News Half-Life: Alyx - Releasing March 2020 on SteamVR

OP
crimsonheadGCN

crimsonheadGCN

2020 is the end of Anime!
Jan 20, 2019
923
1,739
93
36
Clifton, New Jersey
www.resetera.com
It looks like Mark Laidlaw had a consulting role for HL: Alyx

"As with all Valve games, the writing is a collaboration between the writers and all the animators, actors, and the level designers who implement the narrative within the game itself," says Coomer. "While Marc hasn't worked on Half-Life: Alyx directly (he's probably lying on a beach somewhere), he's been generous with his time answering all the writers' questions throughout the game's development."
 

BlueOdin

Turtle
Dec 3, 2018
401
929
93
Dschörmähnie
Will probably get a VR headset next year for this.

With the tease of finalflame apparently not being a game and it probably being hardware related I wonder if it is another VR headset by Valve that might be more midrange than the Index.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ISee and lashman

Alextended

Segata's Disciple
Jan 28, 2019
1,819
2,862
113

There is something just hilarious about PC Gamer having to contradict itself a mere couple hours later.

No arms is the right design choice for VR until we have full-body tracking. And even then I could see cases for hands-only.
Both of them are being stupid/children, the first one sounds like he hasn't played VR at all to think immersion hinges on such small things in the grand scheme of an actual game and the atmosphere and interactions found within as in any well designed non-VR game and the second like he hasn't played the games that do have inverse arm kinematics (despite making a note of them) if he thinks it's so guaranteed to break immersion in that same grand scheme of things a good game or experience has to include to be compelling and worthwhile. Not to mention it does have a gameplay element to it in some physics based games (ie you can't pass a sword or other weapon through your forearm/body in Blade & Sorcery, you have to do realistic to a degree swings). And yes of course doing the YMCA looks stupid, especially on an external camera or mirror, would he not look equally stupid doing it with floating hands, would that Rayman YMCA somehow be more fitting to L.A. Noire's setting? Did he not enjoy that, or Lone Echo, will he not enjoy Boneworks because of it even if everything else in it is great? It's just a design decision just like various non VR FPV games have a full body or just arms and that's not what makes them great or immersing or not.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Swenhir and ISee

Alextended

Segata's Disciple
Jan 28, 2019
1,819
2,862
113
I doubt HL:A will sell close to Beat Saber initially, maybe over time if it becomes successful and the mod tools also take off to keep it relevant with legs it could surpass it. Oh but that's like Wii games, it's not a real game? There are others. Yes Half-Life is a great big IP but it's no more or less important than a stream of other great games. Why's a new Valve game more important than an Insomniac or Respawn game? I mean, to me it's important as a fan of both Half-Life and VR, to be able to expect another very polished game, but not in the grand scheme of things. It's not like Valve has been more infallible than others in their release output and they haven't shown much I care about in ages to present them as the chance to finally get a great game, others also make such. This is just the casual media outlets wanting everything on a silver platter, oh if it's not from an EA level gaming corporation with a big press preview event we don't care, we'll leave that coverage to the casual gadget media outlets instead that have closer ties to those other big corporations like Facebook (but we'll still go gaga over Astrobot and PSVR and make it the GOTY because Sony is our friend and we've had a long lasting relationship, ignore that so we can make this claim now).
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: lashman

Durante

I <3 Pixels
Oct 21, 2018
920
3,925
93
Why's a new Valve game more important than an Insomniac or Respawn game?
I'd argue it is because Valve has been doing VR for much longer than either of these companies.

They've explored VR interaction and hardware for over 6 years now (probably longer, but that's what we know for sure). They also have an engine that has been fully optimized for VR, from a very low level.

I'm not saying that I agree with the mainstream media mostly ignoring other big VR games (that aren't pushed by Sony), but I do think that HL:A is in a category of its own for reasons other than just name recognition.
 

Alextended

Segata's Disciple
Jan 28, 2019
1,819
2,862
113
I agree with all that, I just don't necessarily expect Alyx to be some super mind blowing thing for people who have actually played a lot of VR before. I held some, I don't know, not exactly hope, just on the back of my mind the possibility that they may show some new idea I hadn't considered. In the end it was what I expected, a really polished AAA VR FPS I'm super excited for, with mechanics not much unlike the unpolished or smaller scope (ie PVP vs story campaign) VR FPS I've played before. Basically what I knew an AAA developer can make with VR. Respawn was important when they were the Call of Duty creators that were now working for the Microsoft exclusive Titanfall but for VR they'd probably have gone ignored like Insomniac (since it wasn't a Sony Spider-Man game, lol) if EA hadn't bought them opening up the Medal of Honor IP to be used for their VR project. Don't get me wrong though, Alyx will probably be my favorite FPS.

