Half-Life: Alyx is due to launch in March 2020; alongside it, Valve plans to release tools for its Source 2 engine which will let community creators build more VR content for the game and beyond.

Modding has long been a major part of Valve and Half-Life, the company has not only explicitly sanctioned modding of its works but over the years has released tools and distribution channels to help players make, find, and play community made content.

Half-Life: Alyx will be no different. Valve today 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.” ‘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 level editor | Image courtesy Valve

Community-made content can be hosted via Steam Workshop, the mod distribution component of the Steam platform.

More of Today’s Half-Life: Alyx News

This is a bigger deal than just new weapon or enemy skins; major titles like Counter-StrikeDOTA 2, Team Fortress 2, and Day of Defeat, all started their lives as mere mods. With tools available for community modders to try their hand at making new VR content, the potential exists for great ideas to bubble up and spawn significant games.

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  • RockstarRepublic

    So what happened to Source 2 being a game engine for people to build completely new games from? If there is one annoying thing about valve, is that they don’t really follow through with their announcements. At valve developers work on whatever they want to work on, so if they get bored they might move to something else. Interesting way to run the company, but not exactly the best especially if you want some kind of consistency.

    Also they said it would be out in 2019, now its March of 2020? The usual.

    • aasdfa

      its because they dont have money hungry investors and shareholders to impress. when somethings not right they can pause, restart or even terminate any project at their will. Its why theyre games are crafted to such a good level of detail but why their timelines are their own.

      • RockstarRepublic

        No. That’s not how it works nor is it applicable in all cases. Many independent studios still have to maintain a certain work ethic and plan. Announcing something at developer events and then never following through is simply not a good business strategy much less one that builds good work ethic. Its just wasting money and time.

        One of Valve’s problems is they never had to worry about money from their Steam platform. It made them lazy, less focused. Developers working on any project they want and then stopping when they want with no real solid management presence or plan is simply not healthy for a studio that produces products. Replacing one extreme with another is not some how better in this context.

        Many of their recent games are not “crafted to such a good level”. Artifact for example. Not even just games either. Their steam machine project was left dead in the water, they could have saved it but they didnt. Steam OS? The developers just got bored and stopped working on it. You cannot have that attitude with this kind of stuff, especially when you start selling it in the first place.

        • Jeff Recobs

          He’s more or less right, Valve is a privately held company they can pretty well do what they like as long as they remain profitable.

          • RockstarRepublic

            No one said otherwise regarding profitability. Thing is, Valve is not like most studios. They can lose and or waste money, be horribly inefficient and inconsistent because they have a publishing platform bringing in enough money where their losses are always going to be offset.

            The person I was responding to had the premise that this some how allows them to be better, which is not always the case. One extreme is just as bad as the other.

          • Jeff Recobs

            I’ve always been a fan of valve’s game releases over the years so I am admittedly biased, but they have created a lot of very good games. I don’t think you could really name a flop release. Bearing that in mind I am nothing if not excited for more VR games and hardware from Valve.

          • RockstarRepublic

            No worries, I am also a fan but I tend to be the more objective and rational type. I can hold studios I like to the fire just as much as praise what they do right. The more you like a studio, often times the more you are going to be willing to have an opinion about what they make.

            That said, I could easily name a flop release. Artifact for example. Even Valve came out and said they need to basically remake the game.
            https://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2019/01/16/valves-artifact-has-lost-almost-its-entire-playerbase-in-the-two-months-since-launch/#cdd672b2c4f1

            On the hardware end, the steam machine initiative basically fell flat as well. In fact when Steam first came out, it was not well liked, but we dealt with it because you had to if you wanted to play Half-Life 2.

            Granted their track record so far has been pretty good, but their best work is generally considered old and not new.

        • Adrian Meredith

          They haven’t stopped working on SteamOS, valve is doing TONs of work in the opensource community and in developing tools for vulkan and directX -> vulkan drivers specifically for improving gaming support on linux. This is all crucial work then everyone benefits from either directly or indirectly

          • RockstarRepublic

            Eh, the “OS” is around 5 or more years old at this point. It has seen very little meaningful updates or improvements. They swapped focus over onto Proton, which was comprised of other linux software for use in creating compatible steam games on Linux. The whole SteamOS Steam Machine iniative really fell flat on its face, its also why they stopped advertising and selling the machines on Steam.

