A Glimpse Into What Could Have Been
“Stars of Blood” isn’t a name you’ve heard in a long time, if at all. And there’s good reason for that – the last public message for the game came from Gabe Newell himself in 2012, in a 4chan Q&A of all things. Nine years later, concept art for the long-cancelled Valve project has surfaced, giving us a glimpse at what could have been. The files were apparently sitting in a database since mid-2019, but thanks to a user on twitter, those have been dug up and made publicly available.
Stars of Blood (Cancelled)
Developed by Valve Corporation. pic.twitter.com/afqKAzxFDj
— Obscure Game Aesthetics (@game_obscure) October 30, 2021
Given that Stars of Blood was only ever in the very early stages of development, very little is known about the project beyond the broadest of details. Unconfirmed rumors claim that this video shows off a tech demo for what could have been related to the Stars of Blood – Valve’s limited catalogue of games post Half-Life 2 shortens the list of possible candidates, though the fact that multiple projects were still completed means that nothing is certain. The video doesn’t show much – just a swarm of bats flying around a sci-fi room – though it’s not hard to imagine a link between the concept art and the video’s contents.
The concept art itself shows off a burgeoning human settlement on a hostile desert world – buildings tower over faceless figures, reaching heights so massive that ships can easily fly between them. It’s very Star-Wars-like, something of a mix between Tatooine and Coruscant. While it’s hard to comment on any gameplay that might have existed in a game like this, the idea of being a space pirate in a world like this certainly would’ve given the game a unique aesthetic.