Half-Life 2 Devs Thought About Fixing Bugs Speedrunners Use To See How They Would React

Half-Life 2 Devs Thought About Fixing Bugs Speedrunners Use To See How They Would React
Screenshot: Valve

There is a large and active speedrunning community around Half-Life 2. Valve is aware of this, and during a recent IGN video explained that it thought about patching some of the popular bugs speedrunners use just to see if the runners would like having to find new ways to beat the game quickly.

Though they did like the idea of changing the speedrunning meta around the game, they never patched the speedrunning bugs, because they didn’t want to upset players who used them for runs.

This little bit of information came from the most recent “Devs React To Speedruns” video from IGN. Adrian Finol, Robin Walker and David Speyrer were all programmers who worked on Half-Life 2 and in the video, they watch as a speedrunner uses bugs, glitches and exploits to be the entire game in less than an hour.

As a longtime Half-Life fan, I learned a lot about HL2′s development that I didn’t know about before.

For example, Half-Life 2 at one point was going to have realistic physics tied to the player. But the first time they turned this featured on a dev ran into a wall and died.

Another story talked about how many messy fixes exist in the Half-LIfe 2 and Source Engine code. At one point a level wouldn’t load properly and they just added some code that forced the game to do it. Some of this code is coming back to haunt Valve. Robin Walker explained that, while working on Alyx, some parts of Source and Half-Life 2 were ported over and the nasty code fixes they used back in 2004 came over too. One of the devs in the video explains that everyone was too nervous to touch the code, otherwise, something might break.

And also, the devs agree, the airboat section from the start of Half-Life 2 was too long.

The whole video is worth watching just to hear these developers freak out while a speedrunner breaks their game in ways they had never seen before.

Comments

  • And also, the devs agree, the airboat section from the start of Half-Life 2 was too long.

    I just replayed HL2 and definitely agree with this, having to get out and open a gate or solve a couple of physics “puzzles” definitely breaks the flow.

    Same with the Highway 17 chapter.

  • sv_cheats 1
    sv_infinite_aux_power 1
    impulse 101
    God
    npc_create_equipment weapon_shotgun
    npc_create npc_citizen
    physcannon_mega enabled 1
    ent_fire !picker ignite (for teh lulz)

  • I always get annoyed when Devs implement silly methods to force people to play in one particular way. When a topic like this arises I’m always reminded of vermintide 2 and how the Devs implemented various “fixes” to things that really only they themselves perceived as a problem.
    These “fixes” would often not only stop the “unwanted” behaviour but also impact quite heavily on the regular player’s experiences.
    Such as a BOSS wall to stop speedrunners dashing past the boss (rat ogre, troll etc) had a huge impact on regular games when some of the players died to the boss only to have their revival point set AFTER the impassable boss wall. Where if you were fighting say the troll that regenerated it’s health, often the last standing player regardless of his skill would be unable to output enough damage to kill the beast. Often ending a run.
    Other examples exist in the game.

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