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In the Valley of Gods - Indie-film Ana Jones (Campo Santo's New Valve Game) is Canceled Forever

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Yeah honestly it feels like a weird culture fit given what we know of Jake and Sean (and Nick and Chris) through the podcasts. Campo took a concrete stand against Pewdiepie, and to go to work for a company that is very, very willing to give neo-Nazis a platform is really... weird.

 

Anyway I'm looking forward to selling black-and-white film in the Steam store for 9c a pop

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More bad news from the good folks at Valve:

 

https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2018/06/07/valves-abdication-of-responsibility-over-steam-is-the-worst-possible-solution/

 

Delicious quote:

 

Quote

"This pretence that their ultimate goals are to facilitate wonder and sparkles, rather than their taking nearly a third of every sale for the honour, has become deeply tiresome. And when they’re profiting from what they’re selling, of bloody course they should be considering whether they’re comfortable with the sources of that income. This incessant and frankly childish obsession with abdicating responsibility away from themselves and onto those from whom they profit (developer and customer) is outrageously transparent."

 

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This might be better in the 'Is Steam Evil?' thread

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which is here btw.

 

and the answer seems to be yes :P

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Getting back OT, here's a little article about the tech behind the natural black hair in ITVOTG. (It also links to a blog post by Jane Ng on the same.)

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My appologies to Mington in that other thread. I thought he was being overly doomy and gloomy, but he was right!

 

Man, this Valve open structure thing. I'm sure it's great for people who work there, but it doesn't seem especially great for maintaining focus or actually finishing projects.

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NIXED!

 

when your animator got his first recognition doing half life first person hand animations. Gets job at Valve with a contract saying you can work on any project, whilst a new VR half life game is in development. What do?

 

seriously though, I wonder how development was shaping up on Valley. Was there going to be an AI controlled partner running around with you  the whole time? Perhaps that was a bit janky, as AI companions often are, but in a grounded narrative focused game, potential immersion braking. And required an absolute ton of bespoke animations, that didn’t warrant the work/time /effort for a 4-5 hour game (I bet this was shaping up shorter than firewatch). Could be a case biting off more than you can chew

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This is a very good thread worth reading if you want to be even more mad about the news.

 

I knew they'd never be able to continue Important If True while working at Valve and was afraid that In the Valley of the Gods would be the last game they ever made, which just goes to show how little imagination I have for how things could go wrong. There is zero chance I will ever be able to play a VR Half-Life game, nor do I know anyone who ever would, so this is such a bummer. 

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Yo, fantastic thread, thanks for sharing that

 

FUCK VALUE

 

FUCK HALF LOFEEEEE!

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But seriously video games

 

no seriously video games

 

my take away from that thread is that it suckkks working in video games

 

fucking wild that there’s a new half life game, like, what if it’s “really good” like wins game of the year 2020 “really good” because all the critic that vote on this shit gets a chance to experience it whilst 0.01% of joe public can’t. And obviously as a game critic you take that into account... but what if it’s actually acccctually that good. Like I know less than 0.01% of “gamers” hasn’t played this shit dog, but yo dog, GOTY! What do?

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I'm getting flashbacks to the Half-Life 3 thread:
 

image.thumb.png.1f6a7cc36becea5880b1df491e594ca1.png

 

I think HL-related discussion does something funny to you, Mington. Maybe it soft-reboots you?

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love a soft-reboot

 

wait a minute... is Half Life: Alyx a soft reboot? Retreading familiar ground, revisiting familiar characters in similar predicaments, telling a story that whilst at once an untold prequel, also mirroring past and future events setting up whats to come like poetry, they rhyme. By jove! i think i'm on to something

 

What if... i'm the Gman from the future? I have so much to learn, so many reboots, rebirths, re-imaginings, re-tellings, reliving, past and present becoming one, becoming whole, becoming

 

i must start building my cocoon at once.

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It's what I expected when Valve acquired the studio, but this is definitely a case where I'd rather have been wrong than right.

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Mh, this sucks. Just read the news on RPS and came here to, I don't know, read something from people who care.

 

Thanks for the Duncan Fyfe Twitter thread Patrick R, he really did care. Very fascinating and sad. I kind of thought that everyone involved at least found something they'd liked to work on more and that's why it died.

 

Mh!

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I was never cynical about them joining Valve to make the game happen as I assumed there were agreements made in place to make sure it would, but this is all very unfortunate, at least from an outside perspective. Knowing how much some of those folks admired Valve's game, I hope they're enjoying working on some of those things at least.

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I just read this thread from the beginning and it is super depressing.

