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Half-Life 3 Accidentally Revealed In Former Valve Dev’s Resume? (UPDATE)

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Update: Doug Lombardi has replied to our e-mail, and he’s crystal clear on this:

Fake.

And Phil Kollar reports on GameInformer, inside an article based on this story, that the information posted by ryuuk was indeed fake:

Valve’s Doug Lombardi responded to this rumor in about as clear a way as we could hope for: “This is fiction (aside from the fact that Mike D is a real person)”.

Original article: Since Episode Two’s release in October of 2007, we’ve seen virtually no substantial information on Episode Three. While Doug Lombardi did mention, in this interview with Kikizo, that the wait until Episode Three would be longer than the wait between HL2 and Episode One, and the wait between Episode One and Episode Two combined (which told us that the wait would go beyond October 2010), and that Valve may reveal something EP3-related some time at the very end of 2008. As we all know, this never happened, and since then, it’s been nothing but total silence.

Then Game Informer told us there would be no Half-Life during 2010 – and surprisingly, they were right. They also mentioned that there would be no Episode Three at all, and that it would become a full-fledged Half-Life 3, which was an idea the fans had been playing around with. Then they “predicted” that this HL3 would be revealed some time during the course of this year, which yet again, got people going.

Of course, as we all know, there was no Half-Life at E3. Game Informer’s prophecy would have to come true later in the year. But, what have we here?

Half-Life 3 Accidentally Revealed In Former Valve Dev’s Resume? (UPDATE)

Just two days ago, on the 13th of June, Steam Forum user ryuuk posted a thread titled: “Half-Life 3 is officially confirmed!”. The opening post read as follows:

Mike Dussault, a long time programmer at Valve, recently left the company. I didn’t know him until last week. Let me introduce myself. I’m a freelance artist. I do contract work for a studio in Seattle, through the internet. They have a client access system on their site. I came across Dussault’s resume, while browsing the files section. Now, I know you’re all curious about Valve’s in-house development, but I’m only going to talk about the Half-Life series.

According to his resume, Episode Three was put on hold when Valve decided to move away from the episodic model in late 2007, right after Episode Two’s release. He was a techinal advisor on a cancelled Half-Life title, made outside of the company. Dussault’s work on Half-Life 3’s world programming, and the scripting system (between 2008 and 2010) is also mentioned in the resume.

And here is a screencap of the thread as it looked back then, for any non-believers. Ignore the watermark.

So, what makes this particular case interesting? Surely it’s just another troll having his daily dose of laughs with the Half-Life fanbase? Well, what is interesting is that the thread in question was completely deleted not long after it was posted, and ryuuk was permanently banned from the Steam Forums. I don’t know about you, but this sounds a bit strange to me. If this really was just a trolling attempt, then why was ryuuk permanently banned, and the thread completely deleted? This doesn’t seem like ordinary procedure for trolling. Let’s not forget that Valve has been known to abruptly delete threads in the event of a leak, most notably, when Valve posted some very interesting things relating to future TF2 updates on their Translation Server. The information found its way to the Steam Forums, where the thread was deleted, although the information remains in this thread, on NZFortress.

In addition, it turns out that Mike Dussault is a real person, and has in fact left Valve. He had been with the company for over 10 years. He left in September of last year, which fits the development timeline that is in this supposed resume (“2008-2010”). He was then working with Dreamfly, a non-profit organization, right up until April. So ryuuk had one detail spot on in this story.

Furthermore, ryuuk mentions that Valve put Episode Three on hold in late 2007, which does fit with what we knew – that Valve was moving away from the episodic model as early as the aftermath of EP2’s release, and that by mid-2008, plans had completely changed for Half-Life.

Another interesting detail is the mention of Mike serving as a “technical advisor on a cancelled Half-Life title made outside of the company”. When I heard this, I instantly thought of the infamous “Episode Four”, which we talked about in March when an EA concept artist revealed concept art for some sort of cancelled Half-Life title being developed at EA. At the time, many of us thought it was the elusive Episode Four.

