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Interviews

Valve's Chet Faliszek Part 2

Left 4 Dead man talks boycotts, what's next

Page 2 of 3

If it becomes confusing or people have expectations that we always have to fit... I think you can see from pricing TF2 at $2.49 for two hours we like to experiment and try different things. As we do those experiments, as we do a game in a year for the first time we're going to have people being vocal about liking things that way or not liking things that way. Our plan is to keep experimenting and trying different things.

The PC version of Left 4 Dead has a great selection of user maps and mods now. The Xbox 360 version is missing out on those... are you working on finding a solution for Xbox players?

Faliszek: We're looking to find a solution to reward people who make great content and make sure that more people can play that great content they've created. One of the problems now when you look at a lot of the mods that are made is they can't run on low-end PCs, they can't even run on mid-end PCs often - they can only run on high-end PCs. They can't run on Xbox 360.

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There's a lot of work we do to get things to the performance levels that are acceptable for us. You look at a lot of the modders and obviously that's a very technical thing; you have to know the engine and the tools very well. They're really interested in delivering this experience, this coolness.

We've talked with some of them about that issue, we've talked about maybe working with them, maybe after Left 4 Dead 2 comes out having some sessions with them. Because the coolest thing we could ever do would be to take something that was made by the community and share it with everybody - including Xbox 360 owners. How that happens and what work needs to be done is a little bit complicated.

TF2's maps are pre-constrained, pretty tight. They've also got a year on us in development, their developers a little bit more sophisticated. Now we're working with those people and making sure they're making things that we can deliver to other people. We would love to do that with Left 4 Dead. How that works though is something we're still working on.

Are you bored of people asking about PS3?

Faliszek: Nah. I bought a PS3 actually before I left for London because I wanted to play Uncharted 2. I borrowed a PS3 previously when I wanted to play games but this was the one that sold it to me.

So you know, we're gamers. We play on the PS3. Obviously if you look at the Orange Box we weren't so happy with our interaction with PS3 customers and what we could've done there. Right now for Left 4 Dead 2 we're looking at PC and 360 because the community aspects really fit the game - it's all about playing with your friends.

But that's the short term. What we're looking at for the long term... if it works out, it works out. Right now don't not buy it on the 360 because you think it's coming out on the PS3 - it's not going to. Right? It's coming out on the PC and 360. It's going to be exclusive for that. Again, it's the communities that those offer. For any other Valve game let's see - who knows. But for Left 4 Dead I think the community aspect of it...

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So this is a decision very much made on a game by game basis - Valve's not blacklisting PS3?

Faliszek: Oh no. We own Wiis too right? So who knows. But definitely for Left 4 Dead, in hooking up with your friends and the community aspects, I think the Xbox 360 is head and shoulders above the PS3. The 360 and PC are on par, right?

It feels like it's been all Left 4 Dead at Valve for the last few years. When are we going to hear about your non-Left 4 Dead stuff?

Faliszek: There are other teams at Valve, they're working on stuff as well. Everybody at Valve gets to work on whatever they want to work on - a good example is Kim Swift works on Left 4 Dead but most people would know her from Portal. It's that ability to get excited about what we're working on that's why I think we make good games.

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