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Half-Life 3 ARG?

It seems Valve has kicked off a new alternate reality game, initiating speculation that a Half-Life 3 reveal may be in the offing. What are thought to be clues about this are found in a trailer Valve submitted to support the nomination of Wheatley from Portal 2 for a VGA for character of the year. The video is posted on Rock, Paper, Shotgun along with a half-speed version of the clip to make the numbers and Russian text clues more apparent, which RPS notes includes a lambda and three ones. PC Gamer also notes a reddit comment with an email allegedly from Valve's Gabe Newell saying: "I can see how the wording caused some confusion there. Yes, we are announcing something with a three in it."

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48. Re: Half-Life 3 ARG? Dec 13, 2011, 06:31 Tanto Edge
 
A game like HL2Ep3 can't be released as a 'bunch of DLC packs'.
Valve has always taken a 'DLC is Free for PC' attitude anyhow (and god bless them for it) whereas their Episodes have been typically priced at half the retail of a full game.
Anytime Valve releases anything it sells well. Gabe could release a fart and I'm sure someone'd make a bid on it.
If Valve released Episode 3 today I think the magnitude of excitement would drive sales crazy.
I mean, a Valve game at $15 a pop? I punch those numbers into my calculator it makes a happy face.
 
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47. Re: Half-Life 3 ARG? Dec 13, 2011, 00:25 eunichron
 
Tanto Edge wrote on Dec 12, 2011, 18:17:
I remember when episodic gameplay was all the rage...
Now it just causes rage.

I really think it's because of the success of DLC (whether you like it or not, DLC is successful), since episodic content and DLC are basically the same idea, just on different scales. Now instead of releasing the core game and taking 2 years to release the next episode at the price of an xpac, devs can release the core game and release several DLC packs, amounting to about the same amount of content of one episode, over the course of 2 years for about the same cost.

I'm actually surprised Valve didn't decide to split up Ep3 into DLC packs rather than just ax it all together.
 
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46. Re: Half-Life 3 ARG? Dec 12, 2011, 21:33 eRe4s3r
 
Heh good point, i just bought the "potato sack" . seemed worth it, i only later learned of the ARG (last 3 days, to be exact..)  
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45. Re: Half-Life 3 ARG? Dec 12, 2011, 20:35 wtf_man
 
theyarecomingforyou wrote on Dec 12, 2011, 18:59:
Then again, we could see a surprise move by Valve. For instance, they may have bought up Black Mesa Source on the quiet...

/snip

Black Mesa Source? /ROFLMAO

Yeah... the fucking vaporware mod that was supposed to be released in early 2009? Over two Fucking years ago, supposedly "it was almost done" ???

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Yeah, Right.

IF they were an actual studio, they'd deserve to get their ass's beat within an inch of their lives as much as George Broussard (and company) does for their 13 year Vaporware fiasco.

As for Valve coming in and "helping them out" or "buying them out", so they can make some big box sale... Dream on.

This comment was edited on Dec 12, 2011, 21:09.
 
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44. Re: Half-Life 3 ARG? Dec 12, 2011, 20:27 jacobvandy
 
theyarecomingforyou wrote on Dec 12, 2011, 18:59:
Too much time has passed for them to continue with Ep3, as it would obviously be limited to existing owners of HL2, Ep1 and Ep2. It would make much more sense, given the delay, to put their effort into HL3, as it would appeal to a larger audience, command a higher price tag and would likely feature a significant update to the Source engine.

So, charge $20 for an addon that appeals to an existing fanbase and take a huge amount of flack for taking so long... or charge $50 for a fully fledged sequel that appeal to both the existing audience and new gamers, while negating some of the criticism for taking too long. To me it seems really simple.

Then again, we could see a surprise move by Valve. For instance, they may have bought up Black Mesa Source on the quiet. We may then see them pull an Orange Box and bundle HL3, BMS and DOTA2 together in a super-bundle, which would blow fans away. Don't forget that people were moaning before Ep2 because of the delay, yet the Orange Box completely won people over. And people weren't expecting TF2 to come out any time soon, just like the situation with HL3 now.

It's Valve... anything could happen.

They can't just skip over Episode 3 after what they did with the ending of Episode 2... Nor will they put HL3 in a bundle with other games; the whole reason they did the Orange Box was, as you said, people wanted more than just the one episode after so long. I think it'd be more likely they do that with Episode 3, bundle it with Dota 2, CS:GO, L4D3, or whatever else.

If I were Gabe, though, I'd hype up an announcement, walk on stage at E3, and say that Half-Life 3 is coming out in 2013. Talk it up a bit, new engine blah blah, absorb the reaction (it will be mixed with "WOO HL3!" and "WTF WHERE'S EP3?"), then as I'm walking away, say "Oh, yeah, and Episode 3 is now available on Steam." Instantly steal everyone else's thunder. I might even bet they have Episode 3 done and in the can RIGHT NOW, just trying to figure out what to do with it.
 
