Gabe Newell has been in the news a lot recently, considering that it was just made public that he is worth more than the current incoming US President, Donald #Trump.
Except, even though that's impressive, Gabe is more famous for the fact that he has a long history in both technology and entertainment. He worked for Microsoft and helped produce some of the earlier Windows operating systems before leaving in 1996 to co-found Valve and bring us some of the most beloved games ever: Half-Life, Portal, Team Fortress, Counter-Strike, Left 4 Dead and Dota 2. #Valve is also the force behind the most popular digital game distributor, #Steam and has recently stepped into the hardware market with the Steam Machine.
When Gabe speaks, countless people listen.
Yesterday Gabe took part in a Reddit AMA event and had a lot to say, including some revealing statements taken to be unofficial announcements. And there was a lot of excitement and discussion as the event generated over 12,000 comments.
The Future of Half-Life and Portal
Everyone on the AMA was quick to ask about the future of the Half-Life franchise. Yet, Gabe didn't really get into any details about it other than a joke about the long rumored Half-Life 2: Episode Three and Half-Life 3.
"The number 3 must not be said"
His comment was followed by a plea to the fans to not read too much into statements about the past Half-Life games, as they were not a good way to predict the future of the franchise.
So, Gabe is mum about where the game franchise could go, but he did confirm that there are movies still in the works for Half-Life in partnership with J.J. Abrams.
He also remained rather quiet about the future of Portal, as well as the crossover universe between Half-Life and Portal. Yet he did mention that Valve would consider expanding on that universe but only as a new IP (Intellectual Property) that intersects with the already developed universe. Now that isn't a confirmation that Valve is working on it, but it could mean that they've at least considered it as a future game.
He also had this to say about Valve's inspiration to make new games in general, although particularly in reference to the Left 4 Dead franchise.
Products are usually the result of an intersection of technology that we think has traction, a group of people who want to work on that, and one of the game properties that feels like a natural playground for that set of technology and design challenges.
When we decided we needed to work on markets, free to play, and user generated content, Team Fortress seemed like the right place to do that. That work ended up informing everything we did in the multiplayer space.
Left 4 Dead is a good place for creating shared narratives.
The Future of The Source 2 Engine
Gabe actually spent a lot of time talking about the Source Engine, and ultimately where Valve intends to take their gaming engine.
We are continuing to use Source 2 as our primary game development environment. Aside from moving Dota 2 to the engine recently, we are are using it as the foundation of some unannounced products. We would like to have everyone working on games here at Valve to eventually be using the same engine. We also intend to continue to make the Source 2 engine work available to the broad developer community as we go, and to make it available free of charge.
That's a fairly lofty goal to set for Valve, but it's exciting to think about especially when you pair it with the response to this question from Air_chandler:
"Hey Gabe/other valve employees, Just a question out of curiosity really, but interested in seeing what your view is on the direction that valve as a company should take in the future?"
The big thing right now is broadening the range of options we have in creating experiences. We think investing in hardware will give us those options. The knuckles controller is being designed at the same time as we’re designing our own VR games. Much more narrowly, some of us are thinking about some of the AI work that is being hyped right now. Simplistically we have lots of data and compute capability that looks like the kinds of areas where machine learning should work well. Personally I’m looking at research in brain-computer interfaces.
When you lump all that together with the knowledge that they're already working on some exciting VR concepts and hardware, it's exciting to think about what Valve has in store for gamers. There is so much more information out there in the #Reddit AMA, but these are the big things to be pay attention to in terms of what Valve has in store for fans across the globe.
What stuck out to you from the Reddit AMA?