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Half Life 2 Episode 2 Due Out October 9th

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the hail-to-the-freeman dept.

Games 83

Shacknews reports that Half-Life 2 Episode 2 is finally, finally, due out on the 9th of October. The game will release for the PC, 360, and PS3, and will be joined by Team Fortress 2 and the FPS/Puzzler Portal. "Today's news follows rumors originating last month that the PlayStation 3 versions of the games would be delayed into 2008. Valve's Doug Lombardi noted to Shacknews that development has been progressing well on all three platforms. Electronic Arts is distributing the games at retail as a package entitled Half-Life 2: The Orange Box, which also includes the original Half-Life 2 and last year's Half-Life 2: Episode One. It will sell for $49.99 on PC and $59.99 on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Previously, the company intended to sell a slimmer package, The Black Box, which would not include Half-Life 2 or Half-Life 2: Episode One, but those plans were cancelled last month. It is expected that Steam customers will retain the option to purchase only the newly-released games."

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83 comments

Awesome (1)

uberushaximus (1025976) | more than 6 years ago | (#19520551)

Now I just have to beat episode 1

Just curious. (0)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 6 years ago | (#19520557)

Is this the one that was supposed to include Portal [wikipedia.org]?

I'd buy it for that game alone.

Re:Just curious. (4, Funny)

Nos. (179609) | more than 6 years ago | (#19520609)

We know its tough to read the article, but try reading the summary.

Re:Just curious. (1)

C0rinthian (770164) | more than 6 years ago | (#19520633)

Agreed. I wonder how many people are going to buy this simply for Portal and TF2?

Re:Just curious. (1)

uberushaximus (1025976) | more than 6 years ago | (#19520661)

I will, unless they re-instate the plack box for steam only or something similar to that.
I was personally very upset when they discontinued the black box plans.

Re:Just curious. (2, Informative)

Chabo (880571) | more than 6 years ago | (#19523809)

Supposedly, you'll be able to buy the "Black Box" games through Steam as a single package, and the Orange Box just the only way those games are coming out in retail. The Orange Box will include three Steam codes: one for HL2, one for Ep1, one for TF2/Portal/Ep2.

Re:Just curious. (1)

Guspaz (556486) | more than 6 years ago | (#19544411)

And to be honest, people who buy the PC version at retail are either stupid or ignorant (or on dialup).

They think that they're getting something concrete, that they're avoiding perceived problems with Steam. In fact, all they get is some DVDs with the Steam GCF cache files. In other words, they're still subject to the Steam system, and are in the exact same boat as somebody who bought it online. Considering buying the games on Steam is cheaper for the exact same thing (and really, the retail version isn't a usable game as shipped without Steam), the only possible reason anybody would have good reason to buy at retail is if they are stuck on dialup. And even then, they'd be better off saving themselves the retail premium, and buying the game on Steam and borrowing the GCF files from a friend to avoid the download off Steam.

Re:Just curious. (1)

Chabo (880571) | more than 6 years ago | (#19544631)

As for people who REFUSE to buy off of Steam, I agree.

In some cases though, you'll be able to find games on sale in retail stores before the price drops in the Steam store. For example, about 2 weeks after Episode 1 came out, Circuit City had a sale, and you could buy Ep1 for $10, when it was still $20 on Steam. I pre-ordered my copy on Steam (so it was ~$17 for me), but I could certainly see myself going for that if I'd decided to wait on buying the game till I'd read some reviews.

Other than that, the only explanation that makes sense to me is people who like to put their games on a bookshelf for the world to see. Personally, I prefer people to see "C in a Nutshell" and my first-edition "Black Hawk Down". ;) As for my electronic ego, my filelist on my school's Direct Connect hub is sufficient for me. Alas, to each his own. :)

Re:Just curious. (1)

Dev59 (953144) | more than 6 years ago | (#19524071)

Valve has already said that on Steam you'll essentially be able to purchase the Black Box.

Re:Just curious. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19521301)

I really don't give a damn about Team Fortress (I'm a UT guy), and Half-Life 2 never really interested me (loved the first one but don't really want any more of it), but Portal looks really, really cool. If I could get it separately it'd definitely be the thing I'll finally install Steam for.