            I am not saying what some of their developers do is not beneficial, but the marketing initiatives tend to have a bad track record so far.

            You have heard of the phrase “Valve Time” right? Its a bit tongue in cheek, but its basically saying that Valve’s time is completely different from our time. If they say a game will be out in 2017, we then use “valve time” to translate that to 2020. Its basically saying Valve tends to claim stuff, often advertise or hype up (sometimes at devday meetups) and not actually deliver, instead pure radio silence.

            I like Valve quite a bit but even then one has to admit that they are another kind of extreme and these extremes are not always good.

        • Moe Curley

          Man, somebody asks you a question you write them a book.

          • RockstarRepublic

            3 short paragraphs is a book in your eyes? Despite your obviously hyperbolic statement, it says a lot about a person when they can’t actually make an argument and instead opt to attack someone for posting 3 short paragraphs. Pro tip, focus on the content of a post, not its size and especially don’t whine about its size when its objectively short for the majority of mature adults.

    • How does this negatively affect Source 2? More people using it for mods will lead to more people using it to make games right?

      • RockstarRepublic

        It doesn’t negatively affect Source 2. I didn’t say it would. The point was that Gabe announced the Source 2 Engine would be out as a full time game engine for indie developers, competing in the same way Unreal Engine and Unity were. It never happened by the date he listed. In fact they acted like they never made that announcement. Now we have Source 2 being shown off again but just for mods of the current VR game they are developing.

        They are not targeting anyone beyond modders at this point, which is not the same as delivering a game engine for people to make complete games with. This could absolutely lead to that but the point was they said that ability would be there a long time ago, with steam built around it the same way Unreal is with the Epic store.

        Current Valve has a bad habit of not follow up on their commitments or what they announce. Remember the SteamOS?

        • I remember trying SteamOS in a VM to see how it worked years ago. It was basically Debian with Steam installed. I thought it was shelved because Steam on Linux made it redundant. It’s the same with Steam Link (which I own). I think lack of public interest also hurt these projects. If Source 2 is being introduced to modders than commercial use might be around the corner.

          • kuhpunkt

            SteamOS hasn’t been shelved.

          • Just noticed that good catch!

          • RockstarRepublic

            It had more to due with Valve’s development habits. A lot of steam machine manufacturers were reliant on the updates but the schedule was too inconsistent for them to build around, and on top of that many emails were left unanswered. It goes back to the term “valve time”, which is valve’s ability to have their release schedules be off by years and often with little to no information (transparency) given to the public (or even their hardware partners) between then.

            Source 2’s first target date I believe was 2017, however what people ended up getting was some mod tools with relation to Dota. Now its looking like more mod tools for Alyx. I have no doubt it will be open to commercial use at some point, even for mod purposes (that’s how Team Fortress and Counter Strike came to be). The question is more of when and with how much competitive features when compared to the Unreal Engine and Unity. We really don’t know because Valve is generally very tight fisted with information on this front, and the dates they do give are usually off by many years.

        • kuhpunkt

          When you can’t even offer facts.

          • RockstarRepublic

            What does that even mean? Give context. They ask how anything I said affects the Source 2 negatively and I reply that I never claimed it would. You say “you don’t offer facts”.
            What an oddly out of place response.

            What specially do you need facts over? Make sure you are reading my post objectively, avoid putting words into my mouth which a lot of you have been doing so far.

          • kuhpunkt

            You claim that Valve shelved SteamOS, which couldn’t be farther from the truth.

          • RockstarRepublic

            Where did I claim “Valve shelved SteamOS”? Read my post again objectively.

            Its a known factor with Valve making an announcement and then not hearing anything about it or see it get sidelined to a various degree. They call it “Valve Time”. Valve even adopted this community made term for their own use, acknowledging its legitimacy.

            Here is one quote explaining it further detail:

            “Valve time is a term which began in Valve’s fan community and has since spread to the development community as a whole. Valve time refers to the company’s longstanding tenancy to release games far later than they were originally announced, often being off the mark by a matter of years. Outside the Valve fandom, Valve time refers to any large difference between the announced released date and the actual release date. Valve itself has acknowledged the term, and now uses it when announcing release push-backs. They have even created a post on their development page chronicling the notable incidents.”

