Dr. Isaac Kleiner
Dr. Isaac Kleiner
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Dr. Isaac Kleiner

Dr. Isaac Kleiner

@exxiion

Don't worry Gordon! She's debeaked and completly harmless!

Joined 22 Jun 2021
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Exploring Valve Archive, part 28 - "A Valve 3D platformer to rival Mario?"

valvearchive.com>archive>3rd Party Developers>Escape Factory>Teebo And Kai The Search For Awl (Cancelled)>

In the year 2000, Valve Software were contracted by Microsoft to develop a title for their upcoming Xbox console. Keen to develop for the new hardware, Valve collaborated with newly-found game studio Escape Factory: a team of industry veterans who'd worked at the likes of Sega and Nintendo to produce a prototype. Before long, they built a prototype for a sci-fi 3D mascot platformer called "Teebo and Kai: The Search For Awl" to rival the likes of Mario and Crash Bandicoot.

The killer feature to differentiate this game from its rivals would've been its strong focus on *Online Play*. This likely manifested as an online multiplayer in which players could either compete or cooperate to finish in-game objectives. 

Valve was well-established in designing online gameplay, as they had released online modes to all their titles at that point. Now they wanted to bring the benefits of online play to a different kind of game, specifically, to the 3D platformer genre, which had been booming in popularity at the time.

The project was ultimately shelved after the first prototype, likely due to Valve's concerns over the console userbase: Valve were used to catering towards the PC audience, which had adopted broadband internet long before the more casual console crowd, who were typically still confined to the slower internet speeds of land-line.

In the end, Valve fulfilled Microsoft's contract by porting Half-Life 2 to the Xbox. Teebo and Kai, and Escape Factory themselves, would go under Sierra's umbrella, who continued the game as a spin-off of the Space Quest series, before being cancelled entirely.
Exploring Valve Archive, part 28 - "A Valve 3D platformer to rival Mario?"

valvearchive.com>archive>3rd Party Developers>Escape Factory>Teebo And Kai The Search For Awl (Cancelled)>

In the year 2000, Valve Software were contracted by Microsoft to develop a title for their upcoming Xbox console. Keen to develop for the new hardware, Valve collaborated with newly-found game studio Escape Factory: a team of industry veterans who'd worked at the likes of Sega and Nintendo to produce a prototype. Before long, they built a prototype for a sci-fi 3D mascot platformer called "Teebo and Kai: The Search For Awl" to rival the likes of Mario and Crash Bandicoot.

The killer feature to differentiate this game from its rivals would've been its strong focus on *Online Play*. This likely manifested as an online multiplayer in which players could either compete or cooperate to finish in-game objectives. 

Valve was well-established in designing online gameplay, as they had released online modes to all their titles at that point. Now they wanted to bring the benefits of online play to a different kind of game, specifically, to the 3D platformer genre, which had been booming in popularity at the time.

The project was ultimately shelved after the first prototype, likely due to Valve's concerns over the console userbase: Valve were used to catering towards the PC audience, which had adopted broadband internet long before the more casual console crowd, who were typically still confined to the slower internet speeds of land-line.

In the end, Valve fulfilled Microsoft's contract by porting Half-Life 2 to the Xbox. Teebo and Kai, and Escape Factory themselves, would go under Sierra's umbrella, who continued the game as a spin-off of the Space Quest series, before being cancelled entirely.
Exploring Valve Archive, part 28 - "A Valve 3D platformer to rival Mario?"

valvearchive.com>archive>3rd Party Developers>Escape Factory>Teebo And Kai The Search For Awl (Cancelled)>

In the year 2000, Valve Software were contracted by Microsoft to develop a title for their upcoming Xbox console. Keen to develop for the new hardware, Valve collaborated with newly-found game studio Escape Factory: a team of industry veterans who'd worked at the likes of Sega and Nintendo to produce a prototype. Before long, they built a prototype for a sci-fi 3D mascot platformer called "Teebo and Kai: The Search For Awl" to rival the likes of Mario and Crash Bandicoot.

The killer feature to differentiate this game from its rivals would've been its strong focus on *Online Play*. This likely manifested as an online multiplayer in which players could either compete or cooperate to finish in-game objectives. 

Valve was well-established in designing online gameplay, as they had released online modes to all their titles at that point. Now they wanted to bring the benefits of online play to a different kind of game, specifically, to the 3D platformer genre, which had been booming in popularity at the time.

