A group of data miners are reverse engineering Half-Life 3 based on assets and information released by Valve over the years. The developers think that they can mimic a small part of the game.
Half-Life insider Tyler McVicor provides background information about the project in a video, including the still anonymous makers. They say that the goal is to create an ‘experience’ with the available data that should reflect what a game Half-Life 3 could have been. Valve had that title for years in development and the never-released game took many different forms.
The so-called vertical slice that the data miners are working on should reflect Valve’s ideas about the game around 2015. At the time, Half-Life 3 was in development as a Fallout 4 style game, with a procedurally generated game world and quests. In a Google Docs file, the developers describe the content of the project. According to McVicor, the data miners themselves will soon be releasing more information.
The content of the project
The Half-Life 3 part that the dataminers are trying to recreate takes place in a small part of City 17 and players are assigned quests in the role of Gordon Freeman in which, for example, resources must be collected or battles take place. The levels and the enemies are generated procedurally. The quests always remain the same, but the game environment is different every time you play.
The data miners base their project on Half-Life 3 assets that have been discovered over the years. For example, according to McVicor, an early version of the Steam VR Performance Test was available on Steam years ago. This also included assets that were not used at all for that demo, but were taken from Valve projects of VR games for Left 4 Dead and Half-Life.
Also in an early version of Half-Life: Alyx, which was intended for reviewers, all kinds of assets and references in code were found that belonged to Half-Life 3. It mainly concerns concepts for gameplay and assets of, for example, objects in the game. According to the makers, there is little story available. The project should nevertheless give players an idea of what kind of game Half-Life 3 could have been.
Whether and when a playable version of the project will be released is not yet known. Nor is it known what Valve’s attitude is towards the project. The developer and administrator of Steam generally has an open attitude towards community projects. For example, the Black Mesa remake of Half-Life 1 has been released as a commercial game with permission from Valve.