New Valve Game Revealed Later Today

By Quintin Smith on October 13th, 2010 at 9:15 am.

Don't touch it!

Yes! A new Valve game. And while we currently have no idea what that game might be, we also kinda do. We know that Valve hired Defense of the Ancients Allstars developer IceFrog, which almost certainly means they’re developing something in a top down, small-unit-tactics multiplayer vein. Oh, and Valve also filed the trademark for DotA, and there was a tweet from a voice actor saying he had fun at Valve “recording for DotA”, but that’s since been removed.

In any case, according to both IceFrog himself and GameInformer, GameInformer will be posting all the details of this mystery project later today. Presumably much later today, when the Americans have woken, bemused and horny, from their enormous beds. Stay tuned.

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130 Comments »

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  1. Eclipse says:

    please not another tower defense\defense of the ancients… even if it’s from Valve (well, a software house now owned by valve isn’t really valve core team…) I’m sick tired of that kind of games.
    Well, good news for everyone else I suppose, maybe I’ll skip this one (wow, the only game I could not buy on release from Valve)

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      You might be, others aren’t. It’s one of the most played PC genres there is.

    • subedii says:

      Personally, I’ve never played a DoTA clone (never even played DoTA), I just know how hilariously angry and inaccessible its community.

      I’m actually looking forward to seeing what Valve do with it. What they achieved with the Team Fortress franchise was pretty freaking amazing. TFC was also a famously inaccessible game, but they were able to make changes to keep the gameplay fun whilst allowing more people to play. Removing grenades was a gigantic change for example, but it’s hard to argue that it wasn’t the right decision.

    • Imperialles says:

      Why are you lumping in Tower Defense with DotA? They really play quite differently, even though they both originated in the same modding community.

    • Sam says:

      @ Eclipse, please, that’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve read today (I did just wake up). If you don’t like the genre, don’t buy the game. There’s been HoN and LoL which have been successful clones of Dota, that’s hardly a lot.

      @ Imperialles, I totally agree. They are completely different Genres.

      @ subedii, yes, the HON community at least is abysmal. I hope Valve can fix this with their Dota game :).

    • 1nightStand says:

      @Sam
      “@ subedii, yes, the HON community at least is abysmal. I hope Valve can fix this with their Dota game :).”

      Err… how will they achieve that when the L4D community is one of the worst?

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      DoTA-clones take the concept of team-play to the extreme. They breed shitty communities and unbelievable fits of rage (which I’m guilty of at times) becaues of the nature of the game and it’s mechanics. Let’s have a look at some of them.

      The biggest and most prominent reason as to why people are complete twats when playing DoTA-clones is that it’s a team-game where dying actively helps the other team. You give them gold and experience if you die, so while in other games a bad player might just be useless and have to carried by the rest of his time, in DoTA-clones everytime they fuck up, the enemy team gets stronger, plus that bad player is leeching from the rest of the team by taking last-hits and experience, so it would actually be better if he weren’t there at all. Players react very badly to ‘feeding’ because if a player doesn’t do well and concedes their designated lane, they could cause the entire team to lose the match.

      It’s also a game with builds, ergo it breeds elitism. Certain players will get it into their heads that there are only two ways to play a particular hero, the right one and the wrong one. This is sometimes true but rarely, there are usually multiple ways to play a particular hero and various playstyles which work. It’s not just a problem with DoTA games, but with the internet in general. Gamers tend to lack critical thinking as a whole and cannot tell the difference between objectivity and their own subjective opinion. It’s their way or the highway.

      Gamers who play with pubbies, tend to blame every failure of their team on anyone but themselves. ‘OMG SHIT TEAM’ is pretty common amongst most multiplayer games but because of point 1, is exceptionally prevalent in DoTA-clones. This desire, nay perhaps need, to blame everything on other people, results in some of the mouthiest, obnoxious arseholes you’ll ever have the misfortune to play with.

      DoTA-clones generally have a high skill ceiling, a lot of variety and nigh on unlimited replayability. They are incredibly satisfying to play as an organised team, require both twitch skills and strategy and naturally lean towards the more competitive personality. They are hell to play with pubbies and you should not subject yourself to doing so. But then that’s the wonder of being a PC gamer. We have big communities of people who are mostly not arseholes, we have Vent, Teamspeak and Mumble servers, we use IRC, it’s very easy to organise yourself into a team of people who do not suck, so you can enjoy the game without having to deal with it’s community. If the community of DoTA-clone games is what’s putting you off I’d strongly suggest trying the above before dismissing whatever Valve has planned, as well as HoN, DoTA and LoL so readily. They are good games with horrible players.