Since then, however, more info has surfaced on this mysterious project. Doomed, a regular poster on the Episode Two Steam Forums, created this thread back in May, in which he mentioned that he had been informed, that somewhere in the data leaked by hackers following May’s network intrusion on Eidos’ servers, was the CV of one individual, which mentioned that he had worked on Episode Four, at Arkane Studios during 2006 and 2007, before “Valve decided to put their episodic efforts on hold”. (Perhaps Episode Four went through the hands of multiple game companies, or the concept art we saw was for a completely different HL project being done at EA?) This is another detail that seems to be legitimate – he worked on Episode Four, outside of the company, which was cancelled not long after EP2’s release, possibly due to the same reasons Episode Three became Half-Life 3.

The final piece of information ryuuk gives us is that Mike had done work on HL3’s world programming and scripting from 2008, until his departure from Valve in September 2010. If real, this confirms many fans’ suspicions that the next installment in the Half-Life series has been in fact in development for all this time. He did not share or mention anything else.

So… is this real, or have we been had? Who knows? But this is one hell of an interesting story, and we feel that all of the Half-Life fans out there deserve to know. We’ve asked Valve, but have received no reply as of yet.

Well – what are you waiting for? Get speculating in the comments section!

About this Article

106 Comments

  1. The HL series(and Valve) has had diehard fans from when HL 1 came out (me included) I just turned 25 and I was just a kid when I played HL 1, and after episode 2’s cliffhanger, no use saying how dissapointed I was, ep3 was promised for like 2007? well its 2012 now and after all these years of waiting with absolutly no word on the next game im starting not to like valve (used to love valve soooooooo much, HL series, steam, Counterstrike, portal). But after every game they release after EP2 I hate em more and more, L4D was ok not great, L4D2 was the same game, portal was the only accaptable game during the wait, are they gonna mention HL3 now?… SUPRISE- portal 2, wtf, too pissed to even play it, stop wasting time on crap like that nuclear dawn or whatever game and give us what we ALL want- HL3. Even if its not Duke Nukem Forever’ed and is the best game ever, still dosent seem worth it and honestly if no news is released sometime soon ill probally not support you guys by purchsing it. You even announced a new counterstrike, and dota2, not to mention how many upgrades to TF2 (totally diffrent game then when I paid for it, YES PAID for a now free game that I dont even really like) Valve please show us some love B4 we grow up and lose intrest.

  2. These posts blow up because Half Life has the holy trinity of characteristics: Solid game play, phenomenal storylines, and interesting characters. Even the G-man is interesting, in a freakazoid kinda way. So the debates will continue, even after Half Life 3 is released. Or episode 3. Or episode 4. Or HL Portal 3 Revenge of the Combine or whatever. The debate will be on how long before the next one comes out. Unless and until the games begin to suck, at which point we’ll all talk about the good old days.

  3. ok it is now 2012 pls tell me that there almost done with HL3 plsssssssss tell me they are i cant wait!!

  4. ok so this is what i think valve is working on the new counter strike game and i think after thats done either left 4 dead 3 or team fortress 3 not portal 2 becase they already done that so i think half life 2 episode 3 or half life 3 will probly come out around 2015 or 2017 who knows

  5. there really isnt a way to make hl3 because on episode 2 it pretty much ended the story allenemys died. but if there was a way that would be awesome. if you ca please hurry!

    jacob

  6. IM DESESPERED NEED NEW HALF LIFE IM 15 YEARS OLD ALREADY PASSED ALL HALF LIFE´S (INCLUDING EPISODES)and riot act more that 11 times each!!!

    Need more half life series fever

  7. the pattern

    team fortress 2, is there a 3?
    portal 2, is there a 3?
    left 4 dead 2, is there a 3?
    half life 2, ….dream on

    https://www.facebook.com/MichikojichoiCaviteCity

    • most likely!

