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GabeN Interview

I had a chance to sit down with Gabe Newell for a chat back in ’08, and I just found the old audiolog. I’ve transcribed it for you all to read.

What made you choose to get into game development?

There were three main reasons – I love playing games, the guys at id were encouraging Mike and I to start a company, and if we were going to fail at it, we would fail quickly (which isn’t true of lots of other businesses where you fail slowly).

Why did your team choose to use the idea of which is Half-Life and not go with Prospero?

We figured out how to ship Half-Life, whereas Prospero was too ambitious.

While still in production of half-life, did you really think it was going to be as successful as it is?

No, we had no idea it would be as successful as it would become. Our focus was much more on thinking about what gamers wanted given the current crop of games on the market.

What made you determined to make a sequel?

There’s a bunch of story we want to tell, and we wanted to continue to push harder on the mechanics of story-telling in games.

And then make episodes after that?

The episodic approach is an experiment to see if we can manage project-scale risk more effectively and thereby put risk in other areas (e.g. game design, art design, technology).

So, the giant leap in time between episode 1 and episode 2 was huge, but I think it was worth it, with the HUGE source update. Do you ever get any responses of people complaining about the time period?

Complaining is a recreational tennis match for the gaming community. It’s part of the fun.

Do you still like to play video games, if so, have any to suggest?

I’ve been bitten by the WoW bug pretty hard.

Do you like freeware games, like “Within a deep forest”, “crayon physics”, and “narbacular drop”?

Narbacular Drop was pretty good. I or someone else at Valve plays pretty much every game on every platform at some point.

Do you enjoy independent game developer games, like the recently released “audiosurf”?

Jason Holtman in the office next to mine is a rabid audiosurf fan. He keeps dragging me into his office to watch him play.

Valve is still the best major company out there to produce any game, who deserves the player’s money. Although other major game companies, such as microsoft, and pop-cap, don’t care much about the customers as the money. I hope Valve remains to stay the way it is. What do you wish for Valve, as a company?

Staying that way would be good.

Will Wright’s “Spore” is coming out on sept. 7, are you looking forward to it?

Very much so. I’ve been playing Will’s games since the first SimCity, and even made him sign my SimAnts copy.

Do you play TF2 often?

With people here at the office, yes. Not so much on the Internet.

Any questions you expected to be asked?

” Why is there a real human head in the refrigerator at your offices?”


One Response

  1. “Kill me”
    -Real Human Spy Head in Refrigerator

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