    • Phinor says:

      I’m not sure Valve can do anything to improve the community. L4D community is pretty terrible too for newcomers.

    • Kid A says:

      I’d honestly rather put up with the occasional “OMG U SUK I R REPRT U FR FEEDING” git I get in LoL (which is, incidentally, probably the friendliest DotAlike community right now) than Left 4 Dead’s “stand here, do this, or I’ll shoot you myself/order everyone to kick you and we’ll do the campaign short-handed” lot, or the 12-year old “OLOL KWIKSCOPE NOSCOPE UP URS FAGET” Modern Warfare 2 crowds. DotA communities are no worse than other games, they’ve just been built up a hell of a lot more because of the increased risk/reward inherent in the combat.

    • Sam says:

      @ TotalBiscuit, everything you’ve said is spot on. However from what I’ve heard, the LoL community is a lot less intimidating than HoN’s. I think the reason HoN players are so hostile is that the game has an inbuilt rating and in depth stat recording system. People don’t like losing because it shows up as a loss on their record, it lowers their rating, which is used to join games (you can only join this game if you are over 1600 PSR etc.). AFAIK, LoL removes this which makes losing less of a big deal. I feel that if Valve can work out a system which still rates your skill, yet doesn’t punish players for losing as a team, they could fix the problem.

      They need to create a rating system for the individual player only, and not have your stats based on how your team as a whole does in the game. For example, your personal skill rating could consist of how many denies you make during the game, your kill:death ratio when playing a carry, whether you buy wards as a support, how much healing you do as support, etc. Basically, make the rest of your team irrelevant when evaluating your personal skill, and the community would be a lot more forgiving.

    • Janxer says:

      I just want to add that Tower Defense and Defense of the Ancients have, gameplay-wise, absolutely nothing in common. Apart from that they are both viewed from an isometric perspective.

    • mrmud says:

      @ biscuit
      “They are hell to play with pubbies and you should not subject yourself to doing so.”
      I have played about 50 games in LoL so far and I have only been verbally abused once.
      Sure people often bitch about the team and how people are nubs but the first time I was singled out was yesterday. It really sucks but the picture you paint doesnt take into account that alot of the time its actually fine.

    • Sam says:

      @ mrmud, you’ve never played HoN.

    • mrmud says:

      This is true. Quite intentionally.

  2. Matt says:

    Also worth noting the first time use of the tag ‘bemused and horny’. I look forward to seeing it again.

    • James says:

      As an American human, I can verify that we are all bemused and horny, and that developers are both aware of this and actively organizing their press releases around that knowledge.

    • Johnson says:

      I think “Americans have woken, bemused and horny, from their enormous beds” is my favourite ever RPS line.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      We need enormous beds for all the threesomes with beautiful blonde Swedish models we have all the time.

    • BAReFOOt says:

      You wish. You need the enormous beds because you are enormous. ;)
      But OK. Lose a small couple of tons, and you could fit half the population of Sweden in there. ;))

  3. int says:

    Can’t wait.

    What voice actor was this then?

  4. pakoito says:

    DO wanna see!!!

  5. BadHat says:

    But how about another tower defense\defense of the ancients game… WITH HATS?

  6. Nallen says:

    You’re announcing the announcement?

    You can’t pay for marketing like this. Or rather, you don’t have to.

  7. Vinraith says:

    It’s a cliche at this point, but I’m increasingly disinterested in any game announcement from Valve that isn’t a new Half Life title.

    • Premium User Badge

      JB says:

      Half Life: Defence of the Antlions?

    • MD says:

      I’m not even sure that I care about Episode 3 anymore :(
      I’d kind of like to see them do something completely fresh in the same general vein (narrative-driven FPS), be it Half-Life branded or not. I’m a bit bored with linear shooters, but I’d love a reason to change my mind and get enthused again. While Valve’s design ethos often frustrates me, they’re good at making compelling single-player games.

    • jon_hill987 says:

      Same, They have not released a single player game since The Orange Box. Come to think of it, they have not released a good game since The Orange Box, Left 4 Dead was poor and really didn’t need a sequel, and Alien Swam had all the same problems and added the stupidity of unlocking weapons as you played, I don’t want to play for hours before I get all the toys. Added to the fact that cooperative is the worst kind of online play, it is too easily ruined by other idiots playing.

