Remember when Valve didn’t just perpetually rake in Dota 2 money and instead made games for a little franchise called Half-Life? It has been well over a decade now, but it looks like Valve might be ready to get back into the Half-Life business, if a bit of code discovered in a recent update for VR demo collection The Lab is anything to go by.
The Lab‘s Hands-On Update last week was pretty innocuous on the surface, adding some new physics code and support for a “skeletal input system” like that found in Valve’s Index controllers. But digging into the update’s source code a bit, Valve News Network found that decompiling the update’s Unity-based DLLs resulted in a lot of readable C# code: “Almost the entire source code for a Half-Life VR game,” as VNN’s Tyler McVicker puts it.
Yes, we’ve seen too-cute-by-half Half-Life references in unrelated Valve code in the past. But this time, the decompiled Lab code shared by VNN (and independently evaluated by Ars Technica; see a small sample here) reveals a relatively complete skeleton for a game codenamed “Shooter.” That code features a treasure trove of suggestive class, procedure, and variable names making reference to character, items, and locations in the Half-Life universe. That includes everything from “CombineSoldier” and “AmplifyBreenCast” to “shooterLogicC17Sim” and “playAudio_gmanTest” (emphasis added). Pistols, shotguns, and AR-type weaponry also earn references.