You can now take a peek behind the scenes of VR hit Half-Life: Alyx.
Developer Valve has released a huge look at the production of Half-Life: Alyx in a new update for the game. Players can now don a headset (or not) and walk around the world, being guided by the developers who helped create it. As you play, you will bump into audio that teaches you something about how the scene or section was made.
In the update, Valve revealed the feature which will guide players through the development process of the game. The team talk about the early prototypes, animations, water physics and design philosophies in VR. Oh, also, “classic headcrab nonsense.” Interestingly, since Half-Life: Alyx ended up being launched during the Covid-19 pandemic, the team talk about the challenges of launching a title from home.
On the update, Valve said, “We have collected 147 different points of interest from the team and recorded over three hours of audio commentary, covering every aspect of development, including design, art, animation, rendering, sound and more.”
To listen to the commentary in-game, all you have to do is walk up to one of the floating headphones and put it on your head. It’s noted that these audio logs contain spoilers, so Valve advises completing the game first.
Valve has a long history of bringing players behind the curtain to show them the development process. This has been a feature in both Left 4 Dead games, as well as Portal 2. It’s a really unique approach that demystifies game design for players. It’s always encouraging to see it implemented.
Seeing it applied to Valve’s first feature-length VR game should be especially fascinating.