« I was convinced after this meeting that the entire concept of a "Steambox" wasn't something all of Valve supported.
This was one of the key issues I had working at Valve. The culture was utterly paralyzing. Even something obvious like adding CSM shadows to CS:GO was a controversial decision that another group didn't support. You were damned if you did, damned if you didn't sometimes.
Ultimately either Gabe or a key external event had to catalyze or force the company into committing to do *something* and ship it. If Atman/Abrash/etc. hadn't quit (right before me) to go to Oculus/Facebook, they wouldn't have done Vive.
Most of the senior employees optimized for lowest anxiety and lowest career risk, because they wanted to not be fired on the next bonus/review cycle. If you scale this up to hundreds of devs, it leads to stagnation and indecision/deadlock across the entire company.
They key event that convinced me to personally quit ASAP was around the time they did a massive random purge (including Jeri Ellsworth and Rick Johnson). They piled the entirety of the Linux test lab's computers - all of them - into a corner in a room. Just a huge mess.
This was done while we were still trying to test on multiple Linux desktops, and while we were still trying to work out how to port various Source1 games to AMD/Intel GPU's. It caused a huge amount of stress to us on the Linux effort. It was like a tornado came through.
I decided that any company that would do this to its employees wasn't a healthy place to work at. Something was deeply wrong there. A lot more than this went into my decision to leave, but this was a key event.
By the way, every single Valve employee who used to text me and tell me "oh Valve has changed - your perspectives aren't relevant now - everything's awesome now!" has been fired. Every single one. LOL.
So please, stop texting me. You will be fired eventually. »