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Next Half Life: Interview With Gabe Newell

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Half Life GameSpot: You originally licensed the classic Quake engine but preferred to roll your own features into Half-Life's engine rather than license Quake II. Why was that?
Gabe Newell: Actually we have a licence to the Quake II engine. We have the source code to the original DOS Quake, Win Quake, GL Quake, Quake World, Quake II, and all of the various patches. We pick and choose from that source base depending on what we are trying to do. However, we've been implementing a lot of our own sub-systems (animation, AI, GL and software renderer), so about 75 per cent of the engine is our own code.

GameSpot: We're basically familiar with the story behind the single-player game but not much has been said about multiplayer. With the news concerning Team Fortress 2 as an add-on for Half-Life, is it fair to say you're going after Quake II's success in multiplayer?

Gabe Newell: With Half-Life we want to make multiplayer more fun and less frustrating. We've got a variety of play modes including co-operative mode and some speciality games Dario Casali has been designing. We have a one-button feature where you click on a button and Half-Life takes care of all of the details of finding a game, configuring your system, downloading any mods or resources you need to play the game, and launching you into it. We've done some work on the weapons design to make them less lag dependent.

Team Fortress, which should be out about six weeks after Half-Life, is pretty much a game in its own right, with multiple player classes, map specific rules, multi-map campaigns, and so on. Between what we're doing with the base Half-Life product and Team Fortress, we hope that we are going to have as strong a multiplayer product as the single player experience.
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