Toxic Valve Former developer talks about psychological torture and rookie survival

Toxic Valve Former developer talks about psychological torture and rookie survival

A veteran gaming industry veteran, Richard Geldreich tweeted what he faced while working at Valve about 10 years ago. Back then, Source 2 development was in its early stages and the studio needed new employees. However, the newcomers did not understand how the structure of the company was arranged, the bonus system distorted all processes, but none of the studio veterans spoke about it.

According to Richard, the developers who wrote Source 1 knew very well how things work at Valve. They understood how to get a good payday bonus and how to lead others to leave. New hires found themselves in this environment without preparation, and for most the experience was pointless and / or unpleasant.

Anyone who got into Valve and had a skill / experience superior to the oldies was a threat. These were aggressively opposed and pushed out to reduce competition for bonuses. It was almost impossible to survive.

When I started, I got into the Source 2 team. It was like I was in a pool with sharks. I only survived because I was the last one in Portal 2 to tackle rendering bugs that no one knew how to fix.

On the Source 2 team, I, like many others, were considered garbage. All projects on Source 1 treated me like a golden man because I was willing to fix and improve their rendering prior to product launches. But Source 2 was a complete nightmare. Many programmers who came healthy / happy / reasonable left the project broken, full of hatred for the team.

All this was 10 years ago, so I think now we can talk about it. And the moral is that huge bonuses can create incredibly toxic teams.

Also, I think that veterans really enjoyed torturing newcomers psychologically. Everything was so bad. Absolute toxicity.

If you believe these words, and there is no reason to doubt, Valve was no better than many other studios accused of disastrous conditions in recent years. It is not clear whether the situation has improved there. 

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