Valve loves you and wants you to pick their PDF brain

Valve’s Publication Archive

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:

“How Valve Connects Art to Gameplay” on style and art in TF2 and L4D2 (and its techier cousin, “Illustrative Rendering in TF2”).

“Shading a Bigger, Better Sequel” on texture variation and wounds for the hordes in L4D2.

And, of course, the Valve Handbook, just for fun.