            This is exactly what I was discussing. A lot of the hardware manufacturers for the steam machine were screwed over (according to PCgamer) because they committed to and were reliant heavily developing systems around the SteamOS, but the necessary updates they needed and correspondence never appeared in a timely manner. Many of Valve’s hardware partners complained that their emails to Valve would result in no response. Valve later quietly removed the steam machine section from the Steam Store.

            It is what it is. Valve is not good at following up on commitments they have made within the time frames they often give. Thus we get “Valve Time”.

          • kuhpunkt

            “Current Valve has a bad habit of not follow up on their commitments or what they announce. Remember the SteamOS?”

            What the fuck else did you mean then?

          • RockstarRepublic

            I already explained it to you in my previous post. Did people here collectively forget how to read post objectively?

            Again I just explained to you what the steam machine manufacturers were complaining about and how it dealt with the slow and inconsistent release of SteamOS updates followed by unanswered emails.

            This, “Current Valve has a bad habit of not follow up on their commitments or what they announce. Remember the SteamOS”, does not mean “claims of shelving the SteamOS”. I think you just got caught in some confirmation bias. You are reading into my post beyond what was actually typed. Go back from the beginning and read through it with the understanding of “Valve Time”, a phrase many in the Valve community are aware of (and joke about).

          • kuhpunkt

            And you again just deflect instead of addressing the question.

          • RockstarRepublic

            I did not deflect. I literally just explained it to you twice, which addressed your “question”. You asked what that meant, and I explained it. How is that deflection? C’mon. Don’t argue in bad faith.

            My entire chain of posting was done around the Valve community understanding of “Valve Time” and subject of the steam machines. My mistake is assuming many of you already knew about it. Go look it up.

          • kuhpunkt

            As if people didn’t know about Valve Time… that doesn’t even apply to SteamOS. What you say makes no sense.

          • kuhpunkt

            Still waiting for an explanation what SteamOS has to do with Valve Time.

          • RockstarRepublic

            And I already explained it to you. Which part of it are you not understanding? Again for the LAST TIME, Steam Machine manufacturers were heavily reliant on the SteamOS updates, they stopped making those Steam Machines because in their own words the SteamOS updates were not happening when they needed them and no response was given from Valve when they reached out via email.

            The removal of SteamMachine hardware from the steampowered homepage is directly related to the development speed (or rather lack there of) of the SteamOS. It was prematurely announced then went through Valve Time which resulted in many manufacturers being screwed over. Digital Storm and Origin PC just threw in the towel and started putting Windows 10 in their “steam machines” instead. This is ironic since SteamOS came to be in order to make Windows irrelevant for PC gaming (namely after Winows 8 released).

            PC Gamer magazine states in an article covering the rise and fall SteamMachines, QUOTE: “Valve did update SteamOS, and continues to, but over two years passed between the announcement and the release, and even then it wasn’t ready.”

            Valve themselves admit to Valve Time applying to their initiatives.

            This is what I explained to you previously, and will not do so again because it is abundantly clear the “explanation” is there. In the off chance you wish to argue over semantics, then don’t bother because I won’t play along.

          • kuhpunkt

            lol

          • Moe Curley

            ” Did people here collectively forget how to read post objectively?”

            Or you could be wrong.

          • RockstarRepublic

            Creating straw man arguments and injecting words into another person’s post does not constitute being wrong or right. Your response makes no sense either. None of you are addressing any points objectively, you prefer to attack character, straw man, or deflect. Its kind of pathetic really. Respond to my own words, not ones you want to see or prefer I said. Be objective. Its not hard for the intellectually honest.

  • This is even bigger news than the release of the game itself. These tools will empower VR modders like never before. This could have huge impact for user-created VR content!

    • Jeff Recobs

      Maybe Garry will dust it off for the cause!

  • JesuSaveSouls

    A updated or gmod sequel

    • huh

      Like all things, only limited by the imagination.

