Old Man Flurry: Chet Faliszek Leaves Valve

Hot on the heels of his hero Erik Wolpaw, Valve’s VR top-dog and grizzled bossman Chet Faliszek has announced that he’s leaving the company. Amicably, he claims, but anyone who’s ever met him will know that’s not possible.

Once famous, Chet Faliszek was previously an assistant to comedy writer Erik Wolpaw at the much missed internet website Old Man Murray. That ended in 2002, after which Faliszek wandered lost for three terrible years, until Wolpaw got him a job at Valve Software in 2005. “Together” they wrote the words for games like Half-Life 2: Episodes One and Two, Left 4 Deads 1 and 2, and something called Dotertwo.

Since Valve stopped making games, Faliszek moved on to helping them sell their VR hat, the Vive, and has been a huge advocate for the inevitably doomed technology over the last few years. But now it seems he desires something new.

Faliszek told GI.biz of his reasons for leaving, “Nothing exciting or drama filled. I worked there 12 years, shipped a bunch of great games and some amazing hardware and wanted to change things up. There’s no news on what’s next etc, I will let you know when that happens.”

Which I think we can translate to, “I will let you know when Erik lets me join in on his new cool thing.”

This means Valve has now lost three of its high profile writers in the last year and a half, with Marc Laidlaw leaving in January 2016. That just leaves Jay Pinkerton of the famous writing names, with Ted Kosmatka having also left after finishing Dota 2 lore. But then with no games being made, there’s presumably not a lot for them to do.

Disclosure: Chet Faliszek has always been very mean to me.

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125 Comments

Top comments

  1. Urthman says:

    OMG you people. Go read a couple articles from Old Man Murray before you try to pretend Chet Faliszek is some kind of baby that needs to be protected from this sort of humor or is going to cry "That's an unfair exaggeration!" about a critical jab at a games developer.
  2. Decadoice says:

    I have to say, I've been reading RPS since 1992, and as well as having an IQ of 184, I have a degree in English Literary Sarcasm from the University of Phoenix, and I couldn't tell this was tongue in cheek.

    There was no use of the sarcasm font, no pictures of tongues OR cheeks, and not a single emoji. If this was supposed to be sarcasm, John Walker doesn't understand how to write sarcastically.

    P.S. I have a great cultural understanding of the Britain Isles, I have studied it in depth, so don't tell me I don't get the humor.
  1. Fazer says:

    Valve are making 3 full games in VR, why are you stating the opposite?

    • Rikard Peterson says:

      I believe it’s an attempt of humour.

      (I need to find a replacement for this site. It’s turning me as bitter and snarky as John.)

      • Diziet Sma says:

        Or just don’t read articles by John Walker; I’m finding the rampant negativity increasingly irritating even in the guise of humour so may well follow my own advice.

        • Premium User Badge

          zinzan says:

          Gotta say I don’t find the humour (occassionaly dark & bitter:) ) any less amusing or difficult to follow/recognise than much British humour (And there may lie the problem).
          However I am aware that I have lived a life where surreal, self mocking, dry humour is greatly admired along with the well developed tradition of Stiff Upper Lip, dislike of pomp, disrespectful humour towards our “elders & betters.
          As evidence I refer you all to Monty Python, The Navy Lark, Car Share, The Office, Have I Got News For You, Mock The Week, Houses of Parliament, BBC News, Any British comedian, Hancock’s Half Hour, BBC Sitcoms etc.

          • Rikard Peterson says:

            The weird thing is that I love David Mitchell’s rants, and strangely even Richard Cobbett’s aggressive articles, and I honestly don’t know why other articles here get to me in such a bad way. (What I wrote in my earlier comment is true: what I think is the worst thing about these articles is what they do to me.)

            I was hoping for suggestions about similar sites, though. Not a discussion about who loves John’s writing or not. (I don’t like the pile-on on him either.)

            I love the “Social Justice Warrior” values of RPS. I usually appreciate the silliness. I like the PC-focus, as I don’t own a console. I love the indie spotlights. Basically, I really like RPS (I was a paid supporter for a while), I basically just have a problem with the unfriendly tone of many articles. Does a site exist that would fit me?