Re:Just curious. (1)

Etcetera (14711) | more than 6 years ago | (#19521207)


I haven't played a FPS on a regular basis since Quake III Arena... but I'm planning on buying this strictly for Portal as well!

Re:Just curious? Don't wait play similar now! (1)

CryogenicKeen (1088911) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522507)

If you have Half-Life 2 then you can play the Exite Mod which has a "Portal Gun" and you open portals just like in Portal. I am pretty sure its legit because its been up for months if not a year now and its really fun! http://halflife2.filefront.com/file/HalfLife_2_Exi tE_Mod;70107 [filefront.com] Only downside is sometimes on my computer I fall through the floor forever falling into the void or it crash's. But most of the time it runs great!

Yes, yes, more sequels, yes! (3, Funny)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 6 years ago | (#19520589)

Half Life 2 Episode 2
Yes, yes, more sequels, yes! BTW, is the overall value of this title, er, .5 x 2 x 2 x Life x Episode = 2 Life Episodes?

Re:Yes, yes, more sequels, yes! (1)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 6 years ago | (#19521497)

This is about half life, so four half lives would make is Quarter Life, right?

Team Fortress 2 (3, Insightful)

Cowclops (630818) | more than 6 years ago | (#19520695)

I'm psyched about Team Fortress 2. All the exploiting retards (yes, bunnyhopping is an exploit, you CAN'T tell me an absurd speed acceleration "trick" that requires you to jump around like an idiot was intentionally designed into the game) will continue to exploit in their ancient version of TFC, while I can play a non-exploiting round of TF in TF2. If you want to be good at an FPS, be good by aiming more accurately and having quicker reflexes than your enemies, and in TF's case, mastering each class. Don't beat up on everybody by practicing an ancient (it dates back to quake 1) physics bug that pretty much can't be fixed without breaking the game or coming up with a new game engine.

After all, just because it makes the game more fun for you doesn't mean it makes it more fun for everyone else who is playing. And just because it takes practice to exploit doesn't mean its still the "proper" way of playing the game. Sure, athletes that take steroids still have to work on their strength and skills... but its still not fair to the people who understand that steroids/exploiting makes the game into an unfun excercise.

Re:Team Fortress 2 (1)

Drakin020 (980931) | more than 6 years ago | (#19520803)

Oh stop yer bitchin.

People who cry "Bunny Hopper!" are the same people they suck and can't hit anyone.

People who generaly suck try to find a way to make the game easier for them.

Bunny hopping is not an exploit. Learn to hit someone.

Re:Team Fortress 2 (3, Insightful)

Ford Prefect (8777) | more than 6 years ago | (#19521023)

Bunny hopping is not an exploit. Learn to hit someone.

If it's not an exploit, why did it (and all the grenade-jumping) get removed?

I really like the pace of TF2 - it's not hugely fast, and I got the impression that winning is more through acting as a team, out-thinking your opponents, and making worthwhile moves, not just fast ones.

In the middle of a big fire-fight it's still fast-paced and pretty vicious combat - there just aren't players skipping past all that, bunny-hopping along at some ridiculous multiples of the speed of light...

Re:Team Fortress 2 (1)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | more than 6 years ago | (#19521341)

Are you a tester or a journalist? Otherwise, you haven't played it yet and all you know comes from movies and a few preview gameplays. As far as I've seen none of these indicate that TF2 will be any more or less fast paced fun than TFC. Teamwork's important in TFC, too; your team's not gonna win with just medics and scouts (atleast not against a competent enemy team.)

As for bunny hopping, I've not seen it in the movies nor heard about it in the previews, but that doesn't mean it wont be there. Even if there's no speed bonus, it'll still useful to avoiding shots to the head. Soldier Rocket jumping is still in (we've seen it in the videos even) so how is grenade jumping an exploit and rocket jumping a cherished class tactic? Grenade jumping may even still be in, but limited to the only class with grenades now, the demo man. But the point is we don't know. Maybe it's because I play engineer and the bunny hopping didn't do much against my rocket turret or maybe because it couldn't bypass a fight faster than my teleport pad (which thankfully Valve ignored the complaints of unfairness and left it, along with my only reason to enter the enemy base, in) but I just think calling bunny hopping an exploit is just exaggeration. A cheap tactic, maybe, but not an exploit.

