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Three Big Announcements Coming from Valve

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 71 comments
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Not only is Valve experimenting with biometrics, but the company plans to reveal three big surprises over the next twelve months.

Although Valve didn't mention Half-Life 3 or Half-Life 2: Episode 3, the company recently said that gamers should expect "at least" three big surprises within the next 12 months. It was speculated back at E3 2010 that Valve's surprise event would reveal either of the two aforementioned games, however the company instead revealed Portal 2 coming to the PlayStation 3.

So without daring to take a guess, what should gamers expect? "I can guarantee you people are going to be surprised at stuff we do," Valve boss Gabe Newell teased in the latest issue of PC Gamer. "That isn't going to stop any time soon. I'm just laughing because... people will be shocked again."

He then added that "three pretty big surprises" are in store for gamers in the next twelve months.

Also in the works is support for biometrics. Valve has reportedly spent $50,000 on gaze-tracking technology to understand where game testers are looking during play. The company is also hooking up testers to biometric devices to not only track pulse rates, emotional reactions and more, but to give them a little jolt.

"With biometrics, rather than guessing [player states], we can actually use a variety of things like gaze tracking, skin galvanic response, pulse rate and so on," he explained. "Through combining those pieces of information, we can get a much more accurate indication of player state, so that's something we're super interested in."

To read more on Valve's master plan, check out the latest issue of PC Gamer.

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Top Comments
  • 27 Hide
    warezme , September 1, 2010 6:44 PM
    Valve's idea of a BIG SURPRISE "aka Portal 2 for PS3" and us gamers idea of a BIG SURPRISE, seem to be not quite the same....
  • 24 Hide
    jomofro39 , September 1, 2010 6:45 PM
    I can just imagine some of the biometric data from some testers;
    Day 1, Subject 1337:
    Subject shows profuse perspiration, high heart rate, general uneasiness and low moaning noises and will not stop staring at this bag of cheetos. Now he launches the game.
  • 20 Hide
    victomofreality , September 1, 2010 7:00 PM
    The three surprises are as follows
    1)no half life 3
    2)no half life 2 episode 3
    3)portal 2 will be postponed...
    lol j/k I can't wait to see what they're going to give us... also find it funny that since the core i7 contest thumbs up seem rare.
Other Comments
    Display all 71 comments.
  • 20 Hide
    NeeKo , September 1, 2010 6:26 PM
    They are indeed very smart, this way they can improve the "boring" parts of a game! Basing on people physical reactions while they play!

  • 3 Hide
    zerapio , September 1, 2010 6:28 PM
    NEat, I'll pitch my research to them :) 
  • 10 Hide
    chaosgs , September 1, 2010 6:28 PM
    Where can i sign up to be a guinea pig? I consider myself a unpaid professional so im sure i can provide useful data.
  • 13 Hide
    furylicious , September 1, 2010 6:30 PM
    This is why Valve continues to be successful and draw in their fans... because they pay ATTENTION to what gamers want. Can't wait to see what the surprises are :D 
  • 27 Hide
    warezme , September 1, 2010 6:44 PM
    Valve's idea of a BIG SURPRISE "aka Portal 2 for PS3" and us gamers idea of a BIG SURPRISE, seem to be not quite the same....
  • 24 Hide
    jomofro39 , September 1, 2010 6:45 PM
    I can just imagine some of the biometric data from some testers;
    Day 1, Subject 1337:
    Subject shows profuse perspiration, high heart rate, general uneasiness and low moaning noises and will not stop staring at this bag of cheetos. Now he launches the game.
  • 5 Hide
    elbert , September 1, 2010 6:48 PM
    Sounds like gamers may get something new to play for the shopping season.
  • 3 Hide
    adikos , September 1, 2010 6:51 PM
    valve is amazing in regards to its games. there are plenty of resources on steam that show their stats for games, they also have map images of their TF2 maps showing where conflict takes place.

    i also recall when l4d came out they had a presentation online talking about player states and how they got l4d working with these various states, specially for their random zombie surges which would benefit from biometric monitoring.

    i cant wait for their big 3.
  • 20 Hide
    the hedgehog , September 1, 2010 6:53 PM
    Valve is now making games WITH SCIENCE!
  • 20 Hide
    victomofreality , September 1, 2010 7:00 PM
    The three surprises are as follows
    1)no half life 3
    2)no half life 2 episode 3
    3)portal 2 will be postponed...
    lol j/k I can't wait to see what they're going to give us... also find it funny that since the core i7 contest thumbs up seem rare.
  • 5 Hide
    bison88 , September 1, 2010 7:06 PM
    Hopefully its not as bad as their last big announcement which turned out to be Portal 2 being delayed. Talk about disappointing.
  • 4 Hide
    zach538467 , September 1, 2010 7:11 PM
    One of them will probably be that Gabe accidentally ate everyone on the Half-life dev team, so it's being delayed further.
  • -1 Hide
    tommysch , September 1, 2010 7:26 PM
    3x 15$ DLCs?? Just kidding.
  • 5 Hide
    zak_mckraken , September 1, 2010 7:27 PM
    Do they need my biometrics discoveries?

    "Alyx Vance enters the scene. Subject heart rate slightly increases. Gaze alternate between upper-torso and lower-back regions. Subject also experiment a massive blood rush to the pelvis area."
  • 1 Hide
    djmpsf , September 1, 2010 7:28 PM
    The biometrics thing seems very interesting but I can't help but think of the phrase "you will assimilate, you will be one with the borg"

    On another note.... please please please oh pretty please with sugar on top and a stack of $5 dollar bills in a playboy strip club can we get HL: Episode 3. Promise I will be good.
  • -1 Hide
    Sabiancym , September 1, 2010 7:29 PM
    That is what I'm talking about. A game that can actually tell how I'm feeling and adjust accordingly. That's awesome.

    I'm a Valve fanboi, I'll admit it.
  • -4 Hide
    tommysch , September 1, 2010 7:32 PM
    Or maybe,

    Surprise 1: We will release Duke Nukem Forever ''soon''.

    2 months later

    Surprise 2: Duke Nukem Forever was cancelled.

    2 months later

    Surprise 3: We are still working on Duke Nukem Forever, release date: coming ''soon''!
  • 4 Hide
    husker , September 1, 2010 7:34 PM
    NeeKoThey are indeed very smart, this way they can improve the "boring" parts of a game! Basing on people physical reactions while they play!

    Once nothing is boring, then everything is.
  • 0 Hide
    Travis Beane , September 1, 2010 7:42 PM
    I like the stress monitoring in L4D. If you starting kicking them down real hard with a great group, they'd come at you even harder.
    Getting to see this in other games may be interesting. :D 
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