Ever wanted to work for Valve, son? Well now you can, and you’ve just been given your very own guidebook to learn how things run in the company that spawned Half-Life and made you lose all those hours to the Schrodinger’s Catch achievement on Portal 2. Now you too can imagine with a little dose of reality what it could be like to work for the most successful game company in the last two decades.
Of course, there’s a lot of debate on whether Valve’s approach to business is the best way for the company. Lots of people think it’s be like a marathon run of Survivor, but the company has yet to fire anyone for making a mistake. Not having bosses or managers might be a bad thing in many companies and corporate environments because things won’t work that way, but for Valve it brings out the best in the people they hire, and it clearly works for them.
Read on to see how they manage it in the Valve Handbook for New Employees. One of the things I’ve taken from it is the moving desks idea – I am totally having that in my office one day.
Also worth a read is a write-up on the design process and behind-the-scenes work done by the company during development of Half-Life. Ken Birdwell was a designer on the Half-Life team, and gives an interesting perspective on game design within the company and how things work for them there, when it would fall apart everywhere else.
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