Re:Team Fortress 2 (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 6 years ago | (#19521485)

Grenade jumping may even still be in, but limited to the only class with grenades now, the demo man.

Engineers don't get EMPs anymore?! : (

Re:Team Fortress 2 (3, Interesting)

Ford Prefect (8777) | more than 6 years ago | (#19521895)

Are you a tester or a journalist?

Neither - a modder initially invited over for a developers' conference and who booked all his travel straight away, only for the conference to be postponed until next year or so. Cancelling all the tickets seemed silly, so I asked nicely and now I'm a one-man mod conference of my very own...

Thus, I've spent the last couple of days playing through Valve's current catalogue of upcoming games. Such hard work. ;-)

While I didn't hear anyone explicitly say that bunny-hopping (the engine-disrupting, super-speed thing) had been removed, I definitely didn't see anyone use it. Likewise, no demo-man grenade-jumping, and while I saw a bit of soldier rocket-jumping, it wasn't the fly-across-the-entire-map thing of yesteryear.

Think I'd better go and show 'em this MINERVA thing I've been working on - it's a bit of a walk from the hotel, and it's still raining, despite my attempt to sit it out...

Re:Team Fortress 2 (1)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522247)

... -_-'

Ok, I'll be quite about TF2's features then. But I'll stick by my statements pertaining to TFC's bunny hopping.

btw, Metastasis 2 was awesome.

Re:Team Fortress 2 (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 6 years ago | (#19523871)

Nice, I loved MINERVA.

Do you know if TF2 is going to be moddable or not? I'd love to bring CustomTF to it.

Re:Team Fortress 2 (1)

Ford Prefect (8777) | more than 6 years ago | (#19541581)

Do you know if TF2 is going to be moddable or not? I'd love to bring CustomTF to it.

It's pretty much certain that you'll be able to make custom maps for it, and I imagine it will be like any other Source game in allowing Source mods to refer to its DLLs and content to build new things. (In a similar manner, the first two MINERVA maps were a mod of Half-Life 2, while the third is a mod of Episode One. It's simply a matter of changing the AppID in the gameinfo,txt...)

New code could be problematic, in that I would be surprised if Valve released source code for the TF2 game DLLs - so you'd either have to reimplement all that from scratch, or make do with the relatively limited server plugin system.

But I'd recommend waiting for TF2 to be released before making any plans - it's definitely old-fashioned Team Fortress, but friendly, unashamedly retro and with some seriously nifty graphics and sounds enhancing the whole experience. As for the seemingly horrendous cuts and gameplay changes - grenades might be gone for everyone but the demo-man, but I really didn't miss them, as seemingly much-more-powerful melee attacks are most definitely in. I think I got my skull caved in by a scout on more than one occasion...

Pyros are genuinely effective now (and possibly my favourite class), medics have been redesigned almost from scratch (and are now insanely useful in assisting assaults on the opposing team's flag^Wintelligence), while many other new features now make much more sense than the original implementations.

It's great fun, but I'm sure some hardened TF players will absolutely loathe it at first - what I'm trying to say is keep an open mind when playing it. It's still defiantly Team Fortress, and the spirit is still intact from the early versions of TF for the original Quake.

Re:Team Fortress 2 (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 6 years ago | (#19558353)

It's great fun, but I'm sure some hardened TF players will absolutely loathe it at first - what I'm trying to say is keep an open mind when playing it. It's still defiantly Team Fortress, and the spirit is still intact from the early versions of TF for the original Quake.

We've modified the class balance, too. =) Pyros and scouts are both probably the most changed, though they still retain their original role. Scouts have hover boots, stealth, and the airfist, which makes them able to sneak past buildings, and airfist or hover to any part of a map. A normal TF scout just would get owned by the first engineering building he came across. The pyro got a slight tweak in damage, but he's basically a lighter, more mobile, version of the soldier who has TKD (allowing long horizontal or vertical leaps) and hover boots.

