Monday, June 27, 2011

The History of Valve

I finished playing though Duke Nukem Forever a week or two ago and I still stand behind my original assessment: It’s a fun, solid game that should please fans of the Duke – and few others. However, I couldn’t shake a feeling of Forever’s similarity to another shooter that I played long ago: The original Half-Life by Valve. I was starting to think that I was grasping for straws when near the end of the game, when he’s solving a puzzle involving steam pipes, Duke utters, “I hate valve puzzles.”

Maybe I’m not so crazy after all: Duke’s one-liner is a clear allusion to the company responsible for Half-Life 1 and 2, the Left 4 Dead series, and Portal, which educational theorist James Gee often points to as a game that helps students think in nontraditional, nonlinear ways. And Duke making fun of Valve is pretty ironic, given Half-Life’s heavy influence on Duke Nukem Forever.

We’ve been waiting on Half-Life: Episode 3 since 2007, a mere drop in the bucket compared to Duke Nukem Forever’s 14 year development cycle. Also mirroring Duke Nukem Forever’s released date of “when it’s done” is the answer given in March of this year to players demanding Episode 3: “Hang in there.” No specifics where given.

But Valve’s been far from dormant for the last few years. Perhaps taking precedence over Episode 3 was Portal 2, Valve’s recent sequel to the first person genre-bending sleeper hit of 2007. Or perhaps it was the development of Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2 that sidelined Episode 3.

But regardless of what’s been delaying Half-Life: Episode 3, the history of Valve entertainment is an interesting one. I found the following awesome chart right here! You might want to click the link for a larger, more easily-read chart.

Source:Video GameDesign

A revenue of 10.5 million in 2008... I'll bet with Portal 2's release that it's doubled by now. Either way, let's hope that it doesn't take another 10 years to see Half-Life: Episode 3.

No comments:

Post a Comment