The title of this article is conjectural.
Although this article is based on official information, the actual name of this subject is pure conjecture.
A yet unidentified deaf character is slated to appear in a future game set in the Half-Life universe.
This character is introduced in a video involving Gabe Newell and two interpreters discussing deafness and video games with a small audience of hearing impaired people, with Valve games and a frame of Overwatch Soldiers concept art pictures in the background, uploaded August 6, 2009 by a former University of Washington student, Samuel Sandoval, deaf as well.
Newell suggests that before Alyx met Gordon, she had a crush on a hearing impaired Resistance member, so she programmed Dog with knowledge of sign language so she could practice and easily communicate with them. Then this person went away from Alyx to fight the Combine someplace else, and Alyx and Dog started signing with each other when they wanted to communicate without making noise or without other people knowing.
The implementation of such character would be the starting point of implementing signing into Valve's games and give them the excuse to build a related technology and give easier access to video games for hearing impaired players. The Half-Life 2 episodes having each introduced a new technology (the interaction with a well developed NPC, along with full implementation of the Source's HDR lighting system for Episode One; large outdoor environments and high scale battles previously unseen in the Source engine for Episode Two), Episode Three's new technology might be it.
Valve's modeler/animator Bay Raitt also joins the discussion at the very end, although the video ends during the conversation. He apparently studied facial movements made by the deaf focus testers; facial expression is already fully implemented in the Source engine and would help in the process of including deaf characters in video games.
- (where Newell evokes the character)
- Valve Studying Sign Language For Deaf Half-Life Character on Kotaku