Happy summer all! We hope that everyone is having a great start to their summer. To celebrate, we proudly present to you our first public screenshots of a Xen exterior. All running real-time, in- game, with no edits.
Unfortunately, as some of you may have already predicted, we are going to need to push back our planned release of Xen to later this year, in December. We know that this is not what anyone would want to hear, but after taking a long and hard look at what we want to achieve, we have decided that this is for the best. We do not want to compromise on Xen’s quality in any way. That said, we consider December to be a do-or-die deadline.
To soften the blow of the bad news, here are some additional tidbits and updates regarding what we have done for Xen so far.
Example of the Level of Detail We Are Going For
Interloper Map B Scale
New Dynamic Light System
As part of our continued efforts to bring Xen’s graphics up to the best possible standard that they can be, we have upgraded Source to a new deferred rendering system that supports fully dynamic lights! These new “next-gen” lights cast real-time light, shadows and god rays. These won’t replace all the lights in the game, but we can use them in many special cases where we want the lights to be particularly gorgeous. These lights are much better optimized than other Source implementations of dynamic lights, and are more robust.
Not only will this new lighting system help crank parts of the the game up to 11 in terms of graphical fidelity, these will also be powerful tools for modders as well!
We’ve started a color correction pass for the whole game. The goal is to better unify the game’s visual style and to add full screen effects during the more intense sections. Most of these effects will be quite subtle, but here is a more noticeable example.
We fixed the soldiers holding the weapons wrong. It took some serious animation trickery to retarget the bones on top of the existing Half-Life 2 animation library, but it worked well once we figured it out. No more hands clipping through the guns!
Thanks as always to you guys, our wonderful community, for your support! As always, we will continue to work at full speed on Xen, and we hope to have more updates, information and media for you guys soon.