Half-Life Artist Ted Backman has left Valve

Discussion in 'News' started by -smash-, Jul 8, 2015.

  1. -smash-

    -smash- Content Director
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    After nearly 20 years at the company, there's an unconfirmed piece of information that indicates Ted Backman left Valve this past May.

    This is especially sad news because Ted was responsible for designing some of the most iconic lifeforms and environments in video game history. The Headcrabs, Zombies, Rebels, most of the Combine faction, and much more, were a staple in the Half-Life series, and now it looks like Ted's inspiration will be absent from future Valve titles.

    Thanks, Ted, for crafting such incredible and memorable experiences.

    art.png

    Thank you to AYKO for the tip.
     
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    #1 -smash-, Jul 8, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2015
  2. Aizawa

    Aizawa Party Escort Bot

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    his work on Half-Life 3 is done, thats why he left.
    Half-Life 3 confirmed.
     
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  3. hogsy

    hogsy Sandvich

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    Really don't know what to say, really hard to get my hopes up that Half-Life 3 is even being actively developed any more. Desperately depressing news.

    Feels like the end of an era to me.
     
  4. MFL

    MFL AlbatrossofTime

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    HO-ly-SHIT

    Wheel keeps turning I guess. ****.
     
  5. Aizawa

    Aizawa Party Escort Bot

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    There are enough other talented people at Valve.
     
  6. -smash-

    -smash- Content Director
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    They definitely are still brimming with talent, and this doesn't mean that Half-Life is in the bin, but the future of the series is going to be different than what the veteran fans are used to -- which was inevitable, but it's happening sooner than what I expected. I'm sure glad that Marc Laidlaw is still there, though.
     
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  7. -smash-

    -smash- Content Director
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    In case you don't have Facebook, here's what it says on Ted Backman's timeline (posted on July 3, 2015):

    facebook.png
    /EDIT 1: The entry on his timeline has since been removed from public viewing.

    /EDIT 2: It's kind of too late, but I've decided to remove the direct link to Ted's Facebook out of respect for privacy.
     
    #7 -smash-, Jul 9, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2015
  8. Lolcomputer

    Lolcomputer Party Escort Bot

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    shieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet

    hl3 is dead guys, it's over.
     
  9. Tollbooth Willie

    Tollbooth Willie The Freeman

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  10. SpotEnemyBoats

    SpotEnemyBoats Companion Cube

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    What other news that HL3/ep3 will never happen.
     
  11. Stigmata

    Stigmata The Freeman

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    Ep3 will star Stephen Merchant as Overwatch, Ricky Gervais as Alyx, and Karl Pilkington as Dr Kleiner
     
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  12. forthewyn

    forthewyn Headcrab

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    Guys it's kinda unreasonable to expect anyone to stay at a given company for their entire lives. Sometimes people need new challenges. Look at it this way, now he can move on and create more awesome somewhere else :)
     
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  13. Fatikis

    Fatikis Spy

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    I remember years ago I said Valve was not actively working on HL3 and everyone on the official HL forums went full Hammer Legion Member claiming it wasn't possible for Valve not to be almost finished with it. I still have to wonder if it is gathering dust.

    I wonder if just like Viktor Antonov Ted Backman left because he was bored and underutilized.

    It would make sense. The stuff Valve is doing now must be really boring for artists. I wonder how the writers feel.
     
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  14. Vincent Pride

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    It would be really great to read memoirs of core Valve's departured employees (V. Antonov, T. Backman, etc.) 10-20 years later, after Valve's inevitable future demise. They would really go in lengths how internal company culture was toxic to productivity and how flat structure and "voting with wheels" basically meant nothing would be done. Also it would be fun to hear about draconian NDAs new employeees had to sign in order to work there.
     
  15. Fatikis

    Fatikis Spy

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    It will be very hard for Valve to fail. Not impossible but it would devastate PC gaming.

    What I think would be more likely is for Valve to split into two companies the Game Designers and the Steam Overlords.
    I seem to remember Google running a test and finding that a flat structure was inefficient. All I could quickly find on it. http://www.forbes.com/sites/meghanc...le-management-is-evil-harvard-study-startups/
     
  16. Lolcomputer

    Lolcomputer Party Escort Bot

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    I don't think the entire Valve company is working on Steam together. There surely is a team developing Half-Life 3, or at least considering it's potential, inside Valve I would think. Ignoring Half-Life 3 or abandoning it seems like such a foolish idea.

