JJ Abrams Comfirms Portal and Half-Life Movies Still Happening

During the press junket for Bad Robot’s latest horror suspense movie 10 Cloverfield Lane, the studio’s founder, director, writer, and producer JJ Abrams confirmed that film adaptations of the lauded Valve video games Half-Life and Portal are still in development, and both have writers attached.

The Star Wars: The Force Awakens director gave the update during an interview with IGN, assuring fans that Bad Robot’s collaboration with Valve, which was first announced at DICE 2013 summit. Abrams appeared on-stage with Valve founder Gabe Newell three years ago

“Not yet, but they’re in development,” Abrams told IGN, when asked if we’d be seeing the Half-Life and Portal adaptations any time soon. “And we’ve got writers, and we’re working on both those stories. But nothing that would be an exciting update.”

While Abrams has confirmed the projects are on-going, they don’t sound much further along than when they were revealed three years ago. Back in 2013, Polgyon reported that Bad Robot had attached writers to both projects, but that they were in the early pre-production stages.

a Portal and Half-Life movie are things I want to see,” Abrams said at the time. “We’re also aware of the cautionary tales of movies that became games and vice versa. Our goal here to is to treat the world Valve has created in both these properties like anyone would a book or some great story that comes from a pitch or original script — just to treat it with the respect they treat their games and their players with.”

Abrams, though, did add the caveat, “It’s as real as anything in Hollywood ever gets.”

Image courtesy of Arcade Sushi.

Half Life 3 File Names Found in SteamVR Performance Tool

Yesterday, Valve released a performance utility which measures your system’s readiness for SteamVR. This tool scans your PC’s hardware configuration and provides a simple grading to inform the user about VR requirements in an easy to understand manner. The application contains various strings referring to Half Life 3 and could suggest the fabled game is actually in development:

“c:\buildslave\vrgdc2015_staging_win64\build\src\ga me\shared\hl3\hl3_vscriptgamesystem.cpp…….VScr iptServerHL3
c:\buildslave\vrgdc2015_staging_win64\build\src\ga me\server\hl3\npc_quest_citizen.cpp…CNPC_QuestCi tizen::DisplayDialogString..m_DialogStringDisplayD ropShadow
c:\buildslave\vrgdc2015_staging_win64\build\src\ga me\server\hl3\partial_entity_manager.cpp
c:\buildslave\vrgdc2015_staging_win64\build\src\ga me\server\hl3\procedural_spawn_constraint.cpp
c:\buildslave\vrgdc2015_staging_win64\build\src\ga me\server\hl3\utllogicconstraintsolver.h
c:\buildslave\vrgdc2015_staging_win64\build\src\ga me\server\hl3\procedural_spawn_manager.cpp
c:\buildslave\vrgdc2015_staging_win64\build\src\ga me\server\hl3\entity_persist.h
c:\buildslave\vrgdc2015_staging_win64\build\src\ga me\server\hl3\procedural_spawn_target.cpp
c:\buildslave\vrgdc2015_staging_win64\build\src\ga me\server\hl3\procedural_spawn_template.cpp
c:\buildslave\vrgdc2015_staging_win64\build\src\ga me\server\hl3\procedural_spawn_volume.cpp
c:\buildslave\vrgdc2015_staging_win64\build\src\ga me\server\hl3\procspawn_bias_line.cpp
c:\buildslave\vrgdc2015_staging_win64\build\src\ga me\server\hl3\procspawn_modifier.cpp
c:\buildslave\vrgdc2015_staging_win64\build\src\ga me\server\hl3\procspawn_variable.cpp
c:\buildslave\vrgdc2015_staging_win64\build\src\ga me\shared\hl3\imposter_manager.cpp
c:\buildslave\vrgdc2015_staging_win64\build\src\ga me\server\hl3\npc_turret_ceiling_pulse.cpp
c:\buildslave\vrgdc2015_staging_win64\build\src\ga me\server\hl3\point_quest_goal.cpp
c:\buildslave\vrgdc2015_staging_win64\build\src\ga me\server\hl3\prop_fixed.cpp
c:\buildslave\vrgdc2015_staging_win64\build\src\ga me\server\hl3\gravity_vortex_controller.h
c:\buildslave\vrgdc2015_staging_win64\build\src\ga me\shared\hl3\hl3_vscriptgamesystem.cpp”

