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Rapstah
Member
(04-22-2012, 11:14 AM)
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Admiring a work place for their ethic seems like one of the most average Joe-y things this forum has ever done. Not sure how this requires "get a life morans"-style insults.

EDIT: Oh shit, there's double post protection on this forum now, that's cool.
Fafalada
Fafracer forever
(04-22-2012, 11:16 AM)

Originally Posted by HocusPocus

It is amazing how you can operate like this when everyone makes 100k or more on your payroll.

Yea I suppose it's way more efficient to have 600 people @ 50k average per PROJECT instead. I can't speak for Valve - but if there's one thing that modern AAA game industry excels at, it's at being inefficient.
Xun
Banned
(04-22-2012, 11:28 AM)
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Originally Posted by remnant

Pixar? Bluesky?

I can't speak for Blue Sky, but Pixar really isn't as great as many would assume they are to work at.

Dreamworks on the other hand are meant to be the best animation company to work for.

Better work/life balance, better pay, union based, and more freedom.
Last edited by Xun; 04-22-2012 at 11:32 AM.
red731
Member
(04-22-2012, 12:14 PM)
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That was a great read and insight into Valve.
Damn. Now I want to work there even more...if I had anything more to provide except for translations and playtesting - so I am perfetct for them.
ban25
Junior Member
(04-22-2012, 04:46 PM)
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Originally Posted by Xun

Definitely.

The very people who get a shitload of money off the hard work from others.

Actually, production is one of the lowest paid disciplines in the industry, and often the first to be downsized.
1-D_FTW
Member
(04-22-2012, 05:04 PM)
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Originally Posted by funkystudent

So how did this get out anyway?

Valve is not a very leaky ship.

I think it was an intentional leak. Between this and the blog, I think Valve is trying to make it known to the creme dela creme that they're the place you want to be working (assuming you're a T shape in one of the areas of expertise they need).
DeBurgo
Member
(04-22-2012, 05:48 PM)
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I've been saying for fucking years that this is how Valve worked (since this is how Gabe Newell and other Valve employees have always emphasized that's how they worked in interviews) when talking about its games, and nobody seemed to listen to me or believe me. People just assumed Gabe Newell has the role of the auteur of all the company's games, or that there's some rigid structure within the company that places Gabe Newell at the top, and that's simply not true.

I guess I can just chalk that up to the fact that a lot of people on these sort of forums are college aged or just starting out their careers, and don't really have a clear idea of what sort of careers are out there, having only had office experience in more conventional corporate structures, or no office experience at all.
NinjaFridge
Member
(04-22-2012, 05:57 PM)
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Originally Posted by DeBurgo

I've been saying for fucking years that this is how Valve worked (since this is how Gabe Newell and other Valve employees have always emphasized that's how they worked in interviews) when talking about its games, and nobody seemed to listen to me or believe me. People just assumed Gabe Newell has the role of the auteur of all the company's games, or that there's some rigid structure within the company that places Gabe Newell at the top, and that's simply not true.

I guess I can just chalk that up to the fact that a lot of people on these sort of forums are college aged or just starting out their careers, and don't really have a clear idea of what sort of careers are out there, having only had office experience in more conventional corporate structures, or no office experience at all.

What? We've known this for for a while, this is merely confirming what a lot of people on GAF already knew. I really doubt anybody was arguing with you.
DeBurgo
Member
(04-22-2012, 06:03 PM)
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Originally Posted by NinjaFridge

What? We've known this for for a while, this is merely confirming what a lot of people on GAF already knew. I really doubt anybody was arguing with you.

admittedly I haven't been posting/reading GAF all that much for a while, now, and was speaking more generally but, yes, I actually have encountered people on GAF that seem to believe otherwise.

And this was probably more like 4-5 years ago, not necessarily any time recent.

It's just satisfying 'cause this document drives the point home in the most obvious manner possible.

edit: the most notable example that I remember was the whole PS3 portal port thing. Some people were looking for blood on that point, and a lot of people were pointing to Gabe specifically as the figurehead or gatekeeper, as though he had some sort of singular control over the company's direction. I guess in a sense the outrage/frustration was justified, since Valve really were neglecting the PS3 as a platform at the time, but at the same time it they were just being pretty transparent over the fact that they just didn't really have anyone on staff at the time that was particularly knowledgeable about the platform or interested in it... which was also reasonable. This was back in like 2007, remember. It made me upset because it felt like the company was being punished for its transparency and honesty, which had crossed wires with its public image. Thankfully, I guess, Valve itself has employees that are smart enough not to interpret it that way themselves.
Last edited by DeBurgo; 04-22-2012 at 06:19 PM.
Esiquio
Member
(04-22-2012, 06:48 PM)
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That was an awesome read. Can't wait to see what some supervisors think about it at my work.
Dachande
Member
(04-22-2012, 06:59 PM)
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Originally Posted by funkystudent

So how did this get out anyway?

