Valve: “We’ve thrown out entire games”

While talking to our PAX-goers about how Valve always seems to keep themselves ahead of the curve when it comes to breaking new ground with first-person shooters, Valve’s Chet Faliszek said that “developers and designers all make mistakes internally” and that Valve itself is no exception. But where they and most other developers differ is their approach.

“We’ve thrown out entire games,” Faliszek said. “You think something’s gonna work and… [developers] talk about this giant design document and it’s just like we’re so much more iterative. We have these ideas we want to express [and] the easiest way to test those is get them in the game as soon as you can and then have someone not on the team play it. All through the Left 4 Dead process, all through the Left 4 Dead 2 process we’ve had outside players come in and play the game and give us feedback.”

Faliszek went on to explain that “you can sit there and design how you want people to play it but then you see how people do play it, and that’s how people are going to play it. And you know it’s that process of working like that I think that helps us make our games come out as good as they do.”

“You have to sit there and always be adapting and always be changing as you’re designing the game.”