Half-Life: Alyx Preloads

Preloads are now underway for Half-Life: Alyx on Steam. paving the way for Monday's launch of the new virtual reality installment in the Half-Life series. This may be useful to more gamers than imagined at first. Despite the fact that it requires a virtual reality headset, PlayTracker reports more than 300,000 gamers have preordered the VR shooter (thanks VideoGamer.com). Here's word:
Valve's return to City 17 is poised to make sales record headlines next week. PlayTracker Insight tracking is showing Half-Life: Alyx has already surpassed 300.000 owners ahead of its launch on Monday, March 23rd.

This already puts the game within striking distance of the biggest Steam releases of 2020 so far like TemTem, Wolcen, Borderlands 3, Metro Exodus, and, amusingly, Black Mesa - Crowbar Collective's re-imagining of the original Half-Life game. Launch sales should propel the game into first place, pending a surprising over-performance by Doom Eternal this weekend.

VR owners account for only 1% of Steam users according to the Steam Hardware Survey, making this sales performance quite an impressive achievement.
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52.
 
Re: Half-Life: Alyx Preloads
Mar 23, 2020, 11:32
52.
Re: Half-Life: Alyx Preloads Mar 23, 2020, 11:32
Mar 23, 2020, 11:32
 
Neither is regular gaming, nothing is perfect, it never will be. If I didn't start playing games because I complained that floppy disks were slow to load and 16 colors in a game was "unimmersive" I would never have had all the fun experiences and memories I did.

And to make things worse, when we do try to enjoy it we have to hear all the above AND people complaining about things that are just factually wrong.

And for the people that don't like VR, ask yourself why you're posting in a news article in VR in the first place.
51.
 
Re: Half-Life: Alyx Preloads
Mar 23, 2020, 09:41
51.
Re: Half-Life: Alyx Preloads Mar 23, 2020, 09:41
Mar 23, 2020, 09:41
 
Muscular Beaver wrote on Mar 23, 2020, 00:50:
I want to act like in real life, or very close to it, in a VR game. Thats the point.

Maybe one day they'll make some sort of brain interface VR :-D. But then what if someone hacks it so if you die in game you die for real :-O.
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50.
 
Re: Half-Life: Alyx Preloads
Mar 23, 2020, 09:05
50.
Re: Half-Life: Alyx Preloads Mar 23, 2020, 09:05
Mar 23, 2020, 09:05
 

I'm truly happy for all VR *knowledgeable* users.

I envy you, but gladly, and hope to join you in a few months.

Some people tried VR with early hardware and felt underwhelmed.

Sadly, some have somatic problems, but that's a problem similar to not
being able to enjoy certain sports, because of poor coordinating, or poor orientation, or just being not agile or fast enough.
It is what it is.

Maybe you just donīt like 3D or fast movement.
I know people that canīt stand it in a monitor, forget VR.

You may just donīt like VR, no problem. Itīs all fine.
Hope that progress in quality and prices allow more gamers to enjoy in time.

On a side note:
There is a glaring case in this and many threads, with always disparaging lazy one-liners.

No added info, no discussing, just unselfconscious mean and petty repetitiveness.

I admit never seeing such masterful ability in use before, so, congratulations to you !!,
You know who you are, no ?, though probably not, smh.





49.
 
Re: Half-Life: Alyx Preloads
Mar 23, 2020, 08:47
Beamer
 
49.
Re: Half-Life: Alyx Preloads Mar 23, 2020, 08:47
Mar 23, 2020, 08:47
 Beamer
 
Man, the animosity.

If you like VR, great. Buy a set, play some games.

If you don't like VR, great. Don't buy a set, don't play the games made specifically for VR.

VR isn't perfect. It's expensive, it still looks less than ideal, it has motion sickness issues, many games have movement issues, and many people don't like being completely shut off from their surroundings.

But VR is fun. When a game is made for it, and made well, it's an experience unlike any other, which is easily worth the tradeoffs for many people.

But not all. Some of you think it's worth it. Others do not think it is currently worth it. As we're not talking about perfect nor necessary hardware, you can both be right.
48.
 
