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Half-Life 2 getting a new UI in prep for Steam Deck

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Valve continue burning the midnight oil as it's getting close to the Steam Deck launch now. Their classics continue getting updated, with Half-Life 2 getting a new UI.

While they've already added Vulkan support to multiple older titles using DXVK-Native, it appears they're now moving on to make more changes to help players on gamepads work with their games. It makes sense of course, since having their own games work great on the Steam Deck is a must.

You can opt into the Beta branch for Half-Life 2 on Steam and set "-gamepadui" as a launch option. Right now though, it doesn't seem to work in the Linux version but does show up when running it with Steam Play Proton. It's currently a work in progress. Update 28/01/22 - the new UI now works in the native version of HL2.

Will be interesting to see if / when they give the same treatment to other titles as needed to get them feeling a little bit more modern. The old grey boxed UI for Valve games is a bit rough now, it didn't age too well.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Beta, FPS, Steam, Valve | Apps: Half-Life 2
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21 comments
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WorMzy Jan 26, 2022
Oh dear, I hope that it not working on Linux isn't a sign that they're planning a proton-by-default policy for the Deck, even if there's a native Linux version available. It'll hardly encourage devs to release native versions of games 'for more control' if that's the case.
JoshuaAshton Jan 26, 2022
Quoting: WorMzyOh dear, I hope that it not working on Linux isn't a sign that they're planning a proton-by-default policy for the Deck, even if there's a native Linux version available. It'll hardly encourage devs to release native versions of games 'for more control' if that's the case.

No, just a builder issue compared to my local setup.
MasterSleort Jan 26, 2022
Quoting: WorMzyOh dear, I hope that it not working on Linux isn't a sign that they're planning a proton-by-default policy for the Deck, even if there's a native Linux version available. It'll hardly encourage devs to release native versions of games 'for more control' if that's the case.

I also would say why go the lengths to add DXVK-native for HL2 (presumably intended for the Steam Deck) and then not have the gamepad UI working on that with DXVK-native and instead use Proton.


Last edited by MasterSleort on 26 January 2022 at 10:33 am UTC
sub Jan 26, 2022
I see the first screenshot and have to think "That game is almost 20 years old???".
Aged so well, imho.

I'd take an HL2:E3 anytime full price, developed with the plain old engine.
So much fun I had with that game. Still have in the many reruns.
ThatOneGuy Jan 26, 2022
Quoting: subI see the first screenshot and have to think "That game is almost 20 years old???".
Aged so well, imho.

I'd take an HL2:E3 anytime full price, developed with the plain old engine.
So much fun I had with that game. Still have in the many reruns.

Couldn't agree more with this, Valve should just do that already.
It would make for an amazing extra surprise for the release of the steam deck.
I too would buy it in a heartbeat, old engine or no.


Last edited by ThatOneGuy on 26 January 2022 at 12:09 pm UTC
sub Jan 26, 2022
Quoting: ThatOneGuy
Quoting: subI see the first screenshot and have to think "That game is almost 20 years old???".
Aged so well, imho.

I'd take an HL2:E3 anytime full price, developed with the plain old engine.
So much fun I had with that game. Still have in the many reruns.

Couldn't agree more with this, Valve should just do that already.
It would make for an amazing extra surprise for the release of the steam deck.
I too would buy it in a heartbeat, old engine or no.

Won't happen.

It looks like their single-player games/franchises became only valuable to Valve,
when the try to introduce a major new feature (sw/hw).
Unthinkable (to me) they'd release "just" a new awesome single-player game.
That's just not how they leverage their franchises - unfortunately.


Last edited by sub on 26 January 2022 at 12:15 pm UTC
BlackBloodRum Jan 26, 2022
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Nice to see them still supporting the older games, you won't see other studios do this.

With that said, I wonder how many people still play this now that Half Life 3 is already out?
MasterSleort Jan 26, 2022
Quoting: sub
Quoting: ThatOneGuy
Quoting: subI see the first screenshot and have to think "That game is almost 20 years old???".
Aged so well, imho.

I'd take an HL2:E3 anytime full price, developed with the plain old engine.
So much fun I had with that game. Still have in the many reruns.

Couldn't agree more with this, Valve should just do that already.
It would make for an amazing extra surprise for the release of the steam deck.
I too would buy it in a heartbeat, old engine or no.

Won't happen.

It looks like their single-player games/franchises became only valuable to Valve,
when the try to introduce a major new feature (sw/hw).
Unthinkable (to me) they'd release "just" a new awesome single-player game.
That's just not how they leverage their franchises - unfortunately.

But maybe they will if the Steam Deck takes off. Since there is no cellular version of it, most people on the go will probably play single player games. To some degree, the limitations of the Source engine actually complements gaming on the go, as levels cannot be too big before it has to load next level.
And maybe they have to leverage it, so that the Steam Deck becomes valuable to Valve, but this is just me wishing it ends up like this ;)
BielFPs Jan 26, 2022
Quoting: JoshuaAshtonNo, just a builder issue compared to my local setup.
Eike Jan 26, 2022
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Quoting: BielFPs
Quoting: JoshuaAshtonNo, just a builder issue compared to my local setup.

We actually are doing this with our build servers when something goes wrong. And it does help more often than not. :-D
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