What Did Gabe Newell Think Of Aussie Modder's Left 4 Dead Campaign?

Valve's Gabe Newell lost a bet with a 19-year-old Australian modder recently. As a result, Gabe jumped on a plane from Seattle to Sydney to check out Joe W-A's Left 4 Dead campaign.

Gabe and Joe gave a press conference in Sydney last week where the Valve man talked about the importance of the communities that thrive around their games, from Counter-Strike to Team Fortress 2. Gabe also revealed Valve's plans to get Left 4 Dead 2 released in unedited form in Australia.

But after that press conference, the ABC's Good Game sat down with Gabe to take a look at Joe's campaign. This is the first time Gabe had seen the mod that is responsible for him flying halfway around the world. You can watch his reaction and listen to the advice he offers Joe over on the Good Game website in an extended version of the story that ran on last night's episode.

Web Extended Version - Gabe & Joe [Good Game]


    What was the bet? I thought it all started with a joke.

    I don't mean to be a buzzkill but all the major developers were already going to fly down to Australia for the last week as EB had their vendor show in Queensland. I'm not sure we can assert that this kid is the sole or even main reason for Gabe's trip downunder.

      Gabe said they timed it so they would have more to do in Australia than just play the mod. Considering L4D2 is probably in its crunch time, leaving your main project isn't something you'd normally do...

      Plus it all tied in very nicely with a bit of L4D 2 promotion. Gabe was on a worldwide press junket for the game anyway it would seem.

    he's really got to lose some weight. Listening to him labour his breath on good game last night kinda freaked me out.

      I agree. Not just for his own health, but for the gaming community!

      Hmm, how could we help him... petition?

        Petition to get Gabe a copy of Wii Fit?

    His work does look good considering he doesn't do it full time but it seemed to me that he wasn't really concentrating on what Gabe was telling him. This was pissing me off for some reason, he was more into playing his work than hearing important advise from a professional.

      X 100,000,000,000,000.999999

      I got that impression as well. You would have thought that he'd be a little more interested in what Gabe had to say, seeing as *the freaking king of freaking FPS gaming is sitting in a chair next to you giving you advice on how to make your maps better!!*

      No no no no no!

      First of all, I'm amazed by how similar Joe seems to me - he enjoys creating things and takes pride in what he does, but has trouble kind of expressing his work. It's always hard with gaming, because it's not the kind of thing people discuss except with other gamers, so you tend not to end up with a lot of charisma :P

      People listen in different ways. When I'm listening to family at home, I find I can concentrate on what they're saying the best when I stare off into the distance and just listen. They're used to it, but others can find it disconcerting, thinking I'm ignoring them.

      Obviously in this case, Joe has to play through his map. He can't just stop, turn and stare wistfully into Gabe's eyes and absorb all his magical knowledge, he has to show off his creation. There's obviously a lot of pressure on him to play it in a presentational sense, and if you've ever tried talking to someone while focusing on a game you'll know it's pretty tough.

      The way he responded to the questions - to me - signalled that he was listening and absorbing. What can you really say when Gabe tells you "what you've done looks good"? The open questions he asked, like "what have you learnt compared to previous mapping experiences?" I thought were answered succinctly - I'm going through job interviews at the moment and meaningless phone interviews are hard enough; Joe has to contend with, as you say, the freakin' king of FPSes as well as being recorded for national TV. He's obviously incredibly nervous :P

    that kid annoyed me for reasons unknown

    Gabe's a legend. I say we pass the hat around and get him back out here for beers and titty bars.

    Gabe annoyed me too though as he was trying to tell a kid about sight lines and real world bull crap that obviously he had no idea about.

    It was like Gabe was talking down to him. "I resent the fact I made the bet and lost and now that I'm forced to come out here and look at your mod I'm going to talk down to you."

    Was Joe's thing a mod or a redesigned level? I couldn't tell.

      Gabe's well known as one of the best in the business. He was trying to give some constructive criticism, because the kid obviously throught his level was the bees-knees but even just the snippet I saw was boring.

      It's not like Gabe's some internet boor, he's gaben.

    The kid (Joe) regulars the penny arcade forums as 'LaCabra'. There heaps more information about getting Gabe to Aus, their discussions and Shotgun Sunrise in there.


    As a fellow L4D mapper I would have to say my main advice to the guy would be this: not every room and corridor has to be shaped like a box. Viva la differance!

    I think I heard that the map was the Brisbane Town Hall.

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