Like many of Valve’s best titles, Half-Life: Alyx (2020) is a lot more moddable than your average game, which for PC VR headset owners means hundreds of new modes, missions, and mini-games. Now one of the HLA’s most talented modders announced they’ve been snapped up by Valve.

Nate Grove was responsible for two of the best HLA campaign-style mods, Incursion and Re-Education—both of which are uncannily Valve-like in pacing, setting… everything.

Grove says in a tweet that “a HUGE contributing factor to my hire was my work on my Workshop items Re-Education and Incursion. It was a dream for me (and many others) to work at Valve and I think this highlights the importance of supporting integration of community work into any game. It only makes the product (and the industry) stronger.”

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While clearly a capable modder of one of the best VR games to date, Grove is no gaming industry neophyte. Now a level designer and artist at Valve, Grove comes to the company from Annapurna Interactive, which is known for publishing award-winning titles such as Outer Wilds, Stray, and What Remains of Edith Finch. Grove also created custom assets for both HLA mods, which is probably par for the course for someone who’s already spent nearly a decade as a professional digital artist and environmental designer.

What does this mean for Valve, VR and everything? It’s too early to speculate, since the company is by nature a black box that only occasionally sneaks possible hints about upcoming headsets in SteamVR updates. In fact, Grove says the announcement above was their “last post here” on X, formerly Twitter.

If it makes you feel better though, you can always comment “Half-Life 3 confirmed” in the comments.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 4,000 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • Bob

    Half-Life 3 unconfirmed.

    • ViRGiN

      Seeing what they did with Alyx, it’s actually better that HL3 does not exist.

      • Fielke

        While not a perfect game, HLA is still up there as one of the best VR games since it’s one of the only VR games that feels finished as a full game. Lots of other VR experiences feel like a demo or proof of concept.

        • ViRGiN

          In no universe I’ll ever treat Alyx as finished game. 3 weapons, equally few enemies, can’t even melee the crabs. It’s a parody of a game designed to make pcvr alive, but even that failed.

          • Arno van Wingerde

            Note to (very) new readers here: ViRGiN is not the biggest fan of Valve …

          • ViRGiN

            I loved early Valve games. HL is a classic. Nowadays they are just file hosting company that doesn’t do anything special. I used to be able to sell my old games. Now it’s all digital

          • Richard R Garabedian

            yes…so what is a good pcvr game then?

          • ViRGiN

            A pcvr exclusive? Hard to say. Games in general still suck, and everything relevant pretty much has been ported to quest already.

          • Richard R Garabedian

            yeah.. i know. I was hoping you had somehting good for me i hadnt seen yet

          • ViRGiN

            If you’re actually into VR, there are no “hidden gems”, just undiscovered steam vr daily trash.

          • Richard R Garabedian

            lol..so true

          • Fielke

            What VR games do you like then?

      • namekuseijin

        dat Gaben with Quest 3 lol

      • LMAO

        Ignorant troll alert!

        • ViRGiN

          Smelly troll alert!

          • LMAO

            Ignorant troll alert!.

          • ViRGiN

            Smelly troll alert!.

  • J.C.

    Well, that’s interesting news. Valve had said that their 3 planned VR games got gobbled up by Alyx alone. It’s possible they’re going to take another stab at it. I haven’t tried ANY mods for Alyx. I really ought to check out a couple, especially the two this guy put together.

    • XRC

      Highly recommended the mods for HLA “Gunman Contracts” Parts 1 and 2 by ANB_Seth

  • ViRGiN

    Don’t get too excited – we all remember when Valve invited Onward devs back in 2016, right?

  • Chris Dunn

    Dooooood gratz on the new job!!! I hope its all you hope it will be. We need to hear more about mod creators and the jobs they secure!!! Great news from Road to VR.

  • Foreign Devil

    I need to get into making making mods for VR games like Half Life. …I have the skills to make assets. . but not to make a full standalone game…

    • Hussain X

      Half Life 3 mod version confirmed.

    • Lucidfeuer

      A lot more goes into making mods or “fanwork” than making assets, that’s why he was hired and most aren’t

  • Mike

    “Grove says the announcement above was their last post here”

    …Nate is always a male name. Always. Stop it Scott. Leave the extreme politcal attempted-social-egineering off this site.

    • PointR

      I only see one person making it political here.