    • team fortress, teamfortress 2, team fortress 3 (2012 or 2013)
      portal, portal 2 portal 3 (2012 or 2013)
      left for dead should not get a nother time around.
      half life 3 is 2013 or 2012.
      SO DREAM ON AHSPD, YOU DONT LIKE HALF LIFE, THATS ON U. :V

  8. Yeah thats right!!! im in my half-life crisis

    • do you guys know how HL3 will look like? It’ll look like Action HL (The Cartoon Game) and it won’t be a shooter, it will be RPG… in a 2D graphic with 256 colours… *LMAO*

      It’s dump to wait for it… I played HL for the first time when I was 15… now I’m 25… I’m afraid that I’ll be dead before I’ll be able to play HL3
      *LOL*

  9. Hurry up Valve…i,m almost 32 years old…and holland will someday illegalize weed

  10. I had this riveting dream last night that both Half-life 2 Episode 3 and Half-Life 3 got announced and that both would be released in one package around February next year.
    I woke up breathing heavily and ran to my PC checking my local Valve news sites like this one… only to be disappointed considerably *cries*
    VALVE STOP TORTURING US!

    • Now THAT would be pretty amazing.

    • I had the same dream a few nights ago, but EVERY. SINGLE. HALF-LIFE. GAME. Was includid (Is that spelled right?). And, as you did, i scrambled to my comp. at 2:35 am on tuesday only to be dissapointed. I then continued the dream to be somehow sucked frm the real world into the game, to be immedeatly jumped on by a headcrab….

  11. This guys post is so gonna be mentioned on Raising the Bar 2 lol

  12. Agree with “Gordon” that HL2 completely changed the game industry, but it was the same case when HL came out. No one should ever doubt that Valve releases HL3. As mentioned: the time between HL and HL2 is not even close yet, so hold your pants and sit tide…..

    Hl3 will kick ass…

  13. I was talking to a guy In a game shop and he said he had some friends in America who walk past valve studios once a day and ask if there any sign of a new half life game. Not sure when but there was a meeting and they walked past and the people from valve had half life 3 t-shirts on and they said to the guy and said soon. I’m guessing we might have a trailer soon hopefully

  14. well that’s interesting indeed. i hope to see an episode 3 somewhere in the future. also i read this and thought i was banned for something i didnt do because my name on othere forums is ryuuk…

  15. Why is it that every 3rd installment of my favorite games either become cancelled,delayed or shrouded in complete silence!!!
    .
    1.Postal III(shrouded in complete silence)
    2.Half Life 3(cancelled)
    3.Mass Effect 3(delayed)

  16. Hadn’t you heard? It’s vaporware. Valve was disbanding yesterday…

    You’re just waiting for GoBots:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNyylKrBM60

  17. half life series is ok but i prefer mass effect over half life and i hate sc fanboys and hl fanboys assuming direct control and ah yes combine alien empires that come from another world whe have dismissed that claim

    • I agree with you that mass effect is a good game. I’m going through it right now (first time) and loving, so i can already tell you’re on xbox. But you can’t really compare H.L. to M.E. They are two completely different titles. I’m not a fanboy as i try to keep as unbiased opinion as possible. But come on I think Half Life deserves a bit more cred because it’s a franchise that can run on its own. I mean portal/portal 2 is here because of it. But on a separate but not unrelated topic, i think bioware did an amazing job with M.E. Still would love to see a half life 3 though…
      Game On

  18. At this point, seriously ,even a damn screenshot would be nice. Just one. Then work on it for another year or two if you must. But for god`s sake… i`m dyeing of curiosity here.

    You cant start telling me a story and make me wait for the punchline for 5 years without at least a hint of intention that you are going to get around to it.

    Valve does great stuff, but cmon… 4 years without anything solid ?

  19. I seriously doubt that after more than 4 years (the game could realistically be postponed for another 2-3 years) they will release just another episode.

    Can you imagine playing another 4 hours long episode after 4-7 years of waiting?

  20. Consider the time it took HL2 to come out after HL1. The episodes were (to me) very unsatisfying. Though awesome in every way, they lacked the depth and commitment HL1 and 2 took.

    My guess is HL3 is going to be what HL2 was to the world: Epic. It took the gaming industry to a whole new level. I’m speculating that rather than beef up and trim the fat from the Source engine, they’ve started from scratch. Graphics aside (which have always been top notch) I’m hoping to see a revamped physics engine, destructible environments, as always compelling story lines and twists. The one thing that I really, really wish to see are more alien worlds like in HL1. That was awesome, allowing for full imagination and creative ability from Valve, not being restricted to Earthly environments. Oh, and of course the Portal Gun.

