We Are The Lambda Generation. LambdaGeneration is a website dedicated to the video game Half-Life. ( We're basically really passionate about crowbars, headcrabs and anyone who has goatee with a PhD in theoretical physics… )

How Opposing Force Dealt with the Expansion Pack Problem

An examination of the strengths of Half-Life's weapon system, and how the Opposing Force expansion pack both compromised and built upon them.

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All Things Lambda – Episode 13

Other All Things Lambda – Episode 13

It’s Episode 13, ‘The Unlucky Episode‘ of All Things Lambda – The LambdaGeneration Podcast. In this episode we discuss Filip Victor’s Half-Life 2: Update mod, Dota 2′s The International 2015 Tickets, an upside down Half-Life speedrun and much more!

The next live record date is April 26th at 12pm (PST) on our Twitch channel.

We look forward to having you in the chat, you can also ask questions to be discussed on the next show in the video comments or in the chat on the record day. If you enjoyed the show, make sure to subscribe to the LambdaGeneration YouTube channel and also follow us on Twitch!

Cat in the Hat Simulator: Valve and the Decline of Humor

Valve Cat in the Hat Simulator: Valve and the Decline of Humor

This is an editorial by Lilgreenman which discusses the involvement of humour and comedic elements in Valve’s more recent games. All views expressed in this article are his own.

With all the noise Valve makes about Team Fortress 2 being “The world’s number 1 hat simulator”, their creative staff seem to have neglected a grounding in hat-based literature. Specifically, it seems they’ve never picked up a copy of the best selling hat-based book of all time (eat it, Oliver Sacks!), Dr. Seuss’ 1957 classic The Cat in the Hat.

Spoilers ahead for those who haven’t read C-I-T-H: The moral of the book is related to the two young protagonists by the titular feline, after he helps them clean up after a rowdy playtime session; “It’s fun to have fun, but you have to know how.” Which brings me, in my roundabout way, to my point. Valve’s top writers – internet comedy alumni Erik Wolpaw, Chet Faliszek and Jay Pinkerton – don’t seem to know how to have fun.

“Return To Ravenholm” – A Cancelled 2007 Half-Life Project By Valve Software And Arkane Studios, Developers of Dark Messiah, Dishonored And The Crossing

Half-Life “Return To Ravenholm” – A Cancelled 2007 Half-Life Project By Valve Software And Arkane Studios, Developers of Dark Messiah, Dishonored And The Crossing

The oh-so-long wait between Episode Two and… whatever the next Half-Life will be, is starting to be very tough for the Half-Life fanbase. During the 6-year wait between HL1 and HL2, we at least had the modding community and the active HL1 multiplayer scene, but we also had official spin-off games like Opposing Force, Blue Shift, and Decay. Whereas now… we’ve sort of got… well, nothing. I’m sure some sort of Half-Life game released during this wait would have tided everyone over a bit.

But maybe that was the plan. Sure, the plan has changed, but what if Valve did intend to do just that? Well, today, we might have evidence pointing towards that.

Vic’s Thoughts On: Dear Esther, Or Why A Video Game Can Be Much, Much More Than Just Entertainment

Gaming Industry Vic’s Thoughts On: Dear Esther, Or Why A Video Game Can Be Much, Much More Than Just Entertainment

At their core, video games are essentially entertainment - designed to be fun. They accomplish these two objectives through all sorts of ways, within the various genres of the gaming world. Most of the games we play are, ostensibly, mere entertainment – created to be fun, enthralling and, perhaps, little else beyond that. But recently, many have contemplated and whether or not video games truly are art. But this debate goes beyond gaming itself: for instance, can we classify the Roundhay Garden Scene as art? While we’re at that, can we classify the Mona Lisa as entertainment? Is all entertainment actually art, or is all art somehow entertainment? It’s a multifaceted argument that might be going on for a very long while. I, personally, am of the conviction that, video games are art. Of course, there are some games that simultaneously represent both entertainment and art (Portal 1, Half-Life 2). There are also some games that lead more towards the art side, but they still maintain the basic framework of a video game. If they didn’t, we’d have a tough time calling them video games.

But in comes something that might shake up the way we look at video games. That something is Dear Esther. Originally designed as a free HL2 mod in 2008, Dear Esther was a terrific, if flawed experiment regarding interactive, non-linear storytelling conveyed through a video game. Almost 4 years later, the same team, plus one master level designer, have returned to remake and reimagine Dear Esther, almost from the ground up, as a independent Source game. That which was primitive is now beautiful, and a whole new audience could be exposed to this interesting creation. But is it more than just an experiment, or, perhaps, is it more than just a video game? Well, read on to find out!

Road to Gamescom

Valve

Valve is once again attending Gamescom, Europe’s largest gaming trade fair, which takes place on August 13th-17th at the Koelnmesse exhibition center in Cologne, Germany.

As in recent years, they’ll be set up in the Business Hall, so there will be no public access to Valve’s booth.

LambdaGeneration confirmed this in an email to Valve’s Doug Lombardi earlier, who said that there will be no press or public showings planned this year and only business related meetings will be taking place.

But that still begs the question, what will Valve be doing there?

Playing Medic in Team Fortress 2

Half-Life Playing Medic in Team Fortress 2

When I’m the team’s Medic, I have a golden rule for choosing which teammates to heal:

All heal targets are equal, but some are more equal than others.”

Unlike other classes who can remain effective even without a clue as to how capable their teammates are, the Medic is wholly dependent on his teammates being able to intelligently use his heals to accomplish objectives, kill teammates and keep the medic himself alive. And that’s going to require the Medic to serve as something of an arbiter, judging his teammates and deciding who gets special treatment. It is impossible to play Medic and heal everyone equally, as much as our altruistic natures impel us to.

The Failure of the Half-Life Episodes

Half-Life The Failure of the Half-Life Episodes

This is an original editorial piece created by Mimaz. It is the first in a series of editorials that we like to call “The Half-Life Dissertation”, which will aim to extensively cover a wide range of Half-Life related topics and issues.

Valve are looking down the rabbit hole.

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