Campo Santo Valve-o

Honestly, it seems that most the of the team is liking working at valve. Trading in maybe doing something more artisiticly furfilling for more banal with better financial security. As someone who made a move like that in his own career last year, i get it, and i don’t really regret my move either. But it still sucks as a fan of art given that beyond valve just sucking ass in general (thanks gambling, scams, and hate groups on steam!) its a creative black hole of talent. So while at least some of the devs seem to be enjoying it, i think i can be dissapointed because one less talented studio is worse for the medium.


Just gonna be thinking about Jane Ng’s tweets about figuring out how to get the Valley of Gods characters’ hair right and hoping that knowledge gets used somehow in Half Life Alyx or, idk, somewhere.


Saw this thread retweeted by Jennifer Unkle from a writer on ItVoG who isn’t at Valve and thought I’d share even though it made me kinda sad.


Fyfe is a great writer! I just want to shout out his excellent podcast, Something True:

It’s a history podcast that is witty and informative. I imagine his work on In the Valley of Gods would have been excellent as well. This just makes the whole situation even sadder…


What really sucks about Valve is that nobody will dare speak up about what happened. This is the best you’ll get. Maybe in twenty years when nobody remembers anymore somebody will put it in a footnote on a blog post.

Edit: I’ve decided I hate Valve, just as a thing, in total. I think they’re a net negative.


I mean i feel like we can shake our fists about valve (and valve really really sucks), but the former campo santo folks all went willingly. Which as a fan of art sucks that all or most of a group of talented people decided that they would rather be no name bit players in monoliths like half life or Dota rather Attempt to make something truly interesting. But then I’m just that guy yelling sellout and being mad that they should be forced to make what I want them to make. I guess it’s just disappointing that they didn’t even try.


This will sound snarky, but it’s an honest question: What was the management/ownership structure of pre-Valve Campo Santo? Was it a co-op?

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I’m honestly disappointed, especially after reading Duncan Fyfe’s linked Twitter thread. In The Valley of the Gods seemed super interesting to me. Hopefully the Campo Santo folks are enjoying working at Valve, but none of the Valve projects they are on interest me.

Kind of related, but I do miss Idle Thumbs (also Idle Weekend).


Right??? Valve not only killed ITVOG but also Idle Thumbs / Important If True. :rage:

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I was bummed hearing about this news. I’ll definitely lower my expectations next time Valve makes a studio acquisition. I still do have some hope that Idle Thumbs or Important If True come back.


  • does not moderate their communities at all, except when they become news, or in secret without any announcement or guidelines

  • does not moderate games released on its service, except when they become news, or in secret without any announcement or guidelines

  • takes a once industry-standard-but-now-absurdly-insulting 30% cut of sales, before VAT or other sales taxes, unless you already make millions of dollars

  • was a vanguard in the industry trend towards loot boxes and season passes

  • still has the most arcane developer backend of any PC platform (though I can’t compare it to Epic, I’ve never released anything there)

I think it’s pretty fair to be disappointed by anyone leaving their own projects to work at that cesspit, whether those people are happy there or otherwise.


After being mad about this for two days, I’ve decided to just not be mad about this anymore. It’s a deeply annoying thing, but ultimately I’m falling back into old patterns of #GamerRage. I won’t speak for anybody else but it’s so easy to whip yourself into a frenzy because you’re not getting a game. And I hate Valve for a million reasons, probably good ones. I release myself from this story, I need to move on, there’s nothing to be done.

Also, I’m worried that will end, as it always fucking does, with somebody hunting down a Campo Santo dev (bet you five bucks it’s a female one too) and harassing them. So we can watch for that news down the pike in a week or two.

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Yeah, no, the people who track down game devs and harass them are the ones who long ago dismissed Valley of the Gods as SJW bullshit. They aren’t particularly bothered about its cancellation.


It’s not like being idealogically consistent is a priority for people like that. If they see an excuse to harass, they’ll likely go for it.