Today, at Tech Ed Australia, Microsoft announced that Valve, makers of the exquisite game Half Life 2, have declared Visual Studio 2005 C++ Express Edition to be their preferred platform for developers to use when writing "mods," or modifications, to the game.

Check out the Half Life 2 page on the MSDN Coding4Fun site for more information, and some examples of great modding projects.

Bonus link: A whole week's worth of cool interviews and info leading up to the imminent release of Half Life 2's expansion mission. Monday's piece talked in part about how the Half Life developers' work on the player's companion Alyx has transitioned from being about "AI code" to "personality code."