John Patrick Lowrie, the actor who has worked on Half-Life 2, Left 4 Dead 2 and DOTA 2, claimed on his blog that Valve isn't even working on Half-Life 3. Of course, he could be full of it, trying to derail fans who have been waiting for the sequel for years. Or he could be telling the truth given that he communicates with the team of a regular basis. Or he may be just as clueless about what's going on with the game as we are.
On Wednesday, Lowrie said on his website that, as far as he knew, Valve wasn't directly working on Half-Life 3. This is because of several reasons, one of which is a motion-capture issue Valve wants to tackle. He explained that Half-Life 2 didn't use motion-capture, so the team was able to create non-player characters that look directly at the gamer no matter where they go and stand. Currently you can't get that kind of one-on-one interaction using motion-capture in games.
"With mo-cap you can’t do that, at least not yet," he said. "Once you film the actor doing something and capture that motion, that’s what the character is going to do. This works great in movies, but when you make something interactive it gets way less interactive with mo-cap. So that’s one of the things they’re working on. Still nothing definitive, but I hope this helps you understand at least one of the reasons why they haven’t brought out HL3 yet."
He went on to say that Valve doesn't provide him information about their business plans – the information was derived from a conversation. "Right now they’re pretty full up with all the games they already have out there that they continue to support, plus the Steam stuff that they do, so, I don’t want to get people’s hopes up," he said. "I have no idea what they’re planning for the future. But I did have that conversation with some Valve folks, so I thought you might like to know what they’re thinking about."
There were more comments, but they rehashed what was already said about the motion-capture tech. All that Half-Life 3 talk is now gone, supposedly removed due to confusion. It is a bit of a confusing mess because he first says it's not in production, then says it hasn't been brought out yet due to several reasons, one of which is getting the motion-capture tech right. Honestly it sounds like Valve is working on a new engine -- which powers Half-Life 3 -- that tackles the issue.
"My comments just seemed to cause a whole bunch of confusion and when I tried to minimize the confusion I misspoke and caused a whole bunch more confusion," he said at the bottom of his blog entry. "So I thought it was best just to take the comments down."
He also admitted that voice actors are the last to know anything, but we're betting his guesswork generated a lot of clicks on his blog.