It isn’t anything quite so obvious as a proper screenshot, render, or, dare we say it, a salacious word from Valve founder Gabe Newell. It’s perhaps more exciting for it, however, as the photo lends a sense of spycraft to the whole affair.
The unofficial evidence caught in the photograph?
Zoom in and you’ll see a couple of references to Left 4 Dead 3, lines indicating work submitted by a developer. The icon to the left as well as the bracketed entry at the start of each line indicate that Valve is crafting L4D3 using its unreleased Source 2 engine.
Source 2 itself was confirmed only late last year, with Newell suggesting that the company needed a game to use as a platform for the introduction of the engine. Might Left 4 Dead 3 be such a game? It’s possible.
Still, work on Left 4 Dead 3 doesn’t appear to be ready for release any time soon, and that leaves room for a much more secretive project to show up just in time for Source 2’s debutante ball: Half-Life 3. HL3 would be just the thing for Valve to showcase all the work it’s put into the new engine with all sorts of new effects, extensions, and capabilities.
This is all just speculation, of course, as Valve’s lips are sealed – and even though that day’s tour guide might feel a little foolish, they’re not going to risk their job by saying any more.