• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.
  • Hey Guest. Check out the NeoGAF 2.2 Update Thread for details on our new Giphy integration and other new features.

Washington Post: Gabe Newell on what makes Valve tick

alexandros

Banned
Jan 30, 2012
7,045
0
0
Gabe was interviewed by Andrea Peterson:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2014/01/03/gabe-newell-on-what-makes-valve-tick/

Andrea Peterson: Can you tell me about the company and why it works why it works the way it does?

Gabe Newell: The company grew out of trying to think about how to design for the specific business challenges we would have. It’s sort of a good news/bad news situation that our industry is changing so quickly. If you look at the requirements for just one piece, like art, from one generation of games to the next, it will change radically. You need people who are adaptable because the thing that makes you the best in the world in one generation of games is going to be totally useless in the next. So specialization in gaming is sort of the enemy of the future. We had to think about if we’re going to be in a business that’s changing that quickly, how do we avoid institutionalizing one set of production methods in such a way that we can’t adapt to what’s going to be coming next.

Lots more at the link about Valve's internal organization, hiring process etc.
 

OnPoint

Member
Jun 4, 2007
24,217
1
0
www.indiegames.com
Gabe Newell: The company grew out of trying to think about how to design for the specific business challenges we would have. It’s sort of a good news/bad news situation that our industry is changing so quickly. If you look at the requirements for just one piece, like art, from one generation of games to the next, it will change radically. You need people who are adaptable because the thing that makes you the best in the world in one generation of games is going to be totally useless in the next. So specialization in gaming is sort of the enemy of the future. We had to think about if we’re going to be in a business that’s changing that quickly, how do we avoid institutionalizing one set of production methods in such a way that we can’t adapt to what’s going to be coming next.

...

Half Life 3 confirmed.

Valve is a fascinating company in all honesty, and Gabe really seems to have a vision for where to take the company. It's pretty inspiring, even if I really really want HL3.
 

nullset2

Junior Member
Aug 11, 2010
2,350
2
0
30
Monterrey NL, MX
alfredo.moe
It does make me sad that the Valve that we currently have will probably never release HL3, since it doesn't match its current vision on what the industry should deliver and what customers want. They still are top-notch developers and have refined their craft to the point of art, but I still want a Half-Life game. That's what made me love the studio in the first place.
 
Q

Queen of Hunting

Unconfirmed Member
It does make me sad that the Valve that we currently have will probably never release HL3, since it doesn't match its current vision on what the industry should deliver and what customers want. They still are top-notch developers and have refined their craft to the point of art, but I still want a Half-Life game. That's what made me love the studio in the first place.

you will forever be disappointing when they do if they do because people are to hyped for the game and it wont live up to expectations. people don't know what they want, and if its to similar it will be bad, if it isnt it will be bad, the same thing has happened with doom (that's why its in development hell and keeps getting canned).

i suspect the same thing is happening with half life 3 its in development but not announced but is struggling to produce what they want, they have subtley dropped hints throughout time/teased there is a 3rd one but nothing concrete.
 

Poeton

Member
Jun 17, 2013
467
0
0
Austin, TX
Whenever I read or hear about Valve's corporate structure or the lack there of, I always think Valve's structuring is the direct result of Microsoft's.
 

Clott

Member
Dec 5, 2008
2,118
0
750
New York, Manhattan
Boy did that gray beard help him out.

Really liked his anecdote and voting with your time, it can really propel an idea that people might not be able to understand at first.
 

Nzyme32

Member
May 23, 2013
18,286
1
0
Whenever I read or hear about Valve's corporate structure or the lack there of, I always think Valve's structuring is the direct result of Microsoft's.

I suppose in part that is true as a fair few of the original guys worked there. I recall reading Gabe say something along the lines of that he learnt more in his first few weeks at Microsoft than he did with his entire time at Harvard. At the time Microsoft was such a fast moving company, it must have been very different than today.

Also completely forgot CES is just next week. Exciting stuff coming this month from almost everyone I think!
 