Still, the stuff we've seen from Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners is more exciting, perhaps by virtue of people actually playing a game rather than watching a scripted demonstration. It's just clear that studio doesn't have Valve's budget, resources and expertise in certain areas (look at those facial animations, lol, hopefully that was WIP). But I'm sure Alyx won't disappoint in comparison (and that Saints & Sinners isn't infallible either, it has a lot of side elements yet is still meant to be a relatively short game so all the inventory and home area and such could just be annoying and unnecessary padding), it was just a first glimpse.

Though with how cool and satisfying (and sadistic) those melee kills look I wish Alyx had included the crowbar. I guess they're leaving that for a Freeman game.
 
Last edited:

fantomena

Toss a coin to your Witcher.
Dec 17, 2018
1,856
3,731
113
Half-Life is an enormous big IP that has been gone for many years and has a lot of memes and leverage surrounding it.

Valve doesn't need to sell a million copies of HLA. They are making HLA because they as a company is interested in doing it. Thanks to the various forms of Steam revenue they can make HLA VR only and try to push the boundaries for VR and gaming without caring about going bankrupt or sales numbers.

They can experiment as much as they want with HLA and VR. They can explore as much as they want withotu the fear of going bankrupt. That's a luxury Valve has that allows them do make HLA.

Other VR games are not gaining much traction among the media because they are not huge known IPs.

You could say "who cares about Half-Life after 12 years?". A lot apparently. The trailer released 2 days ago and has 6,6 mill views. That's alot and growing among games like Cyberpunk 2077, Rockstar Games, TLOU2 and so on.

What I have seen from HLA is not very mind-blowing despite it looking incredible. But from my observation on the Internet, a ton of people are suprised it's not a wave shooter, on-rails and you can actually walk continously and not only teleport. That says something. HLA is literally changing peoples perception of what VR is and can do.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: ISee

Alextended

Segata's Disciple
Jan 28, 2019
1,819
2,862
113
What I have seen from HLA is not very mind-blowing despite it looking incredible. But from my observation on the Internet, a ton of people are suprised it's not a wave shooter, on-rails and you can actually walk continously and not only teleport. That says something. HLA is literally changing peoples perception of what VR is and can do.
Yeah but that's again the fault of the media not covering VR and some such hype videos just perpetuate the idea that everything outside (or before) Alyx is indeed on-rails and other such limited stuff. So, I'm quite hyped for Alyx for all these reasons, but there's a lot more goodness out there. It just makes me feel like the Wii days, the media focused on the shovelware, memes and mocking with top 10 worst articles instead of informing people about the worthy releases on the system beyond begrudgingly admitting that yeah Mario's pretty great because they couldn't not acknowledge the IP's caliber and quality, as Half-Life's.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: ISee

ISee

loves cookies
Mar 1, 2019
1,019
2,274
113
For me Half-Life is the biggest VR thing because every mayor Half-Life iteration changed the way games are being made and how I look at them.
Don't get me wrong: There are many games that shaped this industry, but Half Life did it twice in a row.
I reinstalled HL2, and played for an hour and immediately noticed the similarities between the new SW:Jedi Fallen Order and this 15 (!) year old master piece. Especially when it comes to the silent aspect of world building and character introduction. Fallen Order does it better in some regards, the formula has evolved. It has more impressive visuals, a bigger world, no pauses to load in the next part of the level. Oh wait, it does that too. ;)

But every HL games was brave enough to improve, to experiment and to dream big. That's rare, especially with AAA games today.
And I see the same ambitious and will to improve game design here. Let's face it Valve wasn't doing sp games anymore. Until they saw something that peaked their interest and if it interests them than I'd be stupid to not take a look too.

But in general: I'd be as excited for a full VR, AAA, sp game from old Blizzard, old Origin (maybe why I baked Star Citizen), old Ion Storm (Warren Spector - Deus Ex), From Software etc.

Studios that had visions and helped to transform this industry with new ideas. Studios that made games and not money schemes (spotlight EA and Ubi).

Also as other people have already said: Valve is heavily involved in VR development. It's exciting to see what they are going to bring to the table.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Milena

Parsnip

Riskbreaker
Sep 11, 2018
510
778
93
Finland
It's still a complete mystery to me. I mean we are talking about Samsung here, we know they are more than capable of distributing everything from cell phones over TVs and fridges all the way to container ships worldwide.
Yeah, I was surprised as well.

