Erik Wolpaw may have once been known only as half—or one-third, counting Marvin—of the staff of the defunct but amazing Old Man Murray, a largely PC gaming focused web site that was better than any other web site on the planet. After a low profile stint as a reviewer at Gamespot, Wolpaw went on to great fortune writing dialog for Psychonauts before landing a job at Valve. Now, Wolpaw will probably be best known for writing some of the wittiest verbal abuse ever output from an all-seeing, all-knowing computer in Portal.
Some unknown fraction of the staff of Rock, Paper, Shotgun got a chance to interview Wolpaw, shedding a faint ray of light on the creative background of Portal, Half-Life 2: Episode Two and Team Fortress 2.
While you might expect that becoming a successful video game writer would immediately go to one's head, transforming him from one-time game reviewing bottom feeder into a coke-snorting, model-screwing superstar, Wolpaw's got a modest grasp on his craft.
Don't get me wrong, I love a well-written game. But I'm not gonna kid myself: Good game + crappy writing is probably still gonna more or less equal good game. It's like how the Precious Moments Special Edition Bible is extra good because it has Precious Moments illustrations, but even if you completely subtract the Precious Moments stuff, it's not a whole lot less good, because it's still the Bible.
He's still got it. Expect plenty more interview hilarity, just don't expect much in the way of clear answers.
RPS Interview: Valve's Erik Wolpaw [Rock, Paper, Shotgun]