Valve has revealed that its co-op zombie survival FPS Left 4 Dead was originally conceived as an RPG featuring fairies. No, really.
Valve MD Gabe Newell, project manager Erik Johnson and director of marketing Doug Lombardi discussed the genesis of its critically acclaimed zombie game in an interview with PC Gamer.
When asked about projects they considered to be failures the trio took the discussion in an unexpected direction by describing a "flying fairy" RPG that utilised gestures based-controls.
Although Newell was reluctant to make the connection between the two games, Lombardi said the game was one of "a few failed starts to build Left 4 Dead" and revealed that "It turned into Left 4 Dead".
Although the trio repeatedly described the fairy game as "so bad" that "you wanted to ask yourself: 'How could we make a game that was this bad?'", the project wasn't a complete failure.
Newell took the glass half-full perspective and called it a "useful failure" that helped the team focus on what it was good at, which lead to Left 4 Dead.
"And we said we should focus on what we do really well, so why are we doing this game which was kind of a... it wasn't really an RPG... it was this action fantasy sort of role playing game that had no story. And then we said 'OK, that's so horribly wrong. What we should focus in on is AI and playing in co-op, and that's the interesting opportunity.' That was where Left 4 Dead came from."
Valve recently announced a new DLC pack for both the original Left 4 Dead and its sequel.