Going to have keep a close eye on this stuff from now on I think, March isn't that far away but maybe I can find a non-Oculus headset that is good enough and doesn't break the bank before then.
 
  • Like
Reactions: lashman

ISee

loves cookies
Mar 1, 2019
1,019
2,274
113
Going to have keep a close eye on this stuff from now on I think,
Just in case you have not been following the last conversation about odyssey+ in the VR Thread. If you are in the EU, the odyssey+ can be imported from amazon.com for ~$300 (~270€) with shipping and taxes included. Maybe that's an option for some people.

 

Parsnip

Riskbreaker
Sep 11, 2018
510
778
93
Finland
Just in case you have not been following the last conversation about odyssey+ in the VR Thread. If you are in the EU, the odyssey+ can be imported from amazon.com for ~$300 (~270€) with shipping and taxes included. Maybe that's an option for some people.

Thanks for the heads-up, it's very tempting. I kind of loathe importing electronics though. With my luck the units gets damaged and the RMA process sucks when you are importing, in my experience.
 
  • Like
Reactions: lashman

ISee

loves cookies
Mar 1, 2019
1,019
2,274
113
Thanks for the heads-up, it's very tempting. I kind of loathe importing electronics though. With my luck the units gets damaged and the RMA process sucks when you are importing, in my experience.
I mean it's Amazon. You'll probably get your money back. Especially as they are operating in the EU and are pretty forthcoming with that kind of stuff over here.
 

Parsnip

Riskbreaker
Sep 11, 2018
510
778
93
Finland
I mean it's Amazon. You'll probably get your money back. Especially as they are operating in the EU and are pretty forthcoming with that kind of stuff over here.
I'd assume I would deal directly with Samsung if I needed to send the unit in for any reason rather than amazon? Maybe I'm mistaken.
 

Parsnip

Riskbreaker
Sep 11, 2018
510
778
93
Finland
To Finland.
AmazonGlobal Shipping + $47.91
Estimated Import Fees Deposit + $66.46
Total: $343.37

That's about 312 euros. I think I'll wait for now. Would be a nice Christmas present for myself, but then I wouldn't have any money to get anyone else anything. :p
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: lashman

ISee

loves cookies
Mar 1, 2019
1,019
2,274
113
Why the f*** is shipping to germany much less expansive?

I'd assume I would deal directly with Samsung if I needed to send the unit in for any reason rather than amazon? Maybe I'm mistaken.
Good question. I'm no legal expert, but I assume european law is pretty similar everywhere by now?
Over here you are allowed to return anything you bought online during the first 14 days. No questions asked, money back.
No matter what you bought, you have 2 years of warranty. Warranty means you are allowed to complain about a defect or malfunction and they need to either replace or fixt it (unless you damaged it, of course). Warranty has to be provided by the dealer (Amazon in this case) and not the manufacturer. Warranty is the EU saying:"If you sell a consumer a product you need to make sure that it works fine and as on day one from purchase. For at least 24 months. If it doesn't you, the seller, have to take care of it."

But many shops and manufacturers also provide one year of "guarantee". This form of warranty is voluntary and more of a manufacturer thing.
Amazon (eu), in my experience, never complained or made problems with "warranty" issues. One of my mainboards once died 1 month before the two years period ended and they just send me a new one. No problems. Some shops will try to redirect you to the manufacturer and hope that you accept... the trick is to say: No, I want you to handle it please.

That's not a 100% correct explanation, but as I understand it and it has worked for me that way... ¯\(ツ)
So far.

You can say a lot of negative stuff about the EU. But they are rather protective of consumers. Logic is simple, if you allow shops to screw over consumers, they'll do it.
 

EdwardTivrusky

See You Hyper-Toxic Computer Cowboy
Dec 8, 2018
1,881
3,703
113
To Finland.
AmazonGlobal Shipping + $47.91
Estimated Import Fees Deposit + $66.46
Total: $343.37

That's about 312 euros. I think I'll wait for now. Would be a nice Christmas present for myself, but then I wouldn't have any money to anyone else anything. :p
Surely your gift to them would be the warm fuzzy feeling of them knowing that you are happy?
 

NeuralProxy

years to burn
Nov 12, 2018
970
2,950
93
Italy
Would be a nice Christmas present for myself, but then I wouldn't have any money to anyone else anything.
You have a month to come up with a bunch of very convincing reasons on why a VR headset is actually an incredibly useful gift for your family/SO/friends/pets. You have quite a few compelling topics, from casual games for the family to education depending on your needs.

