Our students had the opportunity to get an inside look at the legendary Valve Corp Headquarters, the studio that has brought us the Half-Life series, and the distribution platform, Steam. Kelly Cline and Mike Belzer, who were our guides for our group throughout the tour, showed Valve’s state of the art motion-capture room, sound design room, among various studios.
What about the culture of Valve Corp? Valve employees have plentiful options to enjoy the benefits of an on-site gym, barber, massage parlor, spacious cafeteria, and several luxurious break rooms, or as affectionately labeled, “sulking rooms”.
Kelly and Mike also shared what it’s like working at Valve, explaining the internal structure and how that affects the company’s culture. The structure may come as a surprise to some. There’s no organizational hierarchy, which is impressive considering the 320 employees currently housed at Valve HQ.
Employees have desks which can be unplugged and wheeled into workrooms, each of which is organized around a project. Employees self-determine where they’re needed in each project, and which project they’d like to participate in. However, this structure is not for everyone. Even a decorated industry veteran may not thrive in such conditions, unless the working conditions suited the personality of the employee.
AIE would like to give a special thanks to our 3D Animation & VFX Advisory Board Member, Mike Belzer, and our tour guide Kelly Cline, for making this tour happen for our future industry professionals.
If you'd like to see more student tours, check out our student tour at 343 Studios.
About the Author: Lizz Rizzo - Digital Marketing Coordinator, Seattle & Lafayette
Lizz Rizzo is the Digital Marketing Coordinator at the Academy of Interactive Entertainment for both the Seattle and Lafayette campus. She has wrote for multiple video game press sites for several years, and has shipped 6 titles in the video game industry. During her leisure time, Lizz enjoys spending time with her pets, swimming, and jamming with her band.