Half-Life 2 Art Director Left Valve Cause It Stopped Making “Epic AAA Games”

Valve is known as one of the best game development studios of today, but that didn’t stop Half-Life 2's art director, Viktor Antonov, from leaving when it became apparent to him that they have stopped making “epic AAA games.”

Antonov’s last work at Valve was pitching for Team Fortress 2. However, he believes that Half-Life 2 was the epitome of the studio’s epic AAA games. "Since then, they were episodes," he said. "Valve is a great place, but I'm interested in projects, not in companies. I went to Valve specifically for Half-Life 2."

Antonov is currently working with Arkane Studios on Dishonored.

"Valve has grown into a much bigger company, and what I really enjoy about the philosophy of Arkane is that it's a small, core team that does risky creative projects. And when I went to Valve, they were a small company. They've grown now, they're much bigger, and I'm interested in a certain level of creative risk taking and a certain energy that can be compared to jazz, jamming or rock n' roll, where it's small, it's intense and it's about making revolutions in the media."

Add new comment

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Comments

Valves source engine receives

Valves source engine receives regular updates. It's not the same engine it was back when hl2 was first released. As for graphics, its ok. Not like the top AAA engines out there but the difference isn't that big. In the end it all comes down to texture sizes, maps (bump, normal, parallax, relief) and polycount. Anything else is just extra and doesnt add much realism, if any (i.e. bloom/hdr). That said, a new engine is expected along with half life 3 which is expected after episode 3 which no one knows when its coming out.

Here's a better translation...

The year is 1997 - Valves source engine receives regular updates. It's not the same engine it was back when hl was first released. As for graphics, its ok. Not like the top AAA engines out there but the difference isn't that big. In the end it all comes down to texture sizes, maps (bump, normal, parallax, relief) and polycount. Anything else is just extra and doesnt add much realism, if any (i.e. bloom/hdr). That said, a new engine is expected along with half life 2 which is expected after nine years which no one knows when its coming out.

System Shock 2, Deus Ex, the

System Shock 2, Deus Ex, the No One Lives Forever series, Riven, Escape from Butcher Bay, Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines, Strife, The Longest Journey and it's sequel Dreamfall, Beyond Good and Evil, the Blade Runner game, Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight, Grim Fandango, Goldeneye 007, Daggerfall (the game world was freaking enormous), I Have No Mouth But I Must Scream, The Dig... Flight Unlimited and Jurassic Park: Trespasser were both technological marvels in their time. Neither of the Half Life games were very impressive for their time gameplay OR technology wise. Most - if not all - of these were, and in some cases still are, and yet have received little of the attention Valve's titles have. CAPTCHA: 'Partly to blame'

Half-Life

Many of the games you listed were very highly regarded for their time. At the same time a lot of them were before the time of the web being popular so you can't expect them to receive the same praise as a game like Half-Life in '98.

The main point I want to make is, before Half-Life pretty much ALL standard FPS games were the same. The next one would be released and it was the same as the last just with better graphics and another badly told story.

Half-Life took the standard FPS formula and just totally raised the bar. It drew the player in from the start and added some class to what was previously just a gib-fest. It's just so damn memorable. Half-Life 2 (while not quite as revolutionary for it's time) still did a great job of sticking to it's roots and telling the story so well. City 17 and "The Citadel" were so awesomely creative.

Of course personal opinion comes in to it, and some of the games you listed give me the impression that you've included some nostalgic favourites in there, regardless of whether they really had an impact on genres.

On a side note I'm sure there's some weird connection between BG&E and Bloodlines. They both received mixed reviews and I personally didn't think too much of either of them. But I have 3 seperate friends who loved BG&E and all 3 of them loved Bloodlines as well. Quite odd...

I, in turn, find the praise

I, in turn, find the praise the Half Life series receives quite baffling - I played both the first one and the second on-release and felt they were both a step-back from other similar titles released at the same time and very dull, repetitive and uninteresting (though less so than the original Halo thankfully). I have friends, however, that swear by Valve's games and are knee-deep in their DOTA 2 addictions at the moment. I do have to point out that there is a direct link between the Half-Life 2 release and Bloodline's mixed reviews.

Makes sense

Well seeing how close Dishonored is to Bioshock/Half life I think Antonov made a very wise decision in his career. Cause clearly he was tired of making hats for TF2 (lol!)

yo mammas titties

not sure why the previous poster's gf left him, but it seems to have upset him deeply. All art is derived from other art.

as for tthis art ddesigner: YA, STICK IT TO THE MAN!

as i posted on the black mesa

as i posted on the black mesa forums:

"from an artistic stand point....portal 2, tf2, hl1,tfc...shit on hl2.

portal2, tf2, hl1, tfc...even l4d and cs1.6 have extremely diverse and distinctive art styles in and of themselves where as hl2 just feels like a mash up of art styles and concepts thrown into 1 bland package that loses its identity somewhere in the middle.

like a fucking girl talk song. yea i love girl talk, shits legit....but the shit girl talk mashes up and releases is not the same as the original songs that he uses to create his music.

you lose the individuality since youre just using other peoples ideas.

the combine's logo, branding, architecture, design scheme...EVERYTHING...looks like it was ripped off the death star, and enslaved by the borg.

you can argue the combine's design, style and architecture is the way it is because the combine just go to different dimensions, enslave massive populations of people and deplete a planets resources so they dont really have an identity to begin with...and their identity is that of their captives...but it just does not feel original.

City 17 itself was even designed and modeled after some anonymous city in eastern europe.

anatonov also sounds like he talks out of both sides of his mouth.

"I'm interested in a certain level of creative risk taking and a certain energy that can be compared to jazz, jamming or rock n' roll, where it's small, it's intense and it's about making revolutions in the media."

yeaa...anatonovs job description for working as zenimax's visual design director is the exact opposite of the reasoning behind why he left valve in the first place.

im glad he left."

It sounds like you really,

It sounds like you really, really hate a guy you'd never even heard about before now just because he wants to do something different with the rest of his life. Chill dude. Sometimes people don't want to work at the same place for the rest of their lives. Also, I'm pretty sure he worked on all those games.

Selfish and hypocritical?

Selfish and hypocritical? Just because he wants to work on a smaller team doing bigger projects? What is wrong with you, can't you be happy the guy is moving on? Why are you taking his career decisions so personally? What did he say that offended you so much?

Add new comment