Re: Half-Life: Alyx Preloads
Mar 23, 2020, 04:45
48.
Re: Half-Life: Alyx Preloads Mar 23, 2020, 04:45
Mar 23, 2020, 04:45
 
Qvark wrote on Mar 22, 2020, 11:43:
Razumen wrote on Mar 22, 2020, 11:06:
Qvark wrote on Mar 22, 2020, 08:08:
The main stumbling block for VR is the crappy controllers any headset comes with.
They are to me, the main thing that can break VR, as there is no standard and they are always clunky, demanding too much space and really, they don't do anything that a mouse and keyboard can do.

Um, they allow for 1:1 movement in 3D space, a M&K definitely can NOT do that.

And if moving your arms is harder for you than pushing a mouse, I think you have bigger health issues to work on other than "immersion".

Many people can't move their arms about, and this has nothing to do with health. Simply with the space available.

Controllers really don't add much in space apart from you flailing your arms around. So if you want to break away from the abundance of wave-shooters VR is suffering from (for this very reason). controllers quickly become non-essential. You don't move through a room any better with a controller. Far worse even.

If you have room to sit in desk, or on a couch, you have room enough to move your hands.

"Controllers really don't add much in space apart from you flailing your arms around. "

Wow, just... how can you be so wrong? Controllers aren't just about moving, they're about interacting with the VR world around you, they allow interactions that are simply impossible to do with a K&M, especially when combined with a headset.

You know, it's pretty clear most people haven't tried VR, and others have unrealistically high demands before they try it.

It's like refusing to play games when they were first a thing because they weren't lifelike enough-you know where that gets you? Stuck by the wayside while everyone else is enjoying the great new experiences that advances in technology is offering us.
47.
 
Re: Half-Life: Alyx Preloads
Mar 23, 2020, 03:45
47.
Re: Half-Life: Alyx Preloads Mar 23, 2020, 03:45
Mar 23, 2020, 03:45
 
Muscular Beaver wrote on Mar 23, 2020, 00:50:
saltedicecream wrote on Mar 22, 2020, 12:37:
Muscular Beaver wrote on Mar 22, 2020, 04:51:
ForgedReality wrote on Mar 22, 2020, 03:03:
My main issue with VR is that you are standing there and you have to teleport around. It removes a lot of the freedom you would have with a traditional game. Seems like it would be a lot of stop-and-go gameplay and it would be easy to overwhelm the player if they had enemies rushing at you. Not to mention the fact that it takes you out of the immersion because you're not actually walking.
Same.
There are 3D treadmills but they have other limitations, like you have to be in a ring, so you cant duck very well, not to mention jump.
Not really interested in VR before that is solved. I cant have a VR-room with padded walls so nothing and nobody gets damaged/hurt.

There are several misconceptions here.

Teleportation is not a requirement of VR and nor is it the dominant form of play anymore. I'm looking at the top 5 pure VR games (in terms of player count) right now--Pavlov VR, Boneworks, Blade & Sorcery, Walking Dead: S&S, and Beat Saber--and only one of them doesn't have smooth locomotion (Beat Saber) and none of them support teleportation. With the exception of a minority, most gamers can get their "VR legs" after some training and leave teleportation behind. It will absolutely be an issue for casual gamers but there's a very large untapped market of more hardcore gamers that will adapt.

The second misconception is that VR treadmills address the simulator sickness problem. Simulator sickness comes from the disconnect between your visual sense of motion and your vestibular sense of motion, but VR treadmills do nothing to solve that. Outside of maybe VR arcades, they are a dead end for many other reasons as well.

Lastly, you're partially correct on the point about space consumption (and I'll add energy intensiveness) being issues for the current VR market. However I don't think this is inherent to VR but rather just an unfortunate design decision by today's developers (much like the teleportation focus of early VR games). With a swiveling chair for minor rotations, snap turn for faster rotations (basically implemented by all VR games), and vertical movement on one of the joysticks (smooth transitioning between prone and standing), you basically have the full capacity of standing play without requiring very much space. The space required is basically what is encompassed by rotating 360 degrees in a chair and reaching your arms out. The unfortunate thing is that only a few games (e.g. Boneworks) support artificial vertical movement but I think this will change over time.

