Rumours and speculations are surrounding Valve and the sequel to the Half-Life series. Half-Life 2: Episode 2 was released in 2007 as part of The Orange Box and the ending was a complete cliffhanger. It has been almost five years since that game and everyone is now waiting for any word from Valve about the conclusion to the game series. According to T3, Half-Life 3 will be announced, or at least, talked about during Gamescom in Germany.

T3 reports that the name of the game was found in a pdf file that lists all the titles that are going to be announced at the games conference. Game magazine Game Informer has confirmed for the first time in its history of print that it will be going to print late so they can accommodate a big announcement being made at Gamescom. This does nothing but add fuel to the rumour wildfires.

Open your mind

Valve may finally announce Half-Life 3!

Half-Life 3 may be used to show off what could be the Source Engine 2, the next iteration of the powerful Source Engine. Fansite Valve Time recently reported that evidence has been found in the script files in the recently released Source Filmmaker. The website reports that there are many references in the script files to “Source 2”. The exact script is on line 1387 of the script file and reads:

Return an str with the current engine version.
If key doesn't doesn't exist, assume 'Source', otherwise invalid — assume next-gen 'Source 2'.

There are references to Source, Hybrid and Source 2 in the file. It is speculated that Hybrid is the base for which Source 2 is sitting on. Source 2 also seems to be using the same pipeline as Source, meaning that it will probably be keeping the .BSP format it uses for levels. There haven’t been any references to DirectX or OpenGL, or Episode 3 or Half-Life 3 for that matter.

Valve says this about its current Source Engine: “We don’t like to brag, but Source is considered the most flexible, comprehensive, and powerful game development environment out there. And it’s about to get even better.

Valve released the Source Filmmaker in July this year. In its blog, Valve said, “The Source Filmmaker (SFM) is the movie-making tool built and used by us here at Valve to make movies inside the Source game engine. Because the SFM uses the same assets as the game, anything that exists in the game can be used in the movie, and vice versa. By utilising the hardware rendering power of a modern gaming PC, the SFM allows storytellers to work in a what-you-see-is-what-you-get environment so they can iterate in the context of what it will feel like for the final audience.”

Few companies in the gaming world are followed as closely as Valve. This may be largely because of its utter silence on the sequel to Half-Life 2: Episode 2, which is based on the Source Engine. Many speculate and talk about rumours of the fabled next iteration of the game. Some believe it will be Half-Life 2: Episode 3, others believe it will be Half-Life 3. If Valve were to follow its regular pattern, a supposed Half-Life 3 would showcase the capabilities of a new graphics and physics engine.

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