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Why City 17 Creator Left Valve
Filed under: VALVE, ARKANE STUDIOS
Viktor Antonov is a video game designer, mostly recognized for creating the iconic City 17 from Half-Life 2. He recently spoke, rather openly, regarding the lack of originality on the current gaming scene and he asserted how there are too many sequels out there. In a recent interview, Antonov reveals more about his days at Valve and also how he appreciates working for a specific type of team.

"Valve has grown into a much bigger company," he says, "and what I really enjoy about the philosophy of Arkane is that it's a small, core team that does risky creative projects. And when I went to Valve, they were a small company. They've grown now, they're much bigger, and I'm interested in a certain level of creative risk taking and a certain energy that can be compared to jazz, jamming or rock n' roll, where it's small, it's intense and it's about making revolutions in the media."

Read the rest over at EG.



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Reader Comments
KraGeRzR Jul 24 2012, 07:38 am EDT
Odd he cites "creative risk" as the reason he left. I smell a rat here.

The way Valve works is to put it's company in the hands of each employee. You're free to steer it wherever, and your job is mostly just to contribute as best you can wherever needed.

He could have begun any of his risky projects at any point. All he would need to do is convince a few of his peers that his idea held merit.

Perhaps Valve has grown too monolithic. Far more likely, this guy has poor ideas and they didn't sit well with his peers. It will be interesting to watch and see if he has much success. It could potentially inform my opinion of Valve. Color me intrigued.

Read between the lines.
Ballistica Jul 24 2012, 09:34 am EDT
No need to read between the lines...

"Valve has grown into a much bigger company"

It can't always be ping pong tables in the work area. Their model breaks down and leads to (unnecessary) years between releases.

http://www.gamepodunk.com/_/analysis-opinions​/four-high-profile-games-in-danger-of-becomin​g-vaporware-r465

The Hl3 section says it all.
  Cheddar: Anyone who seriously thinks HL3 isn't being actively …
Reikhardt: Agreed. Valve are slow but they ain't stupid, HL3 wil…
Ballistica: Cheddar, are you retarded? You say it doesn't take a…
Cheddar: Let me walk you through this, since evidently you are…
jungi Jul 24 2012, 09:46 am EDT
he says he wants to be creative but that new game he's in charge of designing, the art at least is very similar to half life 2.
Cheddar Jul 24 2012, 01:46 pm EDT
Exactly, Jungi. His words are pretty but Dishonored just doesn't appear to be more ambitious or innovative than any of Valve's most recent games.

And as you point out, it's not as if his work with Dishonored is much of a departure from HL2. At all.

My guess is that he left Valve because now Valve probably has a dozen other artists as good or better than him at what he does, and he'd like seniority over a smaller team that doesn't have the cabal culture of near-equals that Valve has.
SubForce Jul 24 2012, 02:28 pm EDT
Oh WTF???? the company I work at has created one of the greatest games ever AND become successful???? F#$% this I gotta get outta here.... I love me some ramen noodles
touretul Jul 24 2012, 02:30 pm EDT
I like this dude. The art in Dishonored is great. The graphics not really.
KraGeRzR Jul 24 2012, 04:22 pm EDT
"Their model breaks down and leads to (unnecessary) years between releases."

What a crock of shit. Their model is that they're free to work on whatever they please. Their model has produced TF2, Portal, and Portal 2.

I don't give a fuck about the fact that we don't have HL3 yet. I really don't.
  Ballistica: HL2 came out *8* years ago. TF2 came out *5* years a…
KraGeRzR: Oh your superiority is crippling. TF2, Portal, Por…
shaneh39199: @kragerzr exactly. i couldn't give two shits about HL…
Cheddar: Good god, Ballistica, are you really this stupid?
Reikhardt: I'd also say that you can have Valve's protracted dev…
Cheddar Jul 24 2012, 11:48 pm EDT
It boils down to this:

Valve has no publisher oversight (Steam makes this possible for them), demanding they meet trivial fiscal deadlines and compromise artistic integrity. They are basically unique in the video-game industry because of this.

They are artists who are their own bosses.

This is FANTASTIC.

And if that means we have to wait longer for their numero uno flagship game that they cherish above all else and insist upon nothing short of perfection, then so be it.

The best art isn't rushed to meet fucking business deadlines. It's a shame every studio but Valve has to, so we should be doubly grateful for the sole exception and not whine like spoiled, impatient children at the longer wait.

You can have cheap fast food, or you can wait a bit longer and have a real fucking meal.
KraGeRzR Jul 25 2012, 12:03 am EDT
Cheddar is damn right it's fantastic.

The fact that we've waited so long for HL3 can only be a testament to how radically unlike the average publisher-slave Valve is.

I'll keep waiting.

Just a few of my favorite snippets from the above post:

"Valve has no publisher oversight (Steam makes this possible for them), demanding they meet trivial fiscal deadlines and compromise artistic integrity."

"The best art isn't rushed to meet fucking business deadlines."

And this 9 0000000000 times.
"It's a shame every studio but Valve has to, so we should be doubly grateful for the sole exception and not whine like spoiled, impatient children at the longer wait."

Vodoo Jul 25 2012, 02:45 am EDT
and a left hook and a right hook, now an uppercut. atta boy, get in there Cheddar, use them neurons like incisors.

anywho...

hypocrisy is blatantly obvious to all except who dwell in it. the games industry reminds me of Charles Dickens and the fictional worlds inspired by him where adults and children work for scraps, factories rising up in power by draining the populace of their vitality.
also, think about it: gaming industry. the association between those 2 words must make at least 1 person out of 10 scratch their head in bewilderment.

gaming CRAFT-WORK...hmm....yes, much better.
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