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  • niftyness

    sounds like heaven <3

  • Casey Caplowe

    So curious to get a perpective to what this is like from the inside. In real life. Not in the idealized terms of a handbook like this.

  • Cara Kitagawa-Sellers

    This is a must read - and not just for folks who love Portal and Half-Life. This is a fascinating read for anyone who has any interest in company organization or hierarchy; people pick their own projects and there and there is no established hierarchy.

  • Douglas Sellers

    "You should come in every day and try to add the most value to our customers that you can." That sounds very idealistic! I wonder if it actually plays out that way in practice.

    • Cara Kitagawa-Sellers

      The thing that I've been wondering about is how projects get staffed in practice. I can imagine a situation where things that are good innovative ideas that are a little off the wall would not get as much staffing, love, and and attention as say... Portal 2.

      • Nicholas Hughes

        I think that's why it's Portal 2 you reference and not Portal, which was probably the more off the wall variant (at the time) that paved the way for the more nurtured sequel. I imagine crazy ideas get some room to breathe; when they prove their viability they get more and more. There must be some kind of snowball effect occurring due to the way talent flocks to different projects at Valve.

        • Cara Kitagawa-Sellers

          My understanding of Portal is that the original concept for the game wasn't developed at Valve, it was developed by students at a nearby college who were then acquired/hired to Valve.

          Every time I think of the Valve Employee Handbook, I wonder whether Portal would have gotten off the ground, if the proof of concept hadn't happened elsewhere.

          • Nicholas Hughes

            Yeah, I think that is correct. I was more saying that you mention Portal 2 instead of Portal because Valve is notorious for iterating against experiments. They bought the Portal concept, refined it and released it, and it succeeded. They put a ton of energy into making Portal 2 fantastic for that reason.

        • Douglas Sellers

          The argument still goes that Valve has created no innovation that they haven't bought. They have refined and developed good ideas but, after half-life, they haven't had a single innovative idea that they haven't brought in from outside.

          • Nicholas Hughes

            Steam! I also think the co-op work they did with Portal 2 was pretty innovative; they deserve credit for taking a cool concept and making it absolutely fantastic.

            I also have a feeling they are going to come up with something interesting in the wearable computing space, but that's going to take some time.