    • dwd

      If things go well yes I totally see this becoming a thing. It will go through the same steps:
      1.) Clunky and awful good for fooling around for a few minutes
      2.) Still a bit clunky but access to all the props and control over physics

      3.) Getting better but performance is disastrous. Servers suffer from latency and prop abuse.
      4.) Powerful modding API that open up tons of innovative gamemodes (prophunt, darkrp, etc.)
      5.) The golden age
      6.) Slow but steady abandonment of original fanbase.
      7.) Population completely subverted by literal young children and BRs
      8.) A violent storm of cancer and youtube poop
      9.) Source Engine 3 comes out

  • I have not touch Hammer in a long time… It looks like I finally have a reason to try the new version!

  • huh

    This will be a huge bonus to VR going forward.
    I think/hope we will be amazed what some people will come up with.
    I honestly didn’t really play or finish HL2 the game, I bought it for the mods and multiplayer, Team Fortress first then CS, those were the days !

  • Jeff Recobs

    Can’t wait to see what dog looks like in real life….well you know what I mean..

  • JesuSaveSouls

    Half life one and two opened up the world to modding.Today we have mods that put half life one in vr on the quest it’s lambda1vr and phenomenal.This new one including source 2 tools will open up a arena and frontier to a totally new and expanded mod world.

  • kontis

    “levels”
    “environments”

    Sounds like map making but no real SDK to create full conversion mods.

  • Jimmy Ray

    This is going to be sweet.

  • Moe Curley

    RockstarRepublic
    I have never seen anyone so in love with the sound of their own voice.
    Here’s the NOVEL you wrote in this ONE THREAD;

    So what happened to Source 2 being a game engine for people to build completely new games from? If there is one annoying thing about valve, is that they don’t really follow through with their announcements. At valve developers work on whatever they want to work on, so if they get bored they might move to something else. Interesting way to run the company, but not exactly the best especially if you want some kind of consistency.

    Also they said it would be out in 2019, now its March of 2020? The usual.

    No. That’s not how it works nor is it applicable in all cases. Many independent studios still have to maintain a certain work ethic and plan. Announcing something at developer events and then never following through is simply not a good business strategy much less one that builds good work ethic. Its just wasting money and time.

    One of Valve’s problems is they never had to worry about money from their Steam platform. It made them lazy, less focused. Developers working on any project they want and then stopping when they want with no real solid management presence or plan is simply not healthy for a studio that produces products. Replacing one extreme with another is not some how better in this context.

    Many of their recent games are not “crafted to such a good level”. Artifact for example. Not even just games either. Their steam machine project was left dead in the water, they could have saved it but they didnt. Steam OS? The developers just got bored and stopped working on it. You cannot have that attitude with this kind of stuff, especially when you start selling it in the first place.

    No one said otherwise regarding profitability. Thing is, Valve is not like most studios. They can lose and or waste money, be horribly inefficient and inconsistent because they have a publishing platform bringing in enough money where their losses are always going to be offset.

    The person I was responding to had the premise that this some how allows them to be better, which is not always the case. One extreme is just as bad as the other.

    Eh, the “OS” is around 5 or more years old at this point. It has seen very little meaningful updates or improvements. They swapped focus over onto Proton, which was comprised of other linux software for use in creating compatible steam games on Linux. The whole SteamOS Steam Machine iniative really fell flat on its face, its also why they stopped advertising and selling the machines on Steam.

    I am not saying what some of their developers do is not beneficial, but the marketing initiatives tend to have a bad track record so far.

    You have heard of the phrase “Valve Time” right? Its a bit tongue in cheek, but its basically saying that Valve’s time is completely different from our time. If they say a game will be out in 2017, we then use “valve time” to translate that to 2020. Its basically saying Valve tends to claim stuff, often advertise or hype up (sometimes at devday meetups) and not actually deliver, instead pure radio silence.

    I like Valve quite a bit but even then one has to admit that they are another kind of extreme and these extremes are not always good.

    It doesn’t negatively affect Source 2. I didn’t say it would. The point was that Gabe announced the Source 2 Engine would be out as a full time game engine for indie developers, competing in the same way Unreal Engine and Unity were. It never happened by the date he listed. In fact they acted like they never made that announcement. Now we have Source 2 being shown off again but just for mods of the current VR game they are developing.

    They are not targeting anyone beyond modders at this point, which is not the same as delivering a game engine for people to make complete games with. This could absolutely lead to that but the point was they said that ability would be there a long time ago, with steam built around it the same way Unreal is with the Epic store.

