I was hoping to find the answer to this question somewhere, since it seemed so simple, and since Half-Life 2 and Episode 1 and 2 are such popular story driven games, but with no luck. I have a multitude of files spread across my Steam folders, some of which I'm aware as to what they store, and some of which I'm asking this question for.
I already know that game save files for loading progress are stored under Steam\SteamApps\common\Half-Life 2\episodic\save as well as episodic\cfg but my question is about the files inside of Steam\userdata\60342540\203160\Storage and it can be noted that for this example I'm using Half-Life 2 Episode 1 (steamid: 203160) inside of the storage folder there are the files "profile.dat","save1.dat","save2.dat", as well as the user's spray within the folder "\materials\" and a config file within "\cfg\".
My best guess is that "profile.dat" stores the in-game settings, "save1.dat" and "save2.dat" indexes all of the save files that can be loaded. Looking at "config.cfg" in a text editor shows that it stores key bindings as well as all the pre-defined in-game variables. However, I'm still not certain about "profile.dat" and the various "save.dat".
What do "profile.dat" and the "save.dat" files store, at least for Half-Life 2/Ep1/Ep2?