Hey Seattle folks, want to pay a visit to Valve?

By wall of hats, do you mean a wall where every TF2 hat actually exists and is hung up? Because that would be a hella-big wall.

I don’t know that any of us managed to capture it on film, but my recollection is that it’s a 10x20 section of wall covered with random pieces of headgear.

I captured this poor-ish quality image of the hat wall. This is probably about half of the hats.

I’m really surprised that no one has posted a pic of the bread guillotine yet

Apparently the story goes that Gabe’s kids hate crust on their bread. So Gabe decided to have a contest to see who could come up with the best bread-crust-remover. This was the winner.

Here’s a Tank figure that was displayed on the opposite side of the couch from the headcrab one that Pogue posted earlier.

A blurry walk-by shot of a massage table. I really wish my workplace had these.

Here’s the best shot I could get of the DOTA enclave. This proves the rolling desks are real. It also makes me extremely jealous and now I think I’m going devote all my energies to getting hired at Valve.

The corridor walls are covered with concept art that each of the enclaves posts in order to lure good people onto their project. Basically everything in the handbook is completely true. Mind blown.

It was really awesome to be able to see Valve and meet some QT3ers in person. Huge thanks to Chet for playing tour guide during his work day. Many thanks to Pogue for being the organizer. I recommend a tour to anyone who happens to be in the Seattle/Bellevue area and is at all interested in how games get made.

Also, thanks for the sweet swag Valve! I now have a new work mug!

I should have just asked one of the artists, but I didn’t want to interrupt them. Maybe someone here knows or can tell from looking at this picture. What sort of hardware are those artists working on?

I guess it’s some sort of touch screen with a wacom pen? I watched them zoom in and out and even spin the pictures they were working on and it just looked pretty neat. What sort of attachment do you use for the touch screen (if that’s what it is), to be able to use it like a drawing table?

I’d love to have something like that at home.

Glad you got a shot of the bread slicer, BM, I was spacing out when we were checking out the knife room.

They probably are Wacom displays (they have several of those in different sizes, the largest being 24"). My daughter, who wants to be an artist, was SUPER jealous. She loved all the concept art too.

Yeah, if I had to guess I’d say the tablets where of this persuasion.

Though for the budget conscious, this is something to consider.

Wow, that’s pretty cool. I was looking at a Wacom pen at Christmas time, but you had to use it on a little pad, not direclty on the screen. Working direclty on the screen is awesome.

The write-up and photos are fascinating, but there is an important matter which has, surprisingly, not been mentioned so far. I would go so far to say, conspicuous in its absence.

What is Valve’s cafeteria like?
How are the confectioneries?

Wacom Cintiqs have been around for quite a while now. Even my HP TM2 touchscreen laptop, which comes with a wacom pressure sensitive stylus, is over 2 yrs old. I’m still waiting for Microsoft’s promised tablet with stylus that has the hardware to run photoshop well, but be slim enough to feel like a paper sketchpad. Although my laptop folds into tablet form, it’s still a little bulky and weighs 4 pounds.

The only real problem with any of these draw-screens is the separation between your pen nib and the pixels you draw because of the glass, and the texture of the glass isn’t what paper would be, although the wacoms come closest to the feel.

Good question, Airscrew, I didn’t take the cafeteria into account really. Mostly I think that’s because they remind me very much of the cafes at Microsoft, so my brain kind of skipped over them looking for more cool models and artwork. Maybe someone else in the group took a photo they can share.

I got this shot of the cafeteria, though there’s nothing particularly interesting about it other than the inflatable unicorn. We didn’t spend too much time there and I never actually turned the little corner where the actual food was kept, so I can’t really comment on the presence of confectioneries.

Though I just remembered, there was one hallway near a breakroom that had a bunch of boxes of candy in a display, kind of like the one you might see in the checkout isle of the grocery store. As far as I could see you could just take whatever you want from that.