Valve Software is a game company that was formed in 1997. At the time, they worked on three seperate titles: space marine game, Prospero, and Quiver. Of these three games, only Quiver survived being canned which was renamed to Half-Life.
Valve's first engine, GoldSrc, was based on Quake's game engine. During GoldSrc's lifetime, Valve published Half-Life plus expansions, the Counter-Strike franchise, Team Fortress Classic, Deathmatch: Classic, Ricochet, and Day of Defeat.
Valve's second engine, Source, started off as a fork of GoldSrc with minor modifications to demonstrate what they were originally working on with the engine for Half-Life 2. During Source's lifetime, Valve published many titles, such as Half-Life 2 plus the Episodes, Half-Life 2: Lost Coast, Half-Life: Source, Counter-Strike: Source, Day Of Defeat: Source, Half-Life 2: Deathmatch, Half-Life Source: Deathmatch, Portal, Team Fortress 2, Left 4 Dead, Left 4 Dead 2, Alien Swarm, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Portal 2. Standalone versions of Source known as Source SDK were also released to allow modders to create mods from scratch.
Valve's third and current engine, Source 2, is an enhanced version of Source with the added option to play the game in VR. Currently, Valve has published Dota 2, The Lab, Artifact, Dota: Underlords, Aperture Hand Lab, and more famously Half-Life: Alyx.
In addition, Valve Software has also released other products, mainly related to their popular online service Steam. They developed an application called SteamVR which runs using the same beta branch of Source 2 as The Lab's Robot Repair minigame. They also released the SteamVR Performance Test which contains strings relating to certain projects that were soon after cancelled such as the infamous Half-Life 3. Their SDK archive includes an example Steam CD-ROM setup application that when ran adds a multiplayer game to the Steam client library called Spacewar!. They released a special app for mobile devices and the Raspberry Pi called Steam Link which allows users to play Steam games remotely. This replaced the now defunct Steam Link device. A special Linux distribution was created by Valve Software which was oriented towards people building gaming systems to use as an alternative to Windows.
Valve has released hardware pertaining to Steam. They produced the now defunct SteamVR controller which could be used as an alternative to using an Xbox or Playstation or 3rd party controller. More recently they produced the Valve Index which originally released before Half-Life: Alyx but a limited time promotion was held where people who preordered Half-Life: Alyx with the headset can get exclusive access to the work in progress game environments which were the maps City 17 and Russell's Lab pulled from the game at that current stage of development.
During Valve's lifetime, there were many games that ended up being cancelled for either vague reasons or unknown reasons. Below is a list of games that are currently known about which were cancelled:
- Space marine game
- Prospero (Too ahead of it's time, Steam and Portal took most of the ideas presented in the game, making a reboot unneeded)
- Half-Life: Hostile Takeover (3rd party project led by 2015 Games)
- Half-Life: Opposing Force: Source & Half-Life: Blue Shift (was never officially announced but the idea existed)
- Half-Life 2: Aftermath/Half-Life 2: Aftermath Episode 1 (People preferred to split Half-Life 2's sequel into an episodic series, this would have been Episodes 1, 2, and 3 combined).
- Half-Life 2: Episode 4: Return to Ravenholm (3rd party project originally started by Junction Point Studios, led by Arkane Studios after JPS was acquired by Disney).
- F-STOP (Portal prequel, ideas reused for Portal 2, core gameplay mechanic inspired Superliminal).
- Half-Life 2: Episode 3
- Half-Life 3 (Cancelled multiple times, mainly from Source 2 incompleteness and burnout)
- Left 4 Dead 3 (Cancelled multiple times, mainly from Source 2 incompleteness and burnout, codename was discovered to be "Hot dog")
- Day of Defeat 2
- Alien Swarm VR (Cancelled because Valve did not want to move the player in VR)
- Portal VR (Cancelled because Valve did not want to move the player in VR)
- RPG (Repurposed into Dota, project picked up by SteamDB here)
- Half-Life: Hunter Gatherer
- Left 4 Dead VR (Valve employee seen playing this game).
- Artifact Beta 2.0 (Beta was cancelled due to falling popularity in Artifact, however the game was publicly released and renamed to Artifact Foundry, archived here).
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