Half-Life 2: Episode Two Confirmed

Valve confirms HL2: Episode 2 on Computer and Video Games offers the news that Valve is indeed working on another Half-Life 2 episode to follow their upcoming release. This is actually a no-brainer after the first follow-up was renamed Episode One, but the story, based on a yet unpublished interview with Valve's Robin Walker, does shed some light on what these upcoming episodes will be like:
Valve's Robin Walker, designer/engineer on Episode 1, informed us that Episode 2 "has been in development for some time" in an interview that'll be winging its way to you shortly. Although he didn't elaborate further, it sounds as though Episode 2 may appear sooner than we could have hoped. We're definitely keeping trigger fingers crossed on that one, especially as the developer has aimed to offer "between 4 to 6 hours" of gameplay time with Episode 1, according to Walker - shorter, perhaps, than fans might have expected.
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95.
 
Re: Is this the episode...
Feb 22, 2006, 18:12
95.
Re: Is this the episode... Feb 22, 2006, 18:12
Feb 22, 2006, 18:12
 
sheesh

The EA distributed retail version of the game is selling for $40 from many sellers like Amazon which is $30 less than the combined price of the four parts on Steam (HL2 + DM + CS + HL:S).

One more time, you can get all that + DoD:S for $20 not $30 more.

The irrelevant part is DoD:S. Why? Because someone trying to replicate the retail package would by the bundle, not buy each piece individualy. It is after all cheaper to do it that way and you get everything mentioned + 1 more item. *So the price difference is $20 not $30*. It's because of your thick head that I have to post this multiple times spelling it out very clearly just to make a simple point.

At any rate I'll actualy lend a little support to your argument... personaly I wouldn't say DoD:S is really worth 20 bucks myself, so there's still an argument for why doesn't Valve offer a $40 package with only the retail offerings.. then again the solution to that is to go to the store.

The rest of this argument comes down to supply and demand. If Valve is charging too high a price for their items they will eventualy suffer... or change the pricing. But for now what they charge for their items is what they feel it's worth. If they're wrong they'll loose (or are loosing) money.

Oh and I bet the rest of this thread will continue on bitching about prices and content delivery (and I'm as much to blame here at this moment) with no mention of the interview I posted below that has some interesintg info on the upcoming release
This comment was edited on Feb 22, 18:38.
94.
 
Re: Is this the episode...
Feb 22, 2006, 18:05
94.
Re: Is this the episode... Feb 22, 2006, 18:05
Feb 22, 2006, 18:05
 
And yet, the price on HL2 HAS fallen.

Has it not?
I think everyone agrees that - It's just that as the price fell, so did the content.
HL2 may have been $50-$60 when it was released but then they gave you the multiplayer game too.

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93.
 
Re: Is this the episode...
Feb 22, 2006, 16:50
93.
Re: Is this the episode... Feb 22, 2006, 16:50
Feb 22, 2006, 16:50
 
Right, I was just pointing out something you conveniently forgot to mention.
I didn't mention it because it was irrelevant. If you want DOD: Source sure you can pay more but Valve's ala carte pricing for the parts of Half-Life 2 which were included in the original $50 offering is as I listed.

You can buy it on the shelf for $40 and add $20 if you want DoD:S, or you can buy it all for $60 directly on Steam. Not exactly unreasonable pricing
It's unreasonable when you consider that if you have no interest in Day of Defeat Source, Valve forces you to spend $60 for something you could get for $40 at retail. Plus, you can be sure that when Day of Defeat Source hits retail, it will eventually if not initially sell for less than the price on Steam. Plus, there will no doubt be additional retail bundles which include it with the other games for less than Steam's price. The bottom line is simply that Steam is more expensive for the consumer especially for a longer period than retail.

The other games on Steam seem to indicate that Steam's good at getting smaller indie games out at decent prices.
Even here Steam fails. Retail "value" publishers do a better job of getting independent games to the consumer at lower prices. For example, a few years ago I bought Egame's retail Treadmarks offering for $10 when it was still $30 from Trymedia's digital download and $25 direct from the developer. Red Orchestra is selling for $25 on Steam, but at retail that game would be $10 or $15 in six months or less just like other Unreal engine "value" games.
This comment was edited on Feb 22, 16:53.
92.
 
Re: Is this the episode...
Feb 22, 2006, 14:42
92.
Re: Is this the episode... Feb 22, 2006, 14:42
Feb 22, 2006, 14:42
91.
 
