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Now, can somebody help me with a question. I seem to recall, vaguely, that Valve pretty much kept Half Life 2 completely secret for the (x) years it was in development, before first showing it only like 7 months before it was released or something, right?

Or am I wrong about that? How much did we know about HL2?

First I heard about the game was in spring 2003 when Edge made their Next Month page an image of a crowbar and shadow forming the number 2.

The following issue's article (presumably other magazines covered it the same month) covered the game and the Source engine with things like: comparison pictures of Barney/G-Man graphics compared to the original; pictures of that Hydra tentacle; pictures of the orange-textured test levels; descriptions of a fight with a turret with a camera attached to it, where the video feed to a monitor changed realistically when the turret got knocked over. Valve said it'd be out in September 2003.

E3 was shortly after that, I think.

The delays/leaked build happened not long afterwards...

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Guys, I've just completed Episode 2. Finally.

Absolutely loved it, of course, although the huge battle at the end was really tough. Think it took me over an hour in failed attempts before I eventually did it. And the graphics, even though they were almost four years old, were still fantastic in places. Especially the forest sections.

Also, I can't seem to find Episode 3 on Steam. Anyone got a link?

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Guys, I've just completed Episode 2. Finally.

Absolutely loved it, of course, although the huge battle at the end was really tough. Think it took me over an hour in failed attempts before I eventually did it. And the graphics, even though they were almost four years old, were still fantastic in places. Especially the forest sections.

Also, I can't seem to find Episode 3 on Steam. Anyone got a link?

Here you go mate

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  • 1 month later...

OH. MY. FUCKING. GOD. (Full story for those who don't want to trawl gaf)

A video game leak is never a good thing. But when there’s EP3 code inside it, revealing what weapons we’ll be using, representing the first substantial information we’ve gotten regarding Episode Three since late 2007, can you really call it a bad thing?

A Vietnamese beta tester has leaked Dota 2′s entire game client, as well as all of its files, to the Internet. The leak appears to be playable – but do you really want to risk having your Steam account blocked just so you can play an illegal leak? Besides, you can’t even play online! What’s Dota without online play? Nothing.

In any case, the leak is already being datamined, and people have found some wondrous things – from the placeholders Valve uses for their spell icons, to the one phrase every single hero has in common (Perhaps a secret message? “Shitty Wizards” does resemble “Fart Cops”, does it not? Is Valve trying to tell us the name of their next game?), all the speech files of all of the heroes, every single backstory of every single backstory, a massive pastebin containing just about every caption string in the whole game, a test model for a lovely hat, various in-game models, all the way to… some very interesting code. Let’s take a look at that one right now.

/src/game/server/ep3/weapon_icegun.cpp

/src/game/server/ep3/weaponizer_concrete.cpp

/src/game/server/ep3/weaponizer_liquid.cpp

/src/game/server/ep3/weaponizer_metal.cpp

/src/game/server/ep3/weapon_flamethrower.cpp

Oof! Oh, damn. Be right back!

Okay, got my new underpants on. What’s this? An ice gun? A flame thrower? Holy crap! New weapons? And a mention of the mysterious Weaponizer weapon? Did it really survive the Directed Design Experiments? The code can’t be that old – Dota 2 only began development in late 2009 or early 2010. There’s more interesting stuff in the links above - some sort of in-game store featuring bundles, gear, tools and effects, as well as an option to view “new” items. I don’t know about you, but that sounds a lot like micro-transaction. Could Dota 2 have that as well? And does that mean it’ll be a F2P title? Christ, who knows at this point?

There’s also some code labelled “sob”, with mentions of ”func_nebula”, “sob_server_ship_system” and “sob_flightplan”. Could Valve be working on some sort of space flight game? Is it Gunman Chronicles 2? Ricochet 2? The long-awaited Fart Cops? This SOB thing sounds interesting, even if it’s acronymized just like “son of a bitch”.

In any case, you won’t be getting any links to the leak from us, and we advise you not to download it. Sure, for Valve it might be great for feedback purposes, but it’s still a loss for them and the beta testers, so we’re not touching the thing. Still, I have to admit that this stuff has me quite excited for Dota 2… and, yes, Half-Life 2: Episode Three. A flamethrower! Would you imagine that.

So, episode 3 featured/features a material-changing mechanic? Ice to fire, concrete to liquid, liquid to metal etc? That's a natural next step from the gravity gun. Ooh the possibilities!

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Could that be the mysterious "F-Stop" mechanic they scrapped for Portal 2 when they realised that a Portal game without portals would be mad crazy?

I just wish they'd say something! A simple "yo, we're working on some Half-Life, and it'll be done when it's done", that's all!

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What are the chances that the leak will cause Valve to pull the release of Dota in order to change things? Having the back story and all the surprises leaked is really shitty.

A lesson to be learned here is to hash code variable names and directory names within builds so people can't datamine any useful stuff out of the code and script files.

If the ep3 directory was \4425255GSDRRSFROO2345\ no one would be any the wiser and valve wouldn't be facing such a terrible leak.

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Ha, or DOTA2 has a single player mode with 3 episodes.

I fail to believe anything Valve put in a game is accidental, given the community they have.

it's a leak. It was never meant to be seen.

it's very little go on, but it sounds like they're building a player-run spacefaring game of some kind? Probably those pics we saw ages ago, and maybe why they hired an economist.

Also uhh, shitty wizard?

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