    • Rinox says:

      @ Jon_hill

      You, sir, have a strange sense of ‘good’. Left 4 Dead (2) was some of the best value for money in my entire gaming career. But yes, you’ll probably need a few friends to play it with you to get the full kick out of it. But if you do, it’s orgasmically good and fun. So calling it a ‘poor game’ is a major exaggeration.

    • Rich says:

      Alien Swarm was good. Shame my PC can’t handle the biomass level.

    • subedii says:

      Co-operative is the worst kind of online play? Really?

      Man if your friends are acting like idiots and ruining the game, it’s not the game’s fault. I could go to the park for a 5-a-side kickabout but it’s not the fault of team based sports if you’re only playing with idiots who aren’t interested in playing the game and instead, I dunno, try to play the game whilst doing hand-stands.

      Co-op is freaking amazing fun when you’re working together with your mates.

    • Rich says:

      Co-op or team based objective games are about the only multi-player I can be bothered with. I’m not at all interested in ‘pooning’ any ‘noobs’, or what ever it is you kids call it these days.

    • Kadayi says:

      I want episode 3 sooner rather than later, but I wouldn’t be unhappy if after that they moved onto a new IP from Half life afterwards.

    • the wiseass says:

      I agree, co-op is pretty much the only online gameplay mode I still care about. I don’t want to play games to be competitive and I don’t care for “pwning nubs”. I’m not a competitive person, I prefer to work together instead of working against each other. I like to build and create stuff and not destroy them. I’m glad that with games like L4D, Borderlands, Trine, etc… online co-op is having it’s well deserved revival.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Kadayi

      Yeah, I’d be ok with them moving on after Ep 3, I’m just invested enough in those characters to want to see that plot and world get a proper ending.

  8. Twerty says:

    Yeah, to be honest, I love Valve as much as the next guy, listen to a weekly podcast about sourcemods and have about a jillion installed, but I really, really, don’t care for this game, nor just about any other announcement they make. I’ll laugh when they decide to release this in episodes, too, and never finish that, either. Or maybe they’ll release a second virtually identical, full-priced game less than a year after the release of the initial, like Left4Dead.

    • int says:

      Wait. Valve likes to make money? I thought they were driven by altruism!

    • Stijn says:

      Valve is a privately held company and thus isn’t necessarily completely built around the idea of making as much money as possible – which I’d say is also proven by them releasing Alien Swarm for free and the continued new content releases for TF2 and L4D2.

    • Tei says:

      A more accurate description is that Valve is not forced to have every quarter more profit than the older quarter. So don’t have to alight his profit to quarters, and can do long term invest that maybe will look bad in a corporation. I think Valve is as pro-profit as any corporation, but have the freedom to be more smart about it.

    • Zogtee says:

      “…but I really, really, don’t care for this game”

      Do you actually know what the game is about or is this an aversion to games in general?

    • skinlo says:

      I would happy if Valve released another 10 epsHL2, as long as the storyline was good and kept moving forward!

  9. Rich says:

    I want my, I want my, I want my episode three.

    • roryok says:

      That aint workin.
      Thats the way you do it!
      You play your Gordon on episode three.

      That aint workin.
      Thats the way you do it!
      Get your Barney for nothin and Alyx for free

    • Urael says:

      Speaking as someone who was annoyed by Alyx throughout HL2 and even more in the subsequent episodes, and who was not moved by HL2-Ep2’s ending one teeny itsy smidgen, I wouldn’t even take her at that price.

      Am I the only one who thinks the Half-Life series completely lost it’s way from HL2 onwards?

    • Rich says:

      Yes.

    • subedii says:

      I only feel it lost its way for the fact that Barney was MIA in Episode 2.

      Seriously, what was he up to whilst all that was going down?

    • CMaster says:

      @Urael.
      HL2 lost a fair bit of what made HL so special. By episode 2, any trace of the magic of HL1 was gone. However, they found a new way. Different, not quite as unique, but probably more acessible, certainly ore fun.

    • Wilson says:

      @CMaster – That’s how I feel as well. Half-Life 2 was good, but it wasn’t as amazing as Half-Life. Personally, I think that if Valve don’t somehow change up the gameplay a lot with episode 3, it’s going to be a disappointment. They’ve left it too long to just do another standard episode. They’re going to have to do something clever and innovative, in some fashion.