Reddit member ‘DuckyDays‘ also discovered multiple mentions of Half Life 3:

“There is 1671 matches of hl, 14 of hl3, 97 of hl2, 11 of HalfLife2, 0 of HalfLife3
And this is just a few, I found alot of weopons and npcs mostly HL2 what I could find. Now I am not a programer or anything, so I dont know what any of this means. I just found it in the code
EDIT Under the server.dll I found some more text
But more then anything I found HL2 refrences all over the code.
In the file “readyonly_tools_asset_info.bin” under /steamVRPerformanceTest/vr.
core vr portal2_imported left4dead3 hl3
Al in one string.”

It’s important to remember that this doesn’t mean Half Life 3 is confirmed, and it might simply be trolling on Valve’s part. Perhaps, it’s a coincidence or to do with another Valve title like Dota 2. Clearly, this doesn’t prove anything but I’d like to think positively and hope Half Life 3 is going to eventually come out. Although, I do think it’s impossible to meet everyone’s expectations due to the lengthy development period and uncertainty if Valve has any interest in releasing a sequel.

Unity Vision Summit Attendees Receive Free HTC Vive

Virtual Reality is commonly perceived as the next step in entertainment and could revolutionize the way we all watch films, and play video games. Not only that, VR devices could theoretically be deployed in the medical profession to help diagnose patients from remote locations or instruct junior doctors how to perform certain examinations. As you can see, the Virtual Reality craze is certainly going to be around for some time, and I cannot wait to see the kind of software implementations across various industries. Of course, there are already a huge selection of headsets being finalized including the Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR and HTC Vive. 2016 should be the year when VR becomes mainstream and consumers can finally see what the fuss is all about!

During the Unity Vision Summit, founder of Valve, Gabe Newell made a brief appearance on video and announced that all attendees would receive a free HTC Vive. This rightfully made the crowd very excited and they applauded Valve for their kind gesture. It’s a very clever move on Valve’s part because it gives developers access to the HTC Vive and allows them to understand the possibilities of the device. As a result, there should be more VR focussed games which offer a truly unique experience. VR hardware isn’t going to appeal to the core gaming audience unless there’s a killer application. Perhaps, Valve is hoping one of the developers in attendance today is going to help showcase the benefits of VR technology.

In all honesty, I cannot wait for VR to become mainstream and believe it could revolutionize immersion in a way never thought possible. However, it’s important to keep the devices at a reasonable cost, because many users will perceive it as a very expensive accessory. Whatever the case, VR is here to stay, and this year should really show us what its capable of.

Dev Tweets Death Threat to Gabe Newell, Game Gets Removed from Steam

The developer of Paranautical Activity has been in the spotlight today, not for their mildly popular game, but for their complete inept ability to do business in a professional manner. The games creator Mike Maulbeck took to Twitter to vent his frustrations about the Steam platform and while I’m not saying the guy doesn’t have a point, the repercussions were to be expected.

Mike made a death threat against Gabe Newell on Twitter, a tweet that has since been deleted, but he has posted a confirmation of the tweet.

In fact, Mike has a lot of bad things to say about Gabe and Steam.

In a recent interview with Polygon, Mike said he regrets the outburst. “I have since obviously replied to them saying that I didn’t mean what I said and pleaded that they consider the monopoly they have on the PC market before totally writing us off,” he said, “but let’s be real. If they took the game off the store, they’re f**kin sure about their decision. There’s probably nothing to be done.”

