It’s been a while since we’ve spoken about Half-Life 3, the latest unverifiable rumors from earlier this summer claiming it would release late 2014 on PC and consoles. Before that, it showed up in internal documents alongside Left 4 Dead 3, a game that’s been subject to many recent headlines after a tour of Valve revealed its names, later confirmed to be in development by “inside sources.”
Still, nothing official on either. Video game voice actor and Valve regular John Patrick Lowrie however, created a bit of a stir among the most hardcore Half-Life fans in a recent message he posted a Half-Life 3 update his personal blog.
Lowrie is married to Ellen McLain, the voice of GlaDOS in Valve’s Portal series, and in a blog from December 2011 about McLain receiving a VGA award, commenters of course wouldn’t let the subject of the next Half-Life go untouched, and over the last two-and-a-half years, Lowrie has periodically responded to inquiries.
The latest of which, scooped up by the NeoGAF community before it could be deleted (uh oh!) had him going from not knowing anything about the project to saying it’s not in development because Valve can’t figure out how to do the motion capture for the characters.
“Sorry, I’m afraid that the opposite is true. HL3 is not being worked on at this time as far as I know.
Right. As far as I know they are not developing HL3 now for several reasons, among them the mo-cap issue. Sorry for any confusion. What they might decide in the future depends on lots of different factors. I hope they do, personally, but it has to make sense for them.
Here is the biggest challenge with bringing out HL3: the big thing now with FPSs is motion capture, or mo-cap. One of the great things about HL2 is that all of the characters that you meet actually look at you when they talk to you no matter where you go or stand. With mo-cap you can’t do that, at least not yet. Once you film the actor doing something and capture that motion, that’s what the character is going to do. This works great in movies, but when you make something interactive it gets way less interactive with mo-cap. So that’s one of the things they’re working on.”
The comments were removed and we found out from John as to why – there’s no big conspiracy, he’s simply attempting to avoid spreading rumors or news when there really is no news to give.
Please tell him that I misspoke. I took the comments down off my blog because they were causing a lot of confusion. Despite my best efforts I gave the impression that I have info that I don’t have. I tried to correct that impression and I think I just made things worse. So I just took down the comments.Sorry about this.
Motion capture being the big obstacle for a game of this magnitude seems unbelievable, but we do believe that if Valve is secretly working away on Half-Life 3 (no, it’s not going to be called Half Life 2: Episode Three according to Gabe Newell) than they are undoubtedly waiting for the tech to catch up. Perhaps this fall’s release of the long-waited next generation of gaming consoles will help in the process.
With the Source engine on Half-Life 2, Valve broke boundaries. With Half-Life 3, they aim to do the same. For now, focus on the Left 4 Dead 3 rumors – that game will likely come out before any more sequels to Portal, Half-Life or Team Fortress.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.