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MINERVA Goes Pro: Valve Hires Ultra-Modder

We're far too late with this, and we feel extraordinarily bad for it - E3 has an unfortunate tendency to possess games journos body and soul for one mad week a year. But it's never too late to celebrate, and so we shall.

Adam 'Cargo Cult' Foster, the delightful fellow behind what's comfortably the finest singleplayer HL2 mod in the 'verse, MINERVA: Metastasis, has snagged himself a job at Valve. Let there be much rejoicing.

Says the man himself:

I'll be starting at a certain Valve Corporation at the beginning of October. What does this mean for MINERVA? Right now, I don't know - I'll initially be working on Valve's own Episode Three, but after that, who knows? I seriously suspect this isn't the end for this particular chain of experiments in designing single-player Half-Life 2 maps, all conducted for fun in my spare time.

Like any of my projects, it started off small, but rapidly grew far, far, bigger. It's not finished yet, but this time I actually released something. 'Episodic' worked.

And, I accidentally acquired a job in the process. Oops?

To everyone, thanks.

Congratumalations, Adam! It's well-deserved without a doubt - and way past time, as anyone who's played Minerva will attest to. Unfortunately we missed out on the mini-ARG Adam presented on his blog that ultimately led to this cheerful revelation, but a slew of canny RPS readers, amongst other denizens of Adam's own site, managed to decipher his elaborate code. It involved hacked audio files, the Polish national anthem and GPS co-ordinates, from what I hear - co-ordinates that turned out to be Valve HQ.

A cunning puzzle indeed, and one of many reasons why Adam's upcoming tenure at Valve really is good news for gamers. I fervently hope to see his remarkable level-design efficiency applied to Half-Life 2: Episode 3 - this man could save us from those all-too-regular HL2 loading points.

If you've not played Minerva yet, especially its remarkable third episode, now is the time. Do so quickly, so you can legitimately say 'I preferred his early work' come Episode 3.

Thanks to Tom and Chris for tipping us off to these glad tidings.

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