Valve News Update

Half-Life developer Valve announced today that a few interesting updates will be released via Steam (their content delivery system) over the next month or so. The first of those updates will involve a new map and some new weapons for Half-Life 2 Deatmatch. The second big announcement will be the inclusion of high dynamic range (HDR) lighting to the Source Engine. To showcase the HDR upgrade, Valve will be releasing a new Half-Life 2 map titled The Lost Coast.

Over the next month or so there will be a couple of interesting releases via Steam, in addition to the upcoming Counter-Strike map de_compound.

First, we’ll be releasing an update to Half-Life 2: Deathmatch that will include the Slam, Stunstick, and the Crowbar. We’re not ready to release the contest winning maps just yet, but we will be releasing a new map we’ve built at Valve to tide people over while we sort out the contest winners. There will also be a release to Counter-Strike: Source around the same time that will address a few minor issues.

One feature that we’ll be adding to the Source engine in the coming months is high dynamic range lighting. To showcase this we’ve taken a part of the Highway 17 chapter of Half-Life 2 and worked it into a single level that incorporates HDR along with some new gameplay. We’re calling this short level “The Lost Coast,” and it will be made available free of charge to Half-Life 2 customers that meet a specific set of high end hardware requirements. We’ll be publishing those requirements soon.

Below are a few early concept sketches of the level early in its development.

lost_coast_01, lost_coast_02, lost_coast_03 and lost_coast_04.