Never said that only teleportation is the problem. Walking with a stick (pun intended) is almost as bad.

Me nor him talked about motion sickness. I dont have issues with it, even though I get it in cars if I look down for too long while being a passenger.

I want to act like in real life, or very close to it, in a VR game. Thats the point.
Sure, its not an issue if youre playing flight sims or racing games, but I actually dont play those anymore because I know how much it sucks to not have a butt-o-meter, AKA not feeling the acceleration/gravity when you turn or your car starts to lose traction in a curve. And I wont put some huge thing in front of my PC that costs thousands of dollars and is only good for specific games.
But normal FPS VR games are possible. I just dont like how they are done so far. Software and hardware-wise.

Yeah, I'm not sure how people were so widely misinterpreting what was said. Rolleyes
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46.
 
Re: Half-Life: Alyx Preloads
Mar 23, 2020, 00:50
46.
Re: Half-Life: Alyx Preloads Mar 23, 2020, 00:50
Mar 23, 2020, 00:50
 
saltedicecream wrote on Mar 22, 2020, 12:37:
Muscular Beaver wrote on Mar 22, 2020, 04:51:
ForgedReality wrote on Mar 22, 2020, 03:03:
My main issue with VR is that you are standing there and you have to teleport around. It removes a lot of the freedom you would have with a traditional game. Seems like it would be a lot of stop-and-go gameplay and it would be easy to overwhelm the player if they had enemies rushing at you. Not to mention the fact that it takes you out of the immersion because you're not actually walking.
Same.
There are 3D treadmills but they have other limitations, like you have to be in a ring, so you cant duck very well, not to mention jump.
Not really interested in VR before that is solved. I cant have a VR-room with padded walls so nothing and nobody gets damaged/hurt.

There are several misconceptions here.

Teleportation is not a requirement of VR and nor is it the dominant form of play anymore. I'm looking at the top 5 pure VR games (in terms of player count) right now--Pavlov VR, Boneworks, Blade & Sorcery, Walking Dead: S&S, and Beat Saber--and only one of them doesn't have smooth locomotion (Beat Saber) and none of them support teleportation. With the exception of a minority, most gamers can get their "VR legs" after some training and leave teleportation behind. It will absolutely be an issue for casual gamers but there's a very large untapped market of more hardcore gamers that will adapt.

The second misconception is that VR treadmills address the simulator sickness problem. Simulator sickness comes from the disconnect between your visual sense of motion and your vestibular sense of motion, but VR treadmills do nothing to solve that. Outside of maybe VR arcades, they are a dead end for many other reasons as well.

Lastly, you're partially correct on the point about space consumption (and I'll add energy intensiveness) being issues for the current VR market. However I don't think this is inherent to VR but rather just an unfortunate design decision by today's developers (much like the teleportation focus of early VR games). With a swiveling chair for minor rotations, snap turn for faster rotations (basically implemented by all VR games), and vertical movement on one of the joysticks (smooth transitioning between prone and standing), you basically have the full capacity of standing play without requiring very much space. The space required is basically what is encompassed by rotating 360 degrees in a chair and reaching your arms out. The unfortunate thing is that only a few games (e.g. Boneworks) support artificial vertical movement but I think this will change over time.

Never said that only teleportation is the problem. Walking with a stick (pun intended) is almost as bad.

Me nor him talked about motion sickness. I dont have issues with it, even though I get it in cars if I look down for too long while being a passenger.

I want to act like in real life, or very close to it, in a VR game. Thats the point.
Sure, its not an issue if youre playing flight sims or racing games, but I actually dont play those anymore because I know how much it sucks to not have a butt-o-meter, AKA not feeling the acceleration/gravity when you turn or your car starts to lose traction in a curve. And I wont put some huge thing in front of my PC that costs thousands of dollars and is only good for specific games.
But normal FPS VR games are possible. I just dont like how they are done so far. Software and hardware-wise.
I have given up on waiting for BIS to come back to their senses and do a real ArmA 2 successor.
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45.
 
