At the announcement of Half-Life: Alyx last year, Valve promised it would release Source 2 tools which would allow the community to extend the game’s content and functionality. Now, two weeks after the launch of the game, Valve says it’s presently working on the tools but isn’t ready to share a release date just yet.

Half-Life: Alyx launched to critical acclaim, and as more players finish the game, hunger is growing for mods and community content that will give players even more to do in Alyx.

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9 'Half-Life: Alyx' Mods We'd Love to See

Last year Valve announced that “a set of Source 2 tools for building new levels will be available for the game, enabling any player to build and contribute new environments for the community to enjoy,” and that ‘Hammer’, the studio’s level authoring tool, has been “updated with all of the game’s virtual reality gameplay tools and components.”

‘Hammer’ Valve’s Source 2 level editor | Image courtesy Valve

Two weeks post-release, Valve tells Road to VR that the company is ‘currently working on Source 2 modding tools’, but isn’t ready to share a specific release date. At this point, it isn’t clear if the wait will be weeks or months, nor do we know to what extent the Coronavirus situation—with Valve employees moving to work-from-home—may have altered the expected timeline.

While those of us who have completed the game may be hungry for community-made content, it turns out that we’re still well in the minority; it can be seen from achievements for Half-Life: Alyx that only 23% of players have completed the game to date.

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  • mfx

    All I wish is that they release tools as polished as the game.

    And that they revamp the documentation.

  • impurekind

    It will be very interesting to see what the community comes up with.

  • People have been building prototypes with the SteamVR version of Hammer. It is far from perfect but it is a start. I made an arena style test map. The lack of working AI navigation has slowed down progress quite a bit however…

    https://ssj3fox.com/2020/04/01/half-life-alyx-arena/

  • Greyl

    Another huge win for PC VR. We could get the next Garry’s Mod VR, CS Go VR, Portal VR, and all sorts of other crazy VR mods as a result of this.

    • mirak

      No because it’s just a level editor.

      • Greyl

        Once the Source 2 SDK is released, and additionally with HLA’s modding tools, it will be possible to create entire new VR games based on Source 2 and HLA’s framework.

        • mirak

          Yes but they have no plan for that, that’s my point.

          • Greyl

            What Valve said is, the SDK is still very early and they’re focused on releasing Half Life Alyx first, but ‘after that’s done, they will start looking at what’s next’. In other words, they’ll release the SDK eventually, but not until it’s ready, which isn’t the same as “no plans for that”.

  • MatBrady

    Please someone mod Portal VR. Oh, that would be sweet!

    • kuhpunkt

      So you can throw up?

      • MatBrady

        Yes, and have a great time doing it.

        My vr legs are strong. I prefer locomotion and I also really enjoyed hurtling through the air in Windlands, using momentum to gain speed and height.

        I think I’m good with Portal VR, but I’m also okay if I get sick from it too.

        A chance I’m perfectly willing to take.

        Bring it on!

        • Matt

          don’t know if you discovered this yet but dude… Jet Island is totally the game for you

          • MatBrady

            I haven’t heard about it. I’m on to it now. Thank you! :D

          • Moe Curley

            Would be interesting to have it out there to see if that level of VR legs is something that can be acquired through acclimating over time… Hmm?

  • impurekind

    You know, Half-Life: Alyx has kinda ruined many other VR games for me: I went back and tried to play the Walking Dead VR game and just found it to be so meh, with muddy visuals, a clunky framerate, clunky item management, slightly clunky movement, and it just wasn’t that much fun to be honest. I gave up after half an hour of trying to get back into it. After Alyx everything seems like a generation out of date in so many ways, from the visuals to the controls and world interaction.

    • mirak

      Is that a joke ?
      Walking Dead is way ahead of Alyx regarding on body inventory, melee weapons, locomotion running, crafting.
      Zombies are even faster than combine soldiers.

      • Bumpy

        Agreed. HL is great fun but TWD and Boneworks do other things much better.

        • Expensive Hospital

          Boneworks is fun, but nauseating. It feels life a Half Life fan game with jankier versions of HL:A mechanics.

          • mirak

            It badly hurts your hands with the Vive wands.
            I havbe the knuckles know and give it a go again.
            But I am not totally satisfyed by knuckles yet.

      • impurekind

        Playing both in turn showed me that The Walking Dead does not even come close in terms of all the things that actually matter, especially when it comes to the actual level of polish and execution of such things (like basic movement, controls and whatever interaction is there). I deleted The Walking Dead off my machine as I simply could not go back in and enjoy it after experiencing Alyx. I did exactly the same with Boneworks too. More does not always equal better, and I’ll always pick something that’s more refined and satisfying than something that’s overly clunky and finicky because it’s trying to be too experimental.

        • mirak

          I can deal with Walking Dead issues the same way I can deal with Alyx issues.

  • dogtato

    I wonder how many people haven’t finished it because it gets too spooky, fighting headcrabs and other monsters in the dark. I haven’t finished it yet because I’m savoring it.

    • ArSh

      I play it in short(ish) bursts – the creepiness gets to me after 20-30 minutes! Still love it though, it’s quite the experience and a testament to how good VR has become.

  • The only time that Valve has delivered something in time, there has been a global pandemic. So I’m ok if they’re late with these tools :D :D :D

    • Martin355

      What did they deliver on time? Half-Life:Alyx was originally supposed to come out last year.

  • Martin355

    Are you typically able to include your own 3d models in this type of level editor? If so, I could model my own apartment and include that as an environment, but add headcrabs, which I’ve always felt were missing from my home.

    • Moe Curley

      That was actually the reason I asked the question above. Ben Mazurek gave a very informative answer.

  • Moe Curley

    So, I question from a uneducated, non-programmer. Sorry if it sound stupid to those of you with more knowledge. When someone uses this toolkit to make an environment or scene. Where can it be experienced, will you to post it to your own server? Will people be able to join your “room” and experience your environment? What will they need run on there PC to experience your environment?

    • Ben Mazurek

      It’ll be single player, people will be able to play the same environment, but they won’t be playing together. You should be able to download it. There are two scenarios for downloads:
      1) Mods get posted on the steam workshop. This is pretty simple, as all you’ll just have to click on the workshop tab in the library page for the game, and subscribe to whatever environment you want to play. There should be some sort of level selector in game for this.
      2) Mods are posted online. People will put download links to files, and others can download them, and place them in the game folder for Half Life Alyx. There’ll probably be instructions with the download.
      Scenario #1 is more likely, as Valve has said the game will come with modding support, and the way Steam deals with mods and maps is mostly through the workshop.

      • Moe Curley

        Great explanation! Even I can understand it! Ha. Thanks man. This will really help.

  • kontis

    it turns out that we’re still well in the minority; it can be seen from achievements for Half-Life: Alyx that only 23% of players have completed the game to date.

    This is very common for all single player games. Most people don’t finish them.