Re: Is this the episode...
Feb 22, 2006, 14:14
91.
Re: Is this the episode... Feb 22, 2006, 14:14
Feb 22, 2006, 14:14
 
Right, I was just pointing out something you conveniently forgot to mention. That you could get it all for $60, not $70 or $80 (go read your original post that I was replying to. You have a very short memory)

Anyways, I don't know what deals Valve has to pull to get physical copies on the shelves, obviously EA wouldn't want them undercutting them, but it seems there's a pretty straight forward priceing. You can buy it on the shelf for $40 and add $20 if you want DoD:S, or you can buy it all for $60 directly on Steam. Not exactly unreasonable pricing, but that comes down to opinion.

The other games on Steam seem to indicate that Steam's good at getting smaller indie games out at decent prices. I haven't played any of them but Darwinia seems a good value.

90.
 
Re: Is this the episode...
Feb 22, 2006, 13:32
90.
Re: Is this the episode... Feb 22, 2006, 13:32
Feb 22, 2006, 13:32
 
HL2 has dropped in price. Was HL2 NOT higher than $29.95 when it came out?
What Valve is selling for $29.95 now is NOT what it sold for $49.95 before. So, the price has NOT dropped.

Let me put it in terms even you can understand. Valve was selling a fast-food combo meal for $49.95 before. Now it is selling just the burger for $29.95 and the fries and drink for another $30. The meal is not cheaper than before. You can just now buy it ala carte (and for $20 or $30 more than the price at retail).

In addition the notion that prices would never fall on Steam (even though they actually haven't in real terms) was never my point. My point was that prices on Steam are and will always be inferior to retail (so long as retail offerings exist) due to competition amongsts sellers and inventory glut. Any savings which come from the lack of physical distribution via Steam are enjoyed by Valve NOT the consumer.

I couldn't fucking care less about what it comes with, or what it came with
LOL! With that idiotic attitude if Valve sold just a empty box which said Half-Life 2 for $19.95, you'd think it had lowered its price even more.

This comment was edited on Feb 22, 13:58.
89.
 
Re: Is this the episode...
Feb 22, 2006, 13:26
89.
Re: Is this the episode... Feb 22, 2006, 13:26
Feb 22, 2006, 13:26
 
Right, and if you so choose for $20 more, which is nearly the exact price difference, you can get all that pluss DoD:S through steam.
There is no savings, and that is the point. Buying Half-Life 2 GOTY from Amazon + DOD:Source on Steam for $19.99 is the same $60. And, if all you want are the four games, retail is significantly less expensive.

Of course who the hell would want to waste $20 on DOD:Source? It's just a handful of maps and no single-player. It's no surprise that Valve doesn't offer the same deal as retail so it can try to force people to spend the extra $20.
This comment was edited on Feb 22, 14:00.
88.
 
No subject
Feb 22, 2006, 13:17
88.
No subject Feb 22, 2006, 13:17
Feb 22, 2006, 13:17
 
Why does every discussion about every game on this site always degrade to some discussion about prices, publisher strategies or download speeds?

I have been reading this site for a few years now, and I can honestly say that there are probably about 5 people here who are genuinely interested in the games that the site reports on.

Who cares if the next episode will be 3 or 4 or 50 hours? Is it going to have constantly respawning enemies? Will it have more of the same "oh I reached a dead end - hmm lets look for a hidden ladder somewhere" syndrome? Is it going to allow the player some more choice? In HL2, try getting off the hovercraft and walk to the next objective - NONE OF THE F*ING TRIGGERS WILL HIT! You can freely walk around the frozen rebel models and shoot them to your heart's content without a reaction.
Is it going to have "suspended" enemies that you can see from far away, and you can shoot from far away, but they only respond or take damage once you hit an invisible trigger volume? That's what I am interested in.

And about corridor shooters: When I say the genre died, it means thats when developers needed to move on. Far Cry moved on - it was a step in the right direction. Who else took a step forward?

87.
 
GABE SUCKS
Feb 22, 2006, 12:39
87.
GABE SUCKS Feb 22, 2006, 12:39
Feb 22, 2006, 12:39
 
VALVE SUCKS!, GABE NEWELL SUCKS!, STEAM SUCKS!, LA, LA, LA, LA , LAAAAAAAA!

They aren't nickel and diming me cause I don't buy STEAM
sh!t la la la la laaaaa!

I buy 3 to 4 games a month but I won't spend a cent on a Valve product! F! GABE!

86.
 
Re: Is this the episode...
Feb 22, 2006, 12:33
86.
Re: Is this the episode... Feb 22, 2006, 12:33
Feb 22, 2006, 12:33
 
Fact remains that when Valve offered an amazing deal for $59.95 for HL2, CSS, DoDs, HL Source and their entire back catalogue Valve haters still said it was overpriced because it cost $10 more than the HL2 retail box. The Valve haters also tried to argue that $10 wasnt worth DoDs and HL Source...let alone the back catalogue.