          • causticnl says:

            I see only bitterness

          • Babymech says:

            “Basically, I really like RPS (I was a paid supporter for a while), I basically just have a problem with the unfriendly tone of many articles. Does a site exist that would fit me?”

            link to clubpenguinisland.com

          • Rikard Peterson says:

            I fail to see how that site is similar to RPS.

            Yeah, I get what you’re saying: I’m not strong enough to belong in the world of Real Gamers™, and you know what, I agree. I don’t want to belong to the Real Gamers™ club either, which is why I was so glad when I years ago discovered RPS which seemed to have a different set of values. And I believe it still does, even if the comment section seem to have become harsher than I remember it being when I first got here.

            As I said earlier, I basically love RPS. I’m just not comfortable with the tone of things like this article and the recent Syberia one. Maybe my original comment was over the line (particularly in the context that John sadly seems to get a lot of aggression thrown his way since the GamerGoat thing… is the fallout from that still going on? I certainly don’t want to fuel those flames), but it was not written as a trolling attempt. It was the result of my frustration combined with an honest question for recommendations. Who better to ask for advice on finding a site like RPS than the readers of RPS?

          • SaintAn says:

            @ Rikard Peterson

            This site has a horrible UI, and is occasionally terrible with bouts of just outright bad, but gaming sites are in the dumps right now. It’s very hard to find a good one. I’ve been searching since Joytsiq died 2 or 3 years ago and been to a lot of sites and each one has been bad. I guess since gaming went mainstream with the lowest common denominator due to the rise of social media, the gaming sites went to shit trying to get them some of that lowest common denominator money.

        • Chaoslord AJ says:

          Read it three times, didn’t have a problem with the article. Not negative. What bothers me more are articles about games where they contributed or the attempts at politics.
          They usually cover my taste in gaming and have some deeper article now and then and as I’m not paying, I’m not complaining.

      • kincajou says:

        Have you had a look at cool ghosts? I know they also adress console games but their main idea is to remain positive (i think they’ve said there are epnough angry reviews around) and present “different” games

        • Rikard Peterson says:

          I have not. Thank you for your suggestion — I’ll look them up.

          • Vandelay says:

            Worth noting that half of Cool Ghosts is Quintin Smith, aka Quinns, who previously wrote for RPS. His Pathologic series of articles was actually the thing that brought me here.

            The other half is Matt Lees, who is also really great.

            CG do lots of videos, which may put some off, but they are really good quality and funny. Also see Shut Up and Sit Down for the same people (plus ocassionaly Pip and others,) doing the same thing for board games.

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            DelrueOfDetroit says:

            I’ve never understood how people can be so elitist to think that an audio-visual medium is not an appropriate way to discuss an audio-visual medium.

          • Josh W says:

            But Matt Lees, isn’t he so.. Pensive?

      • Nahadoth says:

        Could you please just do so already without whining about it? There’s nothing that turns me more bitter and snarky than humorless wankers being passive aggressive in comment sections.

    • Plank says:

      A single VR game made by Valve will cost you around £800. For one game.

      • Plank says:

        £880 for the three.

        • Plank says:

          I’m working on VR to Not VR software or NVR that will allow you to play VR games on your pc without spending £760 on a Vive.

          • Plank says:

            I have a control scheme worked out. Walk/run, left, right and back will be mapped to WASD. Jump will be mapped to spacebar (can you even jump in VR? Doesn’t matter, you can in NVR).

          • Unclepauly says:

            Will you have to cross your eyes to play?

    • Premium User Badge

      Nathan says:

      The relationship that games Valve has been making at one point and those that come anywhere near being released to the public is a shaky one, at best.

    • theblazeuk says:

      THIS IS A JOKE FELLOW HUMAN UNIT

      • Stevostin says:

        If that is I think it’s too subtle /vs journalism 101. While no stranger to irony or JW’s words, I didn’t think that it may be a joke. And I know about the “3 full games are being made” statement from GN. If you don’t have that taking this as a joke isn’t even an option.

        • Frank says:

          I mean, he could have said that they were now a gentlemen’s and ladies’ hat emporium, but that joke’s stale.

        • Premium User Badge

          phuzz says:

          When the first paragraph ends with a hyperbolic personal attack, it’s a good sign that the rest of the article is going to be similarly exaggerated.