I toyed with the idea of reimplementing TF for Half-Life 1, but I've never been much of an expert on the map stuff. Re-doing the weapons and etc would have been trivial, especially with the art from TFC available.

Re:Team Fortress 2 (1)

TACOGS (1120139) | more than 6 years ago | (#19645449)

Not the only one interested in giving this a go, back in my old quake days I used to download deadend mods to see if there where any lights at the end of their tunnel. In other words, I am dead serious about giving a game a chance. I remember one of them mods is close to your heart, CustomTF. I wish I still had ICQ shaka, I would have got back to you sooner, about god knows how many years split our chance to talk in half.

Re:Team Fortress 2 (1)

paleo2002 (1079697) | more than 6 years ago | (#19556725)

Great job with MINERVA! The story-telling style reminds me a lot of the Marathon series. Keep up the good work.

Re:Team Fortress 2 (1)

default luser (529332) | more than 6 years ago | (#19525521)

Grenade jumping may even still be in, but limited to the only class with grenades now, the demo man.

I'm officially disappointed. This is the very first time I can say that regarding TF2.

I've been waiting 8 years for a proper sequel to QuakeWorld TF, and I guess I'm still going to be waiting. Grenades are an integral part to the TF concept: the standard grenades level the playing field between classes (even the lowly Scout can blow a HWG to bits with a well-timed prime-and-toss), and the class-specific grenades make for fun gameplay.

Worse yet, I'll bet the demoman can't even prime a grenade while shooting with the gun! Such a terrible thing. Team Fortress isn't about realism, it's about bad-asses that can rocket jump, survive shotgun blasts and prime grenades while jumping, while shooting at the other team. It just so happens they work as a team.

Re:Team Fortress 2 (1)

GeckoX (259575) | more than 6 years ago | (#19521243)

No doubt.

Bunny hoppers are the easiest of targets. They endlessly define a curve of the same magnitude. Total predictability. If you can't figure out how to take down bunny hoppers...really now, try another game, and I'd suggest not a shooter.

Re:Team Fortress 2 (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 6 years ago | (#19524893)

Actually, bunny hopping does screw the balance of a game up. It wasn't something that was intended and you can indeed be a good player and not like the bunny hopping crap. The people who defend bunny hopping are the ones that actually suck. Take their bunny hop key binds away from them and then they all of a sudden they can't play.

Re:Team Fortress 2 (1)

Drakin020 (980931) | more than 6 years ago | (#19525303)

Take their bunny hop key binds away from them and then they all of a sudden they can't play.

No...not quite. You see what would happen is then we would still beat your arse...Then you guys would cry "0mfg temove the left click, they kill us when they use that button. EXPLOIT!!"

Re:Team Fortress 2 (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 6 years ago | (#19523261)

Actually, it's trivially easy to stop bunny hopping.

QuakeC code:
local float speed;
speed = vlen(self.velocity);
if (speed > maxspeed) self.velocity = self.velocity * (maxspeed / speed);

Put that into playerprethink() in CLIENT.QC or any of the other functions which get called every frame, and a person will never be able to travel faster than their maximum speed. Add a if (self.flags & #FL_ONGROUND) around it if you want them to be able to fly through the air faster than their maxspeed.

No, Bunnyhopping was intentionally left in, because it is seen as a sign of skilled players. You disagree, and I do too somewhat, but I've left it in my mod, CustomTF (http://www.customtf.com) (forums at http://customtf.sourceforge.net/forum/ [sourceforge.net]), because the playerbase overwhelming wants it. However, I did ensure that some of my new content, like the ability to leap forward quickly through the air, isn't bunnyhoppable (it breaks your speed down to your maxspeed after 2 seconds).

The weirdest thing is that Quake1 is still pretty active after all these years. TF1 was much better than TFC, for a number of reasons.

Re:Team Fortress 2 (1)

Chabo (880571) | more than 6 years ago | (#19524217)

Bunny-hopping doesn't give you extra speed in TFC, it just makes you harder to hit. In HL2, it DOES make you go faster, but you have to time it just right (I was on the team for Half-life 2 Done Quick [invisionfree.com]).

However, in CS, they purposely made it so that jumping slows you down, to make it so that bunny-hopping no longer was effective at keeping your speed up.

