Valve was at one point working on a four-player co-op, fantasy project, according to a veteran Valve artist.
Drew Wolf, who worked at Valve for nine years, recently left the studio. His personal portfolio revealed a number of projects, ideas, and concepts he was exploring at Valve.
This is how we learned that Valve had a plan at one point to add female characters to Team Fortress 2. His work showed what female versions of the existing heroes would look like.
As for that mysterious project, Wolf says it was a story-driven, fantasy adventure game with a focus on “cooperative combat”. As you can see in the art below, the cast is diverse with different archetypal characters represented, emphasising the four-player co-op nature.
“Each sketch represents a slice of the world each character came from as well as a hint at who they are and what they,” Wolf notes.
The game was not given a name, and Wolf did not specifically say that this project was in development at Valve, but it’s hard to imagine it being for any other studio. It’s also easy to spot similarities between this and the Dota 2 character art, which he helped shape the visual style of.