It seems the damage is already done. Doug Lombardi from Steam confirmed that they’ve removed the sale page for the game, and cut all ties with the developer “after he threatened to kill one of our employees.”

“Don’t worry guys, everything is gonna be OK, we sold TWELVE copies on non-steam platforms today,” Tweeted Mike, “We were selling more than that a minute on Steam.” he added. Looks like he’s sobered up from his rage, but we doubt he’ll be getting a warm welcome back from Steam or Valve anytime soon.

Thank you PCGamer for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of PCGamer.



The Steam Summer Sale is LIVE!

Grab your wallets, throw money at your monitor, the Steam summer sale madness has begun! It’s running from today (19th) until the 30th June.

Get ready for amazing bargains, insane flash sales and incredible daily deals! We can all guarantee that we’ll be broke by the time the sale has ended!

What a great way to kick off the sale! These are the first daily deals of the sale and I can already feel the money just walking out of my wallet.

GO! Go now, spend spend spend! You can get to the store here! (beware of every PC gamer ever trying to access the store at the moment! Some problems may occur!)

Let us pray to our lord and thank him for these deals!

Our Gaben, who art at Valve,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy ideas come, 
thy games be done, 
on PS3 as it is on PC’s.
Give us this day our daily deal,
and forgive us our infractions,
as we forgive those who troll against us. 
And lead us not into flaming, 
but deliver us from Moderators. 
For thine is the Valve, 
and the keyboard,
and the mouse, 
for ever and ever,

Gabe N.

Have mercy on our wallets and savings Gaben!

Good luck guys!

What games are you hoping to snap up in the sale? Let us know!

Image courtesy of IBTimes.

Leaked Presentation Reveals Source Engine 2.0, Half-Life 3 In The Works?

Rumors are that leaked screenshots of the Source 2.0 engine have surfaced from an allegedly confidential Valve Powerpoint presentation. Seems that the screenshots were posted by a reliable source, Neogaf user “CBOAT”, giving them some credibility.

We can see that this is an updated version of the Plantation level from the Left 4 Dead 2 campaign Swamp Fever. From the powerpoint document, we see the screenshots demonstrate the increase in detail that is possible with the Source 2 engine which includes enhanced foliage, improved lighting and shadow effects, among other things.

One of the slides outlines some of the redesigned tools and workflow of the engine. Unfortunately, some of the slide is cut off, however we can see a powerful GUI front end for content authoring that can be extended with custom and pre-game assets, a browser for quickly finding, managing and editing assets and automatic compiling of content.

It is known for some time now that Valve has been working on a follow-up to the original Source engine a CEO Gabe Newell revealed as much back in 2012. At the time, he said Valve would launch the engine when they had a promising enough game for it.

There are no indications as to what game might be in the slides, but we hope for Half Life 3. Other options could include Left 4 Dead 3 or perhaps even a completely new series but with any luck, we’ll see the engine debut sometime this year.

Thank you Tech Spot for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Neogaf

Steam Passes 65 million User Milestone

In a recent press release by Steam they revealed that they can now say that they’ve passed the 65 million user landmark. Steam claim that over the past 12 months they have seen a 30% growth in the number of active accounts. Steam’s success can largely be attributed to the fact it offers a wide selection of over 3000 games and software titles across many different platforms – PC, Mac and Linux, while you can even pick up the Steam chat and shop client for iOS and Android. With the launch of SteamOS and Steam Big Picture mode over the last year it is likely that Steam will only get more popular.

“The main goal of Steam has always been to increase the quality of the user’s experience by reducing the distance between content creators and their audience,” said Gabe Newell, co-founder and president of Valve. “As the platform grows, our job is to adapt to the changing needs of both the development and user communities. In the coming year, we plan to make perhaps our most significant collaborations with both communities through the Steam Dev Days and the Steam Machines beta.”

Good going Gaben and roll on the Christmas sale!