Christmas? (1)

SailorFrag (231277) | more than 6 years ago | (#19520729)

Excellent. This means that factoring in the usual "Valve can't make release dates" fudge factor, it should be out sometime in December, just in time for playing over the Christmas break!

Re:Christmas? (1)

Harlockjds (463986) | more than 6 years ago | (#19520857)

Since you are factoring in the Valve Fudge Factor (VFF) means you must be talking about December 2009 right???

I only played Half-Life 2 (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 6 years ago | (#19520893)

I absolutely LOVED Half-Life 2, it ranks up there in my top 10 favourite games of all time...never got around to playing Episode 1.

Anyone care to share a first-hand opinion? Yes, I know it's (apparently) short, so other than that anyone have any comments about it?

Re:I only played Half-Life 2 (1)

gnarlyhotep (872433) | more than 6 years ago | (#19520979)

I found the shortness detracted from the fun as it was just over way too soon and suddenly, but it's still a pretty good value for what you pay. The game isn't as tight as the base Half-Life 2 (there's a bit too much lead alex around with the flashlight and let her do the work). The gameplay is still very solid, and I didn't find any major problems with anything. In all, I liked it, but it wasn't as good or satisfying as Half-Life 2 was, even considering I expected less as I was paying a lot less.

Re:I only played Half-Life 2 (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | more than 6 years ago | (#19521003)

It was fun, I won't begrudge them that. My only real gripe is the time between "episodes." I always thought one of the main goals of episodes was delivering smaller content, but rapidly. The secondary benefit was while concentrating on small chunks, they could make that single chunk fun all the way though instead of artifically dragging it out with poor levels of copy/paste jobs like much of Halo 1. Instead the lag between Episode 1 and 2 is a bit on the lame side. My friends were hoping 4 episodes per year, I was OK with 2 per year. But now we're looking at 1.25 years between titles.

Re:I only played Half-Life 2 (1)

SausageOfDoom (930370) | more than 6 years ago | (#19521085)

After a recent reinstall of steam, I was reading through the news archives - when episode 1 came out, they promised episode 2 in 6 months time.

Think it's just TF2 and portal that have pushed the schedule back and back. Still, reckon it will be worth the wait when it arrives.

Re:I only played Half-Life 2 (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#19530501)

I never finished HL2 so I'm not puying any of the episodes. I think Valve is going to see decreasing sales for each episode as people who didn't buy or finish one episode wouldn't be able to play the next one so the most they can sell is just as much as the previous game and each person that doesn't buy a new game will be lost for the later ones.

Re:I only played Half-Life 2 (1)

Tyir (622669) | more than 6 years ago | (#19521009)

If you loved HL2, then you will love Episode 1. Same kind of stuff, probably even more polished than the HL2 was. Unfortunately, as you said, it is short, almost too short.

Re:I only played Half-Life 2 (1)

SausageOfDoom (930370) | more than 6 years ago | (#19521063)

Afair, it's literally just a short sequel. As you enjoyed HL2, it's probably worth getting for a few hours of extra gameplay and story.

Re:I only played Half-Life 2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19521133)

some of the vehicle parts were a little long, and yeah it kindof felt like it was over before it started.

Re:I only played Half-Life 2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19521281)

It's a fun 4 hours. The graphics are better than HL2. However the huge gap in time between releases has made me hate episodic gaming. By the time a new release comes around I've lost all connection to the story in the game that preceeded it. I think I'll be skipping Episode 2 because of this or I'll wait until all future episodes are released. At this rate of development it would take them 6 years just to make 1 complete game.

Re:I only played Half-Life 2 (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 6 years ago | (#19521507)

My intention when the orange box came out was to replay Half-Life 2 (only played through it once) and THEN move on to episode 1 & 2....I mean hey, might as well right? Half-Life 2 is only a ~18-20 hour game anyway, that's just one real dedicated weekend or a 3 hour a day week...no big deal.

In fact, start Half-Life 2 on a Monday, finish by a friday, then do episode 1 and two on a saturday marathon.

wow. I just made myself a little bit more excited about the Orange box...

Re:I only played Half-Life 2 (1)

Chabo (880571) | more than 6 years ago | (#19523931)

At this rate of development it would take them 6 years just to make 1 complete game.

