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How Valve brought Half-Existence to VR
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How Valve brought Half-Existence to VR


[Check out the full interview above on the Engadget Podcast! Subscribe to the show on iTunes and Spotify.]

Dario Casali, a stage designer at Valve, told Engadget that “[Half-Life: Alyx] started out as an exploration of VR rather than saying we’re going to suitable work with Half-Existence IP. After we shippedThe Lab[a series of small VR experiences] and we were working on the Vive, we determined we were going to push into the VR space a runt harder. And with the hardware we were developing, we wanted a astronomical software app that would push the hardware along.”

Surprisingly, Casali said the company did not immediately bounce to Half-Existence as the ideal assortment to bring to VR.Portalalso regarded admire a fair fit, especially sinceThe Labtakes place within its universe. However the teleportation mechanics would have been complicated to bring into VR without making players queasy. Valve also excluded multiplayer games suitable off the bat, since there weren’t nearly ample VR householders to make that valuable. Then the company built a 20-minute VR demo using assets fromHalf-Existence 2, and everything clicked.

“With that demo, we realized that the Half-Existence mechanics translated fairly a lot to VR, and in many cases they became even extra compelling than we remembered,” Casali said. “So based on the strength of that demo, and the interest that that revived in the company — because everyone’s very fond of Half-Existence at Valve — it wasn’t a complicated promote.”

As a assortment that’s practically synonymous with gaming innovation, it also made a lot of sense for Valve to consume Half-Existence as its lens for exploring VR. The primary title was a landmark achievement in unstructured narrative whereasHalf-Existence 2and its episodes targeted on physics and lighting in daring recent ways. However after exploring ways to apply up on the cliffhanger ending ofHalf-Existence 2: Episode 2, Valve simply chose to manufacture… nothing. As co-founder Gabe Newell toldIGN, the company did not want to spit out another sequel to increase quarterly sales figures. However VR? Now, that’s an interesting challenge.

Half-Existence: Alyxbuilds atop the VR gameplay innovation we have now viewed from Valve and other developers over the past four years. However for it to in fact stand out, it had to bring something recent to the table. Enter the gravity gloves, that will let you reach out and grab small objects in the atmosphere. You suitable point your finger, flick your wrist and catch the merchandise as it’s flying toward you. Or not it’s a bit advanced at first, but several hours into the game it practically turns into 2nd nature.

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