    Anyways, (although I’ve always made fun of people for doing to) I’ll be the guy in a tent outside the store for first dibs.

    …at least assuming I’ve injected enough steroids in my PC to run the game properly.

  21. Y’know ive never really been much of a graphics person, I do however enjoy awesome graphics.But I’ve gotten to the point where I wouldnt really care if they used the old engine, I would probably just think “oh their using THAT one again? hmm”and continue blasting headcrab zombiez in the face with a shotgun.becuase I value story infintitly more than graphics. If the story in half life 3 is going to be “meh” than i’d probably be really annoyed that ive waited that long,otherwise, I wouldnt really care that much….or at least thats what i think

  22. Never saw a Half Life 2 Episode 3, and never will, what is this about Episode four? Why people are going on ahead a number?

    Half life 3 is certainly in production, and of course, Valve will be secretive about it till they finally announce it themselves.

    It’d be quite disappointing if they did announce that they have failed their fans by not continuing on the story, after leaving Episode 2 the way they did.

    • We’ve already talked all about Episode Four in a previous article. That article is linked right here, in this one.

  23. Next game i’ll buy will be Half-Life³
    It will be 3D
    It will have “crisis sucks if compared to” graphics, but even if you’ll
    turn all the effects down it will be incredible
    It will have dinamic tesselation or something above that
    It will be so easy to mod that tons of other games will born from it
    The story will be so incredibly thrilling that HL fans will proclaim it better than the first, the original one
    I’ll be totally amused by it and i’ll finish it in almost 12 hours, crying because the last couple hours i realize is soon going to be over………..

  24. I think that there not working on Half-Life 3. naw there past that valve decided to make Half-Life 4. a game so incredible it they skipped Half-Life 3 for it. and no you don’t get an explanation of what happens in 3 your just lost and confused the whole game as you fight giant zombie crab monsters as you fight along side gordon freemans good friend the nameless marine from doom. and every time you die in the game you get teabaged by Master Cheif. cause anyone who likes Half-Life hate Halo or other shooting games. all the while you have to dodge portals randomly opening and sending you to god knows where cause the bitch from portal went mad crazy w/ portal powers.

    Welp this is better news than other sites ive been coming across. the ones saying that theres gonna be no more Half-Lifes…..negative losers. Half-Life 3 will probably have a new engine released with it. maybe Source Engine 2 hopefully something that has far better graphics than Half life 2 and Portal 2 and all inbetween. and i hope with the release of half life 3 and if a new engine is involved i hope for a release of a new generation of games. I still want another counterstrike idc what anyone says. and hopefully left for dead 3 or 4 (4 incase theres plans of left for dead 3 and it comes out before half life 3) but, yes there better be Left 4 Dead 3..*Talking to Valve threateningly* and maybe new titles will branch off 2 while returning titles are welcomed its always cool to see valve come up with new ideas

    Playstation 4? fuck that. sure they can release it for ps4 or Xbox 900, or the Wii U. but, they better not forsake the platform that deserves it the most and what it should be on. PC/Steam. Sony ain’t stealing this from us.

  25. Am I wrong, or did Valve announce that they’re making the 2 new installments before the next Half Life?

  26. jeg sød er

  27. It took a good 6 years for Half life 2 to come out after the first… And that was with them being hacked.

    In a few months it will have been 4 years since episode 2 without any problems (as far as we know). It is no long episode 3, it is MUCH bigger than a continuation. It is the next big chapter in the series.

  28. Duke Nukem took 14 years…

    • And it was a horrible failure. I realize we’re talking about Valve here, but there’s a point where you just might not live up to years of expectations for a sequel to one of the greatest games of all time, and I hope Valve knows that.

    • Duke nukem was picked back up by a pathetic team with low standards. It is no where near the same circumstances.

  29. Oh yeah! Can’t believe I forgot that

  30. Not sure why you seem convinced that Lombardi’s denial holds any weight. Valve releases, announces, and confirms things on their own schedule. Of course he’s not going to go “Yep! It’s true!” even if it is.

    That said, the line from Gabe is the most telling… essentially that there are “very good reasons” why they can’t talk about Half-Life. My guess: HL3 will be a release-day title for the Playstation 4.