I am dissapointed to see Valve has even removed the new packages they had added in October/November after removing the Bronze/Silver/Gold packages. Prices are too high, assuming you want all of the titles. However...I seem to recall a whole bunch of people saying before HL2 was released 'they didnt care about CSS or DoDs, or HL Source, or Deathmatch, etc...they just wanted HL2'. Now you can get just HL2 stand-alone and if you want anything else you have to pay for it.

Bottomline is, Valve haters will hate Valve regardless of what they do and how they price things. They release free content (ie: Lost Coast) and they get flamed because its too short, they release more maps and people say they should have come out with the game initially...etc.

I'll be pre-ordering Episode 1, Aftermath, Episode 2, whatever they call them, whether they are $12.95 as already announced or $19.95...why? Because I enjoy their games and I've gotten excellent value out of their games/mods and the Silver package that I pre-ordered way back when.

As for the mod scene...open your fucking eyes and look around. There are dozens of amazing mods in development. It was 2 to 3 years before the Half Life 1 mods really started to be released and shine. It's been 15 months since HL2 was released (mid Nov 2004) and a ton of progress has been made in the mod scene, considering how much more difficult and time consuming it is to make good content in games these days.


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85.
 
Re: Is this the episode...
Feb 22, 2006, 11:35
85.
Re: Is this the episode... Feb 22, 2006, 11:35
Feb 22, 2006, 11:35
 
And yet, the price on HL2 HAS fallen.

Has it not?

It depends on whether or not you consider Counterstrike and DM to be part of HL2. My point is that if you want to get everything that the original Steam package for HL2 had now, you have to pay more. You can pay less now, but then you also get less.

84.
 
Re: Is this the episode...
Feb 22, 2006, 10:30
84.
Re: Is this the episode... Feb 22, 2006, 10:30
Feb 22, 2006, 10:30
 
I guess it depends on whether you consider CS:S and HL: DM addon stuff part of the HL:2 "package". In the old days deathmatch was just another core feature. Not anymore.

This comment was edited on Feb 22, 10:30.
83.
 
Re: Is this the episode...
Feb 22, 2006, 10:26
83.
Re: Is this the episode... Feb 22, 2006, 10:26
Feb 22, 2006, 10:26
 
Nothing serious yet anyway
Yeah but even if there was another distribution platform, Valve wouldn't (be likely to) sell HL through it - why would they?

You usually stand in line longer for them because stupid people ahead of you either can't see a barcode in plain sight or spend three hours trying to get the machine to take a mangled five dollar bill or something.
Heh yeah they introduced them here now too... man... IF YOU CAN'T SEE THE BARCODE DON'T TRY IT... some people are just retarded I guess.

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82.
 
Re: Is this the episode...
Feb 22, 2006, 10:23
82.
Re: Is this the episode... Feb 22, 2006, 10:23
Feb 22, 2006, 10:23
 
I think the argument was that when Half-Life 2 was released, it was no cheaper to get it on Steam than to buy a retail product
Thanks, yeah that's what I mean. The price of the product may have fallen on Steam, but a) they've changed the bundles and b) not as much as retail.

Avatar 18712
81.
 
...
Feb 22, 2006, 09:26
81.
... Feb 22, 2006, 09:26
Feb 22, 2006, 09:26
 
Valve are shit when it comes to development times... their projects always overshoot. It wouldn't be so bad if we had some 3rd party addons, like Opposing Force / Blueshift were, as that would at least give us something to do... they could focus on less important areas of the game and would have an independent plot to the main game. I'm not sold on this episodic idea, as I like to get as much content as possible - usually I debate whether to buy an expansion pack, let alone an "episode" (which seems to be just a handful of levels).

I'm also disappointed by the modding community... sort of a handful of amazing projects like Black Mesa Source and Fortress Forever, which are still a way off, it has been dire - what little has been released has been awful and most projects aren't anywhere near close. I suppose everyone had such high expectations after Half-Life that it's pretty hard to live up to.

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80.
 
Re: Is this the episode...
Feb 22, 2006, 08:28
80.
Re: Is this the episode... Feb 22, 2006, 08:28
Feb 22, 2006, 08:28
 
And yet, the price on HL2 HAS fallen.

Has it not?

nin, I think the argument was that when Half-Life 2 was released, it was no cheaper to get it on Steam than to buy a retail product. There was no financial incentive to get it through digital distribution instead. The game may be cheaper now, but that's because it's been out for over a year, the same thing that happens in retail. But it wasn't any cheaper to buy it on Steam when it was released.

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Ottawa, Canada
www.pxa.ca
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79.
 
