Saturday, 10 Jun 2023

Half-Life: Alyx Movement Systems Explained In Deep Dive Dev Video

Valve posted a nearly 11-minute video providing a deep dive look at the development of the locomotion systems in Half-Life: Alyx.

The video explains how they moved from the teleportation system they used in 2016’s The Lab — their experimental collection of VR software — to the three systems included in Half-Life: Alyx. The game includes ‘Continuous’ locomotion, ‘Shift’ movement, and ‘Blink’ teleport, with the three methods for traversing City 17 making the game work for a wide range of play styles and comfort preferences.

“Our initial tests and playtester’s desires led us to the system we have today, the main goals of which are to ensure the end player position is a valid place for the player’s body and that the path to get there is viable,” Valve’s Greg Coomer says in the video. “To get to this point we had to solve a whole variety of problems.”

The video breaks down how the height of players affected the development of their systems and how they developed audio systems to ground players in the world of Half-Life: Alyx, like footstep volume and timing changing based on how far a player is moving. Playtesters also expected a louder sound if they teleported from a high to a low area, according to the video, and Valve developers implemented the feature as a result.

The video provides a really insightful overview of the movement systems in Half-Life: Alyx and some of the subtler aspects to its design that might’ve been overlooked during their playthroughs. Check it out above.

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