Re: Half-Life: Alyx Preloads
Mar 22, 2020, 21:25
45.
Re: Half-Life: Alyx Preloads Mar 22, 2020, 21:25
Mar 22, 2020, 21:25
 
I need a giant hamster ball for this game!
Avatar 571
44.
 
Re: Half-Life: Alyx Preloads
Mar 22, 2020, 18:27
44.
Re: Half-Life: Alyx Preloads Mar 22, 2020, 18:27
Mar 22, 2020, 18:27
 
ForgedReality wrote on Mar 22, 2020, 03:03:
My main issue with VR is that you are standing there and you have to teleport around. It removes a lot of the freedom you would have with a traditional game. Seems like it would be a lot of stop-and-go gameplay and it would be easy to overwhelm the player if they had enemies rushing at you. Not to mention the fact that it takes you out of the immersion because you're not actually walking.

Just FYI, Half-Life Alyx supports three types of motive control options: Teleporting (exactly what it means), Shift ("zooming" from spot A to spot B), and Continuous (using the analog stick to make your character walk in any direction). It also supports "Room Scale" or smaller scale standing or sitting setups.
Avatar 37119
43.
 
Re: Half-Life: Alyx Preloads
Mar 22, 2020, 18:20
43.
Re: Half-Life: Alyx Preloads Mar 22, 2020, 18:20
Mar 22, 2020, 18:20
 
heroin wrote on Mar 22, 2020, 13:14:
it will just become smaller & sleeker.

Hopefully more wireless too like the Oculus Link. Personally I'd like to invest in getting the Index, but I'm hoping the price goes down a little within a year, but I suppose that depends on the cost of the materials/tech used.
Avatar 37119
42.
 
Re: Half-Life: Alyx Preloads
Mar 22, 2020, 18:06
42.
Re: Half-Life: Alyx Preloads Mar 22, 2020, 18:06
Mar 22, 2020, 18:06
 
HoSpanky wrote on Mar 22, 2020, 11:50:
Keep right on with your invalid complaints against VR. Tomorrow, I'll be playing the new Half-life game. Meanwhile, you'll be watching videos of it on Youtube, not understanding why it's slower paced and using that as a crutch to help you feel better about missing out on it.

If it gets stellar reviews, you'll claim reviewers are only saying it's amazing because of some agenda. If it gets so-so reviews, you'll say it's flat-out awful and the worst thing to ever happen to gaming. Either way, it'll help you sleep at night.

In a few years, when you finally pick up a VR headset, you'll kick yourself for being so closed-minded. But you'll never admit to it.

VR isn't going to replace monitor gaming. It'll be another way to game, with its own types of games. If you want to play those games, you'll need to pick up the hardware for them. It's literally that simple.

Well good luck with your floating hands .......gezz
41.
 
Re: Half-Life: Alyx Preloads
Mar 22, 2020, 16:14
41.
Re: Half-Life: Alyx Preloads Mar 22, 2020, 16:14
Mar 22, 2020, 16:14
 
Easy test to see why VR is awesome.

Load up Skyrim. Walk around, look at the cool scenery. Yep, been here before, looks pretty cool. Ho hum.

Load up Skyrim VR. Walk around. WOAH! WOAH! Wow, I never realized how BiG that was before! AWesome, wow, wow.

I mean, you don't get a sense of the scale of things on a flatscreen like you do actually being there and having to look up at them in VR.

I actually play ESO in VR a lot now, using a program called Vorpx, because even though it's only a stereoscopic screen and not full VR, it really makes the game more immersive.

Also, if 3D movies were a fad, why are they still making them? They stopped putting out the home version in the US, but I get all mine from Amazon UK. I just wish they still made compatible TVs. I fully expect the Avatar series to jump start glassless 3D tv functionality when it releases.
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40.
 
Re: Half-Life: Alyx Preloads
Mar 22, 2020, 15:31
40.
Re: Half-Life: Alyx Preloads Mar 22, 2020, 15:31
Mar 22, 2020, 15:31
 
Yeah, Oculus was late to the game with VR controllers. Thus even after their release you had owners who didn't buy them as addons, but most people have moved up to owning controllers as well at this point.
Avatar 36713
39.
 
