Half-Life: Alyx-The Most Important Takeaways from the Reddit AMA
The developers of Half-Life: Alyx held a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) to answer questions from fans. Here is a summary of some of the most important new findings from the Reddit AMA about the virtual reality game.
About ten developers were on Reddit to answer questions from the community. The answers from the developers revolved around the following topics:-
Development and Publication
The following was revealed about the development and publication of Half-Life: Alyx:-
- About 80 employees worked on Half-Life: Alyx. This was the largest team that Valve has ever put together for a project.
- The Half-Life: Alyx team is confident that they will conclude the game by March. The game is already finished. All that is left is some fine adjustments on the final game. The team is now working mainly on polishing and error correction.
- Valve hasn’t talked about Half-Life for decades because the company was not working on a Half-Life game. With the Half-Life: Alyx, the company will once again engage fans.
- Valve is planning to release some additional game scenes in video form until the release of the title. The company will also present VR-specific content including the options of moving around in virtual reality.
Old Opponents but New Combat Mechanics
- In Half-Life: Alyx, the combat mechanics from the predecessors of the series had to be adapted for virtual reality. The player is thus able to deal with Barnacle monsters in the virtual reality game in a different way than they did with the previous series. However, Valve did not reveal in what ways this will be different.
- The developer team looked at Half-Life: Alyx that made HL1 than HL2 such as the enemy AI. The Combine soldiers from the virtual reality game should benefit from this.
- One example of the realistic game physics: The user can put a bucket over a headcrab with the monster then crawling on with the bucket.
- Half-Life: Alyx also features many of the older monsters although the developers now say these will come with “interesting twists”.
- There are some weapons which can be optionally held in both hands in order to stabilize them in combat. The Half-Life: Alyx team wanted to keep one hand free for interaction with the world, for locomotion as well as for the use of gravity gloves and a flashlight.
Half-Life Characters and VR Horror
- Unlike in the previous Half-Life series, the main character in Half-Life: Alyx speaks. According to the story writer Erik Wolpaw, this is “largely liberating” as there is no need to explain why the character is silent.
- In Half-Life: Alyx, the player encounters the more well-known characters from the earlier episodes of the series that have not been shown in the game scenes so far.
- The developers were asked whether the horror elements such as the headcrabs in virtual reality would be too much for many players but a developer replied that horror is an integral part of the Half-Life brand. The team has done a lot of tests and determined that the horror element will not cross the line and that the bloody elements in the game would fascinate rather than cause panic to players.
Locomotion, Inventory and Poor Hands
- The Half-Life: Alyx developer team says that it has completed the work on locomotion and its (comfort) settings. There will also be a corresponding mode for those who are left-handed. Valve says it is also planning support for one-armed games.
- The game also provides several systems for inventory and weapon selection. These have all been designed such that the player does not lose sight of the game environment. There are certain items in the game environment that can be stowed in wrist pockets.
- The arms of the main character in the game would be simulated. It will, however, be hidden in the game such that only the hands would be seen. Valve says this would not be noticed by most players. The company is planning to introduce an explanatory video at a yet to be announced date which will show users how the virtual hands and interactions work.
Source 2 SDK and Audio Commentary to Follow Later
- Valve is not planning on the release of the Source 2 SDK to the Half-Life: Alyx. The team wants to instead focus on the game first and then deliver the SDK later on.
- The level editor Hammer has been completely revised and also improved for Source 2. Several designers can now work on different layers of the same level and then combine these later on. This has resulted in a much denser level content.
- The development team is also intent on producing an audio commentary on the game. This, however, might not appear at launch.
- The game will be released with subtitles in German, English, French as well as various other languages. Full speech in other languages is still up for debate.
For more information on the Half-Life: Alyx Reddit AMA, check out the following link.