Half-Life 3 Not In Development, Claims Valve Voice Actor

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Half-Life 3 Not In Development, Claims Valve Voice Actor

John Patrick Lowrie

Colonel Odessa Cubbage himself says Valve is not working on Half-Life 3 - as far as he knows.

It's a mystery as old as time itself: Is you is or is you ain't making Half-Life 3? Valve's determined silence just fuels the speculation and while that can be fun, it can also become a little irritating for those who want actual information.

Fortunately, while veteran voice actor John Patrick Lowrie has a long and fruitful history with Valve - he's the voice of Odessa Cubbage, the Sniper and various other characters in Half-Life 2, Team Fortress 2 and Left 4 Dead - he's not actually a part of Valve and thus he's free to say what he knows when he's not under a specific non-disclosure agreement. And in an ongoing conversation on his personal blog, that's exactly what he did.

"Here is the biggest challenge with bringing out HL3: the big thing now with FPSs is motion capture, or mo-cap. One of the great things about HL2 is that all of the characters that you meet actually look at you when they talk to you no matter where you go or stand. With mo-cap you can't do that, at least not yet," he wrote on his blog.

He said overcoming mo-cap limitations is "one of the things they're working on," implying that there's at least some peripheral movement toward Half-Life 3, but also noted that Valve already has its hands full with its current lineup of games and keeping the wheels turning on Steam. And while he acknowledged that Valve doesn't keep him abreast of its long-term business plans, he said that as far as he has seen or heard, there's nothing cooking behind the scenes.

"When Gabe said 'we're not talking about HL3′ he was right. The company is not considering it at this time as far as I know. One of the reasons is the mo-cap thing, but there are others as well," he wrote. "What they might decide in the future depends on lots of different factors. I hope they do, personally, but it has to make sense for them."

Source: John Patrick Lowrie's Blog

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Meh, I wouldn't say this means much either way. He just says that one of the biggest things about current FPS's is motion capture and that some of the techniques used in Half Life 2 are not compatible with it. That doesn't exactly mean anything. Not forgetting that if he had any official information, he wouldn't be allowed to share it anyway.

I think I will go back to simply not thinking about it until I hear an official announcement one way or the other.

You know what that means, kids!

HALF-LIFE 3 CONFIRMED!

So much hype now that it would almost definitely get slated as "NOT AS GOOD AS WOT I EXPECTED", so I can't exactly blame them for stalling and focusing on other things.

Twenty Ninjas:
You know what that means, kids!

HALF-LIFE 3 CONFIRMED!

That's right Jim! It's painfully obvious: John Patrick Lowrie. That's 3 words, therefore they're just about to unveil it.

OT: I seriously don't care about anything Half-Life related from any source right now. I'll just focus my attention somewhere else.

Half-Life 3, when it comes out, will be the most disappointing game ever released simply due to the years of fan-fueled hype.

Dare I say it will be the most disappointing thing since my son*:

image

*Meant to be spoken in Plinkett's voice of course.

Wait, he said that Half Life 3 isn't in development. But that doesn't mean HL2:E3 isn't in development!

"With mo-cap you can't do that, at least not yet"
There's been a ton of development done on animations since 2004's HL2. Just look at some of the advancements Valve did with L4D.
Yeah, maybe Valve have fallen a bit behind in 2013, but to state that it's impossible at the moment to combine mo-cap and heads tracking the player is bull and shit.

I never cared. I played through HL2 and the episodes once and I never wanted to play through it again. And I never understood the unconditional love for that title.

One of the great things about HL2 is that all of the characters that you meet actually look at you when they talk to you no matter where you go or stand. With mo-cap you can't do that, at least not yet.

*facepalm* Yay progress. Undoing all that, y'know, progress.

It's about goddamn time the fans just MAKE Half-Life 3. It will SURELY come out before the "official" one does.

EDIT: And actually... we DO have the technology to make a character look at the player all the time no matter where they stand...

NPC.transform.rotation.lookat(player.transform.position);

boom, problem solved, NOW GET THE FUCK TO WORK!

Twenty Ninjas:
You know what that means, kids!

HALF-LIFE 3 CONFIRMED!