    In all fairness, we should also remind ourselves that it's not an easy task to create one of the most anticipated FPS in the world. Besides, we can't really be sure if Valve truly have forgotten about Half-Life 3 just because they're not communicating with us; I think that's an attempt at protecting themselves from 1337 h4x0r leakers.
     
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  17. SpotEnemyBoats

    SpotEnemyBoats Companion Cube

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    ep3/hl3 will be a memetastic BAZINGA romantic comedy.
     
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  18. Fatikis

    Fatikis Spy

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    I don't at all think this. My comment was directed towards "after Valve's inevitable future demise." I don't see Valve ever completely dissolving. I could imagine them splitting though. I doubt either will actually happen.
    I'm not so sure about that. Maybe a more recent team. It looks like Half Life3 was not in development for a number of years. With Source2 we may start to hear more soon.

    I don't know if I'd consider Half Life 3 the most anticipated FPS either. The younger generation has never played HL1 and many haven't even played HL2. Valve has not forgotten about HL3 for sure. We would never let them. That doesn't mean it is a top priority or has been a top priority in the past. Everyone for years assumed everything else Valve has worked on was side projects.

    I believe differently. If HL3 was being developed at all over the years it was the side project.
     
  19. Lolcomputer

    Lolcomputer Party Escort Bot

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    Everything's speculation, but I personally think that Valve is just nervous that they'll **** up, so they're taking their sweet time finishing it and making sure it's quality is top notch.

    Right now in this presence I don't think it's one of the most anticipated games ever, but I think it will be when it gets announced. It's like Duke Nukem Forever all over again, except that no one knows if the game will be recieved well or not.
     
  20. Omnomnick

    Omnomnick Retired Lead Content Creator
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    Valve's writers are probably having a blast (apart from the bit about most good writers feeling as if their work never lives up to their own expectations). They're writing for a number of different projects (some released, some unannounced) in multiple styles (comics, videos, character dialogue, etc), and are allowed to freely experiment with the thing most of them grew their careers out of - comedy.
     
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  21. BabyHeadCrab

    BabyHeadCrab The Freeman

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    well I somehow doubt he'll struggle finding a job anywhere else
     
  22. SpotEnemyBoats

    SpotEnemyBoats Companion Cube

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    Except for poor Marc Laidlaw, reduced to writing dialogue for some ESPORTS MOBA shit. That BreenGrub thing was pretty much a major indicator of a video game writer with nothing to do, which is rather unfortunate.

    Maybe Laidlaw, other old valve employees and Kojima go make awesome single player games together.
     
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    #22 SpotEnemyBoats, Jul 10, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2015
  23. Vincent Pride

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    Alyx with flashlight fighting headcrabs and other spooky monsters in the world of industrial decay, rusty metal and toxic smoke.

    [​IMG]
     
    #23 Vincent Pride, Jul 10, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2015
  24. Tollbooth Willie

    Tollbooth Willie The Freeman

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    The large number of people I have seen and personally spoken to who no longer care, or retrospectively realize how much they disliked or realized how basic things about Half-Life 2 were and no longer care about the franchise, plus how many franchises have advanced and taken hold of the industry these days, Half-Life 3 is nothing more than an industry joke akin to Duke Nukem Forever or Agent.
     
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  25. BabyHeadCrab

    BabyHeadCrab The Freeman

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    HL2:E2 I think is Valve's SP magnum opus. If they would just release something, anything--that builds on that level of FPS immersion, I'm in on day one.
     
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  26. Aizawa

    Aizawa Party Escort Bot

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    whatever you think of the Moba genre, the character designs for Dota 2 are really cool imo and offer a lot of room for great writing (They overhauled some characters completely compared to Dota 1). Unlike League of Legends and Blizzard´s games (Overwatch more than Heart of the Swarm) where they just take every stereotype on the planet and make a character out of it.
     
  27. Fatikis

    Fatikis Spy

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    Giving an artists unlimited resources to work on something that he does not want to is a curse. I imagine writing for Dota2 or TF2 is getting old at this point. Don't get me wrong I love both. I have over 2000 hours in each. I imagine writing a more mature game has a completely different feel. I really enjoy these new styles. I hope they translate well into other games. Can you imagine a good Half Life comic?