Well, that's basically what happened to HL2 after they finished HL1... I sure wouldn't want to wait another 5-6 years to play HL3, I'd rather have an episode every 18 months.

It's fun. (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 6 years ago | (#19524317)

But don't buy it overpriced. In fact, see if you can borrow/buy cheaper copy. I didn't register my account with my original one. I used another name so I could give/sell it away. I did that on purpose because I knew the episode would have zero replayability.

Less varied, but higher quality (1)

Fross (83754) | more than 6 years ago | (#19526619)

The map design is better, the graphics are improved (espe lighting), some of the "fight your way through a building" which in HL2 were... well, not tedious, but samey, now have more tension in them simply through the way the levels are designed.

You end up with some very panoramic or otherwise impressive views because of the way they are designed as well, and Episode 2 seems like it will continue that.

The gameplay is less varied, mostly because HL2 had several "episodes" to it (eg the driving), and this is smaller, but what is there, is better. It feels like the environment interacts more (more audio, especially the tannoy system announcements), more atmosphere. And rather than meeting a whole variety of characters, the play is more about you and Alex exploring together - the AI is very good both at playing Alex in gunfights, and making her interaction with you seem genuine, and warm as ever.

If you liked HL2, you'll find more beautiful environments, neat puzzles, good atmosphere, higher quality than the original HL2. (I replayed it just before EP1 came out so it was fresh, and recommend that)

It's short(ish), but don't race through it, savour it. It's certainly good value for money.

*yawn*? (4, Insightful)

lawaetf1 (613291) | more than 6 years ago | (#19521473)

I love Half Life, Half Life 2, Half Life 2 - Episode One... but I have to take issue with a year and a half delay between one episode and the next. Calling it "episode two" does not make it episodic play in the sense that there is much real-life experiential continuity between the two. It has been so long now that I've somewhat forgotten how EP1 ended. Something about Alex getting killed (or was that from the preview of ep2?) and a train leaving and everything blowing up? I recall Valve saying they were developing the episodes concurrently but at $50/game and a 16 months inbetween, one may as well call them HL3 and HL4. Worse, the games are not "full" games in that they can be reasonably finished in 12-15 hours.

What made HL great is the more the story line than the software. It should not take over a year to write a new chapter and devise some new maps. If you want to create a true episodic experience, release new versions every 6-8 months with incremental improvements.

Reading this post I feel like comic book shop guy in the Simpsons. There is not an emoticon to describe how I am feeling!!

Re:*yawn*? (3, Informative)

sunderland56 (621843) | more than 6 years ago | (#19521929)

Episode two is more than just new maps. They're thoroughly revising the core game engine (better rendering, better physics, better support for multi-core processors). There are also AI changes to support cooperative game play - in other words, instead of Alex just following you around and giving you hints, she will actually help you perform tasks. The nice thing with how Valve/Steam works is that once the core game engine updates are done, they will allow any game to use them, not just HL2.


The core engine changes also allow things like the portal gun in Portals - which is a separate third party game, but which needed changes from Valve to work correctly.


In the meantime, if all you want is new maps, fire up Hammer and make some of your own!

Re:*yawn*? (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522129)

Portals - which is a separate third party game

First of all, it's "Portal" -- singular, not plural. Second, Valve hired all the developers of the prototype (called "Narbacular Drop"), so it's actually a first-party game.

Re:*yawn*? (1)

sammy baby (14909) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522677)

GP post:

recall Valve saying they were developing the episodes concurrently but at $50/game and a 16 months inbetween, one may as well call them HL3 and HL4.


Parent post:

Episode two is more than just new maps. They're thoroughly revising the core game engine (better rendering, better physics, better support for multi-core processors). There are also AI changes to support cooperative game play - in other words, instead of Alex just following you around and giving you hints, she will actually help you perform tasks.


So, you agree then.

Look, Valve can make as many improvements to the engine as they want, but if the game can be finished in a piddling amount of time, people are still going to wind up feeling stiffed.

