Gabe Newell: Valve still working on single-player games, and more


Gabe Newell Reddit AMA

Does Valve plan on doing anything with Source 2 in the coming years? If so, what?

Gabe Newell: “We are continuing to use Source 2 as our primary game development environment. Aside from moving Dota 2 to the engine recently, we are are using it as the foundation of some unannounced products. We would like to have everyone working on games here at Valve to eventually be using the same engine. We also intend to continue to make the Source 2 engine work available to the broad developer community as we go, and to make it available free of charge.”

Any chance of a new IP that takes place in the Half-Life / Portal universe? I feel like there’s a lot of story left to be explored there. Thanks!

Newell: “Yep.”

Wasn’t there a movie (or a set of 2 movies) coming in that universe [Half-Life / Portal] by Valve and J.J. Abrams?

Newell: “Yep. They’re coming.”

What is your personal favorite Valve game / series?

Newell: “I think Portal 2 is our best single-player game. I play Dota 2 the most of our multiplayer games.

“The issue with Half-Life for me is that I was involved in a much higher percentage of the decisions about the games, so it’s hard for me to look at them as anything other than a series of things I regret. There’s no information in my response about what we’ll do in the future. It’s simply easier for me to be a fan of things that in which I was less directive.

“If you are involved in a game, everything ends up being a set of trade-offs. Anything in a game is a sacrifice of things not in the game. I just feel those more personally about Half-Life for a bunch of reasons.”

Are you planning on continuing the Left 4 Dead series?

Newell: “Products are usually the result of an intersection of technology that we think has traction, a group of people who want to work on that, and one of the game properties that feels like a natural playground for that set of technology and design challenges. When we decided we needed to work on markets, free to play, and user generated content, Team Fortress seemed like the right place to do that. That work ended up informing everything we did in the multiplayer space. Left 4 Dead is a good place for creating shared narratives.”

Gabe, what is Team Fortress 2 in Valve’s eyes? Do you plan to improve the state of the game in 2017? Will there be more focus on the game by Valve?

Valve Employee: “Team Fortress 2 has millions of unique players per month, and the team is staffed by a group of people that love and play the game. We’re committed to supporting and growing Team Fortress 2 with new features, content, and player experiences. We’re currently working on our next major update, which features a new campaign, the Pyro class pack, matchmaking improvements/features, and lots of game balancing improvements.”

Hey Gabe! Is Valve interested in making a full game experience for the Vive?

Newell: “Yes. We think VR is pretty important as a tool for interesting games.”

[1] What is the status of Half-Life 3 / Half-Life 2: Episode 3? [2] Is Valve still working on any fully-fledged single-player games? [3]4 An unidentified anonymous source at Valve has said that Half-Life 3 has been cancelled. Is that source legitimate? [4] How many people are now working on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive? The community is frustrated at the lack of updates and the fact that most of the bugs haven’t been fixed. [5] How long will it be until Valve adds Counter-Strike: Global Offensive servers in other parts of the world (such as Russia)?

“[1] The number 3 must not be said. [2] Yes. [3] I personally believe all unidentified anonymous sources on the Internet. [4] 20-30. Same as always. [5] We’re adding servers all the time.”

Why does Valve not talk to its community about the games / apps it is developing as much as other companies?

“Because our decision making is way more conditional than most other companies. The one thing we won’t do is waste our customers time and money, which means we will cancel or change stuff much later in development. Tracking our choices would be annoying and frustrating.

“Another way to think about this, and the way we talk about this internally, is that we prefer to communicate through our products. We are all pretty devoted to reading and listening to the community – everyone here believes it is an integral part of their job to do so. And when it comes time to respond, we generally use Steam – shipping updates that address issues or add functionality. Obviously this doesn’t work for everything. Working this way imposes latency on our communication – it takes longer to ship and update than to do a blog post. This can lead to the feeling of an echo chamber, where it seems like Valve isn’t listening. We’re always listening. So sometimes the latency is rough for everyone, including us when we want to address issues quickly. On balance we think it’s usually worth the trade-off.”

r/The_Gaben