Your Gaming Predictions for 2014

30th December 2013

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

I’ve been more focused on my Squash Sites recently, and for that I apologize.

In the past, around this time I make some predictions, some of which have been accurate (Source Console in 2007!) and some not so accurate (A.I. Cards).

I’ll be honest, I haven’t thought much about what I what from gaming next year. I’ll be happy just to get a new system and start playing mods and games again.

Hopefully, MapTap will make a comeback (new beta coming later this week) and the site will get a beautiful new design (fingers crossed) and of course Half-Life 3 will be released!

But this post is all about YOU.

What are YOUR gaming predictions for 2014?

Don’t be shy. Don’t be conservative. Let your imagination run wild!

I want to read the comments and say “DOH! Why didn’t I think of that!”


  1. ASG

    Half-Life 3 will be released as a STEAM OS / Linux exclusive!
    HL3 won’t support custom content and you can buy hats for Gordon.
    In addition to HL3, Valve will release a 3-box containing HL3, TF3, L4D3, P3…
    I also predict less AAA-titles will be released and bad indie games gain popularity. Why did I pay for some many Humble Bad games ported from Android Bundles? 🙁

    PS. I started watching your squash video to see your face and hear your voice! 🙂

    1. Oh my, hopefully Valve can keep their dirty micro transaction shops out of their most beloved franchise. If it didn’t support custom content that would be the saddest day for everyone, but even if they were selling things it probably would, like with Dota 2.

      That aside, the Humble Bundle ports are a good point. Unfortunately that is the way things have trended over the past year, but maybe it will change for the better.

  2. JG

    Actually, here’s my theory about Half-Life 3.

    Valve will get stealthy in how they do it. By this point, player expectations for Half-Life 3 are through the roof. There’s no way any developer could ever hope to meet them, not even Valve.

    Which is why Valve will announce a brand new FPS franchise with a new protagonist, world and characters.

    It will have a lot of the same trappings as Half-Life 2 (physics-based gunplay), and bring a lot of its own innovation to the table as well. Initially, Half-Life fans will complain and badmouth them with claims of abandonment, while everyone else will be excited to see what Valve cooks up with a clean slate.

    And Valve will end up appeasing both camps because the game will actually be Half-Life 3 – you just won’t know that from the outset. Taking a lesson from BioShock, there will be a pivotal plot twist that links the two universes together. Perhaps you destroy the bad in the new protagonist’s adventure and the G-Man shows up for a “heart-to-heart,” explaining that your services are needed elsewhere.

    (Warning: And now we go into wacky fan fiction territory)

    My premise is this: According to the G-Man, Freeman has gone rogue and the G-Man needs someone to stop him. Why doesn’t the G-Man kill Freeman himself? Well, that’s not his style, for one. And for two, he wants to make sure there’s a proven, battle-tested replacement waiting in the wings.

    And as for the improbability of this? Well, we don’t know if Freeman actually went rogue. We only have the G-Man’s word and the “illusion of choice” guiding us. He could be lying and have an ulterior motive behind this. This mystery consumes the second half of the game. Why would I want to kill Gordon Freeman? What could he have done to deserve it? Do I even have a choice?

  3. I’m expecting an official announcement for L4D3 for late 2014 or early 2015. With it a big push into VR, namely the occulus rift (would be awesome to blow up a boomer and have you close your eyes so as to not get grossed out). I expect a (very small) teaser for an title in the HL universe, just to get everyone talking about it again and leave everything else about it to the year after.

    And while many people might hope for a another portal game I think that it will never come. To me valve has become more or less like nintendo. Always trying new things (as of right now a big push into the hardware space), and as such I don’t think that they will be able to mess around with the portal franchise too much so as to warrant making a sequel.

    And I think there will be a big world for level designers to explore with the release of TitanFall. Since it is supposedly running on a much improved version of the source engine, I’d bet it will come with their respective map and mod making tools for free.

    On another note I had no idea about your squash “career”. It was really weird all of a sudden to read that you have the world record for squash endurance. 😀

    1. JG

      Wait, Titanfall is the Source Engine?

      Consider my mind blown. It’s not even recognizable. That really makes me wonder what Valve’s next game will look like, no matter what it is.

      1. Yes, Titanfall does use the Source engine. I do believe Respawn swapped out some of the components for some they made themselves, but the underlying engine is still Source.

  4. Greenman

    No Half-Life 3. But it’s coming sooner than we think.

    First we’ll see the Steam Box really picking up steam, worrying the big boys of Microsoft and Sony. Sales will rise with the release of Left 4 Dead 3, and towards the end of the year, finally, they’ll start talking about Half-Life 3. Perhaps after some subtle easter eggs in L4D3.