EatChildren

Currently polling second in Australia's federal election (first in the Gold Coast), this feral may one day be your Bogan King.
Jan 29, 2008
36,152
8
0
Australia
Half-Life 3 is never happening. Staff are too occupied with multiplayer/community projects of interest.
 

bluecapsule

Member
Jan 3, 2013
511
0
465
...you want them to recognize that being really good at Half-life level design is not as nearly valued as thinking of how to design social multiplayer experiences.

whelp, goodbye half-life 3
 

Alastor

Member
Nov 3, 2009
1,341
0
590
Poland
Valve: Hire a good sci-fi writer, give him an up-to-date scenario of Half-Life 3 (surely this exists, in some form or another) and tell him "We won't make a game from this, ever. Write a book instead".
 
Jul 17, 2013
569
0
0
I really like Valve's approach to the workplace. I do worry that the lack of accountability on various levels of the "chaos hierarchy" will eventually reveal the negative aspects of such a paradigm.

Also, given my own experience in various workplaces, it only takes one batshit crazy or stupid person slipping through the cracks to explode the entire thing. I worked in an office that got 100% cleaned out by people leaving because of a person like this.

Hopefully there are safeguards in place to keep the less savory aspects of human motivation at bay.
 

Saty

Member
Sep 4, 2009
7,403
0
0
Great interview. I don't know what to read from it about their next SP-focused game.
 

HP_Wuvcraft

Banned
Apr 18, 2011
33,526
1
0
Heh, ya what is being said is: HL3 is going to be a multiplayer, community based, story driven FPS, right?

Yeah, HL3 is not going to look like HL2 at all.

At all.

Would not be surprised if HL3 was nco-op the entire way through.
 

Interficium

Banned
Sep 3, 2010
3,387
1
0
Pretty softball interview.

Valve ought to be careful about always presenting themselves as some sort of perfect utopian workplace where there are absolutely no drawbacks or problems, ever, to their totally flat, quasi-community-communist model. They NEVER talk about the challenges or problems they've had or have, other than their workplace might be "too good" and people from other industries are freaked out by it.

No one ever mentions the stack-ranking at Valve. We know how well that worked out for Microsoft.

I guess it's not going to matter when people just parrot "HL3, HL3" all day, though.
 

-SD-

Banned
Aug 7, 2005
5,196
0
0
Half-Life 3 is never happening.
Half-Life 3 has already happened. It got purposely released under a totally different name and it's been buried somewhere deep inside Steam for a while now without anyone spotting its existence. It's up to us to find it.
 
May 18, 2007
3,534
1
880
UK
It does make me sad that the Valve that we currently have will probably never release HL3, since it doesn't match its current vision on what the industry should deliver and what customers want. They still are top-notch developers and have refined their craft to the point of art, but I still want a Half-Life game. That's what made me love the studio in the first place.

I've pretty much stopped caring about what Valve release outside of the Steam Client. I'm not bothered with L4D, TF2 or DOTA all i really want is HL3 onwards which will never happen so for me Valve = Steam now.

Sad but it's better for my sanity and happiness this way.
 

Fried Food

Banned
Mar 11, 2012
8,032
1
0
HL3 is going to have a large multiplayer element and it's existence will make some people VERY upset.
 

jimmypop

Banned
Nov 14, 2007
319
0
1,035
lobsterland
Pretty softball interview.

Valve ought to be careful about always presenting themselves as some sort of perfect utopian workplace where there are absolutely no drawbacks or problems, ever, to their totally flat, quasi-community-communist model. They NEVER talk about the challenges or problems they've had or have, other than their workplace might be "too good" and people from other industries are freaked out by it.

No one ever mentions the stack-ranking at Valve. We know how well that worked out for Microsoft.

I guess it's not going to matter when people just parrot "HL3, HL3" all day, though.

I came here to say something like this, but you said it better.

Valve's great for those who buy into the culture and who have a strong alignment with particular projects and persons of note within the company. People do leave Valve, but their voices are often drowned by the chorus of fans who have elevated the company to mythical status.

It's a great place to work, and probably better than most game development/publishing shops. But it's still work, and work environments come with some ugly stuff too. It does sound like the ugly stuff about work is acknowledged and actively countered there, though.
 

RoninChaos

Member
Aug 27, 2009
8,700
0
830
That was absolutely fascinating. Now that I work at a place that treats adults like adults, it makes me feel like I could neve go back to one of those top heavy companies where people become yes men because they're scared to death of the higher ups.
 

Oblivion

Fetishing muscular manly men in skintight hosery
Jul 17, 2005
42,031
3
1,840
The Washington Post? Looks like Gabe finally made it into the big leagues.