Re:*yawn*? (1)

ShadowsHawk (916454) | more than 6 years ago | (#19523969)

The problem is that they should have been implemented in Half Life 3, not in between episodes. Episodes = short games at a frequent pace. Despite my love for the series, I'll be skipping Ep2 until I can finish the damn game in one sitting. I'm sick of Valve's 'scheduling'.

Re:*yawn*? (2, Insightful)

CryogenicKeen (1088911) | more than 6 years ago | (#19522675)

In this Interview :

http://www.eurogamer.net/article.php?article_id=65 345 [eurogamer.net]

Gabe essentially says that what we are playing now (Episodes 1, 2 and 3) IS Half-Life 3.

"Probably a better name for it [Half-Life 2: Episode One] would have been Half Life 3: Episode One, but these three are what we're doing as our way of taking the next step forward, but Half-Life 2 was the name we used," said Newell.

And yes I too would love, oh love so much for the game to be out tomarrow or yesterday. But when I look back on how much I so badly wanted Half-Life 2 and when it came out I was personally very satisfied. Sure at the end I was like WHAT thats it I want more! But isn't that the goal of any artist/game maker/music maker/tv producer? For the consumer to like your product so much that they just can't wait until next weeks episode? I really, really, really also want Episode 2 to come out today. Its easy for me to self delude myself sometimes because I live 5 miles away from Valve head office its hard for me to even fathom that the game I and people all over the world want is 5 miles away form me.

But wouldn't you rather it take a little bit longer just so they get things right? Just so the game isn't hurried out the door with major bugs, flaws and loss of content because they felt so pressured from their fans to just hurry the game up and gold it? Sure they may have made a mistake on making it episodic and sure they are way off on their estimates. But I would personally take waiting 1.5 years for 1/3 of a game then waiting another 5 years for 20 hours of game play. But maybe thats just me.

Re:*yawn*? (1)

subsolar2 (147428) | more than 6 years ago | (#19523683)

I love Half Life, Half Life 2, Half Life 2 - Episode One... but I have to take issue with a year and a half delay between one episode and the next. Calling it "episode two" does not make it episodic play in the sense that there is much real-life experiential continuity between the two. It has been so long now that I've somewhat forgotten how EP1 ended. Something about Alex getting killed (or was that from the preview of ep2?) and a train leaving and everything blowing up? I recall Valve saying they were developing the episodes concurrently but at $50/game and a 16 months inbetween, one may as well call them HL3 and HL4. Worse, the games are not "full" games in that they can be reasonably finished in 12-15 hours.


I'm rather miffed at them that it's taking them this long to produce an episode ... the original idea was to make shorter versions of the game at semi-regular intervals like 6-9 months. I had gotten the "HL2 Holiday Edition" for christmas and finally last month started playing HL2 ... good game. I played EP1 and was disappointed at how short it was (~6 hours on normal) and was glad I did not buy it at $20 retail (might be OK at $10 steam).

I was hearing that EP2 was going to be released late this month or early July, but not it's really disappointing, I hope there is alot more game play than EP1 for the wait. I'm playing HL:Source now, an it's a harder game than HL2 and better over-all. From the teasers EP2 looks like it will be better than HL2 & EP1.

BTW in EP1 after you kill the strider in the train station and board the train out of city 17 the citadel blows up and that is where the game ends. The teasers for EP2 indicates that Alex gets killed, but the developers have also indicated that she does not get killed off, but they do introduce characters from the previous HL games.

Re:*yawn*? (1)

Chabo (880571) | more than 6 years ago | (#19524171)

You realize that HL:Source is Half-life 1 ported to the Source engine, right? Not a new game? ;)

Re:*yawn*? (1)

subsolar2 (147428) | more than 6 years ago | (#19625191)

You realize that HL:Source is Half-life 1 ported to the Source engine, right? Not a new game? ;)


Yes I was aware of the fact, I'm playing HL:Source because I never played the original. Yes I consider the original HL a better game than HL2 ... I like the graphics in the newer one, but the older one is a tougher game and better over-all.

I'm tempted to try to find a copy of HL:Blue Shift and HL:Apposing Forces to see if they are any good.

