Press Release

July 14 , 1997

Eric Twelker
P.R. Manager, Sierra On-Line
206-649-9800 x5862

Gregg Coomer


New staff and leading level editor will enhance Half-Life, the upcoming action game to be published by Sierra On-Line

BELLEVUE, Wash. - Games developer Valve today announced that it has acquired Worldcraft, the leading 3D action game level development tool. An enhanced version of the editor will be included with Valve's debut release, Half-Life, and will take advantage of the numerous technical advancements found in the Half-Life engine. Worldcraft, called "sleek, swift, and completely intuitive" by Wired magazine, has long been the favorite map editor among gamers developing customized levels for Quake, the popular action game from id Software. Ben Morris, the developer of Worldcraft, has joined Valve to continue development on the editor, as well as to create additional tools for Half-Life add-on developers. Also joining the team is renowned cyber-punk author Marc Laidlaw. Both Morris and Laidlaw will be working on Half-Life, one of the most highly-anticipated games of the upcoming holiday season. Half-Life, a 3D first-person action game, combines advanced, proprietary technology with genre-breaking gameplay elements. It is being published by Sierra On-Line and is scheduled for a November 1997 release on PC CD-ROM.

The current version of Worldcraft has been called "the undisputed king" of level editors by PC Format magazine. It is an intuitive, easy-to-learn tool that incorporates dozens of powerful features previously available only to advanced programmers. The newly enhanced version of Worldcraft-which will be included in the Half-Life box-will support Half-Life's many technological innovations, including 24-bit textures, chrome and translucency. It will also contain advanced editing features, including vertex manipulation and clipping planes for faster shaping of architecture, support for Direct 3D and OpenGL, and improvements to the user interface to make frequently performed editing tasks faster and easier. Worldcraft will continue to support 8-bit legacy games.

"Worldcraft has always been known for it's power and ease of use," said Ben Morris, who also developed the popular DCK (Doom Construction Kit). "But the newest version of Worldcraft will be even more advanced since it is being built for Half-Life's innovative engine. Level developers are going to love building new worlds for Half-Life."

Valve also welcomed this week renowned cyber-punk author and journalist Marc Laidlaw to the team as writer and game designer. In addition to building levels for upcoming projects, Marc will be apply his award-winning writing skills to ensure that Valve's stories and scripts are as intense and entertaining as all the other elements of its games. Marc is the author of half a dozen novels, including Dad's Nuke and The 37th Mandala, winner of the International Horror Guild's award for Best Novel of 1996. While writing a cover story about id Software for Wired magazine, he determined that level designers had the coolest jobs on earth and is looking forward to making a contribution to Half-Life and to other Valve projects.

"Having Ben Morris and Marc Laidlaw join Valve reflects our desire to build technologically advanced games with innovative gameplay," said Gabe Newell, Valve's co-founder and Managing Director. "We know gamers want powerful tools and extensibility to get the most from state-of-the-art action games, and we know gamers are already fans of Marc's writing and story-telling in more traditional media. Ben and Marc will both have significant impact on Half-Life."

Half Life, on PC CD-ROM, is scheduled to ship in November, 1997 and will be available at most software retailers, as well as through Sierra Direct at (800) 757-7707. Additional game details, screen shots, and an AVI demo are
available at

Founded in 1996, Valve develops games software. Based in Kirkland, Washington, the company consists of more than 20 leading artists, game designers and programmers. More information about Valve is available through the company's web site at

Sierra On-Line is one of the original developers and largest worldwide publishers of interactive entertainment, productivity and educational software. The company recently merged with CUC International, a technology-driven, membership-services company that provides access to travel, shopping, auto, dining, home improvement, financial and other services to 66.3 million consumers worldwide. The company's common stock is traded on the NYSE under the symbol CUC Intl. Sierra's corporate headquarters are located in Bellevue, WA.