Train2Game News Gabe Newell on Source Engine 2

Valve's Gabe NewellGabe Newell has commented on the progress of Source Engine 2 during a recent Reddit AMA, saying the company is building the tools with user-generated content in mind.

Newell fielded questions from the general public today regarding the future of Valve, his favourite games and what the company has in store for Source Engine 2.

Answering to the latter, Newell said the industry’s move towards user-generated content has influenced the development process.

“The biggest improvements will be in increasing productivity of content creation,” he wrote.

“That focus is driven by the importance we see UGC 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.”

While Newell didn’t comment on Half-Life 3, he did address Valve’s attitude towards developing new IP, indicating that core game systems take precedence over everything.

“An IP is really a tool for a development team more than anything else,” he said. “The key is to have clarity around what is uniquely of value in what you are trying to do and not waste your effort on things that don’t directly contribute to that.”

On the topic of e-sports, their popularity on PC and micro-transaction funding models, Newell said he wants to facillitate an easier connection between consumers and content creators.

“We still think we have a long way to go to get to the point where all of the different people that are contributing value to competitive play get everything out of it that they should,” he wrote. “[It] feels like we are making pretty good progress though.

“Giving the consumers of content a direct relationship with the creators of content is something we think about a lot. That is what drove our thinking about how the community could be more involved in the tournaments that mattered to them.”

Steam, the PC platform Valve founded and operate, has over 65 million users, the company announced earlier this year.

A line of thirteen different Steam Machines, all boasting different hardware specs, was unveiled at CES 2014.

Newell also revealed during the AMA that his most played game is DOTA 2, while his favourite non-Valve game of all time is Mario 64.

Source: CVG

Train2Game News: Valve releases Source Filmmaker

Valve has introduced Source Filmmaker, the video creation tool they’ve used to make over 50 animated shorts including the nine Team Fortress 2 ‘Meet the’ class films.

It could be a fun way for those on the Train2Game Art & Animation or QA Tester course to practice their animation or editing skills. Those interested in a free beta invite can sign up via the Source Filmmaker website.

“The Source Filmmaker is the movie-making tool built and used by Valve to make movies inside the Source game engine.” reads the Source Filmmaker FAQ.

“It is how we have been making all of our animated short movies. Because the Source Filmmaker uses the same assets as a Source-engine game, what goes into the game can be used in the movie, and vice versa.”

“By using the hardware rendering of a modern PC gaming machine, the SFM allows storytellers to work in a “what you see is what you get” environment so that they can iterate in the context of what it will feel like for the final audience.”

Valve has released a series of tutorial videos for the Source Filmmaker, the first of which you can see below, right here on The Train2Game Blog.

Source filmmaker arrives on the third day of Team Fortress 2’s Pyromania event, which has also seen six community created weapons added to the popular free-to-play shooter.

Be sure to keep reading The Train2Game Blog for the latest news from Valve and Team Fortress 2.

Will you be trying out Source Filmmaker?

Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Train2Game news: ‘Learn by making mistakes’ says Black Mesa mod project lead

Train2Game Blog readers are likely to have seen one of our posts about the benefits of modding, but the benefit of building your own games or levels isn’t just that it’s good for your portfolio, you’ll also learn a lot while doing it.

That’s what happened for the guys behind Black Mesa, the much anticipated but rather delayed mod that’s bringing the original Half-Life into the source engine.  Project Lead Carlos Montero told Rock, Paper, Shotgun that, if anything, there are delays because the team are learning how to build a game, often by making then fixing mistakes.

“This hasn’t been about polish for polish’s sake; it’s been about learning all there is to know about how to make great games, and using it to make a great game. There aren’t any shortcuts there. We just had to learn by doing, by making mistakes, by screwing things up and starting them over again.”  said Montero.

“Sometimes along the way we have learned things that fundamentally changed our way of thinking, and sometimes we have gone back and fundamentally changed parts of the game to reflect that.”

The Black Mesa project lead added that, the team are very eager to release the game, but only when they’re totally happy that it’s good enough.

“So no, I don’t think it is tempting to over-polish at all. We are all eager to get the game out. We are dying to get this game out and show everyone what we’ve been working on, but we aren’t so eager that we would sacrifice our values and what we believe will make this game great. We aren’t going to put out something that isn’t good enough for us.” Montero said.

Read the full, fascinating, interview over at Rock, Paper, Shotgun.

In an interview with The Train2Game Blog, Valve’s own Chet Faliszek told us modding s a great way for aspiring game developers to  practice and show off their skills.

There’s more modding news on The Train2Game Blog, while the latest from Valve is here.

What are your thoughts on the comments from the Black Mesa project lead? Have you found modding to be a great learning experience? And are you looking forward to the mod eventually being released?

Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.