  31. …the question here is not whether the half life (episode 3, part 3, etc.) franchise is being developed in some form and capacity – of course it is, it’s when Valve will eventuality announce such activity exists. given the fact disclosures of staple ips of a private company in a billion-dollar industry with speculative minds speculatively trading in large volumes tend to create waves and value, such additional pressures of deadlines are not meant for creativity. serious software takes years. i just hope they aim for this current generation of hardware…

  32. If HL3 is real, the valve’s team should be clear conscious of another mind blowing, awesome graphics that would be better than Cryengine3 which took may be 2-3 years development….That means Valve’s new HL engine must be much more more better as it has been since a long time that no HL franchise has been heard in development…..

    Have a lool at Portal 2 graphics…. It look the same as the old engine but may be with some tweaks…..

    I believe that a new engine is already being created…..which defies hungry graphic adapter cards and Physics Processing (take a another example of High end graphics without the use of big graphic card)

    • I don’t think that Valve will be using any other engine than Source for Half-Life 3.
      One of Source’s powerful features is that shaders (graphics) can be easily replaced and implemented, unlike Cryengine that is incapable of such easy shaders management, this is also the reason Crytek builds a new engine every few years.
      In addition the “Portal 2” engine is the very same Source engine from its first game (Half-Life 2), the only differences are some new shaders, improvements and tweaks. Portal 2’s graphics couldn’t look “the same as the old engine” since it’s the same engine. the slight changes Source was receiving during those years were from branch updates, For example Half-Life 2’s branch is called ‘Source 2004’ (now Source 2009) and Portal 2’s branch is called ‘Source 2010’, but it’s the same engine.

      • I agree with David here – Source continues to be very versatile, and fairly robust. The problem is that it’s starting to show its age, and the tools are becoming antiquated. Valve will almost surely overhaul and modify Source for Half-Life’s next outing, but it will still be the same Source engine.

  33. So Lombardi was crystal clear. That doesn’t mean he was telling the truth : ) That’s all I’ll say.

  34. All I can say is Valve needs to hurry up before I die with Half Life 3 thats the only game Im anxiously waiting to play.

  35. Its either that the mods thought he was trolling, or perhaps the mods did actually recognize the post, and the development of HL3 is really in progress.

    All in all, HL3 can wait. Valve is a good company, and they will get around to it. Let them make a bigger name for themselves besides just Half-Life – they already made portal 1 and 2, and plenty other great games. They’re making other games for good reason – to make other ones that are just as good. (It seems like that is their real intent of halting half life in the first place) All of this is somewhat obvious though.

    They will get to it because they won’t ignore such a successful franchise they created for too long. Very good article.

  36. flamov is that u? i sent you a question on youtube about why GooseGoose(mark) went offline and now i found you on lambdageneration.com Deja vu

    what are the chanses of me finding you here in the comments. Reply.

  37. Interesting, I was told before that Half-Life 3 was being made right after Half-Life 2 was released back in 2004…hmm

  38. It’s gonna be interesting to see where this goes.

  39. Now this is interesting! Thx for the heads up Vic

  40. I’m was convinced there was some kind of litigation going on, hence Lombardi’s slamming of the door whenever the Freeman raised his bespeckled head. Not so sure now – we’re still hangin’ in there Gabe!

  41. Half-Life 3 is still being developed though. Pretty obvious from actually playing the GAMES. Just play HL1-HL2:EP2 including Gearboxes expansions (opp-force, blue-shift, decay) and the Portal series may also help. By the end I can guarantee you agree with m and possibly realise what the figure that the Gman represents is.

  42. Thanks for Dom for helping me with the initial research, and Flamov for editing the post with Game Informer’s new information. Turns out this was just fiction. My apologies for getting everyone hyped up!

    • How much did Valve pay you to write this?

      • Valve didn’t pay me anything. Don’t think I don’t take these kinds of allegations seriously. I’ve also noticed some of your recent comments have been a bit on the flaming side. I’d suggest you take it easy, or I’ll have to take action.

  43. Although I must say i’m sick of valves silence on all this. They’re now between a rock and a hard place. They face a fan backlash because of the silence, but if they then admit to not working on it, they also take some flak.

