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Valve has “3 big surprises” coming in the next 12 months and other PC Gamer info

News & Rumors Other

Dun dun dun!

Don’t worry by the way, I’m not leaving. I just managed to troll Alex again!

Valve has “3 big surprises” coming in the next 12 months and other PC Gamer info

In a recent PC Gamer issue…

“I can guarantee you people are going to be surprised at stuff we do. That isn’t going to stop any time soon. I’m just laughing because… people will be shocked again,”

“We have three pretty big surprises in the next 12 months at least.”

Veeeeeery interesting.

Here is the article at CVG…

And Valve has randomly decided to go insane, apparently:

“So when you look at our games, more and more we have this representation of player state, where we think we know how you feel, essentially,”

“With biometrics, rather than guessing, we can actually use a variety of things like gaze tracking, skin galvanic response, pulse rate and so on. Through combining those pieces of information, we can get a much more accurate indication of player state, so that’s something we’re super interested in.”

Newell revealed that Valve had conducted some “experiments” in the space and seen some “easy wins” as well as some “surprising side-effects” – including possible benefits to consumer gameplay.

“If you’re in a competitive situation and you see someone’s heart rate go up, it’s way more rewarding than we would have thought,” he said. “And if you see somebody in a co-op game sweating, people tend to respond to that way more than we would have thought.”

Yes. Valve is hooking up their testers to wires, tracking pulse rates, emotional reactions and passing currents through their skin. Good… god. Now testing for Valve is even more awesome!

Hold on… what’s this?

But Newell is confident that with “medical technicians” on his side, Valve can find “non-clunky, non-stupid ways of getting that data “in the not-too-distant future.”

I am suddenly terribly frightened.

But it’s not over yet. Valve explains their reasons for staying private and fiercely independent:

“All [companies that float] end up getting their customers changed,” Valve’s Erik Johnson told the latest issue of PC Gamer.

“Any bad decision I ever see out there is because somebody created this different customer that was whoever funds them, and not the consumer of the product.”

Gabe Newell added: “You end up with a totally different set of decisions, and the person who’s trying to design the experience is like’ Okay, I guess we’ll put Christopher Walken in our game.”

I agree, except for one thing.

Christopher Walken HAS to be in a Half-Life game.

“It’s great, but it needs mohr AR3!”

But Valve does have regrets about their failures, as explained when PC Gamer asked them what their biggest failures had been:

“Moss in the original Half-Life.” – How about some Portal 2 moss? Come on, it’s the 2200’s, or the 2300’s, or something! Let’s party!


“PowerPlay.” – A technology initiative to decrease latency in online games, first announced in January 2000 and eventually abandoned in mid 2001.

“The first few months of Steam.”

“It’s hard to say now, but the first two days of Half-Life 2 – that was a failure.” – Days of development, or days after release?

“Prospero, the game we never shipped. I mean, we still think about it, right?” – note that Gabe once said in June 2006 he’d like to do Prospero after TF2

“The Team Fortress 2 that was built up until 2000.”

“The second TF2.” – Oh, Invasion. How we miss thee.

“The Riot Shield,” added Newell. “But that was small on a failure scale. That was an interesting failure, because that made us think hard. It’s the first time we put a feature in and more people played the game, which is our most basic way of measuring whether or not we’re making people happy. And then we took it out, and more people played. And we were like: Okay, what does this mean?” – Really? Interesting. One would imagine that anything changed makes most Counter-Strike players weep like grandmothers, as the recent 2010 update shows. This is also the main reason why Minh Le was disappointed in 1.6 being the final release.

“Counter-Strike continues to mystify. Well, no in general it taught us a lot about the value of constantly touching your customers.” – Indeed. Wait, did Doug say that?

“Right,” responded Johnson, “so our customers are responding to this more like a… service than a product!” – I’m going to pretend I understood that.

Original article at:

Overall, we can’t wait to see those three surprises.


  1. “It’s hard to say now, but the first two days of Half-Life 2 – that was a failure.”
    I’m absolutely sure those 2 days are 2 days after release, when Steam servers were overloaded and people weren’t be able to unlock HL2 cache.

  2. in before ep3

    …aw, fuck it.
    I’m letting myself believe Episode Three constitutes a big surprise. I’m even prepared for the letdown.

  3. The 3 big suprises

    – Valve catalogue/steam ported to Wii and/or linux
    – Portal 2 release (feb 2011)
    – Dota announcement

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