Half-Life 2 - Development

Development

Official system requirements
Minimum Recommended
Microsoft Windows
Operating system Microsoft Windows XP, Vista, or 7
CPU Intel Pentium 4 1.7 GHz or AMD Processor Intel Pentium 4 2 GHz or AMD Processor
Memory 512 MB of RAM 1 GB of RAM
Hard drive space 4.6 GB of free hard disk space
Graphics hardware NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 128 MB or ATi Radeon 9500 128 MB NVIDIA GeForce 6800 128 MB or ATi Radeon X800 128 MB
Sound hardware DirectX 8.1 compatible sound card DirectX 9.0 compatible sound card
Network Broadband required for downloads

For Half-Life 2, Valve Corporation developed a new game engine called the Source engine, which handles the game's visual, audio, and artificial intelligence elements. The Source engine comes packaged with a heavily modified version of the Havok physics engine that allows for an extra dimension of interactivity in both single-player and online environments. The engine can be easily upgraded because it is separated in modules. When coupled with Steam, it becomes easy to roll out new features. One such example is high dynamic range rendering, which Valve first demonstrated in a free downloadable level called Lost Coast for owners of Half-Life 2. HDR is now part of all Valve games. Several other games use the Source engine, including Day of Defeat: Source and Counter-Strike: Source, both of which were also developed by Valve.

Integral to Half-Life 2 on both the Windows and Mac platforms is the Steam content delivery system developed by Valve Corporation. All Half-Life 2 players on PC are required to have Steam installed and a valid account in order to play. Steam allows customers to purchase games and other software straight from the developer and have them downloaded directly to their computer as well as receiving "micro updates." These updates also make hacking the game harder to do and has thus far been somewhat successful in staving off cheats and playability for users with unauthorized copies. Steam can also be used for finding and playing multiplayer games through an integrated server browser and friends list, and game data can be backed up with a standard CD or DVD burner. Steam and a customer's purchased content can be downloaded onto any computer, as long as that account is only logged in at one location at a given time. The usage of Steam has not gone without controversy. Some users have reported numerous problems with Steam, sometimes being serious enough to prevent a reviewer from recommending a given title available on the service. In other cases, review scores have been lowered.

The book, Half-Life 2: Raising the Bar, revealed many of the game's original settings and action that were cut down or removed from the game. Half-Life 2 was originally intended to be a darker game with grittier artwork, where the Combine were more obviously draining the oceans for minerals and replacing the atmosphere with noxious, murky gases. Nova Prospekt was originally intended to be a small Combine rail depot built on an old prison in the wasteland. Eventually, Nova Prospekt grew from a stopping-off point along the way to the destination itself.

Read more about this topic:  Half-Life 2

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Famous quotes containing the word development:

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    On fields all drenched with blood he made his record in war, abstained from lawless violence when left on the plantation, and received his freedom in peace with moderation. But he holds in this Republic the position of an alien race among a people impatient of a rival. And in the eyes of some it seems that no valor redeems him, no social advancement nor individual development wipes off the ban which clings to him.
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