:steam_pigblanket:
 

ISee

loves cookies
Mar 1, 2019
1,019
2,274
113
50 euros off the Rift S on most (if not all) European Amazon websites today
Yeah...
Already spoke with Amazon. They can't give me a discount on the rift s I bought 6 days ago. I need to buy it new today and send mine back for a full refund.
It's a loose loose situation for everybody. I'm not willing to give up on 50€ though, on principal.
 

NeuralProxy

years to burn
Nov 12, 2018
970
2,950
93
Italy
Yeah...
Already spoke with Amazon. They can't give me a discount on the rift s I bought 6 days ago. I need to buy it new today and send mine back for a full refund.
It's a loose loose situation for everybody. I'm not willing to give up on 50€ though, on principal.
Maybe try a couple of times more before going through the whole hassle. One thing I came to understand with Amazon customer services is that you can often have different results depending on the person handling your request.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ISee

Kandrick

MetaMember
Jun 10, 2019
401
416
63
Switzerland
50 euros off the Rift S on most (if not all) European Amazon websites today
Just checked and it would cost me 412.08 CHF from Amazon DE, haven't checked the other EU amazon.

Edit: It's even cheaper from Amazon Italy :



The Rift S costs 475 CHF here actually without any black friday discount. Anyone knows how long the Amazon deals last for ? Wonder if i should wait for a discount in shops here or just get it from Amazon.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: ISee

ISee

loves cookies
Mar 1, 2019
1,019
2,274
113
Maybe try a couple of times more before going through the whole hassle. One thing I came to understand with Amazon customer services is that you can often have different results depending on the person handling your request.
Tried two more times, didn't work.
Ordered a new one and they'll get my "used" back, once the new one arrives (tomorrow. I assume) Waste of resources and transportation and they can't even resell my current one for full price.
They're nice and forthcoming, but I still feel a bit guilty. Should've waited for their black Friday week thing in the first place. But I'm still not used to it (it's not really a tradition over here, or rather a very young one).
 
  • Like
Reactions: lashman

freshVeggie

ghost
Sep 7, 2018
494
1,272
93
It's a shame that Odyssey+ isn't officially available here.
Yeah, I thought it would take a couple months for official EU release but nope. They aren't doing it. Really weird.
I don't feel comfortable importing expensive stuff.
So... uhm... I got an Index.

In my defense, it was a weird week-end :lampblob:
Admit it, you sneaked into Valve HQ and snagged one!
You should absolutely stream VR gameplay with it.
 

Phoenix RISING

A phoenix always RISES!
Apr 23, 2019
753
992
93
36
Ann Arbor, MI
www.geeksundergrace.com
It a great idea to give it away free with purchase of Index or controllers. Can you imagine the praise Sony would get if they gave Last of us 2 free with PS5.
This is the way things used to be.

But then Nintendo showed that you could sell a console without a launch game (N64).


Ironically, Nintendo went back in time with Wii Sports and Nintendo Land. Then back to nothing with the Switch
 

Aelphaeis Mangarae

Junior Member
Apr 21, 2019
282
422
63
VNN is saying that the reason HL Alyx was suddenly pulled from The Game Awards, pretty much completely derailing the end of the show, was because because the game's non-teleportation locomotion isn't ready, and they suddenly realized that audiences might react negatively to teleportation after Boneworks.
 

Alextended

Segata's Disciple
Jan 28, 2019
1,819
2,862
113
Sounds like a lot of guessing just to pimp Boneworks. Why that specifically, normal locomotion has been a thing for tons more (actually) great games.
 

ISee

loves cookies
Mar 1, 2019
1,019
2,274
113
I'm sure it wasn't ready to be shown off and it's okay to not show a flawed product. But because of Boneworks is a hard connection to make, and I like Boneworks.
 

Aelphaeis Mangarae

Junior Member
Apr 21, 2019
282
422
63
Sounds like a lot of guessing just to pimp Boneworks. Why that specifically, normal locomotion has been a thing for tons more (actually) great games.
There's a reason HL Alyx's reveal trailer didn't have any teleportation in it.

Teleportation as an option is an important concession for motion sickness, but it makes your game immediately look dated in a raw gameplay demonstration. It makes people associate it with older VR games. Teleportation is pure function over form. Half-Life is a series in part defined by its movement. People had to reverse engineer the characteristic movement of Source to recreate it in Unreal 4 because nobody would accept an HL fan sequel where you didn't MOVE like an HL game. And then Valve releases a trailer during TGAs where you can't even move normally. That is a recipe for audience whiplash.

