Valve: 25 Years of Half-Life

A defining era for video games

Client: Valve + Secret Tape

Half-Life is a 1998 ground-breaking first-person shooter that significantly influenced the gaming industry. Developed by Valve Corporation and published by Sierra Studios, it introduced a compelling narrative-driven approach to the FPS genre.

Core memory recall: I’m playing this on a demo disk (Half-Life: UPLINK – which Valve has just made available once again) at my friend’s house on his staining Packard Bell PC and chonky CRT monitor, whilst his mom brought up snacks and tea. We replayed the demo to death, blown away by its reactive gameplay mechanics and overall art style and immersion. Features by today’s standards, feel very primitive, but back then were ground-breaking and revolutionary. Over the years that followed, many games attempted to replicate or better what Half-Life offered but none of which ever lived up to the masterpiece Valve had created – a legacy which continued well into the years leading up to Half-Life 2, when Valve reinvented their own formula to knock it out the park all over again. But that’s a story for another time.

Cut to today. It’s been 25 years since Half-Life was released, and this once wide-eyed gamer, in awe of what was happening on that old CRT monitor, now has the honour of working alongside Danny O’Dwyer and Secret Tape to bring this official Half-Life documentary to life.

Being this close to the development and having creative freedom over Valve’s IP has been a privilege. One that has reignited a nostalgic flame.

See you in Black Mesa.

Watch the full documentary here: Half-Life: 25th Anniversary Documentary


Valve: / YouTube
Secret Tape:

Secret Tape:
Directed & Edited: Danny O’Dwyer
Filmed by: Joey Fameli / Danny O’Dwyer / Michael Lewington / Jeremy Jane
Coloured by: Jeremy Jane
Gameplay Director: Frank Howley

Motion Graphics: Dan Silverstone / Pica
Production Support: Jesse Guarascia
Captions by: Megan Carnes