took part in a Half-Life: Alyx Reddit AMA
answering a range of questions relating to the new VR titles set in the iconic Hal-Life universe.
After it's announcement as new full-sized Half-Life game a short while ago, after the series being away for so long, Valve confirms that it's currently in the bug fixing and polish stage of development.
With the exception of some tweaks to the absolute final scene, the game is done. Lots of us at Valve, as well as playtesters, have played through the entire game multiple times.
Right now we're primarily polishing and fixing bugs, which is where we'd hope to be at this point in the development cycle. We're confident we'll hit our intended release.
In relation to the game's place in the Half-Life franchise Valve feels that it belongs alongside the first two - even hinting that in terms of length it should be as meaty as Half-Life 2.
Several of the HL:A team members worked on HL1. There are some things we think we did better in HL1 than HL2, so we did go back to look at it again. As an example of that, the soldier AI in HL1 was something we looked at carefully during the development of the Combine Soldiers in HL:A.
Valve also notes that at around 80 people this is the biggest Half-Life project to date - which has even changed how the company approaches things like level design.
One big feature for us on HL:A was the addition of a system similar to layers, where individual map files from multiple level designers, environment artists, and sound designers are combined into a single map. This had a huge impact on how many disciplines could get their hands into each map, which resulted in a much denser level of content throughout the game.
Naturally the question of why now after so long came up, with Valve pointing to big community engagement coming.
We didn't talk about Half-Life for a long time because we weren't actively working on a Half-Life game. Once Half-Life: Alyx became a reality internally, it was already clear to us that this was something we wanted to involve the community in. We're going to be doing more of this in the next few weeks as we prepare to launch.
Outside of that Valve did mention that the SDK for the Source 2 engine will not be available at launch, with the team to assess and take a look at its release to the community after the game hits virtual shelves. Finally, in terms of fun stuff Valve offered its take on trains and the best way to get gore sounds into a game.
Most of the gore is based on meat and vegetable recordings, with some condiment recordings as well.
It's actually illegal to ship a Half-Life game if you don't spend at least a little time riding in a train.
Half-Life: Alyx is due for release on Steam in March 2020.