        • theblazeuk says:

          QUIET THE HUMANS WILL NOTICE ONLY A ROBOT WOULD NOT KNOW THIS VITRIOL IS HUMOROUSLY FLAVOURED IN THE VEIN OF ELDERLY HUMAN MURRAY.

    • skeletortoise says:

      Because current VR games are briefly entertaining novelty toys relative to the games Valve used to put out. Sure, you can call them games and be technically right, but nobody’s counting down the seconds until Valve’s next VR diversion.

    • Nogo says:

      As someone with a vive (and that has read oldmanmurray, which is apparently a rarity) I’ll believe valve is making 3 VR games when 3 VR games are released by valve.

  2. int says:

    I do hope we one day find a vestige of proof that the cryptozoological creature known as Half-Life 3 actually is real.

    • Premium User Badge

      Stompywitch says:

      There’s plenty of evidence that HL sequels have been investigated over the last decade, but nobody at Valve wants to commit, for whatever reasons.

      At this point, it’s probably best to abandon hope. We’re a few generations of gamers away from when many people were really excited about a conclusion to the series.

      • Unclepauly says:

        I don’t get why they don’t just hand it off to someone who could do it some justice. Even as a side project type of thing, it doesn’t have to end the series. Just to keep the juice flowing so to speak. It just blows my mind that a company would let something like that rot on the vine.

        • hamburger_cheesedoodle says:

          They were doing exactly that at one point- Arkane Studios, of Dishonored fame were working on a Half Life 2 episode, but it got cancelled. We don’t know much about any of it or why it got scrapped really, just that it was going to be set in Ravenholm.

          link to en.wikipedia.org

      • Premium User Badge

        MajorLag says:

        It’s obvious why. No matter how good they made it it could never live up to the accidental hype. It’d be the next DNF, only more so. And you know what? I’m ok with it. There really isn’t anywhere new or interesting to go with Half-Life anyways.

        • Nogo says:

          Even it’s genre is dated these days. So it can’t really be a linear shooter, but if it’s not that then what? You can’t change it too much, or else you end up inventing Portal. Even the plot is cooked (Combine lose, yay. or not, boo).

          Just take a look at what’s happening to Star Wars. There’s really only so much you can do in a defined, explored space like that.

    • wwarnick says:

      I hope they drop it forever at this point. If they’d finished episode 3 and immediately started on HL3 after that, I would’ve been happy. However, after such a long hiatus and shift in focus for the company, I’m afraid that they’d do what Bioware did with the KOTOR trilogy and ruin it.

      I wish that the people that worked on HL3/Ep3 could come out and tell us what all of their plans were, and spill the beans on all the loose ends, like who the g-man is and who he’s working for, etc. But of course, that would be a bad move from a business perspective, so I doubt it would ever happen.

      • battles_atlas says:

        This would be nice, give us some closure, as they say on the television.

      • Chaoslord AJ says:

        Actually they don’t know how to end the story properly themselves or make sense of G-Man and all the loose ends they introduced kinda like Robert Jordan (rip) or George Martin kick the can down the road.

  3. Plank says:

    When Chet joined Valve they were a game developer.

    • LexW1 says:

      Indeed. I remember being extremely excited for L4D because he was involved, too, having followed Old Man Murray and Portal Of Evil (both of which Chet was heavily involved with), and L4D was indeed excellent (as was the sequel). It’s almost a pity he and Erik stayed with Valve for so long – rather than going and working on other games. Hopefully they made $$$ and will be able to work on something really cool.

  4. tanith says:

    Remember when Valve used to make games?

    Yeah, if I didn’t have Half Life 2 sitting in my Steam library I’d probably think I’m crazy for thinking that. Though that’s what happens when you have a company whose attitude to how much work someone does on something is “yah whateva”.

    • Premium User Badge

      Nathan says:

      They do release games at about the same frequency of most developers, still? They’ve been putting out new games once every 2-3 years for quite a while. They’re just not HL3, so everyone gets upset.

      • shocked says:

        2011 – Portal 2; 2012 – CS:GO; 2013 – Dota2; 2016 – “The Lab” (not really a game)

        Take a look at wikipedias list of their games. Their output definitely got thinner over the years.

        It’s more about steam and hardware now, isn’t it?

        • Sakkura says:

          They did dabble in making an actual OS and some hardware, and then VR became a priority. They say they have 3 major VR games in development, so maybe they’re getting back on track as a game developer.

