Valve's Writers And The Creative Process

In a rare interview, Valve writing lynchpins Marc Laidlaw and Eric Wolpaw talk in-depth on the narrative structure and pithy quips behind critically feted games like Half-Life 2, Portal, and Left 4 Dead 2.

Valve has developed a particularly strong reputation for story in its games, recently, and much of that credit can be laid at the feet of its in-house writing team. Whether it's the seamless character development in Left 4 Dead, the engrossing dystopian sci-fi of Half-Life 2, the pithy quips of Team Fortress 2, or, of course, the wickedly demented GLADoS in Portal.

Marc Laidlaw has been with the company since before the release of the original Half-Life in 1998; he started his writing career with well-received cyberpunk and sci-fi novels but moved into games once he discovered the narrative possibilities.

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