‘Valve Time’ allow Valve employees to have healthy work life balance

Arthands

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Oct 26, 2017
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One of the ex Campo-Santo/current Valve employees seemingly have positive words on Valve Time. Thanks to that, it is allowing employees to have healthy work/life balance etc and not getting stressed over deadlines

 

LewieP

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Oct 26, 2017
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I'm still curious as to how Valve get employees to voluntarily clean the toilets with their completely flat organisational structure.
 

Deleted member 50949

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Dec 16, 2018
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Sad to see this isn't an industry standard. I think Mark of the Ninja/don't starve devs also have a healthy work/life experience, but I hope this becomes more and more widespread
 

Sloane

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Oct 25, 2017
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That's cool but, "to be fair", Valve can afford only releasing a game whenver they feel like it. Not really a model other devs could easily copy.
 

Dr. Mario

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Oct 27, 2017
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Yeah it's how every game company should work (I mean it's already how most companies work, but still). Part of gamer petulance is what publishers bred it to be. The game is done when it's done, chillax.

if only Valve made games
 

The Pharmercy

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Oct 26, 2017
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I kinda wonder how many people are working on Artifact because apparently its getting quite stagnant.

The only other company who could probably pull off something like this (work/life balance) would be Blizzard...IF they weren't being ground to dust under Kotick's heel.
 

tuxfool

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Oct 25, 2017
5,416
That's cool but, "to be fair", Valve can afford only releasing a game whenver they feel like it. Not really a model other devs could easily copy.
I mean, look at Rockstar, they're swimming in money, they don't do this. I would say though that the large corporate gaming entities like Activision and EA (after those earlier incidents) to make their workplaces more compatible with a healthy balance.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,679
the problem with valve time is not that they take their time, it's that they announce dates for things and then miss them on a frequent basis.

if you want to be flexible and not be constrained to a deadline, cool! but then don't announce dates that you don't plan to stick to.
 

Mhj

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Oct 30, 2017
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That's cool but, "to be fair", Valve can afford only releasing a game whenver they feel like it. Not really a model other devs could easily copy.
This is an extremely toxic opinion. You have no idea what you are talking about. Having a healthy work/life balance is NOT in direct conflict with being a productive employee.
 

Sloane

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Oct 25, 2017
1,019
This is an extremely toxic opinion. You have no idea what you are talking about. Having a healthy work/life balance is NOT in direct conflict with being a productive employee.
What? That's not what I'm saying. The tweets are referring specifically to Valve Time, and Valve has the luxury of not ever having to release a game again and probably still being able to stay afloat. The same isn't true for 99,9% other devs out there.
 

Mhj

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What? That's not what I'm saying. The tweets are referring specifically to Valve Time, and Valve has the luxury of not ever having to release a game again and probably still being able to stay afloat. The same isn't true for 99,9% other devs out there.
That’s exactly what you are saying. You are implying that you can’t have a healthy work/life balance and ship games at the same time.
 

danmaku

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Nov 5, 2017
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What? That's not what I'm saying. The tweets are referring specifically to Valve Time, and Valve has the luxury of not ever having to release a game again and probably still being able to stay afloat. The same isn't true for 99,9% other devs out there.
Aside from the fact that they're still making games (and updating some of their old ones), they still need to work on Steam to keep it ahead of the competition. It's not like they can afford to do nothing and get money for free (especially now that competition in PC space is increasing).
 

Pryme

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Aug 23, 2018
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This seems like what should be the norm if you aren't actively crunching on delivering games

Actually a rare good report of work conditions in the gaming industry.

Maybe the Valve hate-train will take a break for a few hours.
EA actually often gets cited as one of the better places to work if you're in the game industry. Hasn't stopped the hate here, with people often rooting for their failure.
 