    • Abacus says:

      Thing is most game developers don’t have to worry about overseeing the biggest PC game distribution service. In fact most don’t have to worry about making their own hardware, or managing huge esports events every season.

      Keep in mind Valve have probably made more games in the past 10 years than, say, Team Ico, but Team Ico is still considered a game developer.

      It’s fun to be bitter about Valve though.

      • brucethemoose says:

        They also have a enormous pile of money from Steam, and enough rep to pull in plenty of talent.

        Valve could easily churn out great games if they wanted, but they’re focusing on other things. In other words, it’s not really a lack of resources that’s stopping them, but a lack of interest.

    • PiiSmith says:

      Half-Life 3-D (Do I need to say more?)

  5. Uberwolfe says:

    I love John Walker!

    I think he’s great and funny and I think I fancy him a bit.

    • int says:

      Comment that could have been left unmade but wasn’t.

      I’ll read that!

    • Shigawire says:

      To be honest, John Walker is on my list of people who I dutifully trust when it comes to games reviews. His opinions on games, syncs thoroughly well with my own experiences / opinions. He was the reviewer who was dead-on right about several big games that I got burned on. He was spot-on with Fallout 4 f.ex.

      But, I do hope this sentence is irony. :P
      “the inevitably doomed technology.” (VR)

      • iainl says:

        I’m not as pessimistic about how inevitable VR’s demise is as John. But then, I’ve not actually set up a Vive of my own, so that may be the difference.

        • frightlever says:

          Entirely okay to be sceptical about the state of VR on PC right now, as under 400k estimated units of Rift or Vive have sold. Meanwhile about 6 million plus Daydream and Gear VR headsets are in the wild.

          I have a Vive that has been under a blanket to keep the dust off for the past few months, but I pull out the Daydream View regularly because it’s just SO much more convenient.

          Lighter, wireless, and most importantly cheaper headsets will take off on PC, but it’s a couple of years away.

          There’s simply no way VR isn’t going to take off, even if it’s just as a seated experience, because roomscale is neat but un-achievable for most people.

          £2-300 is probably the sweet spot.

          • Sakkura says:

            There’s an in-between option, standing VR. Works quite well.

          • Shigawire says:

            I love my Vive. But you are essentially correct on the price point. However, there are new ways of purchasing a Vive. HTC has started a interest-free down payment plan. So far only for US citizens. But they wish to saturate the market obviously.

      • Unclepauly says:

        I’m pretty sure the new revisions that come out will make it or break it. If VR doesn’t become reasonably cheap and easier to use it’s gonna wither away slowly. I know a lot of people who aren’t biting on price alone, if they can improve quality and ease of use that is just bonus.

      • Chaoslord AJ says:

        It’s doomed unless they come out with “real” games at some point like the next elder scrolls not some one hour tech demo.
        Mid-30s like my colleagues and me wait until the investment pays off as we got a lot of bills to pay.

    • lglethal says:

      Just curious, your American, right?

      To help you out with this article – Sarcasm is NOT just a canyon in Saarland…

      • Unclepauly says:

        You’re is the correct word, and I’m sure the average american won’t get that reference. No joke here :D

      • soul4sale says:

        I resent your blatant nationalism. Not all Americans are humorless literalists. And some of my best friends are Australian.

        But not British. Screw those guys.

    • melancholicthug says:

      Yet you clicked and commented. THEY GOT YOUR CLICK. THEM TERRIES WON.

  6. frightlever says:

    So, bit of background to this rather unfortunate article denigrating someone who has been involved in the games industry, in one way or another, for decades: John Walker wrote an article role-playing a baby-man who was unable to understand how to connect the Vive’s three cables. Chet called him out on this on Twitter, and that’s all really.

    • Coming Second says:

      Thanks for that. I do remember reading that article and thinking that even by Jonno’s usual OTT toys-out-of-pram standards it seemed overbaked.

    • Premium User Badge

      John Walker says:

      Yes. That’s right. Chet, whom I’ve met and interviewed many times over the last decade, is my bitter enemy because of the one time you noticed a tweet between us, and that’s the reason I wrote this completely serious and sincere article: to get my revenge on him!

      Good lord.

