Valve boss Gabe Newell recently took the time to meet with several fans from 4chan at the company's Washington headquarters. Considering it was his birthday, the group put together a real-life Mann Co. crate complete with a Team Fortress 2 hat inside (which he was asked to pay $2.50 to open, heh) and sang him happy birthday.

Afterwards, Newell stuck around to field questions from the crowd (sorry, no Half-Life 3 inquires were permitted). Not wanting to disappoint, the first question was about Valve's rumored new game engine. Source 2, as some on the Interwebs are calling it, is indeed a real project. Newell said they have been working on new engine stuff for a while now.

The next bit of audio about the engine is a bit tough to make out but the video's subtitle says they've been waiting on a game to roll it out with. Another person asked if it was going to just be an update to source or if they were planning an entirely new engine. Newell simply replied "yeah" as in, it will be a new engine from the ground-up.

Earlier this year the group from discovered references to a Source 2 engine inside Valve's Source Filmmaker editing tool. They also found a number of tool icons labeled as Source 2 tools, all but confirming that a new engine was in development, possibly even in the later stages. The original Source engine launched roughly eight years ago and has been used for a number of hit titles but given its age, most feel that a revision is certainly in order.