Damn you, I was just about to post that too! Its so absurd how blind fans are to this topic. They keep say 'read between the lines' and 'wink wink' about HL3. But every news article from Valve or any of the guys involved with the previous games is fairly direct.

Half Life 3 is not happening. Stop asking.

Adam Jensen:
I never cared. I played through HL2 and the episodes once and I never wanted to play through it again. And I never understood the unconditional love for that title.

Well at least you've found away to feel above it all. /sarky bastard

OT: I love Half Life. I want the next one to be made. Please Valve. PLEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAASE!!!11

/sigh

As someone who followed FFXIII Vs from its inception, I can at least understand what this level of Vaporware feels like. However with how unyielding the fan fervor seethes underneath the surface of many gaming communities, I really wish the more vocal about how much they want HL3 would simply come to accept the aged wisdom of "a watched pot never boils". It would be easier on everyone who hears it, and it would make it so less painful on them to endure the perpetual letdown.

...Really? That's one of the major problems? It's not the fact that Valve wrote themselves into a hexagonal corner? It's not the fact that Valve's gameplay model for the Half-Life series is somewhat dated with the story-gameplay-story structure? It's the problem of the motion capture tech not quite working the way Valve wants it to?

I have a feeling that this isn't the full story.

Twenty Ninjas:
You know what that means, kids!

HALF-LIFE 3 CONFIRMED!

Thats what I was going to say...

Ok, sorry but hearing people talk about engine mechanics they don't understand is starting to bug me.

That's seriously not what motion capture is for or does.

Regardless of how you create the animations, either by hand in a modeling/animation program, or via Motion Capture(which usually is touched up in a modeling program anyways) the end result is the animations are saved out into a static file that the game engine reads and plays back later.
Once in the game engine, you blend multiple animations on top of each other to achieve the desired complexity based off whatever the character is/needs to be doing.

Most games that do head tracking, like HL2 don't usually even bother with an animation for it, instead just rotating the head bone in the player skeleton to achieve the effect which is done over whatever animation the player model is doing at the time. That's how(as far as I know) HL2 did it, and that's how they'll continue doing it in HL3.

What he said about mocap being a limitation for stuff like head tracking is technically and factually wrong.

So there's no HL3 project involving him. Who says he has to be a voice actor in it? Doesn't matter either way. I stopped waiting for it years ago.

Also, fuck mo-cap. Half-Life 2's non-scripted animation is much more immersive than anything achieved with mo-cap.

Fappy:
Half-Life 3, when it comes out, will be the most disappointing game ever released simply due to the years of fan-fueled hype.

Dare I say it will be the most disappointing thing since my son*:

*Meant to be spoken in Plinkett's voice of course.

Sooo... It will be Starcraft 2 all over again?

Valve, you don't need to do mo-cap. It's fine. Seriously. Half-Life 2 and its episodes still(!) have some of the best animation around. It's fine. Seriously.

V8 Ninja:
...Really? That's one of the major problems? It's not the fact that Valve wrote themselves into a hexagonal corner? It's not the fact that Valve's gameplay model for the Half-Life series is somewhat dated with the story-gameplay-story structure? It's the problem of the motion capture tech not quite working the way Valve wants it to?

I have a feeling that this isn't the full story.

Agreed. Saying that it's the "biggest" problem with making HL3 is utter bullshit if I ever smelled it.

Thing is, mo cap gets stuck in uncanny valley so very easily. If this is their issue, then to tell the truth I'd rather them not use mo cap.

Now I gotta go play HL2 again.

If this is true (and the source isn't really 100% solid, simply because he's not a part of the preproduction process) then I'm disappointed only because Valve should know better than to follow the dumb trends of the day (mocap can oftentimes be less believeable and lifelike than good animation work) instead of trailblazing their own methods.

However, I'm not at all surprised to hear that the game's not really being worked on. Valve won't release things until they can get them just how they want them.

Half Life 3 is not in development? THAT MUST MEAN THAT HALF LIFE 2: EPISODE 3 IS IN DEVELOPMENT!

Ok, but seriously, I expect they're waiting to use HL3 to debut Source Engine 2.

Adam Jensen:
I never cared. I played through HL2 and the episodes once and I never wanted to play through it again. And I never understood the unconditional love for that title.

