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Leaked Valve Employee Handbook?

PC Gamer reproduces what's purported to be a handbook for new employees at Valve, the privately held video game developer that created Half-Life half a lifetime ago. This appears to be bona fide, and offers additional details and insights on the company's unusual hierarchy and way of conducting business.

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38 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 2.
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18. Re: Leaked Valve Employee Handbook? Apr 21, 2012, 19:28 eunichron
 
killer_roach wrote on Apr 21, 2012, 18:10:
Kristian Joensen wrote on Apr 21, 2012, 16:46:
killer_roach wrote on Apr 21, 2012, 16:41:
Dev wrote on Apr 21, 2012, 16:09:
What Is Valve Not Good At?
[...]
Finding and hiring people in completely new
disciplines (e.g., economists! industrial designers!).

I'd add server specialists, UI specialists, etc too.

If they're interested in hiring a tech-savvy economist, they know where to find me.

They ARE looking to hire Economists: http://www.valvesoftware.com/jobs/job_postings.html

*sigh* Yet another posting with the same "four years experience required" BS... really getting annoying for somebody just out of grad school when everyone wants 3-5 years experience for most any position.

That sucks... I'm just about to start grad school in the fall, but I've been keeping an eye on the job market for my chosen career, and almost all of them say, "3-5 years experience OR a masters degree." Of course, the entire reason I decided to go back to school was because all of the jobs I was looking at as an undergrad required 7-10 years experience in addition to a bachelors.
 
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17. Re: Leaked Valve Employee Handbook? Apr 21, 2012, 19:13 grudgebearer
 
I work for a decent company (champagne when we deliver a product, homebrew when someone brings it in, dogs running around the office occasionally, flexible hours etc...) and our handbook still reads like a bunch of legal jargon solely designed to protect mgmt from lawsuits.

Kudos to Valve for keeping it on the level...
 
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'I'm not going to walk in through the front door - or the side door - and let you do the talking, just like that. You think I got this old not knowing how to stay alive?'
- Harlon Nayl
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16. Re: Leaked Valve Employee Handbook? Apr 21, 2012, 19:07 Dev
 
killer_roach wrote on Apr 21, 2012, 18:10:
*sigh* Yet another posting with the same "four years experience required" BS... really getting annoying for somebody just out of grad school when everyone wants 3-5 years experience for most any position.
So you going to just give up on it then?

I doubt valve is a stickler for that, if someone could impress them enough, they'd probably hire them. For instance, people who do good maps have impressed them before into hiring them. So mappers impress with maps, staying on the same vein, I can think of a number of ways an economist could possibly impress a game company such as valve. Here's one I'll toss out for free, deep insightful papers written on game economies.

I'm not going to do your job for you, if you want it bad enough, I'm sure you can think of things.

This comment was edited on Apr 21, 2012, 19:27.
 
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15. Re: Leaked Valve Employee Handbook? Apr 21, 2012, 18:10 killer_roach
 
Kristian Joensen wrote on Apr 21, 2012, 16:46:
killer_roach wrote on Apr 21, 2012, 16:41:
Dev wrote on Apr 21, 2012, 16:09:
What Is Valve Not Good At?
[...]
Finding and hiring people in completely new
disciplines (e.g., economists! industrial designers!).

I'd add server specialists, UI specialists, etc too.

If they're interested in hiring a tech-savvy economist, they know where to find me.

They ARE looking to hire Economists: http://www.valvesoftware.com/jobs/job_postings.html

*sigh* Yet another posting with the same "four years experience required" BS... really getting annoying for somebody just out of grad school when everyone wants 3-5 years experience for most any position.
 
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14. Re: Leaked Valve Employee Handbook? Apr 21, 2012, 17:13 Fletch
 
TRollinThundr wrote on Apr 21, 2012, 16:17:
HL2 and that series in general (and I know I'm going to get jumped on for this) is one of the most overrated titles ever imo. Portal sucked, Counterstrike sucks, L4D sucks. Much like Blizzard, Valve is right up there in regards to most overrated developers in the industry.

...It's a digital distro system, just like D2D, or Origin, or Impulse etc. That's all it is.

Yeah, ok.
 
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13. Re: Leaked Valve Employee Handbook? Apr 21, 2012, 17:01 Dev
 
RollinThundr wrote on Apr 21, 2012, 16:17:
HL2 and that series in general (and I know I'm going to get jumped on for this) is one of the most overrated titles ever imo. Portal sucked, Counterstrike sucks, L4D sucks. Much like Blizzard, Valve is right up there in regards to most overrated developers in the industry.
Tell us how you really feel.
 
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12. Re: Leaked Valve Employee Handbook? Apr 21, 2012, 16:46 Kristian Joensen
 
killer_roach wrote on Apr 21, 2012, 16:41:
Dev wrote on Apr 21, 2012, 16:09:
What Is Valve Not Good At?
[...]
Finding and hiring people in completely new
disciplines (e.g., economists! industrial designers!).

I'd add server specialists, UI specialists, etc too.

If they're interested in hiring a tech-savvy economist, they know where to find me.

They ARE looking to hire Economists: http://www.valvesoftware.com/jobs/job_postings.html
 
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11. Re: Leaked Valve Employee Handbook? Apr 21, 2012, 16:41 killer_roach
 
Dev wrote on Apr 21, 2012, 16:09:
What Is Valve Not Good At?
[...]
Finding and hiring people in completely new
disciplines (e.g., economists! industrial designers!).

I'd add server specialists, UI specialists, etc too.

