Valve: No more episodic content

SXO

Limp Gawd
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I understand that money makes the world go around but this is getting ridiculous. They want to turn pc gaming into freaking apps you can buy/download anywhere. I don't want that....pc gaming is not the same as mobile platforms or consoles...I don't want to buy DLC every 2 freaking months, give me a good full size game and mod tools you bastards.

/agreed
I don't mind what they did with TF2, monetizing small and useless items, but imagine how shallow the game would've be if it was created with that kind of business model to begin with. TF2 was already a great game in its own right, with tons of actual gaming content added to it prior to them creating the hat store. I fear how much free content of any worthiness will be released for their games in the future. I imagine we will see games like Left 4 Dead being released with limited content but at full price, then we will get very few updates, and tons of dev hours being used to make small pointless items that can be purchased instead.

don't get enough content out? change development model deliver same amount of content
don't get enough content out? change development model deliver same amount of content
don't get enough content out? change development model deliver same amount of content
don't get enough content out? change development model deliver same amount of content
LOL, it's funny because it's true.
 

v0rtic3s

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So you're not miffed at all, that Valve promised episodic content, delivered 2/3 of it (in more time than it should) and is now throwing it away ?

Not if it meant a full-length game, as opposed to an "episode"... wouldn't have me miffed, personally. I'd rather there be a full HL3 than another shorter episode.

Of course, my one beef is that -the- -source- -engine- -needs- -to- -die-!
Man, I cant stand looking at it anymore.

Well think about it, this would actually fit well with the other changes they've announced such as staying away from singleplayer only content.

Hats for Gordon don't work in single player, but work a treat in coop. Quite frankly I find the whole business model disgusting, it makes the games really shallow and commercialised, they might as well stream adverts into their games if this is really the route we're headed.

One thing is for sure I'm not getting drawn in to this mess, I've not been very pleased with what valve has been up to recently, the L4D sequel rubbish, portal 2 being short and the whole micro transaction thing going on, sick of it all now.

I simply do not, and cannot trust Valve, the problem with games as a service is that there is no clear indication of exactly what extras they're going to give us. Now, if the game is worth it's price point at launch that's fine, anything extra is just a bonus, but quite frankly valve are moving towards less and less content at launch and relying on the added content to bring the value up over time, and that I have no interest in unless they're going to put themselves in a position where they're legally obliged to deliver X or Y amount of content, for example the Sam and Max style games where we have a fixed episode release schedule. Any consumer would be quite frankly retarded to pay over the odds on merely a promis of more content later with barely any indication of what we get and when.

QFT, unfortunately... have to agree.

Agreed. I personally have lost faith in Valve and their ability as a development company. Beyond inventing new ways to make money they have left a lot to desire in the game mechanics side. All their recent games have been part of IP they bought up or rehash of the old. The releases are still high quality but at some point I gave up on Half-Life as they have shown to me they do not care enough about it. Or they care too much about it lol.

Again, QFT, unfortunately.

They seem to be far more focused on their business model of being a digital distributor, which I already feel is lacking in certain ways as it is (I mention some reasons in another thread), though they're the best out there thus far.

Too bad, though, because I think they could probably come up with a great new IP, being as creative as they are, if they put themselves into it... and make the time to create a new engine.
 

IronChef75

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and make the time to create a new engine.

They won't release a product with a new engine any time soon. Any engine worth their time to develop (ie. enough features to last as long as the Source engine) probably wouldn't look any better on current generation consoles and make underpowered and un-upgradable Macs look like the garbage they generally are. Now that they're trying to make products for all platforms, all with the same code base, we're all bottlenecked by the weakest link, and they won't tarnish any particular platform by having it look dramatically inferior. They've crippled their ability to innovate for the sake of trying to make their distribution platform ubiquitous. If HL3 ends up with a new engine, I don't think we can expect to see it at least until there are new consoles to take advantage of it.

HL3 is too big a release to not require something special, such as a spectacular new engine. They won't want to release what would otherwise be a big map pack using the same old tired HL2 tech. Wasn't 2014 when they were guessing new consoles from Sony and Microsoft might launch?
 
