Marc Laidlaw is best known as the writer of Half-Life but he started his career as a fiction writer, with his first parodic novel ‘Dad’s Nuke’ published in 1986. He grew up in Laguna Beach, California, but eventually settled in San Francisco, where he worked as a legal secretary. He discovered games through Myst, which persuaded him that this was his calling. He worked first on a tie-in novel for a game called Gadget, before joining Valve in 1998 as a writer and level designer. He’s since written all the Half-Life games, as well as DOTA2.