    And do we know they are writing for unannounced projects? I hope at this point they are but we have no idea.

    HL2: EP2 was amazing, but I still have to go with Portal2. Nothing has compared to that level of immersion for me.
     
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  28. Mauferr

    Mauferr Combine

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    Write an entirely new game should be far more exciting. It's an all new plot to build and endless possibilities are constantly open. It should be harder too, what means that it's far more challenging. I think that a talent writer forced to stay limited to previous already established plot lines (such as Tf comics) it's a shame and a limit to their creativity. Write stories for their old games must be fun... but, only that? Don't seems a good thing to work over the years.

    I have to agree. Portal 2 is what i consider the best SP that ever came from Valve.
     
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    #28 Mauferr, Jul 10, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2015
  29. -smash-

    -smash- Content Director
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  30. SpotEnemyBoats

    SpotEnemyBoats Companion Cube

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    The designs for the heroes in Dota 2 look pretty much the same as most medieval fantasy designs. Crystal Maiden, Drow Ranger and Wind Runner in particular.

    LoL designs are just waifu bait.
     
  31. Omnomnick

    Omnomnick Retired Lead Content Creator
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    Probably a good thing you're not in their shoes then.
    Dota 3 isn't going to write itself.
     
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  32. Mauferr

    Mauferr Combine

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    Maybe you're right. New challenges and new projects are essential to keep productivity and creativity. But, they are probably working in a lot of other things in Valve (and they probably have their personal projects too). Or maybe they don't have my need for new challenges. I can't imagine talented artists working at something where they can't be creative anymore (and enjoy working at it) and be OK with that. :D
     
  33. Lolcomputer

    Lolcomputer Party Escort Bot

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    I actually wonder how long Valve can go without announcing a new game...

    2 years?

    3 years?

    100 years? Perhaps a year after when they're done with Steam hardware...

    Seriously though, Valve should really communicate with their fans more, so we at least have a slight idea of what they will do in the future.
     
  34. SpotEnemyBoats

    SpotEnemyBoats Companion Cube

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    With steam alone, they don't have to make another game ever again. Especially with such a naive and disgustingly loyal fanbase that is content with buying unfinished products, 3rd party dlc with no quality control and always online DRM.

    Valve is like the British Empire trying to spread its culture and conquer the rest of the PC gaming space. The sun never sets at Valve Corporation.
     
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    #34 SpotEnemyBoats, Jul 11, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2015
  35. BabyHeadCrab

    BabyHeadCrab The Freeman

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    God Marc Laidlaw is so fcking hard to hate. I sort of envy his level of calm.
     
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  36. Mogi67

    Mogi67 Companion Cube

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    Why would you hate Marc Laidlaw? Odd way to say he's a good dude. Do you just hate other people by default? Sounds like you better get off the internet and out in the sun for once. dumb nerd
     
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  37. BabyHeadCrab

    BabyHeadCrab The Freeman

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    jhahaahahahaha ****ing mogi is on point in this thread
     
  38. Fatikis

    Fatikis Spy

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    The crazy thing is we know two people that should have had enormous impact on HL3s art and style are gone. Isn't that troubling? I'm worried we are going to lose one of the major writers too. I can't imagine a new Half Life without Marc Laidlaw, Erik Wolpaw, and Chet Faliszek.

    But hey maybe Ted Backman is leaving because he has finished his work on Half Life 3 and he was only sticking around to complete it. Regardless the man is talented, and I'm sure he will continue to do great work wherever he ends up.
     
  39. BabyHeadCrab

    BabyHeadCrab The Freeman

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    A bit of a dramatization, no? Don't ever compare one of our glorious corporate empires to the English. We stopped drinking the Queen's tea in 1776 KIDDO.

    Valve is out to get you btw run
     
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  40. Fatikis

    Fatikis Spy

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    They kind of are. Maybe not you but they are out to get your green cash dollars with as little effort as necessary. Like all large corporations they do everything they can to siphon your cash. They use every single psychological trick in their repertoire to make the maximum number of people spend the maximum amount. They are really quite devious.
     
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