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iTYPE

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Wow, these guys have officially fallen off my radar. What a bunch of has-beens.
 

Eisenblut

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What exactly is so wrong about the Source engine that you have to QQ about it at every turn?

It is a good looking engine with very good light modelling.
 

zamardii

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Well... I guess this preyty much means no HL2: Episode 3, but rather jump straight to Half Life 3.
 

IronChef75

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What exactly is so wrong about the Source engine

Personally I wouldn't care if HL3 used the Source engine in its current incarnation, because all I want is a similar experience to what has come before, and obviously a continuation or perhaps even a conclusion to the HL story. However, from a marketing standpoint, the Source engine, to be blunt, looks like old shit, especially from a PC perspective. And everything Valve has been saying lately suggests they no longer care about strong single player, story driven games. I hope the promise of so much profit makes them make the effort to match what they've done in the past.

Pretty much all the reviews of Portal 2 criticized the outdated graphics.
 
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D

dceremuga

Guest
personally, I found the interview kind of creepy. A place of work where there is not much accountability, where if you think differently than that essentric bunch, you are a virus. I don't know about you all, but that Newall guy looks creepy. I bet employees get chills when he passes them. I love steam and current Valve projects, but it seems to me that they are getting a little "full" of themselves.

JUST RELEASE EP3 Already, It's just a continuation of the story, we don't need anything ground breaking to make it a good product. Just give us the story.
 

tesfaye

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I've been excited for the next Half Life installment whether it's called Episode 3 or straight up HL3. After the wait for HL2 Ep2 I knew they weren't going to live up to their promises. I'm just looking to be pleasantly surprised.

I don't see a reason to lose faith in them as a development company. Have they been releasing crap software? I don't think so. I can't think of a game that they released which had issues out of the box, or even after patching for that matter. Hell, they managed to improve on an already awesome Portal with Portal 2, while still dumbing down the difficulty a bit for the console players. That's some commendable shit right there me thinks.
 

CrimsonKnight13

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I thought HL2 EP2 was a bit rough around the edges & I really didn't have fun with it at the end. Half-Life hype has died horribly & I'm very doubtful we'll see any epic sequel that HL2 deserves.
 

drako

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Read from the article what you may, but the OP left out this quote:

I think you’ll still see projects from us that are huge in scale, simply because we have the ability to do that.

I'd be perfectly fine with Ep3 getting replaced by a full length game. They can call it whatever they want. They just need to get it out before this decade is over...
 

Silus

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Not if it meant a full-length game, as opposed to an "episode"... wouldn't have me miffed, personally. I'd rather there be a full HL3 than another shorter episode.

Of course, my one beef is that -the- -source- -engine- -needs- -to- -die-!
Man, I cant stand looking at it anymore.

My point was obviously related with the "break the promise" premise and the ethics/morality around it. In Crysis 2's case for example, people were up in arms for a "promise" that didn't even exist from Crytek (support for DX11), yet Valve promises something, does not deliver in that context and ends up throwing it away.
Valve even dumbed down Portal 2, obviously to cater to consoles and they are being commended for it, even from PC Gamers...or arguments such as these, where PCs are consoles after all:

http://hardforum.com/showpost.php?p=1037137944&postcount=54

I really don't get that, except for it being just like a cult, where no matter what Valve says or does, they will always get blind support...it's just insane.
 

mwallek

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At one time it looked like Valve was an ally of the gamer. Now it seems they're just another company with control issues and a lust for the dollar. Good bye Half Life, you were great until ytou were ruined.
 

chicane

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At one time it looked like Valve was an ally of the gamer. Now it seems they're just another company with control issues and a lust for the dollar. Good bye Half Life, you were great until ytou were ruined.

