Why Valve? Or, what do we need corporations for and how does Valve’s management structure fit into today’s corporate world? Why Valve? Or, what do we need corporations for and how does Valve’s management structure fit into today’s corporate world? You have read Valve’s survival manual for new employees. You have read Michael Abrash’s wonderful account of working at Valve. Contents Introduction: Firms as market-free zonesThe wheels of change: Valve’s ultimate symbol of an alternative ‘spontaneous order’What are corporations for? 1. Every social order, including that of ants and bees, must allocate its scarce resources between different productive activities and processes, as well as establish patterns of distribution among individuals and groups of output collectively produced. While all societies featured markets (even primitive ones), market-societies emerged only very recently (around three centuries ago). Interestingly, however, there is one last bastion of economic activity that proved remarkably resistant to the triumph of the market: firms, companies and, later, corporations. 2. 3. Adam Smith Karl Marx 4.
Game Design Aspect of the Month Valve's Culture, Self-Organization and Scrum “If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.” - General Eric Shinseki In the spring of 2012 Valve's New Employee Handbook was leaked. The handbook's release has led to a number of discussions about the merit of The Cabal (what Valve calls their process) and their work environment. For me, it's hard to argue with success and everything I've read about Valve being a great place to work. Since first reading about The Cabal in 1999 and attending a few GDC sessions since, I've been inspired. Valve's handbook states this belief near the start: Hierarchy is great for maintaining predictability and repeatability. There are a number of things we wish we were better at: Helping new people find their way. This is a common challenge in any studio that is attempting to improve self-organization. Self-organization and hierarchies aren't mutually exclusive. Scrum and The Cabal have the same goals Why is it so hard then? So why do few companies ever achieve similar cultures?
How to Create an Asynchronous Multiplayer Game | Indie Flash Blog There’s no doubting the fact that “asynchronous” multiplayer gameplay, or the ability to play games one turn per session over the course of several days, is the new hot trend in mobile gaming. Many of the top multiplayer games are asynchronous, including the popular Words with Friends (a one-move-at-a-time implementation of Scrabble) and Draw Something (a unique take on Pictionary that was recently bought by Zynga for 200 million). When my cross-platform multiplayer game, Hero Mages, launched on iOS, I thought people would be excited by the ability to play live online battles with their friends playing on PC’s or Android devices. To my surprise, the overwhelming feedback I got was “this game would totally rock if only it had async multiplayer!” As most Hero Mages players know, I’m not one to disappoint- so I immediately restructured my priorities for the next game update to include asynchronous multiplayer. Learn from the Masters Hero Academy Game Play Multiplayer game list in Hero Academy
Ramblings in Valve Time | Valve The most interesting company in tech: Valve — Remains of the Day You hear it in technology companies all the time, especially at firms that have survived from their days as a startup to become a bigger firm: we want to remain entrepreneurial. To feel like a startup. Nimble. A place that entrepreneurs want to work. A place for builders to build (a phrase Jeff Bezos always used to describe what he wanted Amazon to be as a company). But it has always felt a bit disingenuous. [The Google 20% idea in recent history sounded like the most promising attempt, perhaps a more practical evolution of a earlier incarnations, for example research divisions like Xerox PARC or Microsoft Research] But then I read about Valve Software, and it sounded like a company was actually taking all this lip service to heart and pushing this concept to its most logical extreme. Here is the Valve Employee Handbook (PDF) which had the Internet buzzing a while back. The firm, in this view, operates outside the market; as an island within the market archipelago. A few reactions...
Inside Crytek Interview: Sascha Herfort We’re back for another round of Inside Crytek: our very own interview series which features different members of the Crytek team. First you can get up close and personal with them, and afterwards you get to ask the questions! To submit your own questions to today’s interviewee, simply post them under the link to the article on our Facebook page, GFACE, or MyCrysis. We will then forward the best and most original questions, and next week the answers will be posted online. Today’s interview features Sascha Herfort. Why did you want to work in the games industry and how did you get started? I started ‘disassembling’ games when I was about 12-years-old, and when Worldcraft came around there was no going back. Why Crytek? I’ve always loved shading and rendering and while I was studying, Crysis was released. What are the best and worst parts of your job? The best part is definitely developing cutting-edge art and technology. What are you working on at the moment?