Valve is not a very leaky ship.

Valve linked it themselves on their Facebook page, so it has to be official or a sanctioned release of some kind.

Best hiring propaganda in years.
Tunic
Member
(04-22-2012, 07:05 PM)
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Best employee handbook I have ever seen!
PSYGN
Member
(04-22-2012, 07:09 PM)
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They can have this kind of a loose working structure because they have somewhat of a stable income from Steam, right?
MTMBStudios
Member
(04-22-2012, 07:10 PM)
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Originally Posted by PSYGN

They can have this kind of a loose working structure because they have somewhat of a stable income from Steam, right?

They have been doing this since the beginning.
SparkTR
Member
(04-22-2012, 07:11 PM)
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Originally Posted by PSYGN

They can have this kind of a loose working structure because they have somewhat of a stable income from Steam, right?

Apparently they've had this philosophy before Steam existed, much less got big. But yeah you'll need some heavy investment to support something like this, as Gabe was bankrolling the company for a bit.
~Kinggi~
FIND ME AN ESCORT
NO SHARP KNEEEEEEES
(04-22-2012, 07:18 PM)
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AMazing handbook.

Also, amazing way to treat employees.

I am very interested though in how the "flat" structure works in practice. I mean, having the power to decide where you go and what you do does seem counter-productive when actually trying to finish shit.

I imagine that they only hire people that are independent and are capable of being managers on their own. That everyone involved knows the value of structure and deciding that even though they have choice that it is still important to fill in the roles that are needed to be done.

I wonder if its one of the contributing factors to things taking so long at valve, but its an acceptable sacrifice to them because they stay happy and profitable.
rezuth
Member
(04-22-2012, 07:25 PM)
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So they are trying the Apple approach.
GK86
Homeland Security Fail
(04-22-2012, 07:31 PM)
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Fuck, valve is an amazing fucking place to work at.
I H8 Memes
Member
(04-22-2012, 07:33 PM)
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Originally Posted by rezuth

So they are trying the Apple approach.


If they were trying "The Apple Approach" then their games would cost $500 instead of $50.
Enco
Member
(04-22-2012, 07:36 PM)
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Originally Posted by ~Kinggi~

AMazing handbook.

Also, amazing way to treat employees.

I am very interested though in how the "flat" structure works in practice. I mean, having the power to decide where you go and what you do does seem counter-productive when actually trying to finish shit.

I imagine that they only hire people that are independent and are capable of being managers on their own. That everyone involved knows the value of structure and deciding that even though they have choice that it is still important to fill in the roles that are needed to be done.

I wonder if its one of the contributing factors to things taking so long at valve, but its an acceptable sacrifice to them because they stay happy and profitable.

Yea as amazing as it sounds it must be very very difficult to get things done efficiently. Some structure is always good.

I think Google has a good mix between freedom and structure.
EatChildren
Chico = Quiet
(04-22-2012, 07:40 PM)
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Originally Posted by ~Kinggi~

I imagine that they only hire people that are independent and are capable of being managers on their own. That everyone involved knows the value of structure and deciding that even though they have choice that it is still important to fill in the roles that are needed to be done.

This is the key, and what people critical of this business philosophy need to note. We tend to view business through the filter of "work is for money so I can live", and thus it's hard to believe a business can operate like this. But Valve seems to revolve around goals set by individuals. Goals set because these individuals actually want to create something for personal, creative reasons.

In terms of video games, it strikes me as basically a mod scene with an income. Modders are people who get together, plan, collaborate, and create work with no promise of financial reimbursement. Somehow, just by wanting to create something and having the personal drive to do it, they manage to end up with a finished product. Valve is similar. A bunch of people want to make Portal 2, so they talk about Portal 2, and start making Portal 2. It happens because they want it to happen.
SteveWinwood
Sowing his wild patented oats
(04-22-2012, 07:52 PM)
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Originally Posted by EatChildren

This is the key, and what people critical of this business philosophy need to note. We tend to view business through the filter of "work is for money so I can live", and thus it's hard to believe a business can operate like this. But Valve seems to revolve around goals set by individuals. Goals set because these individuals actually want to create something for personal, creative reasons.

In terms of video games, it strikes me as basically a mod scene with an income. Modders are people who get together, plan, collaborate, and create work with no promise of financial reimbursement. Somehow, just by wanting to create something and having the personal drive to do it, they manage to end up with a finished product. Valve is similar. A bunch of people want to make Portal 2, so they talk about Portal 2, and start making Portal 2. It happens because they want it to happen.

Which isn't that suprising considering where a large portion of their hires come from.

