Please bring true free-locomotion to Half Life: Alyx in a future update

Please bring true free-locomotion to Half Life: Alyx in a future update

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Justin J started this petition to Valve Software and

Half Life: Alyx will include 3 different options for locomotion at launch:

  • Teleport
  • Shift
  • Continuous

Unfortunately, the game lacks a true free-locomotion option where the players view is persistent and uninterrupted as it would be in any traditional game (or most modern VR games).

What is preventing the game from having true free-locomotion?

  • Climbing up shoulder-height (or lower) objects is handled automatically, similar to the auto-jump mechanic seen in Minecraft. The player mantles objects simply by walking into them, which causes their view to quickly raise to the top.
  • Dropping down from the same height issues a brief black screen, breaking immersion and preventing the player from interacting with the world while falling (Shooting, throwing, etc.)**
  • Jumping over gaps in 'smooth' locomotion is not an option. A teleport style of motion is the only way to cross. This will be especially disappointing in Hammer remakes of classic Half Life 1 and 2 levels with challenging platforming sections and puzzles.
  • Smooth turning has yet to be confirmed. Many people prefer not to twist up the cable of their VR headset, instead using a joystick to turn. Snap turning is confirmed to be implemented, but this is again immersion breaking as it briefly interrupts player-view. This section will be removed if smooth turning is confirmed.

Valve has stated that their play-testers "preferred a teleport-style jump, even in continuous motion". They likely got similar feedback which lead to the other systems listed above.

The goal of this petition is to show Valve that a large portion of the VR community desires traditional, true free-locomotion (with climbing, jumping, and falling) as an option in Half Life: Alyx.

The glowing reviews of games like Boneworks, Blade and Sorcery, Climbey, Rec RoomPavlov, and Jet Island (all rated very positive or overwhelmingly positive on Steam) are just a small handful of examples showing that a large number of players are enjoying the full experience that free-locomotion can offer. Experienced players want their time in VR to be consistent with both real life and traditional gaming: physical, visceral, and uninterrupted in view.

The Half Life series has always been known for it's ability to push the medium of gaming forward.

  • It's known for it's immersion- for being 'the game without cut scenes', where every moment is seen through the players eyes. 
  • It's known for it's physical interactions and puzzle-platforming.
  • Finally, it's known for it's passionate community.

That community desperately wants the chance to walk through City 17 the way they always have- freely, uninterrupted, and always under their own direct control. Having comfort options is imperative to the games success with an audience who is new to VR, but that shouldn't force the enthusiast VR community into those same restrictions.

 

Valve- please hear the community's request and bring these locomotion options to a future update so that dedicated players can experience Half Life: Alyx with all that VR has to offer.

 

Thank you for your time- and see you in City 17.

**Note that this may be a comfort option, but there's so far been no indication of this. The linked video shows a player using 'continuous locomotion', which by default should not do anything to momentarily break the players view. The same video shows the settings menu where no comfort options are listed, aside from the three movement options.

 

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