Re: Half-Life: Alyx Preloads
Mar 22, 2020, 15:22
39.
Re: Half-Life: Alyx Preloads Mar 22, 2020, 15:22
Mar 22, 2020, 15:22
 
Drayth wrote on Mar 22, 2020, 15:11:
And yes there are VR games that work with M&KB. Those are generally all games that have 2D modes as well.

Oculus has some gamepad games, generally ones released in that 7 month gap between the Rift CV1 and the Touch controllers. So games like The Climb, Edge of Nowhere and Chronos all started as gamepad games.
38.
 
Re: Half-Life: Alyx Preloads
Mar 22, 2020, 15:11
38.
Re: Half-Life: Alyx Preloads Mar 22, 2020, 15:11
Mar 22, 2020, 15:11
 
Why do people think if you're using VR controllers you can't also be seated..? If you have enough room to start a game, roll your chair back about 2 extra feet from the desk, and don't mind playing seated you can play any VR game I know of.

And yes there are VR games that work with M&KB. Those are generally all games that have 2D modes as well. If the game is designed for VR Controllers only, your experience will be a tremendous notch up in to what the VR experience can offer. You'll be interacting with things in a way impossible to accomplish otherwise. Like actually aiming and drawing your bow in Skyrim VR, or "John Wick"'ing your guns through HL:A.

This comment was edited on Mar 22, 2020, 15:33.
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37.
 
Re: Half-Life: Alyx Preloads
Mar 22, 2020, 14:58
37.
Re: Half-Life: Alyx Preloads Mar 22, 2020, 14:58
Mar 22, 2020, 14:58
 

The dumb resistance to change and novelty of the self-deluded experts on never using the new (no real experience at all but nevertheless knowing all on the subject).

Quick, letīs rush back to the caves !

36.
 
Re: Half-Life: Alyx Preloads
Mar 22, 2020, 14:44
36.
Re: Half-Life: Alyx Preloads Mar 22, 2020, 14:44
Mar 22, 2020, 14:44
 
"I'm with you--VR is a fad destined for the dust bin--right along with the 3d-glasses stereoscopy fad (stereoscopy was born in the 1800's actually.)"

You are the same type of person back in 50's and 60's thinking that Rock-n-Roll is fad.

VR, for those that have actually tired on the new generation of HMDs, actually understand its the future and its not going anywhere. I recently got into VR end of last year and though playing on a flatscreen is still fine, NOTHING compares to a truly immersive experience that VR can provide.
35.
 
Re: Half-Life: Alyx Preloads
Mar 22, 2020, 13:52
35.
Re: Half-Life: Alyx Preloads Mar 22, 2020, 13:52
Mar 22, 2020, 13:52
 
Wolfen wrote on Mar 22, 2020, 10:51:
jacobvandy wrote on Mar 22, 2020, 09:00:
How can you have actually tried VR and not understand that handheld controllers are a part of the package for a reason? Keyboard and mouse can't track your hand motions in 3D space, it's a bunch of buttons and a 2D pointer...

Depends on the game doesn't it? If it's just an FPS shooter like Serious Sam, or Alien Isolation, Resident Evil, those are all primarily controller based and could technically work with a Mouse and Keyboard. Seated VR experiences.

It could work, sure, and I bet there are some games like that already (seated VR is driving a car or flying a spaceship though, isn't it?). Anchoring yourself to a desk for FPS controls really limits what you can do and is ultimately not that much different than what we had before in stereoscopic 3D and optional head-tracking sensors, except that the screen is attached to your face. If the mouse is controlling where you aim the gun, how do you turn your view more than 90 degrees in any direction? You can't turn away from the desk. Or is the mouse controlling both aim and view simultaneously? Alternately? Are you going to be able to lose track of your 'cursor' or do you keep it locked to your field of view? How are you running and jumping around in all directions while trying to manage where to look and aim? These are problems VR is meant to eliminate, not continue to try to work around.
34.
 