I think the first mistake we made was believing in something not real. It's really sad to see HL story get the bums rush. :(
 

v0rtic3s

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My point was obviously related with the "break the promise" premise and the ethics/morality around it. In Crysis 2's case for example, people were up in arms for a "promise" that didn't even exist from Crytek (support for DX11), yet Valve promises something, does not deliver in that context and ends up throwing it away.
Valve even dumbed down Portal 2, obviously to cater to consoles and they are being commended for it, even from PC Gamers...or arguments such as these, where PCs are consoles after all:

http://hardforum.com/showpost.php?p=1037137944&postcount=54

I really don't get that, except for it being just like a cult, where no matter what Valve says or does, they will always get blind support...it's just insane.

I see where you're coming from, and would honestly have to agree, on all points.

I'm certainly not defending Valve in any way, and they do get that "blind support" you speak of far too often, by far too many, which I could never understand.

It seems that they really don't know what the hell they're doing anymore, in regards to their own games and status as a developer.

But, hence the reason why all-the-more I'd love a full-length HL3, though at this point, who knows if they even have it in them to create.
 

tesfaye

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It's commendable that they dumbed down Portal 2 to suit consoles?
No silly, that the game was still an improvement over the original in spite of the fact that they changed it a bit for the console users. If I had any sort of complaint about that game, it would be the loading screens. I'm confused as to why on the PC a level needs to reload when a player dies. But in the end, it didn't ruin the game at all.
 

meatfestival

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At one time it looked like Valve was an ally of the gamer. Now it seems they're just another company with control issues and a lust for the dollar. Good bye Half Life, you were great until ytou were ruined.

“When I left Microsoft, I could have retired,” he says, occasionally peering at the door as if waiting for someone.
“If I wanted, I could’ve have sailed around the world on an extended vacation. But I decided I wanted to work. I wanted to work with other really smart, motivated, socially-orientated people to create product that would affect millions of other people. To me, that was the most fun I could have.”
Newell describes himself as a “lottery winner” for joining Microsoft at a time when ‘a computer in every home’ was just a dream. He left the multi-billion dollar firm in 1996 to co-found Valve Software with fellow Microsoft manager Mike Harrington.
Harrington quit the company just four years later to pursue something which, demonstrably, still perplexes Newell. Harrington left to embark on a sailboat tour around the world. Such a decision, even today, seems alien to a caffeine-blooded workaholic like Newell.
“I would’ve sailed half way to Hawaii, cut my wrists and thrown myself to the sharks,” he says, punctuating his point with the click, snap and fizz of an opened Coke can.
Forbes recently branded Newell a likely billionaire. His career began – in what has almost become rite of passage for tech pioneers – with an excuse to quit college. In the 28 years since, he has shown only the rarest flashes of that famous American entrepreneurial instinct. The Harvard-educated man’s passions are, when one reflects on them, startlingly non-commercial.
“Working with everyone here at Valve is what I would do if given the choice to do anything,” he says.
To believe in his vision is to accept that Valve behaves more like a professional mod community than it does a business.

http://www.develop-online.net/features/1184/The-Valve-manifesto

Oh, and Gabe is trolling, of course they're working on another Half Life.
 

Saturn_V

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How exactly was the game dumbed down for consoles?
It isn't. It plays exactly the same as Portal 1. Valve left some console-targeted messages in the game UI and some went ape poopy and claimed the game was "console-ized". :rolleyes: There's a hyper vocal segment of Valve's audience that's "toys in the attic" crazy when it comes to Valve.

Don't like that they left some console-centric messages in Portal 2? Call the game consolized and review bomb Metacritic.

Don't like that they chose to release L4D2 (an huge improvement on L4D) instead of DLC/updating L4D? Let's have a insignificant minority boycott!

Object to hats in TF2 and items that have *no impact* on core gameplay? DLCRAGE!

All these batshit crazy vitriolic attacks on Valve annoy the bejeezus outta me. They're not intelligent criticisms of Valve- and there's lots of things Valve does that seriously deserve derision. (3rd party DRM on Steam is #1 in my book)
 

CrimsonKnight13

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To believe in his vision is to accept that Valve behaves more like a professional mod community than it does a business.