    • Howard says:

      @Urael
      Far from it. HL2 and its micro-add-ons are amongst the most boring, generic and utterly overrated games I have ever played. I really could not give a crap about that IP any more.
      I’m not saying Valve are out of ideas mind – Portal 2 is looking kinda amazing; but then Portal wasn’t their idea was it so maybe they are out…=D

    • Rich says:

      @Howard the only way I could disagree with you more is if you didn’t think Portal 2 looked interesting.
      Also, who’s idea was Portal? It wasn’t from Prey, that’s for sure.

    • Howard says:

      @RIch
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narbacular_Drop

      Valve simply hired those with talent, same as they did with CS and TF. The only thing they have ever created was Half Life, itself merely a mod of the Quake engine. Most overrated team ever? Most likely…

    • Miko says:

      I don’t want my Episode Three. Unless something radical and earth-shattering happens, I’m done with the Half-Life series. Team Fortress, Left 4 Dead, Alien Swarm, and Portal all eat Half-Life and all its sequels and spinoffs for breakfast, and short of Counter-Strike (ecch!) I’m far more interested in Valve doing anything other than more sodding Half-Life.

    • Rich says:

      Innovation is as much about recognising the potential of something and bringing in the talent that’ll make it work, as it is just coming up with stuff yourself. Valve also allows its staff to work on pretty much which ever project they like, so there’s no reason to assume the new talent that come in aren’t going to be involved in future, more original projects.

      Also, Half-life may have been a ‘mod’ for Quake 2, but it does so much more with the engine than ID did that it took FPSs to an entirely new level, i.e. one in which narrative is actually important (obscure games like Marathon not withstanding).

    • Howard says:

      No, that’s good marketing and investing. Innovation is innovating: creating new things, something Valve has not done since Half Life 1.

      Oh and HL1 is a Quake 1 mod, not Quake 2…

    • Rich says:

      Speaking as a research scientists, I can tell you that that’s bull. The use of other’s ideas, improving on them and applying them in your own way is absolutely innovation. If there’s someone else doing something better than you, and they’re interested in a collaboration, get them on your team.
      Valve have done exactly that, and they’ve expanded their knowledge base as a result.

      If I had to point a finger at the least innovative dev. team (of the few big names), it would have to be Bungie. They were a real innovator back when they made mostly Mac games, Myth and Marathon were we ahead of their time, but since then they’ve been flogging the same dead Halo horse. Halo 1 was genuinely innovative, but that’s it.

      Also, if HL is a mod for Quake, rather than Quake 2, then my point is even more valid. Compare what ID did when they went from Quake to Quake 2, to Quake to Half-life, and there’s no competition.*

      *I mean Valve’s output being far better, in case you plan on being a smart arse.

    • Fumarole says:

      You guys make it sound as if Valve is made up only of Gabe and any staff who were around when Half-Life was made, implying that people brought on board since are not really part of Valve. This is nonsense.

  10. Giant, fussy whingebag says:

    This is Valve’s new marketing strategy:

    Don’t release new Half-Life. For every announcement, be as vague as possible to stir up false hope and exaggerate interest. Pray that the game they are actually promoting is exciting enough for people to pay attention to it.

    I wish I had a pithier way of saying that.

    • Rich says:

      Valve is an angry God that relishes in our false hope and useless prayers, then feeds on our inevitable tears like a glutton.

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      Thermal Ions says:

      Well Valve might be vague, but everything else is about as subtle as a neon sign saying DoTA topped off by someone on a megaphone making sure you don’t miss it.

  11. The_B says:

    It’s funny how the Americans are always awaking bemused and horny whenever Kieron comes back from there.

    COINCIDENCE?

  12. Bas says:

    Now matter how pretty you dress it up, tower defense is dull.

    • mrmud says:

      And dota is nothing like tower defense.

    • Bas says:

      Durrr durrr durrrr

      I was thinking of Tower Defense (equally boring) at the time of typing, I meant to say Dota. I might need pills.

      However, any news by Valve that’s not Episode 3 is a disappointment.

  13. Stijn says:

    It’s frankly ridiculous for how long we haven’t heard anything about Episode Three. Even a “it’s not coming anytime soon” would be better than the current situation; I don’t get why Valve refuses to even comment on the subject. And yeah, I’m slowly losing my interest too.

    • Stijn says:

      This was supposed to be a reply to Vinraith. First time the reply system failed on me! Can I join the club?

    • Rinox says:

      This is gonna be slightly fanboyish, but still: they probably have a reason for not talking about it for so long. No idea what it could be, but there has to be. Valve is famous for its delays and long production times, but they have also been known to tease people about most of their projects long before they came out.

