Michael Abrash has written up a great blog post
on the official Valve blog, recapping the last few years and how he ended up at Valve. Those with long memories will recall Abrash worked at id Software alongside John Carmack on the original Quake engine, handling many of the low level optimisations responsible for performance back in the days before 3D graphics cards were standard on PCs.
The post goes into fascinating detail about how Valve works as a company, talking about their management-less structure and how it is built from the ground up to be a great environment for creative people.
If you've been keeping pace with gaming news, you'll have heard some of the rumours
about Valve getting in to hardware. The first thought many had was that they might be looking into the console space, but Abrash's post gives some insight into what he's working on in that area - and it's wearable computing:
By “wearable computing” I mean mobile computing where both computer-generated graphics and the real world are seamlessly overlaid in your view; there is no separate display that you hold in your hands (think Terminator vision). The underlying trend as we’ve gone from desktops through laptops and notebooks to tablets is one of having computing available in more places, more of the time. The logical endpoint is computing everywhere, all the time – that is, wearable computing – and I have no doubt that 20 years from now that will be standard, probably through glasses or contacts, but for all I know through some kind of more direct neural connection. And I’m pretty confident that platform shift will happen a lot sooner than 20 years – almost certainly within 10, but quite likely as little as 3-5, because the key areas – input, processing/power/size, and output – that need to evolve to enable wearable computing are shaping up nicely, although there’s a lot still to be figured out.
So it sounds like competition is heating up on things like the Google Glasses
. It's a great read from an industry legend and is well worth the time if you're interested in learning more about Valve and where the future might be taking us. The post ends with a call out for talented people that want to join the Valve team to get in touch, so if you've also read Snow Crash
and want to help build the Metaverse... now is a good time to talk to Valve.