We publish some of our work.

Valve engineers and artists regularly contribute to industry publications and academic conferences. Their articles, papers, and presentations cover a wide range of topics, from the high level goals of Valve’s cabal development process to the inner workings of our cutting-edge rendering algorithms.

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2016


  • Alex Vlachos. March 2016. "Advanced VR Rendering Performance." Game Developers Conference. Slides
  • Dan Ginsburg, et al. March 2016. "Practical Development for Vulkan." Game Developers Conference. Slides
  • Dan Ginsburg. March 2016. "Performance Lessons from Porting Source 2 to Vulkan." Game Developers Conference Khronos Vulkan Event. Slides

2015


  • Zach Barth. October 2015. "Developing Room-Scale VR Games." Full Indie Summit. Slides  |  Sample Code
  • Sergiy Migdalskiy. March 2015. "Physics for Game Developers: Physics Optimization Strategies." Game Developers Conference. Slides, Video
  • Dirk Gregorius. March 2015. "Robust Contact Creation for Physics Simulations." Game Developers Conference. Slides
  • Alex Vlachos. March 2015. "Advanced VR Rendering." Game Developers Conference. Slides
  • Pierre-Loup Griffais, et al. March 2015. "Vulkan: The Future of High-Performance Graphics." Game Developers Conference. Slides

2014


  • Sergiy Migdalskiy. March 2014. "Physics Debugging Techniques." Game Developers Conference. Slides
  • Dirk Gregorius. March 2014. "Implementing QuickHull." Game Developers Conference. Slides
  • Bronwen Grimes. March 2014. "Building the Content that Drives the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Economy." Game Developers Conference. Slides

2013


  • Joe Ludwig. March 2013. "Lessons learned porting Team Fortress 2 to Virtual Reality." Game Developers Conference. Slides
  • Michael Abrash. March 2013. "Why Virtual Reality Is Hard (and where it might be going)." Game Developers Conference. Slides
  • Dirk Gregorius. March 2013. "The Separating Axis Test Between Convex Polyhedra." Game Developers Conference. Slides

2012


  • Joe Ludwig. March 2012. "TF2 - From The Orange Box to Free to Play in "Just" Four Years!." Game Developers Conference. Slides
  • Elan Ruskin. March 2012. "Rule Databases for Contextual Dialog and Game Logic." Game Developers Conference. Slides

2011


  • Bruce Dawson. August 2011. "How Valve Makes Games Better with Xperf." Microsoft GameFest. Slides  |  Sample Code
  • Bronwen Grimes. March 2011. "Making and Using Non-Standard Textures: Manipulating UVs through Color Data in Portal 2." Game Developers Conference. Slides
  • Mike Ambinder. March 2011. "Biofeedback in Gameplay: How Valve Measures Physiology to Enhance Gaming Experience." Game Developers Conference. Slides

2010


  • Alex Vlachos. June 2010. "Water Flow in Portal 2." SIGGRAPH Course on Advances in Real-Time Rendering in 3D Graphics and Games. Slides
  • Alex Vlachos. March 2010. "Rendering Wounds in Left 4 Dead 2." Game Developers Conference. Slides
  • Bronwen Grimes. March 2010. "Shading a Bigger, Better Sequel: Techniques in Left 4 Dead 2." Game Developers Conference. Slides

2009


  • Michael Booth. 2009. "The AI Systems of Left 4 Dead." Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment Conference (Stanford University). Slides
  • Michael Booth. March 2009. "Replayable Cooperative Game Design: Left 4 Dead." Game Developers Conference. Slides
  • Mike Ambinder. March 2009. "Valve’s Approach to Playtesting: The Application of Empiricism." Game Developers Conference. Slides

2008


  • Jason Mitchell. November 2008 "Connecting Visuals to Gameplay at Valve." Montreal International Game Summit. Slides
  • Moby Francke and Randy Lundeen. July 2008. "How Valve Connects Art Direction to Gameplay." Microsoft GameFest. Slides
  • Kim Swift and Erik Wolpaw. February 2008. "Integrating Narrative and Design: A Portal Post-Mortem." Game Developers Conference. Slides
  • Jason Mitchell. February 2008. "Stylization With a Purpose: The Illustrative World of Team Fortress 2." Game Developers Conference. Slides
  • Elan Ruskin. February 2008. "How To Go From PC to Cross Platform Development Without Killing Your Studio." Game Developers Conference. Slides
  • Alex Vlachos. February 2008. "Post Processing in The Orange Box." Game Developers Conference. Slides

2007


  • Jason Mitchell. Moby Francke and Dhabih Eng. 2007. "Illustrative Rendering in Team Fortress 2." International Symposium on Non-Photorealistic Animation and Rendering. Paper  |  Movie  |  Slides
  • Chris Green. 2007. "Improved Alpha-Tested Magnification for Vector Textures and Special Effects." SIGGRAPH Course on Advanced Real-Time Rendering in 3D Graphics and Games. Notes
  • Chris Green. 2007. "Efficient Self-Shadowed Radiosity Normal Mapping." SIGGRAPH Course on Advanced Real-Time Rendering in 3D Graphics and Games. Notes
  • Tom Leonard. March 2007 "Dragged Kicking and Screaming: Source Multicore." Game Developers Conference. Slides

2006


  • Jason Mitchell. Gary McTaggart and Chris Green. 2006 "Shading in Valve’s Source Engine." SIGGRAPH Course on Advanced Real-Time Rendering in 3D Graphics and Games. Notes  |  Slides
  • Gary McTaggart. 2006. "HDR in Valve’s Source Engine." SIGGRAPH Course on High-Dynamic-Range Imaging: Theory and Applications. Slides
  • David Speyrer and Brian Jacobson. March 2006. "Valve’s Design Process for Creating Half-Life 2." Game Developers Conference. Slides
  • Jay Stelly. March 2006. "Physical Gameplay in Half-Life 2." Game Developers Conference. Slides

2005


  • Brian Jacobson. 2005. "Sound Practices of Games Business and Design." Australian Game Developers Conference. Slides

2004


  • Gary McTaggart. March 2004. "Half-Life 2 / Valve Source Shading." Direct3D Tutorial Day. Game Developers Conference. Slides

1999