    • Stijn says:

      The problem with that they’ve been quiet about it for so long that they have to announce something really, really huge to justify making me wait all this time. I’ve been wanting to play it for over two years now, and even a small announcement that it is not coming out yet would be better than being left in the dark about whether it will actually ever be released at all (with the rumors of skipping to HL3 directly popping up every now and then).

      Of course, Valve doesn’t owe me anything and are free to be quiet on this for as long as they want. I personally just think it’s rather poor PR of them. Even Duke Nukem Forever had the occasional dev announcement of “it’s still coming when it’s done!”

  14. Barman1942 says:

    As much as I love Valve, I can’t say I’m too enthusiastic about this.

    Personally (and I bet I’m not the only one), I was hoping for the announcement of a certain game. You know of the game I speak of.

  15. idiotapocs says:

    I do not know why we need a new DotA game, Demigod was absolutely fun, its place should be on Steam. Or maybe should have been.

    • mrmud says:

      Why do we need HL2:Ep3 when HL2 was absolutely fun?
      Why do we need Civ5 when Civ4 was absolutely fun?
      Why do I need Freespace3 when Freespace2 was absolutely fun (sniff)?

    • idiotapocs says:

      Actually, HL is story based. CIV5, no thanx. Freespace is quite dated, and as I know, also somewhat story-driven. And besides, my primary problem is not the existence of a new game, but the neglecting of an already complete one.

    • pakoito says:

      Demigod is top #5 in the worst releases for pc in the last 5 years. Game is broken, bug-plagued, gets old too fast for its genre…

    • mrmud says:

      You should stick to pong if you dont want games to iterate on their ideas.

    • Rich says:

      “my primary problem is not the existence of a new game, but the neglecting of an already complete one.”

      There won’t be anyone to support the already complete game if the dev. goes bust for not producing and selling anything new. Also, why should Valve care about Demigod?

    • ScubaMonster says:

      @mrmud: Having put in several hours into Civ 5, I can safely say that game is nowhere near as good as Civ 4.

  16. Tei says:

    Has Valve done Medieval High Fantasy before?, I don’t think so. I am curious If valve can inyect some quality on these tired cliches that have become MHF.
    Will Valve Elfs and Orks be like everyone else Elfs and Orks, or we will see some twisth?
    (like, maybe Elves having long faces and musical voices, and a terriple apetite for eating souls?, that is not original, but will feel fresh)

    • James says:

      That’s a really good point, I would probably get any valve game regardless but that does give this hypothetical title a bit more interest for me.

    • Brumisator says:

      Well the unique (at the time) gameplay of DotA can easily be transposed into another setting.

    • James says:

      Could it? Especially considering they registered DofA.

    • Monchberter says:

      You mean it’s not sci fi, horror or spy fiction but HIGH FANTASY???!?!

      KILL IT WITH FIRE NOW!

  17. Jakkar says:

    Bemused and horny, from their enormous beds is infinitely more interesting to me this morning the announcement is likely to be.

    I usually have a faint urge to ponk you with a spatula, upon the nose, Quintin, but you made me laugh out loud in a snorty, cackly, giggly mashup I hope I never experience again.

    .. Touché.

  18. Atic Atac says:

    The only thing…and I mean the only thing they need to fix about games like Dota, Heroes of Newerth, League of Legends and Demigod is this:

    – Lower the barrier of entry. Make the design of the game such that you aren’t a noob for the first 50 or so games and in the case of all of these games…get shouted at for being an idiot throughout those games. (Granted the playerbase in Dota and Hon are much worse than the other two, but this is still rampant in Demigod and Lol games too). I am a pretty casual player and i really like the idea behind these games. I particularly enjoyed Demigod with a group of friends. However you need to make these kinds of games fun for noobs and casual players.

    • Imperialles says:

      Speaking as an avid HoN player, I can say that the fact that the game is hard is part of the appeal. There is a lot of room to grow as a player, and I think the game is all the more rewarding for it. It is simply not designed for mass appeal, but rather the niche (for lack of a better term) “hardcore gamer” market.

    • subedii says:

      Considering how inaccessible Team Fortress Classic was, Valve did an amazing job with Team Fortress 2 in keeping it an in-depth game whilst making it fun and accessible.

      If they’re maintaining their practice of always bringing in new people to test builds, then I’m hoping we’ll see similar happening here.

