A few years earlier than the discharge of Half-Life: Alyx, a gaggle of followers constructed a rudimentary Half-Life 2 VR mod which allowed the sport to be performed with early VR headset improvement kits. Sadly the mod ultimately misplaced compatibility with newer hardware as the primary shopper VR headsets started to hit the market. In 2017 the challenge was seemingly reignited with ambitions to not simply replace it for the newest headsets, however to remaster the sport for VR extra broadly; sadly that effort by no means got here to fruition. However now a gaggle of confirmed VR modders is aiming to lastly make it a actuality.
When you’ve been following the VR gaming area for a protracted whereas, you in all probability recall again in 2017 when the Half-Life 2 VR mod was introduced to important fanfare. The staff that had made the unique model of the mod (suitable solely with older Oculus improvement kits) deliberate to replace it for contemporary shopper headsets and remaster the sport with VR-specific touches like a made-for-VR UI, a number of locomotion strategies, and extra. The mod’s authentic announcement trailer offers an concept of what they hoped to ship:
Sadly, regardless of a blessing from Valve allowing the discharge of the challenge on Steam, the revamped model of the mod by no means obtained accomplished, having seemingly fallen into improvement hell.
One way or the other between then and now Valve made a wholly new VR recreation, Half-Life: Alyx, which launched in 2020 to widespread acclaim. However the Half-Life 2 VR mod might dwell on but.
The challenge has purportedly been re-rebooted by a staff together with VR modder extraordinar Simon “Dr. Beef” Brown, who’s behind VR mods of Half-Life, Doom, and loads of others.
In a message posted to the Flatscreen to VR Mod Discord group earlier this Summer season the staff introduced that it’s working with a number of the mod’s authentic staff and constructing on work it had already finished, with the purpose of readying an open-source model of the code in order that others can start contributing in a structured approach.
A pair weeks in the past, @DrBeef and @cabalistic stepped as much as see how we might revitalize the challenge and get it out the door. The purpose has been to make sense of the present work the earlier staff had finished and to shine it sufficient to get some open supply model launched as quickly as doable in a minimum of an alpha state in order that others might contribute to proceed to shine it up.
In simply the final couple weeks, DrBeef has re-written virtually all the VR code to run an entire lot higher and even ported the engine’s VR implementation to make use of Vulcan as a substitute of DX9 with the assistance of DXVK! (present VR APIs solely work with DX11 and above). He additionally has fastened loads of recreation breaking points that had been within the construct. Cabalistic has additionally finished some magic and has gotten MSAA working for textures too.
There’s no tough launch date for the brand new Half-Life 2 VR mod, however one sticking level on the present improvement path is deciding which model of the Supply engine to make use of as a basis.
One factor we have to finalize earlier than we get too far alongside is whether or not we need to proceed the challenge with the Supply 2013 SDK model (all of the VR work has presently been finished to that model). Or whether or not we need to change to the newer CS:GO engine (all of [another modder’s] up to date maps was finished with that model). We’re undecided at this level how a lot of a setback switching engines could be. One aspect benefit of engaged on the CS:GO port is that that’s what a model of Portal 2 makes use of and it might imply someday making a Portal 2 VR port (or a minimum of making that simpler). The drawback to switching is that the challenge couldn’t be open supply as that model of the engine requires a Valve signed NDA for anybody to have entry to.
Simply this week the staff confirmed that work is continuous on the Half-Life 2 VR mod, and additional famous that there’s but a separate mod challenge within the works by one other modder which is aiming so as to add fashionable VR assist to a model of Supply Engine which might be suitable with Half-Life 2.
“At the moment, [the other mod’s author] plans to proceed working individually, however maybe there’s nonetheless issues we will share between tasks. If something, competitors might be good together with choices for gamers,” one of many modders wrote.
It’s been practically eight years because the authentic model of the Half-Life 2 VR mod was launched, and 4 years because the reboot was introduced. For anybody craving extra Half-Life in VR, you’re gonna need to hold your fingers crossed.
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