Gamers have been eagerly awaiting the announcement of the the new Source Engine, which will represent the next generation of graphics from a company which has routinely pushed the envelope as to what video games can do. The first engine released to amazement and fanfare from both gamers and critics, and the second generation of it has high expectations. Though most expect - or expected - Valve to release it with much media buildup, it appears that they may have quietly soft-launched the engine in a developer workshop release for Dota 2.
Dota modders noticed that after installing the Dota 2 Workshop Tools after its overnight release, there was a very large difference in regards to the engine the system referred to. The tools still contain the regular Dota 2 asset files, but every single piece of code which would normally link to the Source Engine now has a '2' suffix next to it, which would seem to indicate that Valve is now utilizing the next generation of the Source Engine. The Dota 2 community is currently in moderate debate on what this indicates, but the common believe is that Valve has soft-launched Source Engine 2 quietly overnight:
Everything in this package is a new game. It's all the Dota assets and code ported over to Source 2. That's why Hammer is different. That's why the console is different. The general consensus around the Source reverse engineering community is that this is really Source 2. - RoyAwesome via Reddit
Back in 1998, the company's release of Half-Life 1 pushed the boundaries for what people expected from a 3D game. 6 years later, they did the same thing with Half-Life 2 and the first Source Engine, which allowed gamers to toy with physics and experience an interactive world unlike any other game.
Valve acknowledged they were building the Source Engine 2 back in 2012, but has been silent on that front ever since. Many gamers expected that Source Engine 2 would be announced simultaneously with Half-Life 3, but the quiet change in developer code seems to have revealed otherwise.
The database now points to 'Source 2' instead of just 'Source'.
Valve has not commented on the possible soft launch of Source Engine 2 at this time.
With the Steam Machines delayed until next year and 2014 already being the biggest year of Steam game releases, it's clear that Valve has no shortage of work on its hands. If the new Source Engine is confirmed, gamers will certainly be hoping that an announcement for Half-Life 3 or Left 4 Dead 3 won't be too far behind.
Do you think this subtle release is truly the beginning of the new Source Engine 2?
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