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43. Re: Half-Life 3 ARG? Dec 12, 2011, 20:17 Sepharo
 
theyarecomingforyou wrote on Dec 12, 2011, 18:59:
Then again, we could see a surprise move by Valve. For instance, they may have bought up Black Mesa Source on the quiet. We may then see them pull an Orange Box and bundle HL3, BMS and DOTA2 together in a super-bundle, which would blow fans away. Don't forget that people were moaning before Ep2 because of the delay, yet the Orange Box completely won people over. And people weren't expecting TF2 to come out any time soon, just like the situation with HL3 now.

Should an awesome box deal happen again I would expect CS:GO in there.
 
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42. Re: Half-Life 3 ARG? Dec 12, 2011, 18:59 theyarecomingforyou
 
Undih(fatp) wrote on Dec 12, 2011, 17:24:
Exacly, I would be rather surprised if this wasn't HL2 Episode 3. Valve are still to close the HL2 story and there just isn't time for HL3 yet, why? Well It's probably going to be somewhat aimed at consoles and most likely aimed at new tech developed for nextGen consoles. So I say it's Ep3 and HL3 Is going to be published with PS4
Too much time has passed for them to continue with Ep3, as it would obviously be limited to existing owners of HL2, Ep1 and Ep2. It would make much more sense, given the delay, to put their effort into HL3, as it would appeal to a larger audience, command a higher price tag and would likely feature a significant update to the Source engine.

So, charge $20 for an addon that appeals to an existing fanbase and take a huge amount of flack for taking so long... or charge $50 for a fully fledged sequel that appeal to both the existing audience and new gamers, while negating some of the criticism for taking too long. To me it seems really simple.

Then again, we could see a surprise move by Valve. For instance, they may have bought up Black Mesa Source on the quiet. We may then see them pull an Orange Box and bundle HL3, BMS and DOTA2 together in a super-bundle, which would blow fans away. Don't forget that people were moaning before Ep2 because of the delay, yet the Orange Box completely won people over. And people weren't expecting TF2 to come out any time soon, just like the situation with HL3 now.

It's Valve... anything could happen.
 
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41. Re: Half-Life 3 ARG? Dec 12, 2011, 18:47 Tumbler
 
Ugh, valve arg's are right next to facebook promotions in my book. Not interested.  
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40. Re: Half-Life 3 ARG? Dec 12, 2011, 18:40 Matshock
 
Tanto Edge wrote on Dec 12, 2011, 18:17:
I remember when episodic gameplay was all the rage...
Now it just causes rage.

Yeah that didn't last long did it?

Well, if history is any indication we'll see one or two memorable PC exclusives between now and the XBOX 720 (like Beyond Good & Evil, Half Life 2) that will later be ported to consoles then we'll be living off of console ports again. At least I haven't paid $150.00 for a 250 GB HD.
 
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39. Re: Half-Life 3 ARG? Dec 12, 2011, 18:17 Tanto Edge
 
I remember when episodic gameplay was all the rage...
Now it just causes rage.
 
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38. Re: Half-Life 3 ARG? Dec 12, 2011, 17:30 Alamar
 
eRe4s3r wrote on Dec 12, 2011, 15:51:
Just fyi - but i got all 36 potatoes in that portal 2 arg and the ENTIRE VALVE CATALOG for free.

Including Portal 2, as well as super cheap deals on a lot of indy games that were great fun to play

So yeah, bad marketing for you, a great gift for me and my friends as i had nearly none of the valve stuff at that point in time and none of the indy games even heard of.

You didn't have to buy any games to get those potatoes?

Or do our versions of free differ? : )

-Alamar
 
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37. Re: Half-Life 3 ARG? Dec 12, 2011, 17:24 Undih
 
Masterdog wrote on Dec 12, 2011, 15:09:
Wouldn't it be more likely to be Episode 3, rather than HL3? I haven't heard anything about there not being a final 'episode'

Exacly, I would be rather surprised if this wasn't HL2 Episode 3. Valve are still to close the HL2 story and there just isn't time for HL3 yet, why? Well It's probably going to be somewhat aimed at consoles and most likely aimed at new tech developed for nextGen consoles. So I say it's Ep3 and HL3 Is going to be published with PS4
 
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36. Re: Half-Life 3 ARG? Dec 12, 2011, 16:00 Trevellian
 
Hey Valve. It's shit or get off the pot time. Thanks.  
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35. Re: Half-Life 3 ARG? Dec 12, 2011, 15:51 eRe4s3r
 
Just fyi - but i got all 36 potatoes in that portal 2 arg and the ENTIRE VALVE CATALOG for free.

Including Portal 2, as well as super cheap deals on a lot of indy games that were great fun to play

So yeah, bad marketing for you, a great gift for me and my friends as i had nearly none of the valve stuff at that point in time and none of the indy games even heard of.
 