  5. JG

    As for my actual, gaming-wide predictions though… 🙂

    – Indies will continue to gain momentum, although the majority will try and fail. Kickstarter continues to revolutionize how video games are financed. Some popular video game designers will follow in Keiji Inafune’s footsteps to re-launch their own franchises.

    – Triple-A games will decline in number because the cost of PS4/XB1 support is significantly higher than anticipated. The traditional model continues its slow collapse.

    – Nintendo will turn around the Wii U’s slumped sales. They accomplish this, as they always have, through exclusives that capture the imagination and envy of the rest of the industry.

    – 2K puts the BioShock series on hiatus due to the relatively poor sales of BioShock Infinite. Other publishers will point to this and say “The single player FPS genre is dead.” But the decision is pure common sense – given the same long development time and massive budget, Grand Theft Auto V is the vastly smarter choice.

    – Steam Machines prove to be a flash in the pan and SteamOS fails to take off. The controller is an interesting curiosity that makes some games more playable, but it comes at the expense of making other games built around Xbox 360 controllers more awkward.

    – Fallout 4 is finally announced.

  6. Dias

    Valve will announce Left 4 Dead 3, which will cause a major uproar among Valve fans simply for not being Half-Life 3. Boycott groups will be formed against L4D3 & most boycotters will end up preordering it.

    Half-Life 3 will be officially announced at some point in the year, with no trailer, teaser or screenshots shown. But since it’s official now, it counts as news & warrants a wikipedia article.

    The steambox will be well received as a means of simplifying buying gaming PCs, but the Linux-based OS leaves much of the console gaming crowd confused.

    The steam controller meets poor reception due to the lack of conventional face buttons, making many games that rely primarily on them instead of a second analog stick no better off than playing with a keyboard. The touchpads are also criticized for poor responsiveness with sweaty hands & causing peeling skin, tenderness or callus” with dry hands.

    Valve showcases their own virtual reality headset capable of augmented reality. With specs significantly better than the Oculus Rift, released shortly before it & at nearly the same price, the Oculus Rift pretty much dies right at the starting line.

    After becoming the largest known bandwidth consumer on the planet, Valve develops an alternative to the internet using telluric currents, allowing near-instant routerless communication world-wide. Instead of monthly fees from telephone & internet providers, it will use a suitcase-sized radio transceiver-like device (called the PowerPlay) available for private ownership at a reasonable price.

    The tapping of transmitted telluric currents for power soon leads to the downfall of the petrodollar & the economic collapse of the US, followed shortly by a fascist regime installed by Our Beloved Warlord Newell after purchasing the country from the US government. The disruption of natural telluric currents severely interferes with the earth’s magnetosphere & tectonic activity, ultimately leading to the end of life on earth as we know it when Gabe Newell reveals his true, demonic form, far beyond the comprehension of mortal man.

    1. Dude! What you been smoking?

      1. Dias

        You said “Let your imagination run wild!” lol.

        1. True. I bear partial responsibility for your post.

          EDIT: Actually, it’s not letting it “run”, it’s more like giving it a quad bike, 10 Red Bulls and a blind fold and telling it to “Have some fun!”.

  7. Christiaan Bakker (AniCator)

    Estranged Act I will become Game of the Year. *badum tish, applause and scene*

  8. When I read this again I realized it sounds pretty cynical, but these changes will be a good thing.

    Many heavily funded Kickstarter projects will come due and either not deliver what was promised, or not deliver what everyone was thinking they would get. Crowdfunding will not remain viable as a form of cost recuperation for developers.

    Too many outlandish promises were made, and too little money was contributed for most of the big name projects from Kickstarter to be developed properly, in my opinion. That does not even account for consumer expectation, which is amplified because of the personal and pre-development nature of the funding.

    Those developers who do manage to offer some satisfactory gameplay will find themselves completely out of money again and will be forced to lay off a majority of their employees or shut down because the Kickstarter market will have dried up. Some developers will retreat to publishers, while others will shut down forever.

    Similarly, many Greenlit games will never be developed and many Early Access titles will never be completed. Some that do will remain in an infdev phase and perpetually annoy old customers with new features that completely change the game that was initially purchased.

    A new generation of hopefuls with no experience will flood the current independent markets and create a new App Store / Xbox Indie Arcade effect. Restrictions will be established or those markets will fade as skilled developers find the next big way to release.

    Speaking of which, a new form of distribution will emerge for indie developers that is heavily focused on proof of concept instead of grandeur of idea.

    Many once-independent developers will be absorbed into publishing deals. Big name publishers will continue to pump out derivative and samey content marketed toward teens. Studios will see a shift in staff as more veterans jump ship to take a shot at their own dream game. No one is surprised when the majority of these games are all based on the same style of mechanic.

    Speaking of which, zombies, survival, crafting, post apocalyptica, retro graphic styles, and hard as nails masochism will officially become passe and will no longer attract the attention of consumers to the extent they do now. All of the forum based open world zombie games will throw up their hands and walk away.

