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Suspicious Dota 2 Patch Gets Fans Buzzing About Half-Life 3

by Tim Turi on Oct 09, 2015 at 11:30 AM

The intrepid Steam Database has discovered a suspicious file in a recent patch for Dota 2. The text file, named "hl3.txt", contains lines of code that have sparked fans' imaginations with possible extrapolations to a new Half-Life game, including zip lines, procedural generation, and virtual reality.

Bear in mind, this .txt file doesn't mention the words "half" or "life" anywhere, so this possible tease is assuming a lot about the abbreviation "hl3".  We're merely floating this out there as a curiosity in the continuing dance of Half-Life 3 speculation.

The text file has been uploaded here, much of which is meaningless to your average Half-Life fan. We've done our own digging and found the .txt file within the patch. NeoGAF user asheticism points out some lines interesting lines of code:


Example 1: Zipline




string m_Id = "Element.prop_zipline"

string m_FriendlyName = "prop_zipline"

string m_TooltipOverride = ""

string m_HelpText = "prop_zipline""


Example 2: Procedural Spawn




string m_Id = "Element.shared_procedural_spawn_template_info"

string m_FriendlyName = "shared_procedural_spawn_template_info"

string m_TooltipOverride = ""

string m_HelpText = "shared_procedural_spawn_template_info"


Example 3: "VR Movement"




string m_Id = "Attribute.worldspawn.vrmovement"

string m_FriendlyName = "VR Movement"

string m_TooltipOverride = ""

string m_HelpText = ""


Example 4: "NPC Speech"


string m_Id = "Attribute.npc_quest_citizen.DontUseSpeechSemaphore"

string m_FriendlyName = "Don\'t Use Speech Semaphore"

string m_TooltipOverride = ""


string m_HelpText = "Friendly NPCs are not allowed to speak if another friendly NPC is speaking. In some cases we don\'t want speaking NPCs to prevent other NPCs from speaking (for instance, if there is a friendly NPC speaking for a long time on a monitor). To make this NPC not prevent other NPCs from talking, make it not grab the semaphore when it speaks.""


Of course, it's important to take this apparent clue with a truckload of salt, especially given Half-Life 3's infamous track record of false clues and fan pranks. For example, we don't know if "zipline" refers to a literal in-game mechanic or an internal developer tool term. We're reaching out to Valve for comment and examining the .txt file closely ourselves.

[Source: Steam Database via NeoGAF]

Our Take
I always figured it would be a no-brainer for Valve to make Half-Life 3 its killer app for the HTC Vive VR headset, but never expected to see mention of the game in any form. All of this is speculation and I'm doing my best not to get my hopes up, because this could all be Valve or some devious prankster trying to toy with our feelings. But...could Gordon Freeman's adventure really be continuing?