    Valve, just come clean and show us the new stuff you’re working on. It’s the only way to save face.

    Great article.

  44. Could it be?

    Now isnt the most ‘special’ of times, but with any luck, we will be seeing more from gordon in the future.

    On the other hand, VAVLe have their own priorities right now, and they would prefer not to start a HL3 hype when they have somthing else in the making.

    The reasons for the thread deletion and ban are too numerous to list (probably about 300mb in plain text document)

  45. “Valve’s Doug Lombardi responded to this rumor in about as clear a way as we could hope for: “This is fiction (aside from the fact that Mike D is a real person)””

    So it’s still not confirmed as fake. What do you expect? That he’ll say “Um… yes, that’s true. We are making HL3.”?

  46. Ryuuk – Gratz breaking your NDA. Brilliant to post it on the Steam forums… I wonder how long before you no longer have any work.

  47. Well atleast we are sure that Valve is working on Ricochet 2. And well this info about Half-Life brings hopes to my nonborn grandchildrens who probably will see it in their life time ^^. Its a shame that there is no info about the development level of Gunman Chronicles 2 thought. :/

  48. ryuuk deleted removed the content of his post prior to any deletion of the thread, thus making for a pretty pointless thread… the kind that moderators remove.

    As for the ban, it could be related either to trolling or the publication of details of another persons’ personal material.

    I can scarcely believe that this has grown so out of proportion.

  49. Perhaps they’re planning another ARG, like the one they did with portal 2, except far more cryptic and complex?
    (*shudders because the portal 2 ARG was over his head*)

    If so, they would prolly do their best to keep ALL info about it under wraps.

  50. “If this really was just a trolling attempt, then why was ryuuk permanently banned, and the thread completely deleted?”

    Because it was a trolling attempt.

    SCIENCE

  51. I love how every Half Life 3 related article explodes and becomes viral.
    Great article.

  52. Ryuuk here, I don’t know why I got banned from the Steam forums. There’s no explanation, or anything. I know we’re all frustrated because of Valve’s silence. I just wanted people to know what Valve was working on for years. I didn’t leak anything. I didn’t do anything to deserve such treatment either, so yeah.

    • Hey Ryuuk! Thanks for the info about HL3 buddy! I’m so glad we know now what is going on with Valve! I can’t wait to play the game. I bet it’ll be atleast a 24 hour play through.

  53. only a complete d bag would reveal info out of someone’s resume that could be linked back to that person. do you not see how shitty of a thing to do that is?

    jesus christ.

  54. I’m good as long as they’re working on it. It took a while for Michelangelo to paint the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling, but the Pope didn’t tell him to hurry up.

    Or at least I don’t think he did.

    Crud. Now I’m picturing the Pope yelling at Michelangelo (in Latin) while he’s trying to paint “The Ascent of Man” from his scaffold.

  55. Soon for valve is anywhere from 5 years from now to 5000 years from now.

    EDIT: And if they would announce it for 2016 it would come out in 2024.

  56. Valve has many different teams working on many games. TF2 updates, Alien Swarm and Portal 2 were all being developed concurrently at some point. There’s definitely a HL3 team tucked somewhere in those offices. The big shocker would be if Valve wasn’t working on Half Life. It’s nice to hear about it, but I’ll be much more excited when they have something to show.

  57. Dear… GOD.
    IT’S TEH RAPTURE ALL OVAR AGEEN

  58. Not surprising to me.

  59. I managed to score a cached copy of the thread: http://archives.cazzaserver.com/hl3cache/

  60. The fact that the thread was deleted means nothing. Mods delete threads and they know nothing about HL development. They probably deleted the thread because they think the guy is trolling.
    The guy mentions lots of stuff that is known to be true… but if it’s known then it’s not a proof of any kind. He could have easily read it somewhere else.

  61. Shit really heats up.

  62. *puts on tinfoil hat*

  63. Considering Valve’s work process, this doesn’t reveal much. Any employee could be working on any project of their own choosing at any time.

    So while a resume listing would speak volumes elsewhere, it doesn’t here. Not much to speculate on really.

    Speaking of resumes, if I’d posted what was in someone’s personal resume on the forums of their previous employer, I’d expect an automatic ban regardless of the contents.

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