Half Life: The Story of Gabe Newell and Valve

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  • Published on:  6/23/2017
  • Gabe Newell and Mike Harrington set out to prove their worth as creators. They ended up forming Valve and creating Half Life, one of the most acclaimed games of all time.

    By complete coincidence, this video is vaguely topical. We'd been working on it for a while, but finished it just as the Steam summer sale began, so let's pretend that we did it all deliberately.

    Oh, and let's get it out of the way now to save you guys some time in the credits. Half Life 3 is confirmed, the cake is a lie, wake up Mr Freeman, etc etc etc.

    This was a fun one to do, even if we're probably in all honesty still struggling with audio editing and this one ended up being a particular pain. Valve is a company that we really enjoyed researching, and there's a lot of great stuff that didn't go into this video about how Valve operates that was absolutely fascinating.

    The official line is that Valve doesn't have a traditional hierarchy within their company - people don't have assigned job roles, they're just encouraged to constantly ask themselves what the most useful thing they could be doing is, and then do that.

    I kind of doubt it works that way in practice, but it's a fun ideology nonetheless. Take this as a second moral to the video: in order to be more efficient, whenever you don't have anything to do or you're not sure what to do, ask yourself what the most useful thing is that you could be doing, and then do it, even if it's resting or having down time.

    Oh, speaking of morals, again by complete coincidence, this video has the same one as last week's video on The Dragon's Trap. If something's worth doing, it's worth doing right.

    Perhaps that's not a coincidence - these morals are normally a reflection of what we're feeling about our videos at the time. With this one, Kotor had to go back after the fact and add some extra illustrations after we thought we'd finished it, but it was worth it for production value. See if you can spot which ones were drawn last.

    Here's our sources for this video, by the way, if you'd like to learn more about Gabe Newell's life and the early days of Valve:
    https://www.201tube.com/video/Fc88K2X3NFU/video.html
    http://www.gamesradar.com/history-of-valve/
    https://www.neowin.net/news/gabe-newell-i-learned-more-in-three-months-at-microsoft-than-entire-time-at-harvard
    https://www.gamespot.com/articles/the-final-hours-of-half-life-2/1100-6112889/

    Anyway, you're all wonderful, be sure to check out our Patreon if you haven't already, and keep being great!

    BretonStripes and Kotor

    http://twitter.com/bretonstriped
    http://twitter.com/kotorcomics

    http://patreon.com/videogamestorytime

    Music: Deliberate Thought by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
    Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
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