To each their own.

OT: Valve better remember that they rose to the top with Half-Life. If they forget, you can forget HL3.

Or maybe it's in post?...
Seriously, this shit is getting old. I wish to fuck that one of those boycotts actually went through with it(seriously, you passed up Half-Life for two zombie games?). But now, without them actually releasing anything else at the moment, we have no leverage unless we just gave up on steam entirely. I hope they come out with a game soon enough, because if it isn't Half-Life 3, we may just yet get that boycott that will make it happen.

AND FUCK MOTION CAPTURE.

I see many before me has come to the natural conclusion as I have. Episode 3 it is then.

Btw has any of you been keeping the count on how many of these "Half Life 3 is not in the works" news we have gotten recently? This is getting really frustrating really fast. Can we please get some solid info? Preferably from a programmer or an animator or the janitor and not the voice actor of citizen number 1, 2 and 3? Or am I getting to wishy washy?

The Plunk:
Half Life 3 is not in development? THAT MUST MEAN THAT HALF LIFE 2: EPISODE 3 IS IN DEVELOPMENT!

Ok, but seriously, I expect they're waiting to use HL3 to debut Source Engine 2.

Agreed and to be totally honest, I'm more looking forward to the engine than I am the game; just hope it is as open to modding as the current one because some of my favourite games are Source mods and it'd be excellent to see a new generation of them.

Andy Chalk:

"Here is the biggest challenge with bringing out HL3: the big thing now with FPSs is motion capture, or mo-cap. One of the great things about HL2 is that all of the characters that you meet actually look at you when they talk to you no matter where you go or stand. With mo-cap you can't do that, at least not yet," he wrote on his blog.

Sorry what?

With IK techniques and animation masks you can get the head and neck can flex while the other bones in the skeleton are moving. It doesn't matter if they were originally MOCAP or not. Hell this is a feature built into the Unity4 Animation system.

my sides! a guy thinking there hasn't been any mo-cap advancements in 13 years. most all top fps type games had it. dishonored, bioshock, halo skyrim, hl2

mo-cap might as well be a 15 year old technology.

Finally.

They finally took this rumor to the back and ended it all.

I think he removed the comments where he mentioned this.

Here's what he posted:

No problem. My comments just seemed to cause a whole bunch of confusion and when I tried to minimize the confusion I misspoke and caused a whole bunch more confusion. So I thought it was best just to take the comments down. I know there are lots of fans out there who love all the games we do and are excited to know anything at all about them. The most important thing to know about voice actors is that we're the last to know anything. We don't find out about a project until we get hired to do voices for it. What I was trying to say before (and failed) is that whatever Gabe Newell has to say about a project is the best info you're going to get. He owns the company and knows what's going on. Sorry that I gave the impression that I know what's going on. I really wasn't trying to and I really don't know. I do know that all the folks at Valve work really hard and their only goal is for gamers to have cool games to play. I doubt that will ever change.

I don't think he really knows if they're working on it or not. But we can safely conclude that it's no where near release...

All lies, Valve has been in secret development for years, slowly building an epic masterpiece that will be the pinnacle of videogames for another millennium.

Or they just aren't making it.

Whatevs.

Interesting.

It seems Valve REALLY wants to make HL3 the greatest game ever made. If it's not in active development it probably means that Source2 will debut with L4D3, which is " unofficially officially" confirmed. It does mean that Valve's thinking about it though, so hopefully it gets reopened when Source2 comes out.

Legion:
I think I will go back to simply not thinking about it until I hear an official announcement one way or the other.

That's basically what I've been doing all the time I've sat here. Do whatever you like Valve, as long as it comes out good, I'm happy.

I read these news yesterday and was honestly a tad surprised.

Either way, Valve's increasing arrogance is starting to annoy me. They have to play by the rules just like every other company, and "are you ever going to finish this cliff-hanger from your most popular gaming series" is a legitimate question. I don't care how mysterious and ambiguous Valve likes to be, that question deserves an answer.

Factor in that they hardly even make games anymore, that they get most of their revenue from Steam, with other words, from other developers' games, and I'm not even sure I got a whole lot of love left for them anymore. Not saying that they are worse than any other publisher or developer, just saying that they aren't better.

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