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The Final Hours of Half-Life: Alyx, also known as Half-Life: Alyx - The Final Hours, is a 2020 interactive storybook written by Geoff Keighley (author of The Final Hours of Portal 2 and previous Final Hours articles covering Half-Life and Half-Life 2), covering the development of the Half-Life series since the release of Half-Life 2: Episode Two, including the development of Half-Life: Alyx. It was released on July 9, 2020 and is available on Steam.

Contents

Introduction

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The gift for burning

The chapter starts with Jay Benson's life journey from his early days playing Half-Life with his father, to the day he promised himself he would get a job at Valve, from his first animation projects to his attempts at a job interview at Valve, from from the day his studio, Campo Santo, was aquired by Valve to the last days of development of Half-Life: Alyx.

Polygons & presence

Starting with Robin Walker and John Cook's highschool days as precocious kids interested in computers, eventually going on to develop Team Fortress as a Quake mod, this chapter's first half deals with Valve's desire of developing Source 2's technology during Episode Three's early stages of production, this would allow them to find new ways to innovate with the gameplay but also triggered a dramatic slowdown in game production; while the second half of the chapter tackles the company's endeavors into the hardware industry, from their first Augmented Reality research and development team, trough the release of the Steam Machines and Steam Controller, to the reveal of their first prototypes of Virtual Reality headsets in 2014.

The wilderness

This chapter recounts some of Valve's Source 2 projects born out of the company's flat structure, like a role-playing game simply dubbed RPG, starring Dota 2 characters; an open world Left 4 Dead game set in Morroco; another project, code-named Half-Life 3 but inspired by Left 4 Dead gameplay, was to procedurally generate environments and populate them with enemies that the player would need to defeat in order to rescue a prisoner. Ultimately, none of these projects came to fruition due to the Source 2 engine needing more development time.

Hidden Half-Life

The chapter starts with the release of Robot Repair, a demo developed by Valve to start exploring how to build a game in virtual reality, while also developing their controller's technology, set in the Portal universe; following with the release of The Lab, a collection of virtual reality minigames using mostly the Unity game engine due to state of Source 2 by that time. Shooter was one of these minigames cut before it released; this prototype was Valve's aborted attempt at creating a Half-Life-themed experience inside The Lab. Putting the player in the shoes of an unnamed member of the Resistance, Shooter was set in several City 17 environments filled with weapons and Combine enemies.

Fixing Valve

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God in a box

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What are you doing next?

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Sea otters and soapboxes

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The death of Vader

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The dark days of City 17

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Smell the ashes

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Rescuing God from prison

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The 13-year wait

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Yep, it will be interesting

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I will see you up ahead

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Trivia

  • The book's trailer and intro features a remix of the track "Triage at Dawn" from the Half-Life 2 soundtrack, arranged by Frederick "Ursine Vulpine" Lloyd.[1][2][3]

References

External links

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