The mod scene if it wasn't clear.
~Kinggi~
FIND ME AN ESCORT
NO SHARP KNEEEEEEES
(04-22-2012, 07:56 PM)
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Originally Posted by SteveWinwood

Which isn't that suprising considering where a large portion of their hires come from.

The mod scene if it wasn't clear.

lol, it all makes perfect sense now!
Xun
Banned
(04-22-2012, 07:58 PM)
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Originally Posted by ban25

Actually, production is one of the lowest paid disciplines in the industry, and often the first to be downsized.

From what I've heard from my links to the industry, producers get a shitload of money.

Originally Posted by Enco

Yea as amazing as it sounds it must be very very difficult to get things done efficiently. Some structure is always good.

I think Google has a good mix between freedom and structure.

If by freedom you mean living at work, sure.

They (along with Pixar) have designed the company in such a way that you wouldn't want to leave.

I just personally don't think that's a good thing.
Last edited by Xun; 04-22-2012 at 08:01 PM.
Enco
Member
(04-22-2012, 08:06 PM)
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Originally Posted by Xun

From what I've heard from my links to the industry, producers get a shitload of money.

If by freedom you mean living at work, sure.

They (along with Pixar) have designed the company in such a way that you wouldn't want to leave.

I just personally don't think that's a good thing.

I guess it can be seen like that.

If your entertainment is mixed with your work and friends you'd end up spending a lot more time at work. I don't see it as an issue though.

If you love what you do you'll be happy.
BannedEpisode
Member
(04-22-2012, 08:08 PM)
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Shucks. I should have double majored in programming and art design. And then self made an innovative game. And graduated at the top of my class. And then infiltrated Valve at a job fair.

Looks like a really neat work environment.
balladofwindfishes
Member
(04-22-2012, 08:11 PM)
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Originally Posted by BannedEpisode

Shucks. I should have double majored in programming and art design. And then self made an innovative game. And graduated at the top of my class. And then infiltrated Valve at a job fair.

Looks like a really neat work environment.

I know people at Valve who have a bachelors in Computer Science and just made something really cool and was a big help with an aspect of something they do.

For example, one person helped them fix loads of bugs with TF2 Backpacks and item management and they ended up hiring him.
SteveWinwood
Sowing his wild patented oats
(04-22-2012, 08:11 PM)
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Originally Posted by ~Kinggi~

lol, it all makes perfect sense now!

Im tired :(
Mabase
Junior Member
(04-22-2012, 08:58 PM)
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Originally Posted by Glass Rebel

I think we actually only know of 3 people who left Valve: Antonov, Swift and Harrington (if he counts) and I think at least Swift left by her own terms.

From what I know Antonov never intended to stay at Valve longer than for the production of Half Life 2. So probably he left by his own wish.
Little Old Man
Member
(04-22-2012, 09:04 PM)
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Perhaps since I do economics, I should apply there once I graduate!

I love how honest the booklet is, namely regarding how HL2 got hacked in the time line, and the list of things which they don't think they excel at. You would expect most companies to brush that type of thing aside.

Takes a certain type of person to excel in such a free environment, where the emphasis is on you using your initiative to communicate ideas, group together and develop products. Most couldn't do it.
Diablos
(04-22-2012, 09:20 PM)
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Sounds like a dream job to me...
crimsonheadGCN
4chan's Official Representative
(04-22-2012, 11:29 PM)
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Originally Posted by Glass Rebel

I think we actually only know of 3 people who left Valve: Antonov, Swift and Harrington (if he counts) and I think at least Swift left by her own terms.

Bram Cohem (creator of Bit Torrent) also left Valve. He was working on Steam.
RiverBed
Member
(04-22-2012, 11:45 PM)
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After seeing this, I love Valve so much now. It feels like the Google of the gaming world- but the old cool Google of yore.
hwalker84
Member
(04-22-2012, 11:58 PM)
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I'm not a fan of Peer reviews and employee ranking.
DaBuddaDa
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(04-23-2012, 12:01 AM)
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Originally Posted by crimsonheadGCN

Bram Cohem (creator of Bit Torrent) also left Valve. He was working on Steam.

Minh Le, Counter-Strike creator, also quit Valve. This sort of working environment was his exact stated reason why he left.
Randdalf
Member
(04-23-2012, 12:07 AM)
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Originally Posted by DaBuddaDa

Minh Le, Counter-Strike creator, also quit Valve. This sort of working environment was his exact stated reason why he left.

I thought the working environment was the catalyst for the reason - nobody thought it was right to make Counter-Strike 2 yet, and by the looks of it they still don't; even Gabe has said that Global Offensive is very much not Counter-Strike 2.
DaBuddaDa
Member
(04-23-2012, 12:13 AM)
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Originally Posted by Randdalf

I thought the working environment was the catalyst for the reason - nobody thought it was right to make Counter-Strike 2 yet.