    • Sigma Draconis says:

      @ subedii
      Valve and Icefrog managing to balance good accessibility with deep gameplay is my one certain expectation for this DotA project due to their work on Team Fortress 2, and would be a great boon for the project in general. The overall atrocious community around DotA and its ilk is another issue, but I think they can find a way to alleviate that as well.

      In any case, I’ve got high hopes for whatever they reveal today.

  19. Alfonso says:

    New Valve release? today? All it can mean is Valve time so please come back tonight at 11:49 PM, Pacific time.

  20. siread says:

    Made me lol. :D

  21. televizor says:

    So CounterStrike, Team Fortress, Portal, Alien Swarm, Left 4 Dead and now DotA. And the only original thing Valve made still is Half Life (color me weird but I enjoyed 1 a lot more than 2) ?
    Talk about lack of imagination.

    And I don’t know if you remember Gabe “Weh mah buckit” Newell around the time when they announced HL2 Ep 1 saying ” Building them like this (episodic) will enable us to make an episode a year and the user will pay the same price for the same content, only they’ll see it coming out faster and episodic, it
    s a win-win situation”.

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      Newblade says:

      What is Valve? Aren’t the people who came up with those concepts part of it?

    • skinlo says:

      I’m fine with them having a ‘lack of imagination’ if that means they keep releasing great games like Portal , TF2 and L4D. Plus, HL2 is a lot better than 1, you just prefer 1 because of rose tinted glasses etc.

    • Urael says:

      @Skinlo. No. No no no no NO. Let’s kill the “rose-tinted specs”argument once and for all, shall we? Nostalgia does exist but please don’t dismiss comments all as such until you understand why people say them.

      Leaving out the graphical sophistication that HL2 clearly has over it’s parent, HL1 is simply a better game. Better pacing. More cohesive narrative. Simply a better story than the often-vague and badly explained world of HL2 (Scripting that rarely gets in the way of the player (unlike having to babysit Alyx for long periods of time in the episodes)…I have a far better time playing HL1 than I do in HL2. And a lot of that has to do with Valve’s insistence on telling their meandering, unfocused story through various annoying scripting devices over producing a tight game where YOU are the agent of change. In many ways, the new Medal of Honour game we’ve all just roundly panned for not allowing you to play when you want to play does nothing much worse than HL2 does when it pins you to a wall and makes you simply watch when a key character is killed in front of you…

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      AndrewC says:

      Umm, do you think the sense of powerlessness and impotent rage was a deliberate goal of that design decision?

    • Stephen says:

      I think a lot of why the HL2 world was vague and unexplained is that you were put into storage at the end of HL1 and woken up suddenly when you were needed again and, for some reason, things had continued to happen while you were out of it. You go into HL1 being a reasonably smart person to whom nothing weird with aliens has yet happened and in HL2 you’re effectively thrown into the future. It’s not even fair to expect him to still know what’s going on after the G-man dumps him on the train to City 17 and there’s deliberately no time to sit down with an NPC and be told everything that’s happened for the past few years.

  22. Mercurial says:

    Portal is unoriginal?

    • jalf says:

      In the sense that it’s a polished remake of a game made by students at Digipen, yes.
      It follows the usual Valve strategy of “see someone else making something new and interesting, buy them up, and ask them to do the same thing over again in the Source engine”.

      Exactly as happened with the other games @televizor mentioned

    • Wilson says:

      @jalf – I don’t think you can really call TF2 unoriginal. I mean, it was hardly a straight copy of the original mod was it? And how is L4D unoriginal? I don’t recall many other coop FPS zombie games. Even if Valve didn’t come up with the original ideas (e.g. behind portal) they still chose to finance and support them to full games. They should receive credit for choosing to do that (when they could have just made their own generic games).

      It doesn’t matter whose imagination, it matters that the imagination is supported. Valve seem to have a pretty decent record on that.

    • Mercurial says:

      Yes most of their games are polished retail releases of modders, indies and students ideas, but by retail/ commercial standards most of their games were pretty unique for their time.

    • Wilson says:

      @jalf – Actually, I can’t remember when the Killing Floor mod came out. Probably before L4D. They still did their own take on that idea though.

    • the wiseass says:

      @jalf: Are you fuckin’ kidding me? Narbacular Drop didn’t look anything like portal except for the portal game mechanic. But that’s not the only thing that made this game so great, at story and atmosphere add a great deal to the charm of this game.

      Also what’s wrong with buying up indie developers with good ideas and turn them into polished products? Them Indies get a decent job and we customer gets a superior product. I wish more big companies would take a look at the indie scene, maybe we would get more diversified and better games.

