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Half-Life

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Community Announcements - alfred
We have released an update to our Half-Life 1 SDK. This update adds support for mods to allow them to build Linux and Mac OS X versions. You can get the tools via the "Half-Life SDK" tool in Steam, and the code is available via our GitHub page.
Community Announcements - alfred
We have released a Beta update for Half-Life and associated games.
Changes in this update are:

  • Fixed hang when loading maps with corrupt entity data
  • Fixed being unable to load map resource files if they started with the UTF-8 BOM
  • Fixed audio artifact in sound track Nuclear Mission Jam
  • Fixed hud_centerid to apply correctly in Half-Life 1 games
Community Announcements - alfred
We have released a Beta update for Half-Life and associated games.
Changes in this update are:

  • Added support for a crcclientdll key in liblist.gam to turn client.dll crc checking back on, useful for 3rd party mods
  • Make sure the Close button has keyboard focus when you see the disconnection dialog
  • Made the play command obey speak_enabled cvar
  • Door movement sound fixes, make sure you stop playing the moving sound if you get disrupted
  • Fixed crash if you hit retry while in control of a func_tank
  • Fixed sprays not loading from the correct path causing them not to update
  • Fixed a crash if you started a local multiplayer game, disconnected and then loaded a save game
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Half-Life co-op mod getting revamped, will find a home on Steam">svencoop







After almost 15 years of making co-op mods for Half-Life and all its various iterations, the Sven Co-op team is creating a standalone version of their Half-Life mod, where it’ll be available on Steam for the unbeatable price of free.



Valve has kindly granted the modding team the ability to update and customize the Half-Life engine, which the team plans to tweak and modernize before the mod finds its home on Steam. The team of modders says it will be able to post updates more frequently thanks to Steam's content delivery system (which has been appropriately dubbed "SteamPipe").



“We are grateful beyond expression to Valve for their generosity and efforts put forth to make this possible,” one team member said in a forum post. “We’re looking forward to working with one of the greatest game engines ever made, and we can assure everyone that there are many, many more updates to come.”



The team also said players don't need to have purchased Half-Life to access the latest version of Sven Co-op and promised to post more news and updates in the near future. If anything, it’ll be interesting to see how far that team can push the dated Goldsource engine.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to New world record speedrun finishes Half-Life 2 in under 90 minutes">Half-Life 2





If you’re in the world-record setting speedrun business, your job got a little bit harder this weekend. On Saturday, the evil geniuses at SourceRuns posted a new world record speedrun video of Half-Life 2 completed in 1:27:51.09.



Speedruns are curious cocktails of obsessive practice, devoted love of a specific game and engine-warping bugs. The SourceRuns team made use of a number of known Source bugs, the most obvious being Half-Life 2’s reverse bunnyhopping glitch. When a player in the Source engine jumps, they receive a speed boost in the air and then a reverse force of friction when they land. If they’re jumping backward, though, they speed up in the air and then get a forward force of friction when they land. For some truly impressive acceleration, check out speedrunner Gocnak’s breathtaking, and backward, navigation of the coastal highway (41:47). Dr. Freeman’s iconic car gets left behind, but Gocnak soars directly into our hearts.

Other highlights include speedrunner UnrealCanine fighting back against the Combine oppressors with some choice graffiti (52:59). Unfortunate lowlights include, well, every time a speedrunner zoomed in to stare at the rear ends or chests of Alyx and Dr. Mossman (too many instances to link).

According to the video notes, the final speedrun took 600 days of work from over a dozen players, recorded in 200 segments on Hard difficulty. If, as you watch, you see a player glitch or launch past something in a way you've never seen before, check out Sourceruns wiki for a full description of the glitches used in the video.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

“Added breakable functionality to all door types.”>

Well, first-person shooters, it only took you 21 years, but you’ve finally cracked it. Our ultimate foe has at last been defeated.

(more…)

Shacknews - Alice O'Connor

After a grand fourteen years of development, splendid Half-Life mod Sven Co-op is wrapping things up. It's gone out with a bang, releasing on Friday a new version which adds co-op support for Gearbox's expansion Blue Shift. For old times' sake, gather a few friends, put on your HEV suits, and go adventuring in Black Mesa again.

"Version 4.8 will most likely be the final SC mod release, but this is by no means the end of Sven Co-op," the announcement says. "We have a major announcement to make soon," it teases, and we should hear something interesting in a few weeks.

Sven Co-op was jolly welcome back in the day, when co-op campaigns were pretty rare and Half-Life was ridiculously exciting. Yes, having a load of players running around as Gordon Freeman can make things a little silly, but it can also be a right lark.

Grab the mod from the mirrors. You'll need Half-Life to play it at all, and naturally Blue Shift too to join in that campaign. The 4.8 update also brings a ridiculous number of fixes and changes beyond Blue Shift, so do check the full changelog if you're interested.

PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Unforeseen consequences: when a joke about Half-Life 3 gets out of hand">HL3Diagram







In early May I visited Valve to do some research for a Dota 2 feature, which you can find in PC Gamer UK issue 254. While I was there, I asked no questions and received no answers about Half-Life 3. I'm as excited about it as anyone, but if Valve were planning to announce anything through me I assume I would know about it in advance.