IIRC lots of people were jazzed to make a new Counter-Strike, but they were all waiting for Minh to come up some wild, crazy new concept for it and he couldn't come up with anything timely enough and the pressure got to him.
jediyoshi
Member
(04-23-2012, 12:38 AM)
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Originally Posted by DaBuddaDa

Minh Le, Counter-Strike creator, also quit Valve. This sort of working environment was his exact stated reason why he left.

But things never really got off the ground, the project ended up being put on the shelf, and Counter-Strike 2 died there. But the pressure was there for him to do something big; pressure he didn't care for. So Minh and Valve agreed to part ways on good terms (he still keeps in touch with people there), and he started his own project soon afterwards. Then he promptly fell off the video gaming map.

http://uk.pc.ign.com/articles/102/1028810p1.html

Oh you, semantics.
Ghost_Protocol
Member
(04-23-2012, 06:06 AM)
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Yeah....After reading that, I would, never, ever, ever want to work at Valve.
Glass Rebel
Member
(04-23-2012, 06:14 AM)
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Originally Posted by Ghost_Protocol

Yeah....After reading that, I would, never, ever, ever want to work at Valve.

I'm the absolute opposite. If I had the skillset Valve is looking for, I'd be in heaven.
Phat Michael
Banned
(04-23-2012, 06:24 AM)
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Originally Posted by Ghost_Protocol

Yeah....After reading that, I would, never, ever, ever want to work at Valve.

I think it would be one of those places where you would actually WANT to come into work.

I think it would take a year or 2 just to settle in tho.

Still, Valve/Google seem to be high up on peoples places to work.
animlboogy
Member
(04-23-2012, 06:40 AM)
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Originally Posted by Phat Michael

Still, Valve/Google seem to be high up on peoples places to work.

Sadly, that seems to be changing rapidly as the focus on competing with Facebook has become the priority.

Google Labs disappeared for a reason.
Zefah
Member
(04-23-2012, 06:50 AM)
I like my current job a lot... but man.

A large bit envious right now. Probably wasn't the best idea to read this on a Sunday night before work. Their non-hierarchical structure just makes so much sense when it comes to making creative entertainment stuff.
Last edited by Zefah; 04-23-2012 at 07:03 AM.
saichi
Member
(04-23-2012, 07:01 AM)
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great read... why doesn't my company have a cool handbook for employees? :(
TucoBenedictoPacifico
Banned
(04-23-2012, 07:04 AM)

Originally Posted by saichi

great read... why doesn't my company have a cool handbook for employees? :(

Cause it would contain scary truths.
whalleywhat
Member
(04-23-2012, 07:40 AM)
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Originally Posted by EatChildren

This is the key, and what people critical of this business philosophy need to note. We tend to view business through the filter of "work is for money so I can live", and thus it's hard to believe a business can operate like this. But Valve seems to revolve around goals set by individuals. Goals set because these individuals actually want to create something for personal, creative reasons.

In terms of video games, it strikes me as basically a mod scene with an income. Modders are people who get together, plan, collaborate, and create work with no promise of financial reimbursement. Somehow, just by wanting to create something and having the personal drive to do it, they manage to end up with a finished product. Valve is similar. A bunch of people want to make Portal 2, so they talk about Portal 2, and start making Portal 2. It happens because they want it to happen.

It's cool because a lot of employers see this type of creative drive as something to take advantage of. Their dedication leads to them making bad decisions, or accepting bad conditions, and burning themselves out. In the meantime, the company has gotten them to work much harder than what they've been paid for. A lot of good games probably come from this dynamic also, but maybe we need to accept Valve Time in order for them to have long, healthy careers. I don't know, it's interesting.
shinkansen.3000
Member
(04-23-2012, 08:23 PM)
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Excellent initiative, I'd love to work for a company like Valve.
Ghost_Protocol
Member
(04-25-2012, 10:14 PM)
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These guys have to be well paid. What do you all think starting salaries range from for 3d artists or software engineers? I'd say 60k at the lowest......
Shameless
Banned
(04-25-2012, 10:29 PM)
To be honest, I find this unbelievable. How do they ever get anything done? If everyone just does what they want to, who does all the shit stuff nobody wants to do but is required? Seriously, my job is 80% boring essential shit and 20% stuff you actually applied to the job to do.
The Dutch Slayer
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(04-25-2012, 10:34 PM)
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Originally Posted by Shameless

To be honest, I find this unbelievable. How do they ever get anything done? If everyone just does what they want to, who does all the shit stuff nobody wants to do but is required? Seriously, my job is 80% boring essential shit and 20% stuff you actually applied to the job to do.

You would be surprised how most people will actually work when you give them a great environment to work in.

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