Code uncovered in last week’s update to Valve’s The Lab may point to some kind of development related to Half-Life VR.
Tyler McVicker at Valve News Network traced indications of Half-Life VR code in various Valve updates and posted the below video today. In it, McVicker details a wealth of code he says was found in the “Hands-On” update of The Lab, which added Index Controller support to the free compilation of minigames.
Found within the code is a reference to something codenamed ‘Shooter’. According to McVicker, the code contains references to known Half-Life characters like Dr. Breen and soldiers and enemies from Half-Life 2’s Combine faction. Fittingly, there’s even a reference to the elusive G-Man.
From the code on offer, McVicker suggests the game it refers to could be a wave-based combat title set within the Half-Life universe. Players would have been teleported to various locations around City 17 from Half-Life 2, which are simulated within a holodeck. The idea being that the simulated nature of a holodeck would allow the experience to scale to the player’s own VR space.
The game would then rely entirely on the player’s physical movement with no thumbstick or trackpad locomotion. Valve’s VR software generally relies on the player to physically move through a space to interact with it while also enabling teleportation for larger traversals.
However, it’s very possible that this code isn’t describing Valve’s unannounced flagship VR game for 2019. That project is rumored to indeed be a Half-Life VR game, but McVicker speculates that this code could very well be referring to an older prototype. It might have even been that this describes a cut minigame from The Lab itself, which might serve as the foundation for whatever Valve releases this year.
McVicker is still picking apart code and asking for help with it. Valve itself hasn’t issued an update about its game for months now. With 2019 starting to wind down, hopefully we hear more soon.