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Highlights From Gabe Newell's AMA

Valve mastermind Gabe Newell has been answering questions during a Reddit Ask Me Anything, and we've collected some of the highlights.

After yesterday's false start, Reddit's AMA with Gabe Newell is in full swing. Newell has sounded off on a wide variety of topics, and some of his replies are sure to illicit chuckles from gamers. You can check out the full thread here, but below are some of the answers that piqued our interest.

On what improvements gamers will see from the Source 2 engine:

"The biggest improvements will be in increasing productivity of content creation. That focus is driven by the importance we see UGC having going forward. A professional developer at Valve will put up with a lot of pain that won't work if users themselves have to create content."

On his personal gaming habits:

Gabe says that he spends roughly 20 hours a week playing games, and that Dota 2 is currently his favorite game. He also confirmed that he sometimes plays games under a secret Steam account, including Team Fortress 2. Gabe says Mario 64 is his favorite non-Valve game, and that his interest in gaming "doesn't seem to be age dependent in my case."

On VR:

Gabe says that Valve's Michael Abrash began seriously working with VR two years ago. He states that they still haven't come up with a solution to user input, but it's the next issue the company will be tackling. He also says that Valve won't hold a game back from shipping for VR purposes.

On Twitch Plays Pokémon:

"Very cool. Can't wait for twitch plays Dota 2."

On Valve making new IPs:

"An IP is really a tool for a development team more than anything else. The key is to have clarity around what is uniquely of value in what you are trying to do and not waste your effort on things that don't directly contribute to that."

On Steam machines:

"We see Steam Machines (along with SteamOS and the Steam Controller) as a service update to Steam, porting the experience to a new room in the house. As we've been working on it, we've focused first on the customers who already love Steam and its games. They've told us they're tired of giving up all the stuff they love when they sit in the living room, so it seemed valuable to fix that."

Gabe also says Valve is "making some progress" on lower cost Steam machines designed to stream games from existing hardware.

On the difficulty of promoting Steam in the beginning:

"Any time you do something new, it can be challenging. There's basically a normal distribution of pain. With that proviso, it was pretty much in the middle of the pain curve."

On Steam Greenlight:

Gabe says that Steam Greenlight was created to help alleviate the bottleneck of deciding and getting games onto the Steam Store, and that now Valve is aiming to make Steam a self-publishing system.

On the Internet's obsession with him:

"It's entertaining for my friends."

Be sure to check out the full AMA on Reddit for more thoughts from Valve's founder.

[Source: Reddit]

 

Our Take
It's rare that gamers get to pick the brain of a visionary like Newell, and his responses have been entertaining and enlightening. While there haven't been any huge revelations (I wouldn't hold your breath for a Half-Life 3 announcement), fans should check out the entire AMA thread.

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