Image courtesy of Valve

Gabe Newell Talks About Linux, Hints At Steambox Announcement

Gabe Newell, the founder and CEO of Valve gave a keynote yesterday at Linuxcon, where he went on to say that Linux is the future of gaming, which is interesting stuff indeed, but the real gold is that he hinted about a hardware announcement for next week! Could this be the dawn of the somewhat over speculated, rumour filled mystery machine that is the Steam Box?

Newell first wanted to make a point about the future of Linux, most notably with a statistic that impressed us here at eTeknix. Since spring last year, developers have created 198 Steam games for the open source OS, quite a busy release schedule and definitely a sign that things are changing in the industry. While that may not sound much, it’s already 10 games more than have ever been release on the Wii U, a lot more if you don’t count digital download only titles.

There is a lot of innovation in the PC industry at this time, there always has been and with bleeding edge technology always available, as well as open source operating systems that for the most part are completely free, it is easy to see why Gabe wants to focus on some combination of the two. He said that proprietary systems create friction, slowing things down, making reference to the slow update approval system used by Apple to make his point. Gabe wants something quicker and more open source.

He went on to hint that Steam would be moving to the living room, something they already tried their hand at with the Steam Big Screen Mode. He said that Linux can act as the universal unifier of mobile, the living room and gaming, people want their system to be simple to use and not be tied into buying hardware, controllers and games that only work on one system.

Will they announce the Steambox next week, I doubt it, I think we’ve all been looking at this completely wrong. I don’t think Linux are going to announce the hardware, I think they’re going to release a SteamOS based around Linux and dish out a list of minimum hardware requirement” and frankly, I hope I am right!


Thank you TechCrunch for providing us with this information.

More (Accurate) Steam Summer Sale 2013 Information

Edit: Several unconfirmed rumours are suggesting 10am Pacific Time (PST) is when we will see the Steam Summer Sale of 2013 launched. That means 18:00 GMT so about 4 hours from the time of writing this.

Well I made a bit of a huge fail earlier when I published the 2012 Steam Summer sale list thinking it was the 2013 list after reading it on several reputable sources like SoftPedia. However, I know a lot of you were annoyed about that and so I went hunting for more Steam Summer Sale 2013 information. In addition to the fact Amazon have already started their own Summer Sale, running from June 30th to July 14th, trying to steal some of Steam’s prime-time gaming sale market we have more reasons to believe the Steam Summer Sale for 2013 is imminent.

The latest Steam Database updater shows that in the past few hours to last 2 days there have been hundreds of packages and bundles added to the Steam Database. In total nearly 2500 updates have been made to the Steam Database in the last 2 days with about 2250 of those being made in the last 16 hours. With such a flurry of activity from Steam making loads of new bundles and game packs we can only assume that the Steam Summer Sale is imminent. I’d hazard a guess at saying between now and Monday we will definitely see the Steam Summer Sale of 2013.


Image courtesy of ReclusiarchGrimaldus (YouTube)

Edited- Steam Summer Sale 2013 Information

Updated article now available here.

Edit – I sourced this news story from Softpedia who used last years information. Apologies for the inconvenience don’t even bother reading this if you want to see this year’s games! – Again, sorry. We will bring you the latest ACCURATE news on the 2013 Summer Sale as soon as we get it, and link it in from here.

Edit 2 – Amazon have started their own sale and round of price cuts which end July 14th and started on June 30th. Some are stating that we will see Steam/Valve respond with their own sale soon as to not lose sales to Amazon who are trying to cash in on Steam’s glory.