Sure does make me think of Black Mesa Source. Valve has influenced many mod devs to think in the way that waiting forever is sometimes a good thing. I'm tiring of the empty promises from such types though.
 

drako

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No silly, that the game was still an improvement over the original in spite of the fact that they changed it a bit for the console users. If I had any sort of complaint about that game, it would be the loading screens. I'm confused as to why on the PC a level needs to reload when a player dies. But in the end, it didn't ruin the game at all.
Has nothing to do with consoles. The Source engine is old, especially in the way it handles content loading. I hope that for the next major release they put out, that they implement streaming content loading in their engine the way that Epic did with UE3.
 

Bankie

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It isn't. It plays exactly the same as Portal 1. Valve left some console-targeted messages in the game UI and some went ape poopy and claimed the game was "console-ized". :rolleyes: There's a hyper vocal segment of Valve's audience that's "toys in the attic" crazy when it comes to Valve.

Don't like that they left some console-centric messages in Portal 2? Call the game consolized and review bomb Metacritic.

The game is far easier than the original. Some would say that's because a console controller is inherently less accurate and therefore it's been dumbed down to appease the "unwashed brainless console heathens". There are also tons of loading screens, the graphics aren't exactly good, and it's even more on rails than the original.

Some of that is because Source is beyond ancient. Some it may be because Valve wants to cater towards the "casual gamers". Some of it may be due to console dumbing down. It's probably a case of a little of all of the above.
 

infect0

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It isn't. It plays exactly the same as Portal 1. Valve left some console-targeted messages in the game UI and some went ape poopy and claimed the game was "console-ized". :rolleyes: There's a hyper vocal segment of Valve's audience that's "toys in the attic" crazy when it comes to Valve.

Don't like that they left some console-centric messages in Portal 2? Call the game consolized and review bomb Metacritic.

Don't like that they chose to release L4D2 (an huge improvement on L4D) instead of DLC/updating L4D? Let's have a insignificant minority boycott!

Object to hats in TF2 and items that have *no impact* on core gameplay? DLCRAGE!

All these batshit crazy vitriolic attacks on Valve annoy the bejeezus outta me. They're not intelligent criticisms of Valve- and there's lots of things Valve does that seriously deserve derision. (3rd party DRM on Steam is #1 in my book)

In all fairness Portal2 was dumbed down a bit regardless of reasons. You play 4 levels that teach you how to use game elements and then 1 level that is actually a puzzle. Plus the whole game is more on rails then the last.
 

Hornet

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Well think about it, this would actually fit well with the other changes they've announced such as staying away from singleplayer only content.

Hats for Gordon don't work in single player, but work a treat in coop. Quite frankly I find the whole business model disgusting, it makes the games really shallow and commercialised, they might as well stream adverts into their games if this is really the route we're headed.

One thing is for sure I'm not getting drawn in to this mess, I've not been very pleased with what valve has been up to recently, the L4D sequel rubbish, portal 2 being short and the whole micro transaction thing going on, sick of it all now.

I simply do not, and cannot trust Valve, the problem with games as a service is that there is no clear indication of exactly what extras they're going to give us. Now, if the game is worth it's price point at launch that's fine, anything extra is just a bonus, but quite frankly valve are moving towards less and less content at launch and relying on the added content to bring the value up over time, and that I have no interest in unless they're going to put themselves in a position where they're legally obliged to deliver X or Y amount of content, for example the Sam and Max style games where we have a fixed episode release schedule. Any consumer would be quite frankly retarded to pay over the odds on merely a promis of more content later with barely any indication of what we get and when.
Agrees with all the points there. I've already had a bad feeling when they stated that they are moving away from single player only contents.

All of these announced plans only points towards the direction of over-commercialization of video games, eventually we're going to lose everything that made us love playing video games in the first place :(
 

phide

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So you're not miffed at all, that Valve promised episodic content, delivered 2/3 of it (in more time than it should) and is now throwing it away ?
Did Valve ever promise Episode 3? There was certainly talk of it, but I never saw anything to the effect of a promise or a guarantee that it'd be released.

Valve even dumbed down Portal 2, obviously to cater to consoles and they are being commended for it, even from PC Gamers
I've seen no one commend Valve for "dumbing down" Portal 2. I've seen the exact opposite from anyone who's played the game. Some of those complaints are valid, though just as many are nonsense in my opinion.

