It's finally happened. Gabe Newell broke his nigh-mythical cone of silence to take part in a long-promised Reddit AMA, and the results were... illuminating. Ish. Newell is not the most talkative man, but he is a fairly straight shooter. The whole thing's a fascinating read, though truly "newsworthy" (whatever that even means any more) bits were scarce. But hey, if you'd like to know laughably bad company names that Valve nearly went with (like Rhino Scar, as we revealed in 2007) and also the main purpose of Source Engine 2, you've come to the right place. Newell even fielded a question about Half-Life 3, shockingly enough. Well, sorta.
So, right then, what's the deal with Source Engine 2, which has drip-dropped into the collective consciousness after countless leaks? Is it actually real? Yes, yes, it is. Here's the revered lord Newell on that:
"The biggest improvements [out of Source Engine 2] will be in increasing productivity of content creation. That focus is driven by the importance we see user-generated content having going forward. A professional developer at Valve will put up with a lot of pain that won't work if users themselves have to create content."
Inevitably, someone also asked the big question. When is Ricochet 2 - aka, Half-Life 3 - coming out? Surprisingly, Newell answered, but not with anything we didn't already know:
"When we announced our products years in advance in the past and then were really late delivering them, it was pretty painful for both us and the community. We'd rather not repeat that."
He did clarify, however, that Valve isn't holding Half-Life 3 back to wait for widespread VR or anything like that. "We aren't holding any game until VR is shipping. You don't want to create that kind of dependency," he explained.
There's tons more where that came from. Apparently Newell and co are still working with JJ Abrams in some capacity, Valve is "making some progress" on lower priced Steam Boxes built primarily for streaming from existing hardware, and Newell started his infamous knife collection when he was just an itsy bitsy child, unaware of the majestic beard (and also software empire) that would one day be at his command.
Check out the full thread here. Apparently Newell, Erik Wolpaw, and a few other Valve masterminds are planning to return and answer more questions at some point. But you never know with Valve. Plus, if you include yesterday's false start, that would make the next round of Q&A Reddit AMA Episode 3. Welp, so much for that one, then.