Valve Discloses Source 2 Engine In DOTA 2 Update

News and rumors about Valve's (possibly) upcoming Source 2 engine have been buzzing for months, but a recent update to DOTA 2 contains the most persuasive evidence yet that a major engine is in the works. After the last patch, the game now contains a number of programmed default paths, directories, and file names that didn't previously exist.

Source-related DLLs and executables (engine.dll, vconsole.dll) have been updated to "engine2.dll" and vconsole2.dll."     The tileset editor has a default Source path.

There's also now an option to save files as "Source 1.0 Map Files" where no previous option existed.

Here's the funny thing -- while most people think of a game screenshot as the best evidence you can buy, low-level file directories, default trees, and changed application behavior is actually more persuasive. It's easy to get people excited by showing them an engine render or mock-up.  If you're actually making substantive back-end changes, you start shifting file paths and version trees. It's a lot more boring -- and a lot more representative of actual work.

How Will Source 2.0 Change Gaming?

There are few companies in the gaming world with Valve's market position and brand strength, not to mention its control of the largest digital distribution platform. Back when the first Source engine debuted, Valve updated a number of mods and games to take advantage of it, offering these updates either for free in bundles or as a low-cost way of buying into the new Source engine and ecosystem.

Critically, however, developing these mods gave Valve a new platform for Steam. It's easy to forget now, but when Half Life 2 debuted gamer opinions of Steam were anything but positive; the nascent gaming service could've lost a popularity contest to herpes.

Valve had its reasons for going this route at the time, but would it do the same thing twice? I suspect not. There's enough pent up demand for a Half Life 3 or Left 4 Dead 3 that it would be fairly simple for Valve to roll some classic maps or concepts up in the Source 2.0 engine and punt them out the door as a bit of value-added nostalgia.

Where Source 2.0 really could make a difference, however, is in its choice of APIs. Today, we have an array of new capabilities shipping -- AMD has Mantle, Microsoft is working on DirectX 12, and Apple has its Metal API. DirectX 12 support is likely a shoo-in, but adopting AMD's Mantle or working with Nvidia to integrate its GameWorks libraries would be a major feather in the hat of either GPU manufacturer.

The relative age of the Source engine is one reason I'm certain that these rumors are accurate. Source 1.0 was never updated to support DX11 or OpenGL 4.x, and while the engine can still be used for impressive titles, its DX9 limitations and ancient modding tools (some date back to 1998) are showing their age. It's time to bring the game engine into the modern world, and hopefully these DOTA2 updates mean that Valve is moving closer to that goal. 
altshep123 4 months ago

"the nascent gaming service could've lost a popularity contest to herpes. " hahahaha

And now gamers worship Gaben like the deity he has become. Steam libraries grow unchecked and 95% unplayed. Humble bundles are purchased en-masse and indy companies have a strong venue to reach the world. I'm a little confused by the comment about why they were unpopular early on. Was it because Valve capitalized on the mods success and road the wave?

MADSKILLZ412 4 months ago

Hopefully this means we will see some new valve games soon. ;)

acarzt 4 months ago

Here's hoping for Half-life 2 Episode 3 or Half-Life 3... whatever they decide to call it... I just want it to get here already.

Also.. when steam first came out... everyone HATED it! No one trusted digital downloads yet, and it felt forced upon us in order to play their games... Now it's amazing and I couldn't imagine life without Steam lol

altshep123 4 months ago

This article showing early 1998 photos of Valve crossed my mind when this was posted.  I couldn't find it, but I just stumbled across it again today.  It's cool to look back at the beginning of success and see what it looked like on the ground floor.

nfs3freak 4 months ago

Gamescom can't come soon enough!!!! I want to find out the truffffff

MADSKILLZ412 4 months ago

I know right, can't wait for Gamescom!

KevinLozandier 4 months ago

It's great that some signs of Source 2 Engine are explicitly are out there.

Maybe it can finally mean a Half-Life 2 Episode or Half-Life 3 a few years from now (yes, I went there)...

MADSKILLZ412 4 months ago

You said 2 twice... Fallout 4 confirmed!!!

nfs3freak 4 months ago

Um...Fallout 4 isn't elusive like Halflife 3. Fallout 4 is definitely coming out. Valve just isn't good with anything after "2".

MADSKILLZ412 4 months ago

Wouldn't say definitely. Fallout New Vegas came out in 2010, and there haven't been any leaks yet. I said that, because everyone was wanting it so much at E3 including me. Obviously Half Life 3 is the most wanted unreleased game, but I'd also be ecstatic if Fallout 4 was announced. :P There were recently leaks about Half-life 3 and Left 4 Dead 3 as well. Not sure if they are true, but we can always hope.

nfs3freak 4 months ago

True. One can hope. I have high hopes for both those, Half life 3 and Fallout 4. Imagine them both being teased at Gamescom...oh man. I shouldn't have said that.

MADSKILLZ412 4 months ago

For sure, I wish the developers could just see what the community wants. :/ I just want to know it is in the making, then they can take as long as they want to make it a great game.

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