2020 has been slowly turning into the year of delays with five major games already delayed from April to TBD. One of the few titles that everyone has been keeping their eyes on is Half-Life: Alyx as Valve only announced two months ago, and since everyone knows all games developed by Valve run on “Valve Time” … a delay was expected. Well, Valve and a few of its developers — Robin Walker, Jamaal Bradley, David Feise, Greg Coomer, Corey Peters, Erik Wolpaw, Tristan Reidford, Chris Remo, Jake Rodkin, and Kaci Aitchison Boyle (a mix of designers, programmers, animators, sound designers, and artists on the game) — decided to host an AMA over on the Half-Life sub-reddit to answer any questions the community had.
Everyone (including me) was curious if they announced the game too early … We’ll, we have our answer:
“With the exception of some tweaks to the absolute final scene, the game is done. Lots of us at Valve, as well as playtesters, have played through the entire game multiple times.
Right now we’re primarily polishing and fixing bugs, which is where we’d hope to be at this point in the development cycle. We’re confident we’ll hit our intended release. (We let the Valve Time happen before we announced the game.)
Our locomotion and comfort features are all done, including things like Seated, Left-Handed mode, etc. We have almost all our accessibility work done as well, but there’s a little bit more we’d like to do there (support for one armed play, for instance).
We’ll be talking about and showing more of our various locomotion options in some upcoming videos.”
I have to admit, this was smart on Valve’s part as this is something that Nintendo usually does when it comes to releasing games. Awhile back, Gabe Newall said that he was sort of jealous of how Nintendo was able to create hardware and software simultaneously and not prioritize one over the other. It seems Gabe and everyone at Valve was able to finally do this.
Another good question that was asked was how many people are working on Half-Life: Alyx?
“Right now it’s around 80 people, which puts it as the largest single team we’ve ever had at Valve.”
To hear such a large number of people are working together to bring the world of Half-Life: Alyx to life is such a positive thing to hear. Everyone has been working hard to get this game ready for its reveal to the world. It still feels weird (at least to me) that a new Half-Life game is almost here for everyone to enjoy. Although, one thing that myself and others were pondering was if we will be getting the full Source 2 SDK, or will we be getting a more limited authoring tools-type deal which only allows us to make content for Half-Life: Alyx‘s workshop? Well, it seems the team was kind enough to answer this for everyone.
“We’re not currently planning on shipping a full SDK. We’d really like to release one at some point, but it’s a ton of work because Source 2 is a new toolset, much of which hasn’t been previously released. Any time we spend on it now is also time we could be spending on polishing the game itself, which we think is more important. As a result, we thought it wasn’t appropriate to promise anything before release.
Generally, this is how we’ve done SDKs in our previous Source 1 titles as well – making the game takes precedence, and after that’s done, we start looking at what’s next.”
This, and so many other questions, including everyone’s favorite snack, were answered. Head over to the sub-reddit to see for yourself!
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