Re: Is this the episode...
Feb 22, 2006, 08:26
79.
Re: Is this the episode... Feb 22, 2006, 08:26
Feb 22, 2006, 08:26
 
However, the evidence (see above) clearly shows that so far the predicted cost benefits of cutting out publishers have not materialised compared to the actual price cuts which retailers have to do (especially online) to stay competitive. The reason: no competition for Steam.

Nothing serious yet anyway. I think the best thing Valve could do to turn around many (though of course not all) of the Steam haters in the world is to show a noticeable cost savings by using Steam. That's what it was touted as bringing to us, but it doesn't seem to have done so up to now. There is no question that it should be cheaper to release games through it, but many people don't like not having physical ownership of their product (i.e. a box and manual) if they are still expected to pay the same amount of money. Here in Canada, one of our largest supermarket chains recently put in some of those "self checkout" lanes where you scan and bag your own stuff. You usually stand in line longer for them because stupid people ahead of you either can't see a barcode in plain sight or spend three hours trying to get the machine to take a mangled five dollar bill or something. And when it's all said and done, you don't save one cent on your final grocery bill. You are saving the store money by not taking up the manpower of a human cashier, yet they don't pass those savings on to you. I stopped using those lanes because it doesn't make sense to do the work to save a store money without seeing any benefit yourself. I think Steam has a lot of good ideas, but if Valve wants more people to get those good ideas and not just see it as a new form of DRM, they have to make it financially worthwhile to use it. Maybe this new episodic thing can do that in some way.

Parallax Abstraction
Ottawa, Canada
www.pxa.ca
Parallax Abstraction
Twitch | YouTube | Podcast
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78.
 
Re: Is this the episode...
Feb 22, 2006, 08:25
nin
78.
Re: Is this the episode... Feb 22, 2006, 08:25
Feb 22, 2006, 08:25
nin
 

http://storefront.steampowered.com/v2/capsules/img/021406/capsule021406.jpg


HL2 has dropped in price. Was HL2 NOT higher than $29.95 when it came out? I don't remember anyone selling it for that cheap...

Please learn to read. I couldn't fucking care less about what it comes with, or what it came with. The comment was:

The problem with Steam (which Riley has pointed out numerous times, and - gasp - he's right ) is that the prices don't fall.

And yet, the price on HL2 HAS fallen.

Has it not?






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77.
 
Re: Is this the episode...
Feb 22, 2006, 07:26
77.
Re: Is this the episode... Feb 22, 2006, 07:26
Feb 22, 2006, 07:26
 
The EA distributed retail version of the game is selling for $40 from many sellers like Amazon

Right, and if you so choose for $20 more, which is nearly the exact price difference, you can get all that pluss DoD:S through steam.
http://storefront.steampowered.com/v2/index.php?area=package&SubId=43&


76.
 
Re: Is this the episode...
Feb 22, 2006, 06:26
76.
Re: Is this the episode... Feb 22, 2006, 06:26
Feb 22, 2006, 06:26
 
Um, HL2 is $29.99 @ steampowered...

yeah, but people ignore that fact because it doesn't support their HL2 sucks... arguments
I bought the DVD edition of HL2 when it came out for £29 which includes CS:S and HL: DM (and now Lost Coast, woo ;P)

That same package would now cost £17.99 at the same place I bought it (http://tinyurl.com/poqun [Play.com]). To buy the equivalent through Steam would cost $29.95 for HL2, $19.95 for CS:S and $9.95 for HL: DM, plus tax which is just under $60. That's just short of £35 before you start with tax and credit card fees for dollar transactions.

I don't think Steam sucks, as a content delivery system and management system for upgrades and so forth, it's great. They have ironed out many of the initial problems. It is a minor hassle to have to load it up when I want to play HL2, but by far the biggest wait comes from the loading screens in the main game, so it's not a big deal. I am not bothered about privacy issues I don't believe to exist. I like that when my computer crashes all I need do is download the Steam client and leave my computer on overnight and by morning all my Valve games have installed themselves and updated to the latest versions. I don't know where my HL2 DVD is. I have never sold on a game in my life, so not being able to do so hardly bothers me. In addition, I very much enjoyed HL2 and I will probably buy these episodes because I like the HL universe. IMO, HL and HL2 are the best games I have ever played. I am a fanboy of the worlds Valve create and let me wander around in.

However, the evidence (see above) clearly shows that so far the predicted cost benefits of cutting out publishers have not materialised compared to the actual price cuts which retailers have to do (especially online) to stay competitive. The reason: no competition for Steam.


Edit: Damn smilies - HL2:DM != HL2: DM ...

Another edit: I fully accept I have to hand in my Blue's membership for posting a very similar argument to T3h Riley :o.

This comment was edited on Feb 22, 06:37.
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