Ten minutes of Half-Life: Alyx: The biggest VR goosebumps we’ve ever had


Supreme [H]ardness
Dec 23, 2007
Hundreds of thousands of man-hours (man-woman hours?) spent optimizing Alyx, maybe just maybe they tried it many different ways and the floating hands captured the best experience.

Valve created their own Aperture Labs type setup with testers in glass offices that they could observe playtesting the game, and then could rapidly made adjustments. It was that instant feedback loop of being able to observe testers' verbal and full body reactions that they said made the development process way more motivating versus the traditional keyboard/mouse and staring at a flat screen. It became a "shit, making this is actually fun, let's turn this early proof of concept demo into a full blown title".

This is a big part of why it's VR-only and they had no interest in spreading themselves thin also trying to do a flat monitor version: the VR experience is that compelling, both creating it and playing it.

Last edited:


Oct 26, 2005
Strange, I watched the three short clips and thought everything seemed okay, with the different movement methods. Then I watched a 10-ish min playthrough where they were also talking with some developers and the blink/teleport movement was making me very uneasy. Not sure why it had more of an effect, but good to know there's more than one way to move around