7 Questions I would ask Gabe – The 7 Series

18th December 2011

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

Okay, so here I am, sitting in an airport lounge, waiting for my flight and Gabe sits down next to me.

Me: “Hey, how you doing?”

Gabe “Good thanks, you?”

Me: “Yeah, not bad. Don’t you just hate it when one minute you are delayed and the next cancelled?”

Gabe: “Don’t get me started!”

Now, as you should have guessed, this didn’t actually happen, but I prefer to imagine it like rather than some formal situation. Who wants to chat to people behind desks and in offices?

So, if I ever do meet Gabe in an airport lounge and it seems suitable, here are the questions I would ask him.

Below each main question are some follow up ones and maybe some explanation.

Now, I know that not that long ago podcast17 interviewed him, and some or all of these questions might have been asked already. If so, oh well.

And before you ask, no I wouldn’t ask when Episode Three is coming. It’s clear that they don’t want to talk about it, and I am cool with that. When they are ready, they will tell us.

Number Seven: How much do you actually play the SP games before there are officially released?
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

I mean, do you wait until they are almost finished to get a feel for the whole thing or do you get involved right from the beginning? Has that changed over the years? Did you get involved in Opposing Force and Blue Shift?

We all have our roles within whatever organization we work for/within/with etc. Of course, when you are the boss you can stick your nose in everything. The question is just because you can, does that mean you should? I’m curious to know how involved he is within the actual development of each game.

Number Six: Would you ever split Steam from Valve?
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

We’ve all read pieces about how a developer shouldn’t be a publisher. How Valve could abuse its position. All of that said, I don’t see Valve abusing their position at all. They seem to give a fair shake to other developers and perhaps they actually make more money from Steam anyway – so why screw with that?

So, when I ask about splitting Steam from Valve, it’s not because of any perceived wrongdoing, but whether it would be beneficial to both sides of the business.

How would that affect users? Would games get finished faster? I doubt it. To be honest, I personally can’t see much benefit to me, as a regular user. Still, might be nice to know what he thinks.

Number Five: What one single moment from all of the HL games stands out in your mind?
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

Have to admit that’s a hard one. I mean, there are so many moments we could talk about and actually, it’s going to be another 7 Series article early next year.

But ONE. That’s tough.

Perhaps I’d let him choose top 3 in no particular order. I’m curious to ask that to a number of Valve employees.

Number Four: How many non-Valve games do you play regularly?
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

Gotta assume he loves playing games. He can’t play Valve games all the time, can he? I mean, only an idiot would do that, right? Wait, that sounds like me. Damn!

So, not only how many but does he try most of the new games published on Steam.

Wouldn’t be too hard to have somebody download all games when they are released and play around for some time, just to get a feel for it.

Wouldn’t you try every game if you had them?

Number Three: Do you replay any of the SP games?
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

Time to find out how hardcore he really is. I know a guy who replays the HL games every Summer. Now he is a professional developer he may have to stop that but there are plenty of people who do that. In fact, next year will be a Replay Event on PP.

Still, does make me wonder if Gabe and the Valve guys replay the games just for the sheer nostalgic thrill. Do modders replay their mods? Probably not, at least not if they were deeply involved with its development.

Number Two: What would you change about any of the games?
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

This is one of my stock questions now.

Imagine you could go back in time and change anything from any game. What would it/they be?

I suspect he wouldn’t change much from Half-life 1. Although it might be nice to hear about Opposing Force and Blue Shift.

Half-Life 2 has gotta be pretty fixed too, but Ep1 and Ep2 might get changed. Perhaps he would combine them into Half-Life 3.

I also suspect Portal and Portal 2 would remain pretty fixed too.

Now that I think about it, there not much I would change in any of the games. Sure, maybe I didn’t like some things but that’s not a strong enough reason to change it.

Wow, how many mods could you say that about, let alone games? That is such a cool thing to be able to say.

Number One: How many mods do you play in a month?
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

Couldn’t finish without asking him about mods, could I?

We have to assume that he plays a few, although maybe only the best ones or ones recommended to him.

I would also follow up by asking him his favourites and I am also keen to hear whether he completed Portal Prelude too.

Making the assumption that Valve keeps a close watch on the modding community, if for no other reason that to see what people do with the engines and assets, seems reasonable too.

Me: Well, nice chatting with you. Have a safe flight



  1. Hec

    Cool topic hope Gabe would answer, altough I think he wont! 🙁

  2. The header just wants to consume your soul… do I even have one ?

  3. Poison_Berrie

    You know you could just email these questions to him.
    He’s quite likely to answer, from what I’ve read on Valve’s email policy.

    1. I would if I thought he would actually reply. I don’t have much success in getting replies from people at Valve.

      1. Welcome to my clan.
        I tried 15 times on 15 different accounts to get a word from G.A.B.E.N. , as much luck as fitness hours for Gabe in a day.

      2. Lilgreenman

        You run Planet Phillip. He responded to leveraged (the guy who ran the ValveARG wiki), he’ll respond to you.

  4. I miss: When’s HL3 released? 😉

    1. I consider that a waste of a question. He is not going to answer it.

      1. Anon_324941

        small hijack–

        have you thought about HOW he will release it?

        early teasers?
        just press the button and its for sale on Steam?
        Pre-release sales?

        Which sites/mags will he talk to first?

        1. I’m going with black to white. Some huge spread in one magazine out of the blue, followed by other mags with perhaps lesser media/details.

          I think when they announce it they will give a release date too and I also think that date will not be that far from the announcement.

          Of course, that said, I have no special insight or knowledge and Valve have a habit of surprising us.

          I would love to see them using community sites as the first media release, but it’s too big a business for that to happen.

          How do you think they will do it?

          1. Kyo

            An E3 surprise.

            That’s been Valve’s M.O. for big announcements lately when you think about it. Course, with the exception of the next Half-Life, Valve has been pretty open about what they are doing. DOTA2 is already widely known. Same with the next entry in the Counter-Strike franchise.

          2. Anon_327438

            Phillip, I believe there must be some payback for loyalty,,
            Certainly stats will come into play, biggest audience = cheapest ad.

            But at some stage all the detail will be released,
            detail stuff that would make no sense to a newbie,

            and the members here will eat it up with a big fork :).

            1. biggest audience = cheapest ad.

              Yes, from a business point of view, it’s hard to see things any other way. And ultimately, they need as many people as possible to see it.

              That said, I also think of it like this….

              Imagine somebody releases a mod on PP before anywhere else. It’s exclusive for a few days, if for no other reason than it takes other sites that time to add it to their site. Some site just post news, linking back to me and other sites do their own feature.

              Eventually, if appears on ModDB and that’s when the number of downloads really increases.

              Now, do you think that the total number of downloads is lower because it appeared on PP before anywhere else? Personally, I don’t. If Valve went with fan sites first, the bigger sites would pick it up etc.

              of course, EP3 is different and PC Gamer probably pay serious money to get their hands on it first and Valve is after all a business and money in the bank is what pays for the development of the games we love.

              So, whilst I understand why they do it, it would be nice, just once, for the fansites to get some early love.

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