Exclusive Tour Of Valve Software, Where Portal, Half-Life And Team Fortress Come To Life

Valve Software's Chet Faliszek recently gave me a tour of his company's Belleveue headquarters, a final act of kindness during a visit in which Chet also let me play Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and eat catered tacos.

We went for a playfully confrontational mood for our tour, as we passed by hallway displays for Portal 2, DotA 2 and Half-Life 2 before wrapping at Valve's amazing lobby. (Where I broke something after we stopped shooting. Whoops!)

We shot this tour in four videos (the last one's the best), averaging 0.5 Half-Life 2: Episode Three jokes per video, which I think is pretty good!

In this first video, we're looking at Portal 2 concept art and considering how old someone must be in order for their Episode Three complaints to be valid.

We're now looking at the prize hats of Hat Friday, a holiday frequently celebrated by the Team Fortress 2 team.

Valve keeps expanding their office space, at a faster rate than they can hang their art on their walls. Chet says they're going to soon expand to two more floors. My goodness, room to finally work on Episode Three, perhaps? Needless to say, Chet wasn't letting me anywhere near wherever the fate of that series is being planned.

We wrapped up in the lobby. You can't see the thing I would break when we were done shooting. It was a small Portal 2 turret made of clay. I must have bumped it with my elbow. Chet said it's ok. I think I'm welcome back.

(NOTE: Chet's verbal assault on our editorial director Joel Johnson requires some back-story. Joel was supposed to join me on this tour, but he had missed his flight to Seattle. Actually, that's pretty clear in the video, but now it's really clear. Oh, and speaking of clear, apologies, readers/viewers, for messing up the focus on the golden Gordon Freeman crowbar.)


    Good old Barnacle. Would be great if it had a floppy tongue hanging out.

    Half Life comes to life there? I think not!

    What are those funny goey elastic hand things attached to a plastic handle, that you swing around and the hand will stick to things. That's what the tongue of the barnacle should be.

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