If they're interested in hiring a tech-savvy economist, they know where to find me.
 
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10. Re: Leaked Valve Employee Handbook? Apr 21, 2012, 16:39 [VG]Reagle
 
Yah but what they do ship is awesome.  
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I am MUCH MUCH MUCH MUCH MUCH MUCH MUCH better now.
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9. Re: Leaked Valve Employee Handbook? Apr 21, 2012, 16:17 RollinThundr
 
theyarecomingforyou wrote on Apr 21, 2012, 14:51:
RollinThundr wrote on Apr 21, 2012, 13:47:
translation: after we loopholed our way and screwed over Vivendi/Sierra who were pressuring us to release a product sometime in the same decade we had contracted to.
Yeah, let's pity Vivendi - the €60bn company that owns Activison/Blizzard. The company that was found by a jury to have lied to shareholders about its shaky financials. The company that refused to pay Valve royalties it owed and was required by an arbitrator to pay Valve over $2.3m. Whatever.

Valve wanted to put out decent games and Vivendi kept interfering. They both settled, meaning both parties accepted the agreement. And given what Valve has done for the gaming industry I think it's ridiculous to paint them as the bad guys.

I don't pity Vivendi, if I pity anyone it's Sierra for going with the CUC/Cendent deal which pretty much destroyed them as a company, for now being defunct after making some of my very favorite titles over the years. HL2 and that series in general (and I know I'm going to get jumped on for this) is one of the most overrated titles ever imo. Portal sucked, Counterstrike sucks, L4D sucks. Much like Blizzard, Valve is right up there in regards to most overrated developers in the industry.

Personally while Steam is a nice convenience to have anytime I want to buy a game and it's say 3am, the way some people call it the savoir of PC gaming, just makes me cringe. It's a digital distro system, just like D2D, or Origin, or Impulse etc. That's all it is.

 
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8. Re: Leaked Valve Employee Handbook? Apr 21, 2012, 16:09 Dev
 
What Is Valve Not Good At?
[...]
Finding and hiring people in completely new
disciplines (e.g., economists! industrial designers!).

I'd add server specialists, UI specialists, etc too.

RollinThundr wrote on Apr 21, 2012, 13:47:
Edit: holy shit no wonder nothing ever ships.
And this is a surprise why? Valve says this is the way they work continually. I've pointed it out in many valve threads.

They DO ship, just rarely.
 
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7. Re: Leaked Valve Employee Handbook? Apr 21, 2012, 16:08 Fletch
 
It's like a hippy compound with shitloads of money.  
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6. Re: Leaked Valve Employee Handbook? Apr 21, 2012, 15:12 Jensen
 
OMG! In one of the pictures an employee is wearing a HL3 shirt!  
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5. Re: Leaked Valve Employee Handbook? Apr 21, 2012, 14:55 Nate
 
Read that whole handbook. Can see why it takes new employees a year to get used to the lack of management.  
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4. Re: Leaked Valve Employee Handbook? Apr 21, 2012, 14:51 theyarecomingforyou
 
RollinThundr wrote on Apr 21, 2012, 13:47:
translation: after we loopholed our way and screwed over Vivendi/Sierra who were pressuring us to release a product sometime in the same decade we had contracted to.
Yeah, let's pity Vivendi - the €60bn company that owns Activison/Blizzard. The company that was found by a jury to have lied to shareholders about its shaky financials. The company that refused to pay Valve royalties it owed and was required by an arbitrator to pay Valve over $2.3m. Whatever.

Valve wanted to put out decent games and Vivendi kept interfering. They both settled, meaning both parties accepted the agreement. And given what Valve has done for the gaming industry I think it's ridiculous to paint them as the bad guys.
 
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SteamID: theyarecomingforyou
Star Citizen: Blue's News
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3. Re: Leaked Valve Employee Handbook? Apr 21, 2012, 14:13 Slashman
 
RollinThundr wrote on Apr 21, 2012, 13:47:

Edit: holy shit no wonder nothing ever ships.

Yeah...except that it does ship. They just haven't shipped the one game you want them to.
 
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2. Re: Leaked Valve Employee Handbook? Apr 21, 2012, 14:04 Bard
 
ah, some of the biggest selling games, some of the most consistently played games. Yeah they release stuff, and it's excellent.

Valve and Blizzard and Bethesda and eSim - you can count on these guys releasing good quality stuff because their approaches are good ones - and that includes after sales support.

I'm still left with more great games to play, than time I have.
 
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1. Re: Leaked Valve Employee Handbook? Apr 21, 2012, 13:47 RollinThundr
 
Valve owns its intellectual property. This is far from the norm, in our industry or at most entertainment contentproducing companies. We didn’t always own it all. But thanks to some legal wrangling with our first publisher after Half-Life shipped, we now do. This has freed us to
make our own decisions about our products.

translation: after we loopholed our way and screwed over Vivendi/Sierra who were pressuring us to release a product sometime in the same decade we had contracted to.


Why do I need to pick my own projects?
We’ve heard that other companies have people allocate a percentage of their time to self-directed projects. At Valve,that percentage is 100. Since Valve is flat, people don’t join projects because they’re told to. Instead, you’ll decide what to work onafter asking yourself the right questions (more on that later). Employees vote on projects with their feet (or desk wheels). Strong projects are ones in which people can see demonstrated value; they staff up easily. This means
there are any number of internal recruiting efforts constantly under way.

Edit: holy shit no wonder nothing ever ships.
 
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38 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 2.
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