Do What You Love A good third of the mountain of mail I’ve gotten since my first post has been of the general form: “What should I study in college/learn to do/work at to get hired at Valve/have a good career/have a good life?” The most useful response I have is drawn from my own life: Do what you love. There are no guarantees, especially in the short run, about where that will lead – but at least you’ll enjoy the trip, and it is likely to lead to exciting things. It is true, however, that it can take a while; consider my own long journey to being a full-time programmer. In 1975, I was a freshman at Clark University with absolutely no idea what I wanted to do with my life. Dick had the habit of writing each homework assignment on the blackboard (this was before whiteboards) at the start of the class that covered the relevant material for that assignment. That summer, I decided to stay on campus, so I had to take a class. That was just the start for me and the VIP, though.
Q&A: Card Hunter - launching an online game with a small team When Jon Chey announced the formation of Blue Manchu in 2011, the Irrational Games co-founder said he wanted to spend time on more "genre, nichey games." The studio's Card Hunter, released last month, is the manifestation of his efforts. It's a free-to-play, browser-based board and collectible card game, complete with dice rolls and a nerdy game master. That's a bit different from narrative-driven first-person shooter games like System Shock 2 and BioShock Chey worked on at Irrational. Now that a couple of weeks have gone by, Chey tells us some lessons he and his small team has learned from Card Hunter's launch, and what he might've done differently. Online games are weird. We brought the game live fairly early in my day [Chey is in Australia], because I had to be around and watch what happened, to make sure nothing fell over. So I went for dinner and had a celebratory drink and went to bed. I felt pretty bad, because they didn't wake me up [laughs]. I felt fine! Yeah.
Features - The Inclusive Design of Kim Swift Kim Swift made her name in the games industry with her first game. Portal became an instant classic, and launched her career. After working on the Left 4 Dead series, she left Valve and joined Airtight Games. Of course, as a first person physics puzzler, it'll inevitably draw comparisons to Portal. In this interview, she outlines precisely what she has learned: the importance of playtesting, a collaborative, democratic development environment, and how basic human psychology can be exploited by game design. You use techniques from painting or other media in your level design. KS: Just general artistic compositional design. Is that something that came out of Valve, or is it something that came out of your personal experience? KS: It was a little bit of both. So a real basic one is we are hardwired to detect movement. Players are going to want to go towards the light, as opposed to the dark. It's like a meta-game for you? KS: Kind of, yeah. You use the word "solved". KS: Yes.
Exclusive: Valve said to be working on 'Steam Box' gaming console with partners, could announce at GDC Recently there's been chatter that Valve — the company behind the massively popular gaming service Steam — has been considering getting into the hardware business. Specifically, there have been rumors that the company has been toying with the idea of creating a proper set-top console which could potentially pose a threat to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Valve co-founder Gabe Newell even recently told Penny Arcade: "Well, if we have to sell hardware we will." At a glance that would simply be interesting fodder for a gaming forum debate, but we've uncovered information that suggests that not only has Valve been secretly working on gaming hardware for the living room, but that the company is actively pursuing a strategy which would place Steam at the center of an open gaming universe that mirrors what Google has done with Android. That jibes pretty well with this rumored arrangement. The most interesting piece of this puzzle may be related to that statement.
Warhorse studios: BLOG Filed in Developers' diary by Dan @ 6:43 pm UTC Apr 1, 2014 It's over a month since our campaign ended and we’ve been keeping a bit quiet. Everyone is probably curious what we’re up to now. So here I am to tell you what our plans are for the upcoming months. Time to store all those Kickstarter money (GDC Humble Bundle Party was taking place in the San Francisco Old Mint). I’ll start with what we did last month. 17 Comments Filed in Developers' diary by Dan @ 5:19 pm UTC Nov 21, 2013 Our pitching tour over, we went back to work. If you, like our colleagues, were expecting our phones to start ringing off the hook one day after our return, swarming us with promises of millions of dollars, then you were expecting incorrectly. One of the biggest blows was being turned down by a very promising, international publishing company. 54 Comments Me and an unnamed publisher. Last time we left off just at the point when we were embarking on a pitching tour of publishers to try and push our game on them.