 

I poked Chris on Twitter to ask if this affected the announced platforms when they first came under Valve's umbrella, I was assuming it was going to go PC only. I too was not pessimistic enough.

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I am torn. I am a big fan of Half-Life and the Idle Thumbs crew so this is good news. I feel Alyx is in good hands. However, I was looking forward to their next game.

I really miss Idle Thumbs though.

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Yeah, it's hard not to be sad about the possibilities of the growing "mid sized indie" scene and what they could bring to it. Sean's a great writer and as the Lords Management fanatic I can't help but think he's on their auto-chess thing now? bleh! 

 

Maybe Alyx will be a return to the Origin style of game development where each new game meant a new computer? haha. 

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I suspected this might happen. I believe a big reason why this happened is that working in a small company you likely adopt a helpful, DIY attitude. This is something both Chris and Jake have also referred to both on IT and elsewhere. However, in a larger environment like Valve you will receive requests for help/assistance from a multitude of directions, and unless there is someone who makes sure progress happens on them main project, something like this tends to happen. The reasons for helping with Underlords or Alyx or whatever are good reasons and it's good to help. But it's not good for you own project. It's not out of malice or lack of interest, but rather a death by thousand helpful cuts.

 

Of course I might be wrong, and perhaps there were unforeseen challenges with Valley, or perhaps it just wasn't there. But my money is on Campo folks underestimating the destabilizing effect of a larger environment, even to a cohesive team.

 

Still, I'm sure working on Half-Life has its own appeal, and I hope and suspect the move has probably been a good thing for all involved. Even if I'm personally a bit sad there very likely won't be another Campo Santo game or more of Thumbs the cast.

 

Although, Tom Francis just moved to Vancouver. A Nick and Tom cast would either be terrible or great, awesome regardless.

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Haha, that's a good point about the Tom Francis and Nick thing, I was sad to see him leave Crate & Crowbar, but if this does happen (I'm sure it won't but one can dream) that would certainly be an interesting development.

 

I don't have much to say about the main story here since it's mostly already been said, but I am super sad about it for sure :-(

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I for one am sad that i'll never get to play the game about two black female explorers in the 1920's written by two white men. i'm being facetious, but would that not have been a problem? As a white man myself i have no idea how appropriate or not this is? Perhaps they consulted with a black woman once, and touched her hair a lot to make sure they got that black hair tech down. facetious²

 

I preface everything i'm about to write with my complete ignorance about video game development, writing, race... you name it? i don't know it

 

Reading Duncan's tweet about how he'd been researching about black woman's historical discoveries being written out of history. Credit being stole by white men. Would that have been a plot point, of just flavour text..

 

What if the character in the screenshots for Valley of the gods is actually the player character and the 'old partner' is a white man. And upon discovering something of significance in the ruins you are BETRAYED, sealed in a tomb and have to use you video game puzzle solving wits to survive and escape. #Video games (Sorry if i've just ruined the story lol)

 

But whatever the story is, being the 1920's you're going to have to touch on race, whether it being pivotal to the story or not.

 

From the writer of the 'walking dead' the first game to make gamer's cry, comes 'Valley of the gods' the game that will let you experience racism first hand, changing the hearts and minds of the gamer generation and solving racism and gender inequality. facetious³ 

 

With all the best intentions in the world, perhaps as development and writing and research went along the complexity and delicacy with which this subject mater needed to be handled, was like opening a can of worms, how do you do the subject mater justice. Not to mention being subjected to potential gamer backlash because you made a game saying white people are bad.  And yes, people shouldn't be dissuaded from telling these types of stories, but, to come full circle, is it not just as important for who the people telling the stories are? I haven't got a fucking clue. Shits difficult. Just the more i think about what this game might have been, i see the many many pitfalls along the way and maybe it was a bit of a blessing when the opportunity with Valve came along to be able to put this project to one side. I'm sure within In the Valley of the Gods there's something there worth telling, but perhaps they just hadn't figured out how to tell it just yet.

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On 12/8/2019 at 5:21 PM, Goose Malloy said:

Haha, that's a good point about the Tom Francis and Nick thing, I was sad to see him leave Crate & Crowbar, but if this does happen (I'm sure it won't but one can dream) that would certainly be an interesting development.

Incidentally Nick's moving back to San Francisco so... nope.

 

Put me down as someone who didn't think this was going to get canceled, especially because someone (I think Jane or Jake?) explicitly said when they were acquired "we're not going to get swallowed by Valve, we're joining Valve to get protection against our game being crushed." Turns out, that's maybe not how things work out...

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