This is what Valve looked like in 1998 (nice CRTs)

Friday, 25th July 2014 10:54 GMT By Patrick Garratt

Valve before Half-Life was a dark place full of thick plastic and Quake.


Reddit user Smar_tass has posted up some photos from a trip his dad took to Valve in 1998, showing a bootstrap, cave-like environment where people bought in pizza and fiddled with CRTs.

It appears “light” was something Valve employees didn’t value at the time, with the company taking a dim view on anything other than dimness in general.

This is before the release of Half-Life, apparently, which launched in November 1998.

You can check out the full set on Imgur.






  1. benjymous

    Darkness in game studios is a pretty common thing – especially if the game being worked on is dark (since any glare off the screen makes it pretty much impossible to see what’s going on)

    #1 5 months ago
  2. Lounds

    Cheers Pat. Really hope these guys announce something special for the 10th anniversary of Half-Life 2.

    #2 5 months ago
  3. NotPanthro

    lol “pc master race” gods…. more like pc virgin race

    i bet every one at valve was a virgin at that point and probably still is they probably still sit in there untidy dark rooms and play dota 2 like the true virgins they are no wonder half life 3 isnt out i bet its tough trying to work while being a 40 year old virgin

    #3 5 months ago
  4. NotPanthro

    also where gabe newll huh? he to fat to fit in that tiny dark box room? probably he probably has a full stack of those pizzas in his own fat pc master virgin room

    #4 5 months ago
  5. Lounds

    @NotPanthro troll harder.

    #5 5 months ago
  6. unknown_gamer

    Back where videogames were actual “videogames”

    #6 5 months ago
  7. xxJPRACERxx

    @NotPanthro Yes, and now they have more money than you’ll ever have, drive the best cars and fuck the nicest girls while you sit on your sorry ass posting stupid comments.

    #7 5 months ago
  8. Johnnymaxx

    I once took a trip down to SOE development buildings and yes, they all work in the dark. It is awesome. :)

    #8 5 months ago
  9. NotPanthro


    speak for yourself bitch

    #9 5 months ago
  10. Obernox

    You created a monster, Pat.

    #10 5 months ago
  11. salarta

    The cameraman in the last picture AGGRESSIVELY believed in light.

    #11 5 months ago
  12. thegrimmling

    @NotPanthro The pizzas are the offering to Gabe’s door troll. The darkness of the room is Gabe standing in front of the light.

    #12 5 months ago
  13. sebastien rivas

    ha 1998….
    CRTs, no freaking kiddo mumbo jumbo talk, no talk out of ass, no pretention.

    Just fucking doers and game lovers
    woohooo, thanks Pat

    #13 5 months ago
  14. xxJPRACERxx


    Haha, I know truth can be hurtful. But don’t worry, someday you’ll met a nice girl too!

    #14 5 months ago
  15. archaven

    That legendary Sony CRT monitor. I have one myself in the 90s.

    #15 5 months ago
  16. NotPanthro


    speak for yourself bitch.

    #16 5 months ago
  17. xxJPRACERxx


    lol, you make me laugh so much!

    #17 5 months ago
  18. harr0w

    The beginnings of something great

    #18 5 months ago

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