      • frightlever says:

        It’s on you if I’m unable to tell when you’re writing clickbait, being serious or writing an ironic love letter.

        I’m seeing someone I respect being treated like shit, so if it’s an inside joke perhaps you should telegraph it more clearly.

        FWIW, I doubt Chet considers you a bitter enemy, or likely even remembers the incident.

        • Premium User Badge

          John Walker says:

          It might be that it’s on you to not announce your own imagined nonsense as fact because you couldn’t tell that a really obviously silly article was silly.

          And *I* didn’t remember the “incident” until you brought it up, you great twerp.

          • frightlever says:

            You seem to be pretty defensive for someone who isn’t taking this very seriously.

            Also, stealth edit to remove some of the ad hominem. Neato. Such professional.

          • Premium User Badge

            John Walker says:

            I took out the bit where I called you “dear”.

          • causticnl says:

            wow hit a nerve there.

          • Ooops says:

            In frightlever’s defence, it wasn’t clear to me either what the intent of this article was. And that, even though I’m familiar with RPS in general and your writing in particular (I even follow your musings on twitter!). Maybe because I’m not a native English speaker?

            And it’s not like you never insulted someone in public before (“pathological liar”, which I 100% approved and think was overdue but that’s beside the point), so it’s not completely stupid to take this article literally.

          • skeletortoise says:

            causticnl:

            Yeah, such a nerve that John couldn’t restrain himself and he actually dropped the T word.

        • Bent Wooden Spoon says:

          I’d say it’s on you. I got his meaning just fine, whereas everyone in these comments getting worked up about the article reads either like a touchy Valve fanboy intentionally seeking offence or just not particularly good at reading comprehension – it’s no coincidence that all the recognisable names doing so are the comment section’s resident idiots.

          • Unclepauly says:

            I guess I didn’t say why I was LOL. I thought it was ridiculous to think John would put down Valve or VR over a spat with a guy who doesn’t work there anymore. John has always thought VR was doomed from what I’ve read.

        • Beerey says:

          This article was pretty clearly tongue in cheek. If you’re unable to grasp sarcasm or this style of writing, then maybe this site isn’t for you. Maybe next time you should stop and think before taking to the comment section and making yourself look silly.

          I like this site, I like the writers, I agree with them on most things, and its getting tiring seeing the endless attacks and vendettas in the comments from internet trolls who have nothing better to do than try to stir outrage and cause drama.

          • jama says:

            I think that I’m a fairly intelligent person and that I can read sarcasm well. I think I get the tone of 99% or even 99.9% of all RPS texts I read. This article was not one of those articles, though, for whatever reason (I don’t think the reason is that I’m ‘dumb’ though)

        • skeletortoise says:

          This is fantastic.

          “It’s on you if I’m unable to tell whether this article is an encrypted distress signal, a pasta recipe, or an endorsement of genocide.”

          The only way a reasonable person could possibly read this as some form of hit piece is if they simply read the opening paragraph, assumed the worst, and jumped down to the comment section. Otherwise all you would need is a mildly developed sense of humor or a passing familiarity with the style of RPS or John to get that the personal touch on this article was in good fun.

        • theblazeuk says:

          Oh dear. FWIW, you’re waaaay off and this is pure cringe.

    • Furiant says:

      Everyone keeps saying how obviously tongue-in-cheek this is. I don’t really analyze any particular RPS writer’s style, and couldn’t name a particular Walker article off the top of my head. I haven’t followed his tweets. I didn’t know who Faliszek was until reading this, which I clicked on because the description sounded dramatic.

      I read the entire thing mostly literally, because I don’t have 10 years of context and twitter and obscure developer website history. I won’t believe that I’m stupid or humorless for not getting the Big Joke of this one. It’s entirely reasonable to believe what I’m reading on a gaming news website that I generally respect.

      I’m not upset, but I do now realize that I cannot take articles here at face value. I just wonder if your intent was partly to poke fun at people who wouldn’t know better.

      • Babymech says:

        “I won’t believe that I’m stupid or humorless”. And you know what? You’re not alone; in actuality, most people won’t. This is one of the fundamental tragedies of society.

      • Premium User Badge

        Nauallis says:

        On the other hand, if you’re confused about the content of an article, or you don’t like what it says, it’s perfectly okay to not comment, keep scrolling, and read something else. A lot of the commenters here seem to think they have some fundamental right to not be offended. It’s a fun game of “spot the idiot.”