I got home and I wrote the feature. Then, towards deadline on the issue, I wrote 'All Over'. That's the joke page at the back of the mag. Every month we close off with something that we hope will make our readers laugh, and it's usually based on the feature on the cover. For this issue, we thought we'd make fun of Valve.



The result was a fake elevator control panel with funny names for various floors in their building. Following yesterday's Half-Life 2 patch, a lot of people have become convinced that it's all part of an elaborate scheme to reveal the long-awaited sequel.



It's not. It's a joke, in the part of the magazine where we do jokes. It was written by me and designed by one of our art editors, Julian. Here's Julian's desk and the InDesign file.







There's no significance to the crossed-out entry for 'Half-Life 3 Development' being on floor 13 beyond the fact that American buildings tend not to have a 13th floor. The fact that it's crossed-out and that someone has replaced it with 'FPS developer terrarium' was intended to be so silly that nobody would take the suggestion seriously.



Valve also doesn't have a floor dedicated to knives. As far as I know, there's no 'Money Hose Control Centre'. 'Laser Bay 2' is an oblique reference to Tron.



I know that people are desperate to play a Half-Life sequel and that any scrap of news is seized upon, but this really is time to put the conspiracy theories down. Unless you're having fun! In which case, keep going - but don't expect any answers, because I don't have them.



I've also had quite a lot of angry messages on Twitter today from people who have taken it personally. Comments have ranged from the comically insincere - "you're worse than Hitler!" - to the comically might-be-sincere - "you're worse than Todd Howard." The rest are mostly just regular internet abuse.



I'd like to say sorry to anyone who got swept up in this and was disappointed, but I would also suggest that anyone willing to insult a stranger over a joke about a videogame should take a look at their priorities.



Don't confuse causation and correlation. Sometimes a coincidence is just a coincidence, and not the trigger for an ARG - or a witch hunt. I would love Valve to announce a new Half-Life game, but I don't think it's a topic so important that it can't be joked about.



Either way, I wasn't prepared for unforeseen consequences.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Behind the scenes of Valve’s Portal 2 ARG">Portal 2 ARG







When Portal 2 was announced, the news dropped through an elaborate scavenger hunt puzzle that sent thousands of players crawling all over the internet. Years later, we finally get to see some of the work that went into making that alternate reality game, as told by celebrated Half-Life modder (now Valve employee) Adam Foster in a blog post at Gamasutra.



Foster, one of the designers of the ARG puzzle from Valve, describes the elaborate trail of puzzles that the Portal-playing community was able to decipher. It began with a seemingly mundane game update for Portal 1: “changed radio transmission frequency to comply with federal and state spectrum management regulations.” That update changed the radios found throughout Portal into Morse Code-dispensers. The code was deciphered into slow-scan television images. Somehow—my knowledge of information theory and cryptography ran dry a paragraph ago—these images were combined into an elaborate code, which was then hacked. Remember: none of us is as smart as all of us.







The result? A phone number to an ancient modem in Foster’s kitchen that slowly drip-fed Portal 2 concept art to announce the game to the world. The ARG team at Valve did a fun thing with no budget, and it caught the attention of the world’s games media. It was also an intricately designed puzzle that, despite a few false positives, played out exactly as Valve designed. As Foster writes, “Estimated time to 'solve' the initial puzzles: seven hours. Actual time to solve: seven hours and sixteen minutes. This wasn't an accident.”



We are all just puppets dancing on Gabe Newell’s strings, aren't we? Check out the full blog post from Foster for a lot of fascinating details about ARGs and the devious geniuses at Valve.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Rumor: Leaked Valve project tracker shows Half-Life 3, Left 4 Dead 3, Source 2 in development">Rumor: Half-Life 3?







Are we finally going to be able to play Half-Life 3? While Valve isn't exactly holding press conferences or sending marching bands through the streets yet, a recent slip in its system supposedly exposed the details of every project it's ever worked on—including the long-fabled conclusion to one of gaming's best series, as well as Left 4 Dead 3 and Source Engine 2.



The tip-off comes to PC Gamer via ValveTime, who recently received alleged screenshots of Valve's internal project-tracking software (Jira) during a momentary lapse in which is the system was made public (it has, of course, since been locked up tight again). The images show a 42-employee mailing group for a project entitled "Half-Life 3," as well as a mailing group for "Left 4 Dead 3" with 68 recipients.



Meanwhile, the development of Source 2 appears to be plugging along nicely, with the numerous groups devoted to the project hinting it's in full swing. Other project listings include familiar names such as "Return to Ravenholm," "Steam Box," and "Episode 3," as well as the more mysterious "F-Stop" and "SteamMMO."



One of the screenshots sent to ValveTime.



Before we start waving about banners emblazoned with Gordon Freeman's handsome face, we have to keep in mind that this info dump is in no way an official confirmation of anything. Firstly, these screenshots come from an anonymous source and cannot be verified. Secondly, Jira catalogs everything that has ever been worked on within Valve's walls, regardless of development stage, and some of the listed titles may very well have been canceled years ago.



ValveTime hypothesizes that games further in their development cycle have multiple mailing lists, as Left 4 Dead 3 does—suggesting that it is in active development. This is in contrast to Half-Life 3's single  group, which suggests that its development is either inactive or in the very beginning stages.



We'll be keeping our ears perked for further details. In the meantime, let's pray that a tiny Half-Life 3 embryo is kicking about somewhere in the Valve HQ, preparing to grow into something grand.
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