Valve is working on VR game in a large sci-fi universe – rumor
Data miner Tyler McVicker has once again made a find in the Source 2 engine code. This time there are hints of a space exploration game in VR.
On Monday, Microsoft finally showed game scenes from its space epic Starfield, which, as we know, will not be released for virtual reality.
But VR fans could also explore space in the distant future – in a game from Valve. At least that’s what Tyler McVicker suspects, who has discovered hints of a space simulation with role-playing elements. The project is called “Pulse”.
McVicker already predicted the VR classic Half-Life: Alyx in 2019, and in a new YouTube video he goes into detail about recently changed lines of code in Valve’s Source engine. According to him, they point to the planned VR game Pulse. The reason for the changes in the Valve engine was an update for Dota 2 that shipped on June 8, 2022.
“Pulse”: VR space exploration from Valve?
The rumor should be viewed with a healthy portion of skepticism. After all, Valve is notorious for discarding many of its experimental internal projects. However, should Pulse actually develop into a full-fledged game, there is a lot to be said for the currently popular formula of exploration and resource management in a huge universe.
Some interesting post-processing and rendering effects for large spaces point to this, McVicker said. Numerous innovations in skybox systems also speak to large spaces, he said. In addition, there are suitable rendering systems and “vague ideas” currently being tested in the Source 2 engine that are thus visible in the Dota 2 engine.
According to McVicker’s theory, Valve has resumed two discontinued projects for Pulse, which were also the subject of Jeff Keighley’s book “Half-Life: Alyx – Final Hours”.
One of them was “Simtrek,” a first-person perspective spaceship sim, in 2018. Two important developers had previously worked on “Kerbal Space Program” and had since left Valve again.
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The second template is “Stars of Blood”: The discontinued online role-playing game in space was in the works at Valve from around 2010 to 2016. It was designed as a hybrid project for VR headsets and monitor.
References to generated planets like in No Man’s Sky
According to McVicker, the new title Pulse combines elements from both projects. A procedurally generated planetary system will be freely explorable, similar to No Man’s Sky.
In addition to various lines of code in Dota 2, the data miner also stumbled across an empty file of the map editor “Hammer”. Valve has recently been trying to prevent leaks with this strategy: Before release, suspicious information is automatically removed from the corresponding files.
Valve had already set up a corresponding system against leaks months ago. However, data miners could still find hidden information with a little reverse engineering, McVicker said.
In 2020, McVicker already reported on another Valve project whose existence was confirmed to him by three different sources: Citadel is an asymmetrical title in the Half-Life universe that VR and PC players play together. Valve hasn’t announced anything about it yet.