not Half Life. (yes, Valve hired the dev team behind TF, but that doesn't mean they gave it to us originally)

98 cents? (1)

SYSS Mouse (694626) | more than 5 years ago | (#25828385)

They should have done it EA way by making them freeware.
(EA released C&C and C&C:Red Alert as freeware at C&C 12th and 13th birthday)

Re:98 cents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25829015)

do you think they care about the 98 cent ?

they just figure that while you're browsing the steamstore and going through the payment stuff to buy HL1, you might also buy some other crap.

Re:98 cents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25830065)

You can't be that cheap. It costs less than a can of energy drink.

Huh? Where's the most important piece of news? (-1, Redundant)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 5 years ago | (#25828503)

Half-Life costs only 98 cents [steampowered.com] for a few days as celebration.

Re:Huh? Where's the most important piece of news? (1)

HiVizDiver (640486) | more than 5 years ago | (#25828887)

Last line of the summary?

Christ, I know people don't RTFA here, but man, you didn't even RTFS!

Re:Huh? Where's the most important piece of news? (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 5 years ago | (#25829123)

I read the user submitted summary, but I guess I missed the editor bits. Not to mention I had been skimming for the magic 98 number.

And is it my fault I only expect the editors to edit, not add more links? ;)

Don't say I didn't RTFA, I read about this before Slashdot posted it, straight from the horse's mouth, on Steam's News page. So forgive me for skimming when reading a second news item about it. :)

...

OK OK so I screwed up, but you don't have to be so mean about it. :(

HL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25828747)

Half Life rocksssssssssssss !

Nearly Three (3, Funny)

florescent_beige (608235) | more than 5 years ago | (#25828803)

...former Microsoft employees Gabe Newell and Mike Harrington, instrumental minds behind nearly three generations of the Windows operating system.

And I have nearly three eyes.

Re:Nearly Three (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25829901)

ROFL, nice catch.

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25828905)

Let's not forget that Quake I is what brought Team Fortress. - nathaway

Still Steamed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25828943)

I know it is an old argument now.

But I wouldn't take Valve content if they paid ME, so long as it is DRM'd with Steam.

I wish content producers were willing to sell me content, instead of DRM.

An outstanding game - yet I know loath it..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25829081)

I loved this game in the years before Valve introduced steam. This game was the first that put a bad taste in my mouth about DRM. Someone apparently generated the CD key I bought and Valve was much more interested in protecting the pirate that me (their legitimate paying customer).

I would have stood in line to buy HL2 on release night before the CD key incident, but to this date I am sickened by the thought of even paying for it used...

Best $10 I have ever spent. (2, Interesting)

FLaSh SWT (233251) | more than 5 years ago | (#25829145)

I bought Half-Life "Game of the Year Edition" on sale at CompUSA for $9.99 in the spring of 1999. It has spoiled me. When I think of all the fun I've gotten out of that $10 over the past nine years (I still play CS and DoD) it is just staggering. I'll venture out on a limb and say that was the best $10 I have ever spent.

Re:Best $10 I have ever spent. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25829437)

Given how much of your real life has probably been consumed by a stupid computer game, I'd venture to say that was probably the worst $10 you have ever spent.

still have my original CD (1)

gsn (989808) | more than 5 years ago | (#25829521)

I remember playing it when it first came out and the bloody three tentacles and having to crawl around and toss grenades to distract the thing. Still have my unreal (gorgeous levels and I think the first game with decent AI for the baddies but really rubbish story and the series went dead with II) and quake II (kill lots of things, get key, open door, shoot boss much like the first one except with an actual boss at the end) discs from that time too but the original HL was the game that stood out simply because of the tight scripted story that made the game interesting. Didn't hurt that they developed the multiple PoVs with the other games, something I really wish they'd do with HL2.

cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25829683)

i remember since the first time i played half life here in Leustasch appatements [seefeld.com] it was fun.. wish they would make new more fun games.

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