If You Expect The JJ Abrams Half-Life Movie To Actually Get Made, You're Gonna Have A Bad TimeYou may have gotten awfully excited today when you read that not only is JJ Abrams talking to Valve about making a game, he's also talking about making a movie with the studio.

That's OK! Perfectly understandable. He's a talented guy, and the prospect of seeing Gordon Freeman on the silver screen is enough to get most people smiling.

But reading the news, I couldn't help but feel that Abrams and Newell had shown their hands too early. And in doing so, they're setting up a whole lot of people for a whole lot of heartache.

If you actually look at what Abrams and Newell said, it's a relationship at the earliest, most tentative stages. A game idea they'd like to work on, a pair of movie projects that Abrams is "going to be bringing on a writer" for. That's it. No contracts, no titles, no press releases.

As we've outlined before, the chances of a project advancing from this early stage to the silver screen are remote. At best. Hell, even most movies that get directors and writers officially attached, and studio backing, fail to materialise.

And that's before you even take into account how busy Abrams is going to be over the next decade doing, oh, Star Wars and Star Trek.

That's Hollywood for you. Budget realities and schedule conflict are bad news for the majority of aspiring projects. But it's also how the video game business works. There are way more games that are killed off in their early stages than ever reach the market. We see, on an almost monthly basis, how games with large staffs, completed assets and trailers are canned; if you could see the bodies of the number of projects terminated while still on the drawing board, it would make you weep.

So Abrams and Valve boss Gabe Newell coming out and "announcing" both projects so early is an odd move. Maybe they're trying to drum up interest/support amongst fans. Maybe they're trying to show movie studios there's a market here. Whatever the reason, the mere fact they spoke about them (and yes, I know Abrams dropped caveats like "it's as real as anything in Hollywood ever gets") is setting a lot of people up for disappointment if, as the laws of probability would have it, either one or both projects fails to ever materialise.

Who knows, though. In the year 2027, as we mourn the death of home consoles and play games in our flying cars, we may also look back on how awesome JJ Abrams' Half Portal Trek Wars was on the St3ambox, and only regret slightly how much money we spent on the 4K 3D home version of the Half-Life movie trilogy.

If after all this salt you still want to dream about that future, go ahead. I just don't see it happening.

Sorry if you see this as pissing on your parade. I'm not trying to hurt you in the short-term. I'm just trying to help your poor heart out in the long-term! It's hard enough waiting for Half-Life 3 as it is. Adding more Valve projects to the watchlist might just be too much to bear.


The Craziest Mad Scientists In Video Games

Mad scientists and evil masterminds are classic villain archetypes, and defeating them is always nerve-wracking. Instead of facing you, they'd rather hide in the shadows and rely on their minions. And when it does come to combat, they usually love to show off their deadliest creations.

We gathered some well-known crazies; a mustache or a white coat seems to be a must-have.

Dr. Eggman (Sonic The Hedgehog series)

The Craziest Mad Scientists In Video Games source: Sonic Generations

Dr. Wallace Breen (Half-Life 2)

The Craziest Mad Scientists In Video Games source: Half-Life Wiki

Professor Hojo (Final Fantasy VII)

The Craziest Mad Scientists In Video Games source: AshleyCope's fan art on Deviantart

Dr. FunFrock (Little Big Adventure 1-2 / Relentless)

The Craziest Mad Scientists In Video Games source: The LBA Relentless Movie Project

Dr. Wily (Mega Man series)

The Craziest Mad Scientists In Video Games source: Dr. Wily Boss Fight In Mega Man 6, splash image by Hitoshi Ariga

Don Paolo (Professor Layton series)

The Craziest Mad Scientists In Video Games source: Professor Layton And The Curious Village

The Elite Of Rapture Society (BioShock)

The Craziest Mad Scientists In Video Games source: BioShock Wiki

Albert Wesker (Resident Evil series)

The Craziest Mad Scientists In Video Games source: Resident Evil Wiki

Professor Monkey-For-A-Head (Earthworm Jim)

The Craziest Mad Scientists In Video Games source: tuwoa's LP

Make sure to submit below the craziest evil scientists you know with visual support.


You might remember "Enter The Freeman," a very cool short Half-Life film we featured a few months ago.

The fan-film's creators are crowd-funding $75,000 to turn it into a whole series, which may or may not be welcome news to Valve, considering that CEO Gabe Newell just announced he'd like to make movies with director J.J. Abrams based on Half-Life and Portal.

