It’s taken 13 years, but we finally have a new Half-Life game. It may not be the long-awaited Half-Life 3, but as you’ve probably seen from our Half-Life: Alyx review, Valve’s first foray into virtual reality shows they’re a developer that are still very much at the top of their game. But Half-Life: Alyx isn’t just the work of a talented team of developers. It’s a game that’s ultimately been shaped by the people who have played it – the hundreds, if not thousands of playtesters who helped Valve turn their most famous FPS game into a VR sensation.
To find out more about how Half-Life: Alyx came into being, I sat down with Valve’s Robin Walker and Jim Hughes a week before the game’s big release day. We talk about everything from revisiting the Half-Life series and the challenges of bringing it to virtual reality, to what this means for Half-Life 3 as well as just whose idea was it to have headcrabs jumping directly at your face. Some of the answers you’ll have seen appear on the site over the past week, such as how playtesters became obsessed with collecting every last thing in sight to everyone assuming they were playing as Gordon Freeman until Alyx was finally given a voice, but there’s plenty more to discover here as we lay out our chat with Robin and Jim in full. Enjoy.