Re: Half-Life: Alyx Preloads
Mar 22, 2020, 13:14
34.
Re: Half-Life: Alyx Preloads Mar 22, 2020, 13:14
Mar 22, 2020, 13:14
 
WaltC wrote on Mar 22, 2020, 12:54:

Anyway, if people wanted the kind of "immersion" VR markets and touts, it's my belief that people would have been strapping their televisions to their faces long ago...;)

Have you ever in your life played a VR game with the headset on? I swear, the whole "3D movies were a fad" vs VR battle is like the quote "LSD is a psychedelic drug that occasionally causes psychotic behavior in people who have NOT tried it." It's the same shit because no one here is able to fully explain and make someone realize that yes, 3D movies were a fad, but VR these days is truly life-scale 3D and they are not similar concepts at all. VR is not going away - it will just become smaller & sleeker.
33.
 
Re: Half-Life: Alyx Preloads
Mar 22, 2020, 12:54
33.
Re: Half-Life: Alyx Preloads Mar 22, 2020, 12:54
Mar 22, 2020, 12:54
 
Retired wrote on Mar 22, 2020, 00:32:

Well, we have been talking about HL3 for how many years? So yea sure, but please, tell me how the 3D movie thing went........weren't we supposed to have it in every home?

VR doesn't interest me in the least right now. It is not that I do not like it, I think it is cool, it just isn't where I want it to be to invest time and money into it.


I'm with you--VR is a fad destined for the dust bin--right along with the 3d-glasses stereoscopy fad (stereoscopy was born in the 1800's actually.) I predicted that "3d" would die on the vine chiefly because the effect fooled the brain into perceiving depth where there was none, and the process was one that just so happened to create very uncomfortable types of motion sickness in a high percentage of the people who used it. If you've ever been "sea sick" then you know just how bad that can feel at its most extreme! 3d glasses were DOA because of it, imo. I was also glad to see the fad die because of the way the marketing for it butchered the term "3D", which up to that point in time was the common acronym for discerning the difference between "2d" games (no simulated Z axis) and "3d" games (simulated Z-axis.) If you told these people what your own opinion about 3d glasses is, and you took the time to explain why you had that opinion, you'd think you had called their mothers "wanton lesbian prostitutes with AIDs", or something...;) It was unreal--quite vicious, at times. Stepping on sacred cows is like that, I guess, even if done inadvertently.

Anyway, if people wanted the kind of "immersion" VR markets and touts, it's my belief that people would have been strapping their televisions to their faces long ago...;) (People don't want that now.) Steve Jobs was pushing gray-scale Next/Macs long after color television had become the norm and other computers were shipping with color GPUs--the guy really had some rather large blind spots, RIP.

I ran the non-VR Alyx demo, and was fairly disappointed with the general graphics presentation--which seemed to me to look about like it looked way back when HL2 originally shipped. The FOV looked very narrow--too narrow, and I cannot think why anyone would see the little footprint-jumps, and the two disembodied hands always floating in the air as "immersive"...! It was very distracting for me. In one section of the Alyx demo, I think it was in a train car, the person recording the demo did this subtle, apparently unconscious left-to-right rocking motion, continuously, and I was surprised to see that even looking at the demo on my 32" 4k BenQ--I felt a slight nausea building in my gut! No exaggeration. I repeated it a few times to make sure--happened each time. It did, and I'd seen quite enough.

HL/HL2 were singularly the best games Newell, Valve ever did, imo. Can't imagine what's keeping them from continuing the saga, and it's too bad. Building a really "immersive" game is a lot of work--a ton of hard work. I can only think Newell is no longer interested in creating another HL because he isn't interested in doing the work. I'd love to think that HL3 development has been ongoing for years as a Valve "black" project destined for release in the near future! But for some reason, it just doesn't ring true. Summing up, I get the distinct impression that Newell is looking for gimmicks to sell (think Steam Machine, etc.) and simply isn't interested in the truism that creating a great game is 99% perspiration--and that's too bad--because regardless of the gimmicks that come to the fore and reach the market--that part of game developing will never change.
It is well known universally that I do not make mistakes--so, if you should happen across an error in that which I have written, please be assured that *I* did not write it!...:)
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