“At the end of the day, we knew that one of the questions that we were going to get from customers before we announced was, ‘why did you do this in VR?’
- Game designer Robin Walker talks about what modders will learn from cutting VR out of Half-Life: Alyx.
Valve is no stranger to having modders poke and prod at its games, but the developers behind Half-Life: Alyx believe any efforts to remove the game’s VR requirement would only hammer home how vital the technology is to the core experience.
Robin Walker, a designer at Valve, noted as much in a conversation with VGC, saying that he fully expects modders to take a crack at cutting out VR from HL:A—and is looking forward to the revelations that come from seeing the game stripped of what it was designed around.
“What I’m confident will happen is that when people get that butchered version, and they’ll have lost all the things that we’ll have got from moving to VR, they will then understand very clearly why we made that choice,” says Walker. “There’s a part of me that’s eager for people to be able to have that experience and realize, ‘oh, now I get it. Now I see everything we lost in that transition back to non-VR and I understand why they did it.’"
The big question following the game’s announcement was, Walker explains, why Valve would make a Half-Life follow-up in VR. In short, he says that Valve “would never have made a choice that big if we didn’t think we were getting a huge amount of value from it.” For a longer answer to that question, check out the rest of the interview for more on why Valve turned to emerging technology like virtual reality for its first Half-Life game in over a decade.