Vipu

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Oct 26, 2017
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That’s exactly what you are saying. You are implying that you can’t have a healthy work/life balance and ship games at the same time.
I think he means that because Valves main thing is not to make games, they get most of their money from Steam so it doesnt really matter how their games sell.
If they were only making games to make $ then it would be different.
 

duckroll

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Oct 25, 2017
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Contractors, especially permanent contractors, are still part of an organisation
Don't think that's really a realistic view of business relationships. Companies don't tend to think of contractors as one of them or part of their organization at all. Just service or content partners. When someone is part of your organization it means they are subject to certain benefits, reviews, and policy. Someone who comes in to clean the place as part of a cleaning contract with another company is just a hired hand who answers to their own superiors in another company and are subject to different benefits and reviews under another organization's purview.

Valve would not be employing the cleaner themselves, the cleaner would not be paid by Valve. Valve would be paying another company for a service and the company they pay decides who to send to do the job. That's all. In the same way, when Valve has a long term contract with a courier service like Fedex to handle shipping for their products, the couriers themselves are not Valve employees.

Of course I'm sure you already know all that and were just making a cheap shot at "hurr hurr Valve doesn't actually have a flat organization structure they are just frauds" or whatever. But I typed all that so anyone else reading will not be confused by your lame attempt. :)
 

Sloane

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Oct 25, 2017
1,019
That’s exactly what you are saying. You are implying that you can’t have a healthy work/life balance and ship games at the same time.
No. I'm saying Valve can take their time between releasing major games and they're still fine. Other devs can't do that. That doesn't mean other devs can't have a healthy work/life balance but that Valve doesn't work as an example for other devs to easily copy.
 

DeusOcha

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Oct 25, 2017
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Good for Valve, but when's the last time Valve made an inhouse game? It's odd talking about deadlines for video game development when you haven't bothered with that in, what, a decade?
 

708

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Oct 25, 2017
1,305
That's cool but, "to be fair", Valve can afford only releasing a game whenver they feel like it. Not really a model other devs could easily copy.
Valve also has the privilege of being a private company, Gabe probably owns most if not all shares of the company, meaning they don't have to constantly worry about pleasing shareholders.
This doesn't give public companies to pressure their employees though, not when executives make millions of dollars a year.
Good for Valve, but when's the last time Valve made an inhouse game? It's odd talking about deadlines for video game development when you haven't bothered with that in, what, a decade?
About two months ago.
They also support two of the biggest games on Steam. Three if we count TF2, but from what I hear it doesn't really receive as much support as it used to.
 

Hektor

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I don't think this is new news, but it's always great to hear about the nice working environment. Between that and just how their office looks like, it must be a fairly cool place to work in.

Contractors, especially permanent contractors, are still part of an organisation
I would imagine their organisational structure only applies to devs (and maybe accountants), but not to janitorial staff.

Good for Valve, but when's the last time Valve made an inhouse game? It's odd talking about deadlines for video game development when you haven't bothered with that in, what, a decade?
 

Solobbos

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Oct 27, 2017
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It's nice for the families, sure. Then again, they have developed Episode 3 for close to 12 years now. If everyone had the same development times, we would've gotten Resident Evil 1 in 2004, Resident Evil 2 in 2016 and Resident Evil 3 would come out in 2028.
 

Nabs

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Oct 26, 2017
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Dota 2 came from Icefrog who was hired into Valve. Same with TF2, same with Portal, same with Counter Strike (eh, I'll give you CS:GO), etc. Never heard of Valley of the Gods, might look into it.
Yes, Icefrog developed Dota2 all by himself. Same with TF2, Portal, and Counter-Strike.
 

duckroll

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Oct 25, 2017
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Dota 2 came from Icefrog who was hired into Valve. Same with TF2, same with Portal, same with Counter Strike (eh, I'll give you CS:GO), etc. Never heard of Valley of the Gods, might look into it.
So when Valve hires someone and they become a Valve employee and then they lead a development team to produce a Valve game, it isn't in-house? Lol.
 