I really don't get that, except for it being just like a cult, where no matter what Valve says or does, they will always get blind support...it's just insane.
If there is such a thing as the "Cult of Valve", you're in prime position to become the authoritative leader of the "Cult of Anti-Valve". Is there really a difference in your mind as to which is better and which is worse?

No silly, that the game was still an improvement over the original in spite of the fact that they changed it a bit for the console users.
I agree. I played the original Portal again after finishing up Portal 2. Portal 2 is a substantially better game in nearly every respect in my opinion. The visuals are significantly better, the environments are much more varied, the story aspect is much more substantial, the audio is improved (significantly), the music is integrated much more interestingly and the comedic elements are better-executed (and there are more of them). There are certain chambers that are better in the original, but for the most part, Portal 2's chambers are more interesting.

Is it Game of the Year like Portal was? Probably not. The original game turned everything upside down when it was released, and it would be a near-insurmountable task for a new entry in the same IP to do the same thing again. Is Portal 2 a better game, though? Yeah, I absolutely think so. It feels as though some people have such a sense of nostalgiavision with the original game that they've nearly forgotten how basic and constricting it really was.

Quite frankly I find the whole business model disgusting, it makes the games really shallow and commercialised...
It's optional.
 
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DarkStar_WNY

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Not if it meant a full-length game, as opposed to an "episode"... wouldn't have me miffed, personally. I'd rather there be a full HL3 than another shorter episode.

Sadly what your likely to get is "Full HL3" that's as short as an episode.

Remember, episodes were suppose to be smaller, less expensive and come out faster but they only managed to actually deliver shorter games with just as long between releases and were the full price of every other game released at that time.
 

Omophorus

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Sounds like the atmosphere at Valve is very successful for a very specific type of developer or creative person. Also sounds like they've found enough of them to be successful. Well and good. I know for myself that the total lack of structure would drive me nuts (I'd just playtest all day), but to each their own.

I've enjoyed every Valve game I've played except L4D2 (and that's more my fault than Valve's... I was more annoyed with the loss of the quad cap and the addition of melee weapons than I was warmed by game balance changes to appeal to casuals). I could care less if they're making HL3, Portal 3, TF3, new IP, or whatever, so long as I end up with a game I felt was worth the money.

Certainly there are lots of changes Valve could make that I think would make me, as an individual, like their games more. But then again, my FPS forte is twitch/reaction times, so what would make a game more fun for me would be considered negative changes by many.

The highest-played Valve-produced Steam games are CS, CS:S, TF2, and L4D2. All of which would benefit from a short update cycle continuing to add content. Free content, preferably, because the idea of coughing up $15 for 5 maps sours the stomach.

But it's hard to deny that the best sources of potential revenue for a business are the games that people can keep playing, and thus it makes the most sense, financially, to focus on multiplayer experiences rather than a single player game you run through once or twice for the story and then put on the shelf.

I'd love to see more HL story, but I know I end up spending a lot less of my own time on single player games where you just follow the narrative than I do in games where the story can take multiple paths, or that I can play with other people. And thus, I can't really blame Valve for focusing more attention on the games that I myself spend more time playing, and as a business I can't fault them for trying to monetize it (it's then up to me if I see a compelling value proposition).
 

SoftScience

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To me, it seems like very little people in this thread actually read the article and instead just read the headline.

This article made me like Valve more, not less. Give it a real read.

exactly. I spent a lot of this morning reading not just this but the series of articles (and more will published as the week goes on)
 

Saturn_V

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In all fairness Portal2 was dumbed down a bit regardless of reasons. You play 4 levels that teach you how to use game elements and then 1 level that is actually a puzzle. Plus the whole game is more on rails then the last.

Seeing that there's only ONE solution for any given level/test, I would say it's "on rails" the same amount as the first Portal. And showing off these impossibly huge environments has been a hallmark of Valve's games (not just Portal) I think the "on rails" aspect is expected. And I don't object to the "easy" levels to instruct newbies that have never played Portal. That's just "common sense" game design.

