The lights are on
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
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."
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.
"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
Be sure to check out the full
AMA on Reddit for more thoughts from Valve's founder.
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
Email the author Jeff Marchiafava, or follow on Google+, Twitter, and Game Informer.