Half-Life trivia, as I remember it:
- Valve released a censored version of HL in Germany and other countries (?) in which they replaced the soldiers with metalic robots, with robot-voices. There was no blood. When you shot aliens they would disappear. When a scientist was killed, he would sit down on the ground, cross-legged.
- The term "half-life" referes to the decay of discrete entities, like radioactive isotopes. "Lambda" is a letter in the greek alphabet an is used as a term in science, which has several meanings - in this game most likely used because of it's meaning as the 'radioactive decay constant'. It was a prominent logo throughout the game. The valves in Valves game are probably pure happenstance. Also "Black Mesa" refers most likely to the rocket testing facility of the US Army in Utah.
- Half-Life was released with the Worldcraft-Editor on the CD-ROM, making Valve one of the first companies who gave away a sophisticated tool to play with for free.
- Half-Life used 8-bit (paletted) textures and was playable in software-mode, OpenGL and Direct3D. When it came out the discussions were heated about the factions who said, that the new NVidia TNT-cards would provide better 3d-rendering than 3dfx Voodoo1-cards. Valve was praised for the technical achievements (adding Direct3D to the Quake1-Engine, skeletal animation, lip-synching) as well as for the design and gameplay (AI), all things astonishingly well executed for a company launching their first game.
- Initially Valve started development in 1996 on two different games, one called 'Quiver' and a Myst-style adventure called 'Prospero' before they started from scratch, in 1997 on something we eventually came to know and love.
[Tags: PC-Games, Half-Life, Valve, Quake-1 Engine, Worldcraft, id-software, Sierra, Gabe Newell, Doug Lombardi, 1998, Microsoft, History, 3dfx, Voodoo, TNT, NVidia,]