Still, it sounds cool, and you can read and see more about "The Freeman Chronicles"—which they're hoping will be seven episodes of around six minutes each—on their Indiegogo page.

Half-Life Live Action Web Series - The Freeman Chronicles [Indiegogo]


Half-Life, Portal Movies Are In Early Development Stages, J.J. Abrams SaysAppearing with the director J.J. Abrams at D.I.C.E. Summit today, Valve's Gabe Newell said the company would "find out if there's a way we can work with you on a Portal and Half-Life movie."

Polygon reports that things may be a little further along than that. Speaking after the panel, Abrams told Polygon "We are really talking to Valve, we are going to be bringing on a writer, we have a lot of very interesting ideas."

However, "it's as real as as anything in Hollywood ever gets," he added. Which means it could be a sure thing, or could amount to nothing, or could take forever to bring to life. Like, well, Half-Life 3.

Half-Life and Portal movies in early idea stages, J.J. Abrams says [Polygon]


Gabe Newell and J.J. Abrams Say They Want to Make Movies and Games Together Today at the game industry's DICE conference, the guy in charge of Valve and the man directing both Star Wars and Star Trek said that they want to make Portal and Half-Life movies. And games, too.

Gabe Newell and J.J. Abrams spoke about storytelling in each of their mediums. When the panel ended, this exchange happened:

Abrams: There's an idea we have for a game that we'd like to work with Valve on.

Newell: We're going to find out if there's a way we can work with you on a Portal and Half-Life movie.

And the two men walked off, without any further details. Both creators are renown for keeping secrets, so don't expect any details about these proposed projects anytime soon. But just the very notion of a collaboration between the company behind Half-Life 2 and the man behind Lost is a tantalizing prospect.


Say Happy Valve-entine's With This Delightful Card SeriesPortal is a natural theme for Valentine's Day, as we saw with these cards Valve released in 2011 before Portal 2's arrival. This one is the best of a Valve-themed series done by Tumblr user applenail, which got a lot of attention over the weekend and yesterday.

Print them out and put one in a friend's locker next Thursday.

VALVEntines [applenail.tumblr.com]


What you see above is Nathan Andrews' full head- and weapon tracking mod for Half-Life 2, which he created in preparation for the release of the Oculus Rift virtual reality gaming headset. It looks insane.

The Oculus Rift, which raised millions of dollars on Kickstarter in 2012, is hopefully coming out later this year.

Half-Life 2 VR head and gun tracking mod for the Oculus Rift [YouTube]


Mirrors lined with blue and red LEDs have long been a staple of Portal-themed decoration. Taking it to the next level, however, is jamin101wolf. He bought the Portal gun prop available through ThinkGeek and Amazon, then plugged the two mirrors into remote-control power boxes. With this he pulls off the effect of firing a red and blue portal (which are located on opposite walls, creating the requisite hall-of-mirrors effect.)

The remote control is not built into the Portal gun; as we speak, a more skilled modder may be integrating it with the toy's trigger. jamin101wolf said he didn't want to risk destroying his. Still, it's a neat trick and one I wish I'd thought of first.

Portal Mirrors Build [imgur. h/t Victor B.]

YouTube video uploaded by jamin101wolf


The world is bursting at the seams with Grand Theft Auto IV mods. You'd think there wouldn't be room for any more. But there's always room for wapeddell's Morgan Freeman. Oh, sorry. Gordon Freeman.

It's just... it's just so damn perfect. Especially since it reminds me of my old desktop wallpaper.

Morgan Freeman [GTA Mods]

Morgan Freeman Half Life 2 [YouTube, via Obi Pac Kenobi]

Morgan Freeman. In Grand Theft Auto IV. Dressed As Gordon Freeman. Morgan Freeman. In Grand Theft Auto IV. Dressed As Gordon Freeman. Morgan Freeman. In Grand Theft Auto IV. Dressed As Gordon Freeman.


Fans of Secret of Monkey Island, the 1990 point-n-click adventure game, will undoubtedly remember the infamous "three trials" scene, in which protagonist Guybrush Threepwood proclaims to Mêlée Island's pirate leaders that he, too, would like to be a pirate.

Here's the iconic scene, Team Fortress 2 style. And it's extremely well done. Enjoy.

[SFM] I Wanna Be a Pirate [YouTube via Tim Schafer]