Well firstly I’d like to give my apologies to anyone who has already seen this news and I always seem to be a bit late to the party on this Steam Sale stuff – probably because I do not use Reddit much. That said we’ve stumbled across details of the Steam Summer Sale for 2013 thanks to Reddit user Dweezy. According to reports we will see Steam’s infamous Summer Sale start later on today, July 4th, and it will run for 11 days. If it doesn’t debut today then it is expected to start a week today on July 11th. The full list of the Steam Summer Sale items is as follows:

Day 1: Anomaly Warzone Earth, The Baconing, Cave Story+, EDGE, Lone Survivor.
Day 2: Botanicula, E.Y.E, Oil Rush, Splice, Universe Sandbox,
Day 3: Bit Trip Beat, Braid, Bunch of Heroes, Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, Runespell Overture,
Day 4: A Valley Without Wind, Atom Zombie Smasher, Blocks that Matter, Sanctum, Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP,
Day 5: Audio Surf, Gemini Rue, Greed Corp, Tiny Bang Story, Ys: The Oath in Felghana
Day 6: Awesome, Defcon, Space Chem, Ticket to Ride, Trauma
Day 7: Avadon, Dungeons of Dredmor, Qube, Vessel, Zombie Driver
Day 8: Demolition Inc, Hoard, Sol Exodus, Swords and Soldiers HD, Wings of Prey,
Day 9: Capsized, Jamestown, Revenge of the Titans, VVVVVV, Zeno Clash
Day 10: All Zombies Must Die, Beat Hazard, Bit trip Runner, Eufloria, Machinarium
Day 11: Hydrophobia, Orion: Dino Beatdown, Star Ruler, Waveform, World of Goo

Other bundles such as franchise or publisher packs.

1C Collection Pack
Adam’s Venture Complete Bundle Retail
Anno 2070 Pack
Batman Arkham Asylum, Batman Arkham City and Batman Gotham City Imposters Bundle
Bethesda Collection (BRINK, Fallout New Vegas, Skyrim, Hunted)
Bioshock Franchise Pack
Carpe Fulger Bundle (Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale, Chantelise, Fortune Summoners)
Civilization Collection
Command and Conquer Franchise
Dawn of War Franchise Pack
Dead Island Complete
Duke Nukem Bundle
Foreign Legion Bundle
Kalypso Collection (Tropico, Jagged Alliance, Airline Tycoon, etc)
Majesty Franchise
Paradox Collection (Magicka + dlcs, Mount and Blade, etc)
Pendulo Adventure Pack
Railworks 3 – Summer Sale Collection
Red Orchestra Franchise Pack (ROW)
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Bundle
Saints Row: The Third Franchise Pack
Sniper Elite Franchise Pack
Square Hit Collection (Hitman, Tomb Raider, Just Cause 2, Deus Ex, Deus Ex Human Revolution, Quantum Conundrum, Thief)
Stardock Collection Pack
Strategy First Complete Pack
Sword of the Stars Franchise
THQ Collection (Dawn of War, Warhammer, Stalker, Nexuiz, Darksiders, Metro 2033, etc)
Total War: Shogun 2 Pack
Victoria Franchise
Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine Pack
Wings of Prey

So keep your eyes (and wallet) open because it is that time of year once again to stock up on games that you’ll never play!


Image courtesy of ReclusiarchGrimaldus (YouTube)

Valve’s Gabe Newell predicts PC-to-TV video gaming feature to be standard

Gabe Newell believes that PC will become living room friendly all thanks to the ability of the newer wireless streaming technology and the current structure of the market.

Its predicted that many users with a powerful enough gaming PC will be able to wireless stream the games to any TV as super-low latency.

Mr. Newell said,”The good news is that’s going to start at about $100 and eventually go down to zero. This will just become a standard feature of every television, the latency is basically nonexistent, so we really believe it’s a very low-cost pathway [to PC games in the living room] and a very high-quality path.”


Newell added that PC’s have always scaled well compared to what consoles offer with a choice that you can add more storage and even the presence of many PC vendors who can build a $4,000 PC system for your living room. He also stated during DICE 2013 that if they’re able to bring greater user experience on a PC for the living room, there are lot of hardware choices out there that will satisfy even the consumer’s high-end needs.

Via: CVG