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Valve talk Source Engine 2

It’s a question Valve Software is often asked: when will we see Source Engine 2? The current Source is rather old. Seven years old, in fact. It first powered Half-Life 2 in 2004, and looked extraordinary at the time. Since then it’s been through a number of iterations and powered every single Valve game and the odd third-party game too – from Left 4 Dead, to Portal, to Zeno Clash and the beautiful Dear Esther (pictured).

None of these games look bad or play badly, and the engine has come a long way since Half-Life 2 hit our personal computers. But many have suggested that Valve may look to move to a new engine after all these years.

Well, according to Chet Faliszek, the company will probably put out Source 2 eventually – whether it’s a whole new engine or just iterated enough that it becomes something new automatically – but they’re reluctant to throw the current technology away at this stage.

“We just update it, not just replace it,” said the Valve writer who’s currently playing PR mouthpiece for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

He added that at “some point we may say there’s Source 2 or whatever, but really for us there’s been a pretty easy way to keep it and understand the tools.” And herein lies the issue: replacing an engine means replacing the tools, and that means you’ve got to teach an entire team new tricks. Keep Source Engine going for as long as possible, and everyone’s familiar with how it works, with only the new additions to the engine having to be learned.

It’s a sensible decision – and when titles like Dear Esther are demonstrating quite how beautiful the engine can be, perhaps it makes sense to leave this one intact for as long as is feasible.



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