Re:*yawn*? (1)

Chabo (880571) | more than 6 years ago | (#19524135)

First off, the $50 package is for HL2, HL2:Ep1, HL2:Ep2, Portal, and TF2. If you only want the latter three, then you will be able to buy those separately over Steam.

Second, with Valve's dev cycles, it would take them 5 years to make another "full" game. So making a new episode every 18 months is fast for them.

Third, if you're unsure of the plotline, you have several options, including a replay of the game (sounds like you own it), or a viewing of the many videos online where people show their run-throughs.

If you would like a glimpse at how long it truly takes to make a game, start up the Hammer Editor and make a few maps. Look at the guy who makes the MINVERVA series (look up, he posted a few comment on this page). It's taken him literally years to make three maps, and he doesn't even have to make new textures; Valve already did that for him! Despite this, his maps are (IMO) extremely well-designed, and fun to play. Granted, he does mapping in his spare time, not as a job, but you have to understand that map design is very time-consuming, even without having to go through and design new models and textures from scratch.

I'm not the fastest mapper, but I am fairly experienced. Despite this, it takes me probably 10 minutes to make a simple box with lights and a spawn point; it takes me a couple hours to make a simple map like a clone of fy_iceworld; it took several weeks to make a deathmatch map that I handed in to Valve's HL2DM map design contest, and it still wasn't finished when I hit the deadline. Go through some tutorials, design some maps, and you'll see what I mean.

Re:*yawn*? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19524531)

If you listen to current development teams talk about games, they identify several situations that are fun, and build a hole game around those situations. Halo had the Master Chief fighting several armies while they fought themselves. Quake 4 was a corridor crawl. Once the type of game is identified, the level designers get into their groove, and can churn map designs. Doing maps in your spare time is incredibly harder than doing them full time with a team.

-James

Re:*yawn*? (1)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 6 years ago | (#19525161)

You can't rush something as complex as E2. Even the maps take a long time to make, as any mapper can tell you.

Sure, they could release stuff every six months, but the quality would be much lower, and the episodes would be very, very short. E2 is well worth the wait.

**SPOILER ALERT** (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19531655)

Parent post has major spoilers, beware

Good! (1)

Cythrawl (941686) | more than 6 years ago | (#19521829)

Now lets hope that no-one hacks into Valve's Network again and thus delaying the title again for a year!

One thing is, whatever happened to the episodes being released in 6 months apart from eachother??

I still think it would have just been better to release them all in one seperate game. Half Life 2.5 so to speak..

Theres more to it than you think.... (1)

Falcon51 (1116069) | more than 6 years ago | (#19524749)

Actually, Valve is doing much more than just making maps and storylines. Episode 1 saw a major revision to the source engine (HDR) and Episode 2 has a similar update to the engine so it remains 'current'. Also the programming behind portal and the changes to the engine it requires (orginally in Source you could never see your character). So dont think this is just new levels, it requires quite a lot of programming to get working properly.

Re:Theres more to it than you think.... (1)

Tol Dantom (1114605) | more than 6 years ago | (#19525015)

Sorry but that's not quite right. Some modders were able to implement the "portal technology" in HL2 shortly after Valve showed off their tech demos.

Take a look [exitemod.com]

Re:Theres more to it than you think.... (1)

Falcon51 (1116069) | more than 6 years ago | (#19530667)

I stand corrected. The 'portal mods' I had seen before this all had the flaw of the player being unable to see themselves through a portal.

Re:Theres more to it than you think.... (1)

Atriqus (826899) | more than 6 years ago | (#19526263)

Yeah, that's great and all, but if they're going through the effort of adding so much to the engine, why not just make a full-fledged game? From the consumer perspective, TF2 is the actual game being released, and portal and EP2 are just tech demos.

Re:Theres more to it than you think.... (1)

micpp (818596) | more than 6 years ago | (#19526971)

excuse me? I'm buying it for episode 2, which is the game. Team Fortress is a multiplayer component and Portal is a tech demo.

Re:Theres more to it than you think.... (1)

IntergalacticWalrus (720648) | more than 6 years ago | (#19539353)

From the consumer perspective, TF2 is the actual game being released, and portal and EP2 are just tech demos.

Speak for yourself. Of all 3 features, TF2 is the only one I don't give a flying shit about.
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