If Valve had released the trailer it would have been compared extremely negatively to its competitors like Medal of Honor.
I'm sure it wasn't ready to be shown off and it's okay to not show a flawed product. But because of Boneworks is a hard connection to make, and I like Boneworks.
Boneworks is one of the primary sources of influence for Alyx over the past year or so. It's the reason HL Alyx has physics-driven gameplay. All that stuff you saw in the trailer with Alyx moving items around to find bullets, for instance -- that's a fairly recent addition, in response to Boneworks. The idea of having any locomotion method that isn't teleportation is a response to Boneworks. HL Alyx's development has been somewhat reactionary, and Boneworks seemingly had a similar effect to GoldenEye on Half-Life 1.
 

Alextended

Segata's Disciple
Jan 28, 2019
1,819
2,862
113
Yes, I'm sure when Valve (co)created modern VR they were thinking to completely ditch things like actual interactions and stuff until Boneworks specifically, ignoring every other major and minor VR game in recent years, became the thing that reminded physics can be a thing in games as they were in Valve's own non VR games and that the separate tracked hand controllers are by sheer luck suitable for such interactions. Come on dude, Boneworks doesn't need more pedestals, even if you think it's the best thing since sliced bread there's zero proof behind these theories that you somehow present as undisputed facts. Noone said Alyx wouldn't look bad to some if they only had teleportation to show for you to repeat all that, just that there's no Boneworks necessary in that equation. Even if Valve is ever kind enough to name drop a game as showing things like physics and how shit can work in VR that doesn't automatically make all that true.
 
Last edited:

Aelphaeis Mangarae

Junior Member
Apr 21, 2019
282
422
63
Yes, I'm sure when Valve (co)created modern VR they were thinking to completely ditch things like actual interactions and stuff until Boneworks specifically, ignoring every other major and minor VR game in recent years
HL Alyx has had a very strange development cycle. It wasn't built from the ground up as an HL game in VR. It was rooted in relatively abstract VR FPS experiments. The focus on physics that you see in the trailer is a direct response to Boneworks. Without Boneworks, the game would still have had some physics, but not the kind of interactivity with the environment that people were expecting.
Noone said Alyx wouldn't look bad to some if they only had teleportation to show for you to repeat all that, just that there's no Boneworks necessary in that equation.
The only reason HL Alyx has non-teleportation movement at all (which is completely broken 3 months from release) is because of Boneworks. If you disagree with this allegation, take it up with the anonymous Valve sources that have been leaking info on this project to VNN for years.

Don't underestimate Valve myopia leading them down weird paths. The HL Alyx team thought HL Alyx didn't need a trailer. That they could just shadowdrop a VR exclusive HL game in late 2019 with no leadup. That was wrong. They thought they could demo the highly anticipated next game in the Half-Life series with teleportation movement. They realized that was a bad idea at the last minute, forcing the TGAs to scramble and close the show with Fast and the Furious instead of HL Alyx. Valve flipping out happened so late that the opening of the VGAs still had HL Alyx in it.

And yes, all these details are from anonymous Valve sources. But they've been reliable so far, so why doubt them now? Valve have a decent history of pulling stuff together last minute, much like oldschool Bioware. But they're clearly having some behind the scenes issues with this game. Pulling out of the VGAs less than 24 hours before the show went live was unbelievable. To some degree these are PR teething issues.

Valve have notably improved with their PR, but they have a long way to go in regards to gaining synergy between teams and marketing.
 
Last edited:

Alextended

Segata's Disciple
Jan 28, 2019
1,819
2,862
113
Oh so clickbaiting leakerz said it's an anonymous leak, total proof, sweet. That's not how any of this works, I won't take it up with any random dude, just point out the logical fallacies in here since, again, you present them as fact with no proof and expect everyone else to take it for granted. The onus is on you.
 

Aelphaeis Mangarae

Junior Member
Apr 21, 2019
282
422
63
Oh so clickbaiting leakerz said it's an anonymous leak, total proof, sweet. That's not how any of this works.
Clickbaity headlines and somewhat abrasive personality aside, VNN has been a consistently reliable source with legitimate sources within Valve that for whatever reason feed him information. When someone is consistently reliable, the proof of the pudding is in the eating as they say. You're basically saying, "So what if he's consistently right? Where's the proof?" Ignoring that the whole point of anonymous sources is to keep them anonymous. People respect Jason Schreier as a source, for instance, because he's right about things. If he says, "The next Assassin's Creed is a Vikings game," you don't say, "Yea, but why haven't you burnt your sources to prove that they actually work for Ubisoft?"

There's definitely arguments to be made about Tyler's speculation in his videos. But if he says that a source within Valve told him something, history shows this is a reliable indicator. Because his sources are legit and his information is so consistently accurate. Speculation can go either way. The leaks themselves are rock solid.