    • ScubaMonster says:

      @Wilson: I like Killing Floor a lot more than the L4D series. I think the only thing the two games have in common is being a co-op zombie shooter. They play drastically different.

    • jalf says:

      @the wiseass: please read my post. The issue was not whether Portal was a good game (I consider it one of my all-time favorites), but whether it was *original*.

      When you take the portal mechanic from Narbacular Drop, and add, story and atmosphere, that does not magically make it original. It does equal a quality game, sure, but the only real innovation was the portal mechanic, and that happened in Narbacular Drop.

      And I didn’t say there was anything wrong with buying up third party developers. So could you kindly find someone else to go ballistic on?

      @Wilson: I don’t have the dates either, but remember that L4D was being developed by Turtle Rock… and then Valve bought them. So again, the ideas (and yes, I think L4D was pretty innovative) didn’t come from Valve. They just saw that someone else had a couple of good ideas, and bought them up to develop those good ideas for Valve.

      As for TF2, was it original? How so? What was groundbreaking about it? As far as I can see, it is TFC minus some of the more distinctive gameplay features, and with far better, more stylized and, well, cooler graphics. But is that “original”? Maybe it is. They certainly did pioneer the cartoony art style. And that’s great. There weren’t many news in the actual gameplay, though, were there?

      Anyway, you guys are reading too much between the lines here .Try going back and read my actual post. I didn’t say Valve produces bad games, or that they don’t provide fundings for some exceptionally good ideas, and I certainly didn’t say a single bad word about Portal.

      I’m just pointing out that Portal, despite its many qualities, was not *original*. It was effectively the same team who made Narbacular Drop, creating a version 2.0 of the exact same idea. That’s not “original”. It’s just awesome. Which is good enough for me.

      But as others have mentioned, it is striking how few original games has Valve actually made. The Half-life series is pretty much the only one. Everything else has been a process of “find indies/third parties/students who are working on something awesome, then hire them to do the same thing *for us*”.

      And again, that’s not a bad thing. It’s just interesting.

      If you want to accuse me of bashing Valve, the following might be more relevant. You’ll still have to exaggerate my claims a bit, but at least in the following there’s some partly critical speculation:

      I’m wondering if the pattern of buying up external developers might also explain a lot about Valve’s games. I feel like they often tend to lose focus over time. TFC was, despite its flaws, a very tight game, gameplay-wise. TF2 is, in terms of gameplay, a very watered-down (but more accessible, and better looking) version of the same.
      People have been saying the same thing about CS, of course, since, what, version 0.7 as well, but I’ve never been enough of a CS player to notice it.

      L4D2 seems to fall into the same trap to some extent. One of the things I adored about the first game was its focus: everything was there for a reason: removing a single weapon or a single special infected type from the game’s arsenal would have dramatically altered the gameplay. Can you say the same for L4D2? In some ways, I feel like L4D2 went overboard, cramming as much content as possible into the game *just because we can*, for good and for ill.

      Time will tell if the same is going to happen to Portal 2.

      I’m sure it’s going to be *fun*, because Valve knows how to make fun games. It’ll also be polished because Valve knows how to make polished games. But they’re not too good at making tight, focused games. And that might be because Valve as a dev team isn’t as brilliant as they often like to pretend: most of what they release come in from the outside, and is then gradually expanded on and polished, but also watered down by the Valve hivemind.

      Just a thought. And of course, 100% genuine speculation.

    • Wilson says:

      @jalf – I didn’t think you were bashing Valve, but I disagree that the main part of originality is always in the core gameplay idea. As has been said, Narbacular Drop was very different to Portal, and it was as part of Valve that the team made Portal. Would Portal (or anything like it) ever have happened (or happened so quickly after Narbacular Drop) without Valve? If not, then they deserve some of the credit for the game. It takes imagination to see the potential in game ideas and other people, and Valve seem to have no lack of it there.

      And I think there was more to TF2 than just graphics and simplified gameplay mechanics (though the graphics are innovative of course). I don’t recall the original TF having the payload game type, and the medi-gun was a great idea changing how the medic plays. I would also suggest there is still imagination in streamlining and polishing a game. Stuff like the outlines of the characters being distinct is imaginative, even if it doesn’t jump out at you.

    • ScubaMonster says:

      @Wilson: I have to agree with you. Saying a core gameplay mechanic makes the first game to use it original/innovative while any future game that uses it is not, is a fallacy. That’s kind of like saying the classic Wolfenstein pioneered FPS games (probably was something before it, but heck if I know of anything), so any future game using FPS gunplay is not original.

