This may not be the Source 2 reveal we were looking for, but I’ll damned if it isn’t nice to see! – An image of a Power Point presentation file was posted on NeoGaf yesterday by the user “crazy buttocks on a train” or CBOAT as some of you know may him as. The file depicts a number of slides created for a confidential Valve presentation about their next generation game engine – or current generation if you want to be really technical (anal) about it. More specifically, these slides show a heavily revamped version of the plantation from the Swamp Fever finale in Left 4 Dead 2.
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Yes, these screenshots are of Left 4 Dead 2. Not Left 4 Dead 3, 2! The slide clearly states that, so don’t start getting excited about this being a Left 4 Dead 3 leak. But it’s just about as exciting as one, no doubt about that! It’s long been known that Left 4 Dead 2’s code base was used as a test bed for Source 2’s features. As evidenced by Tom Leonard’s CV. The slides compare the Source 1 render to the new Source 2 render and the differences are dramatic. It appears to be using an improved version of the shadow engine that we’ve seen in CS: GO and shows off a variety of high-poly models and dense foliage. Not much else can be discerned from the screenshots themselves since only one is of significant size and isn’t very high resolution to begin with. The final slide that is visible does reveal four lines of text that appear to discuss the tools and work flow for Source 2:
-Powerful GUI front end for content authoring
-Can be easily extended with custom and per-game tools*
-Browser for quickly finding, managing, editing assets
-Simple, automatic compiling of content
*EDITOR’S NOTE: This line is not particularly clear in the picture. This is just an estimate of what it actually says.
This should come as a relief to content makers and mappers who’ve had to deal with Source’s archaic compiling methods and asset management. This is more or less all that the photo can tell us at the moment, though. However, shortly after our friends over at Valvetime.net posted their report on the discovery, an anonymous user (screen name: ukuuku) posted an additional in-game screenshot from the presentation at a much higher resolution in the comments section. Also stating in another comment that the “Presentation PowerPoint is from 2011 by the way. Filelist is legit.” The “filelist” presumably referring this screenshot of a Source 2 file list that was posted on Facepunch the same day. This list has been stated by others to be legitimate, but a reputable source for this information has yet to be identified.
The second screenshot does give us a better look at the same scene; depicting some liberal use of higher resolution textures and what appears to be some tessellation. Also it seems rather safe to say that the shadow quality is in fact of a higher caliber than what we have seen in CS: GO. Some assets from Left 4 Dead 2 do seem to be included in the map along with a number of newer models. Which shows that this isn’t a proper demo of Source 2’s capabilities, but most likely showcasing how content can be ported and updated in the new engine. As supported by the final slide in the picture leaked by CBOAT.
Coupled with the fact that this is just a testbed and is believed to be two to three years old, this is an impressive and relieving peek into what we could be seeing from Valve’s games in the future. If evidence about a proper SDK coming with Source 2 is in fact accurate, the modding community is likely going to be very, very happy. How long from now that future will be, is uncertain. What is certain… is that Source 2 is starting to look pretty damn good.