Valve Were Making A Fairy Game Before Left 4 DeadA flying fairy is hardly the sort of protagonist you’d expect to see in a game developed by Valve, but the truth remains that this is exactly what they was working on before moving on to Left 4 Dead.
Valve project manager Erik Johnson described the game as a fairy RPG that had spells “based on movement and mouse gestures” and that “was so bad.”
But the studio’s boss, Gabe Newell, explained that that failure was actually beneficial to them. “That was a useful failure to us,” he said, “because it was so clearly dumb that it made us say, ‘OK, what are we actually good at that we can do instead?’”
“It was so bad,” Gabe reaffirmed, “you wanted to ask yourself: ‘How could we make a game that was this bad? And how should we make a game?’ And we said we should focus on what we do really well, so why are we doing this game which was kind of a… it wasn’t really an RPG… it was this action fantasy sort of role playing game that had no story. And then we said ‘OK, that’s so horribly wrong. What we should focus in on is AI and playing in co-op, and that’s the interesting opportunity.’ That was where Left 4 Dead came from.”
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