Develop have released five separate interviews, each tackling a different topic with 1-3 of Valve’s developers. In total, “ten key people who have each helped shape the Valve games empire”. Much of this is new, although some of it was used for the larger article we wrote about previously. The topics are: “Valve on Art”, with Ted Backman, Randy Lundeen, and Jason Mitchell; “Valve on Steam”, with Doug Lombardi and Jason Holtman; “Valve on Portal 2″, with Joshua Weier and Erik Wolpaw; “Valve on Source and Studio Culture”, with Erik Johnson and Robin Walker; and last but not least, “Gabe Newell on Valve”, with none other than Gabe Newell.
There’s too much to just methodically analyze, but the essentials are:
- Valve is extremely dedicated to their new paradigm of “entertainment as a service”, viewing Team Fortress 2 as the perfect example for this model.
- Getting hired at Valve is tough. Not Google tough, but apparently, super tough. Develop even calls it “grueling”.
- Gabe thinks Valve is late in approaching users via mobile platforms.
- Working at Valve means you get to go to Hawaii every year.
- Uh… well, see for yourself:
An example is – and this is something as an industry we should be doing better – is charging customers based on how much fun they are to play with. Some people, when they join a server, a ton of people will run with them. Other people, when they join a server, will cause others to leave. We should have a way of capturing that. We should have a way of rewarding the people who are good for our community.
So, in practice, a really likable person in our community should get Dota 2 for free, because of past behaviour in Team Fortress 2. Now, a real jerk that annoys everyone, they can still play, but a game is full price and they have to pay an extra hundred dollars if they want voice.
That is one weird example. It’s insane, but… it would work, I suppose.
- Gabe doesn’t see Source reaching an “architectural tipping-point” where Valve will have to fundamentally re-design Source (as they did with GoldSource), essentially starting over with a Source 2. Valve will continue to “iterate on a mature, stable and shipped codebase”.
There’s plenty more, so check out the interviews over at Develop.