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34. Re: Half-Life 3 ARG? Dec 12, 2011, 15:27 Cutter
 
I wish they'd knock this crap off and spit it out already. Tease the beast and the beast gets angry. Valve, sure we love all your games. They're all just super keen and you're all a bunch of nutty, nutty guys, but could we please just fucking get EP3 to wrap it up or HL3 already? Oh yeah, and if you are announcing a game make sure we're not on Valve time and it's still 2 years out or more? Kthnx.
 
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33. Re: Half-Life 3 ARG? Dec 12, 2011, 15:25 Beamer
 
Masterdog wrote on Dec 12, 2011, 15:09:
Wouldn't it be more likely to be Episode 3, rather than HL3? I haven't heard anything about there not being a final 'episode'.

Also, I'm confused by the PC Gamer tweet (the article it relates to is here). They say that one aspect of it is a hoax but don't mention the parts that appeared in the official Valve/Wheatley video.

Regardless, Wheatley is a pooter and therefore '111' would be binary. In binary, 111 is 7. If you take the Valve-produced Half-Life story games, you get HL1, HL2, HL2: Ep1, HL2: Ep2, Portal 1, and Portal 2. That's six games, so the next one would be seventh. Ooooh....

We haven't heard anything about E3 still being worked on, either, and at this point it'd be a bit ridiculous for them to release a $20 3 hour experience.

And yes, Wheatley is a computer, but one that speaks English, and coordinates are rarely given in binary, and given that he knows he's got limited time it's unlikely that he would give coordinates in binary, which would take forever, plus if you speak binary it's very difficult to know where one number stops and another begins, and I honestly can't believe this conversation is happening.
 
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32. Re: Half-Life 3 ARG? Dec 12, 2011, 15:24 Matshock
 
jacobvandy wrote on Dec 12, 2011, 15:02:
Yes, the Portal 2 early release was a farce...

Yes it was- it was being released for XBOX at midnight Gamestop sales while it was being unlocked on PC. There was no early release- the ARG ended in fraud.

There was also an official promo advertising fast action sequences that never made it into the game.

I'm criticizing Valve's marketing choices moreso than their technical merit- after all they certainly could have made the PC version more PC-centered and it would not have been a technical problem for them.

 
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31. Re: Half-Life 3 ARG? Dec 12, 2011, 15:09 Masterdog
 
Wouldn't it be more likely to be Episode 3, rather than HL3? I haven't heard anything about there not being a final 'episode'.

Also, I'm confused by the PC Gamer tweet (the article it relates to is here). They say that one aspect of it is a hoax but don't mention the parts that appeared in the official Valve/Wheatley video.

Regardless, Wheatley is a pooter and therefore '111' would be binary. In binary, 111 is 7. If you take the Valve-produced Half-Life story games, you get HL1, HL2, HL2: Ep1, HL2: Ep2, Portal 1, and Portal 2. That's six games, so the next one would be seventh. Ooooh....
 
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30. Re: Half-Life 3 ARG? Dec 12, 2011, 15:02 jacobvandy
 
Yes, the Portal 2 early release was a farce, no doubt about it. Game still released at midnight EST Tuesday morning, which is in no way a special event on Steam. They just plain didn't expect the community to be so organized, with the wiki that explained how to get every potato and coordinating which game to put hours into and "finish," and they had decided beforehand that the game would only be released a few hours early. If you were watching closely on the last couple days, the time bonuses were reduced from 1-2 hours to around 5 minutes per game "finished," which was complete bullshit. At the rate we were going, it was estimated that it should have been unlocked Sunday afternoon or so.

They made up for it somewhat by handing out Valve Complete Packs along with the golden potatoes, so anyone who was dedicated enough to notice got the game for free (though many of them had pre-ordered already, like me).

CommunistHamster wrote on Dec 12, 2011, 14:44:
A recent PC Gamer tweet says this is a hoax.

That twitter feed spitting out random crap that they mentioned is fake, not the Wheatley VGA video, obviously...
 
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29. Re: Half-Life 3 ARG? Dec 12, 2011, 14:52 Ecthelion
 
Call me too old or a traitor to PC gaming, but I always found the real pleasure in the Portal games was in solving the puzzles logically, not in getting mouse click timing down perfectly. I think Valve came to the same conclusion when they made the second game.

I didn't find many parts that were challenging in terms of FPS skill, but I was stumped several times in Portal 2. Even in co-op there were a few parts that took two of us putting our heads together several tries to figure out. I would say that the puzzles in Portal 2 were actually more puzzle-like than most of the puzzles in Portal 1. I rarely had trouble figuring out what to do next in Portal 1, I just had to make sure I timed everything perfectly. Portal 2 was more of a puzzler in my opinion.

That was the fun part of the Portal games, at least for me. You may call it dumbing the game down, but I call it tweaking the game to better achieve its core aim.
 
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