        • Furiant says:

          And as I said, I’m not upset. I don’t get offended about game news articles. I’m simply pointing out that it’s not unreasonable to take an article at face value if you don’t have the context required to see the humor.

      • iucounu says:

        There are some pretty obvious clues that it’s tongue-in-cheek even if you have no context, I think. “Something called Dotertwo”? “VR hat”? “Anyone who’s met him will know that’s not possible”?

      • skeletortoise says:

        I’ve read RPS off and on for maybe a year. I’m vaguely aware that Chet works at valve and did writing. I follow no one on Twitter. I did not get my masters in Context Relevant to this Article, and yet it’s pretty clearly jokey to me. I can totally understand someone without English as their first language not seeing that, but otherwise it seems odd. For one thing, I fail to see what’s actually *mean* about the article. It’s a few vague and goofy hints at Chet being no good interspersed through a completely normal news story. He signs off with a disclosure that Chet’s always been ‘very to mean to me’. If nothing else should have indicated a joke, it’s that. If you really despised and had an axe to grind with someone, why give such a disclosure? It almost sounds… comically childish and petty. Like some kind of a joke.

      • Frank says:

        “I’m not upset, but I do now realize that I cannot take articles here at face value.”

        Yeah, RPS is not really a news site. They write about what interests them in the PC-gaming-verse, in whatever manner they want. See, for example, the Steam sales charts articles they’ve been doing.

      • Yglorba says:

        The joke is basically that this is exactly the way Chet writes. Anyone who didn’t read OMM or follow Portal of Evil (a website he used to run) wouldn’t get that, though.

  7. Jerppa says:

    He looks like a car salesman stalking his prey.

  8. Nevard says:

    Did there used to be a more inflammatory article here that was replaced or has there really been some kind of controversy in response to, as far as I can tell, a handful of sentences of incredibly mild ribbing and a couple of air quotes to add flavour to an otherwise fairly dry reporting of fact? Good lord.

  9. Premium User Badge

    Grizzly says:

    Staring eyes tag? :-)

  10. Jeremy says:

    I got a good laugh at the delivery of “Since Valve stopped making games…”

  11. Urthman says:

    OMG you people. Go read a couple articles from Old Man Murray before you try to pretend Chet Faliszek is some kind of baby that needs to be protected from this sort of humor or is going to cry “That’s an unfair exaggeration!” about a critical jab at a games developer.

  12. Urthman says:

    On the one hand, it’s tragic that Erik and Chet spent so many years not publishing very much at Valve. On the other hand if you’d asked me in 2000 whether Erik and Chet deserved to have the games industry pay them a huge salary for a decade to say thank you for Old Man Murray, I’d have said “Hell, yeah.”

  13. mercyRPG says:

    Good riddance! Now go to the dark side of the Moon and advertise thy hellish VR junk there!

  14. Premium User Badge

    DantronLesotho says:

    THAT’s what Chet Faliszek looks like? I’ve only seen his twitter account avatar.

  15. changeofpants says:

    These comments are so good.

    I can’t detect sarcasm without being nudged in the ribs. How dare you write a sarcastic article about one of the writers for Old Man Murray, a famously serious and straightforward game review site, without telling me that the article was joke at the end!

  16. dan! says:

    Maybe John should stick to copy/pasting press releases or copying the blurb off of the back of the box and listing the system requirements in his reviews?

    I mean, holy shit, some of these commentors would be apoplectic if they’d ever read anything by Stuart Campbell, or J Nash’s ever increasing nonsense.

  17. Skeletor68 says:

    Time to Crate has been replaced by Time to Hate in the comments section.

  18. Babymech says:

    Now he can finally start coding Alien vs Child Predator II.

  19. Scelous says:

    I’ve never understood this notion of someone working for a successful company and who makes a lot of money quitting to “try something new.” Least of all a writer, as writing isn’t always the most lucrative of fields.

    Now, I do say that as someone who is poor and has had a hard time in my life finding a good job, so obviously that colors my impression. Still, I would have hung on to that job at Valve with an iron grip. I’ll be interested to see what both Chet and Erik end up doing.