The project was ultimately shelved after the first prototype, likely due to Valve's concerns over the console userbase: Valve were used to catering towards the PC audience, which had adopted broadband internet long before the more casual console crowd, who were typically still confined to the slower internet speeds of land-line.

In the end, Valve fulfilled Microsoft's contract by porting Half-Life 2 to the Xbox. Teebo and Kai, and Escape Factory themselves, would go under Sierra's umbrella, who continued the game as a spin-off of the Space Quest series, before being cancelled entirely.
Exploring Valve Archive, part 28 - "A Valve 3D platformer to rival Mario?"

valvearchive.com>archive>3rd Party Developers>Escape Factory>Teebo And Kai The Search For Awl (Cancelled)>

In the year 2000, Valve Software were contracted by Microsoft to develop a title for their upcoming Xbox console. Keen to develop for the new hardware, Valve collaborated with newly-found game studio Escape Factory: a team of industry veterans who'd worked at the likes of Sega and Nintendo to produce a prototype. Before long, they built a prototype for a sci-fi 3D mascot platformer called "Teebo and Kai: The Search For Awl" to rival the likes of Mario and Crash Bandicoot.

The killer feature to differentiate this game from its rivals would've been its strong focus on *Online Play*. This likely manifested as an online multiplayer in which players could either compete or cooperate to finish in-game objectives. 

Valve was well-established in designing online gameplay, as they had released online modes to all their titles at that point. Now they wanted to bring the benefits of online play to a different kind of game, specifically, to the 3D platformer genre, which had been booming in popularity at the time.

The project was ultimately shelved after the first prototype, likely due to Valve's concerns over the console userbase: Valve were used to catering towards the PC audience, which had adopted broadband internet long before the more casual console crowd, who were typically still confined to the slower internet speeds of land-line.

In the end, Valve fulfilled Microsoft's contract by porting Half-Life 2 to the Xbox. Teebo and Kai, and Escape Factory themselves, would go under Sierra's umbrella, who continued the game as a spin-off of the Space Quest series, before being cancelled entirely.

Exploring Valve Archive, part 28 - "A Valve 3D platformer to rival Mario?" valvearchive.com>archive>3rd Party Developers>Escape Factory>Teebo And Kai The Search For Awl (Cancelled)> In the year 2000, Valve Software were contracted by Microsoft to develop a title for their upcoming Xbox console. Keen to develop for the new hardware, Valve collaborated with newly-found game studio Escape Factory: a team of industry veterans who'd worked at the likes of Sega and Nintendo to produce a prototype. B…

(Edited)
gabelaugh1
valve1

If you had to come up with a joint name for the Half-Life/Portal universe, what would you call it? I have some ideas, including: - The Cascade Canon - The Lambda Universe - Valve's Earth - Those games where portals are really important

Did you know that Half-Life 2 drew inspiration from Studio Ghibli while in development?

In Raising the Bar, you can find an early image of a Combine Helmet with a description from Ted Backman (Half-Life's creature designer):

"Early Combine helmet design was influenced by the work of Hayao Miyazaki." 

Looking at the comparisons between this helmet and some of Miyazaki's designs (he worked on a lot of Studio Ghibli films), you can see that their design language somewhat overlaps, although Miyazaki's work is a lot more cheerful than Backman's, for obvious reasons.
Did you know that Half-Life 2 drew inspiration from Studio Ghibli while in development?

In Raising the Bar, you can find an early image of a Combine Helmet with a description from Ted Backman (Half-Life's creature designer):

"Early Combine helmet design was influenced by the work of Hayao Miyazaki." 

Looking at the comparisons between this helmet and some of Miyazaki's designs (he worked on a lot of Studio Ghibli films), you can see that their design language somewhat overlaps, although Miyazaki's work is a lot more cheerful than Backman's, for obvious reasons.

Did you know that Half-Life 2 drew inspiration from Studio Ghibli while in development? In Raising the Bar, you can find an early image of a Combine Helmet with a description from Ted Backman (Half-Life's creature designer): "Early Combine helmet design was influenced by the work of Hayao Miyazaki." Looking at the comparisons between this helmet and some of Miyazaki's designs (he worked on a lot of Studio Ghibli films), you can see that their design language somewhat overlaps, although Miyaz…

what3
This is official Valve promo art of Alyx for HL2, which is interesting because I've never seen this used in the wild or used by fans like other promo art! Any idea when/where this first showed up?

This is official Valve promo art of Alyx for HL2, which is interesting because I've never seen this used in the wild or used by fans like other promo art! Any idea when/where this first showed up?

