It's been whispered about for years now that Half-life creators Valve either are, or at least were, working on some kind of sci-fi game. There were rumours, there was rumoured concept art of spaceships, and now there might be test footage of the game (or at least its universe) in action as well.
Gray Horsfield, who worked at Valve as a physics engineer from 2006 until January of this year, has shared some concept showreels he put together during his time at the company, and tucked away amidst all the familiar-looking locations and effects from Half-Life and Portal are some very alien sequences.
The bits with the swarming bat things in the video below, Horsfield says it was just a test and not for a particular game. That's fine (and also very cool). It's the other stuff we're interested in, with the spaceships and the nebulas, beginning at the 1:17 mark.
If you look at the site of artist Peter König, who we've featured on Fine Art before, you'll see quite a lot of work focusing on science fiction. Lots of starships. There are also loads of alien designs, as well as costume pieces for what look like sci-fi characters.
While some/most of that can be chalked up to personal work or pieces for another client outside Valve, some of them also look a lot like the ships seen in Horsfield's clip. They're also identical to the pieces of art supposedly spilled a few months back as part of an alleged DOTA 2 "leak".
There's long been talk of Valve's space game, whatever state it's in, being code-named "SOB", and while crazy Half-Life fans have speculated it could be related to Half-Life 3, there's no reason Valve simply can't be making some cool sci-fi game set in space.
Then again, this could all just be personal or demo work. Or, as seems just as likely (and is my personal bet), conceptual stuff for a game that went nowhere but the drawing board (hence people being allowed to publicly share their work on it). So keep your excitement options open.
We've contacted Valve for comment, and will update if we hear back.
Half Life 3 general discussion V2 [Marphy Black @ facepunch]