    Free and cheap accessible development tools will become better, cheaper, and more accessible. We will start to see some very cool stuff that isn’t limited to simple graphic styles.

    Huge publishers will also make a shift toward hardware and distribution platforms. Expect EA goggles, Activision mobile devices, and a bigger, better, more intrusive UPlay. Windows 8 will become the automatic desktop distribution platform for Microsoft published games, and will begin to push Steam and Origin off of Windows. Steam will survive through Linux, Origin will move to a mobile platform.

    Riot will continue to evolve and push hard against Dota 2. Their new Riot API will spawn a slew of nifty mobile applications that Valve will struggle to meet.

    We will see the first crop of Augmented Reality games released on Google Glass. As we approach the halfway mark of what was predicted to be the gamification decade, the proof will emerge as physical marketplaces and entertainment venues rush to incorporate gamified elements into their marketing strategies.

    Multiplayer gaming will continue to grow. Games as televised sports will outshadow traditional sports as a topic of conversation in more social circles than last year.

    The older gaming generations will continue to age, the youngest of them beginning careers and families in earnest. Games that appeal to these audiences will wane from large markets. Game development as an adult hobby will result in many free, traditional, small games shared among friends and over the internet.

    Virtual reality will bleed into the adult industries, causing a massive upshot in usage and sales, as has been the case for VHS, the internet in general, and online video.

    Graphic fidelity will increase, but many more games will begin to experiment with more tasteful stylistic aesthetics.

    Accessibility for users who are deaf, colorblind, or require alternative control schemes will begin to emerge as a major concern.

    Valve will at the very least let everyone know whether Half Life 3 is in the works or not. Left 4 Dead 3 will be awesome and Source 2 won’t look as cinematic as other contemporary engines, but it will be incredibly easy to develop for and will be technically more impressive in terms of memory savings.

    Gaming will continue to thrive, even if it changes more quickly than anyone can keep up with it. New titles will bring smiles to our faces and put satisfaction in our hearts.

  9. Hec

    Yeah I’ll take a risk here. So maybe HL3 is released before December 014, and that’s because finally valve launch it’s console maybe at the end of the first 014 semester, and also I believe L4D3 is going to be the first kind of quick valve game release with the first working developmental stages of a Source 2 graph Engine.

    So I hope we can see that in this upcoming year! I know it sounds a hell lot of risky but we’ll se about that remember it’s been 10 years since the HL2 release now, we are getting older as Pure HL gamers… 🙁

    Also I think Valve has HL3 as the major goal in their agendas, but they are stranded on the story line and how to make HL3 their best selling game ever, once it’s released.

  10. MisterAddy

    Those are some seriously in-depth responses!

    I think that there will almost certainly not be a Half-Life 3 release, maybe some more information released later in the year but nothing more than that. Left 4 Dead 3 is a little more likely, but that depends on the state of the new Source engine and whether Valve feels ready to reveal it. I think that the PS4 and Xbox One will have only limited success due to the lack of new ideas and the relatively minor increase in graphical quality which will fail to attract the average console gamer.

    The first Steam Machines will sell fairly well, but the first barrier to success will be the limited number of mainstream titles with Linux support. Initially the audience will be mostly existing PC gamers looking to get away from Windows or wanting a living room alternative. I think the Steam Controller will be an interesting new control method which may find more success as a controller for Windows gamers.

    In terms of modding, it looks like there will be a few good major releases, along with many other small maps and mods, however the lack of new Half-Life games and ongoing engine and Hammer issues will continue to reduce the number of mappers working on single-player Source projects. Finally, MisterAddy’s Episode 2 mod will be released to universal critical acclaim and be hailed as the greatest mod of all time. 😉

  11. Kevin Foster

    I predict that Half-Life 3 is all but finished and will be released on 3/3/14!

  12. The Steam Box will be introduced to the market and slowley revolutionise console gaming. Gone are the days when you’re tied to one bit of hardware that you’ll have to trash every 4 years. Now you’ll just up your video card.

    Half Life 3 will be released as the launch title for the Steam Box.

    I’ve been using the big picture function on Steam in conjunction with an Xbox controller and my big LCD TV to basically run my own Steam Box. It’s quite a nice platform.

    Playing Half Life 2 and Left 4 Dead 2 with a controller isn’t as awful as I thought it might be (odd really as my first playthrough of HL2 was on the original Xbox anyway).

    The experience is smooth, looks good and some of the features, like using controller moves to create text chat messages are designed rather well.

    Have a go yourselves if you have a controller handy. It’s quite fun.

    Things that don’t work quite so well are the PC games that have a pre-lauch pop-up menu, have to revert back to mouse for those. Grrr!.

    With the coming addition of music and movies to the platform, it really will become the centre of the house, entertainment wise.

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