Exploring Valve Archive, part 27.

valvearchive.com>archive>Alien Swarm>Art>

Although one of their least popular games, Alien Swarm has some of the most interesting concept art of any Valve production.

A focus is given on the environments, presented in an almost manga style. The aesthetic is clean and toy-like, with the first artwork above showing a stage of the game as a literal miniature-based tabletop set, akin to Warhammer 40k.

There's even a tabletop-like plastic part sheet and a model box visible.

Given the concept art's heavy focus on the idea of tabletop sets and manga comics, it's not impossible to imagine that Valve explored the idea of focusing Alien Swarm for the tabletop enthusiast crowd, competing directly with the likes of the Warhammer franchise. This is a personal theory, however, and may be far fetched.

The Steam account "Valve Artists" posted all of the above artworks, plus more from Alien Swarm and other Valve titles.
Exploring Valve Archive, part 27.

valvearchive.com>archive>Alien Swarm>Art>

Although one of their least popular games, Alien Swarm has some of the most interesting concept art of any Valve production.

A focus is given on the environments, presented in an almost manga style. The aesthetic is clean and toy-like, with the first artwork above showing a stage of the game as a literal miniature-based tabletop set, akin to Warhammer 40k.

There's even a tabletop-like plastic part sheet and a model box visible.

Given the concept art's heavy focus on the idea of tabletop sets and manga comics, it's not impossible to imagine that Valve explored the idea of focusing Alien Swarm for the tabletop enthusiast crowd, competing directly with the likes of the Warhammer franchise. This is a personal theory, however, and may be far fetched.

The Steam account "Valve Artists" posted all of the above artworks, plus more from Alien Swarm and other Valve titles.
Exploring Valve Archive, part 27.

valvearchive.com>archive>Alien Swarm>Art>

Although one of their least popular games, Alien Swarm has some of the most interesting concept art of any Valve production.

A focus is given on the environments, presented in an almost manga style. The aesthetic is clean and toy-like, with the first artwork above showing a stage of the game as a literal miniature-based tabletop set, akin to Warhammer 40k.

There's even a tabletop-like plastic part sheet and a model box visible.

Given the concept art's heavy focus on the idea of tabletop sets and manga comics, it's not impossible to imagine that Valve explored the idea of focusing Alien Swarm for the tabletop enthusiast crowd, competing directly with the likes of the Warhammer franchise. This is a personal theory, however, and may be far fetched.

The Steam account "Valve Artists" posted all of the above artworks, plus more from Alien Swarm and other Valve titles.
Exploring Valve Archive, part 27.

valvearchive.com>archive>Alien Swarm>Art>

Although one of their least popular games, Alien Swarm has some of the most interesting concept art of any Valve production.

A focus is given on the environments, presented in an almost manga style. The aesthetic is clean and toy-like, with the first artwork above showing a stage of the game as a literal miniature-based tabletop set, akin to Warhammer 40k.

There's even a tabletop-like plastic part sheet and a model box visible.

Given the concept art's heavy focus on the idea of tabletop sets and manga comics, it's not impossible to imagine that Valve explored the idea of focusing Alien Swarm for the tabletop enthusiast crowd, competing directly with the likes of the Warhammer franchise. This is a personal theory, however, and may be far fetched.

The Steam account "Valve Artists" posted all of the above artworks, plus more from Alien Swarm and other Valve titles.

Exploring Valve Archive, part 27. valvearchive.com>archive>Alien Swarm>Art> Although one of their least popular games, Alien Swarm has some of the most interesting concept art of any Valve production. A focus is given on the environments, presented in an almost manga style. The aesthetic is clean and toy-like, with the first artwork above showing a stage of the game as a literal miniature-based tabletop set, akin to Warhammer 40k. There's even a tabletop-like plastic part sheet and a model b…

I HAVE to assume that Neon Prime is a space game, right? 

We've heard speculation from finalflame (ex-Valve dev) that it could be the "FTL-like ship building game" they were working on, and the trademark hints towards a multiplayer experience...

Maybe it's a VR/PC multiplayer space dogfight game with a focus on ship customisation.

Or maybe it's a small Dota spinoff, who knows?

What do you think?

I HAVE to assume that Neon Prime is a space game, right? We've heard speculation from finalflame (ex-Valve dev) that it could be the "FTL-like ship building game" they were working on, and the trademark hints towards a multiplayer experience... Maybe it's a VR/PC multiplayer space dogfight game with a focus on ship customisation. Or maybe it's a small Dota spinoff, who knows? What do you think?

(Edited)