The Final Hours of Half-Life: Alyx documentary is now available on Steam for 10$ to download and it has revealed alot of shelved games by Valve between the release of Half-Life 2: Episode 2 and Valve’s latest VR game Half-Life: Alyx. This project is led by the reporter Geoff Keighley who has been taking interviews of Valve softwares since the release of Half-Life. This app is complete with stories about other attempts that never got released. Comprising 15 chapters of information about the creation of the game, including videos, interviews, mini-games and more.
Within the app Keighley reveals at least 5 different Half-Life games (not all games were specified by name in the app) that were cancelled between Half-Life 2 episode 2 till Half-Life: Alyx, along with a number of different projects. The most notable of them being the game referred in Valve as Half-Life 3.
However, this Half-Life 3 which began creation in the Early 2010s would have been very different than what the fans would expect from a Half-Life game, this Half-Life game would have used procedural generation between hand-crafted story moments. For instance, the game would generate a building and an objective (such as rescuing a prisoner), then create a route through it and fill the building with enemies.
Here are most of Valve projects mentioned in the app, and the details provided about them:
- Half-Life 3: Created in the Source 2 engine and drawing some game play inspiration from Left 4 Dead. However the Source 2 engine was unfinished, and the project “didn’t get very far” before it was dropped. It was in development for around a year between 2013 and 2014.
- Left 4 Dead 3: An open world game set in Morocco and potentially featuring hundreds of zombies at a time, this was also deemed unworkable because of the unfinished Source 2.
- RPG: This project was drawing inspiration from the likes of The Elder Scrolls, Dark Souls and Monster Hunter, and was envisaged as being released in small chunks, but “never really left the conceptual stage”. After RPG was abandoned, experiments went into turning it into a single-player RPG based on DOTA character Axe, which were also shelved.
- A.R.T.I.: A light-hearted, voxel-based game that allowed for open-ended destruction and creation in the vein of Minecraft. A.R.T.I. was later resurrected as a VR game, but was shelved as Half-Life: Alyx grew.
- SimTrek: A VR game develoepd by members of the Kerbal Space Prgram team that was also shelved during Alyx’s development.
- Shooter: It was designed more like a Half-Life theme park ride than an continuation of its story for release in The Lab. However, it was deemed not to be ready in time for The Lab’s release.
- Borealis: A Half-Life VR project, led by writer Marc Laidlaw, that would have been set on the time-travelling ship mentioned in Half-Life 2 Borealis. Skipping between the Half-Life series’ Seven Hour War, and a time period shortly after Half-Life 2: Episode 2, no gameplay details were revealed, aside from that it included a fishing minigame.
- Hot Dog – Another new take on Left 4 Dead, purposely codenamed so that people on the Internet wouldn’t know it was a Left 4 Dead game. No details were revealed.
- Vader – Valve’s first internal attempt to create a VR headset. Vader was designed without compromise, but was scrapped when it became clear that it was too ambitious. The team estimates it would have cost $5,000 per unit if released. Half-Life: Alyx was initially conceived to launch alongside Vader.