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Session Name: Valve's Design Process for Creating Half-Life 2
Speaker(s): Brian Jacobson, David Speyrer
Company Name(s): Valve Software, Valve Software
Track / Format: Production
Overview: Valve used a method of decentralized design, the Cabal process, to create HALF-LIFE. For HALF-LIFE 2, owing to the larger scope and scale of the project, they changed that process into an even more decentralized method employing three nearly-independent design teams (each responsible for roughly a third of the game), an art team, a sound team, and a story/acting team. This process introduced some interesting challenges: How to manage and reduce the cost of interdependencies among the six teams? How to allow each team to apply important constraints to the design? How to create a consistent design of high quality? The talk covers the answers to these questions and how Valve made this unique design process work.

GDC 2006

Brian Jacobson

Valve Software

David Speyrer

Valve Software

free content

Production

Production