      • Mike

        “I only see one person making it political here.”

        Trying to inorganically force an awkward change of how language has been since its beginnings, against the will of the vast majority of the population, is INHERENTLY political, and inherently extreme.

        • PointR

          Singular “They” has been in use since the 1800s. In this case, it literally hurts no one except… Snowflakes.

          Now tell me. Why do you want to change language so bad? Why are you making this political?

          • gothicvillas

            Whoa chill bro

        • Dragon Marble

          Who is doing the “forcing” here? It’s not coincidence that people who cry victim the loudest do the most persecutions.

        • Christian Schildwaechter

          Assuming that language hasn’t permanently changed all the time since its beginning in all of its aspects and uses means you do not have the slightest idea how language works. Try reading texts from 50, 100 or 200 years ago, and good luck with understanding Middle or Old English without a translation. Or interpreting some new slang now used on TikTok.

          I’m pretty sure your parents were just as annoyed by the way their children messed up a perfectly good language as every generation of parents before them.

    • Dragon Marble

      What are you, a internet/language police? Why are you so sensitive about small things like these that hurt no one but may be important for some? Are you a snowflake? Are you trying to cancel Scott because of this? I say you stop, Mike. There is no reason to make a big fuss about something like this.

      • Mike

        It hurts the young children this will lure into hormones and then genital mutilation.

        My mother talks about how she was a “tomboy” as a child. She grew up to be 100% feminine.

        If your people had been in power back then, they would have told her she’s a boy, put her on testosterone, and I never would have been born!

        And she probably would have eventually killed herself, statistically.

        You speak from a position of power, calling this “a little thing”, saying “calm down while we force this with our power”. Your people have taken over the institutions. But you’re creating massive backlash with all this extremism that rubs most people the wrong way instinctually.

        • Dragon Marble

          Mike, which apocalyptic video game are you describing? Oh, you just watched too much cable news, and think this is really happening. Calm down, really.

          Don’t speak of suicide hypothetically like that when tragedies are actually happening much less fortunate people. That’s not cool.

          You know, the world has real, serious problems. Don’t fight imaginary battles. Or, just play more games, and watch less politics.

        • CrusaderCaracal

          Chill out

    • XDeathShotX

      I don’t it either but you don’t see me crying about it…

      • gothicvillas

        Nobody is crying, just pointing out its dumb. I totally misunderstood the article when i read it first and was thinking why it is Valves last post.

        • Dragon Marble

          Read Mike’s other posts and see that this is not just a minor complaint about grammar. Of course. Everybody knows.

    • namekuseijin

      yeah, I was left wondering if this was about Nate AND Valve

      • Mike

        Good point. I was also initially confused about that.

    • Lucidfeuer

      I agree, as a non-native speaker (barely any of us use “their” even in queer spaces), this is confusing

    • CrusaderCaracal

      Oh my god it’s one word in a article, get a grip

  • Mike

    That is so awesome , great job guys for recognizing a great talent , cheeers to a great workmanship and future gaming and a continuous learning experience between everyone , CHEEEEEEEEERS

  • david vincent

    “Half-Life: Alyx (2020) is a lot more moddable than your average game”
    Actually no, Valve never released their full Source 2 SDK, making modding Alyx very laborious and limited.
    Image if we had a full Source 2 SDK on top of UEVR : what a boost for PCVR…

    • Ookami

      as much as I agree with your point, I think the statement is still true. After all, the “average game” makes it extremely hard to go about modding in levels or anything like that. A lot of game modpages on Nexus are just a bunch of little graphical tweaks (like ReShade, or texture/model swaps)

  • Richard R Garabedian

    omg…that means…another pcvr game is coming out. wow. !

    • Ookami

      they are *definitely* working on one, but will it come out? Half Life 3 also was in development multiple times in the past.

  • Half-Life 3 confirmed!

  • Ookami

    really cool

  • Clownworld14

    They left Halflife Alyx open ended, as if they’re going to have you play as Gordon Freeman again in the next one, and hopefully its another amazing vr game.

  • LazyFox

    Now he’ll be making levels in the Steam store, I guess.

    One of these years, we might get a Noclip-style documentary on what the heck Valve has been working on all these years. Even if few projects ever reached completion, I’d be interested to see what got started and how far each of them went before getting canned.