Friday, February 4 2005

Over the next month or so there will be a couple of interesting releases via Steam, in addition to the upcoming Counter-Strike map cs_compound.

First, we'll be releasing an update to Half-Life 2: Deathmatch that will include the Slam, Stunstick, and the Crowbar. We're not ready to release the contest winning maps just yet, but we will be releasing a new map we've built at Valve to tide people over while we sort out the contest winners. There will also be a release to Counter-Strike: Source around the same time that will address a few minor issues.

One feature that we'll be adding to the Source engine in the coming months is high dynamic range lighting. To showcase this we've taken a part of the Highway 17 chapter of Half-Life 2 and worked it into a single level that incorporates HDR along with some new gameplay. We're calling this short level "The Lost Coast," and it will be made available free of charge to Half-Life 2 customers that meet a specific set of high end hardware requirements. We'll be publishing those requirements soon.

Below are a few early concept sketches of the level early in its development.

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