Valve loves you and wants you to pick their PDF brain
At some point my squirrel brain realized “Man, there sure are a lot of PDFs on Valve’s games floating around.” Shortly following this was “Man, I wonder if there are more out there.
The last part of the thought process, a small amount of Google spelunking later, was “Man, how did I not know about this before?”
Valve’s publication page contains PDFs of all the slides (and sometimes notes and papers) from all the lectures they’ve ever given. Some are a little hard to follow, especially if the slides don’t have much writing on them, but there’s a lot of quality reading in there whether you’re in art, programming, tech or design. Finally, the archive is in the Library now, too.
My two and a half favorites:
“Shading a Bigger, Better Sequel” on texture variation and wounds for the hordes in L4D2.
And, of course, the Valve Handbook, just for fun.