Despite being much praised by its employees and by gamers alike, it seems that Valve, the company behind such franchises as Half-Life and Portal, has grown too big for at least one former employee who is now working at Arkane Studios.
Viktor Antonov, who is best known for the level design he has done on City 17 for Half-Life 2
, has told Eurogamer that, “Valve has grown into a much bigger company, and what I really enjoy about the philosophy of Arkane is that it’s a small, core team that does risky creative projects.”
He added, “And when I went to Valve, they were a small company. They’ve grown now, they’re much bigger, and I’m interested in a certain level of creative risk taking and a certain energy that can be compared to jazz, jamming or rock n’ roll, where it’s small, it’s intense and it’s about making revolutions in the media.”
Antonov last worked on the pitch for Team Fortress 2 and has since grown dissatisfied with the way Valve has approached the development of the Half-Life franchise, focusing on episodes rather than delivering another AAA project.
His current project is Dishonored, the first-person action and stealth game that allows the player to use a wide variety of weapons, items and supernatural powers in order to navigate a steampunk city and solve a number of mysteries.
Antonov is the chief visual design director working on Dishonored, which is set to arrive during October on the PC, the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3.
The game uses a very distinct style, which mixes elements from European history with standard fantasy and steampunk elements.
The co-directors working on Dishonored
are Harvey Smith and Ralph Colantonio, who are well known for their work on action games.
Valve has not announced any clear plans for the future of the Half-Life series.