    • Babymech says:

      For Erik we have a pretty good idea already, right?

      link to google.com

    • Jeremy says:

      It is most definitely a position of privilege (and I mean that in a non-pejorative way). Working for larger outfits means there tends to be a lot of red tape and channels to work through, and often means your own ideas and creative endeavors get sidelined for company goals. A lot of of great games that we have all been fortunate to play in the last 5 or 10 years have come from people like Chet who have set out on their own.

  20. Darth Gangrel says:

    “I will let you know when Erik lets me join in on his new cool thing.” Since my name is Erik, I’m going to interpret that however I please.

  21. Decadoice says:

    I have to say, I’ve been reading RPS since 1992, and as well as having an IQ of 184, I have a degree in English Literary Sarcasm from the University of Phoenix, and I couldn’t tell this was tongue in cheek.

    There was no use of the sarcasm font, no pictures of tongues OR cheeks, and not a single emoji. If this was supposed to be sarcasm, John Walker doesn’t understand how to write sarcastically.

    P.S. I have a great cultural understanding of the Britain Isles, I have studied it in depth, so don’t tell me I don’t get the humor.

    • Babymech says:

      Oh come on. You’re clearly a man of the world, and yet you couldn’t see something so obvious? For shame. I’ll give you a hint – it’s not a question of what John writes, or how he writes it – the content of the article is perfectly serious and earnest, after all. Still not seeing it? Here’s a hint: scroll back to the top. … “Faliszek”? “Faliszek“?! What droll, ribald ludicrousness of a name!

    • WombatDeath says:

      The problem you’ve got is that you’ve posted this gem at the end of a lengthy comments section, so not many people are going to see it. My technique, on the occasions that I have a funny comment to make, is to post it as a reply to the first comment with a risibly tenuous connection to superficially justify my blatant attention-seeking.

    • Arren says:

      Urthman’s ‘top comment’ got the point across in a prosaic way — but you, Decadoice, have delivered a delightful word-confection: a petit four of a comment, layered with wit and panache.

      Well done.

  22. Premium User Badge

    zigguratvertigo says:

    Excuse me, but -how- many writers have left Valve in the last year and a half? Interesting…

  23. The Bitcher III says:

    A bit of journalistic discipline would go a long way around here. Over excited lunacy is fun once in a while, but you have short articles, and the purpose of the site is to inform. Please, more concision and self-editing. Are you doing redrafts, or just running it through spell check?

    Amidst the wonderful content is a lot of stuff that reads like a facebook group full of inside jokes and petty concerns.

    Having said that, I frequent another site that uses deliberately obscure and whimsical acronyms, misspellings as self-effacing inside jokes. It creates a vibe that keeps me coming back…. fun and irreverance towards itself.

    Maybe I just don’t like vibe here.

    • Babymech says:

      Now this is what this discussion needs. Please tell a co-founder and senior editor of the site what the site is for and what its editorial policy should be. This has been a long time coming, but finally someone is here to clear it up.

      Seriously – even if the rest of the site was as dry and boring as you envision it, the tone of this article would still make perfect sense… because it reads like an Old Man Murray article, and that’s the best tribute to Chet.

      • The Bitcher III says:

        Ignore me, I’m just a bit off ATM. If I could delete the post every trace I’ve left on the world in the past few weeks, I would.

  24. Premium User Badge

    geoffreyk says:

    RPS, please, never change. Do not listen to the people who felt that the article felt a little bit “off”, and rather than explore the topic and its immediate context to educate themselves, jumped to the conclusion that the author was being weirdly mean to a celebrated industry person.

    To these people: Look inward! Sometimes it is you who does not get it. It is not the world’s job to do all the heavy lifting for you.

    To our English-As-A-Second-Language friends: misunderstanding is completely understandable, but also maybe second-guess yourself a little bit more before assuming the worst of a native speaker’s intent. This probably isn’t the first time you’ve misread written sarcasm in a foreign language, and it won’t be the last. (As an aside: mad props for knowing more than one language, I bet you’re awesome at sarcasm in your native tongue)

    I come here for sincerity, and silliness, and have been doing so for years. If I wanted regurgitated press releases and personality-free writing, I have an endless supply of that from across the greater internets to choose from.

