Recent Guest Lecture by Valve Developer Keeps ‘VR Flagship’ Title a Mystery
When Valve officially announced its new virtual reality (VR) headset, the Valve Index, back in May the company also teased news of a flagship videogame which was in the works; with a claimed 2019 launch date. Valve being the secret company that it is hasn’t released any further details since, but it was hoped some might come by way of Valve developer Kerry Davis who was holding a guest lecture at Digipen. Unsurprisingly that didn’t happen, but he did sort of explain why.
Davis didn’t mince his words when it came to what he would and wouldn’t be talking about, with a video recorded at the session revealing: “I will not be making any product announcements, and I will not be sharing any new details about projects currently in development. Believe me, I am dying to share all the exciting things we’ve been working on at Valve, it’s killing me, but today is not the time or the place.”
He does delve into certain elements of the game design which are very specific, such as the doors, and how depending on experience players will react to a virtual door differently. Because of this, the team found that interactions with a door handle had to be very simple, automatically retracting a latch to open the door rather than turning the handle. It may sound basic but these things can break immersion. By the sounds of it expect plenty of doors.
Being careful about what he said, Davis did note he didn’t know when the VR title would be arriving but explained that Valve never rushes things: “As far as deciding when it’s good enough to go out, that’s absolutely the [development] team’s decision. Once we’ve decided we’re going to ship—we’re going to ship this VR game—it’s really up to the people that are working on it to say, yes, we’re happy with it, we’re proud of this, we want people to play it. If we’re not proud of it, we don’t want people to play it. And we’re going to make sure that we are proud of it before we let you,” reports PC Gamer.
“We definitely try to avoid the sunk cost fallacy and say, well, we put five years into this so we have to finish it. I guess there have been things that we’ve worked on for, on the scale of a year or more, that we decided to set aside. We never really throw something out completely because it’s a lot of good work that maybe someday we want to go back to,” he adds.
There’s still plenty of time left in 2019 for a surprise Valve announcement – hopefully for the festive season – yet as is plainly clear, Valve creates at its own pace. For further updates, keep reading VRFocus.