    Current Valve has a bad habit of not follow up on their commitments or what they announce. Remember the SteamOS?

    It had more to due with Valve’s development habits. A lot of steam machine manufacturers were reliant on the updates but the schedule was too inconsistent for them to build around, and on top of that many emails were left unanswered. It goes back to the term “valve time”, which is valve’s ability to have their release schedules be off by years and often with little to no information (transparency) given to the public (or even their hardware partners) between then.

    Source 2’s first target date I believe was 2017, however what people ended up getting was some mod tools with relation to Dota. Now its looking like more mod tools for Alyx. I have no doubt it will be open to commercial use at some point, even for mod purposes (that’s how Team Fortress and Counter Strike came to be). The question is more of when and with how much competitive features when compared to the Unreal Engine and Unity. We really don’t know because Valve is generally very tight fisted with information on this front, and the dates they do give are usually off by many years.

    What does that even mean? Give context. They ask how anything I said affects the Source 2 negatively and I reply that I never claimed it would. You say “you don’t offer facts”.
    What an oddly out of place response.

    What specially do you need facts over? Make sure you are reading my post objectively, avoid putting words into my mouth which a lot of you have been doing so far.

    Where did I claim “Valve shelved SteamOS”? Read my post again objectively.

    Its a known factor with Valve making an announcement and then not hearing anything about it or see it get sidelined to a various degree. They call it “Valve Time”. Valve even adopted this community made term for their own use, acknowledging its legitimacy.

    Here is one quote explaining it further detail:

    “Valve time is a term which began in Valve’s fan community and has since spread to the development community as a whole. Valve time refers to the company’s longstanding tenancy to release games far later than they were originally announced, often being off the mark by a matter of years. Outside the Valve fandom, Valve time refers to any large difference between the announced released date and the actual release date. Valve itself has acknowledged the term, and now uses it when announcing release push-backs. They have even created a post on their development page chronicling the notable incidents.”

    This is exactly what I was discussing. A lot of the hardware manufacturers for the steam machine were screwed over (according to PCgamer) because they committed to and were reliant heavily developing systems around the SteamOS, but the necessary updates they needed and correspondence never appeared in a timely manner. Many of Valve’s hardware partners complained that their emails to Valve would result in no response. Valve later quietly removed the steam machine section from the Steam Store.

    It is what it is. Valve is not good at following up on commitments they have made within the time frames they often give. Thus we get “Valve Time”. If you read my post, even going back to the original in this chain, its clearly about the time frame and the associated information (or lack there of).

    I already explained it to you in my previous post. Did people here collectively forget how to read post objectively?

    Again I just explained to you what the steam machine manufacturers were complaining about and how it dealt with the slow and inconsistent release of SteamOS updates followed by unanswered emails.

    This, “Current Valve has a bad habit of not follow up on their commitments or what they announce. Remember the SteamOS”, does not mean “claims of shelving the SteamOS”. I think you just got caught in some confirmation bias. You are reading into my post beyond what was actually typed. Go back from the beginning and read through it with the understanding of “Valve Time”, a phrase many in the Valve community are aware of (and joke about).

    I did not deflect. I literally just explained it to you twice, which addressed your “question”. You asked what that meant, and I explained it. How is that deflection? C’mon. Don’t argue in bad faith.

    My entire chain of posting was done around the Valve community understanding of “Valve Time” and subject of the steam machines. My mistake is assuming many of you already knew about it. Go look it up.

    • RockstarRepublic

      You must be awfully triggered to collect every post of mine over the course of 2 days, which are responses to other people’s comments to my own (a natural back and forth dialogue chain), and post it as a separate post (ill attention).

      In other words what you are doing is attempting to personally target and harass someone you disagree with, not by making an argument, but simply trying to stir up negativity towards another. You are the one going out of your way to try and get attention here, while trying to direct hostility towards someone you disagree with (which is the definition of bigotry btw).

      How sad is that? If you want to disagree with my posts, do so in their specific comment areas and make an argument rather than continuously harass and belittle another simply on the basis of you not liking my opinion.

      • Moe Curley

        I’m sorry I’m going to have to give your comments to me a TLDR (with a summary) because your a windbag.

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