    My subscription was up this month, and while I’m cautiously pessimistic about the recent sale, I’m nonetheless going to put my money where my mouth is: Mr. Walker and company, I just re-upped for another year. You (and everyone else embraced in the warm nooks and crannies of the infinite Horace) keep doing you! Here’s to another year of excellence!

    • Shigawire says:

      Well written, sir. I don’t feel I’m a nincompoop, but having read enough of the comments here I readily admit that the sarcasm of this article was lost on me. Most likely, because I did not have all of the backstory to connect the dots. I’m here mostly to read John Walker’s opinions on games, which have been 100% in sync with my own views. That way, I may avoid wasting money on a game. But then, once in a while, some story is written, about an esoteric character or subject. And I’m expected to understand that it’s sarcasm or irony. I’m sorry to the writer, but if you write with assumptions that your readership will understand the sarcasm, your sarcasm will fail. You need to write in a way that makes sure everyone is on the same page as you – maybe you can put more emphasis on the lead-up of the story. A primer.

      Regardless, I too, will continue to follow RPS. And at the very least, I’ll pay closer attention to potential sarcasm and irony.

    • Rikard Peterson says:

      I want to try to clarify my position a bit.

      To me, the main point wasn’t “that the author was being weirdly mean to a celebrated industry person.” Yes, it is good that this is an in-joke between two writers who were both amused by it, along with a large portion of RPS readership.

      My objection is simply that I can’t, or at least don’t want to, deal with this kind of jargon or tone. Even if it is 100% obvious that it is meant as a joke. (I wouldn’t like it better if it was written in my native language.) There is enough nastiness in the world as it is. And it wasn’t this article in isolation – the Syberia article in particular comes to mind. It is possible, and likely, that I am much too thin skinned, but reading things like this fills me with darkness. (I don’t know if that’s a good way to describe it, but I can’t think of a better way at the moment.)

      It is possible to be highly critical of something, and ridicule it, in a different way. In the words of Film Crit Hulk: “NEVER HATE A MOVIE”. (You can look that up for a lengthy explanation. It’s a long article, but well worth reading.)

      It has been suggested that I should just shut up and leave already. Last time I left this site (and canceled my supporter subscription), I’m pretty sure I did so silently without stating my reasons for doing so. I’m not looking to pick a fight. I recently came back (after a few years, I think) to give RPS another go because I haven’t found another games site that is as good. (I’m currently not following any other game sites.) If it hadn’t been for the agressiveness, RPS is almost exactly what I want from a games site. (Or at least as close to it as we’re going to get. I’m not interested in every article, but that’s ok. Of course.) That is why I don’t want to leave, even though I probably will have to.

      I’ll end with this quote that you should recognise: “We love having a friendly, positive and constructive community – you lot are great – and we want to keep it like that.” (I should add that I don’t mean that as an accusation to anybody, but that it’s a good thing to aim for.)

      • Premium User Badge

        geoffreyk says:

        A few things, and I’ll try (try!) to be brief.

        My comment may have included you, but was certainly not directed only at you. I was making broad generalizations, which I knew would not capture the entire nuance of any given position stated by others; I was trying to speak to a through-line that I perceived across multiple messages.

        I think it is understandable to get burned out on our perpetual cultural snark and to seek refuge. As an example, I really enjoyed Zero Punctuation for a while, but it got old for all of those reasons. On the other hand? I read the same Syberia WI(d)T, and flagged it as the rare exception where RPS tore a game a new one. I attribute that to this site’s willingness to embrace the full range of human response to commercial products, and part of why everything being a 7/10 is a running joke here, rather than the universal norm it is everywhere else. I value the honesty, and trust that if there is anything interesting or unique and worth exploring about the game, there’s a good chance that one of the writer’s here might pick up on it and write a fascinating article about it.

        Thank you for the HULK reference; I’ve enjoyed other stuff he’s written, but had never run across that specific piece. I think if you want more of this kind of perspective (the omnivorous approach to what is good or bad or interesting about games, independent of whether they’re fun to play), I highly recommend Critical Distance; they’re my academic coffee shop whereas RPS is my pub.

        • Rikard Peterson says:

          Thank you for your recommendation! I’ll check them out.

          Also good to hear that RPS tearing a game a new one is a rare occurrence. Maybe I had some bad timing with my return to these parts. I’ll probably keep the site in my RSS reader a while longer…

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