    • the wiseass says:

      – “When you take the portal mechanic from Narbacular Drop, and add, story and atmosphere, that does not magically make it original.”
      Well, yes it does. I would not have played Narbacular Drop despite it’s portal mechanic simply because the game was lacking in every other aspect. Portal managed to blend a new gameplay mechanic with a unique storyline and atmosphere. Glados, the dialogue, the setting, the turn in events, the tie in to black mesa, the sound design, the graphics, the viral marketing, the riddles all this makes Portal a very unique game that stuck with me and many other people. The portal mechanic alone would not have had that effect.

      — “And I didn’t say there was anything wrong with buying up third party developers. So could you kindly find someone else to go ballistic on?”
      I’m sorry but you did. I’ll repeat it for you: “It follows the usual Valve strategy of “see someone else making something new and interesting, buy them up, and ask them to do the same thing over again in the Source engine”. So you were clearly criticizing this behavior in contrast to doing everything yourself from scratch. I was merely refuting that fact. Both approaches are equally valid and Valve has shown that they can do both.

    • Dominic White says:

      Reality/sanity-check time. Narbacular Drop was a proof-of-concept tech demo done by a bunch of students. Valve hired them on account of it being a really interesting prototype, and basically asked them to turn it into a full game.

      Game designs don’t just spontaneously appear out of nothingness. There are phases of prototyping. Design, redesign, tweaking, reworking, etc. To say that Portal is unoriginal is straight-up saying that because it’s based on its own prototype, it’s ripping it off.

      And that’s goddamn stupid, so stop it.

  23. Freudian Trip says:

    Looking over at the Heroes of Newerths reaction to this and this being released might be pretty much the best thing that ever happened to HoN community wise.

  24. Ravious says:

    Only after our daily pound of bacon and gallon of coffee.

  25. Severian says:

    Count me in as someone very interested by this. Personally, I enjoy the gameplay of Dota-clones and think it’s a genre worthy of further exploration and innovation. I also believe that Valve knows how to make online games accessible and “noob-friendly” (I’d include both TF2 and L4D, although I’m sure others would disagree). So I’m optimistic that they’ll be able to address the initial barrier–to-entry problem that Dota’s suffer from.

  26. Dozer says:

    Anyone else wincing at the word “Defense” in the title?

    Defence! Defence of the ancients! Get it right you yankee reprobates…

    • ScubaMonster says:

      To be fair, that’s the spelling of the original game. That leads me to believe the developers behind DoTA are american, but I have no idea if that is entirely correct. Can’t fault them for spelling the title of the game as it was originally named.

    • ScubaMonster says:

      Unless you’re also including the original creators spelling in that statement as well.

    • Dozer says:

      I fault all Americans for spelling Defence with an S. It goes against nature!

  27. EJ says:

    I am an American, and did in fact awake bemused and horny in my enormous bed!

    • The Innocent says:

      (yawn)

      I just got up. I’m feeling bemused and horny.

      What’s going on?

  28. Zero says:

    Ah, Mr. Smith, you forgot our morningly ritual of donning our ten-gallon cowboy hat and yelling “yee-haw!” in a thick Texan accent.

  29. MycoRunner says:

    I did also wake bemused and horny in my enormous bed! And far earlier than normal! Quintin, you understand us so much better than most of even our own kind.

    • Rich says:

      Wake up, get up, scratch arse (sorry ass), and go off to find something to eat or have sex with.
      For you, the evolution from Neanderthal to Homo Sapien is just something that happened to other people, isn’t it?

    • Matt says:

      That’s why donuts (doughnuts?) are the ideal breakfast food, because you can eat one while having sex with another.

      Bonus points if they’re glazed.

  30. Pijama says:

    /me fully expecting Valve Time will rear it’s ugly head and keep us outside on the cold

    IF NOT, THEN:

  31. Oak says:

    Demands of the Administrator, a new game mode for TF2?

  32. UncleLou says:

    It’s a cliche at this point, but I’m increasingly disinterested in any game announcement from Valve that isn’t a new Half Life title.

    Replace “increasingly” with “entirely” and “Half-Life” with single-player, and I am with you.

  33. Scandalon says:

    My bed is small, though the missus and I both fit on it okay, and I didn’t wake up horny, but that’s because of the incredible sex aforementioned missus and I had last night. And now I *AM* horny again, thinking about it, at work. Thanks.