Valve boss Gabe Newell has paid tribute to the role John Carmack and id Software played in getting the Left 4 Dead firm off the ground.
Newell secured a licence to the Quake Engine in late 1996, through his friend at id, Michael Abrash - and built Half-Life 1 on the technology. But as he revealed on SteamCast Ep.48, Valve's debt to id goes much deeper than that.
"One thing that everyone should remember is that Valve got its start through the support and community mindedness of id [Software]," he said. "So if it hadn't been for John Carmack, Jay Wilber, Michael Abrash supporting us and encouraging us in what we did, Valve wouldn't have gotten its start."
Newell remarked that Valve had been inspired by the assistance and trust it received in those early days - and now looked to provide similar support to young developers.
"Our expectation is, and certainly our hope is, when we work to provide people with the same level of enthusiastic support that we received, that we'll benefit years down the road by getting to play your games or to be entertained by your websites or content," he commented.
"We really are all in this together, and the more effective we are as a community in gathering and supporting talented and smart people to build the kinds of entertainment we love the better of we're all going to be. So we really mean that, and view our activities in this area as being of long-term benefit to all of us."
When later asked what was Valve's biggest inspiration, Newell once again thanked his early backers.
He added: "For me, it was definitely, like I said previously, getting the sort of encouragement of people that were already in the industry. When someone like John Carmack says, 'Yeah, I'm actually really interested to see what you guys do with the Quake engine,' you know, that gets your attention.
"When Michael Abrash says, 'Yeah, I know you Gabe, we worked together, and you have skills that will be valuable in this space', you can come into this not thinking you aren't bringing anything to the table. You actually have stuff that you've learned and can do that will be valuable in game development.
"Those are the things that made it easy to jump off a cliff and start a video game company when people who you respect very highly, who have in fact been very successful in this space, encourage you to give it a go; that makes it pretty easy."
Now, of course, Valve's all grown up - and preparing the release of Portal 2 for Xbox 360, PC and PS3 next month.
Meanwhile, id is also still doing the business, and will unleash its FPS RAGE - based on id Tech 5 - in September.