Hektor

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Dota 2 came from Icefrog who was hired into Valve. Same with TF2, same with Portal, same with Counter Strike (eh, I'll give you CS:GO), etc. Never heard of Valley of the Gods, might look into it.
All of these games were still developed inside valve with valve employees?

Or do you think Icefrog made the entirety of Dota 2 on his own????
 
Dec 4, 2018
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Sounds like a normal environment to me.

The fact that overtime and crunching is considered normal in gaming companies is what is abnormal. Hire more staff if you can't keep the deadlines, or schedule your work accordingly.
 

DeusOcha

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Oct 25, 2017
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Yes, Icefrog developed Dota2 all by himself. Same with TF2, Portal, and Counter-Strike.
So when Valve hires someone and they become a Valve employee and then they lead a development team to produce a Valve game, it isn't in-house? Lol.
All of these games were still developed inside valve with valve employees?

Or do you think Icefrog made the entiretoy of Dota 2 on his own????
No of course not. I just have a personal categorization regarding what's produced in-house by Valve and what's being bought out/purchased by Valve. Original IPs and whatnot, or any company for that matter (I consider Fallout and Doom for Bethesda under the same nature).
 

Arulan

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Oct 25, 2017
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We're not even capable of discussing a positive thread about developer work conditions without the usual Valve shit posts. For fuck's sake.
 

Quote

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Oct 25, 2017
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Dota 2 came from Icefrog who was hired into Valve. Same with TF2, same with Portal, same with Counter Strike (eh, I'll give you CS:GO), etc. Never heard of Valley of the Gods, might look into it.
Jane, from the OP, is on Valley of the Gods.

Also the whole “name a Valve game in the last 10 years!” and someone tells you and you reply “no, not those!” is not any sort of real criticism.
 

DeusOcha

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Oct 25, 2017
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Jane, from the OP, is on Valley of the Gods.

Also the whole “name a Valve game in the last 10 years!” and someone tells you and you reply “no, not those!” is not any sort of real criticism.
Haha I wasn't critiquing anything though? I even praised the information that the OP brought to light. I simply stated that I, personally, found a small bit of the information/interview odd.
 

spootime

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Oct 27, 2017
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All of these games were still developed inside valve with valve employees?

Or do you think Icefrog made the entirety of Dota 2 on his own????
CSGO was developed by hidden path. In the past seven years valve have developed 3-4 maps, added skins, and made some good and bad balance changes
 

Hektor

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No of course not. I just have a personal categorization regarding what's produced in-house by Valve and what's being bought out/purchased by Valve. Original IPs and whatnot, or any company for that matter (I consider Fallout and Doom for Bethesda under the same nature).
You said it's odd talking about deadlines when they haven't done any videogame development, but what does it matter wether or not the IPs they were working on is original? It doesn't make the work or the deadlines any less real?

Wait, Jane left Campo Santo?

Also this is some good news, finally (the part about the time to be with your family, not her leaving CS)
Campo Santo was brought by valve.

CSGO was developed by hidden path. In the past seven years valve have developed 3-4 maps, added skins, and made some good and bad balance changes
And a completely new BR mode.
I know the project was initially outsourced, but they've put in quite a lot of work since.
 
Oct 25, 2017
14,599
Austria
Campo Santo got bought by Valve.
Oh, okay that's what that means. I knew that but I thought Campo Santo as a studio still existed.

That's cool but, "to be fair", Valve can afford only releasing a game whenever they feel like it. Not really a model other devs could easily copy.
Amazon could also afford to be able to pay their employees better and not work them to death.
Being able to and actually doing it are two very different things.
 

708

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Oct 25, 2017
1,305
Wait, Jane left Campo Santo?

Also this is some good news, finally (the part about the time to be with your family, not her leaving CS)
She didn't. Campo Santo is absorbed into Valve and while Campo Santo still exists for Firewatch related stuff, all Campo Santo staff are technically Valve employees.