<snip>There are also tons of loading screens, the graphics aren't exactly good, and it's even more on rails than the original.

Some of that is because Source is beyond ancient. Some it may be because Valve wants to cater towards the "casual gamers". Some of it may be due to console dumbing down. It's probably a case of a little of all of the above.

Source has been updated several times since 2004. Yes it's still DirectX 9.0, but it's not exactly the same engine since the original HL2. (anyone who plays TF2 regularly can see Source's progression since 2007) But a games graphic engine doesn't dictate how fun the game is. I didn't find the loading screens annoying... but Portal one had them too so I went in knowing they'd be there.
 

Silus

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Did Valve ever promise Episode 3? There was certainly talk of it, but I never saw anything to the effect of a promise or a guarantee that it'd be released.

Wow phide. I know you're part of the Church of Freeman, but you're really trying to deny that ?

http://www.gamespot.com/pc/action/halflife2aftermath/news.html?sid=6151796

"in a trilogy...that will conclude by Christmas of 2007."

And we're in...oh yeah...2011...

phide said:
I've seen no one commend Valve for "dumbing down" Portal 2. I've seen the exact opposite from anyone who's played the game. Some of those complaints are valid, though just as many are nonsense in my opinion.

It was in this thread, but the person already said that he was commending another thing, even if it almost seemed like he was commending the dumbing down, as another person pointed out.

phide said:
If there is such a thing as the "Cult of Valve", you're in prime position to become the authoritative leader of the "Cult of Anti-Valve". Is there really a difference in your mind as to which is better and which is worse?

There probably isn't much difference, except that I do not devote myself to protect any company with zeal that creates ridiculous arguments, such as the ones I already posted here like "PCs are consoles" and such, to justify the dumbing down of a game. This "dumbing down" is the reason to criticize other games to the extreme, going as far as wishing that that company goes bankrupt, but for Valve, this is ok. I glaringly don't agree with that (or any other double standard) and if that makes me Anti-valve so be it. I won't deny my despise for many Valve "decisions" that are arrogant, idiotic and do nothing but protect their own interests, yet they still get praise, with arguments such as "Valve cares" or "they're the only ones that push the PC platform forward", when the fact is they really don't. Merit should be awarded to those that deserve it and for quite a while, that Valve doesn't.
 

drako

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Many people who commend Valve for having a positive impact on PC gaming do so because of Steam, not because of their games. Valve took their lumps and broke ground in the digital distribution space and it was only when they proved it could be successful that a bunch of less successful competitors popped up. They absolutely deserve credit for pushing the PC marketplace forward.

The PC gaming marketplace would be in a much bigger world of hurt if it still had to rely only on dwindling retail shelf space.
 

infect0

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Seeing that there's only ONE solution for any given level/test, I would say it's "on rails" the same amount as the first Portal. And showing off these impossibly huge environments has been a hallmark of Valve's games (not just Portal) I think the "on rails" aspect is expected. And I don't object to the "easy" levels to instruct newbies that have never played Portal. That's just "common sense" game design.

Nah its not common sense when you do it in both SP and MP, thats just redundant. I when I mean on rails is that the puzzles were too easy. There was never a question of how to solve a level. It was a well polished game, just dumbed down a bit for my taste and imo was too easy overall. If you found it to your level of difficulty more power to you, I personally found it to be too casual for my liking with most levels at grade school level.
 

TwistedAegis

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Many people who commend Valve for having a positive impact on PC gaming do so because of Steam, not because of their games. Valve took their lumps and broke ground in the digital distribution space and it was only when they proved it could be successful that a bunch of less successful competitors popped up. They absolutely deserve credit for pushing the PC marketplace forward.

HL/2, L4D/2, CSS, Portal/2, TF2...I'd say that is a pretty damn impressive roster of games, delayed or not. I do feel they are slipping in the game arena though...it will take Ep3/HL3 coming out in the foreseeable future, and it kicking ass, for them to reconvince me to be a huge fan of their games.
 
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